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All Wheel Drive Transfer Case Mount Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

All Wheel Drive Transfer Case Mount Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

****

Tools:

18mm socket and wrench, flathead screwdriver, prybar, hammer, 13mm socket, press tools

Applicable Models:

BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-05)
BMW 330xi Sedan (2001-05)

Parts Required:

Transfer case mount

Hot Tip:

Read article and locate press tool before beginning

Performance Gain:

Remedy a faulty mount

Complementary Modification:

Replace transfer case transmission fluid

The transmission and transfer case on all-wheel drive E46 models is supported by an aluminum mounting bracket and a rubber insulating mount located inside the transfer case housing. The rubber mount helps to reduce vibration in the drivetrain and body. This solid rubber mount is pressed into the bracket and requires either special tools or some ingenuity to replace. I will show you the quickest way to get this mount swapped out.

This rubber mount fails over time, detaching and creating a poor mounting connection. This results in vibrations and in some cases noises under acceleration and gear direction changes. The problematic rubber mount is located in the transfer case. It usually detaches from the center mounting block. When inspecting the mount, look for detached parts, dry rot or torn rubber. It's easy to inspect the mount, (see picture 1 for information regarding inspecting). When replacing, be sure to read this article to the end. This way you will know what tools and skills are required.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.


The problematic rubber mount (green arrow) is located in the transfer case.
Figure 1

The problematic rubber mount (green arrow) is located in the transfer case. The yellow arrow points to a section of the mount that has detached from the center mounting block. When inspecting the mount, look for detached parts, dry rot or torn rubber.

To replace the mount.
Figure 2

To replace the mount. Start by removing the four 13mm transfer case mount fasteners (green arrows). As you remove them, the transmission will drop down slightly. I like to support it with a jack, then lower it once the bolts are removed. You will have to lower it a bit to gain access to the mount fasteners.

Note the position of the mounting bracket fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 3

Note the position of the mounting bracket fasteners (green arrows). There are two long and two short. This photo shows the locations of the fasteners.

Using an 18mm wrench and an 18mm socket, remove the transfer case mount fastener.
Figure 4

Using an 18mm wrench and an 18mm socket, remove the transfer case mount fastener. Support the bracket while removing, it may fall once fasteners is removed.

This photo shows the center of the rubber mount is detached and slides out with no effort (green arrow).
Figure 5

This photo shows the center of the rubber mount is detached and slides out with no effort (green arrow). This should be attached to the rubber section of the mount.

Once the mount fastener is removed, lower the mounting bracket and remove from the vehicle.
Figure 6

Once the mount fastener is removed, lower the mounting bracket and remove from the vehicle.

To remove the old mount, I like to slowly drive it out using a prybar (green arrow) and a hammer.
Figure 7

To remove the old mount, I like to slowly drive it out using a prybar (green arrow) and a hammer. Work the perimeter of the mount while lightly tapping the prybar. The mount will slowly fall out of the transfer case. Be careful not to damage the transfer case during this process. 

Once the mount is removed, thoroughly clean the mounting bore inside the transfer case.
Figure 8

Once the mount is removed, thoroughly clean the mounting bore inside the transfer case. I prefer to use emery cloth.

Lubricate the new mount and mounting bore using dish soap or a rubber safe lubricant.
Figure 9

Lubricate the new mount and mounting bore using dish soap or a rubber safe lubricant.

Now it is time to install the mount.
Figure 10

Now it is time to install the mount. Start by pressing the mount in as far as it will go by hand, aligning the bottom corner with the transfer case corner.

To press the mount into the transfer case, I used a metal sleeve (green arrow) from a ball joint tool I own and a piece of angle steel (yellow arrow) I drilled a hole in.
Figure 11

To press the mount into the transfer case, I used a metal sleeve (green arrow) from a ball joint tool I own and a piece of angle steel (yellow arrow) I drilled a hole in. I used a threaded rod and two nuts to press the mount into the transfer case. This technique worked quite well and the mount was installed correctly. This doesn't mean it is the best way. BMW does make a special tool to press the bushing in. You can also try to experiment yourself and try a different method.

Install the mounting bracket and fasteners finger tight.
Figure 12

Install the mounting bracket and fasteners finger tight. Lift transmission and transfer case back to into place and install and tighten the fasteners. Then tighten the rubber mount fastener. Reassemble remaining items and double check bushing and bracket installation.






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Comments and Suggestions:
Cody Comments: I took the exhaust off. Even when the tranny was just hanging the exhaust followed. I think I was only able to get the bolt out of the old mount because it was torn and I could rotate the whole assembly internals to get the bolt at an angle with respect to the exhaust.
June 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Cody Comments: So I got the mangled mount out.

Pressed new one in and I CANNOT FOR THE LIFE OF ME get the bolt that connects the bracket to the mount back in.

EXHAUST IN THE WAY. It looks like taking the tail end of theach exhaust off of the manifold piping will suck really bad. Really rusted.

Any thoughts?
June 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bolt has to be in the bracket as you raise it up. Once the holes align, as you raise it, slide the bolt in. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:42:27 AM