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Old 05-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #1
infoboy
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E46 rear clunk when shifting from 1st to 2nd

Hey guys.im chasing a clunking sound coming from the rear of my 325ci, all bushing are new with no exception,but the car is still cluncking when shifting from 1st to 2nd gear.so today i was checking the diff and the cv joint and i found a little bid of play where the cv joint bolt on the diff is that normal?
Check the photo the play is where im putting my hand i can move it in and out on both sides (left and right),the play is not huge in the diff but i want to make sure if this normal.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-26-2019, 03:45 PM   #2
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So nobody can help

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Old 05-26-2019, 04:17 PM   #3
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The diff flange should not be moving in and out. It should be clipped (pushed) into position and stay there. The outer CV joint has the sliding joint to allow for suspension travel.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:27 PM   #4
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Also, check for fragile bum syndrome - rear subframe separation/cracks in body.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NZ00Z3 View Post
The diff flange should not be moving in and out. It should be clipped (pushed) into position and stay there. The outer CV joint has the sliding joint to allow for suspension travel.
+1, if I remember correctly. The dust shield that the OP is touching in the picture I don't think should move. I don't think the flange itself that goes into the diff should move either. If you grab the middle of the half-shaft itself there should be some radial axial play (toward diff and away from diff) to allow suspension travel, but that play is within the cv joints themselves.

Clunking on upshifts (and downshifts) could be the driveshaft center support bearing and/or giubo, the rear center diff bushing, bad driveline mounts (engine, transmission, rear subframe). Worst case scenario would be tearing of the floor where the rear subframe mounts attach to the car frame.

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Old 05-27-2019, 04:41 AM   #6
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+1, if I remember correctly. The dust shield that the OP is touching in the picture I don't think should move. I don't think the flange itself that goes into the diff should move either. If you grab the middle of the half-shaft itself there should be some radial play (toward diff and away from diff) to allow suspension travel, but that play is within the cv joints themselves.

Clunking on upshifts (and downshifts) could be the driveshaft center support bearing and/or giubo, the rear center diff bushing, bad driveline mounts (engine, transmission, rear subframe). Worst case scenario would be tearing of the floor where the rear subframe mounts attach to the car frame.
Okay thankyou. But all your suggestions of things should be replaced are all already replaced and the clunk still there but for sure less than before.so i posted here to see if the play in the diff is normal because im thinking the diff is the probelm since everything is replaced.

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Old 05-27-2019, 04:43 AM   #7
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Also, check for fragile bum syndrome - rear subframe separation/cracks in body.
No cracks in the subframe for sure and this car is late 2002 production

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Old 05-27-2019, 04:45 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NZ00Z3 View Post
The diff flange should not be moving in and out. It should be clipped (pushed) into position and stay there. The outer CV joint has the sliding joint to allow for suspension travel.
In my case the output flange of the diff is moving on both sides i think the diff need to be rebuild or replaced

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Old 05-27-2019, 05:23 AM   #9
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This a video of how i can move it by my hand note the play is on both sides

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Old 05-27-2019, 08:12 AM   #10
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Okay thankyou. But all your suggestions of things should be replaced are all already replaced and the clunk still there but for sure less than before.so i posted here to see if the play in the diff is normal because im thinking the diff is the probelm since everything is replaced.[/URL]
OP, having just read through this thread, I see no mention of the universal joint being checked and/or replaced. If the u-joint on your car has never been renewed, then I would first do that before coming to the conclusion that the clunking is coming from the differential.

In my case, besides the clunking, I could also see a grease ring on the body tunnel above the u-joint. The down side to replacing the u-joint is that the drive shaft has to be balanced after the u-joint replacement.

Hope you find the problem.

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Old 05-27-2019, 09:32 AM   #11
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OP, usually clunks in the rear end seem to be either the center support bearing on the driveshaft and/or the rear differential bushing. If you're sure you don't have a failing rear subframe.

Also, do replace the universal joint (aka guibo, giubo, flex disk coupling) while you're doing the csb. Lots of details that make a big difference so study up if you're doing it yourself. Mark your driveshaft before you split it.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:10 AM   #12
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OP, just to be clear on my post number 10, above.

When I suggested inspecting/replacing the universal joint, I was talking about the all metal (other than seals and grease) universal joint towards the middle of the drive shaft near the CSB. This unit has metal roller bearings inside it that will wear over time, along with surfaces they ride on, especially if the seals fail because of age/wear. When those roller bearings and surfaces wear, the u-joint becomes loose, which leads to the clunking sound in some vehicles, depending on what else has already been replaced. Because the u-joint is nearly 100% metal, when a new u-joint is put in the driveshaft, the whole drive shaft must be balanced.

