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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
flyin_lo
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My Ride: 2004 330i
330i keeps destroying CSB's

My 2004 330i seems to have an appetite for center support bearings. About 6 months ago, my car started to get the shudder under acceleration. After a little forum searching, I decided thet the guibo was probably the problem, so I replaced it. The csb rubber was a little cracked, but I'd not ordered one, so I put it all back together. A few weeks later, I was back under the car replacing the csb. Apparently, driving with a bad csb doesn't do the guibo any good, because it was already showing wear signs (replaced again). During the csb replacement, the driveshaft was marked so it went back in the same position. Since this time, I've been through 2 more csb's. I've preloaded the bearing, put the mount back in the exact position it came out from, etc.
The rubber around the bearing is lasting about 2 weeks. Does anyone out there have any idea why this car might be continually destroying these bearings? This is getting rather expensive. On the positive side, I've become extremely proficient at replacing it (out and back in in 1 1/2 hours).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
lmr2wil
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I would be looking to the driveshaft itself - either slop in the joints or being out of balance. I would also investigate the entire driveline suspension - engine mounts, transmission mounts, differential mounts front and rear - to make sure that the driveline isn't off kilter relative to the CSB mounting point.

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Old 01-17-2013, 09:06 AM   #3
teamdfl
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The drive shaft U joints are probably done. Get a reman shaft from a reputable supplier.

My personal choice is Driveline Service of Portland. http://www.driveshafts.com/ I have used their driveshafts in a bunch of my older BMWs (E28, E30, E36) and I plan to call them when my E46 needs one.

Beyer is supposed to be very good as well. I know people who used them fro a bunch of standard and custom drive shafts. http://www.beyerdriveline.com/
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:04 AM   #4
flyin_lo
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Thanks for the info. I haven't noticed anything that looks out of place, but I'll definitely be looking a little closer. The other piece that has caught my attention is the cv joint at the differential end of the driveshaft. Seems rather stiff.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:17 AM   #5
Brevik
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I am pretty sure what you are calling a CV joint is what the other poster is correctly refering to as a u-joint, unless you are talking about the shaft(s) going to the wheels, which have cv joints


Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_lo View Post
Thanks for the info. I haven't noticed anything that looks out of place, but I'll definitely be looking a little closer. The other piece that has caught my attention is the cv joint at the differential end of the driveshaft. Seems rather stiff.
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:46 PM   #6
pleiades
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flyin' lo, for the sake of terminology and parts references in this thread, here's the relevant Realoem.com illustration for an 04 330i. Is this your car's configuration?

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...97&hg=26&fg=10

The constant velocity joint can dry out, but if you've been pulling apart the DS off the car just to replace the CSB, you should find it easy enough to repack the CV joint.

Some things to keep in mind....

- If you are replacing the giubo (flex disc .... part #2 in that diagram, which is unfortunately labeled the "universal joint"), you should also replace part #1, the centering sleeve, as it has a rubber core that wears out and half-kills the effectiveness of the flex disc in absorbing driveline vibrations.

- If you are pulling the DS apart to replace the CSB, how are you getting part #12 back in? Piss-tight? With red loctite (that's what's in there initially I think)?

- When you torque down the bolts on the flex disc, are you torquing from the nuts, as recommended? If you try torquing from the bolt heads, this will put undue stress on the metal sleeves bonded into those holes with the rubber and reduce the life of the flex disc, sometimes drastically. TIS warns against doing this.

- Trans mounts. Are they good? Engine mounts? If these are bad or weak, you'll have lots of torque-induced twisting causing the DS to flex and wear out those parts meant to absorb all that.

- Diff bushings. Especially the one in front? If any look worn/torn, that may be your number-one issue.

- About "pre-loading." Does the TIS or Bentley still specify it as a necessary step for your car? Not everyone is a believer.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:44 PM   #7
flyin_lo
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Pleiades,
I have been using this same diagram as a reference, but I was unsure whether or not you could repack the cv joint (item 14) or if it had to be replaced. Lesson learned! In regards to the hex bolt connecting the two shafts, I would say knuckle-bleeding from the garage floor tight (probably very similar). However, I have not replace the centering sleeve (yet).

