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Rear Driveshaft Flex-Disc Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Driveshaft Flex-Disc Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

****

Tools:

18mm socket, 16mm wrench, pry bar, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Driveshaft flex-disc and driveshaft flex-disc fasteners

Hot Tip:

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

Performance Gain:

Smooth drivetrain

Complementary Modification:

Replace bolts for flex-disc

In BMW E53 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.

The transmission and transfer case are mounted to the chassis and the rear differential is mounted to the rear subframe. The rubber mounts that attach the engine-transmission and the 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 flex disc is made of solid rubber and wears out over time. You may experience a drivetrain vibration or shimmy. If so, inspect your driveshaft flex-disc. It should be free from distortion, cracks and tears, and have no missing pieces. If you find any of these problems, replace the driveshaft flex-disc and mounting fasteners. When replacing, at the minimum, replace the self-locking nuts that attach the driveshaft flex-disc. I prefer to replace the bolts too. The driveshaft flex-disc is also referred to as the Giubo.

In this tech article, I will show you how to replace the rear flex-disc.

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.

The flex-disc (red arrow) is just out of sight and is tucked above and forward of the transmission cross member, connecting the driveshaft (green arrow) to the transfer case (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

The flex-disc (red arrow) is just out of sight and is tucked above and forward of the transmission cross member, connecting the driveshaft (green arrow) to the transfer case (yellow arrow).

The bottom red arrow points to the orientation indicator on the flex-disc.
Figure 2

The bottom red arrow points to the orientation indicator on the flex-disc. Before removing, note the position and be sure to install the replacement flex-disc with the arrows showing in the same direction. The arrows should point toward the mounting flanges as shown in this photo. I like to make my own marks (red arrows) to help when reinstalling.

Place the transmission in neutral.
Figure 3

Place the transmission in neutral. Working at the transmission, remove the three 18mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners. The red arrows points to two fasteners, while one is out of sight. Counterhold the nut while loosening the bolt.

Next, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft away from the flex-disc (red arrow).
Figure 4

Next, use a pry bar to lever the driveshaft away from the flex-disc (red arrow).

Now it is time to remove the remove the final three 18mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 5

Now it is time to remove the remove the final three 18mm driveshaft flex-disc fasteners (red arrows). Counterhold the nut while loosening the bolt.

Working at the driveshaft support bearing, mark the location of the driveshaft center support bearing (inset).
Figure 6

Working at the driveshaft support bearing, mark the location of the driveshaft center support bearing (inset). Then, remove the two 13mm fasteners (red arrows).

Remove the flex-disc from the driveshaft.
Figure 7

Remove the flex-disc from the driveshaft. Be sure to replace the nuts for the flex-disc. They are self-locking and should not be reused. Install the new driveshaft flex-disc onto the driveshaft and install the fasteners finger tight.

Then install the center support bearing nuts finger tight.
Figure 8

Then install the center support bearing nuts finger tight. Then install the driveshaft flex-disc to the transmission and tighten the fasteners. Then tighten the driveshaft flex-disc to the driveshaft fasteners. Once the flex-disc is tight, preload the center bearing to about 1mm toward the transmission (red arrow) and tighten the nuts. Finally, install any items you removed to improve access.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:48:27 AM