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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 03-13-2014, 09:33 PM   #1
330xijonny
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Replaced front axles, wont move

Replaced both front axles today and now the xi wont move. When I finished reassembly I tried putting it in reverse and it acted like the front breaks were on. I jacked the front end up again and both wheels spun by hand. I replaced the axles one at a time so I don't think I screwed anything up there, but I'm at a bit of a loss here. Is it possible to bind something up on the transfer case when replacing axles? What else can I throw out here... I used Napa Remans and I removed the right caliper to paint it (previous owned painted the calipers pink and I had to paint them black again while I was replacing the entire suspension. Any thoughts?
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:16 PM   #2
phildobaggins
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Sounds like your front brake is bound up either air in the line or something goofy. I dunno I wanna barf from my own bell housing blues safe bet is if you messing with brake components and it feels like the brakes were on I'd start there. Check the res fluid level. Start the car and push the brake is it rock hard or mushy or normal.
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Old 03-13-2014, 10:30 PM   #3
330xijonny
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Bell housing blues, isnt that an Eric Clapton tune? Actually, I was just thinking the same thing on the brakes. I just got back inside from bleeding both fronts but still no joy. I had my "assistant" pushing on the brakes once I got the tires back on and they seem to we working properly. I also rotated the front tires back and forth while she was on the other side to verify the other side was spinning the other direction as well. I set the front back down and it still didn't move, the rear end came up a little when I gassed it in reverse, that was it.
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:29 AM   #4
phildobaggins
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I would think it would either have to be the brakes seizing when the car is running or the diff is bound up when both wheel turn the same direction. Is your brake res bubbling?
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Old 03-14-2014, 12:45 AM   #5
330xijonny
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I may have worded the tire rotation part poorly. When I rotate the tire forward on one side, it spins in revers on the other. I'm pretty sure that's what its suppose to do. There were no bubbles that I could see coming from the brake res. Just a little sputtering from the caliper when I first bled it. The more I mess with it, the more it seems like its not the front brakes though. I'll have to try turning the tires when its running in the morning to rule that out.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:29 AM   #6
phildobaggins
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If your pretty sure its not your brakes then your axles are probably not seated all the way in.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:34 AM   #7
Tippey764
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If your axle isn't seated properly or the nut isn't tight then it will cause a binding. What happens is the hub sits crooked

The rotor is mounted to the hub but the caliper is mounted to the knuckle. The rotor is sitting crooked leaning against the caliper bracket because it's loose. I had this happen when I did my engine swap

Jack up the car with the wheel fastened properly and check for vertical or lateral play I'm the front wheels.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:42 AM   #8
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phildobaggins View Post
If your pretty sure its not your brakes then your axles are probably not seated all the way in.
^ This. I bet this is the issue. If you can spin by hand, the brakes aren't seized.
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:34 AM   #9
ixtoxi
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You indicated that the back end lifted up a bit when you gassed it. This sounds like the emergency brake binding up to me. The fact that spinning one front wheel causes the other to spin in the opposite direction is a good indication that everything was put back together correctly. You would know if one of the axles didn't seat properly - it would make a grinding sound. Jack up the rear end and see if the wheels move by hand. If not, my bet is on a seized emergency brake. Was it raining or otherwise wet when you parked the car for the axle replacement??
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Old 03-14-2014, 11:45 AM   #10
330xijonny
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Its pretty much always raining here, from September through May, I live on the edge of a rain forest. I checked the front axles this morning, they appear to be seated all the way and feel smooth when I turn them. I'll check the back in a little while here, I'm hoping your right about the ebrake, that would be a much easier to resolve!
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:35 PM   #11
330xijonny
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Problem(s) solved:

(1)The ebrake pads were well worn and what lower pad was left had essentially grafted themselves to the rotors. At least now I know that they need to be done.
(2) While I had it parked for several days, a chipmunk was having lunch on top of the rear passenger control arm and decided to have the ebrake cable for desert, so the cable was hanging up!
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:31 PM   #12
330xijonny
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As an added bonus, now that I've replaced the entire suspension and front axles, I'm not getting a hard downshift into 1st any longer!
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:51 PM   #13
White_Knuckles
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Well my Northwestern friend, something at least went right.

Now go out in the drizzle and shoot dem chipmunks! Note: no shootin' under the car.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:41 AM   #14
ixtoxi
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Good news 330xijonny. Glad it was the e-brake.
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