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Old 11-05-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
sefeing
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Deep hum 55-60mph - came out of nowhere, Details in post

2002 325i sedan, RWD, A/T, 86k miles. Lots of work done by BMW & Myself.

Hi all, unique issue here.

I recently (in the last 2 months) replaced my driveshaft because of a rumbling I was getting from 50-60, and a big vibration from 20-30 under acceleration. The driveshaft was from the recommended vendor, Driveshaft Specialist of Texas, and the shaft fixed my issues, so I don't think it's the shaft. I pre-loaded the CSB, as well as applied butyl tape & installed a new guibo as well. I'm hoping that I pre-loaded it enough (basically just pushed it as far as it'd go and then torqued it down.

This weekend, I took the car out for the first time in a week or so (I take the subway to work) and noticed that I'm getting a deep hum from around 55-60, which then goes away after 60, or below around 45. It almost sounds like a subwoofer / resonance I get a bit of vibration through the steering wheel as well, but nowhere near as bad as before I replaced the driveshaft.

Before this past weekend, the sound was completely gone, since the shaft replacement, and the the car sat for 2 weeks.

This is driving me NUTS, and I'm so disappointed this noise is back, albeit it sounds a bit different. I've done front wheel bearings, and when I bought the car I had all 4 wheels straightened & New tires a few months back as well.

I'm wondering if this is just a wheel & tire thing, since LAST time when I took the car out, I thought I heard it on one leg of the drive, but it seemed to go away for the 2nd leg. Maybe just the road surface even. But I'm getting quite close to my wit's end with the thing. FCAB's have been done 20k miles ago by the P/O @ BMW.

Any insight here's appreciated. If I can't get this fixed for a reasonable price, it may be time to get rid of the car.

Help
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:16 AM   #2
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If you suspect a tire drone (very often is) temporarily rotate the tires front to back. Even better if directional. Install them wrong and go for a short drive.

Did the noise change, move or go away?

Correct the directional bias of the tires.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:20 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MrMCar View Post
If you suspect a tire drone (very often is) temporarily rotate the tires front to back. Even better if directional. Install them wrong and go for a short drive.

Did the noise change, move or go away?

Correct the directional bias of the tires.
Fair suggestion, I'll try that this weekend. My biggest worry here is that I'll have to re do the drive shaft, or worse.

The car could probably use an alignment as well, so maybe I'll have that done as well.

What else could happen that would change the car by sitting for a week or two?
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:02 PM   #4
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Make sure all the bolts at the rear diff flange to driveshaft are still tight. When I changed my DS, I had a droning sound on highway and I found some of the (silver colored) torx screws had loosened. Proper torqueing solved the drone for me.

There are multiple torque values in the Bentley manual depending on which torx bolt is being used, and I think I either used the wrong one or maybe didn't get them tight enough.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by LeverThis View Post
Make sure all the bolts at the rear diff flange to driveshaft are still tight. When I changed my DS, I had a droning sound on highway and I found some of the (silver colored) torx screws had loosened. Proper torqueing solved the drone for me.

There are multiple torque values in the Bentley manual depending on which torx bolt is being used, and I think I either used the wrong one or maybe didn't get them tight enough.
Hmm, possible. Fairly sure I got the spec right, but worth a double check. Only issue is that I'm not sure of the next time I'll be able to get under the car. May need to have a shop take a look

this gives me some serious anxiety, considering I have a 2 hour drive this weekend to do lol...\

Also, did your drone disappear at certain speed?

Last edited by sefeing; 11-05-2019 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:41 PM   #6
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Hmm, possible. Fairly sure I got the spec right, but worth a double check. Only issue is that I'm not sure of the next time I'll be able to get under the car. May need to have a shop take a look

this gives me some serious anxiety, considering I have a 2 hour drive this weekend to do lol...\

Also, did your drone disappear at certain speed?
My drone appeared at highway speed, 55 or 60mph, BUT it did not go away the faster I went so its a little different than your description. I mentioned it anyway because you just worked on the DS and its easy to check as the heat shield has a little cut out to access the bolts.

Also, the DS giubo needs to go on with the little triangle on the outside edge of the giubo facing the DS & transmission flanges. If the triangle is pointing away from a flange, you are off by one and off by a mile.

It only takes 5 minutes to check once you get the car in the air, and you only need to lift the rear end. Sounds like you DIY'd the DS, so why take it in?
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Old 11-05-2019, 02:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LeverThis View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sefeing View Post
Hmm, possible. Fairly sure I got the spec right, but worth a double check. Only issue is that I'm not sure of the next time I'll be able to get under the car. May need to have a shop take a look

this gives me some serious anxiety, considering I have a 2 hour drive this weekend to do lol...\

Also, did your drone disappear at certain speed?
My drone appeared at highway speed, 55 or 60mph, BUT it did not go away the faster I went so its a little different than your description. I mentioned it anyway because you just worked on the DS and its easy to check as the heat shield has a little cut out to access the bolts.

Also, the DS giubo needs to go on with the little triangle on the outside edge of the giubo facing the DS & transmission flanges. If the triangle is pointing away from a flange, you are off by one and off by a mile.

It only takes 5 minutes to check once you get the car in the air, and you only need to lift the rear end. Sounds like you DIY'd the DS, so why take it in?
Wasn't DIY'ed at home - I use my buddy's driveway for anything I need to do, so timing (and temperature) is tough unless it's the weekend here in NYC. That said, it does go away above 60, so leaning more towards wheels / tires / alignment

guibo i know is on right - diff bolts i remember triple checking

Last edited by sefeing; 11-05-2019 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:37 PM   #8
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Typically, that speed range is wheel balance issue. Perhaps you lost a weight. I'd swap wheels front to back anyway to see if it changes. Are those one time fasteners in the DS?
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Old 11-05-2019, 03:41 PM   #9
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Typically, that speed range is wheel balance issue. Perhaps you lost a weight. I'd swap wheels front to back anyway to see if it changes. Are those one time fasteners in the DS?
Yep, gonna try that as well as an alignment.

