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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-31-2011, 12:23 PM   #1
gurov
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rear limited slip diff in an XI

the auto differentials are 3.46, it's highly unlikely i'd be able to get anything for the front, but what about the rear ?

i'm seeing various 3.46 differentials on ebay for M3 e36, but i'm going to guess this ain't going to be a very easy task and will likely require some very custom mounts/modifications ?

and yes, i looked at turnermotorsports, and that would probably work, but forking over 3-4 grand for this is somewhat suboptimal.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:55 PM   #2
Kubica
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You'll need to have a 3.46 lsd rear bulit.

www.diffsonline.com. Good people.

I don't believe an e36 diff will fit.
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Old 01-31-2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
You'll need to have a 3.46 lsd rear bulit.

www.diffsonline.com. Good people.

I don't believe an e36 diff will fit.
cool, thanks for the link.

i wasn't exactly expecting it to be a direct swap
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Old 01-31-2011, 03:21 PM   #4
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You could also swap in an E46 M3 LSD if you were to swap in the entire rear subframe. This includes the subframe, diff, halfshafts, carriers, etc... You might have to get a custom driveshaft though, but I'm not sure about that.
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Old 01-31-2011, 04:00 PM   #5
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You could also swap in an E46 M3 LSD if you were to swap in the entire rear subframe. This includes the subframe, diff, halfshafts, carriers, etc... You might have to get a custom driveshaft though, but I'm not sure about that.
Could you? Could you really?

Come on chief . . .what ratio does an M3 have?
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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Could you? Could you really?

Come on chief . . .what ratio does an M3 have?
i'm sure one could obtain 3.46 M3 diff to go with the subframe, the fine people in the links mentioned above would be able to provide such a device.

that's not the point though... surely the differential mounts could be fabricated to hold any differential. the amount of work that would take is a whole different story, and that would be kind of crazy.

speaking of crazy, since the center diff is a fixed ratio, what would happen if the front driveshaft is simply removed ?
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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Could you? Could you really?

Come on chief . . .what ratio does an M3 have?
Sorry! Guess I wasn't thinking when I posted that. My bad...
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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I have a NV124 transfer case sitting on my workbench at home, let me know if you need me to do any tests.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:08 AM   #9
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I have a NV124 transfer case sitting on my workbench at home, let me know if you need me to do any tests.
hold rear output flange stationary, see if you can rotate input shaft with the rear output flange still. it should force the rear one to rotate as well as the front one.

what shouldn't happen is front one free spinning as the rear is held.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:45 AM   #10
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Ok....here are the simple observations from the test of the NV124 case on my workbench.

- Spinning input shaft by hand.....both output shafts rotate
- Spinning input shaft by hand and holding rear output shaft stationary.....front output shaft rotates.
- Spinning input shaft by hand and holding front output shaft stationary.....rear output shaft rotates.

Caveat....these tests were done with spinning by hand, which does not simulate rear world forces transmitted into the driveline.

Thus, my conclusion, you can NEVER make an XI into a rear wheel drive by simply disconnecting front driveshaft. It will just send all the power to the front output shaft and spin endlessly without putting power to the rear.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:11 AM   #11
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Ok....here are the simple observations from the test of the NV124 case on my workbench.

- Spinning input shaft by hand.....both output shafts rotate
- Spinning input shaft by hand and holding rear output shaft stationary.....front output shaft rotates.
- Spinning input shaft by hand and holding front output shaft stationary.....rear output shaft rotates.

Caveat....these tests were done with spinning by hand, which does not simulate rear world forces transmitted into the driveline.

Thus, my conclusion, you can NEVER make an XI into a rear wheel drive by simply disconnecting front driveshaft. It will just send all the power to the front output shaft and spin endlessly without putting power to the rear.
Like I said, its a open differential. Which is why the awd system on the XI sucks ass. Without DSC turned on, you have nothing to prevent all the torque being transfered to the tire with no traction. There is another thread where someone removed the front drive shaft and couldnt move his car if you need further proof.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:39 AM   #12
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Which is why the awd system on the XI sucks ass.
Sell your xi then.

It's an amazing machine for a talented driver, which you most certainly are not with an opinion like that.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:12 PM   #13
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Sell your xi then.

