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Old 10-22-2010, 06:01 PM   #1
JINT
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M3 rear end in an E46 5spd

Question to the pros, i swapped a whole rear end of an M3 into a 2001 330ci 5spd, just for the LSD. Having Trouble with the driveshaft, you guys know how to make it fit? does it have to be assembled from two different driveshafts? if so which driveshafts, off what cars?
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Old 10-22-2010, 09:01 PM   #2
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I actually just stepped in from my garage while doing this same swap. you have to use the m3 driveshaft since the diff is longer on the m3. so the diff to center bearing will remain unchanged from the rear end. and then you have to get the front end of the driveshaft modified for your 5 speed tranny since it is shorter then the m3 tranny. ALSO! and i just made this mistake and I am furious because of it. The flange on the 6 speed bmw trannys is different then the output flange on the 5 speed trannys. It is larger. therefore when you are getting the driveshaft customized, u must also transfer the flange off the 5 speed driveshaft to make it work. I just spent hundreds of dollars on customizing my driveshaft and made this mistake.

little bit of a threadjack but it will come to your benefit knowing aswell possibly, but would the m3 transmission output flange bolt onto the 5 speed because I know it is held in by 1 bolt, the only reason I havent gone forward and checked is because I do not want to bother sourcing the flange if it might not work. the shaft coming out of the flanges are the same, but is the shaft inside the transmission actually the same. If anyone could answer this that would be VERY greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-22-2010, 11:15 PM   #3
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Hey JINT, dont forget me, I helped as well.

JINT, dont forget that sway bar that I told you about.
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:54 PM   #4
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Hey JINT, dont forget me, I helped as well.

JINT, dont forget that sway bar that I told you about.
what sway bar?
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Old 10-23-2010, 02:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rider-. View Post
I actually just stepped in from my garage while doing this same swap. you have to use the m3 driveshaft since the diff is longer on the m3. so the diff to center bearing will remain unchanged from the rear end. and then you have to get the front end of the driveshaft modified for your 5 speed tranny since it is shorter then the m3 tranny. ALSO! and i just made this mistake and I am furious because of it. The flange on the 6 speed bmw trannys is different then the output flange on the 5 speed trannys. It is larger. therefore when you are getting the driveshaft customized, u must also transfer the flange off the 5 speed driveshaft to make it work. I just spent hundreds of dollars on customizing my driveshaft and made this mistake.

little bit of a threadjack but it will come to your benefit knowing aswell possibly, but would the m3 transmission output flange bolt onto the 5 speed because I know it is held in by 1 bolt, the only reason I havent gone forward and checked is because I do not want to bother sourcing the flange if it might not work. the shaft coming out of the flanges are the same, but is the shaft inside the transmission actually the same. If anyone could answer this that would be VERY greatly appreciated.
The tranny output flange teeth should be the same on both 6spd and 5spd, so technically it should bolt on. But I don't wanna do all that custom shit with the driveshaft it's too much money, i wanna find on that already fit as it is, assemble it from two pieces and thats it. I'm still doing trial and error as soon as i come up with something that works i'll post it up.
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:30 AM   #6
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what sway bar?
You guys forgot a sway bar.

When he brought it to the shop, there was no sway bar, I guess it got lost somewhere.

Find a sway bar.
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Old 10-24-2010, 02:01 AM   #7
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ok so i looked into it further and the transmission on 330s is different.. its a getrag 320 whereas on 320s and 325's there is a getrag 250. the 320 is built with different specs. and the output flange is a completely different mechanism then the one on the 250. Since you are swapping from a 330 you are mint in that sense.

Now seeing as you have a 330. You have the same style driveshaft as the m3. Therefore, since your transmission is staying in the same place, the front side of your shaft to center bearing will stay the same. For the rear side, the m3 shaft will work because the diff to center bearing length will be the same, so those are the 2 shafts you need, the 330 shaft you have and the m3 shaft.... and it should work.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:55 AM   #8
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ok so i looked into it further and the transmission on 330s is different.. its a getrag 320 whereas on 320s and 325's there is a getrag 250. the 320 is built with different specs. and the output flange is a completely different mechanism then the one on the 250. Since you are swapping from a 330 you are mint in that sense.

Now seeing as you have a 330. You have the same style driveshaft as the m3. Therefore, since your transmission is staying in the same place, the front side of your shaft to center bearing will stay the same. For the rear side, the m3 shaft will work because the diff to center bearing length will be the same, so those are the 2 shafts you need, the 330 shaft you have and the m3 shaft.... and it should work.
doesn't work, the only way that would work, is if the car had a 6spd gearbox off a zhp or something. If you use the M3 driveshaft rear portion it is still wrong length.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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that still doesnt make sense to me, because the length from the diff to the center bearing remains unchanged from an m3 when u bolt it in your car as they are the same chassis, and the length from the center bearing to your transmission will remain the same because nothing has moved there.. so the front 330 should bolt to the rear m3 and it shoudl work. unless the center bearing is on the opposite side of the shaft on the 330. the shaft i have is just a lengthened m3 shaft. i got them to make a new front peice of the shaft which is 141mm longer then the stock m3 front end. and the rear end remained the same and bolted up fine.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
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^^^yes, the m3 hanger bearing is on the wrong side...
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:40 AM   #11
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