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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 07:45:42 AM   #1
suaveflooder
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Default Differential Bolts replacement DIY: updated bolts

Well, I figured I'm seeing threads where people are saying "I had my local Indy shop change out my differential bolts" and while sometimes they get it done for free, there are other times that people actually pay.

This is VERY SIMPLE and even someone with little to no experience can do it with a little patience and 15 min of time.

Total time for this DIY was 30 min for me, but that involved pictures and a bathroom break for both me and my husky (who is in the middle of being potty trained)

Any questions, feel free to ask but as you will see, it's pretty self explanatory.

Tools needed:
- revised bolts (2) part number 23 00 1 222 891
- E14 Torx socket
- breaker bar and 3/8" wrachet
- two small extensions
- swivel
- torque wrench.


Start by raising the car and getting the rear on jack stands. This is BY FAR the most important part of any DIY under the car. Sadly, we lost one of our members on svtperformance.com when the cobra dropped on him while changing a clutch. I use jack stands, wood under the wheels (if the wheels are to remain on. If the wheels are coming off, put them under the car toward the middle. A ruined set of wheels can be replaced, you can not!!!) and a floor jack next to me while I'm working. It DOES get in the way, but if the car happens to drop, the little annoyance won't matter so much. BEFORE getting under the car, give it a good shake to make sure it is sturdy. Put a block in front of the front wheels.



These are the two bolts to be removed. They are E14 torx.





Place the jack under the side to be worked on just like shown below. Jack it up just enough to take the weight off the bolt. This will stop the rear end from shifting when the bolt comes out and make the job that much quicker. It actually makes getting the bolt in/out easier as well.



I had to use a breaker bar to loosen the bolts. Neither were loose. Once loose, I used this set up on the drivers side



and this on the passenger



Now this is why you use the jack. If you didn't it will look like this


Not a big deal...just use the jack to re-align it again if needed so it looks like this


Note: If you look at the hole, I think this might be what is causing bolts to break/back out. The hole is too big (at least on my car) and the rear end can actually move even with the bolts fully torqued. The two bolts next to each other

The new one compensates for the play by eliminating the threads toward the top and it even tapers out a bit. This DID NOT eliminate the play, but reduced it considerably. The loud "clunk" when shifting hard (I have an SMG) has almost completely gone away. It is still there, but much less noticeable. I would highly suggest checking the torque periodically as I'm pretty sure these will back out too. And if they do, they will break eventually as well.

With the jack in place, the new bolts will literally be able to go in by hand.

torque the bolts down to 61ft/lbs. This can be a little tricky as most torque wrenches are HUGE. Use your swivel....It makes life so much easier!

Drop the car and enjoy a quieter rear end under hard shifts!!

Total cost was around $5 for the two bolts from my local stealership.
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 07:51:29 AM   #2
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Excellent DIY, good emphasis on the jacking up part.

However, people need to stop finding things wrong with this car because now I need to fix them
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 08:14:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
Excellent DIY, good emphasis on the jacking up part.

However, people need to stop finding things wrong with this car because now I need to fix them
Thank you! When our member died, it really freaked me out. I had done 2 clutch jobs at that point with nothing else to ensure my safety other than jack stands. He used those too and still died You really can't be too careful.

Serious about finding things wrong with this car! It's getting ridiculous
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 11:24:04 AM   #4
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Just FYI you should not jack from or support the car by the diff cover. It's made of aluminium and the cooling fins could possibly get damaged or collapse. Definitely not made to support the weight of the car. Jack from the rear subframe, or if you must, the diff itself.
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 01:02:20 PM   #5
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Very nicely done! Thanks for taking the time to put this together.


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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 01:05:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
Just FYI you should not jack from or support the car by the diff cover. It's made of aluminium and the cooling fins could possibly get damaged or collapse. Definitely not made to support the weight of the car. Jack from the rear subframe, or if you must, the diff itself.
I think the OP has the car supported on jack stands. He is using the jack on the diff to provide slight pressure to align the bolt holes to assist with assembly.


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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 02:45:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiv View Post
Just FYI you should not jack from or support the car by the diff cover. It's made of aluminium and the cooling fins could possibly get damaged or collapse. Definitely not made to support the weight of the car. Jack from the rear subframe, or if you must, the diff itself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Highpower11 View Post
I think the OP has the car supported on jack stands. He is using the jack on the diff to provide slight pressure to align the bolt holes to assist with assembly.


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Correct! Car is on jack stands. Jack is simply supporting the differential keeping it from dropping.
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 08:36:12 PM   #8
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So are these bolts improved in anyway?
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 08:55:10 PM   #9
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So are these bolts improved in anyway?
Eh, yes and no? Basically, the rear end moves causing a constant "hammer" effect on them when you shift hard or really get on it. I think THAT is what was causing them to break (this is only a guess, mind you). In the thread I looked at the broken bolt was on the right. My assumption is that this is the side getting the most of the force in the hard shifts/pulls for obvious reasons. This will reduce that effect, but not eliminate it....at least that is my experience. The "clunk" is still there, but A LOT less.

Change them out? Yeah, why not...it was $5 and will literally take 15 min or so. Necessary, no. I see keeping up on torque specs as more important.
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Old Sat, Dec-04-2010, 09:53:22 PM   #10
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Thanks for sharing,
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Discussing Differential Bolts replacement DIY: updated bolts in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)