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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 03-15-2019, 04:35 PM   #1
Hot_tub
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In search of E46 AWD/Xi Center Support Bearing/Guibo Guide

It's pretty tough to find a guide -let alone a video- on how to do this job. All tutorials i've seen show the RWD version. I'm sure it's rather straight forward but i'm still an amateur mechanic and do all of my maintenance.

Has anyone in with an Xi tackled this job before? How difficult was it removing the exhaust/Driveshaft etc.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
77'911
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I have to tackle this job in the spring. It's not terrible, but it's easier with the car on a lift or stands(IE 4 wheels off the ground). Spray down the exhaust mount bolts with liquid wrench and use a mapp gas torch on the hardware. Helps to have another person there dropping the exhaust, but not totally necessary. The Bentley manual has the torque specs for the job and gives some "how to", but not terribly complete. It's worth having a copy of this. Once the exhaust is down, it's pretty straight forward. Scribe the position of the driveshaft and the mount position. If you've not tackled this on another BMW, allow yourself a weekend.
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Old 03-18-2019, 01:36 PM   #3
Mariner05
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What he said . . .

77'911 has good advice. Things to remember even though they are in the Bentley manual and other posts:
  • Mark your shaft pieces (2 sets of marks, even, just in case)
  • Mark the outline of your CSB bracket BEFORE you loosen it & and take a picture.
  • The CSB bracket can be installed upside down if you are not paying attention, and depending on how far you get before you discover it, it could make a lot of extra work.
  • Remember the snap ring for CSB bearing - removing AND installing
  • Be sure to get the Guibo oriented correctly, and follow the instructions when torquing.
  • Save final torque of the CSB bracket nuts until after the shafts and Guibo are all in place. The 4mm preload is important, but so are having the CSB bracket 'square' and not shifted Left-Right.
I found a 5 gallon pail with lid to be about the right height to hold up the muffler end of the exhaust while I disconnected middle and then front bolts to the exhaust flanges (after getting all the studs/nuts loosened). Then I could balance the entire exhaust in the middle on a transmission jack (or a wooden platform on a motorcycle jack). I did it solo - it you have a friend to help you may not need a jack at all for the exhaust. Yes, plan a whole, long day if you have not done it before and doing on jack stands.

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Old 03-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #4
jagmandan
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The first time I removed my rear driveshaft, the flange at the rear diff was a huge pain to get loose. Had to use an air chisel. You could technically replace the CSB underneath the car with just the transfer case end disconnected, but it would be awkward for some of it. Some things to think about...
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:55 PM   #5
Hot_tub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner05 View Post
77'911 has good advice. Things to remember even though they are in the Bentley manual and other posts:
  • Mark your shaft pieces (2 sets of marks, even, just in case)
  • Mark the outline of your CSB bracket BEFORE you loosen it & and take a picture.
  • The CSB bracket can be installed upside down if you are not paying attention, and depending on how far you get before you discover it, it could make a lot of extra work.
  • Remember the snap ring for CSB bearing - removing AND installing
  • Be sure to get the Guibo oriented correctly, and follow the instructions when torquing.
  • Save final torque of the CSB bracket nuts until after the shafts and Guibo are all in place. The 4mm preload is important, but so are having the CSB bracket 'square' and not shifted Left-Right.
I found a 5 gallon pail with lid to be about the right height to hold up the muffler end of the exhaust while I disconnected middle and then front bolts to the exhaust flanges (after getting all the studs/nuts loosened). Then I could balance the entire exhaust in the middle on a transmission jack (or a wooden platform on a motorcycle jack). I did it solo - it you have a friend to help you may not need a jack at all for the exhaust. Yes, plan a whole, long day if you have not done it before and doing on jack stands.

Mariner05
Thanks for the details! How different is the process from a guide that was done for the RWD version?

I'm on the east coast and i'm worried to even take a look at my exhaust nuts, probably rusted to all heavens.I'm assuming i'll replace the exhaust gaskets as well.

Any other tips/tricks are greatly appreciated


Quote:
Originally Posted by jagmandan View Post
The first time I removed my rear driveshaft, the flange at the rear diff was a huge pain to get loose. Had to use an air chisel. You could technically replace the CSB underneath the car with just the transfer case end disconnected, but it would be awkward for some of it. Some things to think about...
Thanks for the tips
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:10 AM   #6
Rickna
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It's best to have a lift or quick jacks. that way you can let the exhaust system rest on something and not remove it. I have a 2 post mid rise lift and I used an under hoist stand to let the exhaust rest on.
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:03 AM   #7
jmo69
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Quote:
I'm on the east coast and i'm worried to even take a look at my exhaust nuts
It might be worth the cost to have a shop remove and replace the exhaust fasteners before you tackle this job laying on your back. Unless you have an oxy-acetylene torch and air tools.
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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 04-01-2019, 12:28 PM   #8
Panzertank831
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot_tub View Post
Thanks for the details! How different is the process from a guide that was done for the RWD version?

