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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:49 AM   #1
Sh0ty
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 33
My Ride: 2001 M3, 2004 330Ci
Unhappy Help Request: Speed Specific Driveline NVH - High Amplitude Vibrations - Diagnosis

Hello,

I have been chasing a vibration issue in what I suspect to be my driveline that occurs between approximately 35-45 mph. The vibration is independent of gear selection and engine speed, hence my suspicion that the culprit lies behind the transmission output shaft. Pertinent information:
  1. The Guibo was changed approximately 3 weeks prior to this posting - This was not to chase NVH, but to eliminate elasticity in the driveline
  2. I just replaced the center support bearing (CSB) yesterday
  3. There appears to be a very slow (no dripping, just discoloration) leak from the driver's side CV joint from the differential. This could be a function of the vibration rather than the root cause - but I'm not certain.

When replacing the guibo, I placed the original CSB in the location I had marked when I loosened it. This placed the assembly under significant pre-load, so I suspected it could be the cause of my issue. Reading over this, it seems as if the obvious change was the guibo, and that perhaps I have received a lemon. The Guibo was a non-genuine BMW part.

Has anyone encountered anything similar, and have any suggestions for what may be ailing me?

Thank you
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Old 08-31-2014, 08:44 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 5,908
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
First thing: check the level of the GL5 gear lube in the differential.

Vibration is the hardest thing to track down. Pull the rear seat's bottom cushion and have someone sit back there to see if the vibration is coming from the rear of the car.


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Old 09-24-2014, 09:03 PM   #3
Sh0ty
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Michigan
Posts: 33
My Ride: 2001 M3, 2004 330Ci
Apologies for the apparent lack of followup, life gets in the way at times.

So with a neat-o iPhone app called Vibration, I recorded a short sample of the vibration and viewed it by frequency. I found peaks at frequencies that correspond to the driveshaft, and after some thinking, I ordered a rebuilt unit from www.wholesaleimportparts.com. The shaft arrived and it looked nicely packed, but there was overspray of black paint on the CSB housing, and the CV joint was improperly sealed - the end cap was not properly pressed onto the joint housing, and CV grease leaked everywhere once the plastic wrap was removed from the joint. Despite a highly disappointing rebuilt unit, I installed it into the car and alas, the vibration still presents its self.

At this point, it appears to be an extremely expensive lesson in adhering to basic science. The issue began to manifest its self shortly after the aftermarket guibo was installed, so it does stand to reason that it could be the culprit. Furthermore, with additional investigation, it would appear as if I had installed the guibo incorrectly. I aligned the arrows such that they pointed to the flanges to which they mounted - per the instructions - however it seems as if the mold marks are indexed one set of holes from the original. The end result is that the guibo was installed with the thick portion of the rubber in tension rather than compression, which most likely lead to rapid deterioration.

At this point, I have a BMW OEM guibo on order, along with a new centering sleeve (colloquially referred to as a transmission or driveshaft bushing). As soon as it arrives, it will be installed (correctly!) and the differential will be cleaned and the fluid swapped. The cleaned diff will be closely monitored for additional leaks.

As far as sitting in different areas of the vehicle goes, it is pretty clear that the greatest amplitudes occur between the seats, right where the transmission mounts. I hope other members can learn from my toils. Additional note: the CV joint is replaceable, it it constrained axially by a snap ring, and radially by spines.
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