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Discussion Starter #1
Folks

I have a 2001 E46 320D that's going well and I'd like to keep. For quite a while now its had a "drone" in 4th\5th gear that appears to come from the rear end. It only occurs when under pressure, i.e. acceleration or under load and is quite load in the back of the car, at least so my missus says. I'm assuming its the diff since when I remove the load it disappears so not necessarily the gearbox.

Am anxious to sort it out and am wondering how I might fully diagnose.

Thanks
Will.
 

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I had that on a previous E46. It was more prominent when accelerating. The dealer replaced some seal (where the driveshaft links with the differential) as it was seeping and applied some insulation that was a bmw technical advisory. Honestly, it helped but not a lot. It’s also worth getting the differential fluid..
 

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I had the centre support bearing done on this about 18 months back. U joint was fine then so not sure it might be that. Do need to check that the fluid is good tho!...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Folks

So update here, the call on the U joint was a good one, local guy tells me this is the issue at the diff side. Its started now also to make a fair ole squeak when not under pressure and also very significantly in reverse.

Question now is how safe it is to drive while I'm trying to source a replacement shaft.? Its relatively quiet and vibration free when travelling on the motorway and under gentle acceleration but I'm guessing it could go south fairly quickly

Ta
Will.
 
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