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      09-21-2021, 01:59 PM   #1
juxtap0se
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Drives: 2011 328xi Wagon
Join Date: Sep 2021
Location: Minneapolis

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2011 328xi Transfer Case - Diagnosing Issues

Hello all,
2011 328xi 6MT Wagon 81k miles - rebuilt title.

Since buying the car a few months ago I've started to notice a vibration/rumbling sound and slight loss of power when shifting into 3rd gear around 1800-2200 rpm. It clears up afer a couple seconds of acceleration and doesn't seem to happen if I shift into 3rd at lower rpms (maybe 1200-1500) and then accelerate from there. I've had no codes come up at all.

Based on research I'm thinking there could be a xfer case problem. Today I pulled the transfer case actuator fuse (F40) and was unable to replicate the issue after about 15 minutes of driving. 4 X 4 warning light came on immediately but the car drove better overall.

I mention the rebuilt title because I'm wondering if it could have been towed incorrectly after the accident, damaging some of the transfer case components. From what I understand the actuator has plastic gears, which are probably made that way in order to fail and not do damage to other parts when something bad is happening.

I've already done some other recent maintenance items to rule those out/for fun.
-Plugs and coils
-Engine filter/Clean MAF
-Clean and swap VANOS actuators
-Clean VANOS check valves
-Fuel injector cleaner
-Oil change and filter

My questions:
- Is driving with the transfer case fuse removed safe for the components for more than just a quick test? I'm assuming this disables dynamically sending power to certain wheels so it may be less safe in terms of traction and stability.
- Is any more diagnosis possible without getting in there to remove and check the gears or putting in a new actuator?

Thanks!
Appreciate 0