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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK I am getting desperate. My 2002 BMW 330D (184 BHP) auto has developed a mysterious, fairly heavy vibration - but only between 2000 and 2200 rpm in top gear. It is most likely to occur when the engine is under load, such as climbing a hill. We are talking fairly loud, "feel it through the floor and through the seats" vibration here, not just a rattle. Unfortunately this rev range works out at exactly 68-72 mph, which is just exactly wrong for motorway work (I normally drive a bit quicker if I can, but often the other traffic means 70 can't be avoided). The problem never occurs at speeds below 70 in normal mode on the auto box (not even in the same 2000-2200 rev range in a lower gear). The problem disapppears completely above 2200rpm or 75mph+. If I knock it into "sport" mode, which changes the rev range through the gears, the problem immediately disappears. However, I can occasionally reproduce the problem in "sport" mode at a lower speed (60mph or so) in a similar rev range but it is less likely to occur. I changed the tyres recently - made no difference.

I have taken it to a BMW garage who couldn't identify anything wrong at all. I then took it to an idependent BMW specialist who road tested it up to 70mph and managed to reproduce the problem. Their mechanics agreed that there was clearly something not right so they kept it for 2 days and tried everything - but still couldn't work out what the problems is! It has had the propshaft center bearing replaced and the rubber "doughnut" that links two sections of the propshaft renewed - but the problem persists. They have checked engine and gearbox mountings, rear susupension bushes, tried it with different wheels etc.etc. etc. One of their mechanics has 20 years experience with BMWs and says he has never encountered a problem like it.
Anyone got ANY ideas? Anyone know of BMW version of House who can diagnose weird problems?
 

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This sounds like a bugger of a problem. On another forum I used to use, a member had a similar problems in his Alfa 156. The thread ran to 100's of replies and in the end it was driveshaft - which was strange.

It can be REALLY dangerous, but if a garage can get you car safely and SECURELY propped up at the rear, stick it in D and rev it to 68-72 mphg and listen for the obvious source of the vibration.

Just be very careful doing it. If it manages to vibrate off of the supports at an artificial 72mph you will have some serious issues . . . . . .
 

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None of those Mr Vorny...I would be concentrating on the gear box itself. I've heard that torque converters can cause vibrations.
You see, that's the danger of having little knowledge !!! Sorry folks, wrong tree and barking....
 

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hi docmac

i have a 330d se automatic and my car has had the exact same problem for nearly 2 years.
unfortunately for me and for you this is the start of the gearbox failing. the vibration you are feeling is the plate in the torque converter vibrating when it is under load. it will continue doing this till it fails and the whole gearbox stops working.
i had the same issue with my cars original gearbox which then failed. i did the cheap thing and had a second hand gearbox off ebay fitted. this box did the same vibration after a couple of months and then started losing drive at any speed, gearbox warning signs would come on even if i drove it less than a mile. the last time it did this was yesterday when it finally died on me and it was recovered to a gearbox specialist who is now completely rebuilding the gearbox using a different pump, a strengthened plate in the torque converter and modifying the valve bodies. he has done this for several years now and has told me that he get loads of failed BMW diesel autos to modify and rebuild.

before the gearbox failed i changed the 'donut', centre bearing, diff oil, driveshafts and alloy wheels. none of these made any difference.

search BMW forums in the US and also look at consumer affairs.com link below

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/bmw_trans.html

i bought this BMW because of the image and 'quality' but it has cost me thousands for an issue BMW know all about and pretend it doesnt exist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
330Diesel thanks for this information. I will just have to wait and see. It certainly could be the torque converter or gearbox. However, if it was one of these I would have expected the vibration to be evident in more than just a narrow range of rpm in top gear. Also - a BMW dealer and a specialist independent BMW garage have been unable to identify the problem,

If the worst comes to the worst then I will just have to replace the torque converter/gearbox.

Regards
Tony
 

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This could be totally irelevant but i had a 530d chipped a year ago, my old one,

After a few thousand miles the car developed a very bad rumble.

At 68-74mph the whole car would rumble, increase the speeed, rumble gone, same with lowering the speed.

It was just a bad remap that F'd the car up.


