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  1. #1
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    Friend having axle trouble on 335i post LSD-pumpkin install

    Friend in the USN is headed out for 6 months or so and he's gotten into some trouble with his 335i coupe and wanted me to take a look at it while he was gone. He had his pumpkin dropped recently and replaced by a Wavetrac-equipped one.

    The other day, he said he was leaving a light and there was a crunching sound; and then he couldn't move the car. He said he could put it in gear and it wouldn't move (manual transmission). It sounded to me like the driveshaft had come loose or something. But I finally got his car up in the air, and I found his driver-side axle bolts had become loose and the whole axle disconnected from the diff.

    What I want to know is if this axle is salvageable. If you check the pics, you can see the cover on the axle-to-diff flange has popped off and grease got sprayed everywhere. It doesn't look bent nor does it look like anything got up in the axle head to F things up. Think I can just put the cover back on, use new axle bolts and it will ok? I'd hate to tell him in 6 months "Sorry dude, your axle is busted, go find one in a junkyard"

    Here's some pics:
    Click here to enlarge

    Click here to enlarge

  2. #2
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    Heh. Upon further review, the axle cover is $#@!ED.

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    Who installed the pumpkin? Did they use new axle bolts? Makes me a bit nervous because I just installed my Wavetrac last weekend. I used new bolts, however, and torqued the fasteners.

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    I dunno. I'd ask, but he's unreachable ATM. It's VERY obvious that it was the axle bolts that came loose. Once they loosened completely, the diff under load probably popped the axleshaft back far enough to where the odd interior shape of the axle face got caught. Then torque took over and munched the cover. It looks like the interior of this thing is fine, it just needs a new face. The axle bolts LOOK used, so they may have tried to reuse the originals. He's got maybe 1000 miles on his diff, so I'd expect the bolts to look semi-clean.

    It's an easy thing to check if you're paranoid, and I don't think this would happen instantly, probably a gradual thing. You can see it from just getting under the car behind the diff.

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    I'm really not that worried because I followed the proper procedures.

    The axle bolts have serrations under the head that grip into the "reinforcement" (P/N 33207572717) and act as a locking mechanism. I believe the bolts are recommend to be replace because tightening and the loosening the original bolts reduces the effectiveness of the serrations to lock the bolts. New bolts with fresh serrations will lock better than reusing the old bolts.

    There was a big difference in appearance between the old (70,000 mi) and new bolts.

    I would ask the shop to produce a receipt for the bolts or an itemized list containing proof of the purchase of the bolts. Those axles are expensive, and it is well known that the bolts need to be replaced.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    I'm really not that worried because I followed the proper procedures.

    The axle bolts have serrations under the head that grip into the "reinforcement" (P/N 33207572717) and act as a locking mechanism. I believe the bolts are recommend to be replace because tightening and the loosening the original bolts reduces the effectiveness of the serrations to lock the bolts. New bolts with fresh serrations will lock better than reusing the old bolts.

    There was a big difference in appearance between the old (70,000 mi) and new bolts.

    I would ask the shop to produce a receipt for the bolts or an itemized list containing proof of the purchase of the bolts. Those axles are expensive, and it is well known that the bolts need to be replaced.
    +1 I also put a bit of red loctite on the bolts, the bolts must also be tightened in a star fashion like a rim.
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  7. #7
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    Moved to N54.

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    This has nothing to do with the N54. But ok.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    This has nothing to do with the N54. But ok.
    What driveline does it have to do with?

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    n55 335i perhaps?

    not that it matters considering they share drivelines, and the N54 section is more trafficked.

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    0 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    What driveline does it have to do with?
    E92. I didn't realize the N54 was a driveline, last I checked it was an ENGINE. Maybe you should rename the N54 section to 135i/1M/335i/535i section? Or maybe N54 + chassis.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    E92. I didn't realize the N54 was a driveline, last I checked it was an ENGINE. Maybe you should rename the N54 section to 135i/1M/335i/535i section? Or maybe N54 + chassis.
    N54 + trans + diff is a driveline. Check the description for the N54 section: Engine/Driveline/Exhaust and modification related discussion

    Now check for the E92 section: Suspension, Electronics, Cosmetics, Pictures, Videos, specific to a BMW Series.

