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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 07:09:20 PM   #1
trumpsterfire
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Unhappy Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

I have a 2003 M3 manual with 171,000 miles. The car has been well taken care of with maintenance performed at the proper intervals.

Current Issue: When hitting full throttle or a heavy load in 2nd gear the rear end begins to shake/rumble. It almost feels like driving over a bunch of tiny bumps in the road. Doesn't seem to matter if the car is warmed up or not. Strange thing is it only happens in 2nd gear, no problems in any others. Shaking seems to start around 3000 RPMs and stay rough till about 6000.

Things I've tried: guibo has been replaced, center support bearing, tranny fluid has been changed multiple times (trying to find the smoothest), just changed the rear diff fluid, engine mounts, tranny mounts, shifter bushings. The car has brand new tires and just had an alignment as well. Subframe has been reinforced. Clutch and flywheel were changed 40,000 miles ago by a bmw shop. No check engine light or stored codes. Car runs great in all other situations

My best guess: The half shafts appear original so my next thing to do would probably be to swap those. The boots appear fine but at this mileage, I'm sure they are worn out. The diff doesn't make any strange noises so I'm hesitant to say it's bad. My fear is it's something Transmission related since it only happens in 2nd gear.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I've been checking the forums and haven't seen anything exactly the same. Most suggestions are things I've already tried.
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 08:34:50 PM   #2
FaWaZ91
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

Might be a bad coil
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 08:45:41 PM   #3
trumpsterfire
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

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Originally Posted by FaWaZ91 View Post
Might be a bad coil
I did recently replace the spark plugs. Is there any way to test a coil pack?
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 09:08:30 PM   #4
EricSMG
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

It's driveline related I'm betting. I had the same symptoms to a T and it was a bad rear CV joint. You can inspect it by unbolting the DS from the diff input and articulating the CV by hand - if it's hard to move/crusty you have a problem.

Could also be a bad front diff mount or, as you say, bad CV(s) in the rear half shafts.

Finally, it could be your center u-joint which is not serviceable. but my money says it's either a CV and/or diff bushing(s).
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 09:17:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

If you hear/feel it in rear it's prob not plugs/coils, but here is a really good video on how to figure out if it's a coil and which cylinder:

Your driveshaft might be out of balance (little balance weights sometimes fall off with age,) center u-joint in driveshaft could be seizing, or the rear cv joint in driveshaft might be seizing. Would also check the drive axles as Eric suggested.


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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 09:29:33 PM   #6
trumpsterfire
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
It's driveline related I'm betting. I had the same symptoms to a T and it was a bad rear CV joint. You can inspect it by unbolting the DS from the diff input and articulating the CV by hand - if it's hard to move/crusty you have a problem.

Could also be a bad front diff mount or, as you say, bad CV(s) in the rear half shafts.

Finally, it could be your center u-joint which is not serviceable. but my money says it's either a CV and/or diff bushing(s).
I should note as well the Diff bushings were replaced with the subframe job. By CV joint you mean this part? https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...t/26117841003/
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 09:44:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

Links don't work very well anymore for some reason.

Part number: 26117548392

Each rear half also has 2 similar to this - so 5 total per vehicle.
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 10:11:08 PM   #8
trumpsterfire
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Links don't work very well anymore for some reason.

Part number: 26117548392

Each rear half also has 2 similar to this - so 5 total per vehicle.
I'll try the driveshaft cv joint first. If that doesn't work i'll just replace both half shafts.
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 10:47:28 PM   #9
trumpsterfire
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Links don't work very well anymore for some reason.

Part number: 26117548392

Each rear half also has 2 similar to this - so 5 total per vehicle.
Also any chance I could just clean it out and regrease it or is it too late at this point?
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Old Sun, Sep-03-2017, 11:17:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load

had same problem, replaced drive shaft bearing and guibo but still had problem, replaced driveshaft and all is good now.
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Discussing Rumble in 2nd Gear Full Throttle/Heavy Load in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)