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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 05-26-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
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Drive Shaft Length with Regard to Center Support Bearing Position

Been doing a lot of thinking lately and I'm wondering if the CSB is in the same location on all e46es, does that mean that the two halves of the drive shaft can be mixed and matched?

We should already know the stock lengths for each Drive Line Combo:
m3 driveshaft: 1404 mm
330 manual 5 speed driveshaft: 1550 mm
330 manual 6 speed driveshaft: 1444 mm
330 auto ZF driveshaft: 1403 mm
330 auto GM driveshaft: 1358 mm

I have a 5 speed and I want to swap an M3 rear into my sedan. We know the Differential Flange on the M3 is different, and it also protrudes farther towards the transmission. But if the CSB is in the same position on my 5 speed sedan as it is on the M3, then I would just be able to leave the front portion the same length and just use the rear portion of the M3 drive shaft to create an Frankenstein OEM 1484 mm drive shaft. (I think I did the math right...)

The only two issues I can see so far are balancing the S.O.B. and the input spline for the M3 half won't mate with the spline shaft for the 5 speed half.

Thoughts on this? Could easily save money on the absence of custom fabrication!

Last edited by Hornung418; 05-26-2012 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 05-26-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
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Oh boy , not this again. You can NOT make a frankenstein shaft.

Yes the CSB is in the same spot. 5 speed cars will have the "front" section longer and 6 speed cars will have it shorter but CSB is in the same spot.

Look at how 328 driveshaft is connected , one half to the other. Then look at how M3s shaft is connected.

You can not use half and half of this and that .

Install M3 rear subframe carrier with diff and all, then have YOUR original driveshaft shortened and balanced by 2" and forget about mixing and matching . Thats if you have 5 speed.

All this talk about "custom" this and custom that, what a load of BS, makes me laugh. Go to any drivetrain shop and in about 2 hours they'll get it done, its no custom . Chop saw and a welder..... Expect to pay $250 TOPS !

You waste more time thinking about it then it would take you to just do it.
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Last edited by Blocked Out; 05-26-2012 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 12:02 AM   #3
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