One time fasteners on the guibo were replaced with new ones, but the diff flange ones are just reusable E12 (or 13, can't remember) screws
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:51 AM   #10
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One thing to note here (that maybe will help narrow down) is that the noise only exists between like 53-62. Above and below that it's gone.

Any more insight is appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:57 AM   #11
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I wouldn't be doing an alignment at this point unless the car won't track straight or tire wear is abnormal. I'd be looking at tires/rim issues first. Don't know if you get roundel mag, but Satch recently had article on his driveshaft replacement with recycled hardware not torqued properly.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RRRM8E View Post
I wouldn't be doing an alignment at this point unless the car won't track straight or tire wear is abnormal. I'd be looking at tires/rim issues first. Don't know if you get roundel mag, but Satch recently had article on his driveshaft replacement with recycled hardware not torqued properly.
that makes sense - was considering an alignment since I have no idea when it was last done by the P/O, and my steering wheel is slightly off center, but as far as I can tell the car tracks fairly straight - maybe pulling to the left a tad.

Honestly don't drive the car enough to know if the wear is becoming abnormal, less than 5k on the tires in 4 or 5 months

I don't get the mag, but interesting. The shaft I got was from the guys in texas who are super highly regarded here. I'll have to double check the torque I guess, but I'm fairly sure I that i torqued it correctly.

My main thing here is that the noise appeared after the car was sitting for 2 weeks. From when I put the new driveshaft in a month or two ago until then, it was totally fine, and then the noise goes away above 60mph.

One weekend it was fine, the next it wasn't and it hadn't been driven between those weekends.

Maybe it's just road noise and it's in my head

I have a 2 hour each way drive to do this weekend, so i guess I'll find out then

Last edited by sefeing; 11-06-2019 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:20 AM   #13
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How old are the tires? How much tread is left?
I've had Michelins get noisy as they got down in tread depth. Switch back to front. Can't imagine flat spotting in two weeks but maybe if old tires?

It may need alignment at some point. Try to find level piece of road to test.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:24 AM   #14
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Whelp...

According to realOEM, these are the screws that are on my car: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...bs-26117571956

If they really are the ZNS ones, then I guess I was supposed to replace them when I was doing the job. Crap. Didn't see that on the bentley manual originally.

Not really sure what that means, but I guess I may be spending my friday night figuring out how to replace these, before driving Saturday.

Also, really hope this didn't just ruin the damn driveshaft I put in... I can't remember, but can I get to these w/o having to drop the entire exhaust again?
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:31 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RRRM8E View Post
How old are the tires? How much tread is left?
I've had Michelins get noisy as they got down in tread depth. Switch back to front. Can't imagine flat spotting in two weeks but maybe if old tires?

It may need alignment at some point. Try to find level piece of road to test.
Nah they're brand new, 3 months old and only a few thousand miles.

I'm worried that it's the bolts I used on the rear diff - didn't realize I was supposed to replace them... (see above post)

Also hope I didn't just ruin a brand new drive shaft.

Last edited by sefeing; 11-06-2019 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:51 AM   #16
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Here is article. Don't know if that s your problem but it rang a bell.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:53 AM   #17
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Its not uncommon for new tires to need re-balancing .
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:27 AM   #18
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Here is article. Don't know if that s your problem but it rang a bell.
Doesn't sound too far off from my situation.

I ordered the bolts, debating on either taking the day off Friday and just replacing them one by one during the day, trying to do it at night with a friend (it's gonna be COLD here in NYC...), or having a local shop literally just do those 4 bolts for me and pay him the labor to save me time. Either way, i don't want to do a few hundred mile trip with the shaft potentially taking lash.

My shaft is the one that ends w/ a U-joint instead of a CV, so i'm hoping that the 400 miles I've driven hasn't wrecked the thing... that'll be a much bigger bummer.

Does anyone know if I can get to these w/o having to drop the whole exhaust? I believe i can, but can't remember.



The car runs strong, is low mileage and i've done so much damned work on it myself this point that I don't want to hate it, but I can't say this isn't stressful.

Re: the tires, they're possible but to be honest, the bolts sound much more likely considering the sound I'm hearing. FML.

Last edited by sefeing; 11-06-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:26 PM   #19
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A key to diagnosis is to ask "what, if anything, has changed?". In this case, the driveshaft and exhaust removal. I gather the torque setting is important in this case; you need to emphasize that to the shop.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:33 PM   #20
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A key to diagnosis is to ask "what, if anything, has changed?". In this case, the driveshaft and exhaust removal. I gather the torque setting is important in this case; you need to emphasize that to the shop.
Yep, the shop I'm considering is a single guy, so I'd talk to him & emphasize - even write the torque spec on the little bag that the screws come in.

My best guess is that the screws have loosened, causing a vibration.

Laying out my options, I can either:

Try to go to a dealership before they close today (unlikely), and do the job this evening

Wait for the screws to come tomorrow, and hope the rainy forecast is wrong and do it tomorrow

Bring it to the shop friday AM

Endure 35-40 degree temps and do it in my friend's driveway friday evening. None of the above are well timed, but it's all I can do

OR, take my mom's car this weekend & do the work on Sunday afternoon. I'd prefer to take my car.

Edit: Huh, well my dad also just reminded me that I can use his (small) garage if I need to do it in the rain.

Last edited by sefeing; 11-06-2019 at 01:50 PM.
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