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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 04-03-2019, 07:10 PM   #1
glacierXI
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: western ma
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My Ride: 330Xi
Bad axles metalic tinging noise

so I had this weird noise going on when I mess up releasing the clutch in first. It would make this ting noise. Been doing that for a year now but thats rare I mess up the release that bad.

This week I put new tires on run flats heavy. Now it's making the same noise but when I accelerate. I did some hard circle turn in a parking lot at full lock it doesn't make the noise. Usually when Im accelerating in low gear It also did it when I let off the gas fast but I couldn't recreate that.

One of my axles is for sure shot I jacked the car up and spun the wheel and stopped it and you can hear the same ting noise. It's weird the other side which has a new axle also makes the same noise.

Im thinking its the bad axle and the run flats just made it worse with the added weight.

Im just trying to rule out something else big before I put money into this car. If anyone has any other idea of what it could be let me know please.

I know it needs a clutch soon Im on the original at 155k. If it was a clutch would it make the noise under load?
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Old 04-13-2019, 10:13 AM   #2
glacierXI
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just to update this I replaced the axle seems like that was my problem.
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:45 PM   #3
bmwe30mstyle
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Were those the original axels on the car when it was making the noise? What brand did you go with this time? Currently shopping around myself. Need to do some research.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:18 PM   #4
jmo69
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Year: 2003
Model: 325xi
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Originally Posted by bmwe30mstyle View Post
Were those the original axels on the car when it was making the noise? What brand did you go with this time? Currently shopping around myself. Need to do some research.
Best axles are GKN but at $300/side people tend to try cheap axles instead. Those don't have a good track record.

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2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #5
glacierXI
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no they were gnk oem axles the previous owner had them done around 90k I bought the car at 110k.

I noticed this side was ripped at 120k after I had replaced the other side and didnt want to do that job again.

So I drove on ripped boots for 30k till it started making this funny tinging. I knew they were bad but I didnt want to sink money into the car if it was a bigger issue luckily it was just the axle. I never noticed any vibrations or clicking noise just the tinging after 30k miles and like 3 years of driving. It was weird it made the noise going straight not even when I was turning like a typical axle would. And that was only after i change to stupid heavy runflats I got on craigslist. I actually surprised how long they went with ripped boots. Honestly if money's tight just ride them like I did and listen for noises.


Im going to start spraying 303 uv protectant on them hope they last a long time. The job went smoothly this time I think I can do it in 2 hours now.

Get the gnk from fcp and be done with it lifetime warranty. Or if you havent been riding with ripped boots long you can replace the boots way cheaper. I actually tried to do that on my other side but someone put a shitty axle on my passenger side so the boots didn't fit. I had it all disassembled cleaned and ready to go. It wasn't hard taking the apart the axle either.

Make sure you get a new axle diff seal and a strut bolt too.

spray your strut bolt with penetration fluid like now lol then a few times the week before. Mine was stuck had to work it for a few days would hate if that broke.

Getting the axle out can be a bitch theres a good trick where you clamp a vice grip onto it and use a slide hammer. simple easy fast.

Pounding the axle seal in get a pvc pipe that fits the seal I believe a 2 inch coupler is what most people use.

Last edited by glacierXI; 04-15-2019 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:12 AM   #6
jmo69
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Transmission: Steptronic
Quote:
spray your strut bolt with penetration fluid like now lol then a few times the week before. Mine was stuck had to work it for a few days would hate if that broke.
That's good advice, did a friends and he sprayed it the week before, my impact walked it right out. Put lots of anti-seize on the old one and ran it back in. He cheaper out on the axle so we'll be doing it again. The other side is leaking too so that will be another project. I know one side you can get out with a pry bar between the axle and the case. Did your new GKN come with a 32mm axle nut instead of the usual 36mm?
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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; 04-16-2019 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:53 AM   #7
glacierXI
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The GKN I bought this time had 32 the ones I did a few years ago had 36.

people were saying be careful prying on the diff to get the axle out.. Idk everyone prys every other car brand axle out it's pretty standard I doubt it could damage the diff but I rented the slide hammer free so I dont risk it. I rented a few other tools to help too. Some people have problems getting the axle out of the hub. Mine tapped out easy but it was replaced before going in was a bitch and half though. I cleaned the threads and put grease too. just kept hammering the rotor it finally went in enough to get he nut started.

Last edited by glacierXI; 04-16-2019 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:05 PM   #8
jmo69
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Model: 325xi
Transmission: Steptronic
Quote:
Originally Posted by glacierXI View Post
The GKN I bought this time had 32 the ones I did a few years ago had 36.

people were saying be careful prying on the diff to get the axle out.. Idk everyone prys every other car brand axle out it's pretty standard I doubt it could damage the diff but I rented the slide hammer free so I dont risk it. I rented a few other tools to help too. Some people have problems getting the axle out of the hub. Mine tapped out easy but it was replaced before going in was a bitch and half though. I cleaned the threads and put grease too. just kept hammering the rotor it finally went in enough to get he nut started.
On my car I always had to pound the hub back onto the axle but a quick burst with my air hammer always pushed them right out. This last one I pushed out with my fingers. Some spray grease and it slid right in.



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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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