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      Yesterday, 05:42 PM   #1
richinvan
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Source for replacement Throttle Body Actuator Gears?

Well chums, it appears I may have a faulty actuator... got the "Christmas tree" of Check Control errors last night, which sometimes goes away on a restart.

I'm going to scan the car ASAP in case it's a faulty battery or something else (I believe battery in car is original), but assuming it is the actuator:

- car had one replaced at 111,000 km. Not sure which. Still looking into that.

- a gentleman in the UK makes replacement gears out of delrin and brass for lifetime longevity, see here:

http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=94742

I've sent him a message to find out if he has any sets left... and I figure I'll replace both sides while I've got the plenum off (and change the plugs while I have easy access).

Canadian dealers want $1600 +taxes for a single actuator, compared to about $800 US stateside for one (insanity!), so if I can refurb them instead, it's a no-brainer to me.

Read the DIY here: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735033 - pretty simple how-to, nothing crazy here.

My ultimate question:
Is there a source in North America for replacement or upgraded gears??
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      Yesterday, 05:51 PM   #2
anom3
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One thing to keep in mind is I have read a few posts that had actuator issues, and it turns out the gears were just fine... But the electronics were not.

I may be wrong, but it may be prudent to have a look inside to make sure the gears are in fact the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richinvan View Post
Well chums, it appears I may have a faulty actuator... got the "Christmas tree" of Check Control errors last night, which sometimes goes away on a restart.

I'm going to scan the car ASAP in case it's a faulty battery or something else (I believe battery in car is original), but assuming it is the actuator:

- car had one replaced at 111,000 km. Not sure which. Still looking into that.

- a gentleman in the UK makes replacement gears out of delrin and brass for lifetime longevity, see here:

http://forums.m3cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=94742

I've sent him a message to find out if he has any sets left... and I figure I'll replace both sides while I've got the plenum off (and change the plugs while I have easy access).

Canadian dealers want $1600 +taxes for a single actuator, compared to about $800 US stateside for one (insanity!), so if I can refurb them instead, it's a no-brainer to me.

Read the DIY here: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=735033 - pretty simple how-to, nothing crazy here.

My ultimate question:
Is there a source in North America for replacement or upgraded gears??
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      Yesterday, 06:11 PM   #3
richinvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anom3 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is I have read a few posts that had actuator issues, and it turns out the gears were just fine... But the electronics were not.

I may be wrong, but it may be prudent to have a look inside to make sure the gears are in fact the issue.

Yes, I've read that electronics failures can happen, but are limited to about 10% of cases (also that the dealers will, in true modern BMW fashion, immediately lean towards claiming the electrics are the issue).

I'll play the odds and assume the gears are wearing excessively... but in either case, if the codes thrown are showing actuator issues, I'll pull them, open them up and inspect.

In any case, if I'm going to dig into this, I might as well future-proof them from gear wear failure... which again leads me to my original question above.
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      Yesterday, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anom3 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is I have read a few posts that had actuator issues, and it turns out the gears were just fine... But the electronics were not.
Correct, a few have had issues with the motor driver FETs overheating and burning out. Theory was that the worn gears might have caused the control loop to be continuously hunting back and forth for position, thereby over-heating the drive FETs. That's just a theory, though. The FETs were visibly browned due to the over-heating on the pics I saw. They are cheap to replace at under $3 apiece from online sellers like Digi-Key, but requires someone with the ability and soldering equipment for replacing surface-mount components.

So it is possible that even with new gears to still have a problem with the electronics part of the actuator. However, it appears that any S65 actuator with significant mileage on it (say, greater than 60k miles) will likely have visibly worn gear teeth in the most frequently used areas.

All that said if you buy replacement gears and it doesn't fix the problem, you could re-sell the new gears on this forum I'd bet.
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      Yesterday, 06:21 PM   #5
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you want OEM replacement or a manufactured upgraded part? OEM replacements can be found on various dealer online sites. There's a neat search feature that queries many dealers with 1 p/n search. let me know if you need this source.
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      Yesterday, 06:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Flying Ace View Post
you want OEM replacement or a manufactured upgraded part? OEM replacements can be found on various dealer online sites. There's a neat search feature that queries many dealers with 1 p/n search. let me know if you need this source.
Yep, but BMW doesn't sell parts to these actuators-- just the whole assembly. The aftermarket gears were developed by an outfit in the UK just for BMW throttle actuator failures. Haven't seen anyone producing them here in the US.
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      Yesterday, 06:26 PM   #7
richinvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Ace View Post
you want OEM replacement or a manufactured upgraded part? OEM replacements can be found on various dealer online sites. There's a neat search feature that queries many dealers with 1 p/n search. let me know if you need this source.
The gears inside aren't intended to be user-serviceable. Only part number that comes up for these is 13627838085 - internals are Siemens/VDO parts.

