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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 02-01-2016, 07:11 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 11
My Ride: Black 2003 325xi 5sp
Odd drivetrain noise never heard before

Hey guys. I've got a high mileage '03 325xi. Just recently I've got this new symptom but I'm trying to figure out what it is. As a precursor I've replaced both front cv shafts, drivetrain fluids, clutch, and both front wheel bearings within the last 20k miles.

Here's the noise I'm getting:
When in gears 1-3 especially 1 and 2 if I'm going along on a road and I come off the gas at above 2500 rpms and let the car engine brake I get this fairly loud screeching / metal scraping sound. It almost sounds like if Wolverine was taking his metal claws and scrapping them across a chalk board. If I get on the gas again it goes away. If I accelerate it doesn't happen (or I can't hear it) and it doesn't seem to change pitch when the revs go up or down. Its loud in 1st and 2nd and barely audible in 3rd. Also the noise never occurs no matter the rpms or road speed if I have the clutch in or the car in neutral and drifting. It only seems to be when there's some torque on the drivetrain when slowing down. It sounds like it's coming out of the front of the car. My first guess was maybe csb as I haven't done that yet. Something with the transfer case or front diff? Anyone ever have this before? Thanks. I plan on putting it on the lift this weekend but until then I can't do too much.

Last edited by mobius87; 02-01-2016 at 07:12 PM.
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