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BMW Driveshaft Bearing Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Driveshaft Bearing Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Prybar, 3 jaw puller, hammer or press, E12, 13mm socket

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 330xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335xi Sedan (2007-08)

Parts Required:

Drive shaft halves of center bearing

Hot Tip:

Remove driveshaft from vehicle to replace center bearing

Performance Gain:

Smooth driveline

Complementary Modification:

Replace Driveshaft flex-disc

The driveshaft on E90 models can be serviced as a unit or individual parts can be replaced. The front and rear sections of the driveshaft can be separated and the center bearing can be removed from the rear section. If you have a vibration in your driveline and have replaced the driveshaft flex-disc and the problem persists, it is time to inspect your center bearing and driveshaft. The center bearing should lack excessive play and spin smooth. The differential end universal joint should move smooth and have no sticky or binding spots. The repair will take most of the day, so be prepared for the time commitment. Be sure you have all the parts and tool you will need before beginning.

This tech article was performed on a rear wheel drive E90. Other models are similar and this article should help you get the job done.

Working at transmission where driveshaft connects, remove three 18mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners.
Figure 1

Working at transmission where driveshaft connects, remove three 18mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners. (green arrows) Using a prybar or large flathead screwdriver, lever driveshaft away from transmission. Support driveshaft using rope or mechanic's wire. You won't need much force to do this. If it won't move, you may have left a bolt in place. If you want to replace the flex-disc, now would be a good time to remove it. Remove the other three 18mm bolts from the flex-disc, then remove the flex-disc from the driveshaft, Remove the complete exhaust system from your vehicle. See our tech article on exhaust system replacing.

Next, you will have to remove the exhaust heat shields.
Figure 2

Next, you will have to remove the exhaust heat shields. Start by removing the front one. Remove one 13mm fastener (blue arrow). Then remove two 10mm fasteners (green arrows) and two 6mm fasteners (yellow arrows).

Then pull the heat shield down and remove from vehicle.
Figure 3

Then pull the heat shield down and remove from vehicle.

Working at the rear heat shield, remove three 10mm fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the rear heat shield, remove three 10mm fasteners (green arrows).

Then remove the rear heat shield from the vehicle.
Figure 5

Then remove the rear heat shield from the vehicle.

Working at the rear of the driveshaft, remove four E12 driveshaft bolts.
Figure 6

Working at the rear of the driveshaft, remove four E12 driveshaft bolts. (green arrows)

Next, you have to remove the two 13mm center bearing fasteners.
Figure 7

Next, you have to remove the two 13mm center bearing fasteners. (green arrow). Be sure to support the driveshaft when you remove the center bearing fasteners so it does not fall. After removing the center bearing fasteners, remove the drive shaft from the vehicle and place it on a solid surface.

Now you can separate the front and rear sections of the driveshaft.
Figure 8

Now you can separate the front and rear sections of the driveshaft. Peel back the sealing boot (green arrow), then mark (yellow arrows) the orientation of the front and rear driveshaft. This will help with reassembly. Once marked, pull the driveshaft apart to separate.

The center bearing can be replaced now.
Figure 9

The center bearing can be replaced now. I like to use a 3-jaw puller to remove the center bearing from the driveshaft. You can do this, or press the bearing off using a shop press. If you are replacing the rear section of driveshaft, you can skip this step. You will have to press the new center bearing onto the new driveshaft, use the next step for that procedure.

To install the new bearing, tap it on using a hammer, this method usually works fine.
Figure 10

To install the new bearing, tap it on using a hammer, this method usually works fine. In some cases you may have to press it on using a shop press.

Install the repaired rear section of driveshaft to the differential, install the four bolts and tighten.
Figure 11

Install the repaired rear section of driveshaft to the differential, install the four bolts and tighten. Then hold the center bearing up against body and install fasteners finger tight. You want the center bearing to rest in about the same location as before. Use the marks on the body from the previous installation. If you leave the front section disconnected, this part is much easier. With the rear installed, the driveshaft is solid and the center bearing can only rest in one place. Tighten center bearing fasteners. Then install front section of driveshaft, match marks you made earlier when reassembling. Make sure dust boot is properly seated. Install flex-disc to drive shaft and transmission, see our tech article on flex disc installing for more info. Reinstall exhaust heat shield and exhaust.

