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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > DTC/ABS/4x4 warnings but.... want to bench test



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      05-19-2019, 08:19 AM   #1
Rockon
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DTC/ABS/4x4 warnings but.... want to bench test

So I know the comments will be to check the transfer case actuator.
Here is where I am at.

Got the trifecta during a trip, but car still drove fine and got me home.
I think I can hear the slight clicking in the area of the transfer case/motor but who knows...

I pulled the transfer case servo unit/motor.

1.) Work gear looks ok.
2.) Gear it interacts with looks ok - concave shape and teeth look ok.
3.) With the motor/worm gear and gear unit split, I can spin the motor/worm gear freely.
4.) I can spin the gears freely as well.
5.) When bolted together I can't spin it at all - too much resistance/feels locked.

Maybe this gear interaction is normal based on the force multiplication between the two gear, but I don't know? Is normal or should I be able to turn over the system?

As the gears look good, before I buy a new one for install, I'd like to bench test it to see if just the motor is shot.

Hopefully it's not the whole transfer case, but I'm assuming I'd have other issue if it was (locked front diff, noises when driving, no rear wheel power, etc).

Anybody had a motor go and the gears were fine and the car threw the same typical codes for this?

Thx
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      05-20-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
Rockon
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No one wishes to comment on a bench test for the motor?

Thx
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      05-21-2019, 05:57 AM   #3
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Sorry man I don't know how to bench test..
I had some issue replaced motor and still no luck..
when I drained fluid I could see specs of maybe brass ..replaced transfer case then put new motor in than have to set up..
if you have DIS V44 V57 SSS V32 one of those you need if you change the motor..
And with that software you should be able to test your motor and that will let you know ..
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      05-21-2019, 07:12 PM   #4
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Ok thanks.
A new/used actuator is $150-200.

I can get a full transfer case with the actuator for $300-325 shipped off a <90k mike car so may just be the easiest to do. Swap the motor first and if that's it good to go and sell Transfer case for cheap.

If it doesn't fix it, swap the case...
My Indy said motor failed electrical tests and offered $1,100 motor and fluid change or TC swap (used) $1,400 as I have a small leak.

On the VS, you are talking about the EEC version? I only have a Fox well scanner so don't know about functionality.
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      05-22-2019, 08:52 AM   #5
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When my actuator failed, I could hear it click a few times outside the car I think right after I started the engine and then the warning light would come on and the clicking was gone (since it was disabled essentially). It was easiest to hear in an enclosed space like a garage. I wouldn't bother with a used one since it's a part that fails somewhat commonly.
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      05-22-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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Yes I can hear the sounds, but I have taken it apart and the normal clicking I though was the gears not engaging due to wear.

In my case, the worm gear and planetary gears look fine.

So this is why I'd like to test just the electric motor on the actuator.

My car has 180k so want to rule this out first as it is possible it's the Transfer Care given the mileage. Getting an actuator and/or TC off a wrenched <90k mike car is an option I'm willing to consider for cost reasons. Only looking to get another 20k miles and 12 months out of the car.
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      05-24-2019, 10:16 AM   #7
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i took mine out replaced the worm gear which was worn but not too much - I could not rotate the motor while together either as you have seen - when I took my motor out and spun it by hand it had a notch in the spin - I wonder if yours spun freely? I think my issue was with motor not worm gear, worm gear was worn a bit (85kmiles) but should still have worked in hindsight.

Anyway, I put new worm gear in and it worked for a few days, but i got the codes again - and could not calibrate again.

I then put in a new servo motor/actuator (new for around $200) and no problems since.

I would probably recommend going that route next if the gears look ok.

I never did a spin test - but you can activate the servo motor through ISTA-D - you have to remove it but leave the electrical connector on obviously - it activates it for 20 seconds, you would be able to see it spin.

BTW - I stupidly activated the motor while still installed, at least once while learning ISTA-D - NOT RECOMMENDED - probably squishes the clutch plate and could do damage I imagine.
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      05-24-2019, 11:01 AM   #8
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Thanks.

So yes based on your response now, maybe I will go actuator motor first as it's an easy swap.

The motor spins, but it's not smooth. Definitely had a pulse feel but wasn't sure it that was normal based on where the brushes/magnets are.

Where did you find just the motor or did you swap the whole actuator assembly!

Based on Indy shop quoting the actuator job and TC swap separately, I will move forward and assume this is the issue.
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      05-24-2019, 11:53 AM   #9
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I bought a new one from rockauto - no complaints - about $200 for whole actuator, I ran ISTA-D adaptions/service function before I even started it, recommend doing that too.
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      05-24-2019, 11:58 AM   #10
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I just checked for prices and damn looks like price went up - $323 now at rockatuo..
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      05-24-2019, 12:00 PM   #11
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Ok thanks.

I don't have the BMW software only a Foxwell 910 which can do a lot but not sure on this.

Thx I'd rather go new than used.
Even used ones are $200+
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      05-25-2019, 05:43 PM   #12
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Ok so here's the latest:
Got a full TC with Actuator less than 90k miles

First in the hope that it was just the motor, i swapped Actuator only - put on the resistor from my actuator as I read they are matched to TC, then I cleared codes.

Now there is noticeable grinding noise.

I'm wondering since I swapped and cleared the codes the actuator was working again and actuating the clutches hence the noise now. Before I messed with it, I could drive it find with the warming lights on.

