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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 09-24-2013, 04:07 AM   #1
Fred9400
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2004 325xi
325xi axle removal

I just bought a 2004 325 xi and really love the car. Unfortunately I have a split outer CV boot on the front left side that I need to replace. Based upon what I've read on the Forum; I'm just going to replace the axle with a remanufactured OEM axle rather than mess around with replacing boots (I'm also suspicious of the outer CV joint integrity). I could use a little help on removing the axle though, I haven't done one of these before and I'm a little nervous about popping it out of the differential properly. Does this pop out with say, applying some sustained outward pressure? Or do I need to set something up and whack the axle away to "pop" it out? If so, do I really need to whale away at it; or should I be able to just give it a few sharp whacks?
Thanks a lot for whatever help you can give me. I really don't want to screw something up when I do this.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:40 AM   #2
YaSureYouBetcha
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: MN
Posts: 130
My Ride: 2002 325xi
325xi axle removal

It'll come out with a few taps using a mallet and long screwdriver/breaker bar. Here's a decent DIY on the replacement...




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Old 09-24-2013, 10:39 AM   #3
SamDoe1
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Few sharp hits will pop it out, they don't necessarily have to be hard hits either. Mine just tapped out. Getting it back in is another hassle though, that'll take a few hard hits. Make sure everything is lined up before you try to tap it back in.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:50 AM   #4
tanayast
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Posts: 19
My Ride: 2001 325xi
I did mine not too long ago. See this thread I posted, hope it helps

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...php?p=15652938
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:26 AM   #5
MiniXP
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My Ride: 08 335i & 01 325xi
There are little indents in the axle tat you'll see when you get under the car that you can hit with a screwdriver.

I got a big dead blow hammer from harbor freight for when I did this job. Probably used it more than I should have
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
Fred9400
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Location: New Jersey
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My Ride: 2004 325xi
Success! It popped out with just a few sharp strikes. And I popped in the new one very easily too. Should be operational in a day or two as time permits to work on it. Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:19 AM   #7
YaSureYouBetcha
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My Ride: 2002 325xi
325xi axle removal

Glad you were able to get it done!


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Old 11-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #8
sk8ersublime
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Gaithersburg
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330Xi
325xi axle removal

I'm about to tackle this as well. I have a busted left outer cv boot and can't pass inspection. I have the Bentley manual. From what I see it, I just need the axle and a new seal correct? I do see that the manual states to replace the control arm bracket bolts, did you do this? What size bolts do I need as I do not see them listed. ( I'm new to e46 and this manual) I just want to make sure I have everything on hand before I start this since it's my primary car.


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Old 11-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
MiniXP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8ersublime View Post
I'm about to tackle this as well. I have a busted left outer cv boot and can't pass inspection. I have the Bentley manual. From what I see it, I just need the axle and a new seal correct? I do see that the manual states to replace the control arm bracket bolts, did you do this? What size bolts do I need as I do not see them listed. ( I'm new to e46 and this manual) I just want to make sure I have everything on hand before I start this since it's my primary car.


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You shouldn't have to remove the control arm bolts (but if you do remove them they should be replaced).

Here are a couple DIYs I found helpful when I was doing mine:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=556997
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ement-job-(DIY)
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=474194

Also the video above was helpful
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #10
sk8ersublime
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Gaithersburg
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330Xi
325xi axle removal

Yea I've watched that video and that makes the job look super easy...I haven't done much car work in the past other than brakes and intake, and nothing on an e46 yet. I have 30 days to get it done so in planning on knocking it out this weekend. My cousin is always rebuilding cars but hasn't worked and anything euro, but based on the video I don't think we will have any problems. Just the seal and the axle then and I'll be set? The car is currently at 90,500. Change the diff fluid while I'm at it?


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Old 11-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #11
SamDoe1
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^ You will have to top off the diff since it'll leak when you pop the old seal out and put the new one in. Might as well drain and refill if you've got the time and diff fluid on hand.

Make sure you have a bigger hammer and you should be set. No need to pop the control arms off, just take off the strut pinch bolt and lower the assembly that way.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #12
sk8ersublime
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Gaithersburg
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My Ride: 2001 330Xi
325xi axle removal

Thanks for the advice. Looking forward to getting my 330 certified!


