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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 12-16-2013, 07:08 PM   #1
phoopsta
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Should I replace one Cv Joint ( Axle Shaft) or Both?

I have a 02 330XI and for my christmas gift my brother-in-law in replacing my leaking axle shaft with a hole on the front left with a new one! I thought it is great because it would save me a good amount of $$.

I was kinda worried about the part purchased tho, It is coming from Napa Auto Parts.


Anyways hes done tons of cars DIYs and he knows a little bit about bmws.

Looking at videos and forums I think its a task we can conquer.


What I am worried about is if I get a aftermarket shaft for the front left when the front right OEM was perfectly ok, will they fight eachother? Like maybe vibration or weird wobble or should I not experience any difference? Thanks!

2002 BMW 330xi 135k miles.


Last edited by phoopsta; 12-16-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
jeepo23
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Well I replaced my front left in my 02 330xi about 2 years ago with a shaft from Carquest (same as Napa really..) and luckily I kept my OEM shaft and picked up a boot repair kit which I plan now to rebuild and install back as I believe that the shaft from Carquest is causing some shaking/wobbles..

If he's doing the repair and your shaft isn't clicking yet.. buy the boot repair kit ~$40 since he has to remove your OEM shaft anyways and just rebuild it and put it back in place. This will save you some money by not having to buy a new shaft unless you want to go OEM.. $$$.

And I don't think the shafts are interchangeable between sides.. their all side specific.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:30 PM   #3
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Definitely replace both (you will regret it later if you dont), and definitely get OEM or OEM spec BMW parts
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:37 PM   #4
phoopsta
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Originally Posted by autoAER View Post
Definitely replace both (you will regret it later if you dont), and definitely get OEM or OEM spec BMW parts

Well it is definatly not the cheapest crap but also its not OEM. So I beleive its OEM spec.

I am deciding to do one side because the other side looks recently replaced. Its in fantastic shape. My drivers side is trashed.

^ for the boot repair. I had thought about it, but it was a suprise so he already purchased the part
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
Well it is definatly not the cheapest crap but also its not OEM. So I beleive its OEM spec.

I am deciding to do one side because the other side looks recently replaced. Its in fantastic shape. My drivers side is trashed.

^ for the boot repair. I had thought about it, but it was a suprise so he already purchased the part
What axle shaft are you putting in and how much is it?
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:48 PM   #6
phoopsta
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Originally Posted by jeepo23 View Post
What axle shaft are you putting in and how much is it?
I think he said something around $250. I looked up the OEM and they are over $500!!! It would be the Front Driver side.

The cheapest aftermarket I looked up was $107. off of Bavarian Auto

Last edited by phoopsta; 12-16-2013 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
Well it is definatly not the cheapest crap but also its not OEM. So I beleive its OEM spec.

I am deciding to do one side because the other side looks recently replaced. Its in fantastic shape. My drivers side is trashed.

^ for the boot repair. I had thought about it, but it was a suprise so he already purchased the part
Up to you, but I was also in a similar situation and judging by the removed part, it was in much worse shape than i thought. It's better to replace both and know that you did than replacing one side and going off of sheer guessing on the other side.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
phoopsta
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Originally Posted by autoAER View Post
Up to you, but I was also in a similar situation and judging by the removed part, it was in much worse shape than i thought. It's better to replace both and know that you did than replacing one side and going off of sheer guessing on the other side.
I had them all inspected at a dealership as well has 2 other auto shops ( full car inspections, I like to have different point of views). Thats how I figured that I needed a new one ( as well as looking at it while car was in air) I had lots of other parts looked at but thats a different subject.


I can also tell by just looking at them. The front left isnt torn or anything, just a huge hole causeing a leak.

Last edited by phoopsta; 12-16-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 12-16-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
I had them all inspected at a dealership as well has 2 other auto shops ( full car inspections, I like to have different point of views). Thats how I figured that I needed a new one ( as well as looking at it while car was in air) I had lots of other parts looked at but thats a different subject.


I can also tell by just looking at them. The front left isnt torn or anything, just a huge hole causeing a leak.
Ah, that you didn't mention. I retract my previous statement
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:08 AM   #10
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If one is bad and the other is not, replace just the one.

Why are you replacing the fuel filter cover?

Are you sure you need to replace the flex disc, post cat O2, and front rim or are you just guessing?

Why aren't you replacing the pre-cat O2 sensors?

Don't replace just the coolant, replace the thermostat, water pump, explosion tank, and hoses while you're in there.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:47 AM   #11
phoopsta
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[ QUoute]1;15894266]If one is bad and the other is not, replace just the one.

Why are you replacing the fuel filter cover?

