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Old 12-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
Bemmveh
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Unhappy Assistance Needed - Differential gone?

Hi folks,

I'm need of some of the collective knowledge here. I have a 2003 540i with 6 Speed manual.

I recently (Tue/Wed) took my car to my regular mechanic for some fluid changes. I was getting my front brakes done so I also got my mech to put in new Brake Fluid (ATE Super Blue), new tranny oil (RP SynchroMax), and new differential lube (AMSoil Severe Gear 75W-90).

Yesterday evening I went on the 407 and pushed the car a bit in 6th gear and it was maybe 2 mins after I turned the car on (Live off the 407). At 130-140ish, the car made a popping sound and it actually felt like it popped out of 6th, I probably lost like 50% to the wheels and the car started shuddering and shaking like crazy. I pulled over and I looked under the car because I smelled something and I saw that my differential was leaking (see pic).

Now the car can't be driven faster than 20km/h lest horrible shaking and there is a grinding noise. Taking off from a stand still there is almost like a seized like feeling. I asked a friend if I was going to do more damage if I kept driving and his suggestion was to limp it home at under 20 km/h and wait until the holidays are over.

So I did. My questions are:
1. What went wrong? I'm assuming my differential is gone?

2. Could this be related to my differential lube change? I talked to my mech this morning and he is leaning towards the fact that a lube change aggravated something pre-existing. He has always been honest and he hasn't taken a look in person yet. I would like to be informed.

3. If it is my differential, has anyone any recommendations besides hunting an exact used diff? I've read swapping it for a diff from an automatic 540i sport for increased fun factor due to the 3.15 vs 2.82.

My car has 116,000 km on it and I never experienced anything that could allude a problem with my differential. It really bothers me that this happens less 1 week after my differential lube change.


If the pic sucks, I apologize. I can try taking more with my SLR.
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Old 12-25-2012, 06:45 PM   #2
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Yes, most likely diff is gone. FYI the 6spd and auto have the same ratio, unless the car had the sport package (with the 3.15). If you need it, we have in stock!
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:23 PM   #3
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i believe mine is with the sport package but I thought all manuals came with the 2.82 and only the automatic sport came with 3.15.

I am in need. Are you open Thur? I am taking to my mech on Thur AM to confirm the diff. I would like to get the parts ASAP.
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Old 12-25-2012, 11:04 PM   #4
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Yes we are open 12-8pm, call after 11am to set a appointment.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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The diff bearings in my E36 LSD went south a few years ago. I had mine rebuilt because it was an LSD and in good shape overall, but for a catastrophic failure like yours, I'd probably pop in a used one.

I also use Severe Gear since it seems highly touted on BobIsTheOilGuy but in 75w140 grade since I have an LSD. Personally, I would not push a car in cold weather at high speeds 2 minutes after start up. My drive takes me more than 5 minutes in the hood before I get onto the 401, which I drive gingerly. By the time I'm on the 401, the fluids are warmed up and flowing well. I've seen a demo of cold diff fluid and it does not seem to flow very well at low temps (google Lucas diff additive video). If I were you, I'd change my daily cold weather drive and get onto the 407 at the next on-ramp.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
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Well said. I usually wait a good 5 minutes myself. It usually takes that long for the steering wheel heater to heat up aswell.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:27 PM   #7
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Perfect time to replace it with a 3:15 LS\D from the M5.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 505hp View Post
Well said. I usually wait a good 5 minutes myself. It usually takes that long for the steering wheel heater to heat up aswell.
5 minutes? Wow. My car is in a unheated garage so I give it 30 secs before driving off. I usually don't push it for a while but I was in a rush that night.

I guess I need to learn to wait. An expensive lesson that's turning out to be.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #9
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I was referring to 5 minutes of gentle driving to warm up the fluids (not 5 minutes of idling)

Ok, I dug up the link for you: http://web.archive.org/web/201009261...ucas/lucas.htm

You want to look at the white foamy pics on the right side which may explain why you started smelling something bad. Is it possible your cold gear lube started to foam and provided no lubrication?
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:30 PM   #10
Bemmveh
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wow

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmar View Post
I was referring to 5 minutes of gentle driving to warm up the fluids (not 5 minutes of idling)

Ok, I dug up the link for you: http://web.archive.org/web/201009261...ucas/lucas.htm

You want to look at the white foamy pics on the right side which may explain why you started smelling something bad. Is it possible your cold gear lube started to foam and provided no lubrication?
Wow...I now have a whole new perspective on synthetic oils and allowing time for temperature increase....Thanks.!
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