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Old 04-13-2011, 12:55 PM   #1
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[SOLVED + pics] Bad rear U Joint?

I recently took my car to my indy for driveline vibrations. Really bad driveline vibrations. I assumed it was a bad center support bearing and/or guibo. I don't have a lift, and don't want to do this on a creeper, so I paid him to do it. When he dropped the exhaust and heat shield, he told me the rear u joint is busted and a part is broken off/missing and could fall apart at any time; not safe to drive.

He just sent me pictures of said bad u joint, and I was wondering if someone can point out what is bad/missing in these pictures or show me what a "good" e46 u joint looks like vs mine.

Sorry about picture quality, I cleaned them up as much as I could.
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:12 PM   #2
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No idea but thanks for giving me a tip on something else to look for. I get bad vibration above 60 now and it's not the wheels or alignment at all. I know it's driveline related.

btw, when you let go of the gas does it get worse?
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #3
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I thought the U joints are welded on our driveshafts..
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Old 04-13-2011, 03:34 PM   #4
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Its hard to tell from those pictures... Id' ask him what he thinks is wrong there.

I haven't ever looked at the u-joints on our cars before but typically there is a spring clip that is installed right above the caps to keep them from working themselves out of the driveshaft. I dont see one in those pictures. I wouldn't say it makes it undrivable, and doesnt make the u-joint bad, you can replace a lousy spring clip easy enough.

Also, if the u-joint IS bad, you can't always tell just by looking at it. The parts that go bad are the little needle bearings under the caps... you could probably tell by grabbing that driveshaft and feeling for play
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:12 PM   #5
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No idea but thanks for giving me a tip on something else to look for. I get bad vibration above 60 now and it's not the wheels or alignment at all. I know it's driveline related.

btw, when you let go of the gas does it get worse?
YES. Horribly worse. Towards the end I had to keep my foot on the gas all the time or push the clutch in or else it would be horrible at speeds above 30.
Check your guibo and center support bearing too.

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I thought the U joints are welded on our driveshafts..
I believe they are. That's why I just bought another driveshaft from Bav Auto Recyclers. $200 + shipping for a used one with a new center support bearing.
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Old 04-13-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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YES. Horribly worse. Towards the end I had to keep my foot on the gas all the time or push the clutch in or else it would be horrible at speeds above 30.
Check your guibo and center support bearing too.



I believe they are. That's why I just bought another driveshaft from Bav Auto Recyclers. $200 + shipping for a used one with a new center support bearing.
How much was shipping? And is it balanced and everything? I suspect my shaft is bad but it looks brand new..
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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YES. Horribly worse. Towards the end I had to keep my foot on the gas all the time or push the clutch in or else it would be horrible at speeds above 30.
Check your guibo and center support bearing too.
Alright thanks. I'm going to have them checked out this weekend. I'm going to balance my wheels regardless tomorrow (last balanced with new tires in november)
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
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I think he's showing you that the joint where the #13 bolt goes is missing the sizable metal pieces together. Seems a surprising failure to me. How many miles? How heavy is the boat you've been towing?

It's unserviceable, if what I'm seeing is right. You should get down to shop and get a closer look. You might also want to look really closely to see if there are any tool marks! That's a surprising failure, but maybe one of our experienced mechanics will say he or she sees it all the time!

Make sure all the details are followed in reassembling...and there are some little parts you might want to be sure to insist get ordered...like centering pin, and the butyl tape for the csb, and the guibo bolts are technically one time use only.

If you study up on the driveshaft install, you'll see this is something you could do if needed and could save yourself a ton, I bet. You have a price on all this...you have someone to hold the exhaust for you while you bolt it up?

If you need it quickly, I'll just make sure this shop knows the details they should be following. Ask them about the butyl tape or mention the one-time bolts and see whether you have to stay on them or not!
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:43 PM   #9
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How much was shipping? And is it balanced and everything? I suspect my shaft is bad but it looks brand new..
I suspect it isn't as the driveshaft is a pretty serious piece of metal...and since OP has a strange failure, doubt you have it too...though maybe you have it sympathetically!

