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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 11-13-2012, 07:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Reading, PA
Posts: 180
My Ride: 2003, 325 XIT
Question Transfer Case Front Output Flange Play, Is This Normal

I found some play in the transfer case front output flange Item 12 . I can move this up and down and side to side by hand maybe 3-4 mm. Is this normal or am I living on borrowed time?


The car in question is a 2003 325xi 5sp sedan with about 140K (my girl friends car)
I just finished a complete FCAB, control arm, inner ball joint and tie rod refresh. Also replaced the front drive axles with remans. After getting the car aligned and the wheels rebalance. All shimmy and shaking is gone, It handles beautifully again just like new.

BUT. There is a subtle drive train vibration more like a low hum. It seems the issue is coming more from the center of the car in the transmission area and not from the front end and I really donít think from the rear, but itís hard to localize. Clutch and shifting are real good and donít seem to effect the sound/hum so I donít suspect anything wrong with the trany or clutch. So back under the car to check things out. Drive shafts guido and u-joints are solid and appear ok. I did however notice the play in the front output shaft on the transfer case.

My car a 2003 325xit 5sp wagon with 160K. It has some movement at the out flange (1-2 mm) as well. It is not as bad as the sedans but the movement is more then I would expect. I suspect that there should not be any appreciable play here but itís possible this has some sort of float built in. Great, I may be looking at doing two of these in the near future. http://s1.e46fanatics.com/forum/imag...es/excited.gif I seem to do all the same maintenance on these cars at the same time. I do all my own work as itís the only way that we can afford a BMW. Any ideas. New TCís are expensive and who know what you get with a used one. Has anyone tried replacing the bearings or gearing inside? If so can you share part details (IE bearing sizes/part number ect.) and where you found parts. And what about the play, does anyone have a definitive answer if play here is normal and how much.

Thanks for your help
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