It's an amazing machine for a talented driver, which you most certainly are not with an opinion like that.
The kid couldnt be any more right... A proper AWD (Audi, Subaru, Porsche and so on...) system have a center locking diff, and even better, an electronically controlled torque sensing diff meaning that the car will actually detect slip in one wheel and send power the other wheels. In the XI's, its like having 2 rwd drivetrains stuck together. One wheel will spin forever in the front, and one in the rear will spin forever and the other side of the car wont do anything. It will never send power to the wheels that need it. Its a poorly designed AWD system.

For anyone interested in more info: http://everything2.com/title/Torque+...g+Differential
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:25 PM   #14
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Sell your xi then.

It's an amazing machine for a talented driver, which you most certainly are not with an opinion like that.
Sorry I dont swing from BMW nutts.

I love my car, it does handle very well compared to my other vehicals. That doesnt change the fact the awd system is lacking compared to most awd systems. Its better then rwd in snow, but its slow to react and doesnt have the grip that it would if it had a limited slip center and rear.
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:52 PM   #15
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^+1 2 open diffs=fail... still beats my rwd though, even though i have lsd...

its about a good driver and good tires (mostly) the newer xi's seem to be pretty decent in the snow, maybe someone should retrofit that into an e46

btw if i ever get an xi it probably will get the 3.07 lsd out of my zhp if/when i upgrade to 3.38 lsd
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:14 PM   #16
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^+1 2 open diffs=fail... still beats my rwd though, even though i have lsd...

its about a good driver and good tires (mostly) the newer xi's seem to be pretty decent in the snow, maybe someone should retrofit that into an e46

btw if i ever get an xi it probably will get the 3.07 lsd out of my zhp if/when i upgrade to 3.38 lsd
Well obviously in the front, they have no choice but to make it an open diff. Just think about it, the car could only go straight because the wheels couldnt turn at different speeds. But in the rear, there is no reason they couldnt have put an LSD. Our suburban even has an LSD in the rear The reason the XI is so much better than the coupes is that 2 wheels HAVE to be spinning at all times instead of just 1 wheel with RWD. Plus the front wheel has the weight of the engine directly over it.

I believe the newer AWD BMWs have a torque sensing diff, which is a HUGE improvement to any AWD system.

Just remember your front and rear ratios have to match. It would annihilate your transfer case if you didnt.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:57 PM   #17
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Well obviously in the front, they have no choice but to make it an open diff. Just think about it, the car could only go straight because the wheels couldnt turn at different speeds.

Uhhh.... not true

the key is limited slip. Not a locker or a spool.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:44 PM   #18
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Uhhh.... not true

the key is limited slip. Not a locker or a spool.
That is true. However, lsds get worn out over time (the more use, the quicker they wear) which is why you have to get them rebuilt over time. If you had the diff trying to rotate the outside wheel every single time you turned the wheel even a hair, it would wear out and lose its limited slip feature in a matter of days. Plus it would make turning feel like you had no power steering all the time.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogueStatus37 View Post
That is true. However, lsds get worn out over time (the more use, the quicker they wear) which is why you have to get them rebuilt over time. If you had the diff trying to rotate the outside wheel every single time you turned the wheel even a hair, it would wear out and lose its limited slip feature in a matter of days. Plus it would make turning feel like you had no power steering all the time.
i've got a helical limited slip in the front end of my turbo sentra from the factory. no clutches there, so it is doable.

now, the awd system can be pretty terrible cause of the ops diffs... maybe i should start figuring out how that abs unit and pump work electronically... start working on my own traction control for low speeds.
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Old 02-03-2011, 07:32 AM   #20
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That is true. However, lsds get worn out over time (the more use, the quicker they wear) which is why you have to get them rebuilt over time. If you had the diff trying to rotate the outside wheel every single time you turned the wheel even a hair, it would wear out and lose its limited slip feature in a matter of days. Plus it would make turning feel like you had no power steering all the time.
Really? Hmmm... lol, I think you need to get a little more experience with limited slip before you make statements like "it would wear out and lose its limited slip feature in a matter of days". Because it's just not true. Plenty of cars and trucks on the road to prove you wrong. And it would do the same thing to the rear as well.
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