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internal88
internal88, BMW Mechanic
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1559
Experience:  I have an Automotive Engineering Degree and also work for an Automotive engineering company since 2003.
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325xit: I have a 2004 bmw325xi and the vibration/clunking upon

Resolved Question:

I have a 2004 bmw325xi and the vibration/clunking upon acceleration is getting worse. It was only now and then, but we put four people and luggage and it got way worse; happening on every start. One of the passengers is a car guy as well and said he thinks it's definitely the rear U Joint.

From doing research online it seems many say its actually the center bearing and/or front flex bearing. This would be much better as it appears one has to purchase a new driveshaft if it is the rear u joint.

Having to drop the exhaust to get up there I'm not sure this is one for me to try on my own, so what do you suggest? If i take to shop, how do I know they don't overcharge? How long should it take in Labor to to the flex bearing and CSB?

thanks
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  internal88 replied 10 months ago.

internal88 :

Hello, I'm Brandon.

internal88 :

Yes, the clucking noise is usually from the center mount bearing.

internal88 :

It is a 2 hour job.

internal88 :

It is best to lift the car and inspect the whole drive shaft including rear joint, center bearing and front universal joint.

Customer:

2 hours, including dropping the exhaust, heat shields and all?

internal88 :

yes, we usually charge two hours for the center mount bearing job. Dropping the exhaust it's not complicated in the 325i.

Customer:

the front u joint is the flex bearing? should i just change that anyway if i do the csb? 101k miles

internal88 :

I have seen other shops charge 3 hours. Yes, front you joint is the flex bearing. You should change that too while the exhaust is down.

internal88 :

That is additional cost .9 hour.

internal88 :

Let me find you a diagram to show you.

Customer:

i need to do engine and trans mounts, as well as oil pan gasket. i was planning on attacking that myself as the shop said 9 hrs for that, but is there any crossover with this job that would save overall? i wouldn't think so, but cant hurt to ask thanks

internal88 :

Yes, since you are doing the engine and transmission mounts. You could save some labor hour by letting them do the center support bearing and flex u joint. They are

internal88 :

but it won't be a lot.

internal88 :

See Universal Flex Disc and the center support bearing.

internal88 :

The common known issue when the vehicle aged.

Customer:

ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX seem ok, but don't want them saying i need a new drive shaft if i do not. I don't have a lift, so this seems a bit tough on jack stands...

internal88 :

yes, it's really tough on the jack stands.

internal88 :

It is uncommon the whole drive shaft needs to be replaced.

Customer:

is the motor/trans mounts and oil pan gasket doable on ramps/jack stands? does it make a big diference on the xi?

Customer:

if it's the rear u-joint, i think you ave to do the whole drive shaft on this car?

internal88 :

you are asking if you can do the motor , transmission mounts and oil pan gasket yourself?

internal88 :

yes, you have to do the whole drive shaft if is the rear u-joint.

Customer:

yea, can one that has moderate or better mechanical skills do the mounts and oil pan gasket on jack stands. thanks

internal88 :

yes it can be done using ramps and jack stands.

internal88 :

Obvioulsy it will take longer to complete the job.

internal88 :

Just hope the bolts to the exhaust is not rust out.

internal88 :

We spray PB blaster and soak it over night.

internal88 :

If not, the bolts need to be heat up to get it removed.

Customer:

you have to work exhaust bolts for motor mounts or oil pan?

internal88 :

yes, if i'm not mistaken the exhaust needs to remove to have an easy access to the rear transmission mount.

internal88 :

Have you look under there before?

Customer:

that sucks, then does it sound fair for them to quote 9 hrs for the mounts and oil pan?

internal88 :

yes

Customer:

i have looked many times, but not specifically at the trans mount. i will do before i make the call on that.

internal88 :

You could probably save some money on parts.

Customer:

ok thanks, XXXXX XXXXX take a look under now.

internal88 :

you are welcome.

internal88 :

I'm going to change to QA mode. Let me know if you further questions.

Expert:  internal88 replied 10 months ago.
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Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Hey, last question: I got under the car and you can definitely get to trans mount without removing exhaust. Is 9 hours still fair for all three mounts and the oil pan gasket? seems like a lot, but i guess the oil pan deal could be a biggie?


 


 

Expert:  internal88 replied 10 months ago.

Hi Jason,

Yes, for the 325xi, it is fair price.

The book listed oil pan gasket labor rate is 7.5 hours.

Engine mounts is 3.5 hours and transmission mounts is 1.0 hour.

The oil pan gasket is the difficult part to replace.

internal88, BMW Mechanic
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1559
Experience: I have an Automotive Engineering Degree and also work for an Automotive engineering company since 2003.
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