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Old 11-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #13
philljones54
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Location: Hagerstown MD
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My Ride: 03 325xi
Re: 325xi axle removal

About to get into mine but I'm having trouble finding a socket for the axle nut guess I'll be going to Lowe's in the morn. Does the diff seal need to be replaced or can you get by without doing it

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Old 11-09-2013, 07:21 PM   #14
sk8ersublime
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Location: Gaithersburg
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330Xi
325xi axle removal

I got mine at sears. 36mm 12pt.

I attempted my replacement today and failed.

Everything was going great until trying to get the damn axle out of the hub. Used pb blaster, the axle pusher tool, hammering it, it wouldn't budge. Tries prying it out and bent the pry bar.

Went ahead and popped the axle out of the diff and took the knuckle off the ball joint to see if pep boys could try to get it out since they were the only shop open. They told me no because of the shielding around the bearing they can't use the hydraulic press. I'm at a loss now. I put the car back together but I can't drive the car because I can't get the axle nut back on after slamming it trying to get it off.

My only option as of now is taking in to the dealership Monday morning as I need it fixed ASAP. Im expecting to get raped.

It sucks because the only thing keeping the repair from completing was the axle being stuck


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Old 11-09-2013, 07:26 PM   #15
philljones54
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My Ride: 03 325xi
Re: 325xi axle removal

Damn sorry bout you're luck man I hope I don't run into that!
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Old 11-10-2013, 06:48 PM   #16
philljones54
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Re: 325xi axle removal

Everything went smooth as could be expected. My axle came out of the tranny with a few taps and I was able to push out of the hub by hand
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:44 AM   #17
SeattleLSB
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Posts: 391
My Ride: 2003 330XI
325xi axle removal

Go buy r harbor Feight hydraulic jaw puller works great


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2003.5 LSB/BLK M3/6SP/Non-Sunroof/Bluetooth/PSS9/SSR-GT3 - Sold

2007 TiAG/BLK 335I Sedan/6SP/Sport/Premium/Cold Weather - Sold

2003 AW/BLK 330XI/AT/Sport/Premium/Cold Weather
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:18 AM   #18
MiniXP
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Posts: 351
My Ride: 08 335i & 01 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8ersublime View Post
I got mine at sears. 36mm 12pt.

I attempted my replacement today and failed.

Everything was going great until trying to get the damn axle out of the hub. Used pb blaster, the axle pusher tool, hammering it, it wouldn't budge. Tries prying it out and bent the pry bar.

Went ahead and popped the axle out of the diff and took the knuckle off the ball joint to see if pep boys could try to get it out since they were the only shop open. They told me no because of the shielding around the bearing they can't use the hydraulic press. I'm at a loss now. I put the car back together but I can't drive the car because I can't get the axle nut back on after slamming it trying to get it off.

My only option as of now is taking in to the dealership Monday morning as I need it fixed ASAP. Im expecting to get raped.

It sucks because the only thing keeping the repair from completing was the axle being stuck


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I got these two tools loaned from autozone last time I did it.

-Flange FWD axle puller (rent from Autozone OEM# 27037 for free)
-OEM slide Hammer flange (rent from Autozone OEM#27032 for free, the box shows rear axle puller)

You need the slide hammer tool because the lug nut holes on the FWD puller don't line up with the ones on our cars, then use the bolt part from the FWD puller.

I had to put my jack handle on my breaker bar to get one side our even using this way. Other side popped out easily though.

This job was extremely frustrating both times I did it. Nothing really seemed to go as it should...
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Old 11-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #19
sk8ersublime
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Gaithersburg
Posts: 26
My Ride: 2001 330Xi
325xi axle removal

Yea it sucked. Got it towed in, and fixed and boy it costed me... Oh well. Better pass inspection now! Lol


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Old 12-17-2013, 04:26 PM   #20
Busy
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Location: Guys, stop spraying your wheels black; it looks awful.
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My Ride: 01 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8ersublime View Post

Im expecting to get raped.

It sucks because the only thing keeping the repair from completing was the axle being stuck


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1. That's how I feel every time I leave the house. I'm just plain whore-bait I guess.

2. Sorry to hear about that axle - this is a common issue with these and many other cv-axle based awd platforms. Worst case scenario involves a new strut-carrier, bearing and axle. ~$120 from bavarian recyclers for the carrier, $75 from napa for the axle and $50 on amazon for the timken bearing.

Cheer up buddy.
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