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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 Sun, Mar-05-2017, 03:29:53 PM   #1
Flow
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Default Differential cover bushing

Quick question about the differential cover bushing.

For the E46 M3 it is not available separately from the cover itself from BMW.
It appears that the bushing has the same size as the E36 M3 diff cover bushing.

But, both bushings are not exactly the same. See comparison (pictures credit to ECS tuning, great website to actually see parts) :




I did not find anything saying that the E36 bushing is a viable replacement for the E46 ? The cover costs a lot more than the bushings alone, and if I could save some $ without a downside, it would be great
I know people on this forum replaced theirs with this options, but I am wondering...
Input much appreciated
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Old Sun, Mar-05-2017, 03:33:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

I wouldn't do it - the rubber in the 36 units is MUCH softer. I've held both in my hands and flexed them with a screwdriver and so I decided not to use the 36s.

Will they work? Surely. But I just didn't feel confident they'd really do the job right.

Also note that I was comparing new 36s to 72k mile 46s and still a big difference in elasticity.
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Old Sun, Mar-05-2017, 03:35:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
I wouldn't do it - the rubber in the 36 units is MUCH softer. I've held both in my hands and flexed them with a screwdriver and so I decided not to use the 36s.

Will they work? Surely. But I just didn't feel confident they'd really do the job right.
Thanks ! That is exactly the feedback I am looking for !
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 02:07:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

Can you consider the ECS 80A bushings? Or must they be OEM?
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 07:28:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

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Can you consider the ECS 80A bushings? Or must they be OEM?
I want to stay OE on the driveline at least.
I already had trouble with poly bushings on the differential.
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 05:50:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

Ahh ok ok - well good luck. What issue did you have with poly?
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 06:19:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

I have a 2001, IIRC, the bushing rubber is black just like E36 ones. Maybe BMW changed the design to white rubber.

I replace mine with E36 bushings. No issues. Theoretically, the softer bushing will be easier on the subframe floor panel.
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 08:09:07 PM   #8
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

I have some e36m bushings laying around I won't be using if anyone wants them.
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 10:27:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

you'll have to press the old bushing out and press the new ones in.. just be careful bc the cover is very fragile and can crack easily.. You can actually buy a cover with poly bushings... If I can find the site, i'll post the link here
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Old Mon, Mar-06-2017, 11:19:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: Differential cover bushing

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Originally Posted by cozmo kraemer View Post
I have some e36m bushings laying around I won't be using if anyone wants them.


If you're giving em' away I'll take them. If not, post them in the e36 FS!
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Discussing Differential cover bushing 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)