    Maybe you should learn how to read?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    N54 + trans + diff is a driveline. Check the description for the N54 section: Engine/Driveline/Exhaust and modification related discussion

    Now check for the E92 section: Suspension, Electronics, Cosmetics, Pictures, Videos, specific to a BMW Series.

    Maybe you should learn how to read?
    I can read, but I didn't read in this case. I guess my beef is more about the section descriptions because there are N55 and N54 cars running the same axles, for instance. Which is why I put it in the 3 series section.

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    My wavetrac build by VAC did the same thing. They used new bolts & plenty of red loctite. It just didn't get this 'advanced.' After a few k inspection revealed all were hand loose. These were re-loctited and re-torqued, been fine ever since.
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  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    I can read, but I didn't read in this case. I guess my beef is more about the section descriptions because there are N55 and N54 cars running the same axles, for instance. Which is why I put it in the 3 series section.
    I'm sure there are and no section setup is perfect but you'll get more driveline talk in the N54 section anyway. I'll come up with something for overlapping topics.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
    My wavetrac build by VAC did the same thing. They used new bolts & plenty of red loctite. It just didn't get this 'advanced.' After a few k inspection revealed all were hand loose. These were re-loctited and re-torqued, been fine ever since.
    Odd. I was able to order a replacement cover from a junkyard for $15. BMW had them in an axle repair kit, but they were $100 and on 3 week backorder; plus a bunch of parts I didn't need to fix.

    Friend got back this weekend and the car is working great now. He owes me alcohol I think.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by uniter Click here to enlarge
    My wavetrac build by VAC did the same thing. They used new bolts & plenty of red loctite. It just didn't get this 'advanced.' After a few k inspection revealed all were hand loose. These were re-loctited and re-torqued, been fine ever since.
    Exact same thing happened to me, except a VAC built quafie. Although there was some sort of gray grease on the bolts, not sure how it got there though. I re-torqued/loctited both axles and check them periodically now...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by TCW Click here to enlarge
    Exact same thing happened to me, except a VAC built quafie. Although there was some sort of gray grease on the bolts, not sure how it got there though. I re-torqued/loctited both axles and check them periodically now...
    grey grease may have been anti-seize?
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by robc1976 Click here to enlarge
    grey grease may have been anti-seize?
    But how could that have gotten on the bolts? I replaced it all myself, the only thing I could think is it was already in the holes on output disc on the pumpkin or in the bolt holes on the DSS axles... Regardless, I am sure that whatever it was, it was the cause of the bolts backing out.

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    Loctite should not strictly be necessary on the axle to output flange bolts. The locking mechanism for these bolt is serrations cut into the bearing surface of the bolt head. either way, Loctice can't hurt. I would use blue, however, red is for bolts you don't want to take back out.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Loctite should not strictly be necessary on the axle to output flange bolts. The locking mechanism for these bolt is serrations cut into the bearing surface of the bolt head. either way, Loctice can't hurt. I would use blue, however, red is for bolts you don't want to take back out.
    I have seen a few cases where loctite blue was even used and bolts backed out and caused axle failure. I have used loctite red and revived the bolts....should replace the bolts anyway.
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    Something isn't right then. I used no Loctite, and brand new bolts. Torqued them once during the LSD install and have no had a problem since.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Something isn't right then. I used no Loctite, and brand new bolts. Torqued them once during the LSD install and have no had a problem since.
    I think some people do not replace the bolts and that is when this happens. When I say use loctite I mean a drop our 2....not a coating.
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    Sure, a little Loctite goes a long way.

    Moral of the story - replace the damn bolts like you are supposed to!

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ajm8127 Click here to enlarge
    Sure, a little Loctite goes a long way.

    Moral of the story - replace the damn bolts like you are supposed to!
    damn right!
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