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The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:23 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 112
My Ride: E46 M3
Angry Drive train noise thought to be differential

Hi everyone,

Going nuts with a noise that was first thought to be the classic Diff going to crap sound.

Sound is something that is very noticeable between 20-30mph and smooths out after to the point of not being even noticeable. A whaa whaa whaa that speeds up and slows down with speed. Makes the same sound in either direction with or without power. When slowing down to a stop, sound is heard all the way to 0mph

History - Car purchased 3 months again knowing this sound existed when I test drove it. Sound appeared to be coming from rear driver side so again, what the hell, I grabbed the car. Not afraid of working on the car.

-Things tried so far - from cheap(ish) to my butt hurts.
Changed Diff Oil to BWM suggested oil. Even added the friction modifier as suggested by a member here.

-Changed driver-side rear wheel bearing after friends witnessed the sound themselves as I was pulling out of a driveway.

-Swapped the Differential only to have the exact same sound occur. (Now have a diff for sale - lemme know)

-Changed my front brakes and took the chance to check the front hubs for play/noise.

-Checked Guibo and CSB. Both appear new and very clean but couldn't take apart to inspect for play and such.

My questions now...
How much rotational play the shaft supposed to have? I can basically grip the rear wheel and make the shaft spin for like an inch, heard this is normal though.

Rear axels..I gripped both and was able to move them rather easily left and right into boots if this makes any sense. There are no rips but the driver side one moves a bit too easily and there is evidence that a boot previous tore thanks to the screak of grease that was left behind, so this will be my next part to change...anyone ever had this make this type of noise??

Thought about tire flat spots, but yeah I don't see anything noticeable nor have spares..anyone willing to let me barrow some SSRs to test??

Hoping I can get some ideas to what this could be and some good tests to try because I'm not to wild about buying parts only to end up with spares smh..

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Old 05-08-2013, 07:02 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: North Jersey
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to help clarify, this a like a half-second groan that is speed dependent...
No experiences?
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:02 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: North Jersey
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So just incase anyone where to every find my post regarding this stupid the cheap test first and swap your tires!!!

Swapped all 4 out with another M and was smooooooth as hell!

So basically the source of my sound was bad tires!

Good Luck!
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differential, grind, noise, rub

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