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Replacing Your Flex Disc / Giubo
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Flex Disc / Giubo

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Set of sockets 10mm, 18mm, 18mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 323Ci Coupe/Conv (1999-00)
BMW 323i Sedan/Wagon (1999-00)
BMW 325Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 325i/xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-06)
BMW 328Ci Coupe (1999-00)
BMW 328i Sedan (1999-00)
BMW 330Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2001-06)

Parts Required:

Flex disc, flex disc fasteners, exhaust gaskets and hardware

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Smooth running drivetrain

Complementary Modification:

Upgrade your exhaust system

In BMW E46 models with rear-wheel drive, the driveshaft connects the transmission output shaft at the rear of the transmission to the rear differential. In all-wheel drive models, there are two driveshafts. The rear driveshaft connects the rear output shaft of the transfer case to the rear differential, while the front driveshaft connects the front output shaft of the transfer case to the front differential.

In either case (rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive) the transmission and transfer case are mounted to the chassis. The rear differential is mounted to the rear subframe. The rubber mounts that attach the engine-transmission and subframe to the chassis have some give so that the drivetrain unit and the differential move slightly in relation to each other; the rear driveshaft has to have some flex to allow for this movement. The flex in the driveshaft is provided by the flex-disc between the front of the driveshaft and the rear of the transmission or transfer case output shaft.

The driveshaft flex disc is used to connect the transmission to the driveshaft. It is made of solid rubber and wears out over time. You may experience a drivetrain vibration or shimmy when the E46 flex disc is failing.  If so, inspect your driveshaft flex disc. It should be free from distortion, cracks and have no missing pieces. If you find any of these problems, replace the driveshaft flex disc and the mounting fasteners. This is a very common part that needs replacing. Some BMW flex discs need replacing sooner than others depending on how hard the vehicle is driven. However, over time the rubber will crack or tear regardless. 

To access the driveshaft flex disc, you have to remove the exhaust system and the exhaust heat shield. When replacing, at the minimum, replace the self-locking nuts that attach the driveshaft to the flex disc. I prefer to replace the bolts too. It's a small fee when considering having to do the job twice because old bolts were re-used.

The driveshaft flex disc is also referred to as the giubo.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been 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. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. 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.

Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands. See our Pelican Parts technical article on Jacking Up Your BMW.

Remove the complete E46 exhaust system. See our Pelican Parts technical article on Removing Your Exhaust System.

Remove the heat shield fasteners (green arrows), then remove the heat shield (purple arrow) from the vehicle.
Figure 1

Remove the heat shield fasteners (green arrows), then remove the heat shield (purple arrow) from the vehicle.

Working at the transmission, loosen all six 18mm driveshaft flex disc fasteners.
Figure 2

Working at the transmission, loosen all six 18mm driveshaft flex disc fasteners. These can be very difficult to remove at times, especially if your vehicle has been exposed to a lot of snow, if this is the case use a rust-penetrating lubricant to help loosen the bolts (green arrows).

Next, working at the transmission flange side, remove the three driveshaft flex disc mount fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 3

Next, working at the transmission flange side, remove the three driveshaft flex disc mount fasteners (green arrows).

Pull the driveshaft down away from the transmission.
Figure 4

Pull the driveshaft down away from the transmission. Support the driveshaft using rope or a mechanic's wire and be careful to not drop the driveshaft on any part of your body.

Next, working at the driveshaft, remove the three 18mm driveshaft flex disc mount fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 5

Next, working at the driveshaft, remove the three 18mm driveshaft flex disc mount fasteners (green arrows). Remove the E46 driveshaft flex disc (purple arrow) from vehicle.

Install the new driveshaft flex disc onto your driveshaft and install the fasteners finger tight. Then install the driveshaft flex disc to transmission and tighten the fasteners. Then tighten the driveshaft flex disc to the driveshaft fasteners. Finally, install any items you removed to improve access to your flex disc.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Dave Comments: If you have drive line vibration be sure to check the giubo, center support bearing and u-joints on the drive shaft. I just had the u-joint at the rear diff go on me at 250,000km.
October 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
falkor Comments: what about the bearing?
are these giubos manufactured with the bearing already installed?

what are other things to perform while we're in this area?
July 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The flex-discs are rubber and come with metals sleeves for the fasteners.


Complementary Modification: Upgrade your exhaust system - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Pedant001-says-haveaniceday! Comments: GIUBO because it is a joint or "giunto" invented by Antonio Boschi. Giu-Bo not "guibo". c.f. wikipedia and other sources.

March 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, we are familiar. This is a common typo. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:20:19 AM