1987 325e driveshaft

Hi, I have just inherited my mums 325e and the service departmetn I took it to said it needs to have the universal joints, however they also said you can not just replace the uni;s and that you need a whole new
drive shaft. Is this true? I live in Australia, but I guess that should not make any difference.
Regards Rob
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robbity wrote:

Yes and no. It has been done before by frugal home wrenching enthusiasts, but in general the repair entails replacing the entire driveshaft which is rather pricey. Then the trick is to make sure you get one that has been properly balanced.
--
-Fred W

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Once upon a time drive shafts were common but with the advent of FWD they became rather scarce unless you had a Merc or BMW or something rather larger like RR or Bentley. However in the wild lands of the Antipodes there are a few rather large engined cars carrying V8 engines that are still RWD so must have "PROPSHAFTS" that require servicing occasionally.
get the drift?
Get the Yellow Pages and look for "Car & Commercial" or Google it. Any decent machine shop worth their salt that specialize in propshafts should be able to re-condition it for you.
Over here in the UK some time ago a few of these companies were offering to machine our the stake deformations and machine internal circlip grooves to accept the stock Hardy-Spicer UJ kits. No need to re balance next time.
When I built my first racer I took my propshaft to the HS factory in Birmingham to make a complete new one for me. Time 6 hours from start to finish 2 piece shaft + centre bearing and carrier. Price ----- can't remember it was 1968????
Sir Hugh of Bognor
The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. Intelligence is not knowing the answer but knowing where and how to find it!
Hugh Gundersen snipped-for-privacy@h-gee.co.uk Bognor Regis, W.Sussex, England, UK
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In the UK driveshafts are the bit between diff and hub on an independant suspension axles. So BMWs have two.
--
*I was once a millionaire but my mom gave away my baseball cards

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

Well, I suppose "driveshaft" depends on the audience. Here in the Colonies, the driveshaft is the shaft that connects the transmission to the differential, and the axle shaft connects the diff to the hub. Drive shaft and propeller shaft are interchangeable terms, but the axle shaft is always the axle shaft, unless it is a half shaft.
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

...and in the US those are called axle shafts. The Driveshaft here is what you blokes call the prop shaft.
--
-Fred W

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Hmm, I'm in the UK and I thought the "axle shafts" were "half-shafts" - there's one shaft, split in half by the diff. Prop-shaft is I guess a throwback to boats but all are drive shafts.
Not long ago I was told I needed a new propshaft when all it infact needed was a new $20 rubber bearing holder. ...so check what it is you actually need.
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That's true with a rigid axle, but they get called drive shafts when they have universal joints in them.

I'd guess you're right. But having different names for the various ones helps save confusion - but only in the same country, obviously. ;-)

It's not unknown for the flange fixing bolts to come loose too.
Replacing Hardy Spicer joints used to be a common DIY task. Of course many use constant velocity types these days and they may not be so easy.
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*The statement below is true.

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I don't know your driveshaft in particular, but in general I've NEVER seen a driveshaft that could not have the universal joints be replaced. I've seen lots of driveshafts, and all of them that I can remember allow the replacement of the joints. If your application demands the shaft be replaced, then it's news to me.
On my '94 3 Series cars, the universal joints can be replaced. There is also a flex-disc in the middle that can be replaced.
Tthere are some points that one must consider if they are going to tackle this job at home. If you plan on giving this a go, let us know and I (we) can give you some pointers. I'd give you the pointers here, but it looks to me like you'll be visiting a mechanic so the tips would not help you.

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I think your first order of business should be to determine if you really need this work done. Were there noises or other symptoms that caused you to take the car in for service?? As far as I know bad U-joints always let you know when they are failing. One symptom is a noticeable "clank" sound whenever the torque on the driveshaft is reversed. This sound should have a ring to it as though you had struck the driveshaft with a wrench. The other symptom of bad U-joints is a noticeable vibration at speeds above 30 mph. This vibration is caused by the driveshaft getting out of balance because of U-joint freeplay. If you don't have either of these symptoms, I would just keep driving the car until real symptoms emerged. Then you can take your time deciding how to proceed.
It is very pricey to buy a replacement driveshaft from BMW so shops have learned how to rebuild them. I see the RealOEM price is listed as $675 US. http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model 13&mospidG309&btnr&_0004&hg&&fg This seems pretty low to me as I recall a $950 quote from my BMW dealer 8 years ago. If you decide you need to have the driveshaft serviced, try to use a shop with a good reputation for doing this kind of work. See if there's a local BMW club that may have some advice for you.

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A good driveline shop can replace the joint itself and ensure that the shaft is balanced. Around here, this is a fairly easy task, I do not know of the availability of these shops where you live. BMW will not replace just the joint and will happily sell you (and install) the entire shaft. I can't imagine the cost but I'm sure you'd be getting the shaft twice :)

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