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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 03-17-2010, 07:05 AM   #41
Rickna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew@FCP View Post
Who was the manufacturer on the axle that you had trouble with? We sell a variety of brands from inexpensive to OEM - all depends on what the customer requests. We also sell GKN and Genuine BMW axles along with FEQ, Wong and DSS.
Andrew, is the DSS made in China? That's the one I bought from you. Not that I have any trouble with it, I'm just curious.
Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #42
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I took my car into the shop this morning and my mechanic said both sides need replacing, what non-OEM brands would you guys recommend? I don't want to have to do this for another 75,000+ miles.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:41 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by AlpinWeissM3 View Post
I took my car into the shop this morning and my mechanic said both sides need replacing, what non-OEM brands would you guys recommend? I don't want to have to do this for another 75,000+ miles.
I got a DSS from FCP Groton. No vibrations, perfect fit-good price.
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:37 AM   #44
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Andrew, is the DSS made in China? That's the one I bought from you. Not that I have any trouble with it, I'm just curious.
Thanks.
I am not 100% sure of the country of origin, but I do believe they have manufacturing facilities in China. DSS has been a popular and successful brand for us, and we have begun to stock more and more. We actually met with Mark from DSS at the AAPEX show in Vegas last year. Here is the short video that Scott took:

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Old 05-02-2010, 02:01 PM   #45
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I think it's a lot easier to drop the knuckle from the strut- it's only one bolt. I don't have a good tool to disconnect the outer ball joint from the knuckle without ruining the ball joint.

One question- did you guys replace the seal on the passenger's side too? I was just checking out realoem and noticed there's a second seal over there which is the same as the driver's side.

#7: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...68&hg=31&fg=15
I bought a great tool from harbor freight. It's a 3/4" Forged Ball Point Joint Separator. Works flawlessly on tie rods and ball joints. And it was only like $15!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:52 PM   #46
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I'm in the middle of this job right now. I say the middle, because after struggling to get the old axle off, I opened the box of the new one I got from Autozone, only to find out it has a shaft about one foot longer on the inner side. So back tomorrow to see if they can get me the right one or do I order somewhere else. Very frustrating when you only have about an hour per evening to work on it. Anyway, I was looking at that little circlip and wondering, what the heck does that thing do?
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:06 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Itzed View Post
I'm in the middle of this job right now. I say the middle, because after struggling to get the old axle off, I opened the box of the new one I got from Autozone, only to find out it has a shaft about one foot longer on the inner side. So back tomorrow to see if they can get me the right one or do I order somewhere else. Very frustrating when you only have about an hour per evening to work on it. Anyway, I was looking at that little circlip and wondering, what the heck does that thing do?

What side did you order? The right side is longer than the left. If it is not too late I think you should replace the radial axial seal too, you definitely don't want to go back in there.

The cir-clip is like a lock mehanism. Whatever you do make sure the new cir-clip looks just like your old one or else you will be cursing like it's no tomorrow. Or you can always re-use the old one.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:31 PM   #48
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I got a passenger side axle from FCPgroton, and am very satisfied with the quality for 3k miles already. Getting ready to the driver side soon.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:13 AM   #49
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I think they gave me the passenger side when I need the drivers side. I will probably keep it and just do both axles. I can still go to the dealer today and get the seals. Hopefully they won't be too hard to get out. Looks like it might take at least another day to get the correct axle anyway, so I might as well do it right. Thanks for the info on the circlip, although the old one came out easy enough, so it must not have locked in too well.

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Old 09-29-2010, 07:12 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by EmFiftyFour View Post
I got a passenger side axle from FCPgroton, and am very satisfied with the quality for 3k miles already. Getting ready to the driver side soon.
I also got a front pass side axle from FCP. Reaaly good pricing and no core return. I've had it for about 1-1/2 yrs, no problems at all.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:01 AM   #51
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I also got a front pass side axle from FCP. Reaaly good pricing and no core return. I've had it for about 1-1/2 yrs, no problems at all.
Thanks. I just ordered it from FCP. $115.00 for the shaft, $80.00 for next day! I didn't look to see where they are, hopefully it's someplace far away so I can get my money's worth out of the Next Day shipping.
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Old 09-29-2010, 09:15 AM   #52
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Thanks. I just ordered it from FCP. $115.00 for the shaft, $80.00 for next day! I didn't look to see where they are, hopefully it's someplace far away so I can get my money's worth out of the Next Day shipping.
They are in Groton, CT.
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Old 10-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #53
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Did anyone know the following axels or brands?

ERA Benelux 193 (One Axle)
Quinton Hazell 261 (One Axle)
SPINDAN 279 (One Axle)

I must replace my two axels, becouse there is water in the boots - and in there it's a little bit rusty......

