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Old 12-22-2009, 07:40 AM   #1
Nachos23
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Question Front-end Vibration; 330Xi

I have a 2004 330Xi. Recently I've noticed that both when I accelerate and remove my foot from the gas, I seem to be getting a "shaking" or "stuttering" feeling that definitely feels like it's coming from the front suspension. It started over the summer initially (slightly) and is getting progressively worse... Right side predominently. Car is lowered with H&R and Bilstein sports suspension and is auto... although I run it in "tiptronic" all the time...

Suspension installed in spring. Balljoints, etc just recently checked; ok! Checked FCABs and they're good too!

Read elsewhere about dry inner CV joints causing the issue.... Anyone else encountered this.... remember; XI....

Wheels are tight and balanced as I installed my winters (mounted on separate rims) and had them balanced; problem continued on from summer tires/rims....

Had suspension apart recently and the suspension components are good. I replaced front passanger wheel bearing in spring too, but noise started in late summer..... gonna look @ the inner CV boot I heard about in another post, but I quickly checked the CV boots a couple of weeks ago and they didn't look damaged.

Thanks !!
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Old 12-22-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
Mark M
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How does the front driveshaft look? The rubber flex discs, are they in good shape?

Also, when was the last time your driveline fluids were changed? Front diff, rear diff, transmission, and most inportantly, the transfer case? I changed all my driveline fluids at 98k miles. Surprisingly the diffs and transmissoin fluids still looked in decent shape. However the transfer case fluid was pitch black and very 'used'. Some on here say they have had to replace their transfer cases prematurely. For me, I think it will be cheap insurance to change the transfer case fluids every 30k miles.

Also, what are your miles? Have the front axles ever been changed? Perhaps as you indicated maybe just repacking the fronts with new grease, boots, and clamps will set ya free?
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:39 PM   #3
Mdorfun
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I had the same problem on my 2003 330xi. My shop that I have been using for years, though couldn't quite pin it down or recreate it. Ended up being my front axle...
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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most likely its your right front axle. the inner joint tends to lose grease... a new part has been made by BMW. The new ones with the new boots don't tend to have issues.

I just replaced mine, the problem typically happens at around 70k.
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:59 PM   #5
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FYI. The vibration during acceleration (under load) is likely a dry CV joint. It is most likely a dry outer joint, contrary to other posts here. The boot on the outer joint is more likely to fail and result in loss of grease. Try re-packing the joints on both axles and see if that takes care of the problem. For a more detailed discussion, search "vibration under acceleration" or "vibration under load".
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #6
GCoop
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Possible solution for your Acceleration Vibration issue contained in these links

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...r+cv+joint+dry

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...7&postcount=13

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...r+cv+joint+dry (Post 10 For his solution)

Last edited by GCoop; 12-23-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:49 AM   #7
MileHiXi
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your CV joint(s) are toast. time to replace an axle(s).
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:40 PM   #8
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Thx guys. I'm feelin its the CV joints as well.... just started to get a little popping from one..... Gonna put it on hoist tonight and check. Everything else is tight. Had the suspension apart a few times as I did upgrades and mods (shocks, springs, Camber plates, etc). Had it all apart about 3 weeks ago to check condition of balljoints, etc and did quick visual on CV boots..... they looked ok, but going to give them a real good look @ on when on hoist......Hopefully a repack will do it..... Don't NEED the expense of a new drive shaft.... Keep you posted in outcome.
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:47 PM   #9
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one other question.... transfer case..... Is that typically changed? I get the front and rear diffs changed regularly, but I thought the Diff fluid was lifetime.....
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nachos23 View Post
one other question.... transfer case..... Is that typically changed? I get the front and rear diffs changed regularly, but I thought the Diff fluid was lifetime.....
The transfer case fluid needs to be changed more often believe me, you will be so glad you change it today, I bet you that the old fluid will be as dark as tar!!!!
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Old 12-23-2009, 08:59 PM   #11
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when I had my XI. I had vibration in the front, steering wheel shake and it ended up being a simple brake caliper sticking a little every now and then. Replaced the caliper and never anymore trouble. No one thinks it could be that simple but it can trust me i know! I have a great mechanic.
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:19 PM   #12
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The transfer case fluid needs to be changed more often believe me, you will be so glad you change it today, I bet you that the old fluid will be as dark as tar!!!!
+ 1 mllion. Change that transfer case fluid asap. Mine was also as dark as tar. New transfer case fluid every 30k miles is cheaper than paying for a complete new assembly. And if you beleive the hype of lifetime fluids, well I have swampland in FL to sell ya.

