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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 07-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
flybird
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17
My Ride: 2002 Bmw 330xi
Axle help

Good day, I own a 2002 330 xi and are in the process of changing out the front differential. The drivers side axel is almost all the way out and can spin freely but will not come completely out. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2016, 11:56 AM   #2
flybird
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Axel removal

Good day, I am working on a 2002 330xi trying to remove the drivers side front axle. It's out far enough to spin freely but will not come out all the way. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2016, 12:54 PM   #3
flybird
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Axle being stubborn

My front drivers side axle will not come completely away from the differential. It seems to be almost all the way out and spins freely but will not break free. HELP!
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:16 PM   #4
Kubica
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
Which end won't come out?

Did you drop the knuckle from the strut?
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:22 PM   #5
flybird
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Passenger side a breeze

Passenger side came off in no time at all. I would hate to think I will have to drop the differential with the axle attached. Anyone have any idea why the axle would hang up when it seems to be better than three quarters of the way free? Any suggestions would be appreciated, thank you
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Old 07-11-2016, 02:30 PM   #6
flybird
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My Ride: 2002 Bmw 330xi
Passenger side axle a breeze

Passenger side axle came off easily. I would hate to think I will have to drop the differential with the axle attached to it. Any ideas why it would hang up more than three quarters of the way off? Any ideas would be appreciated, thank you
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Old 07-11-2016, 06:11 PM   #7
tttomttt
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My Ride: 2003 330xi
A little more definition of what your situation is would probably help. Once the shaft is removed from the steering knuckle on the nut side, a couple of blows with a lump hammer and chisel should do the trick to release it from the engine side.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:34 AM   #8
flybird
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Stuck axle

Thanks for the response. The drivers side front axle is giving me fits. The passenger side came out with no difficulty at all. It's out far enough to turn without the driveshaft turning. But then if you keep turning you start to feel resistance again and the driveshaft turns once more. There's probably a inch and a haft gap from the differential. I've beaten the snot out of this thing to where a new axle will be called for.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:47 AM   #9
flybird
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Differential woes

Thanks for the response. The passenger side came out with no difficulty whereas the drivers side is out probably an inch and a half from the differential after a severe beating and prying and any other type of leverage I could muster against it. I can turn it and the driveshaft will not turn, but then I will start to feel resistance again and the driveshaft will once again turn. The differential did run low on oil when the rear seal leaked so I'm not sure if the shaft welded itself or what .
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:20 AM   #10
WDE46
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My Ride: 2004 330Ci OBM
Diffs make a lot of noise when damaged. You'd know.
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Old 07-12-2016, 04:18 PM   #11
flybird
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Differential woes

The only noise it started making after I changed out thr shaft seal was a wine on deceleration, which started turning into a full time wine.
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Old 07-12-2016, 05:53 PM   #12
Nicker
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On my non-xi ci I've slammed the rear passenger tire into the curb a couple more times than I'd like to admit.

Upon doing my first wheel bearing change I noticed that one side wouldn't exit smoothly, and getting it back in with a 10lb sledge wasn't happening. Either the splines on the axle were warped or the hub itself was messed up.
Replaced both and everything glided in like butter on hot toast.

To remove the axle I got a 5 Ton Three Jaw Hydraulic Gear Puller from HF, did the trick popping it out.
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:21 AM   #13
flybird
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My Ride: 2002 Bmw 330xi
Differential woes

Getting the axle out of the hub wasn't a problem , the differential end is the where the problem awaits. I'm thinking maybe going to autozone and renting a slide hammer with accessories to go with it. I've already beat the crap out of the outer sleeve,I just wonder how much it can take until it will be out of balance . The surface that the seal rides on is ok so far .
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