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BMW M328i, Giubo Replacement and Shifter Rebuild

Parts are arriving almost constantly, so it was time to start cracking on fixing my BMW.

It’s been a month now, since I obtained the M328i, and it’s spent 98% of that time in the garage in bits. I’ve driven it home, to and from work once, and that’s as far as its been in my ownership. Unfortunately the list of failures just kept getting bigger for those first couple of weeks, but now I feel I’m almost on top of the list and it isn’t growing.

Parts from all over the world, mainly The States, have arrived, with more still en route now. I decided to start with work under the car, as I needed to get new tires on the Style 24 wheels, so the car would be up on the QuickJacks, and it made sense.

The main work I needed to do was to replace all the bushing in the shifter assembly, as there was far too much play when in gear, and much like Tess, it was like trying to row in a bucket of porridge. This is work I carried out on my first BMW when I had it converted to manual, and they didn’t put any bushing in at the time. The shifter shaft seal was also leaking, making a hell of a mess, and accelerating the degradation of rubber bushes etc.

The other job whilst there is to replace the drive shaft flex disk, or Giubo (usually pronounced Gwee-Boh, but apparently meant to be pronounced Joo-Boh). I noticed this was badly cracked when I had the car over the pit at work, so ordered a replacement. The drive shaft needs to be dropped to make accessing the shifter bushes easier, so it’s a good time to do it.

The first step once the car was in the air, was to drop the exhaust mid section. It’s not hard to drop, just four flanges to undo, but its damn heavy. It also turns out one of the front flanges has been leaking, because one flange had a crushed flat gasket and lots of sealant, the other flange had no gasket, just gasket goop.

With the exhaust section down, there is a heat shield that needs to be removed. It has six screws holding it in.

To drop the drive shaft first you must loosen off the nuts holding the center bearing as this will need to be lowered later, and remove the cross brace in the bottom of the above photo.

I marked the two flanges with a paint pen to help align them again later, and then went in with the ugga dugga gun to spin off the bolts holding the flanges to the flex disk. These are 18mm nuts and bolts. Turns out I didn’t even have an 18mm spanner (most socket and spanner sets skip 18mm as its uncommon), so I had to rush out and buy one.

Once all the bolts are out, remove the two nuts holding the center bearing in and then the drive shaft can be lowered out of the way. The Giubo was pretty shocking. It even had chunks missing.

Compared to the new one

With the shaft out I had access to the shifter assembly. I don’t have photos of this in place because it was very messy and a real pain to get out. I had issues getting the rear bushing, and the “bastard” clip out, but there are lots of tutorials online on how to get them out.

Once on the bench it was obvious why there was so much play. There were no plastic washers (which take up slack) where the green arrow points, and the ones with the orange arrow were worn paper thin.

The main joint usually has a foam insert in it to increase resistance to movement. This had absorbed oil from the leaking selector shaft seal and turned to mush

This bush which supports the main shifter arm had gone soft and worn out

I stripped all the parts down and gave them a clean. I first replaced the shifter “bearing”. The old one had worn and gone brittle.

I pressed out the old arm bush and fit the replacement

On went the new yellow plastic washers.

A new main joint was obtained also. This comes with the new foam insert. This is an updated design that actually does away with the plastic washers on this end of the shift rod. Interestingly it’s also made of an alloy and significantly lighter than the old steel one.

You can see on the new one there is a built in sleeve that takes up the space where the washers would have been on the old one

One tip I will say, is DO NOT REMOVE the retaining clip on the joint. It’s a real prick to get back into place, and impossible to put on once the joint is in the car. Instead, slip the ring up the joint so it exposes the hole for the retaining pin. Move the ring to where the green line is. Once the retaining pin is in place, this allows you to easily push the ring back into place to lock the pin in.

Before I could refit the shifter assembly, I needed to tackle the horribly leaking selector seal. This is a very common issue, and other than bad access, not a hard job to fix. I gave the area a quick clean to expose the old seal. The rubber was hard as a rock and I couldn’t get a screwdriver or a pick into it, so no wonder it was leaking. I ended up using the recommended alternate option, instead of removing the old seal (which was proving hard), drift the old seal further into the bore and then install the new seal in front of it. Use a 15mm deep socket to install the seal, as it’s a perfect fit on the seals outer edge.

With the seal in, I reinstalled the shifter assembly. A quick test shows its lovely and notchy in its feel, with minimal movement in gear. Can’t wait to drive with it.

Now I needed to install the new Giubo and reinstall the drive shaft. This is bit of a shitty job, due to limited space for ratchets and spanners, but fairly straight forward.

One major thing to keep in mind is to ensure the arrows point toward the flange that the bolt attaches to. You can just make out the small arrow in the below photo. The green arrow is pointing both to it, and in the direction its pointing in. The green line is where the flange should be that the bolt goes through.

Once all the bolts are in, all the nuts are on and lightly nipped up, I torqued all the bolts up (per flange. Start with the three bolts on one flange and then do the other three) to the required 115NM. This is a lot of torque when lying on a rolling creeper with limited room!

I torqued them all up, and then did a quick pass of all bolts again to make sure they were all locked in nice and tight.

Then it was a matter of refitting the center bearing (remembering to preload the center bearing 5mm to the front of the car), rear brace and heat shield.

I still need to refit the exhaust, but I’m waiting on new gaskets, which should hopefully show up early next week.

As an aside, I also replaced the fuel filter whilst under the car today. It was too hard to get good photos under there of it, so no good guide (and there are heaps out there already), but it’s interesting to note the old one was either the original filter, or hadn’t been replaced in a long time. There was no obvious date stamp on it, but the label on the filter is old enough that I can’t even find a matching photo online. Even if it isn’t really that old, no harm in knowing it has a new one in there now.

I’m getting closer to having the car back on the road. Unfortunately before I can take it for another hoon I need to remove the valve cover and replace the gasket as I found out the other day it’s hemorrhaging oil down the back corner. This means I may as well rebuild the Vanos whilst I’m in there. Yay.

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