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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Transfer Case Upgrade Possibilities



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      08-06-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
nailer335
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Transfer Case Upgrade Possibilities

I followed up with Odometer Gears, the company that I had originally reported was doing an upgrade for the ATC300, about a month or so back.

To my dismay, according to the representative with whom I spoke this morning, the upgrade is only for the actuator motor, which for the X3 and X5 are a different BMW part number than the x-drive 3 series cars. He assured me that these parts were not interchangable from the SUVs to the cars.

Furthermore, since they are a plastic injection molding shop, they do not have any intention to make a stronger worm/cog interface. Liability reasons- something about 500lb/ft crank torque shys them away

If enough of us here want to fortify the plastic gear, it would take the following:

a) enough demand from the xi community to make a metal (or whatever becomes our material of choice) gear worth it to do a one/limited time run of whichever among the tens of thousands of locations that could do a project like this

b) one of us whose 335xi isn't our daily driver to open up his TC and donate his hardware to send to the business of choice to spec the project out.


So, who cares enough to pay to have this done? This seems like the highest value "peace of mind" modification to the xi community in my humble opinion.

Any other input towards the progress of this discussion is welcome.
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      08-06-2012, 07:42 PM   #2
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Lets just have 20 of us XI guys toss in $25 a piece through paypal and buy a used TC and send it to a shop who wants to work on it. No reason to have someone tear apart their working TC for something that may not even come to fruition.

I'd be fine being out $25 and knowing if there is a possible solution or not.

I'll be the first to start

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/sear...ey=&userPage=2

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      08-06-2012, 07:56 PM   #3
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Good idea. I'll be #2
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      08-06-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
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Good idea. I'll be #2
I guess I have no idea about the next step though, like what shop would handle a job like this?

Don't some of the evo guys have shops that upgrade their transfer cases.

I just don't know what else these shops would want upfront besides the transfer case. Like money for their time or what.
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      08-06-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
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I have some ideas-

First, I propose to all that anyone with FBO and/or meth obligatorily participate- $25 is nothing to you if you have the cash to mod a car like this to that degree of spend or risk.

Second, we search and learn about how the high powered GTRs and EVOs (other high powered AWD cars?) upgrade their transfer cases. Compare the construction of those TCs to ours, assuming that if they are similar enough, that the issues as we continue to increase the power will probably be similar. We should also compile our "best guess" list of TC problems specific to the ATC300 that were likely to have been caused by hard brake boost launches and "from a dig" abuse. Those two focus points should probably provide a comprehensive upgrade. I have already emailed AMS to inquire on the TC build of their GTR. I did it from my phone during my gym time today so I didn't search for this information- chances are I should have and may get around to doing so tomorrow if I don't receive a prompt response (I apologize to all for my bad example- lack of proactivity)

Third, once we have a respectable list of people and research together, I can start working on finding a shop here in Phoenix that does metal gears. Phoenix has a pretty significant industrial scene, in which I do procurement/supply chain management for my current company. So I have a few contacts here that I can start with, and from there I can begin the whole process of finding companies that are willing to take on the one-off production run, then get the companies to price compete among themselves to get all of us the best price, etc.

The only potential speed bump I could see is some sort of liability issue, as was brought up by the Odometer Gears guy. This is where our xi community's proactive research comes into play- as long as we break down the TC and identify all of the potential weaknesses to propose a purposefully sound product, we can feel confident enough to perhaps sign some sort of waver stating that we won't hold the company liable if our requested upgrade is constructed to our specs and doesn't hold up. (This is different from a manufacturer's defect, of course)

From my point of view, this problem should not be the hurdle that it is. The xi community should not be as far behind and fear-stricken by the looming TC issues as it is... We should just put our heads together and figure this out. I really don't see any reason why this hasn't been done yet, aside from initiative. So I will start the procurement process and anyone else who would like to do so can join me in their area of the country, once we have enough information and players in place to represent a demand significant enough for a company to assume the expense of setting up for the production run.

I'd love more input and ideas from everyone, especially those of us who plan on modifying our xi's heavily, those of us who plan on keeping our xi's for more than 2-3 years, etc. All weather conditions aside, I'll bet everyone who drives a high boosted xi loves an aggressive brake boost more than anything else about their car. At least, I do. And having a rock solid TC will allow me/us to do this repeatedly without that nagging "I hope this isn't the time it breaks on me" thought plaguing our drag runs.
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      08-06-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200 View Post
I guess I have no idea about the next step though, like what shop would handle a job like this?

Don't some of the evo guys have shops that upgrade their transfer cases.

I just don't know what else these shops would want upfront besides the transfer case. Like money for their time or what.
Specific to this, ideal is we find a modification/tuning shop to assume the responsibility of researching and building. This will take a lot of demand. I don't see a reputable tuning company taking on a project like this without a significant enough ROI. Which will take more than 20 e90post members. Probably. I could be wrong and would send out an email to make sure, provided that we had the demand.

