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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 02-10-2013, 08:04 PM   #1
mixedgas401
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 34
My Ride: 04 325xi
Vibration....I can't seem to get ahead

My 04 325xi has a vibration that feels like drive train when accelerating. Typically it has to be driven a while and sometimes it is minor and sometimes it feels like I have a wheel falling off. The steering wheel doesn't vibrate leaving me to think its in the rear.

I want to change diff and transfer case oil to start out. What do you guys recommend for fluids and what are the capacities.

But if the fluid change doesn't improve.....which my luck it won't......any issues, rear axles, drive shaft problems??? It only starts shaking after being driven for 15ish miles and doesn't always do it.

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
e46alfonso
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: ct
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My Ride: 330xi, focus st
This is a tough one. Does it do it at all speeds? I have to guess CV joints running dry and getting very hot.
Go redline with the fluids. 2 quarts of 75-90 will cover both diffs. Turner and redline recommend d4 atf for the transfer case but some choose to use mtl.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:51 AM   #3
mixedgas401
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Yeah it seems to be all speeds. I noticed last night the vibration started after I made a right turn.

I don't think anyone around my area stocks redline fluids. How are valvoline gear lubes? I appears that the maxlife atf and gear lubes meet all specs of redlines fluids. I ask because we stock val online at my shop and it is very convienient

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #4
jeepo23
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I'm going to go and say its your axles.
How many km's on the car? These xi's chew through axles like no other. Your CV joint might be gone or the boots might just not have enough grease in them so you would need to repack them.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:33 AM   #5
mixedgas401
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Location: NE ohio
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My Ride: 04 325xi
I was considering pulling the boots back and repacking the joints then replacing the clamps before getting new axles. That or using a needle on my grease gun and poking small holes in each boot and shooting in grease and burning the hole closed. I have the clamps and tool for clamping them back on, so doing this would probably be much more effective in terms of getting everything greased good

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Old 02-11-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedgas401 View Post
Yeah it seems to be all speeds. I noticed last night the vibration started after I made a right turn.

I don't think anyone around my area stocks redline fluids. How are valvoline gear lubes? I appears that the maxlife atf and gear lubes meet all specs of redlines fluids. I ask because we stock val online at my shop and it is very convienient
Valvoline is fine as long as you are sure it's 100% synthetic oil. I personally use 75w90 synthetic (either Mobil or Redline, whatever is cheaper at the time) in the diffs and MTL in the transfer case. If you've never changed the TC fluid before, I would suggest running some ATF in there for ~5k miles to allow the detergents in that fluid to break down all the crap that will inevitably be in there. Then drain the ATF out and fill with MTL as it is better for the geared system than ATF.

Another thing to check out is the center support bearing for the rear drive shaft and the driveshaft rubber bushing as well.

I'm guessing you tried the cheap fix of checking wheel balance already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepo23 View Post
I'm going to go and say its your axles.
How many km's on the car? These xi's chew through axles like no other. Your CV joint might be gone or the boots might just not have enough grease in them so you would need to repack them.
He thinks the rear axles are the problem, fronts seem to be ok. Rear axles don't have nearly the same troubles as the fronts.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 02-11-2013 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:27 PM   #7
mixedgas401
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Yep road forced the wheels and everything. I checked the drive shaft a few weeks ago and it was fine.

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