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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 07-19-2016, 04:52 PM   #1
ibpilot
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Winchester, VA
Posts: 27
My Ride: 2002 330xi
2002 Transfer Case

So about three months ago I noticed a small drive-line vibration when under power. I thought it might be the driveshaft bushing or a bad flex plate. I took it into my local BMW guy and he showed me where if you pull on the transfer case driveshaft there is clearly a bad bearing in there.

Here is the real problem...he has placed not one...not two...but THREE (3), used transfer cases and NONE of them are any good! There is no way to really test them unless under engine load so you really can;t do anything but install it and pray. For all his labor he charged me nothing. He doesn't charge if he doesn't repair it.

So here is my question: does anyone know of a rebuild kit or someone that has reasonably priced rebuilt units? I can't find any rebuilt units under $2500 and new units are $4000! Screw that!

What say you?

2002 BMW 330xi
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Old 07-20-2016, 07:02 AM   #2
jim9418
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Cincinnati OH
Posts: 276
My Ride: 2003 330xi Automatic
In this very recent XI thread user MFLARA20 says he has a good transfer case. Might hit him up.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1104118
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Old 07-20-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
Kubica
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Location: Boston
Posts: 4,969
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibpilot View Post
So about three months ago I noticed a small drive-line vibration when under power. I thought it might be the driveshaft bushing or a bad flex plate. I took it into my local BMW guy and he showed me where if you pull on the transfer case driveshaft there is clearly a bad bearing in there.

Here is the real problem...he has placed not one...not two...but THREE (3), used transfer cases and NONE of them are any good! There is no way to really test them unless under engine load so you really can;t do anything but install it and pray. For all his labor he charged me nothing. He doesn't charge if he doesn't repair it.

So here is my question: does anyone know of a rebuild kit or someone that has reasonably priced rebuilt units? I can't find any rebuilt units under $2500 and new units are $4000! Screw that!

What say you?

2002 BMW 330xi
Why does he think the three TCs were bad?
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Old 07-20-2016, 10:37 PM   #4
ibpilot
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Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Why does he think the three TCs were bad?
Because when you put the driveshaft on the TC you can actually move the output hub just slightly in the bad bearing. When you attach everything back up and put the TC under engine load you can easily feel that at speeds above 45 there is a vibration but only when accelerating.

I just can't believe that BMW or some manufacturer offers no rebuild kit for these...really?
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Old 07-20-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
ix&x5&xi
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: plumas county, CA
Posts: 32
My Ride: 2005 325xi
Just curious about the mileage and service history on your transfer case, I know it won't help with your current problem though. Thanks
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Old 07-21-2016, 12:05 PM   #6
ibpilot
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My Ride: 2002 330xi
I have 165,000 miles on her now and the service records indicate the case fluid was serviced regularly. The bearing problem was quite sudden. I didn't feel anything and then boom!

Does anyone here have a set of the bearings that they might have removed from a bad set that might be willing to send to me? A large bearing manufacturer like Timken certainly has to have something identical in inventory as the New Process case was not limited to the BMW 3-series. I feel confident that those bearings can be matched.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:55 AM   #7
Dogfart67
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Location: San Luis Obispo
Posts: 32
My Ride: 2001 325xi
$4k for a new one? How much would you pay? :-D
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:01 AM   #8
ibpilot
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I don't think that they should cost more than $1500. Since there are a fair number of used ones for less than $300 available anyone that can get a kit together with the two bearings and a chain should be able to either sell kits or rebuilt units and make good money doing so. I only paid $3500 for my car so $4000 is clearly NOT going to happen!
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Old 07-28-2016, 01:17 AM   #9
Mflara20
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Demorest Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibpilot View Post
I don't think that they should cost more than $1500. Since there are a fair number of used ones for less than $300 available anyone that can get a kit together with the two bearings and a chain should be able to either sell kits or rebuilt units and make good money doing so. I only paid $3500 for my car so $4000 is clearly NOT going to happen!
Hello I see you need a new transfer case.
I have one ready to ship, if your profile is up to date I see you stay in VA,
I can do $450 shipped for the TC but I'm open to offers
Thanks

Sent from my SM-G925P using Tapatalk
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:37 PM   #10
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibpilot View Post
I don't think that they should cost more than $1500. Since there are a fair number of used ones for less than $300 available anyone that can get a kit together with the two bearings and a chain should be able to either sell kits or rebuilt units and make good money doing so. I only paid $3500 for my car so $4000 is clearly NOT going to happen!
Lol. There's no chain. Simple gears.
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Old 07-28-2016, 02:42 PM   #11
latitude39
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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My Ride: 2002 325xi (163k)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibpilot View Post
I don't think that they should cost more than $1500. Since there are a fair number of used ones for less than $300 available anyone that can get a kit together with the two bearings and a chain should be able to either sell kits or rebuilt units and make good money doing so. I only paid $3500 for my car so $4000 is clearly NOT going to happen!
There's no chain in our boxes.

edit: Dang, Kubica! You beat me to the punch.
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Old 07-28-2016, 04:31 PM   #12
Kubica
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^ha almost same picture too. I just dropped a $4k outdrive in a boat I spent $3k on...painful but had to be done. Pretty sure I priced out a TC four years ago around $2700 new from BMW.
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Old 07-29-2016, 08:22 AM   #13
jim9418
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My Ride: 2003 330xi Automatic
Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9418 View Post
In this very recent XI thread user MFLARA20 says he has a good transfer case. Might hit him up.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1104118
Don't forget my 10% referral commission. LOL. Just kidding of course.
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