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Thread: Center Support Bearing Replacement (no pics)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    West Michigan
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)

    Center Support Bearing Replacement (no pics)

    Props to Jamaican71 for doing this excellent write-up. Since it is a single post within another thread, I've quoted the post for the DIY section.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jamaican71 View Post
    I just did this on my 98 528i last weekend and it was actually quite easy. Crawling under the car was the most difficult process. Here is how I accomplished it. Please proceed at your own risk.

    Needed:

    Safety glasses lots of crud under the car
    At least 4 jack stands (Ramps too if possible)
    8 & 10 mm socket for heat shields
    18 mm socket & combination wrench for drive shaft end at Guibo
    13 mm socket - for exhaust mounts, center support, and CSB mount
    13 mm combination wrench for drive shaft separation and CV/diff connection
    PB Blaster or other break free oil
    CV Grease
    New CSB
    New Guibo flex disc

    The entire process, for me, took just over 4 hours with a start late in the day and a damn cold front moving in while I was under the car. I started at 72 and it was 40ish when I finished up.

    I got the entire car up in the air to give me maximum clearance. I drove the front up on ramps, then jacked it further to place jack stands under the front sub-frame. This gives you needed clearance on the side of the car to crawl under and the ramps act as overkill safety just in case. I then jacked the rear end at the diff to level the car and placed jack stands at the jacking points. I tried shaking the car before I got under and it was solid as a rock. I also left my hydraulic jack under the diff as a back up for the rear.

    Spray the front and rear bolts/nuts w/PB blaster and let sit while you remove the heat shields and lower the exhaust. You may need to spray the lower exhaust mount under the center of the exhaust. I loosened and removed all of the screws on the heat shields before I lowered the exhaust. The large heat shield also has the wires for the rear O2 sensors clipped on, so these need to be released and moved out of the way.

    On the 98 there are two exhaust mounts at the rear of the car. The first is directly before the muffler can and the other is on the passenger side just in front of the rear sub-frame, to the right of the diff. Simply remove the two nuts on each mount and slide them off while supporting the exhaust. Do the rear one first, then the next one and put something under the rear of the exhaust to allow it to lower all the way, but still be supported. The heat shields can now be removed with relative ease. Slide the large one down and around the exhaust turning as you take it out being sure to avoid your O2 sensor lines. The smaller one comes out very easily.

    From there its pretty straight forward. Disconnect the front of the drive shaft at the Guibo to transmission connection (three 18mm bolts/nuts). The other three connect to the drive shaft and can be removed once it is off the car. Disconnect the rear of the drive shaft by removing the six 13 mm nuts attaching it to the diff.
    Then disconnect the center support bearing by removing the two 13mm bolts holding it in place. (Break the nuts loose at the front using the breaker bar and 18mm wrench while the car is in gear to give you added leverage. Put the car in neutral to rotate drive shaft for the best angle on each nut/bolt, then in park to break it loose. You should be able to get to three of the nuts at the rear with each rotation and possibly two at the front depending on the orientation. Also break the 13 mm bolt loose at the drive shaft mid-point while it is still on the car for extra leverage)

    You will need to wrestle with the drive shaft a bit to get the clearance needed to remove it as there is a centering pin at the front inserted into the transmission and the CV bolts which need to clear the carrier on the diff. I managed to get the front loose first, then moved it forward enough to remove the rear, then take the whole assembly out the rear.


    Remove and replace the Guibo disc by removing the other three nuts/bolts. Be sure to orient the new Guibo correctly with the arrows on the attachment points pointing toward the drive shaft. It goes on either way, but you need to make sure the arrows are pointing in the proper direction and the nuts are on the outside of the assembly. (The nuts/bolts are placed opposite on the transmission side when you re-attach)

    The following step is very important!!! Do not separate the drive shaft halves until you mark the orientation with a permanent marker or better yet a small metal scribe. This is important to maintain drive shaft balance. Mark each side of the drive shaft at the same point to ensure the splines are lined up identically when reassembled!!!

    Use the 13mm box end wrench to release the drive shaft halves. If you did not break it loose on the car, have fun like I did! I used a hammer and screwdriver to carefully knock the old CSB of f the end of the drive shaft, then again to carefully put the new one on. A brass punch or chisel would be better.

