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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 06-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
Patton323I
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Exclamation M3 Drive Shaft Problems.

I searched the forms looking for topics relating to the problems I have been having, I even posted a question a while back relating to it with no solutions offered. SO, I am posting this to document my issues and solutions I have found. I will Update and Post more pictures as I work out the Problem! The car is a 2002 ///M3 with 110,000 Miles on it. just got out of a service 2 too!


The Problem


The drive shaft is making a loud and violent clunking sound at speed. At first it was 0-20 MPH then it progressed to 0-60+


My first thought was to replace the drive shaft bearing. ( P/N 26122282495 ) Totally screwed as you can see

This occured with both the first and second instance. (found first bearing toast and replaced it, this is the second bearing.)
Further digging found that the rear CV Joint on the Drive shaft was seizing up causing the whole shaft to catch and bind. This was what was causing the Loud clunk, which destroyed both the bearings.


Bad CV Joint.

End of CV Joint ( sorry I didn't clean it up yet )

Splined fitting at U-Joint

Whole drive shaft assembly (Lucky me, no damage or excesive wear has happened. I cought the problem before it blew on me )

U-Joint

Mating Spline, U-Joint End.



Here Is an exploded diagram of all affected/related components with part numbers.
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Old 06-12-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
2003E46M3
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Wait... what kind of loud clunk? Like, when I shift my baby at 7,900 RPM's while driving hard? I thought that was the SMG ///M clunk. Now I'm starting to get worried
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:17 PM   #3
Patton323I
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Thats what everyone told me, however mine is the 6 speed not SMG. but it would be noticeable through out the rpm range. and its more like a series of clunks, very fast. it comes from directly under the center of the car. feels like the center bearing. And thats the only component that will show any sign of wear. I found out it was the rear CV joint when i took off the whole drive shaft assembly and found that I could not freely turn the CV joint at the end.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:25 AM   #4
buzz1167
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OMG, I love you! I have had this problem for 2 months now. Trying to fix it I have found and replaced lots of the typical bearings that people say wear out and they all need to be replaced but they don't fix the problem. Your problem is exactly as I have and it just started to get to the point where the sound progresses above 20mph and I stopped driving it all together looking for the answer!

BTW I have a 2002 M3 with 104,000 miles on it... Damn close failures...

The noise I have sounds as if the entire vehicle is going to explode. Really more like someone is hitting the transmission with a sledge about 5times a second. But it only happens at low speed, once i get above 20 it went away on the highway. But on the surface streets I have to be really ginger with the throttle and short shift first from all the stoplights to make the noise stop earlier. It will make noise in all gears, but shifting seems to jolt it in a way to help make it stop when accelerating.

Last edited by buzz1167; 06-29-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:43 AM   #5
Patton323I
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Yeah you sound like your having the same problem as me. but don't be thanking me just yet. I replaced all the parts and im still having the problem, but on a much smaller scale now. (not nearly as bad but still evident.) Its driveable and just fine if you stay off the throttle now. What I was unaware of (nor thought of) is when you take the drive shaft apart you need to mark the position of the spline fittings so it goes back together the same way it came apart. If you fail to do this then the drive shaft will be out of balance, which mine now is. so my next step is to take it into a shop and have them re-balance the shaft. Some thing else to think about it if the CV joint is bad and did cause the binding, it may A: throw the shaft out of balance B: bend or twist the Drive shaft, which would require replacement.

Anyways, I'm taking the shaft in, in the next few days to get it re-balanced. I will have more pictures and a video with results and total end costs on this whole issue. I'm tired of having this problem. But no matter what I still love my ///M3!!!!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:29 PM   #6
poorfatjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patton323I View Post

Anyways, I'm taking the shaft in, in the next few days to get it re-balanced.
could you do me a favor if you haven't installed it already? could you measure the diameter and spline count of the shaft where the two halves connect? Also, could you measure the forward section of the shaft? I'm trying to collect and clarify driveshaft info on a 323i swap to m3.

thanks!

Last edited by poorfatjames; 07-09-2011 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:44 PM   #7
Patton323I
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I would love to, but Wednesday some ******* rear ended my car and totaled it....
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
poorfatjames
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oh heck. sorry dude.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
Sequential Maniac
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so how did you resolve this problem because mine has the same noise too its not too loud but is noticeable
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:25 AM   #10
Sfitty4
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Originally Posted by Sequential Maniac View Post
so how did you resolve this problem because mine has the same noise too its not too loud but is noticeable
\


Center support bearing is shot. While you're changing that you may as well change the Guibo too.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
Patton323I
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In all likely hood, the center support bearing is shot. But be weary because it might have worn out for other reasons ( the drive shaft being out of balance, worn guibo etc ). You need to be very cautious when dis assembling the drive shaft. The splined center shaft needs to go on EXACTLY the same way it came off or you risk throwing the entire shaft off balance. You may want to try and take the shaft in to get it re balanced, however when I tried it for mine, the shop told me that it was not possible to do because of the nature of the shaft design that they could not chuck it in to the balancing machine. And if the shaft dose in fact turn out to be out of balance, You may as well either order a brand new one ($800) Buy a re manufactured one ($500 quoted for me) or go to a junk yard and try and find one in decent shape. I'm not a fan of the junk yard idea because you may just end up back where you started. Hope this helps!
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:05 PM   #12
bimmerfanaticc
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Just replace the thing already!

I had the same problem as Patton323I and after replacing more parts than I care to mention with out resolving the problem. I finally took my mechanics word and just replaced the whole drive shaft and I gotta say it was the smartest thing I could have done. Between the center bearings, CV joints and re balancing and having to pay to have my mechanic to keep dropping it off the car and re installing I know now I should have just replaced the whole thing from the START! and woulda saved some good money. My mechanic refered me to a website that specializes in drive shafts and I was able to pick up a re man for under $450!!! with free shipping for the part and also for my old core. I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER !!! my 02" is running as smooth as the day I drove it off the lot.

Wholesale Import Parts is the name of the company.

http://www.wholesaleimportparts.com/BMW_Drive_Shaft.php :_nr_
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