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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 02-23-2011, 11:00 AM   #1
kaboo0m
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Exclamation Front Drive AXLE/CV recommendation

Hi all,

after having my 2nd re-manufactured passenger side drive axle from BMW installed by them crap out on me again, I'm looking for alternatives since I am out of warranty. Anyone have experience with the aftermarket brands, there is no way I'm shelling out $400+ for a re-manufactured axle from BMW again.

Its interesting that in both cases, the boot itself was never torn, rather the internal clamp/seal that the boot clamp binds over wore off, thus slinging grease everywhere. both lasted approximiately less than 25k miles.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
athayer187
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I'm sure others will chime in, but I just installed a set of A1 Cardone reman axles (bought off of Amazon.com, no core charge). I have about 3k winter miles on them, and they're holding up great. No long term experience yet, but there's no signs of any wear/failure points on any of the boots after very close inspection.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #3
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how much did you get it for?
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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I only average about 1.5 years on my axles. I've yet to have an axle last 15k miles actually.

Do not buy FEQ or any other no-name brand axle- they are made in China. Napa sells the A1 Cardone reman axles for $75 each plus core.

Make sure you buy some diff fluid too.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
I only average about 1.5 years on my axles. I've yet to have an axle last 15k miles actually.

Do not buy FEQ or any other no-name brand axle- they are made in China. Napa sells the A1 Cardone reman axles for $75 each plus core.

Make sure you buy some diff fluid too.
so you're saying you lasted 1.5 years an A1 axle? how many A1's did you go through and what symptoms did you experience when you knew it went out again
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:03 PM   #6
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so you're saying you lasted 1.5 years an A1 axle? how many A1's did you go through and what symptoms did you experience when you knew it went out again
I will be putting on the car's fifth set of axles soon. First set was from the factory and lasted 70k miles. Second set was installed by the dealer and lasted about 15k miles. Third set was FEQ chinese junk and one lasted two weeks, the other two months. Fourth set was Cardone reman installed last winter- the boots are still good, but the grease slinged out of both a few weeks ago. I'm replacing the driver's side again very soon, since I will be replacing that wheel bearing.

I do track the car so expect more life out of the axles if you don't . . .
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
I will be putting on the car's fifth set of axles soon. First set was from the factory and lasted 70k miles. Second set was installed by the dealer and lasted about 15k miles. Third set was FEQ chinese junk and one lasted two weeks, the other two months. Fourth set was Cardone reman installed last winter- the boots are still good, but the grease slinged out of both a few weeks ago. I'm replacing the driver's side again very soon, since I will be replacing that wheel bearing.

I do track the car so expect more life out of the axles if you don't . . .
Do you typically run your axles until they sling grease, or until they click or have play? I got ~110k out of my stock set. They slung grease at ~90k, I refilled them with Lucas red adn Tacky grease, and they were fine until the boots totally blew out and were dripping grease on my garage floor.
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urethane trans mounts, 500/450 IE Coilovers, UUC SSK, Mason Engineering strut bars,
Hella H1/H4 headlights, Schroth Rallye 3's, Dinan 25/19 swaybars, 750i brakes
2004 330xi - stock except for UUC SSK, RE RSM's, Koni Yellows, UUC TSE1
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:31 PM   #8
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do you also need an alignment after these have been reinstalleD?
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:43 PM   #9
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Do you typically run your axles until they sling grease, or until they click or have play? I got ~110k out of my stock set. They slung grease at ~90k, I refilled them with Lucas red adn Tacky grease, and they were fine until the boots totally blew out and were dripping grease on my garage floor.
No, I've never repacked the boots. I replace them when there is noticeable play in the shafts- i grab with one arm and shake the crap out of them. By this point there's usually a noticeable vibration in the steering wheel, so you are really just trying to figure out which side to replace. For $75 each, they are cheap enough to replace every year. Cheaper than nice brake pads. I've been replacing control arms every year and a half too- not so cheap.