Now I have 55C3 limp mode and also 54C4 VTG calibration faulty.

I'm gonna swap the actuator back to the TC I bought and spend 1 more day on swapping the TC. That has to be it I guess at this point.

Thoughts?
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      05-28-2019, 05:35 PM   #13
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sorry man usually if you have software to run calibration and it won't toasted tc replace and then make sure to flush fluid before installing ..
Then need to calibrate before anything.. you will hear it going thru the process under your car
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      05-28-2019, 05:37 PM   #14
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I have my old laptop with everything reloaded .. have not tried hooking it up to see if connects.. I also have protocol I think does it if yours does not I am in bloomfield right over the mountain.. hmu if you need me
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      05-28-2019, 06:39 PM   #15
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Can you successfully run a calibration - with ISTA-D?
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      05-29-2019, 09:06 AM   #16
Rockon
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Cjbimmer thx I will contact you once the TC is in.

Another thing: there is an arm and gear (that the actuator gear engages) right inside the opening for the actuator.

In my TC, I moved that with a screwdriver and there is 0 resistance on it and it moves very freely. Thinking this is not right as based off diagrams this actuated the clutches so..... going to confirm this by looking at the TC I'm swapping in.

I will reach out for some calibration help once it's in before I start her up again. It's my last go around or it's going to salvage

Thx for the help.
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      05-29-2019, 09:12 AM   #17
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"In my TC, I moved that with a screwdriver and there is 0 resistance on it and it moves very freely. Thinking this is not right as based off diagrams this actuated the clutches so..... going to confirm this by looking at the TC I'm swapping in."

Yes, I believe this s is a sign that your TC can not be activated regardless what the actuator motor does - If you can spin that you need to replace the TC.

If you do manage to get ISTA-D there is a service function to follow for replacing the TC which includes all calibration steps, not sure you needed.
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      05-29-2019, 11:28 AM   #18
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Thx agreed.

So read I will need exhaust nuts (4x) and maybe an trans input seal. Anything else needed that may break (exhaust hangers, bolts, etc) Tc I have doesn't look to have any output shaft pinion leaks.

Also, what do people recommend a flush with. Don't really want to do it with the $60 BMW fluid. Can I get some GL-4 from Autozone for the flush part?
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      05-29-2019, 04:31 PM   #19
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If your car has stock down pipes mine took awhile to get off first time..now I have after market..
I wanted to save the bolts coming of dp.. would have been easier for me to grind bolt nuts off with grinder and then drill out and get good bolts to replace with when reinstalling exhaust..
also gaskets yours will not de reusable..
and to flush fluid i just drain transfer case that I had out of car and then put plug on..
I added a very little fluid and rotated around drained .. mine looked really clean had real low miles.. My cell 860 392 9722 I think my pro tool will do same thing but grabbed my old laptop charging it will hook up to my car make sure still connects to dis 44 that's what I used long time ago and went thru all the steps syncing transfer case and actuator if pro tool wont also don't forget the resister if I remember you had a code for that..
I had bought new actuator and came with one ... Curtis
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      05-29-2019, 04:59 PM   #20
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K Roger that...

Bolts, nuts, gaskets at a min.
And maybe the input shaft seal.

Will order tonight and will be my Sat project.

Thanks for the contact info.
I would appreciate the help.

Thx
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      07-01-2019, 04:09 PM   #21
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So I got the trifecta and am hoping it's just the battery gone south... battery is 6 years old, and the last one was replaced at 6 years old.

After I first got the trifecta, the next time I drove the car, it didn't come on for 10-15 minutes/4-5 miles; that was a couple months ago so I just parked it. It's been on a battery tender. I tried the car again today and didn't get the lights immediately, but much sooner than the last time I drove the car, just after a mile or so. I think I heard ticking today but I wasn't sure if that was the normal motor ticking, a little louder than usual due to sitting.

Anyway... my question is -

Is it bad for the car, does it damage anything, to drive it in trifecta-lights mode? I assume it just puts the car in solid "you're on your own" RWD mode but it's defeated everything that's already potentially broken, right? I don't intend to drive it much - if at all - only to the shop to get a battery installed and see what happens and take it from there.
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      07-03-2019, 01:29 AM   #22
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Need help, don't hate me for asking I'm stumped.

Alright guys please don't hate me, for asking this. I've spent the last two weeks researching and trying different methods and buying things for test and crap and I'm literally at a wall. So after scanning my car I got these codes, I've tried most of the ideas and still can't find the problem. Here's the stats. 2008 328xi coupe sport package. 92k miles

So today was my final two things to try, and all my lights are still on. But I'm willing to try more things if you guys wanna suggest more but today I changed the spark plugs, and ignitions coils, also do the differential changes for both front and back, and car still makes the noise like a jet whinding down when I brake, (oh those were done last week) I tested my transfer case actuator with the red and black prong thing and it read 1 so that means it was not a bad tcaseactuator (léase that's what the site said) here's the codes.

Dynamische Stabilitaets Kontrolle / DSC
Fault Code: 005F39
Fault Explanation: istribution transmission ECU: VG - clutch position unknown. / Distribution transmission ECU: clutch position unknown. / Distribution transmission ECU: VG Disorder - clutch position unknown --- (DSC: Transfer Case: internal) / Distribution transmission ECU: VG clutch defective - clutch position unknown

Then i also got AWD - CC - ID 370
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