I don't know which one i've to buy with good quality...
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:39 PM   #54
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I haven't seen it on the E46, but on an E53 I have seen aftermarket front axles be too short and pop out of the differential.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #55
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how would somone go about replacing just the CV boots? this might be helpful too...
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Old 10-17-2010, 04:04 PM   #56
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how would somone go about replacing just the CV boots? this might be helpful too...
You have to remove the axles to do the CV boots. There are a few video clips on youtube.
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:48 PM   #57
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Finished this job yesterday. Used a left side from FCPgroton and did that one about two weeks ago. At that time I had a right side from Autozone (Cardone) that they sent me incorrectly, so I decided to keep that and that's the one I did yesterday. Of course the first one took me about 5-6 hours, and the one I did yesterday took about 3 hours. If I did another one tomorrow, I think I could do it in under two hours. The funny thing is that I initially did this job because a boot had split and was spewing grease all over the inside of my driver side wheel. At that time (two weeks ago), the passenger side was fine, no leaking grease and bone dry. By the time I did this job yesterday, that one had split also, and there was grease everywhere. Amazing that after 82000 miles, they would both go within two weeks of each other.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:17 PM   #58
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Axle seating: How did you make the axle "click" into place?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzed View Post
Finished this job yesterday. Used a left side from FCPgroton and did that one about two weeks ago. At that time I had a right side from Autozone (Cardone) that they sent me incorrectly, so I decided to keep that and that's the one I did yesterday. Of course the first one took me about 5-6 hours, and the one I did yesterday took about 3 hours. If I did another one tomorrow, I think I could do it in under two hours. The funny thing is that I initially did this job because a boot had split and was spewing grease all over the inside of my driver side wheel. At that time (two weeks ago), the passenger side was fine, no leaking grease and bone dry. By the time I did this job yesterday, that one had split also, and there was grease everywhere. Amazing that after 82000 miles, they would both go within two weeks of each other.
I'm sorry to hear about your problems with CV boots, especially on the passenger side that was not troubling you. I have also replaced the front, passenger side axle--because the outer CV boot split open and was losing grease prodigiously.

I wonder if during the axle installation--when you must seat the retaining clip by applying force along the axle--if the boot gets damaged somehow due the the force of installation.

My CV boot had ruptured with less than 10k miles after being replaced by my local mechanic. So I replaced it with a GKN axle, which is doing fine after 7k miles.

Please tell me how you seated your axle (to make it "click")--how did you handle the axle to apply enough pressure? I wonder if your CV boot got stressed somehow, causing its untimely failure.

I used a punch on the thick part of the assembly but don't like that method. I'm looking for a technique that does not mar the axle body or stress the rubber/plastic CV boots.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:26 PM   #59
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I'm sorry to hear about your problems with CV boots, especially on the passenger side that was not troubling you. I have also replaced the front, passenger side axle--because the outer CV boot split open and was losing grease prodigiously.

I wonder if during the axle installation--when you must seat the retaining clip by applying force along the axle--if the boot gets damaged somehow due the the force of installation.

My CV boot had ruptured with less than 10k miles after being replaced by my local mechanic. So I replaced it with a GKN axle, which is doing fine after 7k miles.

Please tell me how you seated your axle (to make it "click")--how did you handle the axle to apply enough pressure? I wonder if your CV boot got stressed somehow, causing its untimely failure.

I used a punch on the thick part of the assembly but don't like that method. I'm looking for a technique that does not mar the axle body or stress the rubber/plastic CV boots.
Insert the axle in the diff, and the other end in the hub, then push repeatedly with moderate force on the hub. It will click into place no problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickna View Post
This video is so-so. A couple of comments:

1) Don't use a screwdriver to remove the axle, as you can permanently damage the bearing pedestal or diff. There is a special pry bar that should be used.

2) no need to remove the strut from the steering arm.

Last edited by TiAgXi; 10-27-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:49 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by TiAgXi View Post
Insert the axle in the diff, and the other end in the hub, then push repeatedly with moderate force on the hub. It will click into place no problem.



This video is so-so. A couple of comments:

1) Don't use a screwdriver to remove the axle, as you can permanently damage the bearing pedestal or diff. There is a special pry bar that should be used.

2) no need to remove the strut from the steering arm.
If you dont remove the strut, you have to remove the tie-rod and outer ball joint from the knuckle to get the axle out of the hub. Pick your poison.

A buddy of mine can replace either axle in 20 minutes with this method. He uses air tools to remove 36mm axle nut and strut pinch bolt, then uses the air chisel to push the axle through the hub. Then he gets under and the axle comes out with one blow of a hammer on a well placed pry bar.
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