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BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
23-09-2009, 03:57 PM (This post was last modified: 05-10-2009 03:12 PM by Gizmo.)
Post: #1
BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
So I thought I should educate the BMW masses with my knowledge of BMW differentials. Here goes.

Earlier BMW models were nice in the fact that gear-sets and LSD units were interchangeable. Any BMW running the Type 188 (small case) gear-sets in the diff are swappable. Same thing goes for the Type 210 (large case) gear-sets.

Type 188 cars:
All E36 models, except the 3.2lt M3.
All E30 6cyl models.
All E34 models, except the M5 and 540i.
All E32 6cyl models.

Type 210 cars:
E46 M3 and E36 4door M3.
E34 M5 and 540i.
E32 740i and 750i.
All E38 models.
E39 V8 models, could be all models but not sure.

Here are pics of 2 E34/E32 diffs, 1 E34 and 2 E36 diffs. The two large case (type 210) E32/E34 limited-slip diffs on the left. A small case (type 188) E34 diff in the centre. Two 3.15:1 limited-slip E36 diffs on the right.
[Image: SDC10811.jpg]

Here is an exploded view of the internals of a type 188 open diff.
From left to right: Two output shafts, Open center-portion, Ring gear, Speed trigger wheel, Pinion gear, Input flange, nut.
[Image: SDC10812.jpg]

Here is the type 188 E34 case, below it is the type 210 E32/E34 case. Note, small case has 6 bolts, big case has 8 bolts.
[Image: SDC10813.jpg]

Type 210 output shaft, 36mm dia. Type 188 output shaft, 30mm dia.
[Image: SDC10817.jpg]
[Image: SDC10818.jpg]
[Image: SDC10819.jpg]

With the output shaft removed you can see the limited-slip center-portion, it has the allen key hexagonal shaft.
[Image: SDC10814.jpg]

Open center-portions have a round shaft.
[Image: SDC10815.jpg]

All BMW diffs have tags saying if its limited-slip (S) and the ratio.
[Image: SDC10824.jpg]
[Image: SDC10822.jpg]

Here is the oil I use for Limited-slip diffs.
[Image: SDC10820.jpg]
[Image: SDC10821.jpg]

BMW changed the differential design on the later models with type 188 gear sets like the E46, these won't work with the type 188 Limited-slip center-portions, pity 'cos I wanted one in my 330i. The only option is from Quaife @ +R10 000...

Oh btw, the two e36 3.15:1 LSD diffs are for sale @ R1800 each. The two large case diffs are for Uber Soldat and Clutchplate.

Any questions as to what ratio your car has I can find out for you. Got any other questions?
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[-] The following 9 users say Thank You to Gizmo for this post:
323i e46 (03-11-2014), 328ii (09-25-2012), Andy1GP (03-08-2013), danieljames (08-26-2014), Fordkoppie (09-19-2012), JayDrft (11-16-2012), Johnny135i (08-11-2014), NavZ (06-17-2014), UpNcOmiNg! (05-29-2014)
23-09-2009, 04:24 PM
Post: #2
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Gizmo man, for interest sake will they Fit my 316i??
Wish I had the money for it. One day I might ask you for one Bluebiggrin

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23-09-2009, 05:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Thanks Gizmo...very interesting indeed. Thumbsup2
I still don't know why the e90 335 models did not come with an LSD. the open differential is just not good enough.

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23-09-2009, 07:34 PM
Post: #4
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
what are the options on the 335? the few on the net are still very expensive.....how did you make up you mind?
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23-09-2009, 09:46 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2009 10:12 AM by clutchplate.)
Post: #5
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
cool beans, thanks Gizmo, I really appreciate the trouble man ! ...
just picked up my 3.64 LSD ...
woohooo !! Excited Clap Bluebiggrin Excited Clap Drool Drool Icon9 ..... New_all_coholic ...

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24-09-2009, 02:22 AM
Post: #6
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
I got a diff question. What causes ring and pinion wear? Like premature wear.