Seriously....lifetime fluids is a crock dreamed up in the BMW marketing department. Any mechanic will tell you that while fluid technology has come a long way, there is still no such thing as lifetime fluids.
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Old 12-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #13
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im getting vibration in my steering wheel on my 330xi accelerating between 40-60 mph and breaking in the the 50 mph range. so i should check my my cv joints to?

i have had my wheels balanced and car aligned. i was thinking a bent tie rod?

thanks
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:14 PM   #14
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op did you figure out you're problem?
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Old 12-26-2009, 10:19 PM   #15
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Similar issue here with 325xi. After balancing the tires two times. I had the car checked by the dealer. They swapped all four tire with there's for test and the vibration was almost gone. The tire were out of round. I replaced all the tires and problem is almost gone. But I think axle replacement could be coming up down the road.
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Old 12-27-2009, 11:23 AM   #16
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Vibration under load 330xi

Had same issue with vibration under load. Horrible vibration @ 45-60. Since my 03 330xi w/ sport suspension had 119 k miles, I had the following wear items replaced. Most were original and lasted likely due to the many highway miles driven. I bought the car with 60 K in Sept 07.

Transfer case fluid replaced

Replaced 2 front 1/2 axles (original).

Lower Control Arms with inner/outer ball joints (two arms, 4 ball joints total, upgraded arms for replaceable ball joints). These were original.

Replaced 2 Rear Trailing Arm Bushings (original).

Replaced front wheel bearings with 2 Timkin wheel bearings. Slight play in each existing wheel bearing.They were likely starting to go but no noticeable indicators (yet.... just a matter of time).

4 wheel alignment and tire rotation and balance.

The problem was solved with the two front 1/2 axles and transfer case fluid replacement but figured that I need to keep the car hence the other work was either needed or going to be needed soon. Spread it out over a 5 months due to $$$.

Also done:

New shocks, Bilstein front, Sach's rear. Rear Bilsteins for 330xi's were terrible and failed twice in three months! Maybe a bad batch but 2 sets failing? Odd.Bilstein did refund $$$ and paid for cost of removal and replacement with stock shocks. Good customer service.

4 New tires, Ventus V4 All season

Differential fluid replaced.

Power Steering fluid replaced (schedule is every two years, cheap investment)



FYI: I found a great indie here in Central MA, Dave C. who did most of the work. One of the best indie's and is a great guy for those in the area. PM me for his info if interested as he does this on the side.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:02 PM   #17
bimmerme74
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same thing with my 325XI. i was driving like 40mph car start vibrating i thought i got a flat tire.It was clicking so bad. My mechanic told me i need two front axle for $600 i found one on ebay brand new from FPC Groton for $220 including shipping. Complete set L and R front assembly pair with boot kit and cv joint. i should have it by next week.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:15 PM   #18
mp333
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Originally Posted by bimmerme74 View Post
same thing with my 325XI. i was driving like 40mph car start vibrating i thought i got a flat tire.It was clicking so bad. My mechanic told me i need two front axle for $600 i found one on ebay brand new from FPC Groton for $220 including shipping. Complete set L and R front assembly pair with boot kit and cv joint. i should have it by next week.
You may want to get the original BMW. They are $$$. I have heard from couple mechanics and has been posted here about the reliability of the aftermarket being not good. Tough call. Labor is not cheap either.
If you are doing it yourself, definitely OEM.
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Old 12-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #19
bimmerme74
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You may want to get the original BMW. They are $$$. I have heard from couple mechanics and has been posted here about the reliability of the aftermarket being not good. Tough call. Labor is not cheap either.
If you are doing it yourself, definitely OEM.

hi,

it's not an aftermarket part the one i got guaranteed OEM quality and fitment.I don't know if you heard this company, they're from CT Old Saybrook. I guess my mechanic gonna charge me hour and half about $180 + $220 parts compare to $600 that he originally charge me(including labor)

i need that extra 200 for my allowance in chicago...lol

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Old 12-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #20
mp333
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At that price pretty sure they are not oem. You may want to check the forums just to be sure. Goodluck.
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