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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 Tue, Nov-28-2017, 03:48:02 AM   #1
BTB
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Default OE diff service life

Hello all,

upon a recent drive I noticed that my diff tends to lock up easily going around tight corners (1st gear) at a decent pace. I've known this for a while but it occurred to me it might be slightly abnormal at this point. Obviously it should lock at some point but it will lock up quite a bit before the car is near the limit of grip, like when a spool'ed car slips its tires during tight turns.

The diff has done 173k miles, unsure of previous maintenance (likely sh!te) but fluid has 30k on it so I should change it anyway, pretty sure its been like this the whole time though.

So is this 'issue' just a result of the m variable lock or is my diff likely toasted? I would have thought the 'soft' failure mode would result in reduced lockup overall. I read somewhere that 80k miles is pretty typical for service life... mine is not babied either..
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Old Tue, Nov-28-2017, 03:52:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: OE diff service life

I guess what I'm asking is: was the oe diff this sh**ty from the factory?

I think my dad's 60k mile e92 feels more sorted out, but that could also be from the difference in suspension/track/wheelbase etc
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Old Tue, Nov-28-2017, 05:07:13 AM   #3
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Default Re: OE diff service life

Quote:
Originally Posted by BTB View Post
I guess what I'm asking is: was the oe diff this sh**ty from the factory?

I think my dad's 60k mile e92 feels more sorted out, but that could also be from the difference in suspension/track/wheelbase etc
Yes, it's not a great design from the factory, so your clutches are prob going/gone. Needs a rebuild. Dan @ diffsonline can help out.
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Old Tue, Nov-28-2017, 11:09:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: OE diff service life

The e9X M diff is pretty much the same unit, so if yours doesn't feel like that, it's not functioning properly.

Did you use the OE fluid with FM booster 30k ago?
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Old Tue, Nov-28-2017, 05:29:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: OE diff service life

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Originally Posted by mrgizmo04 View Post
Yes, it's not a great design from the factory, so your clutches are prob going/gone. Needs a rebuild. Dan @ diffsonline can help out.
Yeah that's definitely the route ill be going in the future for a proper diff setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
The e9X M diff is pretty much the same unit, so if yours doesn't feel like that, it's not functioning properly.

Did you use the OE fluid with FM booster 30k ago?
Yep, got a picture of the bottles to prove it too. Considering I likely won't be getting a new diff tooo soon I should probably go ahead and switch out the fluid again this winter
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Discussing OE diff service life 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)