The next step is seeing how many of us are proactive people and willing to contribute, whether it is by taking a spot on the list willing to purchase a TC, contribute ideas, etc.

Without discouraging the "on the fence" reader of this thread, I don't see us creating enough demand for AMS or any like company to take a stock TC and dive into it and do the R&D to figure this out. (Unless this community proves me wrong, makes my month in doing so, and we suddenly have a list of 40 people who wont flake when rubber meets the road)

It will probably take all of us researching as aforementioned to go to a metal fabrication shop to say, "Please take this plastic gear and make it metal" along with whatever else we decide needs to be upgraded. The Theory of Constraints may apply and we may or may not get it right the first time, but by phase 2 or 3 it should be rock solid. Once we have all of the upgraded pieces, we should be able to take it to any indy shop to take apart our stock TCs and replace the parts that need to go with their upgraded counterparts.

I think. Everyone is welcome to contribute to this public discussion of how we are going to eliminate what is believed to be our weakest link.
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      08-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #7
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I'd be willing to donate to the cause.
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      08-07-2012, 01:50 PM   #8
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Dzenno at Pro Tuning Freaks is looking to branch into hardware. Check out the "custom n54 parts" thread on b boost and make your voice heard.

This worm gear is the first major hurdle. Next likely is either a toss up between the clutch plates and the front diff. Front diff is an easy fix. Clutch plates will require some interesting solutions.
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      08-07-2012, 02:37 PM   #9
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why not approach VAC Motorsports in Philly. They make any kind of part and this should be fairly easy for them to do... And I'd be interested but are all TC built the same ... like 2009 - 2011 etc...
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      08-07-2012, 02:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloppy View Post
why not approach VAC Motorsports in Philly. They make any kind of part and this should be fairly easy for them to do... And I'd be interested but are all TC built the same ... like 2009 - 2011 etc...
Because we don't have even a moderately respectable level of demand yet. With a 3 person list, I don't have much ground to stand on. Demand drives supply.
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      08-07-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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you really dont need a high demand though ... I asked VAC when they would make me some custom internals for my N55 and the answer was ... when you are ready
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      08-07-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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so which piece are we talking about here?

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      08-07-2012, 03:08 PM   #13
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and if we know what piece it is... then we can just order it and get it made

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/s...=0&modelYear=0
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      08-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #14
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Put me on the list.

I work in commercial insurance, so I may be able to assist with liability issues. From a legal standpoint, I think a simple hold harmless agreement with the MFG would be a good start.
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      08-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #15
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List so far, copy and paste if you'd like to join ($25 per person)

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      08-07-2012, 04:09 PM   #16
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Good diagram, I'd imagine that it'd have to be 12, 33 or 44 since it was said to be a cog as the weak spot but I could be way off.

Also, who is to say that is the only weak part, better for the shop who may take this on to tackle the entire TC as a whole.

Whoever mentioned Vac is right on, I had them install my dps and rear m3 bushings. They are definitely legit and very respectable in their work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloppy View Post
so which piece are we talking about here?

Good diagram, I'd imagine that it'd have to be 12, 33 or 44 since it was said to be a cog as the weak spot but I could be way off.
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      08-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pits200
Lets just have 20 of us XI guys toss in $25 a piece through paypal and buy a used TC and send it to a shop who wants to work on it. No reason to have someone tear apart their working TC for something that may not even come to fruition.

I'd be fine being out $25 and knowing if there is a possible solution or not.

I'll be the first to start

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/sear...ey=&userPage=2

1.) Pits200
I'm in for $25 because I really like my 335i xdrive .
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      08-07-2012, 06:15 PM   #18
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Count me in for $25.
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      08-07-2012, 07:02 PM   #19
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Anyone can approach any place of business at any point really...As for me, from the bit I know and have learned with respect to procurement in manufacturing, increasing buying power accomplishes impressive results from pricing to the job's priority from the suppliers perspective to quality of work.

So two routes. First, having a company that specializes in these types of projects assume the job for us, like VAC or Dzennos company. Second, applying the theory of constraints based on what we already know is the weakest link, and sourcing a company willing to CNC what we identify as our needs. To me, each could have advantages and disadvantages. I'm willing to do whatever we all decide- I really just want to be able to hit 18-19psi from a brake boosted dig repeatedly without worry for years to come in this car

The first would be easiest and perhaps the best, depending on some factors. I or whoever else wants to can approach VAC or Dzenno with the project, saying that we'll invest towards the transfer case for their company.

I'd still like to see as much demand as possible. Upping the ante will only help our project as far as I'm concerned. Opinions vary.
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      08-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #20
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      08-07-2012, 09:12 PM   #21
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Put me in For ATLEAST 25$
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      08-07-2012, 09:33 PM   #22
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I'm not sure how to go about doing this though. Is there a way to create a paypal escrow account or something. I don't think everyone would want to paypal money directly to any one persons particular account.
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