    Assembly is reverse of removal with the exception of repacking the CV with grease as you will surely have lost some during removal and for good preventative measure. I managed to get the shaft back in by putting the rear in first, then the front. Also dont tighten up the CSB mounts until after you have the front and rear attached to ensure you have it centered properly. Just attach it loosely, then fully tighten in place last.

    If I missed anything, please chime in, but the car has been running smooth as butter since I did this almost 1000 miles ago now.

    I used this chart for my torque values: http://www.tpub.com/content/filters/TM-10-4330-237-13P/css/TM-10-4330-237-13P_105.htm


    For reference, my old CSB was completely shot with the rubber completely deteriorated and rotten barely hanging on to the bearing which, in comparison to the new, was quite stiff. My Guibo looked fine while on the car, but once removed was much more pliable than the new one and the bolt carriers were loose/separated on one and cracked on all others. I did this repair to solve a knocking upon acceleration I had noticed that was getting consistently louder. This solved the problem as well as removed a lot of highway vibration in the seats I had only just started to notice. My acceleration off the line is greatly improved also as initial grab seems to be much more evident by the tires breaking loose a bit.

    Many say that if your CSB is shot then the entire drive shaft assembly should be replaced as the u-joints are likely the cause of its failure, however due to my high mileage and limited budget, I opted to change the Guibo and CSB alone first as the Guibo is done separately anyway and the CSB was only $35. A used d/s starts at around $200 and a reman unit about $300, plus shipping, etc. Im happy with my decision.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Lansing, MI
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    444
    My Cars
    1997 540iA
    What are the part numbers I should be using? I went to eac website and there is a driveshaft support, a sleeve type of thing and also the flex disk. I am just not one hindered percent sure on what to get and don't want to buy the same thing twice. Thanks for anyhelp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Pensacola, FL
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    98 528i RIP, 2010 SRX
    http://realoem.com/bmw/diagrams/k/e/141.png

    Item 2 and 7. The centering sleeve is already on the Drive shaft.

    The part #s listed are for a 98 528i, but the image is the same for reference.


    Thanks for the props James!!
    Last edited by Jamaican71; 03-02-2011 at 09:37 PM.
    9/30/2007 - 200,000 Miles!
    11/29/10 - 300,000 miles and counting! 4/10/2012 - 332,635! 01/14/2013 - 350,000 miles! 10/25/15 - 395,872 End of the Road
    Never explain yourself... Your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyway!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Grand Prairie,Tx,USA
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    My Cars
    '98 528i
    - -I just did this DIY this past weekend and if anyone has any questions while it is still fresh on my mind, feel free to ask.- -
    * *Guns Don't Kill People, Crazy Mutherf@^#ers Like Me Kill Theives!!!!!!* *
    "Connections Etc." I got what you need! Get at me!!!
    I'm Rich B*%$#h!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Omaha, NE
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    3,864
    My Cars
    1998 528i 5-spd 102K
    Jamaican71, Jfive96,

    Just curious what you guys' mileage is?

    My car runs fine and has 115K miles.
    I assume you guys have way more mileage than mine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Grand Prairie,Tx,USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Jamaican71, Jfive96,

    Just curious what you guys' mileage is?

    My car runs fine and has 115K miles.
    I assume you guys have way more mileage than mine.
    - -Mine is 211k, however it had been like that for a whiiiilllllllee.- -
    * *Guns Don't Kill People, Crazy Mutherf@^#ers Like Me Kill Theives!!!!!!* *
    "Connections Etc." I got what you need! Get at me!!!
    I'm Rich B*%$#h!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Pensacola, FL
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    98 528i RIP, 2010 SRX
    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Jamaican71, Jfive96,

    Just curious what you guys' mileage is?

    My car runs fine and has 115K miles.
    I assume you guys have way more mileage than mine.
    I became aware of the CSB failure symptoms last August between 275-280k and I lived with it till 298k. I'm currently at 311k!! (Knocking on hard acceleration sounding like a CV joint gone bad). It became progressively worse from about 290k and I could start to "feel" it more than hear it. I had done my engine and tranny mounts the weekend before to rule out any play from that end first.
    9/30/2007 - 200,000 Miles!
    11/29/10 - 300,000 miles and counting! 4/10/2012 - 332,635! 01/14/2013 - 350,000 miles! 10/25/15 - 395,872 End of the Road
    Never explain yourself... Your friends don't need it and your enemies won't believe you anyway!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
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    62
    My Cars
    '99 540iT
    Just did this on my 540 last night. Wanted to add some general and 540 specific info.

