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Matt, Engineer
Category: Jaguar
Satisfied Customers: 21995
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
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Jaguar X-Type: I recently bought a 2003 2.5L Manual X-Type.

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I recently bought a 2003 2.5L Manual X-Type. It has ~120K miles but the engine seems to be in great shape mechanically (sound, still correct mpg, no rattles, service lights, etc). However, the driveline has the apparently characteristic "whine" to it from somewhere between the transfer case and the rear differential, inclusive, and I am not sure about the best solution. There is no roughness in the driveline, just the "whir" whose frequency increases directly with wheel speed and and occurs at all speeds with the same relation.

Replacement is off the table simply due to price. From what I have read, the prop-shaft bearing is a common cause of this "whine" and that even simply regreasing it can tremendously reduce the issue. There is also the option of replacing the oil in the TC and diff, which may very well contain the original oil along with the result of 120k miles of metal gear travel.


you're right in saying that the transmission on these is prone to being a bit noisy as the mileage increases and the gearbox oil is probably overdue a change

and if its not been changed in the last 20K miles then drain it off and fill with fresh. I can strongly recommend the use of Castrol Syntrans 75W90 (was called SMX-S) as I've known it help with shift and noise issues on many manual gearboxes

and yes greasing the prop joints and centre bearing is also well worth while also

you can easily check for for any slack in the propshaft joints by twisting either half by hand and feeling for any play as there should be virtually none

the centre bearing is quite loosely mounted so this can be moved normally but if you can run the car in gear with the wheels off the ground and then feel the centre bearing housing for vibration if there's any then consider replacing the unit

and then look along the propshaft for any signs of a missing balance weight as these take the form of little 3/4" squares that are welded onto the shaft - as they are only tacked on they can sometimes come loose and be lost resulting in the shaft being out of balance - if a joint is worn this can also shake them loose

so if a joint is replaced its good practice to have the shaft re-balanced afterwards


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The manual gearbox itself seems perfect. The previous owner was a lifetime manual driver and drove his kids around in it, so I think the gearbox got treated comparatively gently. Thanks for the advice on the center bearing. The noise is actually worst just following a harder acceleration, so that might just be the fact that the shaft is under greater torque and distorts the placement a bit more given the loose mounting/old bearing and takes a moment for the vibration to get absorbed. I'm sure the bearing isn't particularly expensive, so if/when I get it serviced, I might just have them replace that regardless.

I've read about the the best ways to change the TC and diff oil, do you have any particularly clever way you go about it?

Hello John

the transfer box is a pain to fill as it wasn't designed to be filled when on the car just filled once for 'life' during assembly

what tends to work well is siphoning out what oil you can with a small straw and a brake vacuum pump and then fill back up with fresh oil until it runs out of the fill hole but it should only take 600ml
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