I was NOT talking about the Flex-Disk or guibo, up near the transmission, which you said you have already replaced.

Actually, now that I think about it, while my car only has one of these all metal u-joints, your car may have two. One near the CSB, and one at the back that is connected to the flange that bolts to the differential input shaft. These all metal u-joints are not generally replaceable by us DIYers, mainly because of the balancing required.

After looking at realoem.com, I can see why people sometimes call the Flex-Disk/guibo a universal joint, because that is what realm.com calls it. The part I am talking about may be called a swivel joint in realoem.com. The u-joints that I am referring to do not have separate numbers in realoem.com because they are not generally available separately, even from a BMW dealer.

If you look at the body tunnel on your car above the metal u-joints and see a grease ring, then my suggestion again is to get the driveshaft rebuilt with new metal u-joints. I would do this before going into the differential. Hope you find the source of the clunking.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:34 AM   #13
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OP, just to be clear on my post number 10, above.

When I suggested inspecting/replacing the universal joint, I was talking about the all metal (other than seals and grease) universal joint towards the middle of the drive shaft near the CSB. This unit has metal roller bearings inside it that will wear over time, along with surfaces they ride on, especially if the seals fail because of age/wear. When those roller bearings and surfaces wear, the u-joint becomes loose, which leads to the clunking sound in some vehicles, depending on what else has already been replaced. Because the u-joint is nearly 100% metal, when a new u-joint is put in the driveshaft, the whole drive shaft must be balanced.

I was NOT talking about the Flex-Disk or guibo, up near the transmission, which you said you have already replaced.

Actually, now that I think about it, while my car only has one of these all metal u-joints, your car may have two. One near the CSB, and one at the back that is connected to the flange that bolts to the differential input shaft. These all metal u-joints are not generally replaceable by us DIYers, mainly because of the balancing required.

After looking at realoem.com, I can see why people sometimes call the Flex-Disk/guibo a universal joint, because that is what realm.com calls it. The part I am talking about may be called a swivel joint in realoem.com. The u-joints that I am referring to do not have separate numbers in realoem.com because they are not generally available separately, even from a BMW dealer.

If you look at the body tunnel on your car above the metal u-joints and see a grease ring, then my suggestion again is to get the driveshaft rebuilt with new metal u-joints. I would do this before going into the differential. Hope you find the source of the clunking.
Thank you for the help.the rear drive shaft part which connect to diff was replaced in 2016 with a better one from a junkyard cz the old one had a bad u joint, but again i will check it. And yes my car had 2 u joint but the question is why mine has 2 and yours 1?
Finaly i want to say I created this thread only to make sure that play in the output shaft of the diff is normal since almost 95% of part in the rear are replaced.next thing im going to do is to visit a junkyard and check few diffs there to see if they have a play in the output shaft like mine,and for sure i will be posting the result.

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Old 05-27-2019, 12:07 PM   #14
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Thank you for the help.the rear drive shaft part which connect to diff was replaced in 2016 with a better one from a junkyard cz the old one had a bad u joint, but again i will check it. And yes my car had 2 u joint but the question is why mine has 2 and yours 1?
Finaly i want to say I created this thread only to make sure that play in the output shaft of the diff is normal since almost 95% of part in the rear are replaced.next thing im going to do is to visit a junkyard and check few diffs there to see if they have a play in the output shaft like mine,and for sure i will be posting the result.
The reason my total drive shaft only has one u-joint is because BMW elected to put a CV joint in the place of a rear u-joint on coupes like mine with an SMG transmission.

I watched your short video on the movement of the rear output shafts at your differential. I replaced my output shaft seals last August, 2018, and I seem to remember that I have about the same amount of movement as is shown in your video. I do not have any clunking now.

What I noted in your last post is that you said you replaced the rear drive shaft part because of the rear u-joint, if I read your post correctly. Please know that when drive shafts are assembled at the factory, they MUST be balanced as a complete unit, with both pieces connected together on the balancing machine.

If you have the front half of the driveshaft from one vehicle and the rear half of the driveshaft from a different vehicle, without the complete hybrid unit being rebalanced, then this could be the reason for your issues. I emphasize could. Both u-joints could now be compromised, again I say, if I am understanding you correctly. Just consider how fast the driveshaft is spinning whenever the car is moving.
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Old 05-27-2019, 01:08 PM   #15
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The reason my total drive shaft only has one u-joint is because BMW elected to put a CV joint in the place of a rear u-joint on coupes like mine with an SMG transmission.

I watched your short video on the movement of the rear output shafts at your differential. I replaced my output shaft seals last August, 2018, and I seem to remember that I have about the same amount of movement as is shown in your video. I do not have any clunking now.

