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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > XI clunking?



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      02-02-2016, 03:19 AM   #1
stelvio
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XI clunking?

Hello, all.

Vehicle: 2006 BMW 325xi 6spd 165,000 miles

So I have an annoying clunking in the drivetrain when I turn [does it more when I turn right but it does it when I turn left also] at about 20-50% of lock while under ~30% throttle. It feels like the car is skipping a gear or something. This does not happen when I give it more throttle. If the vehicle is rolling in neutral and I put in same amount of steering lock and give it throttle, something feels like it's bouncing around underneath.

I disconnected the front driveshaft and in turn 'solved' the issue. Albeit driving without a front driveshaft is very much a temporary situation, I will continue to do so until I correctly identify the issue.

I have:
changed front passenger-side axle which I believed to be bad [no difference]
changed front passenger-side engine mount [no difference]
checked for excessive play in mounts [does not seem to be the case]

Could it be the transfer case? If so, why would it do it only when the front driveshaft is connected and not when it doesn't load front wheels?

Could it be the front diff?

I hope someone can shed some light on this as it would be very much appreciated.
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      02-02-2016, 09:55 AM   #2
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I have had to replace my transfer case in the past, there is a small PLASTIC gear in the xcase motor that engages and disengages the front wheels, and it wears down. There are some quicker fixes if that is all, unfortunately mine was a full replacement.

If you disengage the drive shaft and the problem goes away, that is very similar to what I was experiencing and how the dealer narrowed down the issue for my car. Possibly when turning, your left/right wheels demand more power from the AWD and thus more of a clunking noise?

Could also be your CV joints, that was my first thouht until you said you replaced the side axels.
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      02-02-2016, 10:18 AM   #3
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If its worse turning right its actually probably coming from the drivers side axle since it is under more load. I would start there for sure. Definitely sounds like a CV joint, odd about the "bouncing" feeling when in neutral though....could be a larger issue
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      02-02-2016, 11:13 AM   #4
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I have the same thing, a clunk only when turning left though. Could it be the inner/outer tie rods?
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      02-02-2016, 11:23 AM   #5
blown07
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This actually sounds like "torque bind" to me where the transfer case clutches are getting more force from the actuator then they should so the transfer case is not allowing the wheel on the outside of the turn to rotate freely at a faster speed. I had a similar problem so I setup the BMW DIS software that allows you to reset the transfer case adaptions (I did this after I changed the TC oil). DIS is the only software that will do this and was a real pain to get going and use.
This made a big improvement but I still have a small shudder in the front end only when accelerating and turning left at slow speeds and only when the car is cold. If I hold the steering wheel in one spot say at 90% of max turn in a parking lot and give it some gas I will get this shudder. Does it with and without the transfer case actuator fuse pulled so I'm lost.
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      02-02-2016, 12:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SM335i View Post
I have the same thing, a clunk only when turning left though. Could it be the inner/outer tie rods?
if the clunk is rotational it wouldnt be the tie rods, its more likely a cv joint on the front shaft opposite of the direction you are turning.
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      02-02-2016, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niquehawk5 View Post
if the clunk is rotational it wouldnt be the tie rods, its more likely a cv joint on the front shaft opposite of the direction you are turning.
how hard is the DIY? and how can I tell for sure if its the CV joint? thanks
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      02-02-2016, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SM335i View Post
how hard is the DIY? and how can I tell for sure if its the CV joint? thanks
DIY all depends on your familiarity with replacing a front axle.....its fairly simple if you are good mechanically and have done that type of thing before, but it can be tough without the right tools or know how.

As far as testing the joint, you can get under the car where you have access to the shaft and inspect the boot for any tears or dry rot, and grab the shaft near the knuckle and see if there is any excessive play in the joint that could cause binding. The popping, clunking, noise you are hearing is binding in the joint. Hope this helps.
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      02-02-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
stelvio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWysong View Post
I have had to replace my transfer case in the past, there is a small PLASTIC gear in the xcase motor that engages and disengages the front wheels, and it wears down. There are some quicker fixes if that is all, unfortunately mine was a full replacement.

If you disengage the drive shaft and the problem goes away, that is very similar to what I was experiencing and how the dealer narrowed down the issue for my car. Possibly when turning, your left/right wheels demand more power from the AWD and thus more of a clunking noise?

Could also be your CV joints, that was my first thouht until you said you replaced the side axels.
Yeah this doesn't sound too great...

Quote:
Originally Posted by niquehawk5 View Post
If its worse turning right its actually probably coming from the drivers side axle since it is under more load. I would start there for sure. Definitely sounds like a CV joint, odd about the "bouncing" feeling when in neutral though....could be a larger issue
It doesn't feel like it's coming from the driver's side though..

