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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

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 02-12-2009, 06:17 PM   #1
azzy989
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e36 lsd in an e46

i posted this up in bimmerforums too...

basically i'm going to a scrapyard tomorrow and they have a pretty clean 325is there. i was wondering if it is even possible to attach an e36 diff into an e46. i'm thinking i might need the subframe cage, halfshafts, driveshaft and what not...just don't know if it will bolt up or not. anyone have some insight on this?
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:17 PM   #2
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From what i've read, it won't fit. different mounting points or something, i don't know about the rest of the subframe.
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Old 02-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #3
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From what i've read, it won't fit. different mounting points or something, i don't know about the rest of the subframe.
yeah i didn't think it would directly bolt up to the e46 subframe. nothing can be that easy when working with cars ......thanks for the input though


anyone else know if the rest of the subframe can be swapped out?
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:11 AM   #4
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alright some searching on realoem has revealed that the diff carrier is different on the e36....but the mounting points might be the same. i guess i'll keep this thread going with my findings lol
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Old 02-13-2009, 01:13 AM   #5
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interesting idea in for the info.
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Old 02-13-2009, 04:32 PM   #6
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alright so i went to the salvage yard and started to take the diff assembly apart. man are some of those bolts seized up. i'm going to try go back out tomorrow with an impact gun. turns out the car there was an automatic 325iS....meaning it has a 3.91 LSD in it.....certainly quite a step up from the 3.46 i have currently, along with my auto tranny.

so far it looks like the diff carrier will bolt up to the stock mounting points for the e46 carrier, but we won't really know for sure until we take my carrier out and physically check
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:32 PM   #7
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If this is cheaper than an aftermarket solution, I'd be very interested in knowing the outcome of this investigation.

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Old 02-19-2009, 09:30 AM   #8
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Did anyone think about the possiblity of swapping out the internal parts???

Maybe the actual diff will fit in the case, and provide LSD for us E46er's.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:12 AM   #9
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Maybe the actual diff will fit in the case, and provide LSD for us E46er's.
Nope.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:13 PM   #10
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I thought VAC Motorsports made one fit before, but they had to do major mods to the Subframe or modded an E36 Subframe to fit the E46 chassis.
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:24 PM   #11
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I have an auto 93 325is,does it have LSD?It seems to have better traction in snow than my 330i.
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #12
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:07 PM   #13
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whoops i guess i haven't really updated this thread. took the diff cover off last weekend to take a look at the internals. everything looked a-ok in there. i'll be taking measurements for the subframe mounting points this weekend when i do my brakes.

TxZHP04, so the internals will not fit into our diff housings?

edit: i'll also be taking measurements of the actual diff itself. the e36 diff definitely looks longer than the e46 one. we'll see how that goes this weekend.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:39 PM   #14
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TxZHP04, so the internals will not fit into our diff housings?
Not according to the professionals.
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Old 02-25-2009, 01:49 PM   #15
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Honestly, if it fit somewhat easily, it would have been figured out within the last 10 years. We all want limited slip differentials, and we all want them cheap
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:05 AM   #16
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yeah i figured that. i got a hold of the diff and subframe pretty cheap, so i figure its worth investigating to see how difficult it would be. i think its worth a shot
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:53 PM   #17
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The E36 diff is longer and wider and the mounting points are totally different.

Bolting in the rear sub-frame might be the way to go, but then you're into using all the E36 rear suspension, etc.

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Old 02-26-2009, 02:00 PM   #18
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yeah i was planning on using the subframe. looking on real oem, it looks like the lower wishbone and the rear trailing arm are the same part numbers for the 325iS and the e46 325.
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Old 02-28-2009, 02:01 PM   #19
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The rear trailing arms are the same, I actually have one out of an e36 in my car. If the mounting points are the same, then the next step would be playing with halfshafts and seeing if the driveshaft fits... GL, subscribed
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:49 PM   #20
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well...1 month later ... i finally got around to making some measurements. the subframe will not bolt up to the e46. the e46 subframe is actually HUGE compared to the e36. i guess its hard to compare when one is on the car and one is off.....oh well. i guess putting an aftermarket LSD unit it is the way to go
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