The GMW Guide to repairing your Transfer-Case Actuator on your BMW X-Drive vehicle.

Time required : 1-2 Hours 

Tools required : 

  • 2 Small Flathead Screwdrivers
  • 1 Pick or really small Screwdriver
  • 1 Small hammer
  • 1 Medium sized punch
  • E-Torx socket set and ratchet
  • 3/8 drive deep socket set
  • High Temperature Grease


This guide was done on a BMW X3 E83. On BMW X5 and X6 models you may have to remove the transmission brace and hold the transmission up using a vehicle jack.

 Locate and remove your Transfer-Case Actuator.

x-drive transfer-case

Disconnect the 2 electrical connectors. 

transfer-case connectors

Now remove the 4 E-Torx Bolts holding the actuator in place. For clarity we pictured it removed from the Vehicle.

transfer-case actuator

Once you removed the Actuator its time to open it carefully , try not to damage the Aluminum housing. Try prying it open using a small screwdriver or Pick from the corner pictured below.

27107566296 opening

Once opened you have to remove a small cir clip using 2 screwdrivers , a pick or even small cir clip pliers if available. 

cir clip transfer-case

After the cir clip is removed you can now remove the gear from the housing by pulling it straight up. Sometimes it helps to remove the small metal spring inside the seal for easier removal.

actuator seal

Time to clean the worm drive and the housing.

worm drive cleaning

After cleaning the worm drive and the housing , apply fresh High Temperature Grease to the worm drive and the Pin. Now its time to re-install the Gears into the housing.

transfer-case gear installed

The installation of the seal can be a bit tricky. Take your time and apply a thin film of grease to the seal for easier installation. We recommend the use of a deep 12-13mm socket to press the seal in by hand with the spring facing up.

seal installed

Next step is to install the washer and the cir clip on top of the seal.

washers and cir clip

Time to seal the Actuator again. You can use a tiny bit of sealant around the edges , however we recommend to install it dry and let the rubber seal the press-fitted cover plate. Use a small hammer and medium sized Punch and carefully install the cover plate. It does not take much force to install the cover plate.

transfer-case actuator cover plate

Finally you just need to re-install the Actuator to your Transfer-Case , connect your 2 electrical connectors and clear the fault memory. We recommend changing the Transfer-Case oil at the same time.

All parts needed can be bought right Here.

Now you just need to lean back and smile at how much money you just saved yourself.