Quote:
Originally Posted by SM335i View Post
I have the same thing, a clunk only when turning left though. Could it be the inner/outer tie rods?
Definitely not the tie rods, they're in good shape and wouldn't cause a clunking this severe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blown07 View Post
This actually sounds like "torque bind" to me where the transfer case clutches are getting more force from the actuator then they should so the transfer case is not allowing the wheel on the outside of the turn to rotate freely at a faster speed. I had a similar problem so I setup the BMW DIS software that allows you to reset the transfer case adaptions (I did this after I changed the TC oil). DIS is the only software that will do this and was a real pain to get going and use.
This made a big improvement but I still have a small shudder in the front end only when accelerating and turning left at slow speeds and only when the car is cold. If I hold the steering wheel in one spot say at 90% of max turn in a parking lot and give it some gas I will get this shudder. Does it with and without the transfer case actuator fuse pulled so I'm lost.
My XI is mechanical, it is not X-Drive so there's no software involved here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SM335i View Post
how hard is the DIY? and how can I tell for sure if its the CV joint? thanks
It's not very difficult. I'm currently working on putting a video together for a DIY. Very straight forward.
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      02-02-2016, 08:34 PM   #10
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Your xi is mechanical, and not xdrive? What does that even mean? Theyre both one and the same.

If your transfer case has a motor on it with wiring and harnesses, then there is software involved, hence not completely "mechanical".
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      02-03-2016, 06:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhillon92 View Post
Your xi is mechanical, and not xdrive? What does that even mean? Theyre both one and the same.

If your transfer case has a motor on it with wiring and harnesses, then there is software involved, hence not completely "mechanical".
Whoooops. I was told by a mechanic that the XI is analog** [only mechanical] but the XDrive has a computer-controlled transfer case/diffs that can choose where to give the power...
oops?
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      02-04-2016, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stelvio View Post
Whoooops. I was told by a mechanic that the XI is analog** [only mechanical] but the XDrive has a computer-controlled transfer case/diffs that can choose where to give the power...
oops?
you should not be going to that mechanic anymore.
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      02-04-2016, 04:29 PM   #13
stelvio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoralRed335XI View Post
you should not be going to that mechanic anymore.
Yeah it was from a 'mechanic' on a thread...
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      02-08-2016, 01:24 PM   #14
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I had clunks - light bucking when turning, say after a stop sign. My Indy changed the transfer case fluid and reset adaptations on the transfer case. Completely eliminated the issue. Maybe worth a shot. This is on an 07 335xi 6MT with 114k miles.
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      02-18-2016, 05:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CWysong View Post
I have had to replace my transfer case in the past, there is a small PLASTIC gear in the xcase motor that engages and disengages the front wheels, and it wears down. There are some quicker fixes if that is all, unfortunately mine was a full replacement.

If you disengage the drive shaft and the problem goes away, that is very similar to what I was experiencing and how the dealer narrowed down the issue for my car. Possibly when turning, your left/right wheels demand more power from the AWD and thus more of a clunking noise?

Could also be your CV joints, that was my first thouht until you said you replaced the side axels.
Have you physically inspected your worm gear in the TC?

Because the worm gear on these models is metal....

The plastic worm gear was on earlier X3/X5 models.
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      02-18-2016, 06:09 PM   #16
stelvio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotthureau View Post
I had clunks - light bucking when turning, say after a stop sign. My Indy changed the transfer case fluid and reset adaptations on the transfer case. Completely eliminated the issue. Maybe worth a shot. This is on an 07 335xi 6MT with 114k miles.
Anyone know how to change adaptations on transfer case?

Quote:
Originally Posted by matteblue3er View Post
Have you physically inspected your worm gear in the TC?

Because the worm gear on these models is metal....

The plastic worm gear was on earlier X3/X5 models.
I have not opened anything up yet. But are you referring to the gear in the actuator motor that is part of the Transfer Case?
If so, I would like to politely ask where you got that information from?

BMW E90 TC Actuator Part #: 27107546671
BMW E83 TC Actuator Part #: 27107566296

Those are the ACTUATOR part numbers for X3's & E90's and they clearly do not match and I'm almost inclined to believe you...
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      02-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #17
matteblue3er
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stelvio View Post
Anyone know how to change adaptations on transfer case?



I have not opened anything up yet. But are you referring to the gear in the actuator motor that is part of the Transfer Case?
If so, I would like to politely ask where you got that information from?

BMW E90 TC Actuator Part #: 27107546671
BMW E83 TC Actuator Part #: 27107566296

Those are the ACTUATOR part numbers for X3's & E90's and they clearly do not match and I'm almost inclined to believe you...
Adaptations and fluid life interval can be reset via ISTA /D. Not sure if INPA is capable or not.

If I had a photo I would post it but I have dissembled a couple TC actuators here at the shop I work for and E9x have been metal worm gears.

This is an article referring to the X3/X5 chassis with plastic worm gear.
http://hubpages.com/autos/BMW-Transf...roblem-And-Fix

Here's a thread about the E9x TC actuator motor:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?p=12962481

And in post #151, a member confirms the worm gear is metal....picture links are broken though.
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=151
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