The moment you buy an older BMW, you must become familiar with a lexicon that includes such terms as DISA valve, DME, Bi-Xenon, SAP, VANOS and, my favorite: guibo.
What sounds like a midlevel thug in La Cosa Nostra is actually something less nefarious. A guibo is slang for the rubber driveshaft coupler, which connects the output shaft of the transmission to the forward flange of the driveshaft. The use of a rubber coupler softens the engagement of the clutch or, in the case of the, gulp, automatic transmission, it softens upshifts.
You can get polyurethane couplers, which tighten up the drivetrain, but I figured since the car had nearly 150,000 miles, even stock replacement stuff would tighten it up to my liking. Yes, the car is billed as the HPD E46, but it doesn’t see much track time, so when things wear out, I usually end up sticking with OEM parts.
The job itself is pretty involved, all things considered, but not terrible overall. I’d rate it a two out of five wrenches, five being the most difficult. The short story is you pull the exhaust, so you can pull the heat shield so you can get to the driveshaft.
Because the job is so involved, it’s a good idea to refresh a few other things “while you’re in there.” You can replace the transmission mounts because they have to come out anyway. You also can refresh the shifter bushings, but that’s another story, because for now, the driveshaft coupler is enough.
I’ve not heard of one failing outright, but the one I pulled out was pretty wiped out. If it did fail completely, the driveshaft likely would remain contained within the tunnel, so to speak, but the forward end of it would probably flail around and do a lot of damage. Replacing the guibo as preventive maintenance is an offer you can’t refuse.
For this job, I purchased the parts from ECS Tuning in Wadsworth, Ohio. The company offers lots of kits and suggested items, which are helpful to getting the most out of repairs. Look for a story on installing shifter bushings in an upcoming issue of Speed News.