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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, Oct-16-2010, 01:41:01 AM   #1
Mr. Wolfe
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Default Differential Seal Leak (with pictures)

Well, as soon as I thought everything was running great on my car, I find a leak in my differential seal. I keep a close eye on everything so I know this JUST started. I smelled it a little when getting out of my car at work this morning. I smelled it again when I got home and threw my car up on the lift. This is what I found. It is leaking pretty good as you can see from the spray and the drips.






I have done some research already on this, please post any experience you have with replacing these. I learned not to press the seals in too far from doing some research. Any help would be appreciated before I start this, but I think it will be pretty straight forward. I have had the diff. out of my car in the past for the 4.10 upgrade.

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Mr. Wolfe
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 01:45:32 AM   #2
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From all the posts I've read, it is usually a common slow leak and some just ignored it. This appears to be a very bad leak since you mentioned this is new.

Did you hit something?
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 01:49:55 AM   #3
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Mine leaks a tinny bit also. Yours looks pretty bad though.
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 01:54:09 AM   #4
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I definitely did not hit anything. I am positive of this. I have not had the car on the rack for a month or so, but I wash the car every week so I know it wasn't leaking last Friday. The inside barrel of the driver side wheel and the exhaust tips have diff fluid on them. It's like the seal "blew" or something. IDK.

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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 01:55:58 AM   #5
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This is especially annoying because you can usually eat off the bottom of my car.



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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 02:02:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Wolfe View Post
I definitely did not hit anything. I am positive of this. I have not had the car on the rack for a month or so, but I wash the car every week so I know it wasn't leaking last Friday. The inside barrel of the driver side wheel and the exhaust tips have diff fluid on them. It's like the seal "blew" or something. IDK.

Mr. Wolfe
I thought the diff in our cars was sealed with RTV?
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 02:17:55 AM   #7
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There is an actual seal that is pressed into where the axle spline enters the diff.

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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 02:22:08 AM   #8
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is it the pinon seal ?
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 03:29:15 AM   #9
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Damn that looks bad! Are you going to pull it?
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Old Sat, Oct-16-2010, 03:36:57 AM   #10
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That is pretty bad. Might want to make sure the housing vent isn't plugged. If it gets plugged the housing will pressurize while driving and force fluid past the seals.

Tom
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Discussing Differential Seal Leak (with pictures) 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)