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Old 02-29-2004, 05:24 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 1,891
My Ride: 323ci
Post Differential DYI instructions

Differential installation instructions. These instructions are only as a guide for people to swap differentials. Please read through all the instructions before attempting to install on your own. I take no responsibilities for any inaccuracies or problems/damage you may encounter from using these instructions. Please consult your shop manual. Sorry about the poor photos. I wasn’t planning on doing a differential write up. Most of the pictures were taken after I installed the differential. That said… lets begin.

1. Remove rear sway bar. (Check DYI section in E46 fanatics)

2. Remove Exhaust hangers and let it dangle. Unscrew the 2 rubber hangers on the exhaust. 4 M8 nuts (you'll need the room for the next step.) (Fig 1.)

3. Remove Rear suspension reinforcement brace. There's also a heat shield on the exhaust side (2 bolts). Remove the heat shield first. (Fig 2.) The Brace is held down by 6 bolts. Remove the inner 4 small bolts first. Then remove the 2 outer bolts. (Fig 3) (Tightening torque - M12 nut 57 ft-lbs, M8 bolt 8.8 grade 15 ft-lbs, M8 bolt 10.9 grade 22 ft-lbs)

4. Disconnect the drive shaft from the differential input flange. 4 M10 Torx Bolts. (Fig 4) Pry the drive shaft off the differential input flange with a screwdriver. (Tightening torque - M10 Torx bolts 61 ft-lbs)

5. Disconnect the right and left drive axels from the differential output flanges. Each axel has 6 M10 external Torx bolts. (Fig 5) (Suspend the right/left axels with a wire, Fig 6) (Tightening torque - M10x46 59 ft-lbs)

6. Remove the Differential. Support the differential with a transmission jack. The Differential is held down by 3 bolts. 2 M12 bolts in the front, 1 M14 bolt on the rear. Remove the 2 front ones first (Fig 3), then remove the rear one (Fig 7). (Tightening torque – M12 Bolts 70 ft-lbs, M14 Bolt 128ft-lbs) (when reinstalling, insert all 3 bolts finger tight. Tighten the 2 front bolts first, then tighten down the rear bolt).
Work the differential off the car by pulling it towards the rear end. Slowly lower the jack as you pull it out. (you need 2 people for this part.)

7. Install your new rear differential. Flow the steps in reverse.

I filled up the Differential with new differential gear oil before I put it on the car. It’s just easier that way. (differentials always come without differential oil) I just used Mobil 1 Synthetic 75/90 since that's what they had at Pep Boys. (oil specification BMW SAF-XO synthetic oil. 0.95 US qt) The drain/fill plugs use a 14mm hex wrench. it's kinda hard to find. I used a nut that was 14mm in diameter instead. (any hardware store will have one for about 8 cents) (Tightening torque 14mm plug 52 ft –lbs).
The input/output flanges use External Torx bolts. You need an E12 external torx socket. You can buy the sockets at Sear (Sears item #00947733000 Mfr. model #26750)








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