I can get a complete actuator from all the usual online dealer sites at about $800. Used ones show up on eBay and such... but that just means I'll need to replace them again down the line - I'm hoping to 'rebuild' them to not have to deal with it again.
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      Yesterday, 06:28 PM   #8
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yeah what a pain, it's almost as if we need to set aside $800 every 50k miles to replace these. Oh well, it'll be future-Flying Ace's problem! I just replaced it under my state's 7 year 70k miles emissions warranty.
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      Yesterday, 06:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemdog View Post
Correct, a few have had issues with the motor driver FETs overheating and burning out. Theory was that the worn gears might have caused the control loop to be continuously hunting back and forth for position, thereby over-heating the drive FETs. That's just a theory, though. The FETs were visibly browned due to the over-heating on the pics I saw. They are cheap to replace at under $3 apiece from online sellers like Digi-Key, but requires someone with the ability and soldering equipment for replacing surface-mount components.

So it is possible that even with new gears to still have a problem with the electronics part of the actuator. However, it appears that any S65 actuator with significant mileage on it (say, greater than 60k miles) will likely have visibly worn gear teeth in the most frequently used areas.

All that said if you buy replacement gears and it doesn't fix the problem, you could re-sell the new gears on this forum I'd bet.
Yeah, once I remove them and open it up, I'll check for signs of component issues - I actually work for a large high-tech company, and have access to a bunch of hardware engineers with rework stations and the like... so I might be able to swap out a burned-out FET if that's the case... but *if* the electronics are the issue, I'll swap them out with replacements and if I can get them, do the gear 'upgrade' at once.

I just hate replacing a part with another that is very likely to fail in exactly the same way again, you know?
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      Yesterday, 06:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by richinvan View Post
I just hate replacing a part with another that is very likely to fail in exactly the same way again, you know?
I hear that, Rich! Would be nice to have a set of 'lifetime' quality gears that could be swapped in for under a hundred bucks...
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      Yesterday, 08:56 PM   #11
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I just replaced both my TA's from Tisher BMW I believe it was around $1500... Hopefully you can save some serious $$ and do the internal components in-house. Please keep us posted if you find the replacement parts. I'd like to give it a shot as well
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      Yesterday, 09:30 PM   #12
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The replacement gears by Alpina are 200 pounds per actuator (about $310). If you have errors at this point and your car is going into limp mode, your electronic may have failed due to the wear of the gears.
One member tried changing out the Mosfet on the electronic board but the replacement failed as well. They overheat.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1068709

IMO, best case scenario is to put in the replacement gears by Alpina into a new actuator unit. ... and that's not a guarantee that in time it will not fail.
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      Yesterday, 09:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flea7 View Post
The replacement gears by Alpina are 200 pounds per actuator (about $310). If you have errors at this point and your car is going into limp mode, your electronic may have failed due to the wear of the gears.
One member tried changing out the Mosfet on the electronic board but the replacement failed as well. They overheat.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1068709

IMO, best case scenario is to put in the replacement gears by Alpina into a new actuator unit. ... and that's not a guarantee that in time it will not fail.
The car keeps going into and out of limp mode on restarts. I drove it 20km tonight with no issues other than a stuck emissions CEL.

Time will tell when I get it apart, I guess.
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      Yesterday, 09:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richinvan View Post
The car keeps going into and out of limp mode on restarts. I drove it 20km tonight with no issues other than a stuck emissions CEL.

Time will tell when I get it apart, I guess.
Are you in BC or WA?
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      Yesterday, 09:59 PM   #15
richinvan
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Originally Posted by Flea7 View Post
Are you in BC or WA?
British Columbia.
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      Today, 04:10 AM   #16
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If we change the gears as preventative maintenance do we get 100k miles out of it instead of ~40/50k or would the electronics still fail at some point?!
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