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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, Apr-09-2015, 09:00:02 PM   #31
jayjaya29
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

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Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
- I only have a 30mm impact socket which is too thick to fit into the recess for the input flange nut. Does a 'normal' 30mm socket fit in there, or does it require a special thin socket?

- I wish I had a better visual on how this inputflange/pinion/crushsleeve/inputbearings went together, but without tearing one of these diffs apart, I have a basic question. Why can't I measure the pinion rotation torque on the 3.23, switch the input flanges, and simply torque the nut until I get the same measured pinion rotation torque?? Other than possibly exceeding the maximum nut torque, I have a hard time visualizing why this wouldn't work better than marking nut/flange relationship.
Habor freight's 30mm socket is thin walled.

Markings the nut/flange relationship works and is honestly easier. Messing with torque specs especially when you can accidentally crush the crush sleeve more would wig me out from your proposed method.
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 10:53:12 AM   #32
M_Parallel
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

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Originally Posted by Richardsperry View Post
It's not that hard.

The stock diff came as a 25% lock. Which isn't much, and is a lot better than nothing. The new M diff, as in the E46 and latter M's, is completely variable.

The trouble with ours is, they use clutches and they do wear out. What started out 20 years ago at 25%, might effectively be none today.

Anyway, to get the most benefit, I'd rebuild ANY used diff. It's a really simple matter to add a third clutch and make it a 40% lock, when they put in new bearings and set it up. Changing the ramp angles, or adding a 4th clutch requires machining lots of stuff, along with a healthy dose of black magic... And totally not required for a street car...
The later M variable diffs are not ideal. There's a reason they are not used in racing applications. The 0-100% variable lock sounds nice, on paper, but we don't drive on paper.

The good old clutch type diffs are still fine.
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 11:39:15 AM   #33
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

Consider using a regular rather than impact socket. Non impact will be thinner wall. And/or grind down the first inch of the socket sidewall.

I actually like the "change the DS to match the diff input" recommendation. Most original DS are now tired with extra play.

On the old diff, make sure all the bolts are present and not loose -- on old diffs they work themselves out and one can get ground up in the diff. COuld explain the metal you noticed. My 3.15 had one loose bolt when we rebuilt it into a 3 clutch. We replaced all the cap bolts and loct tited them.

Last edited by pbonsalb; Fri, Apr-10-2015 at 11:42:43 AM.
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 12:25:53 PM   #34
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

Thanks, I did visually check all the bolts in my 3.15, and none looked like they had touched anything they shouldn't. I will test tighten all of the bolts in both diffs.

Both diffs had small cracks in one bushing of the 2 rear bushings, so now waiting for bushings to come in. I should have this installed Monday or Tues. Next HPDE is Fri.

Gonna eventually strip the 3.15 apart to see what was failing, and consider shopping for a 3.46 ring & pinion.

I just recently replaced the CSB and CV joint on this driveshaft, and every time I've checked the U-joints they feel rock solid, so I'm reluctant to spend another $450 right now. I'll probably be pissed in 6 months when my DS goes and I'm switching back to a 4-bolt input shaft. That's when I'll install my newly rebuilt 3.46.

This is all building up to a possible huge winter project.....S54 swap, clutch/driveline refresh/regear, rear end suspension O/H. Whew. So I'm trying to do the minimum for now to keep it trackable. Some of my decisions are likely based on false economies, I know. But so is owning a 20 y/o German car!

Last edited by aeronaut; Fri, Apr-10-2015 at 12:30:45 PM.
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 03:29:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

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Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post
I saw his listings. He's in CA though. And his current listings didn't look like rebuilds but look like resell.
That's correct, they're not rebuilds but he replaces things that needs replacing. $80 shipping anywhere in US. He's a little less $ for the diff if buy off eBay. I really like that there's no core needed, so I can have an extra core. Might build a Quaife this summer out of the old core.

Anyhow I took a chance with one of his diffs and just put in a 60% lockup 3.64. Will be testing it out this weekend.


BTW, what oil are you guys using for track only cars? Thinking 75W-140 would be better for the track, or would 75W-90 suffice? Thx
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 03:41:42 PM   #36
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

I've been running redline synthetic 70-140 in mine, but have been thinking of switching to something available locally and cheaper. I'm not track only, but am 'track mostly'.

Last edited by aeronaut; Fri, Apr-10-2015 at 03:45:38 PM.
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Old Fri, Apr-10-2015, 04:32:50 PM   #37
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

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Originally Posted by aeronaut View Post

This is all building up to a possible huge winter project.....S54 swap, clutch/driveline refresh/regear, rear end suspension O/H. Whew. So I'm trying to do the minimum for now to keep it trackable. Some of my decisions are likely based on false economies, I know. But so is owning a 20 y/o German car!
S54 swap might not be economical, but would be a lot of fun. Even better than a Euro E36M3.
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Old Sat, Apr-11-2015, 09:16:00 PM   #38
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

Update. Switched the input flanges today. My process:
- Marked nut/shaft relationship.
- Measured pinion torque, let's say it measured 1 to 1.2 'somethings' in torque while turning at a slow speed (I didn't use a dial torque wrench).
- Removed 4 bolt flange.
- For sanity's sake, I measured thickness of the 'nut shelf' in the 4 bolt flange vs 6 bolt flange. I measured 0.03mm difference, well within my tolerance of sloppiness in measuring.
- Installed 6 bolt flange and tightened to within about 5 degrees of aligning the nut/shaft to original position.
- Measured pinion turning torque at 0.8 to 1.0.
- Eventually tightened to perfectly re-align pinion nut and shaft, and pinion turning torque measured exactly the same (1 to 1.2) with 6 both flange as with 4 bolt flange.

I'm happy.
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Old Wed, Feb-20-2019, 09:51:07 PM   #39
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

Does the e36 6-bolt differential input flange fit onto a 2000 z3m differential? I'm doing an s50 swap into an e30 with ZF trans and z3m differential (4-bolt input flange, 2.93). I have the e30 driveshaft (late model) and e36 M3 drive shaft (6-bolt to the differential). Donor car (excluding differential) was a 1995 M3 with manual trans.
The part list on realoem shows the e36 m3 has more parts around the input flange than in the z3m (and I think the pictures are wrong in the diagram since the e36 shows a 4-bolt and z3m shows a 6-bolt).
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=33_0372
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=33_0852

Are the splines the same?
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Old Thu, Feb-21-2019, 02:16:20 PM   #40
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Default Re: 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement

Look at the rear axle pictures, the E36 is a 188mm case, and the Z3 is a 168mm case..

I'm betting it won't work.
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Discussing 4 bolt to 6 bolt diff flange replacement in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)