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Faults, Fixes and DIY Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix!


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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 05:16:49 AM   #1
xodus
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Post DIY: Differential fluid change

I started noticing some scraping noise from my rear a few days ago. After doing some search in this forum,
I decided to change my diff fluid and see if that would improve it. There were some good threads talking about
what to buy and how to do it, but there was no DIY thread with pictures, so I decided to write one.

Tools required:
- 14 mm hex (some older models have 12 mm size of bolt, so make sure to check before you buy your tool)
- floor jack and 4 jack stands
- Torque wrench
- Oil drain pan
- Tranny/diff fluid pump (optional, not required)

Parts:
- 3 bottles of SAD-JX + FM booster(Part# 83222282583)
- crush washer (part # 07-11-9-963-355)
OR
- new plugs with O-Rings: part # is 33117525064
OR
- 2 new O-Rings: part # 07-11-9-963-355




Steps:
1. Go for a drive and warm up your car, it helps old fluid to drain completely.
2. Jack up your front and rear end of car on 4 jack stands.


3. Use 14 mm (or 12mm) hex to unbolt fill bolt first. When I unbolted fill bolt, little bit of fluid started draining a little bit, so make sure
to have towel or oil pan ready to catch old fluid.


4. unbolt drain plug and let it drain for 30 ~ 45 minutes.


5. After complete drain of the old fluid, put drain bolt back on. I noticed that drain/fill bolt has green rubber o-ring
on them, but since I bought washer, I put them on and tightened to 48 ft-lb. According to Bentley service manual,
torque spec for drain/fill bolts are:
With O-ring: 60 Nm (44 ft-lb)
With sealing washer: 65 Nm (48 ft-lb)


6. I bought 2 different size of pumps, but unfortunately, none of those were fitting on fluid cap. So, I ended up electric taping
one of my pump to seal, which wasn't a perfect fit, but it worked. Cold fluid is more like jelly, so it's time consuming process,
but make sure to pump until it's dripping from fill hold. I ended up using 2.6 bottle of new fluids.

[UPDATE] In fact, if you pull off top cap of the bottle, it will become a funnel, so you won't need pump at all.
You can just poor in or squeeze in new fluid. I was careless to read what it says on the bottle cap.



7. Put fill bolt on with washer and tighten it to 48 ft-lb. I had hard time fitting torque wrench for fill bolt, so I had to use
combination of some adjustments shown below.


8. Lower your car and go for a test drive. Doing U turns and slalom would help.

After about 10~15 miles of test drive, I noticed my scraping noise slowly going away, but there is a little bit of it still left.
Hopefully, it's going to be fine after a couple of days of driving.
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Last edited by xodus; Sun, Feb-21-2010 at 07:43:57 AM. Reason: wrong part #; tool information update;part# update;part# update
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 06:56:26 AM   #2
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Thanks for making an m3 specific diff fluid change. This has been needed for quite some time.
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 07:30:16 AM   #3
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Good write-up... I still reccomend going straight to the nearest empty parking lot, and doing 10 very tight figure 8's. I swear by it... since the first few turns, I haven't heard a peep out of my differential. That will help get the fluid in the needed areas RIGHT away, instead of having it slowly starve for fluid over a longer period of time.
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 07:34:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccaarmerciill View Post
Good write-up... I still reccomend going straight to the nearest empty parking lot, and doing 10 very tight figure 8's. I swear by it... since the first few turns, I haven't heard a peep out of my differential. That will help get the fluid in the needed areas RIGHT away, instead of having it slowly starve for fluid over a longer period of time.
Thanks for the tip. I'll try it tomorrow morning.
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 12:17:59 PM   #5
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Great job, Im going to change my fluid out in the next few days.
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 01:25:39 PM   #6
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Yeah, this is a solid writeup. Would have been a nice reference this past weekend when I did mine. The reason I was so anxious to do it was because of a whining noise (maybe not even a whine - it could be normal) in the diff at highway speed. From 70+ mph, if I am accelerating, I feel like I can hear a high whine from the rear. Probably normal. As someone said, the M3 is a symphony of mechanical noises...
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Old Tue, Feb-24-2009, 03:42:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LightWerkz View Post
Great job, Im going to change my fluid out in the next few days.
Thanks, good luck on yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tr0mbley View Post
Yeah, this is a solid writeup. Would have been a nice reference this past weekend when I did mine. The reason I was so anxious to do it was because of a whining noise (maybe not even a whine - it could be normal) in the diff at highway speed. From 70+ mph, if I am accelerating, I feel like I can hear a high whine from the rear. Probably normal. As someone said, the M3 is a symphony of mechanical noises...
Thanks. Unless it's grinding or scraping noise, it should be ok I think.
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Old Sun, Mar-01-2009, 05:52:37 AM   #8
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is the differential oil a dealer-only part? if so, how much does it cost per quart?

what are some alternative products/brands?
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Old Sun, Mar-01-2009, 10:28:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemerb0y View Post
is the differential oil a dealer-only part? if so, how much does it cost per quart?

what are some alternative products/brands?


3 bottles of SAD-JX + FM booster(Part# 83222282583) cost around $75-90 and it found at BMW parts.

There are other products that people use for the diff, but I would not recommend using anything but OEM diff fluid. To me saving $50 or so on fluid isn't worth having to replace the DIFF because I wanted to be cheap on the fluid.
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Old Sun, Mar-01-2009, 05:25:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fury View Post
3 bottles of SAD-JX + FM booster(Part# 83222282583) cost around $75-90 and it found at BMW parts.

There are other products that people use for the diff, but I would not recommend using anything but OEM diff fluid. To me saving $50 or so on fluid isn't worth having to replace the DIFF because I wanted to be cheap on the fluid.
$75-90 PER bottle, or for all 3?
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Discussing DIY: Differential fluid change in the Faults, Fixes and DIY Forum - Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)