2008 E90 335i AT - RB Turbos, Helix Cooler, AR Downpipes, Forge DV's, Devils own Meth kit, AE Exhaust, Stett Charge Pipe and CAI, M3 Diff
11.93@192.5 SA 335 Record Holder - Modified Turbos
12.308@189 Record Holder Quickest and Fastest 335 N54 - Stock Turbo's
251km/h- 1km Sprint Stock Turbo's X35 Champion
2009 C63 1000bhp build thread
2014 Golf 7 R
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24-09-2009, 06:58 AM
Post: #7
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
@Gizmo......

u state in your post that the internals are interchangeable between the e36 and e30 diffs, am i correct? so would it be possible to use an LS unit from and e30 diff in an E36 328 diff?

if so can u do it?Bluebiggrin

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24-09-2009, 09:20 PM
Post: #8
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(23-09-2009 05:35 PM)645Nm Wrote:  Thanks Gizmo...very interesting indeed. Thumbsup2
I still don't know why the e90 335 models did not come with an LSD. the open differential is just not good enough.

The 335i is already too close to the M in terms of performance. And according to my dealer even the M sales are suffering because of that. Another reason why the new engine will have 1 turbo, and be a little less tunable.
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25-09-2009, 09:18 AM
Post: #9
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(23-09-2009 04:24 PM)andrewbuch Wrote:  Gizmo man, for interest sake will they Fit my 316i??
Wish I had the money for it. One day I might ask you for one Bluebiggrin
Yes, its a direct fit.

(23-09-2009 05:35 PM)645Nm Wrote:  Thanks Gizmo...very interesting indeed. Thumbsup2
I still don't know why the e90 335 models did not come with an LSD. the open differential is just not good enough.
I have the same problem with my 330i...

(24-09-2009 02:22 AM)George Smooth Wrote:  I got a diff question. What causes ring and pinion wear? Like premature wear.
I suppose torque is a good killer, heat for that matter too. The quality of oil used is important too, Royal Purple make quality stuff which racers swear by.

(24-09-2009 06:58 AM)Mohammed_A Wrote:  @Gizmo......

u state in your post that the internals are interchangeable between the e36 and e30 diffs, am i correct? so would it be possible to use an LS unit from and e30 diff in an E36 328 diff?

if so can u do it?Bluebiggrin
Yes that is correct, I can swap them over for you.
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25-09-2009, 11:39 AM
Post: #10
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Hey Gizmo, the guy from gearbox hasn't phoned me yet today..
also man, would appreciate if you are able to help me swop my internals ?
if u can, when will u have some time bro ?

Greetings..


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25-09-2009, 04:53 PM
Post: #11
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(25-09-2009 11:39 AM)clutchplate Wrote:  Hey Gizmo, the guy from gearbox hasn't phoned me yet today..
also man, would appreciate if you are able to help me swop my internals ?
if u can, when will u have some time bro ?

Greetings..
next week.
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25-09-2009, 09:33 PM
Post: #12
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(25-09-2009 09:18 AM)Gizmo Wrote:  [quote='George Smooth' pid='18590' dateline='1253751773']
I got a diff question. What causes ring and pinion wear? Like premature wear.
I suppose torque is a good killer, heat for that matter too. The quality of oil used is important too, Royal Purple make quality stuff which racers swear by.


I had a Quaife LSD fitted about 3000km prior and I got a feeling it was a botch job.

2008 E90 335i AT - RB Turbos, Helix Cooler, AR Downpipes, Forge DV's, Devils own Meth kit, AE Exhaust, Stett Charge Pipe and CAI, M3 Diff
11.93@192.5 SA 335 Record Holder - Modified Turbos
12.308@189 Record Holder Quickest and Fastest 335 N54 - Stock Turbo's
251km/h- 1km Sprint Stock Turbo's X35 Champion
2009 C63 1000bhp build thread
2014 Golf 7 R
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28-09-2009, 12:00 PM
Post: #13
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(25-09-2009 09:33 PM)George Smooth Wrote:  
(25-09-2009 09:18 AM)Gizmo Wrote:  [quote='George Smooth' pid='18590' dateline='1253751773']
I got a diff question. What causes ring and pinion wear? Like premature wear.
I suppose torque is a good killer, heat for that matter too. The quality of oil used is important too, Royal Purple make quality stuff which racers swear by.


