200q Center bearing Repair

TooManyAudis at aol.com TooManyAudis at aol.com
Tue Jun 29 11:17:21 EDT 2004

Don't bother trying to "fix" the 200 20vtq shaft-

The u-joints on the 200 20vtq are "pinned" and NOT held in by spring clips 
like "regular" u-joints. ( the factory WANTS to sell you a new shaft- only $1300 
This makes it very difficult to replace ( need to machine the strakes off and
then get a machine shop to add the standard u-joint circlip slots to the 
yoke.  RPITA. If that's not the issue ( center bearing/CV's) then it's just the 
pain getting the yoke OFF the shaft.

go get a lower mileage 200tq ( 88 up) or 5kt ( 86,87) as
those have easily rebuildable u-joints and the center bearing is the same.
( BMW part is from a 3 series I think- got the p/n around here somewhere- 
You do need to either transfer the carrier housing or re-do the mounting to 
get the thing to work.

If you pull the thing be SURE to mark the center location AND the 
CV location alingments. If you forget the balance can be off( sometimes

I got a '90 200tq shaft from a local junk yard for $20. Came from a car with
130k miles. Slapped it in- been fine for the last 50k. Took a few miles to 
"work in" but with a little grease( used a needle to inject into the carrier b. 
) it worked fine.

I have been quoted a price of $400 to have the 200 20vtq center shaft 
rebuilt- not bad but the parts cost me $80 to replace the u-joint and bearing.
( CV's were fine- although they are around$80-100 per joint FYI )

Also note: unless the CV's have been removed in the last 100k expect them to 
be a BITCH to get out. I had to take a die grinder to about half of the bolts 
to get them out. ( took the heads off then used a big stud remover to wrench 
them out)

so 12 bolts and two gaskets, a u-joint and the BWM part + a good Sat 
All fixed.

Still looking for the partno. it's around here somewhere.


Thanks for the information.  I noticed the lack of a zerk fitting when I did 
some investigating yesterday.  I wonder if the U-joint is another one of those 
mysteriously "lubricated for life" items, like the tranny, dif and cv joints.

It's hard to tell exactly where the problem lies with the driveshaft.  There 
definitely is some clinking-type noise when the shaft is rotated (not 
continuous, but indicative of something being loose in the shaft), but the U-Joint 
appears to have no, or very little, play in it.  I am suspicious of the Drive 
shaft CV Joints, especially the one on the front Dif.  I'll do some more 
investigating on that tonight.

The center bearing carrier appears to be "sagging", with a bit of play (drive 
shaft can be moved an inch or two at the center bearing point).  I don't know 
if that is a sign that replacement is necessary, but it doesn't look good to 
me.  As long as I can get the yoke off the front portion of the drive shaft 
(not an easy task if the U-Joint can not be dissassembled) the center bearing / 
carrier should be replaceable.

The idea of reverting to an older, rebuildable shaft is interesting.  But, I 
think this will only be necessary if the U-joint is shot.  The CV Joints 
should be rebuildable by a shop near me that charges around $40 per joint.

Time will tell what I can do.

-- Tom

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