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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > SOLVED E90 335xi Shudder on Acceleration ó Totally Stumped!



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      07-06-2019, 06:27 PM   #1
toshiw
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SOLVED E90 335xi Shudder on Acceleration ó Totally Stumped!

Hi everyone ó I have a 2007 e90 335xi acceleration shudder issue that I have been trying to solve for a couple months. Iíve done extensive research, many repairs and am totally stumped! Iím hoping that an expert out there can point me in the right direction.

SYMPTOMS:
The car shows classic symptoms of a bad transfer case ó very noticeable vibration / shudder / shake in high torque situations at all speeds and RPMs. When the transfer case actuator is disconnected and the car is RWD only, the problem completely disappears. Following the SI B27 04 15 bulletin, this seemed to point directly to the transfer case. However, I have now replaced the transfer case twice and the issue remains. OEM transfer case fluid was used and the actuator was re-initialized after replacement. There is no MIL light and no codes present.


REPAIRS:
I have a skilled independent mechanic working on the car. He started by diagnosing the driveline and in the process replaced the following: rear differential, rear drive shaft, center support bearing, gumbo, front driveshaft. This eliminated some driveline noise I was experiencing but did not resolve the shuddering issue.

I purchased the car with the shudder issue present and the previous owner made some repairs in an attempt to find a solution. His repairs included: motor mounts, front cv axles (non-oem), factory spec tires. In addition the motor was completely rebuilt in the last 30k miles with all new accessories.

The car has KW V1 coil overs and a mechanic told the previous owner that he should revert back to OEM suspension and OEM front axles.

CONCLUSION:
Given that the issue goes away when the actuator is disconnected, it seems to me that the engine can be totally ruled out of the equation. I have a 2006 330xi in addition to the 335xi so if you have any diagnostic suggestions that involves a comparison, that option is available.

I was going to start looking into the carís software to see if at some point a tuner tweaked the AWD power distribution ó this seems like a stretch but Iím getting a bit desperate and it seems like something worth ruling out. I am considering purchasing the xDelete software that can flash the ECU between AWD and RWD.

I really love this car and am set on fixing it, Iíve seen a lot of posts on this issue but nothing quite describing my situation. Iím happy to document and provide any info that comes to light as a result of my efforts and I hope that this might help others in the future.

Thanks kindly in advance!

Last edited by toshiw; 09-22-2019 at 07:37 PM..
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      07-08-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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Have you checked the front axle assemblies again? You mentioned they were replaced, but I would look again. Also, has there been an alignment since the suspension install? Tires/wheels balanced?
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      07-08-2019, 08:37 PM   #3
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The front axles were replaced twice by the previous and I haven't checked them again. I know there's a post by rothwem that was resolved by replacing the axles, with is where I think the previous owner got the idea.

I'm curious as to whether rothwem symptoms went away when the transfer case was unplugged.

The symptoms completely disappear when the transfer case is unplugged.

The tires were replaced with stock spec tires and were balanced at the time of install. Alignment is a good thought but there is no uneven wear on the tires and they've been on for several thousand miles. I've swapped wheels with my 330xi and there's no symptomatic relief.

There is one thing my mechanic has been asking me about. There is a service menu in his scanner under th Service Menu that deals with the x-drive clutch wear indicator. Apparently this is a setting that allows for manual entry of a number. Does anyone have any clue what this is?

This weekend I'm planning to take the car to a tuner to have all the modules flashed to stock. He's also going to install xDelete and play with the AWD distribution.

Will update soon. Thanks for all your help.
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      07-09-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiw View Post
The front axles were replaced twice by the previous and I haven't checked them again. I know there's a post by rothwem that was resolved by replacing the axles, with is where I think the previous owner got the idea.

I'm curious as to whether rothwem symptoms went away when the transfer case was unplugged.

The symptoms completely disappear when the transfer case is unplugged.

The tires were replaced with stock spec tires and were balanced at the time of install. Alignment is a good thought but there is no uneven wear on the tires and they've been on for several thousand miles. I've swapped wheels with my 330xi and there's no symptomatic relief.

There is one thing my mechanic has been asking me about. There is a service menu in his scanner under th Service Menu that deals with the x-drive clutch wear indicator. Apparently this is a setting that allows for manual entry of a number. Does anyone have any clue what this is?

This weekend I'm planning to take the car to a tuner to have all the modules flashed to stock. He's also going to install xDelete and play with the AWD distribution.

Will update soon. Thanks for all your help.
I think you're misunderstanding what happened in that thread.

I had shuddering like you're describing, and I was able to fix it by replacing the transfer case fluid. Since you've replaced your transfer case, I don't think that's the issue.

There was a different thread with Efthreeoh where his drive-line vibration was fixed by replacing the driveshaft. I think he also replaced the rear CVs, but that didn't fix the problem. I posted in that thread because I used to work in an axle plant, but I never did any axle replacements on my car.

Since your problem goes away when the transfer case actuator is unplugged, it obviously has something to do with the transfer case. Its likely not drive-line related, since that stuff is all spinning all the time, it just receives power when the TC module tells it to.

It sounds like you're on the right track with the TC programming, it is possible that its either bad, or someone messed with it. That's really all I can think of as far as troubleshooting goes.
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      07-10-2019, 10:00 PM   #5
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Thanks rothwem you’re right, I was getting it confused with another thread I saw by xthejuicex where he put a go pro under his car. The shudder in my car seems very similar to this but I haven’t put a camera under my car yet.

