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This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-08-2014, 07:08 PM   #1
BMW323ciDriver
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2000 Bmw 323ci - Transmission Gear Noise (VIDEO)

The car makes a loud shape noise when shifting gears from park to reverse. Sometimes when driving it makes the same noise when changing gears. What could this problem noise be? And how to fix? Video Below.....

You can really hear it at :32 seconds into Video.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:05 AM   #2
BMW323ciDriver
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I really need some bmw/e46 experts here...I need this fixed! What can it be? Simple as low ATF? Or bad as tranny replacment? Much appreciation for anyone that helps...Thank you
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:09 AM   #3
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What is a, "Shape noise"?


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Old 04-09-2014, 01:23 PM   #4
BMW323ciDriver
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What is a, "Shape noise"?


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I just put sharp noise since I didn't know how to describe it. Did you see the vid? Every time I put it in gear it kinda kicks hard with like a screech grind click. Almost like the gears could be rubbing together.
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Old 04-09-2014, 07:33 PM   #5
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Well...that's your differential so I'd try draining and refilling the gear oil first....not the ATF.

Cheap, easy, and quick and if it turns out that it doesn't fix it you're not out a lot of time and money.

I have to say that sounds HORRIBLE! definitely metal to metal contact. Changing the gear lube can't hurt!


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First Bimmer..."Miss December"...2000 323i, purchased Dec. 2013 w/82K on the clock. PM thus far...pads/rotors, belts/pulleys, complete CS overhaul, FCABs, plugs, autotranny filter change, ATF drain and fill, rear diff drain and fill. Emergency repairs...PS pump, turn signal stalk, CPS, Ignition Coil #2 cyl, electric aux fan.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:15 PM   #6
lszlszx
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Check the gear lash in the differential.
Have a helper shift back and forth, reproducing the sound as you listen.

Also keep an eye out for worn differential bushings, bad CV joints and U joints.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:47 AM   #7
BMW323ciDriver
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Thanks for the reply guys, I will try changing the Differential oil and while I'm at it just inspect the whole under side of that area looking for anything worn. I'll keep updates! Possibly make a better video as well.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:35 AM   #8
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Didn't anyone notice how much the differential was moving? Seeing as you couldn't stop moving the "camera" for more than 1 second at a time, it was hard to tell what else was moving but I did see your sway bar was moving as well - that means the subframe is moving and it could either mean your subframe bushings are shot OR you have the dreaded subframe mount problem.
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Old 04-10-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Check the gear lash in the differential.
Have a helper shift back and forth, reproducing the sound as you listen.

Also keep an eye out for worn differential bushings, bad CV joints and U joints.
I agree, from how much it looked like the differential was moving I would guess the noise is coming from one of the drivetrain supports. Best of luck and keep us updated.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #10
BMW323ciDriver
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Update and confirmed!

Well guys, looks like Cavi Mike was right on the money with this one. Subframe Damage Found!

First video below shows a much better view of the differential and the noise...and the last video shows the damage in action direct.



So now the question is How the hell do I repair this? Is it even possible?? Will driving on the damage cause further damage? I read Bmw had a lawsuit years back, but now not anymore? Am I SOL here? Please Advise. Thank You
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:43 PM   #11
ChuckyVee
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2000 Bmw 323ci - Transmission Gear Noise (VIDEO)

Well that sucks!

I'll let those that are more knowledgeable than me chime in on what your best options are at this point.

I feel for ya man!


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Last edited by ChuckyVee; 04-10-2014 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 06:23 PM   #12
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Wow, just like my buddies 328Ci.

http://www.activeautowerke.com/pdf/product99a.pdf

Either way the whole back has to come out! Everything! You need to do some welding or a Pro. My friend had a shop do it. Was expensive. I tried to talk him out of it cause it was more than what the car was worth but he wasn't trying to hear that. He loved the Sh*t out of it and paid out the ass, but it was repaired and he had the car for 4 more years with no problems.
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Ready to get destroyed?

Last edited by ReIntegration; 04-11-2014 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 04-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #13
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Oh man, I'm a hardcore DIY'er, but i know nothing about welding and this looks incredibly time consuming and difficult to work on. Especially if I screw up some where. And I don't want to spend more money then the car is worth...damn, looks like I don't have really any options here.
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:02 PM   #14
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Wow. Bummer. Another one bites the dust. I have seen threads with much worse damage get repaired so it is possible. It'll just cost you a few thousand. Where in Cali are you located?
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Old 04-11-2014, 01:25 PM   #15
BMW323ciDriver
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I live in the bay area. Union City to be exact.
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Old 04-11-2014, 05:29 PM   #16
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Give Performance Technic a call in Pleasanton. They've done two of these repairs/retrofits to friends of mine (M3's). Maybe they can save your car.
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