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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 08-07-2006, 01:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Center Bearing Problem

I have an 86 325es, with an 89 325i 5 speed / driveshaft / center bearing. The center bearing from the 89 325i is a little bit smaller (where it mounts to the floor) so i drilled some new holes and threaded them. Worked for a little while, now the center bearing broke.

Should I get a center bearing thats made to fit on the 325es? And will it work on the 325i driveshaft?
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In a pinch I solved this by bolting the center bearing bracket to a flat metal bar then bolt it in to the body. If you have a welder, weld a pice of flat steel to both ends then drill the holes.

Last edited by Starmavin; 08-07-2006 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thats a good idea... I'm getting a new one right now, I was curious if i could get the size that acutally fits my 325es but still work with the 325i driveshaft...
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The only other option that worked was to remove the bearing from the rubber dampener and swap it out in the "es" carrier. This takes some care so you don't rip the rubber dampener. This worked 2 out of 3 times, it depends on the carrier's manufacturer.
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Old 08-07-2006, 07:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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OK so the ES and IS Driveshafts are different? So what would be easier, get an ES center bearing and swap the acutal bearing, or get an IS center bearing and rig the mounting.
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Depends on the build date.
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Old 08-07-2006, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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For which? Mine was built prior to 4/1986...
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, now that I think about it, I can't remember trying it... I swapped them out because they felt loose... Let me double check that.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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All i need to know is if the driveshafts are the same with a 1/1986 325es and a 1989 325i.
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Old 08-08-2006, 05:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No, that actually depends on the flex disk size.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Oh ok, well i just orded one for an 325es. Is it hard to install these guys?
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Getting it out is the hardest part, pull the shaft apart, take out the C-clip, tap off the old bearing. Rest the shaft on a pice of wood as not to damage the splines.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:35 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Can you explain how to tap it off? I'm a center bearing virgin... I already have the drive shaft out, and the circlip off.
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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You need a good drift or punch. Just take the two shafts apart and put the splined end against a piece of hard wood. This will give you access to the front side of the bearing. Use your drift and a good ball peen hammer to evenly distribute firm solid taps all around the bearing cage untill it starts to slide off. Be sure not to get it wedged by driving one side more than another!
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Old 08-08-2006, 09:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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P.S. To make it a tad easier, pull, cut or rip off the rubber/sheet metal houseing to expose the bearing.
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