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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 Wed, Jun-12-2019, 12:05:27 PM   #1
Smogy29
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Default Transmisson output shaft play

Hey guys, I recently rebuilt my differential and couldnít help but notice that I still have the infamous ďMĒ Clunk.

Iíve taken apart the exhaust and heat shield to look at the driveshaft and I found out that I have quite of rotational play. I know that some play is normal but my output shaft on the transmission is clunking really loud and it rotates a few inches by hand.

Here is a video of someone with the same problem as me.

Iíve looked at my CV joint, my axles and everything seems fine, no weird noise except for that loud clunk / thud when downshifting or going in reverse..
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Old Wed, Jun-12-2019, 02:47:08 PM   #2
Obioban
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

If you rebuilt it properly/to spec, you will have M clunk. It's called M clunk because M cars came with it.
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Old Wed, Jun-12-2019, 07:22:55 PM   #3
nowanker
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

^^ Special today, BMW brand Kool-Aid!
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Old Wed, Jun-12-2019, 08:40:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

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Originally Posted by Smogy29 View Post
[SIZE="5"] output shaft on the transmission is clunking really loud and it rotates a few inches by hand.
A few inches where? on the guibo circumference? About 1/4 turns? To be precise, engage 1st gear then measure again. There is no way the gears have this much backlash. Even if the output flange nut came loose, the splines are tight unless they are all chewed up already.
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Old Thu, Jun-13-2019, 04:26:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

Uploaded a video last night to show you guys what it looks like.


I haven’t tried this in first gear. I’ll jack up the car on my lift tonight and start it up to see what I find. Thanks
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Old Thu, Jun-13-2019, 04:46:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smogy29 View Post
Uploaded a video last night to show you guys what it looks like.

https://youtu.be/WWd1rZfFcAI

I havenít tried this in first gear. Iíll jack up the car on my lift tonight and start it up to see what I find. Thanks


Yes please keep us updated, this will help us


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Old Thu, Jun-13-2019, 06:38:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

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Originally Posted by Smogy29 View Post
Uploaded a video last night to show you guys what it looks like.

I haven’t tried this in first gear. I’ll jack up the car on my lift tonight and start it up to see what I find. Thanks
Video shows the backlash in the diff, not the tranny output.

No need to run the engine. Shift to 1st gear, engine off. Turn the main driveshaft to find tranny output backlash. To find diff backlash, turn one half shaft end to end but don't force it to keep the main shaft unmoved. Then divide this amount by 2 which gives the diff backlash seen by both half shafts.

Last edited by sapote; Thu, Jun-13-2019 at 08:59:49 PM.
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Old Thu, Jun-13-2019, 06:57:21 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

Disregard my post-- I read "M clunk" and assumed diff. Transmission is a different ball of wax.
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Old Fri, Jun-14-2019, 01:52:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapote View Post
Video shows the backlash in the diff, not the tranny output.

No need to run the engine. Shift to 1st gear, engine off. Turn the main driveshaft to find tranny output backlash. To find diff backlash, turn one half shaft end to end but don't force it to keep the main shaft unmoved. Then divide this amount by 2 which gives the diff backlash seen by both half shafts.
Thanks for the replies and the help sapote. Unfortunately I am no professional with transmissions or differentials, just an avid well equipped DIYer. I tried what you suggested me to do and put the car on first gear to see how much backlash there was. There is still play in the driveshaft but Iím not sure if itís normal / regular wear. Hereís the video:



On another note, while having the car up in the air I decided to start the engine and engage the gears. I had my brother under the car so he could hear / see what is going on and itís not the differential that I hear when driving but the tranny that does a big ďthumpĒ sound. Looked at my oil and itís pretty dark so Iíll work on that. Keep you guys posted, thanks alot!
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Old Fri, Jun-14-2019, 01:57:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Transmisson output shaft play

This won't really help but I think it's worth mentioning that I noticed the exact same thingon my car when I did my subframe reinforcement about a year ago. Haven't looked at it close enough to pinpoint a cause though.
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Discussing Transmisson output shaft play 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)