I'm on the east coast and i'm worried to even take a look at my exhaust nuts, probably rusted to all heavens.I'm assuming i'll replace the exhaust gaskets as well.

Any other tips/tricks are greatly appreciated




Thanks for the tips
Very similar to all other BMWs.
This can be done without removing the exhaust completely, but just lowering it down and letting it hang, while taking out the front of the driveshaft. You dont even have to remove the driveshaft from the rear diff. if you don't want to. It does make the process a bit more awkward, but it can be done.. those exhaust bolts are a PITA, and often we just melt them out with O/A torch
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:44 PM   #9
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In search of E46 AWD/Xi Center Support Bearing/Guibo Guide

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Last edited by TopCityBMW; 05-26-2019 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 05-26-2019, 01:44 PM   #10
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I'm in the middle of doing mine now. 2005 330xi. I'm replacing the driveshaft, CSB, and guibo. All new. Have discovered that the nuts I received match the fitment from two different vendor sites, and RealOEM. But, elsewhere there's a different part listed, amd corssreferencing it with the vendors, both are listed as fitment.

Which is correct?

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ut-07129900047

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ut-26127536563
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:15 PM   #11
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Did mine a couple years ago. Looking at my notes, I didn't note anything unusual about the XI versus RWD - but be sure you get the correct parts for your XI, as they are different.

My biggest problem with the whole project was that (at 175k and 13 years) the first nut broke off the stud from the downpipe to the exhaust. I had a choice of drilling everything out (hours of work, many drill bits) or just spending a few bucks at the local muffler shop. Turned out that the local muffler shop was owned by a BMW nerd, so I chose the latter; he gave me a great price and talking to him was sort of like reading this forum without all the noise and noobs. Bonus: you'll feel like a rockstar driving home with all the noise from the disconnected exhaust. You'll need new bolts, nuts, and gaskets when you reinstall the exhaust. The bolts are expensive.

While you're down there, replace the post-cat O2 sensors if you haven't, and replace the mount for the transfer case. You'll need to either purchase or "manufacture" a tool to press the mount in and out (I chose the latter - bolts and washers and iron pipe cups from Home Depot).

Remember to preload the CSB when you install it. I don't think I did it exactly right, and I've had a slight vibration ever since (but nothing alarming like what I had before I started this project).

All the DIYs talk about installing gooey butyl tape. My car didn't have it, so I didn't install it. That stuff is messy.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:32 AM   #12
jmo69
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Post cat O2 sensors dont need to be changed unless they are showing a code.

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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 06-19-2019, 10:43 AM   #13
Skydaver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
Post cat O2 sensors dont need to be changed unless they are showing a code.
Where do you get that?

My owner's manual (actually, the "Service and Warranty" book) and the Bentley manual do not differentiate between pre-cat and post-cat - but they say to replace them. Bentley says replace at 100,000 miles. BMW book says 120,000 miles.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:08 PM   #14
jmo69
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Quote:
My owner's manual (actually, the "Service and Warranty" book) and the Bentley manual do not differentiate between pre-cat and post-cat - but they say to replace them. Bentley says replace at 100,000 miles. BMW book says 120,000 miles.
And the people that sell O2 sensors. They only confirm data, I believe people like JFOJ before sellers about post cat O2s. True it will be easier with the exhaust out but they don't affect how the car runs like the pre cats do.
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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

Last edited by jmo69; 06-19-2019 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:27 PM   #15
Skydaver
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
And the people that sell O2 sensors. They only confirm data, I believe people like JFOJ before sellers about post cat O2s. True it will be easier with the exhaust out but they don't affect how the car runs like the pre cats do.
I initially planned on replacing mine a lot sooner, but when I saw how much of a pain it was to get in there to do it, I didn't bother. I didn't even think about drivability, I was simply thinking about the maintenance schedule.

With the exhaust out, it's a lot easier, as you simply have more room. Two ~$60 parts (genuine Bosch, half that if you go 'compatible') and an extra few minutes to replace them. Way better to replace them when it's easy than to wait until one is throwing a code. I did mine at 182K.
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:22 PM   #16
El conquistador
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Did my daughter's last year sometime. Pretty straightforward. The back of the exhaust will drop down far enough to remove the huge heat shield that covers the whole bottom of the car. You don't have to remove the exhaust. Getting that in and out is the worst part.
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