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BMW E39 Driveshaft Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Driveshaft Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

6 hours6 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

*****

Tools:

21mm wrenches (2), 16mm wrench, 13mm, 10mm wrench or socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Driveshaft, center bearing, fasteners

Hot Tip:

You will have to put the car into neutral to rotate the driveshaft to get at all the fasteners

Performance Gain:

Eliminate driveline vibration

Complementary Modification:

Exhaust, transmission mounts, center bearing, Guibo flex disc

Your driveshaft is the connection between the horsepower your engine makes and your differential. It helps to be somewhat flexible to absorb some of the driveline vibrations from the engine and the road. Like any component in the car they can all wear out over time and mileage. The BMW driveshaft is a sturdy piece of work but the center bearing can fail and this can cause a driveline vibration. If the rear CV joint wears out the driveshaft the whole driveshaft has to be replaced or at least repaired. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to remove your driveshaft.

In order to replace your driveshaft you need to raise and support the front and rear axles or one whole side of your vehicle. We recommend you lift and support with jack stands both axles of your vehicle because you will be working completely underneath the car. See our tech article on jacking up and supporting your vehicle.

You do not have to remove the exhaust to do this procedure but it is much easier if you do. If you only drop the exhaust a few inches then you will have less room to work and where you will be working is a very uncomfortable position under the car. I like to remove the exhaust, and in this tech article it has been removed.

This photo illustrates underneath the middle of the vehicle looking at where the transmission meets the drive shaft.
Figure 1

This photo illustrates underneath the middle of the vehicle looking at where the transmission meets the drive shaft. Thus is the Guibo flex disc (green arrow) that connects the transmission output flange to the driveshaft.

Support the rear of the transmission with a jack or jack stand so it does not drop too much.
Figure 2

Support the rear of the transmission with a jack or jack stand so it does not drop too much. You may want to use a block of wood to protect the transmission pan from dents.

This photo illustrates underneath the car looking upwards towards the back of the transmission.
Figure 3

This photo illustrates underneath the car looking upwards towards the back of the transmission. You are looking at the transmission mount cross-member. Remove the eight 13mm fasteners (green arrows) that mount the cross-member to the body and the transmission mounts.

This photo illustrates the left side of the cross-member we just unbolted.
Figure 4

This photo illustrates the left side of the cross-member we just unbolted. Remove the wiring harness clips (green arrows) from the cross-member.

Flip down the cross-member and remove the wiring harness clips from the right side of the cross-member.
Figure 5

Flip down the cross-member and remove the wiring harness clips from the right side of the cross-member.

This photo illustrates where the transmission meets the driveshaft.
Figure 6

This photo illustrates where the transmission meets the driveshaft. We are looking at a close up view Guibo flex disc. Remove the three nut and bolt combinations (green arrows) that will separate the driveshaft flange from the Guibo flex disc.

Remove the two 13mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold up the center driveshaft support/center bearing.
Figure 7

Remove the two 13mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold up the center driveshaft support/center bearing. Make a paint mark to position the center bearing in the same place and note the slots on each side (red arrows) these slots must be even to keep the bearing at a right angle to the driveshaft. This will give longer life to your center bearing support.

This photo illustrates the back of the driveshaft where it meets the rear differential.
Figure 8

This photo illustrates the back of the driveshaft where it meets the rear differential. Remove the six 16mm nuts that hold on the CV joint to the differential input flange. It is also a good idea to mark the flange and driveshaft at this point. The mark will help you get it back into the correct location when reinstalling.

Tap on the CV joint with a soft faced mallet in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 9

Tap on the CV joint with a soft faced mallet in the direction of the blue arrow. Do not hit it too hard you should just be trying to separately it from the differential flange a little bit.

Carefully separate the CV joint on the driveshaft from the differential input flange.
Figure 10

Carefully separate the CV joint on the driveshaft from the differential input flange. You do not want to pull the driveshaft without pulling the CV joint as well. If the joint comes apart you will have to reassemble it and you will probably have a driveline vibration from the CV joint ball bearings being in different positions. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Install the CV joint on the differential input flange and tighten the fasteners. Position the front of the drive shaft against the Guibo flex disc and support the center of the driveshaft while installing the center bearing in the body mount. Install the nuts and bolts to mate the Guibo flex disc to the driveshaft flange. Install the transmission mount cross-member in install the exhaust pieces you have removed to gain access. Torque all bolts to specifications as you assemble everything.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:06:01 AM