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Thread: 3.0 or 4.4?
12-26-2010 05:13 PM #1
01-04-2011 12:06 PM #2
Thoughts on both
I was just reading online that the early models had a fixed split 66/33 torque transfer case, with most power going to the rear. The later models had a clutch pack in the transfer case that could send ALL power to the front, if the rear was slipping.
I wonder if that might be the reason that *SOME* people have this problem and not others. After all, all that torque to the front wheels could strip those output splines rather easily. All it would take is to hit the throttle on wet pavement, break loose the rear wheels, and then you would shock-load the whole front driveline.
(When American automakers switched from forged to nodule cast-iron differential gears, a similar effect occurred - if you peeled out on a gravel or icy shoulder and then hit dry pavement, you could snap the teeth off the spider gears in a non-posi rear-end very easily. BTDT!).
The good news is, it is not that expensive to repair. Go online and search, and you will see a plethora of places selling "rebuilt" transfer cases (rebuilt meaning replacing the output gear). One fellow reports paying $750 to have his fixed. For a $53,000 car (new) this is not a huge repair.
My advice: Don't horse these things around. A V-8 and an an automatic can produce a LOT of torque in any car.
I have a 2002 model with the old-style case (fixed split) made by new process gear. 110,000 miles on it, pulling a 35,000 lb trailer for maybe 25,000 of those miles. And I've even pulled out tree stumps with the car - no problems. Of course, I have the 5-speed, which is geared to make it damn near impossible to peel out, so that limits the shock loading on the driveline as well.
I just changed the "lifetime" fluids in the manual tranny, transfer case, and differentials, at 100,000 miles.
I believe the switch to the new-style case was made in about 2004 or so.
The BMW six is a nice engine and has more than enough power to push this pig around. I have a 5-speed, so no autobox problems, either.
The six gets good mileage (20-22 on the highway) and is cheaper to service and own, and easier for the DIY person to work on.
Also the alternator on the six is air-cooled, not water-cooled, and costs a lot less.
There is a lot less complexity, which is a good thing when you own a car for 10 years or more.
Most people want autoboxes for SUVs. BMW bravely made quite a number of 5- and 6-speed manual X5s and I suspect they can be had for fairly bargain prices, as the Soccer-Moms can't drive a stick.
And there are a lot of these models out there with low mileage on them, still - like under 50,000. If you can find one, it could be quite a deal - they are trading in the low teens.
01-04-2011 03:46 PM #3
Re: Thoughts on both
Totally support Robert's post on the 6 vs 8 cylinder. I too have a manual 6 cyl, but mine is an '01 model. It was built in June of '00 and I bought it in Feb '05. After almost 6 years it's the best SUV I've had ('94 Grand Cherokee, '99 Tahoe and an Explorer). I'm approaching 155k miles and it's still chugging along.
If you get a manual tranny be sure to replace the clutch delay valve for improved takeoffs.
10-23-2011 03:01 PM #4
10-23-2011 05:32 PM #5
BMW added the CDV to most cars in the late 1990s and early 2000's to make shifting smoother. It is just an orifice in the clutch hydraulic line, ahead of the slave cylinder.
It can make it harder to clutch the car, as you let out the clutch (you think) and gun the engine, and since there is delay, the engine races and the clutch slips, then grabs, and everyone in the car jerks back and forth and thinks you don't know how to drive a stick.
Some folks remove the valve and drill it out and reinstall it. I've never gotten around to it, myself.
10-24-2011 09:58 AM #6
Yes I have felt that valve stick or delay as you have described. It doesn't happen every time but when it does I think to myself, "Damn, how long have I been driving manuals?" it definitely prevents you from greasing an aggressive launch. I'll look into drilling out the orifice, if anyone has any details of this I would be grateful uf you would share it.
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