Guibo and csb first...though I've seen enough posts from you recently to think your car is in a phase, so maybe it is driveshaft. Check wheels/tires carefully, though, before moving on. (I know I've been in your threads, but forget which ones!)
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Old 04-13-2011, 06:43 PM   #10
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How much was shipping? And is it balanced and everything? I suspect my shaft is bad but it looks brand new..
~$30 ground, $100 2 day, $120 overnight. I picked overnight since I have been without my car, and driving a '94 Toyota since last Wednesday. Also, ground from socal is nearly a week to get to me.

Quote:
We make sure the rear U-Joint is good, replace the center support, clean and repaint. Thats what a reconditioned one is.
My indy is also replacing seals and diff oil for free labor while he's in there.
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:00 PM   #11
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Seems a surprising failure to me. How many miles? How heavy is the boat you've been towing?

172k miles pulling ocean liners.


Make sure all the details are followed in reassembling...and there are some little parts you might want to be sure to insist get ordered...like centering pin, and the butyl tape for the csb, and the guibo bolts are technically one time use only.

Centering pin?

If you study up on the driveshaft install, you'll see this is something you could do if needed and could save yourself a ton, I bet. You have a price on all this...you have someone to hold the exhaust for you while you bolt it up?

Really didn't want to do this on a creeper (I don't have a lift)

If you need it quickly, I'll just make sure this shop knows the details they should be following. Ask them about the butyl tape or mention the one-time bolts and see whether you have to stay on them or not!

I was under the assumption they were one time use nuts, not bolts. Ordered the nuts. I can get butyl tape at any old hardware store, right?
-extra text-
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:14 PM   #12
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-extra text-
#2, centering 'sleeve'

I thought nuts and bolts, but they're bmw things anyway...you could probably use them three times without issue!

See what price you get from him and then decide if $100 in jack/stands is worth it or not.

Removing exhaust is just awkward. I haven't done it, but you just remove from bottom of manifold and unscrew some fasteners type of thing. Heat shield also comes right off.

The key is the details in the install.

Did you tell him to go ahead with stuff? If not, think about whether you want to have fun for a day under your car. I'm guessing it'd be $60 guibo/$100 csb/$400 driveshaft and 4 hour install..so just under $1000 at a shop...just poorly estimating.

You'll get parts for $300, take 8 hours (not including studying time), spend $100 on tools you need...have $600 you wouldn't otherwise have.

Doublecheck my arithmetic, I didn't know there was going to be math!

And then, maybe it's too soon for you to be doing driveshaft and the $600 saves you the worry about whether you did it right. I'm at the point where I'd consider this, but I know many don't have a choice but to diy, and they do a lot and they get it done. Don't let me influence you, OP. Pretend I wasn't here!
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Old 04-13-2011, 07:50 PM   #13
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See what price you get from him and then decide if $100 in jack/stands is worth it or not.

Did you tell him to go ahead with stuff? If not, think about whether you want to have fun for a day under your car. I'm guessing it'd be $60 guibo/$100 csb/$400 driveshaft and 4 hour install..so just under $1000 at a shop...just poorly estimating.
My indy is charging ~$140 to do all the work. $70/hr. Hence why I had him do it. He found the u joint issue when he was taking the driveshaft out. Not charging any more, since the driveshaft had to be taken out anyways to do the CSB.
A new CSB comes with the reconditioned driveshaft, ~$300 shipped, the guibo was ~$40. New seals comes to ~$50, new diff oil is ~$30. No labor charge for seals and changing diff oil.




Edit: Since the new driveshaft comes with a new CSB, I have an extra. Anyone who needs one, PM me.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:02 PM   #14
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My indy is charging ~$140 to do all the work. $70/hr. Hence why I had him do it. He found the u joint issue when he was taking the driveshaft out. Not charging any more, since the driveshaft had to be taken out anyways to do the CSB.
A new CSB comes with the reconditioned driveshaft, ~$300 shipped, the guibo was ~$40. New seals comes to ~$50, new diff oil is ~$30. No labor charge for seals and changing diff oil.




