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Old 03-17-2006, 04:06 AM   #1
E36er
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Rear Diff help

K

heres the story, my rear diff in my 94 325is has been acting up with noise's and such. I dont know too many details but it seems the wrong lube was put in so it wrecked something along the way (mechanic told me this knowing i would replace the parts myself and he would make no money)

I would like to get some Options on a new (well used, but new to me) Diff.

I've heard about the M3 diffs giving more jump at a "stop" and such (lower gearing i assume).. ive also herd of "open diff's" "LSD" and stuff like that but have NO clue what they mean. i would search the net but honestly, the only thing i go online for is MSN, maxbimmer and Bimmerforums so im no good at it.

Do u guys got some ideas, i figure since im replacing it and i want to start some mods to the performance of my car, is there a good rear diff other then the stock 325is one (which i have one lined up right now if i need it)

thanks for any help on this one, and if theres topics on this already i didnt notice, feel free to show me this link so i can learn more about it.


Cliff notes: Need new Diff, which is better and why, ur opinion please.
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Old 03-17-2006, 04:16 AM   #2
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The general concensus is you want a 3.23 diff. That's what 5spd m3's had. Better acceleration on the line, still reasonable highway cruising RPM's. Your other options are 3.38's (from auto m3's) and 3.91's (auto 325 mabye?)

LSD vs Open

LSD is kindof like traction control in later model cars, But instead of electronically sensing when one wheel loses power, it does it mechanically. If one wheel loses traction, and just starts spinning wildly, the power will be transferred entirely to that one wheel. With a limited slip, your wheels would "lock" and both wheels would get power. (it would slow one of the wheels down, and force power on the other one)

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Old 03-17-2006, 04:22 AM   #3
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aiight, that does help. so what diff does my car have (it is 5spd btw)

so u would be voting for the 3.23 diff right..and is that open or LSD (unless is comes in both)
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Old 03-17-2006, 08:29 AM   #4
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A 3.38 LSD or a 3.46 LSD would be perfect but they are super rare, (the 3.46LSD is custom).
The 3.23 is more comon but still hard to find. I have a 3.38LSD if you are interested, but it won't be cheap.
The job isn't difficult, just remove the rear sway bar, the side shafts and pull the bolts of the diff out and you put everything back in. As long as you have the right tools, it shouldn't take more than 2.5 hours to do it.
Fill up the new Diff with Redline gear fluid also (I have 4 jugs here).
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:15 PM   #5
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okay,
So Bruno, what do u call not cheap. PM me if u dont want to post it,

ps. i replaced the diff in my E30 so i know the basics of the job, thoughs much though!

If i get the 3.23LSD (which is outa the M3 im guessing) do i also need the M3 drive shaft?
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:42 PM   #6
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this is a great thread... i've always wanted to know more about diffs.

do you mind if i also ask a diff-related question?

how do i know what diff i have in my 318? did all 318's come with the same diff, or are there a few different ones?
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:27 PM   #7
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Model (E36) Stock Gear Ratio Recommended Ratio

318iS, Ti Manual Transmission 3.45 3.90

318iS, Ti, Automatic Trans 4.44 4.75

325 Manual Transmission 3.15 3.46

328 Manual Transmission 2.93 3.46

325/328 Automatic Transmission 3.91 4.27

M3 3.0 3.15 3.46

M3 3.2 , Auto and Lightweight 3.23 3.46
The above information comes from Kormans' website catalogue. I am not
associated with Kormans in anyway.

Diff E36 M3:
> 95 5spd, 3.15
> 95 Auto, 3.23

> 96-99 5spd, 3.23
> 96-98 auto, 3.38
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Old 03-17-2006, 01:35 PM   #8
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thanks

so, why do automatics have such high diff. ratios?
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Old 03-17-2006, 07:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BennyL
this is a great thread... i've always wanted to know more about diffs.

do you mind if i also ask a diff-related question?

how do i know what diff i have in my 318? did all 318's come with the same diff, or are there a few different ones?

for sure bud, the more info we got going on in here the better i learn

anyone else got some ideas, or anything to add?
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Old 03-17-2006, 10:03 PM   #10
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lol no info on the e36 320 ?
they're to complicated lol
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superman123
lol no info on the e36 320 ?
they're to complicated lol

Some calculate the Automatics to be 3.45 and some calculate it to be 3.46. No LSD tho. Mine is 5 speed now, but I left the same diff in after my 5 speed swap.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:35 PM   #12
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320's have the same diff as the 318's
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruno
Model (E36) Stock Gear Ratio Recommended Ratio

318iS, Ti Manual Transmission 3.45 3.90

318iS, Ti, Automatic Trans 4.44 4.75

325 Manual Transmission 3.15 3.46

328 Manual Transmission 2.93 3.46

325/328 Automatic Transmission 3.91 4.27

M3 3.0 3.15 3.46

M3 3.2 , Auto and Lightweight 3.23 3.46
The above information comes from Kormans' website catalogue. I am not
associated with Kormans in anyway.

Diff E36 M3:
> 95 5spd, 3.15
> 95 Auto, 3.23

> 96-99 5spd, 3.23
> 96-98 auto, 3.38

When you say recomended ratios does this mean for better performance or gas mileage? And also do all these come in LSD? What are the avg. Costs of diffs? Do you need the drive shaft as well? Thanks guys!
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:13 PM   #14
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I have been told that my 94 325i has a 3.91 in it, and I am doing my 5 speed conversion next week and putting a 3.15 lsd in it. That is what was reccomended by Charlie for me at least.
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:44 PM   #15
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LSD to put it in a way, make the car more predictable when your on the gas near the limit- and gets the power down to the ground better.

However, LSD's make it easier to spin out if you don't know what your doing. An open diff will be a little more forgiving if you punched the gas too hard.
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