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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > any xdrive guru's in here? i think i have a broken transfer case "motor"



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      06-05-2010, 07:27 AM   #1
blacksail337
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any xdrive guru's in here? i think i have a broken transfer case "motor"

ok so i have my brake,abs,traction control,and 4x4! lights on all at the same time and when i start my car i hear a short little grind noise, and my xdrive is completely disabled

and all this happened just after i rolled out of warranty

another user on here (who's your daddy) had my exact same symptoms and the dealership replaced his part number 27-10-7-546-671 which they called the "transfer case servo motor"

getbmwparts.com calls it the "transfer case set positioning motor"

and the bentley manual honestly doesn't list or explain the thing at all, in transfer case removal instructions it just says to unplug the "xdrive clutch actuator electrical harness" before taking the transfer case out, i'm assuming where that harness plugs in is this mystery motor.

now this little bastard is $650

anyone know exactly what it does/how it works?

if i should be able to change it myself?

bentley just shows how to remove the whole transfer case, says "internal transfer case repair is not covered, special press tools and procedures are required to disassemble and service the internal geartrain"

now i assume they're just talking about taking the whole thing apart, and i assume this motor just bolts onto the side of it, but i'd really like to know more before attempting to yank the thing off and somehow screw up my incredibly overcomplicated drivetrain.

i dunno if i should buy a bt tool first and see if a scan of the codes reveals anything else, or confirms this thing has gone bad

or get a independent bmw shop to diagnose it before dropping that kind of cash on a part

this really really really sucks

ANY help/info greatly appreciated, thanks for reading!
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      06-05-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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What grind noise? Does it happen all the time? When did the problem start?
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      06-06-2010, 08:00 AM   #3
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the grind comes from the transmission and sounds exactly like when you grind the starter on a car with a normal ignition

yea it happens every time and started 3 weeks ago
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      06-06-2010, 12:26 PM   #4
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How far out of warranty are you? Before doing anything, you might as well try to get a goodwill repair from the dealer. Shouldn't cost you too much time, and there's no sense diving into this car's insides if you don't have to.
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      06-06-2010, 08:05 PM   #5
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i'm completely sure thats hopeless, i'm at 51500 miles and ALL my dealer experiences with the few in driving distance have been horrible
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      06-07-2010, 09:36 AM   #6
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Maybe these pics will help you out in locating and seeing the servo motor. Looks like if you can get to it easily, it wont too hard to replace. Part 13 is your motor.
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      06-07-2010, 06:58 PM   #7
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wow thank you that is helpful!
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      06-08-2010, 07:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksail337 View Post
wow thank you that is helpful!
Let me know how hard it is to get to, I have been wanting to get down there and check out that servo motor myself.
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      06-08-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
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will do, i'll take some pics and make a DIY/write-up on it if i end up having to swap it out since there isn't much info on here.

now who thinks i'm right in assuming that since that little gear goes into the transfer case that removing it is going to let all the fluid drain out?

suppose i should pick some up before unbolting it?
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      06-21-2010, 01:02 AM   #10
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Part 14 looks like a seal or ring, so you are most likely going to need some fluid
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      12-20-2010, 04:49 PM   #11
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What happened to your issue? I have same problem

Hello, I just came across your post regarding broken transfer case. I just had the same thing happen to my wife's X3. I am just over 50K and called BMW Assist with the issue. They said that if I have the car diagnosed by BMW they will look into what can be done to cover the cost but would bot promise and % of coverage.

I have a diagnostics code which says the servomotor is faulty code: 5463 and there is also a 5F3A transfer case malfunction code of 5462.

I am interested in how things turned out. Let me know if you would please.

Robert
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      12-20-2010, 07:08 PM   #12
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I've got the ABS, 4x4, DSC errors on my 07 328xi. BavTech scans error as something like "Transfer case-clutch position unknown" or something close to that. As some have noted, I wonder if it's this motor mentioned above. The part isn't too severely priced (although it still is pricey) on getbmwparts for $370. That part comes up for a 5 series, but I understand they all use the same part (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). If you search 3 series on getbmwparts, it only lists the whole transfer case.