Edit: Since the new driveshaft comes with a new CSB, I have an extra. Anyone who needs one, PM me.
Nice! Sounds like you have a great indy! Butyl tape aka dumdum in listed as belonging on mine. No one doing this probably bothers...so try not to be too annoying about the details, but if not too late...get new centering sleeve if driveshaft doesn't come with one.

Get better photos of your driveshaft if you can. Probably goes back for core.

Doug
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Old 04-13-2011, 09:34 PM   #15
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Nice! Sounds like you have a great indy! Butyl tape aka dumdum in listed as belonging on mine. No one doing this probably bothers...so try not to be too annoying about the details, but if not too late...get new centering sleeve if driveshaft doesn't come with one.

Get better photos of your driveshaft if you can. Probably goes back for core.

Doug
Yeah, if everything goes well, I plan to write a nice recommendation in the regional forum.

I will probably bring some butyl tape with me when I take in the driveshaft since I have heard w/o it, the CSB will fail faster.

As for the old driveshaft, I will take pics and post them here. (Promise this time!) No core since I bought used from Bavarian Auto Recyclers.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:13 AM   #16
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Update - Everything is finished, new (used) driveshaft is in place and holy crap is there a difference. All the weird vibrations I have had ever since I bought the car around 40-45mph and 75mph are completely gone. Tons quieter, shifts nicer, everything just feels tighter (new control arms and FCABs too). It's like a whole new car.

I highly recommend anyone with driveline harshness to check their u joints, guibo, and CSB for play. I've had the car for 40k miles, so my rear u joint was likely going out for a really long time before it got bad enough for me to suspect something was really wrong. (I did check the guibo about 20k miles ago, and it looked fine.)

I will post pics of the old parts on Tuesday.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:28 AM   #17
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:02 AM   #18
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Total cost?
$320 for reconditioned driveshaft w/ new CSB overnighted from Bavarian Auto Recyclers
~$40 for new guibo
$16 for trans seal and diff seal
$20 for diff oil

Control arms and bushings were Meyle HD from ECS. (w/ replaceable ball joints) $350
Left tie rod was OEM from Pelican Parts. ~$85

Total labor was ~$400. Ended up taking him like 3+ hours just to remove the old control arms...

Only issue currently is severe need for an alignment after replacing that tie rod.

In hindsight, I should have done the control arms and bushings last summer when I had free time to work on my car...
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Old 04-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #19
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I suspect it isn't as the driveshaft is a pretty serious piece of metal...and since OP has a strange failure, doubt you have it too...though maybe you have it sympathetically!

Guibo and csb first...though I've seen enough posts from you recently to think your car is in a phase, so maybe it is driveshaft. Check wheels/tires carefully, though, before moving on. (I know I've been in your threads, but forget which ones!)
Not sure what it is, I have to get under it and mount this camera but I just can't find the time lately.. It may seem like my car is in a phase, but the funny thing is, if anyone here saw my car they'd freak. It's just about perfect. I have replaced every bushing, sensor, mount, you name it. The interior is perfect, any thing with scratches or knicks has been replaced, I've got this car in great shape, the problem is, all my friends laugh at me because of this, but I'm really picky. I like my stuff to be perfect, so when I hear a noise that doesn't sound right I have to get to the bottom of it.
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Old 04-18-2011, 12:21 AM   #20
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Not sure what it is, I have to get under it and mount this camera but I just can't find the time lately.. It may seem like my car is in a phase, but the funny thing is, if anyone here saw my car they'd freak. It's just about perfect. I have replaced every bushing, sensor, mount, you name it. The interior is perfect, any thing with scratches or knicks has been replaced, I've got this car in great shape, the problem is, all my friends laugh at me because of this, but I'm really picky. I like my stuff to be perfect, so when I hear a noise that doesn't sound right I have to get to the bottom of it.
I'd love to be that way, I just don't have the time and money to do so. Mostly time lately. Especially with the miles I put on my car, it seems like I have been getting new random noises faster than I can track them down and fix them.
My girlfriend thinks I'm completely nuts every time I try to figure out the source of every little noise I hear from the car.
The latest annoyance is the plastic ring around the ignition key hole rattles like crazy every now and then. I'm thinking a small dab of hot glue will fix that until I tear apart the steering column to put in an OBC stalk.
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