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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 02-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Edenton, NC
Posts: 37
My Ride: e46 M3
Another reason not to buy cheap axles

I had posted previously about the leaking shaft seal I had on my passenger side front axle. After replacing the seal twice, I finally brought it to the dealership, thinking that I might be butchering the seal when I installed it, but also thinking I probably needed a new axle. They determined it was the aftermarket axle that was causing the leak. I bought the car used, and suspected that the driver side front axle was an aftermarket axle as well, and knew that I'd probably be replacing that before too long. As luck would have it, the outer boot on the drivers side axle got a tear in it (less than 5000 miles after I replaced the boot with an OEM boot). So, being the expert I've become at pulling front axles, I tore into things to replace the boot. I decided to replace the inner boot as well, so I just cut the old boots off. Unfortunately, the OEM inner boot didn't fit the aftermarket axle I had. So, that brought me to the inevitable purchase of an OEM axle. So, in addition to the aftermarket axles not having the right diameter shafts, which lead to leaking shaft seals, good luck finding boots that fit them. I bought a new GKN Loebro (OEM) axle from Pelican Parts for about $277.00, and got free 3 day shipping. At that price, it most certainly is not worth buying the crappy aftermarket axles, particularly in light of the multitude of problems you'll sooner or later (more likely sooner) have with the aftermarket ones. If you're selling your car, and don't mind dumping a problem onto a buyer, maybe it's okay to use an aftermarket axle. Otherwise, you're just guaranteeing yourself a headache and a lot of wasted money by buying the cheap crap.

Just thought I'd pass that on for anyone who's facing an axle replacement.
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