Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Big Pine Key, Florida
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I am having the same problem.
From what I understand, the u-joint on our cars is captured in the driveshaft yoke so it cannot be removed...BMW wants you to buy the entire drive shaft. Replacing the shaft is not that difficult no matter what your friend says. Put the car up on 4-jackstands as high as you can get it. Now you'll notice that there is a lot of aluminum shielding under there in the way of removing the shaft. Rip it out, removing it doesn't really hut anything. Next locate where the shaft bolts to the flex joint, remove the 4bolts. Unbolt the bolts holding the mid-shaft support and slide the shaft to the rear to clear the flex-joint. Now slide the shaft towards the front of the car and it will come out of the input to the rear differential.
Once the driveshaft is out...Take it to a "drive line/ shaft" service and have them modify the shaft so you can remove the u-joint in the future.
I know it sounds like a lot, but it takes simple hand tools and a little time...Just remove everything you need to to free the shaft and slide it forward out of the input to the rear differential...It's cake from there, Screw the service center and their replacement drive shaft!!!