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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 04-20-2015, 03:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 23
My Ride: 03' 330 xi
front end shake thread #9678926398

I know there a 9,000,000 threads about this, but I'm a little confused and I'm hoping someone can offer advice. I've had a front end shake under acceleration between 2k-3K since I bought the car, (which was only about 2 months ago). I had a local shop look at the car, and they told me the front drive shaft was the culprit. So this last weekend, I swapped the front drive shaft in the car with a used, good condition unit. The old drive shaft was definitely bad, as the front u joint was totally locked in one direction. My issue is the front end shake is now worse than it was before. I think my axles are bad, because I can hear clicking on tight low speed turns, but why would fixing at least part of the problem make the shaking worse?
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:25 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Charlotte
Posts: 484
My Ride: e39 540i M, 330i 6sp
That's how it usually goes - fixing one loose end exaggerates all the rest of them. Now you have to continue changing all your suspension components with brand new OEM. I guarantee you that when all you have left to do is to change $10 bushing you will sell your car.
Diagnosis - BMW...
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:47 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Denver
Posts: 38
My Ride: 2003 330xi
Or - maybe more than just the drive shaft was the problem. Front control arm bushings are extremely common problem areas. Mine had your exact symptoms - new FCAB's reduced the shaking about 90%. Inspected my front cv axles and noticed the boots were split, but no grease was thrown out or anything so I decided to just keep an eye on them and see what they do. Over the next 1,000-1,500 miles the vibrations slowly increased. I finally decided to quit tempting fate and replaced them and everything was smooth as glass...
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:57 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fairfax, VA USA
Posts: 22,861
My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
Axles, they are also temperature dependent, the colder it gets, the worse the problem is.

If the CV joint boots are split, its time for axles.

Also DO NOT use cheap Asian $70-$90 parts store axles, not that you can get them for this where you are located.

Get GKN axles from ECS Tuning.
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 04-23-2015, 02:56 PM   #5
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Location: Royal Oak, Michigan
Posts: 99
My Ride: 2001 BMW 325xit5mt
Thanks for post. I got the bad shake. gonna get on the new cv joints real soon, axle as well, within the next couple weeks. After that is suspension so its looking like I should have a pretty smooth summer
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