I’ll know more this weekend. Thanks guys
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      07-10-2019, 10:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiw View Post
The front axles were replaced twice by the previous and I haven't checked them again. I know there's a post by rothwem that was resolved by replacing the axles, with is where I think the previous owner got the idea.

I'm curious as to whether rothwem symptoms went away when the transfer case was unplugged.

The symptoms completely disappear when the transfer case is unplugged.

The tires were replaced with stock spec tires and were balanced at the time of install. Alignment is a good thought but there is no uneven wear on the tires and they've been on for several thousand miles. I've swapped wheels with my 330xi and there's no symptomatic relief.

There is one thing my mechanic has been asking me about. There is a service menu in his scanner under th Service Menu that deals with the x-drive clutch wear indicator. Apparently this is a setting that allows for manual entry of a number. Does anyone have any clue what this is?

This weekend I'm planning to take the car to a tuner to have all the modules flashed to stock. He's also going to install xDelete and play with the AWD distribution.

Will update soon. Thanks for all your help.
For that number entry, there should be a number engraved in the case you have to enter.
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      07-11-2019, 07:56 AM   #7
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Weird thought, have you looked to see if the correct ratio was used when they swapped the diff? That would kill a transfer case quickly, but it would probably last a couple hundred miles before the clutch packs were roasted. It would explain the premature second and third transfer case deaths.

Last edited by rothwem; 07-11-2019 at 08:16 AM..
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      07-11-2019, 06:37 PM   #8
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Have you checked motor mounts? Passenger side is common culprit

Edit: Nevermind I see those were replaced
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      07-11-2019, 08:07 PM   #9
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Thatís a good thought re the differentials. One of the first things my mechanic replaced was the rear diff because there were some whining noise and stickinesses. I made sure to purchase the correct rear diff with a 3.08 ratio. My mechanic spun the front driveshaft and measured the wheel rotations and the ratio was a tad past 3.0. I accepted this as good but I havenít confirmed by looking at the stamp on the case - apparently it is not super easy to access but I havenít looked into it. Since I have a comprehensive receipt log on the car and thereís no record of a front diff replacement I havenít looked further but itís on my list of possible culprits.

A good resource for differential ratios for anyone looking:

http://www.bokchoys.com/differential/GearRatios.htm

Thanks again
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      07-12-2019, 10:40 PM   #10
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I met the tuner today who was really great - for anyone in the nyc nj area heíd be a great resource Iím happy to share. Long story short he checked through dealer software and many others for any stored codes, flashed my transfer case and generally poked around to look for any anomalies on monitors while driving. Unfortunately the issue is still unresolved. Iím considering buying a replacement awd module just to rule it out completely (theyíre less than a hundred on eBay) but I have my doubts.

I got a chance to drive the car for a while on my way home and thereís definitely shuddering on deceleration as well as acceleration.

My next step is to buy xdelete and start playing with it but that seems like a superficial cure at best.

Any one else have any ideas? My tuner didnít know what the clutch wear indicator input was and Iím still totally clueless as to what it is. There are no references to it online.
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      09-22-2019, 07:40 PM   #11
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Hi everyone - I'm super happy to report that the issue has been resolved and that the culprit was in fact the CV axles. Thank you all so much for your help - it's because of my research on these forums and your helpful feedback that I was able to finally solve this!

The most surprising thing about this is that I had replaced one of the CV axles with a used OEM part and the other side with a new Cardone part and when the vibration only got 50% better, I replaced the Cardone side with a used OEM. The conclusion I am drawing is that: OEM CV AXLES are a must!
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      09-22-2019, 09:50 PM   #12
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Without getting into the question of what manufacturers do provide acceptable replacement axles, I'm just going to explain that Cardone products, new or reman, are all garbage and have no place on a BMW or any other car that is going to be driven.
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      09-23-2019, 04:34 PM   #13
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I'll remember to use OE CV as well.
Did the CV boot tear when it went out or just no tear but bad inside?
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      10-03-2019, 09:42 PM   #14
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Thanks for the post toshiw. Had similar issue with vibrations on acceleration few weeks ago. Didn't see your post yet and replaced passenger side axle with oem donor from eeeebay and vibration is gone.

I could feel and hear clicking when twisting or pulling axle on both sides. The donor part had no play at all.
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      10-16-2019, 12:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dima420 View Post
Thanks for the post toshiw. Had similar issue with vibrations on acceleration few weeks ago. Didn't see your post yet and replaced passenger side axle with oem donor from eeeebay and vibration is gone.

I could feel and hear clicking when twisting or pulling axle on both sides. The donor part had no play at all.
Does the axle just pull out from the diff with some force? I need to replace mine eventually.
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      10-16-2019, 08:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antetokounmpo View Post
Does the axle just pull out from the diff with some force? I need to replace mine eventually.
I used big flat head screwdriver and just pryed it out. Stick it between motor mounted part and the axle. Not to much force used.
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      10-17-2019, 06:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antetokounmpo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dima420 View Post
Thanks for the post toshiw. Had similar issue with vibrations on acceleration few weeks ago. Didn't see your post yet and replaced passenger side axle with oem donor from eeeebay and vibration is gone.

I could feel and hear clicking when twisting or pulling axle on both sides. The donor part had no play at all.
Does the axle just pull out from the diff with some force? I need to replace mine eventually.
Yeah it's not in there too tight. More of a suction with the axle shaft seal.
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