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  • Symptoms of a bad drive shaft

    I read through some old threads I think something is wrong with the drive shaft based on the vibrations I've been getting.

    Symptoms: Under acceleration in first and second gear, I am getting a vibration from the rear. It feels like my rear passenger side wheel is spinning on some pebbles. It only happens once in awhile in 1st & 2nd gear at about 2000-3000rpm.

    Where should I start to try and solve the problem? I poled my head under the car this weekend to see if I keep see anything obviously wrong and found nothing.


    TIA

    elefantsupply.com

  • #2
    could be a few different things going on. The driveshaft is a system with the Guibo and center support bearing. I'd replace everything for piece of mind. Have on or the other not "up to snuff" will wear out the other so I'd replace in sets.

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    • #3
      It could be a wheel bearing, especially if you say it's coming from the rear passenger wheel. A bad wheel bearing can sound like a grinding and can resonate at certain frequencies (related to speed) to sound worse.
      "It is needless to say that self-propelling vehicles, like other machines, will never do as much for one who does not understand them as for one who does."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by AlpineRunner
        It could be a wheel bearing, especially if you say it's coming from the rear passenger wheel. A bad wheel bearing can sound like a grinding and can resonate at certain frequencies (related to speed) to sound worse.
        good point Mike.

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        • #5
          agree sounds like wheel bearing.

          So what are the symptoms of a bad center support bearing?
          Petro

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          • #6
            you'll get some knocking or gurgling or vibration depending on the degredation of the webbing on the CSB unit.

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            • #7
              sounds like a centre bearing!
              Wanted, Plastic E36 M3 cam cover from the USA

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              • #8
                do a little more testing to find the culprit before throwing money at it.

                bearing test: drive at a speed that will produce the noise. swerve back and forth like an f1 driver (*not* alonso) trying to get heat into the tires. if the loading and unloading cause a change in pitch of the noise, bearing.

                driveshaft/csb test: accelerate hard in first and second. if you feel a thumping from the trans tunnel at lower rpms, approximately where the hand brake is, driveshaft. bad driveshafts can take out the csb, reman driveshafts usually come with a new csb. you do not need to replace a guibo/flex disc if it's in good shape when you replace the driveshaft, *but* if there is *any* sign of cracking (or worse) it'd be silly not to.

                guibo/flex disc: look at the unit and if it's cracking and/or you see string and chunks missing, replace it.

                your description doesn't seem to exactly fit any of these categories. i might suggest having a buddy ride in the right rear seat while you do these tests and get some feedback from him.

                hth,
                greg
                garber's

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                • #9
                  Is there there any sympton that would occur to pin point whether its a wheel bearing or csb?
                  Another symptom I just started is the car is pulling to the right. Would this be wheel bearing related?

                  I checked the Guibo, and it seems fine.
                  I'll do some testing this weekend. One problem i have is my dang exhaust is so loud, its hard to hear any other noises.
                  Thanks everyone, keep the sugestions coming! I'm trying to get this fixed to hit up my first auto-x.

                  elefantsupply.com

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                  • #10
                    I have a very similar issue, and it is annoying! The previous owner replaced the driveshaft with a reman back around 2001, and has approximately 25k miles on it-possibly less. I get the same vibration that you do in first and second gears at around 2-3k RPM. I have replaced the flex disc and it made no change.

                    If I am coasting and 4th or 5th gear, and get on and off the throttle quickly, I can feel what seems to be the rear subframe hitting the bottom of the car as slack is taken up. I do know the rear subframe bushings are original at 146k miles and need replacing-I have the parts but just have to find the time to pull everything apart.

                    I am hoping that replacing the tranny and subframe bushings will help bring the driveshaft back into the proper alignment and all will be well. However, the problem might be something else that is not as common-the differential. I have heard of people that had similar vibrations, and after replacing the diff they went away. Regardless, I am anxious to hear what the problem is.
                    Eric Giles
                    '07 X5 4.8i
                    '01 325i
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      When the subframe bushes fail the diff bush takes a lot more load. It's advisable to replace it at the same time as the subframe bushings are replaced.

                      On a(n side) note: the combination of stiffnesses of the rubber bushes in the subframe and the one in the diff cover is a carefully engineered one. Together they counteract the normal tendency of a semi trailing arm setup to develop toe-out during cornering.
                      I bet few people knew that, not even all the providers of stiffer bushes...

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                      • #12
                        Did you find out what was wrong? I had the same problem last week, small vibration in 1st and 2nd gear on acceleration (same RPM range). Something gave out three days after I noticed it. The car shook like crazy in every gear, pretty scary. It's in the shop right now...I'll let you know when I find out what happened. Peace.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KauzE30M3
                          Did you find out what was wrong? I had the same problem last week, small vibration in 1st and 2nd gear on acceleration (same RPM range). Something gave out three days after I noticed it. The car shook like crazy in every gear, pretty scary. It's in the shop right now...I'll let you know when I find out what happened. Peace.
                          I just got finished replacing all of the rear bushings, and although at first the vibration was better, now it seems to be back again just as bad. This is my experience so far, not sure what the original poster has discovered. I would be very interested in what your shop finds out, as I am about at my wits end on this vibration.
                          Eric Giles
                          '07 X5 4.8i
                          '01 325i
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KauzE30M3
                            Did you find out what was wrong? I had the same problem last week, small vibration in 1st and 2nd gear on acceleration (same RPM range). Something gave out three days after I noticed it. The car shook like crazy in every gear, pretty scary. It's in the shop right now...I'll let you know when I find out what happened. Peace.
                            Definately let me know what happened. My problem just went away. I can't get it to replicate. I got a buddy to ride with me to see if he can hear where it was coming from, but I can't get it to do it again.
                            I want to start changing out all my bushings next, but I'm not sure where I want to start.

                            elefantsupply.com

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                            • #15
                              They fixed it, and it feels good to have it back! It was pretty minor. They replaced the front flex disc and the tranny cross mounts. Works fine now. The flex disc was worn out, screws were missing...probably fell out.
                              Last edited by KauzE30M3; 08-04-2006, 07:31 AM.

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