Due to the way that the flex disc bolts were in (head toward rear, threads towards the front) I couldn't get my torque wrench in place, so I had to torque from the bolt heads. Does the bolt direction make a difference? Also, on the last flex disc, one of the bolts fit so tightly into the disc sleeve that I had to knock it out with a hammer. I'm certain that this was not good.

I'll have to take a closer look at the bushings. I hadn't noticed any obvious wear, but this is a nine year old car with 150k on the clock. Probably best to just replace them anyway.

And my info on pre-loading the bearing came from the internet...so it must be true!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #8
pleiades
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyin_lo View Post
Does the bolt direction make a difference? Also, on the last flex disc, one of the bolts fit so tightly into the disc sleeve that I had to knock it out with a hammer. I'm certain that this was not good.
I *think* (don't know 100%) that it would be okay to insert the bolts such that the nuts are on the aft side of the flex disc. That way it would be easier to counterhold the bolt heads with an offset box wrench and torque the nuts down from the torque-wrench accessible side. The arrows on the side of the flex disc point to the sides where trans or DS flanges should be. That in itself is important, but I don't see how bolt orientation can be.

If you point all six bolts toward the rear (easy enough for the three that hold the flex disc to the DS flanges), you might need to insert the three for the trans output flange first, before sliding the DS on, or there may not be room to get those buggers on from that orientation .... I'm speculating from memory though. When I replaced all that stuff, I did it by the book but didn't have the torque extensions to access the nuts given their location and just tightened them down as well as I could.

Forgot .... the centering sleeve is fairly easy to deal with. Just "press" it out with a dowel exactly the size of the sleeve's ID, by packing in heavy grease behind it and slamming it in there with a decent hammer. Takes about three good whacks and adding grease to get it moving. The new one can be tapped in dry but I'm not sure how many mm it should be sticking out on the e46s. Just keep in mind it's cast, not forged, and you'll want to put something relatively soft (wood block, delrin) on it or hit with a plastic hammer.... or it can crack.

Last edited by pleiades; 01-17-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
ccj4467
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On my 330 I just replaced the CV Joint, I think ECS Tuning has it for about $160 + shipping. Really easy to do. Just pry out the cover, clean off the grease to expose the snap ring, remove the snap ring and the joint slides off, it made need a little persuasion.
Slide the new joint on and pack it with new CV Joint grease and Replace the cover. All in all took me about 2 hours to do the job and that included a new CSB.

As a note the 330's (i, Ci Cic) are the only E46's that use a a CV Joint on the diff end of the driveshaft. It can make it difficult to obtain one from an driveshaft remanufacturer as there are not alot of "cores" around.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:25 PM   #10
pleiades
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccj4467 View Post
....As a note the 330's (i, Ci Cic) are the only E46's that use a a CV Joint on the diff end of the driveshaft....
This I didn't know. My car is an e39 and all of those have the CV joint on the rear of the DS. As far as replacing just the CV, for us it's usually more economical to go for a re-man driveshaft because they typically come with a fresh-packed or new CV, new CSB, and flex disc and are already balanced.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
ccj4467
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It is the same CV joint as the E39 also, exact same part number.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:57 PM   #12
teamdfl
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Even with a CV joint at the back, there is still a U joint in the middle. Either can wear. In general, I think a reman driveshaft is worth the money if you have any driveline issues in a BMW with more than 150k miles. If the driveshaft bits aren't worn out, they will be soon.
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Old 02-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #13
flyin_lo
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And finally the resolution. I replaced the two transmission mount bushings, the rear differential mount bushing and the guibo (again). But the root cause was the failed (frozen) u-joint in the driveshaft. It was only moving freely on one axis. The other was nearly impossible to move. Now what probably led to it's failure was the combination of all of the other worn out parts in the system. That and not replacing the guibo and center support bearing together on the previous attempts. All of which led to the pin bearings in one of the cups deteriorating and jamming themselves into an angled position.
I was able to get a rebuilt one from Wholesale Import Parts for about $450 including the core charge. Not the cheapest out there, by far not the most expensive out there, but nice people and quick service.
Thanks to everyone above for the input and suggestions.
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