Blacksail (or anyone else who has done this), did you replace the motor? How hard was it? How many hours to do? Did you have to drop the transfer case, or could you get to it without removing exhaust, heat shields, transfer case, etc.?

Also, the only thing I can think of (instead of ABS controller or transfer case) is that my intelligent battery sensor wire is broke at my battery. I need to put a new connector on it. I don't know if this is related to my 4x4 issue (and I can't recall if something happened to IBS to cause this 4x4 problem), but maybe? Anyone know?

BTW, my car makes NO grinding noises at all. It acts as if it were just a 2wd drive car. No noises, grinding, etc. from transfer case.
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      12-20-2010, 08:10 PM   #13
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i've actually yet to get it resolved! this is still the same ongoing issue i currently have another thread going about that orangedawg has been providing me some info on.

i thought i looked the transfer case servo motor up on getbmwparts for $650, searching under my actual model not a 5 series, but thats been awhile so it may not still be accurate.

i'm leaning more towards the ABS/stability control module being the problem, which is listed on tischers for $1800 . . . . even better news!

or as orangedawg brought to my attention, a wheel speed sensor, which will also make everything go crazy, which are $450 a peice . . . . . . . . . .

but orangedawg recommended a company that actually rebuilds the control modules in my other thread for around $300, so that would def be worth looking into if your able to confirm that is in fact the problem.

i wouldn't be the least bit surprised if something as trivial as that battery cable was the problem though as ridiculously overcomplicated and temperamental as these cars are. it's funny you mention that too because i was checking mine one day and comparing the wires to the diagram in the bentley manual and it seemed something was wrong or out of place with mine too, and there was evidence that the moron that owned my car before me had some subwoofers/amps/garbage in the car previously, so that'd be great if it's something that simple that he broke or removed. that is unless that cable is just as insanely overpriced as everything else for this car!

and just to clarify the symptoms i was describing when i started this thread actually went away after about a month, the abs and brake light went off, and my awd was restored and the grinding noise on startup went away. the car drives normal i just can't disable the stability control using the button on the dash and it seems overly sensitive/confused in slick conditions

this is my first bmw and i've had a pretty horrible experience with this car overall which kills me because it's absolutely amazing to drive, hands down my favorite car of the 8 i've owned but i'm def done with the brand after this, just too high maintenance and expensive to repair
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      12-21-2010, 03:06 AM   #14
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I had the exact same symptoms as you which ended up being the transfer case servo. Fortunately, it did happen under warranty. I'm not sure how complex the work is but I hope you can get it resolved.
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      12-21-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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Is the transfer case servo the same thing as the motor that was mentioned above?
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      01-05-2011, 03:02 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Is the transfer case servo the same thing as the motor that was mentioned above?
Yes, I believe that they are the same part.
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      02-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #17
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I just had the same lights/sensors go off in my car today. Fortunately it was after we received 2' of snow so I was able to use the awd yesterday. I'm going into my dealership on Tuesday to get it checked out, but they said it could be just a simply lack of voltage and that doing some driving would correct it....who am I to disagree, but reading above, I think I may have the same issue. I'll keep you posted on what my dealership says to me and steps to resolve the issue!
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      02-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #18
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Just an fyi, all of my lights went back to normal on the drive home. Looks like the dealer was correct so far. Car doesn't drive any different and I didn't hear any grinding noise. Still going in on Tuesday for the yearly oil, so will keep you posted.
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      02-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #19
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interesting..
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      02-17-2011, 11:58 AM   #20
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Ok so I took the car in. All the sensors were busted which caused the issues. All new sensors are being installed. They said in the future it could be due to low battery power, just as an fyi that's all.
Not sure if that helps.
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      02-17-2011, 01:43 PM   #21
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Which sensors were busted?
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      02-17-2011, 04:10 PM   #22
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Have you checked fuses? I know pulling fuse 20 in my car will disable AWD, ABS, DTC, DSC, and EBD.

Should be fuse 26 on N54s.
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