Has that rumble just appeared
 

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I have the same problem with my motor, but it is at the lower end of the speed, about 40mph, but when i put it into manual drive the noise or vibration does not happen, but as the others said before i have also been told that it is torque convertor lock up and also been advised to get my gearbox oil and filter changed. will let you know the outcome of that!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update - it started getting worse so in the end I have had gearbox and torque converter replaced. Apparently my gearbox had knackered itself in an fairly unusual way involving broken internal springs. All is now good after the replacement - apart from my bank balance! The place that did mine (JT Automatics http://www.automatic-gearbox.co.uk) said that they get lots of BMWs in for gearbox replacement at around the 70,000 mile mark although some don't last that long.
 

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Hi guys,

Adding my 2p to this since I am in the middle of the nightmare that is the "made of cheese" torque converter in the 330d.

Mu car is with STA Gearbox specialists (http://www.staautogearbox.co.uk/) based in Aylesbury. They have been absolute stars trying to resolve my issue.

My problem first came about with a failure to hold 5th gear. At motorway speeds the car would constant try to hit 5th (because 5th was burnt out and slipping due to knackered torque conv) it would go back to 4th and try again...classic rocking back and forth as it kept trying.

STA did a full gearbox rebuild, new torque conv. new 5th gear etc... uprated valve body and so on. I got the car back (before xmas) and the next day...motorway speeds I get the rumble you're all talking about.

Long story short...STA have had my car for 3 weeks, rebuilt the box completely...3 different torque converters, 3 different valve bodies...oil pressure pumps...the lot. The are pretty sure it's related to the point when the torque converter locks out.

Info for everyone....if it is a lock out issue you can get the same rumble at 40-50mph by putting the box in tip-tronic getting it in 4th (lowest gear lock-out will occur) and then squeeze the throttle.

Next step for me is changing the gearbox control unit (or ECU or EGS). Luckily I found a 2nd hand one on eBay for £40 BARGAIN!!!! So that's going in next.

Will keep you guys posted.

Also...any other ideas as to the cause? I have had a few people (with 330d's) say mine is quicker...I'm not convinced but...could this have an affected on how the gearbox ECU performs?


Cheers
 

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Hi 330d sport juddering problem, I have the same my car is a 2001 faclift... have you put it on the diagnostics because there are some codes that come up which relate to the gear monitoring and you need to look those up... i have reset the problems when my car was on the diagnostics and has made my car driver better but the problem is still there.
 

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Hi 330d sport juddering problem, I have the same my car is a 2001 faclift... have you put it on the diagnostics because there are some codes that come up which relate to the gear monitoring and you need to look those up... i have reset the problems when my car was on the diagnostics and has made my car driver better but the problem is still there.
Hi,

I gave up trying to get to the bottom of the slight rumble I have been left with. I changed the prop doughnut as well which made no difference. The car has been plugged into a diag before and showed no fault codes for the gearbox since the rebuild.

Thanks.
 

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i spoke to http://www.3dtransmissions.co.uk/ (see this thread for some really good info http://www.bmwland.co.uk/talker/viewtopic.php?p=938760) and explained my problem.

when i described it, the tech guy there said straight away "...if you lightly hold the thottle at around 40mph or 1500rms and you can feel the "cattle grid" effect at the back wheels and the car trying to find a gear it is a classic example of torque convertor problems......."

he seemed v knowledgeable and friendly and we discussed he implication of full auto g/box fluid changes. he had not had any cases of doing a full oil change and then the gearbox lunching itself a short while later. he did say that at my cars mileage though, my car's gearbox could be viewed as being at or near the end of its useable life
he said the vibration could go on for years - but it was usually a sign of things gradually failing.
as well as a fluid change he talked of adding a shudder preventative.

i have decided i am going to get the codes read first before throwing £230 at a fluid change then probably book it in with them for a fluid change if no other fault codes are showing up.
their site is quite comprehensive and they did seem to know what they were talking about.

any other comments views - i'd be interested to hear?
 

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This could be totally irelevant but i had a 530d chipped a year ago, my old one,

After a few thousand miles the car developed a very bad rumble.

At 68-74mph the whole car would rumble, increase the speeed, rumble gone, same with lowering the speed.

It was just a bad remap that F'd the car up.


Has that rumble just appeared
happens all too often on a GM made autobox thats woefully under specified for the big 6 diesel application even in stock form in the first place,its tranny suicide the heavy torque remaps on the big 6 sludger..
 
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