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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 05-11-2019, 10:07 PM   #1
KyleJ333
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2004 E46 325xi Axle replacement gone bad

Hi Everyone,

Brand new BMW owner here (like less than 30 days) and I ran into an issue with replacing the passenger side front axle on my 2004 325xi.

I removed the old axle without any issues. it was a little hard to pop out, but it came out just like the several axles on vehicles i have changed out in the past.

My issue starts when I went to slide the new axle in. It slid in and I used a rubber mallet to help it is the rest of the way. About 2 inches from sitting flush with the front differential, that axle stopped moving in. I used more and more force on the rubber mallet, but it wont go in further. Since i knew this should not be normal I stopped trying to force it in the rest of the way.

I then went to remove the axle and it is stuck, like I mean not coming out. I used a 16 in solid iron coal chisel and smacked it a bunch of times with a 5 lb lump hammer and it is not moving. The edges of where the axle sits flush with the differential are totally chipped up from the amount of force I am using to hit this axle out of the differential. In my experience the axle should have come out a long time ago and not require this much force.

I even put a chain around the axle and used a slide hammer on it and it will not come out.

I read later in the forums that the C-clip used one non-OEM axles is too big and prevents the axle going it and being removed. Is this true? The axle was bought from Oreilly's Auto parts, and is a Master Pro CV Axle shaft, part number MP9282.

Sop after all that I am asking if anyone has any advice on how to proceed further? I am considering removing the other front axle and then pulling the front differential and seeing if i can remove the axle one the diff is out of the car.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do or how to take the front diff apart to get the darm axle out of the diff?

Thanks for reading and all the help. From what i saw reading the forums, this sounds like the best place to go to for good advice.

Cheers,
Chris
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
Hot_tub
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My Ride: 2004 325xi
Transmission: 5 Speed
Assuming the teeth are mated properly from the axle and the inside of the dif, yank on it at every creative angle that you can think of. That's your only option really. I doubt the clip is too big, i have some off-brand axles that i got from amazon and they popped in fairly easily.

On the other hand, let's say you didn't slide it in along the teeth/grooves and proceeded to violently rubber mallet it into submission. Maybe the metal teeth would be sheered from both the diff and axle.. sort of gluing it together.

or maybe the old clip is still inside (?) Dirt/debris?


Pain in the ass non the less, i'm sure.
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Old 05-12-2019, 06:22 PM   #3
jmo69
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You do realize that the passenger axle goes through the oil pan so your plan wont work. If the axle is part way out a pry bar or an air chisel should work. When you do get it out remember to use the clip from the original axle with the opening facing up. The last axle I did, once it was into the splines in the dif I held it level and just gave it a quick shove. That seated it and for once the hub slid right on.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:59 AM   #4
i3atp3ach3zZ
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Does anyone know of a CV Adel for an 02 325xi front both of them that does not have a ribber boot on it as i lowered my stance and realized after putting brandnew ones on and driveling for months just shredded my boots up so I am looking for one that has no boot so the stancr can remain the same or lower if anyone has info please send Megan email @ [email protected]

Thank you,
New Onwer
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:49 PM   #5
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i3atp3ach3zZ View Post
Does anyone know of a CV Adel for an 02 325xi front both of them that does not have a ribber boot on it as i lowered my stance and realized after putting brandnew ones on and driveling for months just shredded my boots up so I am looking for one that has no boot so the stancr can remain the same or lower if anyone has info please send Megan email @ [email protected]

Thank you,
New Onwer
Which part of no they don't make one don't you understand?
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:11 AM   #6
Bhewgs
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My Ride: 2005 325xiT
Year: 2005
Model: 325XiT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Which part of no they don't make one don't you understand?
Tough to be certain, but I'd guess it's the core concept. Maybe in the next two or three hours before they post the question again someone will come up with a solution?
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:52 AM   #7
docnabimmer
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What you need OP is a RWD e46 so you don't have to worry about front CV boots

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Old 05-18-2019, 04:19 PM   #8
WilloCO
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Hey @OP, no worries.

Here's what's probably happened. The metal circlip on the axle may have gotten caught and is now stuck in between the axle and diff teeth. It's generally a good idea to use BMW clips and avoid the aftermarkets.

Here's how to sort it....
Order some new clips, they are cheap enough.
Pull the edit: drivers side axle. Yeah it sucks but tis life.
Now you can drive a ratchet extension or whatever you like right against the inside of the CV axle. I suggest using a big dead blow hammer. That'll prevent damage but apply good force.
Once you get it all out, clean things up and replace the clip. When you have another go, grease the clip a bit.
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I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build

Last edited by WilloCO; 05-19-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:34 PM   #9
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
Hey @OP, no worries.

Here's what's probably happened. The metal circlip on the axle may have gotten caught and is now stuck in between the axle and diff teeth. It's generally a good idea to use BMW clips and avoid the aftermarkets.

Here's how to sort it....
Order some new clips, they are cheap enough.
Pull the passenger side axle. Yeah it sucks but tis life.
Now you can drive a ratchet extension or whatever you like right against the inside of the CV axle. I suggest using a big dead blow hammer. That'll prevent damage but apply good force.
Once you get it all out, clean things up and replace the clip. When you have another go, grease the clip a bit.
His passenger side axle is the one that's stuck, do you mean pull the drivers side out to access the stuck axle?
__________________
Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:43 PM   #10
WilloCO
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My Ride: '05 330xi 6 speed
Good catch, sorry.
If you pull the driver side, you can get the passenger side sorted.
I found that the driver side was pretty easy to pop loose since you can get right between the diff and the axle. After that you can basically drift the passenger side directly out by going through the middle of the diff. There is space in there and you can get a tool all the way through.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoitsTmac View Post
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build

Last edited by WilloCO; 05-19-2019 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:40 PM   #11
KyleJ333
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Hi everyone. Well 3 weeks later i got time to get back to the axle. Fist let me say thank you to everyone who chimed in to try to help. You guys are the best. There are not a lot of people whop would take time from their day to help a complete stranger. The community here is pretty awesome.

Ok, good news, I finally beat the axle out of the diff. Victory!!! I raised the car up a bit more, got a better swing and beat the heck out of the axle, with extreme prejudice. But it finally popped out and the C-clip is totally bent in half. So it looks like that C-clip was the culprit. I will put picture links below to show you guys the clip and the damage to the axle i had to do to get this axle out. Again many thanks for all the ideas. Cheers.

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