    Between removing the exhaust, holding the driveshaft for separation and removal/installation of CSB, this project is definitely aided by a second person.

    Front bolts for driveshaft to trans flange: 21mm
    Rear bolts for driveshaft to diff: 16mm

    Alldata states to drop the trans mount to reach the front driveshaft nuts. Not necessary. You can fit a 21mm open ended wrench THROUGH the trans mount and hit the bolt with a 21mm impact.

    I marked the driveshaft with a center punch to keep it aligned once separated. Used a bearing separator to pull the U joint flange off. Got it flush with the flange and banged it off with a rubber mallet, took a lot of blows to get it off. Did the exact same thing with the CSB to remove.

    Inspected the old bearing, didn’t seem very bad but had slight torsional play in it. Rotated smoothly.

    Tore the old bearing apart and used the center ring and an XL socket as a tool to evenly press the new CSB on the shaft. Greased the shaft before this step.

    Align the two driveshaft halves and slide them together only halfway. Insert the bolt & washer so the bolt can bottom out and you can easily start threading it.

    The rest is the same as above. Get all the nuts/bolts started, tighten up the CSB nuts last.

    Take it for a test drive and enjoy no more bearing whine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Orange County, California
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    m3
    Do NOT grease the shaft. You don't want any chance of the bearings inner ring spinning on the driveshaft. It shouldn't be too hard pressing the bearing onto the shaft without grease.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Oxnard, CA
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    '91 M5, '94 M5
    Does the E39's CSB require any preloading?
    Current Fleet:
    E34 1991 M5 Macaoblau on Complete (ruined)Leather Champagne (1/1 in North America) - http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1705166

    Past:
    E34 1989 535i 5-Speed AlpineweissII on Natur - Parted
    E34 1992 525i 5-Speed Islandgrun on Pergament - Parted
    E34 1995 540i 6-Speed ShwarzII on Shwarz - Sold to Sneezy.
    E34 1995 525i 5-Speed Calypso Red on Parchment - http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1748143 - Sold locally.
    E39 1998 528i 5-Speed Black on Black - Sold locally.
    E34​ 1993 M5 Alpinweiss on Black - http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...lpinweissII-M5 - Parted


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGreene View Post
    Does the E39's CSB require any preloading?
    Im wondering the same thing. im about to tackle this project and dont want to have to replace the Giubo again if it fails because i didnt preload it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Metuchen, NJ
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    1998 528i
    ditto ^^^

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    99 M Rdstr, 92 325ic,
    Glad I found this thread. I was considering removing the exhaust. Still want to know about preloading though.

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGreene View Post
    Does the E39's CSB require any preloading?
    Yes...it doesn't seem like a big deal but fmu, it can cause premature failure of the CSB.
    Quote Originally Posted by alpinweib View Post
    Im wondering the same thing. im about to tackle this project and dont want to have to replace the Giubo again if it fails because i didnt preload it.
    Not sure if it will damage the giubo but I do believe it will cause premature CSB failure (redundant info).
    Quote Originally Posted by Wojtek79 View Post
    Glad I found this thread. I was considering removing the exhaust. Still want to know about preloading though.
    I opted to remove the exhaust but I was DIYing alone. I understand that having an assistant will allow you to do this task without removing the exhaust. I neglected to preload the CSB and DHuang pointed it out so I pulled it apart to do it right. I didn't notice any real difference except that I matched the original mounting marks from the factory unit. All the vibration and "tinging" (bad CV) has been completely and thankfully eliminated.

    I'll be sure to post the info in my newest addition to the forum, The Official E39 Parts Review Thread. Please feel free to check it out and add your experiences...

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    99 M Rdstr, 92 325ic,
    OK. I am looking at parts.
    26-12-1-229-242 for the Center support bearing. I found one by SKF for $72.57 and one by Hamburg Technic for $25.77. Anyone have experience with either? The car is coming up on 200,000 miles soon and rust is starting to show. I am thinking I will not put more than 40k additional miles on it.

    26-11-7-511-454 is the part number for the flex disc. OEM is all I was able to find so far for $58.81. That is not that bad.

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