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Comments and Suggestions:
dave Comments: i have a e90 xdrive that has a vibration when it decelerates , front driveshaft was replaced and didnt fix problem. funny thing is if i drive with no front driveshaft or DISCONNECT TRANSFER CASE i do not have the vibration anymore. can this be due to the driveshaft bearing? or anything else or is this a transfer case issue? thanks
October 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you inspected the front drive axles? if gone with the front drivetrain disabled, I would assume the rear components are ok. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
johnny Comments: I have a 2008 bmw 328xi, in the last week i changed my back rotors and pads but i also noticed that when the car accelerates over 40 mph and i take foot off gaswithout braking, the car vibrates also gear stick and car feels unbalanced. can this be due to faulty u joints or driveshaft?
August 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the driveshaft. Check the support bearing and connections at the trans and diff (front and rear shafts). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Wilson Comments: I have a 2006 BMW 330XI. Yesterday when driving in gear 1, under heavy acceleration and high RPM up to redline the car immediately lost power. The vehicle still drives and the clutch still works etc so I am led to believe it's not a clutch issue. However the vehicle has issues accelerating now, RPM's climb slowly and twitch, RPM's will not climb above 3000RPM easily. When the clutch is pressed in the vehicle vibrates excessively, and when the clutch is let out engaged there is a knocking sound coming from the vehicle underneath. Upon inspection the knocking sound seems to be directly center underneath the car.

Does this sound like a drive shaft issue ? Or do these symptoms seem to point to a larger issue at hand ?

All help greatly appreciated !
August 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like a faulty clutch to me. Your vehicle uses an auto adjusting clutch. When they fail there is no warning. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Pokèmin Comments: What do you mean by "if you are replacing rear section of drive shaft, you can skip this step?" On step 9. Do you mean the u joint behind the center bearing. My 07 335i has very noticeable vibration on hard throttle around 75 and up mph. So I am deciding to replace flex disc and center bearing. Should I also need to replace the u joint? Haven't really got time to go under and look. My car just hit 150,000. Owned since 36,000 miles haven't really done anything to it. Except walnut blasting 3 times and new radiator.
July 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if replacing the driveshaft, you won't have to pull the old bearing off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marty Comments: I have a 2006 325xi. I need to replace the front left steering knuckle. The Betley manual is not clear whether I can remove the wheel carrier and hub assembly without destroying the bearing. Can I remove the steering knuckle and hub in one piece, using a press or puller to get it off the driveshaft, without damaging the wheel bearing?
May 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The front axle? You will h ave to press it out using a special tool. See this tech article:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/SUSPEN-Front_Wheel_Bearing_FWD_Replacement/SUSPEN-Front_Wheel_Bearing_FWD_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Matt Comments: Thanks for the dyi. I changed out my bearing along with both the front and rear flex disc. I now have a very noticeable vibration/knocking between 10-15mph. A lot of other dyi's online mention preloading the bearing. What does that mean. I followed the instructions here, did I do something wrong?
December 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The knocking could be a heat shield hitting the driveshaft. The preload is the final step, getting the bearing the same position is was before you removed it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
simon Comments: I was just reading Bentley before I started the repair, and it says there is a bolt. I did the repair last weekend and you're correct, there is nothing holding the two halves together.

Anyway, I replaced my center bearing now I have a deep whine, almost groaning noise and vibrations on heavy acceleration on low speeds. Could this be because of improper preload?
April 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the bearing itself or too much pressure on it (preload). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Xxl Comments: I bought a rear bearing for my bmw e90 and my mechanic says it is the wrong size. Is it possible we have more than one type of rear bearing for bmw e90?
March 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sure. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
simon Comments: Bentley says something about removing a bolt that sercures the front and rear halves of the driveshaft to be able to separate them. From the picture it looks like it's located inside the u-joint. Can you comment on this?
March 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I did not have to remove a bolt to separate them. Are you having trouble separating yours? - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:23:15 AM