Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Driveshaft and Center Support Bearing Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Driveshaft and Center Support Bearing Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets 10mm, 13mm, 18mm, 18mm wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Driveshaft, Driveshaft center bearing, Driveshaft flex-disc fasteners, exhaust gaskets, hardware

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and allow exhaust to cool before beginning

Performance Gain:

Smooth drivetrain

Complementary Modification:

Replace flex-disc (Giubo)

In BMW Z3 models, the driveshaft connects the transmission output shaft at the rear of the transmission to the rear differential. The transmission is mounted to the chassis and the rear differential is mounted to the rear sub frame. The rubber mounts that attach the engine-transmission and sub frame to the chassis have some give so that the drivetrain unit and the differential move slightly in relation to each other; the driveshaft has to have some flex to allow for this movement. At the transmission side, there is a rubber flex-disc, also referred to as a giubo. At the center of the driveshaft there is a support bearing. At the differential end there is a universal joint. 

The flex-disc can be replaced separately and is covered in our tech article on flex-disc replacing. In this tech article, we will cover replacing the driveshaft center bearing and the driveshaft. When servicing the driveshaft it is important to mark the orientation of the connection points before removing. Also replace any self-locking fasteners and gaskets. I am going to illustrate how to replace the driveshaft as a complete unit, then show some steps involved with replacing the center bearing. The center bearing can be replaced with the driveshaft installed. However if you want to use a press and have less experience with this repair, you may want to remove the driveshaft when replacing the bearing. 

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're 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 tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the complete exhaust system. See our tech article on exhaust system removing. 

Working at the transmission mount bracket, remove the18mm vibration absorber fastener, then remove the absorber from the bracket (green arrow).
Figure 1

Working at the transmission mount bracket, remove the18mm vibration absorber fastener, then remove the absorber from the bracket (green arrow).

The green arrows point to the orientation indicator on the flex-disc.
Figure 2

The green arrows point to the orientation indicator on the flex-disc. Before removing note the position and be sure to install replacement flex-disc with arrows in same direction. The arrows should point toward the mounting flanges as shown in this photo. If you plan to leave the flex-disc attached to the transmission during driveshaft removal, you won't have to worry about this step. I always unbolt the two to inspect the flex-disc condition, as replacing isn't much more work and worth doing while in there.

Working at transmission, remove six16mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners.
Figure 3

Working at transmission, remove six16mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners. The green arrows point to the four visible fasteners, there are two more hidden behind the flange. Remove all six.

Using a pry bar or large flathead screwdriver, lever driveshaft away from transmission.
Figure 4

Using a pry bar or large flathead screwdriver, lever driveshaft away from transmission. You won't need much force to do this. If it won't move, you may have left a bolt in place.

Then remove the center heat shield that runs along the driveshaft tunnel.
Figure 5

Then remove the center heat shield that runs along the driveshaft tunnel. Working at the center tunnel heat shield, remove the six 10mm speed nuts (green arrows). Then remove the heat shield from the vehicle. Be careful not to bend or tweak it. It can come in contact with the driveshaft if deformed.

Working at the differential, remove four 16mm driveshaft flange fasteners.
Figure 6

Working at the differential, remove four 16mm driveshaft flange fasteners. The green arrows point to the two visible fasteners, there are two more hidden behind the flange. Remove all four.

Working at the driveshaft support bearing, remove the two 13mm nuts.
Figure 7

Working at the driveshaft support bearing, remove the two 13mm nuts. Then lower the driveshaft and pull it away from the transmission.

Remove the driveshaft from the vehicle.
Figure 8

Remove the driveshaft from the vehicle. If needed use a pry bar or flathead screwdriver to lever flange away from differential. If replacing complete driveshaft, install new driveshaft, replace self-locking fasteners and reassemble vehicle.

To replace the center bearing, start by removing the two 13mm nuts.
Figure 9

To replace the center bearing, start by removing the two 13mm nuts. Then lower the driveshaft and support it using stiff wire. Leave enough room to access the bearing.

Next you have to split the driveshaft in two pieces.
Figure 10

Next you have to split the driveshaft in two pieces. If the driveshaft does not have orientation marks (yellow arrows) make your own to help with reassembling it into the same position. Then loosen the locking nut (green arrow) about 4 turns. This should be enough to separate the driveshaft halves.

I Use a pair of large channel lock pliers to loosen the nut.
Figure 11

I Use a pair of large channel lock pliers to loosen the nut. Work gently, as to not mar the nut.

Pull the front section of driveshaft away from the rear section.
Figure 12

Pull the front section of driveshaft away from the rear section. You can see how the nut was only loosened a few turns.

Now you can remove the locking snap ring from the center bearing.
Figure 13

Now you can remove the locking snap ring from the center bearing. Unlock, then slide it off of the driveshaft splines.

Once the snap ring has been removed, use a brass punch and drive the center bearing off of the driveshaft.
Figure 14

Once the snap ring has been removed, use a brass punch and drive the center bearing off of the driveshaft. If you chose to remove the driveshaft, an alternate method would be to use a bearing separator and press the center bearing off in a shop press. Once removed, gently tap or press the new center bearing onto the driveshaft. Once fully seated, install new snap ring. Then install center support bearing nuts finger tight. Then install driveshaft flex-disc to transmission and tighten fasteners. Then tighten driveshaft flex-disc to driveshaft fasteners. Once flex-disc is tight, preload center bearing to about 1mm toward transmission and tighten the nuts. Finally, install any items you removed to improve access.






Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
IzzyZ3 Comments: Hello, thanks for the great write-up as usual. My 01' Z3 3.0 MT makes a 'clunking' noise when shift from 1st to 2nd--especially if i'm crusing in the neighborhood and shift under 3K RPM. From my internet research dangerous I know it sound like it's the CSB or Gubio. Based on your experience would you suspect either or both of these items to be causing this? Right now , end up shifiting above 3K RPM to minimize this 'clunk'.

Thanks!
November 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would look more toward the mounts or driveshaft. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:07:04 AM