Originally Posted by E36is
transfer cases are problematic mainly leaks and joints. If you are looking for one, look for a US model which came with 5spd and 2door coupe... canadian versions only came with auto and 4 doors. Rim offsets are unique with the ix, they have 40+ offset whereas standard e30 (except m3) came with +20 offset, someone correct me if im wrong. I believe the suspension is also unique for the ix as well.
they also came 5sp in North America and some came with the sport interior and minor cosmetic upgrades. offset 15" basket weaves are Et41. joints are not the problem. the viscose coupling (transfer case) case have broken time to time but most the problem is the output shaft splines tend to strip causing the front wheels to intermittently work due to stripped spines or not all together. the weak point is the transfer case and one can test this by jacking the rear wheels up and putting the car in drive. if the car moves forward with out any slipping or skipping the transfer case is good. that means all 4 wheels are driving. it is a 70/30 splint rear to front.
A quick fix for the spine issue is tack welding the shaft to the output flange on the transfer case. will never slip again. the expensive fix is removal of the drive train from the motor back. everything has to come out. tranny, exhaust, drive shafts, diff. $$$$$
oh one other thing. Axle shafts boots tend to tear and lube leaks out eventually causing the cv joint to get dry and knock or chatter. would require replacement.