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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 03-25-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
bostonsthename
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 213
My Ride: 2003 Jet Black 330xi
Post XI Specific Steering Guibo Replacement

So I have my '04 330XI with 132xxx and was having a sticky steering wheel issue (i.e. It would get hung up while turning and then smooth out, and it got progressively worse). Well I narrowed down the problem to be the double u-joint in the steering column with a guibo (rubber flex disc). Decided to tackle the project yesterday morning and had it out and the new one in in just about an hour. I figured I would do a quick DIY since there aren't many threads on doing this on the XI's.

1. Jack up car in front and but jack stands under each side. Then Remove the driver's side wheel and I also removed the front-most plastic shield under the car.

2. Pop the hood and remove the air box, MAF, Upper intake hose (the one with the F-connector attached to it), cabin air filter and the tray/housing it sits in, the DISA (i found it to be in the way of removing the next item) and the black heat shield that is next to the brake reservoir. This part lets you get better access to the U-joint for pulling it off of the lover part of the column.

3. With the car jacked up, you can turn the steering column by hand which makes it easier to access the 2 E-12 inverted torx heads. Get under the car and using an E-12 socket with a long extension you should be able to easily reach and unscrew the 2 bolts.

4. Once the bolts are out from the top, grab onto the knuckle (u-joint) and wiggle/pull it up and off of the bottom part of the steering column. Once that is off, then slide it off of the telescopic part of the steering column.

5. Installation of the new one is just the reverse order, except I put the joint on the lower column first (matches up with the spline) and then attached the upper (telescopic) column.

Hope this helps anyone who had the same issues I did.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
lovesm3s
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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My Ride: '03 330xi 5 speed
Thanks for the write up. Been wanting to do this but haven't had time. Glad to know its about an hour. I've been just spraying wd40 which has worked
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
TR4G-
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Nice DIY. How was pulling the coupler off the rack for you? It was mad hard for me and drew a fair amount of curses from my mouth before I got it. Also I could have sworn it was an E10 not 12 for the pinch bolt
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:07 PM   #4
bostonsthename
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My Ride: 2003 Jet Black 330xi
I had the e12 from when I tried to do the starter and that's the one that fit. At first the coupler was being a pain then I removed the stuff I listed and went in from the top

Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Bimmer App
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:28 AM   #5
ixtoxi
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My Ride: 02 330xi, 88 325iX
Did this take care of your steering issue?
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
djbradle
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My issue is with the U-joint before the firewall on the lower joint assembly itself. Would this write-up give access to that proximal joint? My double universal is perfectly fine but I may replace it too just for PM purposes. About $285 is the cheapest I can find for both.

Did anyone have vibration issues based on either of these two parts? Still tracking down this issue. I have the thump thump sound back and forth and this is with the proximal joint but I can't determine if the assembly is causing vibrations on the highway.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:48 PM   #7
bostonsthename
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Yeah, she's driving so smooth again, I had to steer with 2 hands before because it got so bad.

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #8
djbradle
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Just Bumping this thread.

I was going to buy both the upper joint assembly and the double universal joint at the rack side. I am not having any binding issues as OP primarily had issue with. I believe the highway vibration in some respect, notwithstanding everything else, is caused by both these joints being worn. I removed the airbox to reach down there and the upper joint definitely has play knocking back and forth as I turn it and the lower joint also has some play.

Did anyone who replaced one or both of these column assemblies have vibration issues that were solved? How was the change with highway driving? Did it make a night and day difference? Thanks so much
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Last edited by djbradle; 09-19-2013 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #9
Kubica
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Wait.

There is absolutely no reason to remove all of the things in #2 above.

It can all be done from the bottom after removing the second underpanel shield.

Last edited by Kubica; 09-21-2013 at 01:56 PM. Reason: Autocorrect
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:36 AM   #10
jonnie325xi
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Great write up!
When I did mine I loosened the telescopic steering wheel lever and pulled the steering wheel back towards the driver seat,
made it easier to work the u joint off.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:55 AM   #11
bostonsthename
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnie325xi View Post
Great write up!
When I did mine I loosened the telescopic steering wheel lever and pulled the steering wheel back towards the driver seat,
made it easier to work the u joint off.
Yes I Did the same made it much easier.
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:16 PM   #12
djbradle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Wait.

There is absolutely me reason to remove all of the thing in #2 above.

It can all be done from the bottom after removing the second underpanel shield.
I'm a little confused by this statement Kubica. Are you responding to me?

To check the Double joint itself it was easiest to remove the airbox. If I went to replace it then I would go the usual route.

Again, did anyone get a resolution to these questions:
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
Did anyone who replaced one or both of these column assemblies have vibration issues that were solved? How was the change with highway driving? Did it make a night and day difference? Thanks so much
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:00 PM   #13
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djbradle View Post
To check the Double joint itself it was easiest to remove the airbox. If I went to replace it then I would go the usual route.
Got it.
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