I had a Quaife LSD fitted about 3000km prior and I got a feeling it was a botch job.
Who did it for you? What kind of oil was used?
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28-09-2009, 10:02 PM
Post: #14
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(28-09-2009 12:00 PM)Gizmo Wrote:  
(25-09-2009 09:33 PM)George Smooth Wrote:  
(25-09-2009 09:18 AM)Gizmo Wrote:  [quote='George Smooth' pid='18590' dateline='1253751773']
I got a diff question. What causes ring and pinion wear? Like premature wear.
I suppose torque is a good killer, heat for that matter too. The quality of oil used is important too, Royal Purple make quality stuff which racers swear by.


I had a Quaife LSD fitted about 3000km prior and I got a feeling it was a botch job.
Who did it for you? What kind of oil was used?


They used the oil recommended by Quaife with no additives etc.

2008 E90 335i AT - RB Turbos, Helix Cooler, AR Downpipes, Forge DV's, Devils own Meth kit, AE Exhaust, Stett Charge Pipe and CAI, M3 Diff
11.93@192.5 SA 335 Record Holder - Modified Turbos
12.308@189 Record Holder Quickest and Fastest 335 N54 - Stock Turbo's
251km/h- 1km Sprint Stock Turbo's X35 Champion
2009 C63 1000bhp build thread
2014 Golf 7 R
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02-10-2009, 04:03 PM
Post: #15
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Hey clutchplate, you need to get the E39 M5 diff cover to make it work. Here you can see your LSD diff casing with the M5 cover bolted on. A custom bracket is needed to bolt the front of the diff to the subframe.

[Image: e32m5coverov3.jpg]
[Image: difftopmh6.jpg]

Here is the E39 M5 diff.
[Image: 2b40ff81ro6.jpg]
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02-10-2009, 05:46 PM
Post: #16
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Hey Gizmo great information!!! Thank you for sharing...
Its a pitty I didn't have this info a couple of weeks agoBawling
From what I understand the 3.2L e36 m3 3.23:1 210 large case diff would of been the one to go for me?? I would like to get one of those M5 diff's to fit is it possible to get them to fit in the e36 m3 rear sub?
Dirt cheap price on those 3.15 ls diffs btwThumbsup2
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05-10-2009, 03:26 PM
Post: #17
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Hey Uber, I jacked up my dad's '91 M5 to take some pics of the diff. Its the E34/E32 Type 210 large case limited slip diff seen here:

[Image: SDC10826.jpg]
[Image: SDC10827.jpg]

And here is yours, Uber.
[Image: SDC10829.jpg]
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05-10-2009, 04:55 PM
Post: #18
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Gizmo, just got a price from BMW for the M5 diff cover .. the damn thing is R 4580 ... its insane bro !

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06-10-2009, 10:57 AM
Post: #19
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
(05-10-2009 04:55 PM)clutchplate Wrote:  Gizmo, just got a price from BMW for the M5 diff cover .. the damn thing is R 4580 ... its insane bro !
Good god! Yet a non-///M cover is only R1300. Shows you how BMW rip off M owners... Might as well make a custom mounting plate for the rear too, would be the cheapest way.

I will try find out how much I can get the cover for.
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06-10-2009, 12:33 PM (This post was last modified: 06-10-2009 03:11 PM by Gizmo.)
Post: #20
RE: BMW Differential Tutorial, with pics.
Ok, got hold of my new parts guy, I can get the M5 diff cover for R1300.

I just jacked up my mom's '01 540iA and took some pics.
As you can see, the diff cover has the same mounting points onto the subframe as the M5 but that cover won't bolt onto the E34/E32 diff casing. Also, the input flange is larger on the E39, Im not sure if these can be swapped over but it doesn't matter for clutchplate 'cos you're getting a custom propshaft anyway.

[Image: SDC10830.jpg]
[Image: SDC10831.jpg]
[Image: SDC10832.jpg]

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