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do you also need an alignment after these have been reinstalleD?
Nope, just don't undo the top strut bolts or the tie-rods and you will be good to go.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:29 PM   #10
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My personal experience was to go with OEM parts on this. You get a 2yr. warranty on the part as long as it is installed by a qualified shop. I went through a CV boot on a new axle and dealership replaced it free of charge when I mentioned the warranty...all I did was show them the receipt of purchase. Of course, this was on my old Xi, and it was lowered as well.
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Old 02-23-2011, 09:43 PM   #11
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Has anyone used Raxles on their xi? I bought a set for my Corrado when I put the diff in... love them and lifetime warranty! I'm just not sure if the inner CV's on the xi are the "tripod" joints like in the iX. If so, I don't think Marty can do them. Otherwise, I'm sure he can do them.

Just can't say enough good things about Raxles! He uses new joints not remans, and he uses lucas synthetic grease. Remanufactured joints are considerably weaker due to the surfacing of the bearing contact areas. Always steer clear of anything remanufactured if you can. And if you ever do a swap and need custom CV's, give him a call.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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Subscribed to hear about Raxles. Anyone have any experience with them?

Just repacked passenger axle the other day, doing the driver's side in a few days. Hopefully that will get me by until it's time to actually replace the axles when the weather is warmer. I figure, no clicking or vibration on acceleration / deceleration, so I should be good for a little while yet.
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jcarpfishman View Post
Subscribed to hear about Raxles. Anyone have any experience with them?

Just repacked passenger axle the other day, doing the driver's side in a few days. Hopefully that will get me by until it's time to actually replace the axles when the weather is warmer. I figure, no clicking or vibration on acceleration / deceleration, so I should be good for a little while yet.
Repacking my axles bought me about a year until the boots finally blew out completely. Still wasn't any clicking, I just got tired of tracking grease inside from the garage floor.
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1988 535is - EAT chip, style 5 wheels for track, style 29 wheels for street, urethane UCAB's,
urethane trans mounts, 500/450 IE Coilovers, UUC SSK, Mason Engineering strut bars,
Hella H1/H4 headlights, Schroth Rallye 3's, Dinan 25/19 swaybars, 750i brakes
2004 330xi - stock except for UUC SSK, RE RSM's, Koni Yellows, UUC TSE1
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Old 02-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #14
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Sweet. I bought the boot kits, so I've got new boots, new grease, and new clamps. I even wrapped the location where the old clamp failed with moisture proof silicone tape, which should help keep it from spewing all over in the event that the new clamp fails too. As long as I've got no clicking, I should be good for a while.
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Old 02-24-2011, 11:54 AM   #15
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I replaced my front/pass axle about 1-1/2 tears ago. I got the replacement from FCP Groton. I know it's made in China. It worked well until about 2 months ago. The wear is not on the CV joint but in the parts that slide horizontally.
See pic-

(Pic courtesy Pilotlviv)

Had I done more research, I would have bought the axle from RockAuto that uses A1CarDone. I was a noob then, and now I will pay the price.
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Last edited by Rickna; 02-24-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:19 PM   #16
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What were the symptoms that cropped up 2 months ago, just clicking?
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Old 02-24-2011, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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What were the symptoms that cropped up 2 months ago, just clicking?
Vibration during hard acceleration. Clicking would be the CV joint.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:49 PM   #18
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...
See pic-

(Pic courtsey Pilotlviv)...
Thanks for the pic! so what exactly are we looking at here? I can't tell from the pic what it is... I've yet to need to do my axles, but I'm sure I will sometime.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:12 PM   #19
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Thanks for the pic! so what exactly are we looking at here? I can't tell from the pic what it is... I've yet to need to do my axles, but I'm sure I will sometime.
The left part (Circled).
Pic (Pic courtesy Pilotlviv)
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:45 PM   #20
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perfect! thank you.

it is indeed the tripod style joint. hhhmmmm.....
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