Are you sure you need to replace the flex disc, post cat O2, and front rim or are you just guessing?

Why aren't you replacing the pre-cat O2 sensors?

Don't replace just the coolant, replace the thermostat, water pump, explosion tank, and hoses while you're in there.[/QUOTE]

I am replacing the fuel filter cover due to it being super rusted, I may try to do some abatement to see how much rust can be taken off first.

Yes flex disc is soon needed to be changed, the rubber is all torqued ... tho I could probably wait awhile before I do that.

Post cat o2 is because im getting heateng o2 sensor circut fail codes and other codes that lead to bad o2 sensors. Precat are ok as they were replaced before purchase.

Front rim has crack next to tire that creates an air leak. I will pay you money if u can find me that rim style!

Coolant system seems fine,not to worried yet, this car isnt as bad as im saying it is. Lol explosion tank

Last edited by phoopsta; 12-17-2013 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
I am replacing the fuel filter cover due to it being super rusted, I may try to do some abatement to see how much rust can be taken off first. Don't bother, you're wasting your time and money on this.

Post cat o2 is because im getting heateng o2 sensor circut fail codes and other codes that lead to bad o2 sensors. Precat are ok as they were replaced before purchase. Are you sure they are for the post cat O2 sensors and are they both of them?

Front rim has crack next to tire that creates an air leak. I will pay you money if u can find me that rim style! What style, the ones in your picture?

Coolant system seems fine,not to worried yet, this car isnt as bad as im saying it is. Famous last words
See above.
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #13
phoopsta
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
See above.

Fuel filter cover : I dont mind abatement and its free

O2 sensors: cause the reader told me the bank and the sensor??

Rim: Yeah that style

Coolant: you might be right. Im not a car noob tho... why u asking me this stuff as if I am a noob with cars?
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
Fuel filter cover : I dont mind abatement and its free

O2 sensors: cause the reader told me the bank and the sensor??

Rim: Yeah that style

Coolant: you might be right. Im not a car noob tho... why u asking me this stuff as if I am a noob with cars?
nothing wrong with being a noob. hell, I'm still a noob and I've owned my E46 for long enough to know better.

Better take SamDoe1's advice
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Old 12-17-2013, 03:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by phoopsta View Post
Coolant: you might be right. Im not a car noob tho... why u asking me this stuff as if I am a noob with cars?
My apologies, most people who just start out on this forum are total n00bs who couldn't tell you the difference between an O2 sensor and a MAF sensor.

I've been around the block and back with this car so I'm just throwing out my opinions and advice.
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Old 12-17-2013, 12:27 PM   #16
Busy
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NEW axles from NAPA come with a lifetime warranty and cost a fraction of OEM axles, so use those.

Replacing both sides is a preventative measure and if $$ and time allow, by all means do it.
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Busy View Post
NEW axles from NAPA come with a lifetime warranty and cost a fraction of OEM axles, so use those.

Replacing both sides is a preventative measure and if $$ and time allow, by all means do it.
Having spent the better part of the last month getting my axles sorted out, I would say (like lots of others here) get GKN axles from Pelican/ECS/RM, etc.

I got one Cardone reman (from Autozone, but they supply NAPA all the auto parts chains) that seems OK, and another Cardone that was machined undersize and gushed fluid and had grease leaking from the outboard boot.
A lifetime warranty isn't worth much unless your idea of a good time is repeatedly replacing axles.

I don't think you have to worry about one side playing well with the other.
If one side looks recently replaced, I would just replace the bad one with a GKN. Roughly $300 for the drivers side and $350 for the passenger.
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Last edited by Mannydog; 12-19-2013 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 10:43 AM   #18
Busy
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I got one Cardone reman
Right, but I'm talking about 'new' axles.
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #19
mcopenha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy View Post
NEW axles from NAPA come with a lifetime warranty and cost a fraction of OEM axles, so use those.
How many miles have you gotten out of these?

My personal experience with any aftermarket axle is that they're a false economy: they are usually good for maybe a couple years or 20 - 30K miles.

A GKN or OE axle will last much longer, as much as 100K.
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:30 PM   #20
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busy View Post
NEW axles from NAPA come with a lifetime warranty and cost a fraction of OEM axles, so use those.

Replacing both sides is a preventative measure and if $$ and time allow, by all means do it.
I didn't notice this before.

Do NOT, repeat NOT, buy NEW axles from NAPA. Those are the crappy axles that will fail in 20k miles or less. However, buying the remanufactured axles from NAPA will give you rebuilt OEM axles that won't fail as easily. They are cheaper than the new ones and much cheaper than new OEM GKN axles. I have a reman axle from NAPA on my car right now and have no complaints.
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