What I noted in your last post is that you said you replaced the rear drive shaft part because of the rear u-joint, if I read your post correctly. Please know that when drive shafts are assembled at the factory, they MUST be balanced as a complete unit, with both pieces connected together on the balancing machine.

If you have the front half of the driveshaft from one vehicle and the rear half of the driveshaft from a different vehicle, without the complete hybrid unit being rebalanced, then this could be the reason for your issues. I emphasize could. Both u-joints could now be compromised, again I say, if I am understanding you correctly. Just consider how fast the driveshaft is spinning whenever the car is moving.
Hmmm.yes thats what i was saying,i think i will check the driveshaft and see how can get it balanced.and for the diff the play in yours is the same as i understand,but other people said it should not have that play in the outputshaft so i must go to a junyard soon and check for that.note that the clunck in not loud and barely noticeble but im restoring this car to factory condition starting with mechanical stuff and at end i want to strip the paint to the metal and repaint it again,the car has zero rust and the underside is still white same as the car color,i know i went out of the topic but im chasing every problem to solve even if its small like the clunck i have now.

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Old 05-27-2019, 03:43 PM   #16
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In my case the output flange of the diff is moving on both sides i think the diff need to be rebuild or replaced
Quote:
Originally Posted by infoboy View Post
This a video of how i can move it by my hand note the play is on both sides

I believe that part is actually just a dust shield, and I don't think it would be the cause of any clunking. The output shaft (flange) is the thick metal part just to the right of that dust shield/seal. I would look else where for clunking, and in particular at the center rear diff bushing. Perhaps others with more experience with how the rear diff works can confirm.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:45 PM   #17
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Hmmm.yes thats what i was saying,i think i will check the driveshaft and see how can get it balanced.and for the diff the play in yours is the same as i understand,but other people said it should not have that play in the outputshaft so i must go to a junyard soon and check for that.note that the clunck in not loud and barely noticeble but im restoring this car to factory condition starting with mechanical stuff and at end i want to strip the paint to the metal and repaint it again,the car has zero rust and the underside is still white same as the car color,i know i went out of the topic but im chasing every problem to solve even if its small like the clunck i have now.
I don't know how far, or at what speeds, your car has been driven since you've had the mismatched driveshaft installed, but IMHO both metal u-joints have probably been worn enough from driving with the imbalance to cause them to be a little loose and thereby cause the clunking you are experiencing. It's also possible that your new CSB has been compromised by driving with an out-of-balance driveshaft.

My suggestion would be to replace both metal u-joints with new ones, AND get the same shop to do the balancing. Try to find a shop that has experience with rebuilding and balancing driveshafts. That may be too easy for me to say since I don't have an idea of what kind of shops are near you in Lebanon.

Only after I was sure that I have a solid, complete, balanced driveshaft, end-to-end, from transmission to differential input shaft flange, would I start looking at the differential for the clunking. But that is only me.
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Old 05-27-2019, 05:54 PM   #18
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I don't know how far, or at what speeds, your car has been driven since you've had the mismatched driveshaft installed, but IMHO both metal u-joints have probably been worn enough from driving with the imbalance to cause them to be a little loose and thereby cause the clunking you are experiencing. It's also possible that your new CSB has been compromised by driving with an out-of-balance driveshaft.

My suggestion would be to replace both metal u-joints with new ones, AND get the same shop to do the balancing. Try to find a shop that has experience with rebuilding and balancing driveshafts. That may be too easy for me to say since I don't have an idea of what kind of shops are near you in Lebanon.

Only after I was sure that I have a solid, complete, balanced driveshaft, end-to-end, from transmission to differential input shaft flange, would I start looking at the differential for the clunking. But that is only me.
I dont think the problem is the drive shaft since i dont feel any vibration at high speed but i will check,the clunck is from the rear of the car im sure but i'll check everything.hope i can find new u joint i asked years ago and i couldnt find some good quality u joint only chinese ones

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Old 05-27-2019, 06:50 PM   #19
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I dont think the problem is the drive shaft since i dont feel any vibration at high speed but i will check,the clunck is from the rear of the car im sure but i'll check everything.hope i can find new u joint i asked years ago and i couldnt find some good quality u joint only chinese ones
FWIW, I had clunking coming from the rear, with no vibration at high speeds. And, the rear metal u-joint on your car is right in front of the differential. I'm really not trying to be argumentative, just trying to share my humble experience.

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Old 05-28-2019, 04:47 AM   #20
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FWIW, I had clunking coming from the rear, with no vibration at high speeds. And, the rear metal u-joint on your car is right in front of the differential. I'm really not trying to be argumentative, just trying to share my humble experience.
Yes but my point was if there is problem in driveshaft balance it would vibrate thats what i meant in my post.

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