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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-29-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
BeMyWhip
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Diff gear swap from 3.46 to 4.10

swapping to a quiafe rear $2,500 would give you a LSD, but you would still have to use your stock gears or pay even more for new ones; so this rear + new gears + labor = way too expensive for my liking. Going the M3 route can be done for less, probably around $1,500 if you did most the install yourself; but you would still have only a 3.62 gear.
So, I checked out diffsonline.com, and you can get a set of 4.10's for about $600 shipped. I dont feel comfortable installing the gears because I dont have the proper tools and am not too familar with this type of work. Has anyone had a set of diff gears installed at an indy? and how much was the charge? I would rather have an open 4.10 than a LSD 3.42.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:00 PM   #2
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I would do the M3 swap. 3.62 and a 330 will def break traction even with an LSD. The open 4.10 will just spin (really bad out of corners). Not to mention you will prob be at 4k rpm just doing 70mph.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:13 PM   #3
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0_0 i would MUCH rather had a limited slip 3.46 then an open 4.10, even if i had a 6 speed! I did my own diff swap ( be careful, rear ends are kind of tricky and if you don't do it right you can blow through one pretty quickly ) but at the indy shop NEO auto in Connecticut that i used to go to would do one for probably 550-650 labor. they only work on bmw's and they are cool guys
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:17 PM   #4
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Do you have an automatic ZHP?
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #5
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0_0 i would MUCH rather had a limited slip 3.46 then an open 4.10, even if i had a 6 speed! I did my own diff swap ( be careful, rear ends are kind of tricky and if you don't do it right you can blow through one pretty quickly ) but at the indy shop NEO auto in Connecticut that i used to go to would do one for probably 550-650 labor. they only work on bmw's and they are cool guys
550-650/hr... how many hrs would they take? I like a straight price for the job in advance.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:26 PM   #6
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Do you have an automatic ZHP?
I have an auto 330ci with headers, and CAI; I would like to do the gear swap, and either a software upgrade or 50 shot nos. Also a muffler delete with dual exhaust on both sides.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:33 PM   #7
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I would do the M3 swap. 3.62 and a 330 will def break traction even with an LSD. The open 4.10 will just spin (really bad out of corners). Not to mention you will prob be at 4k rpm just doing 70mph.
might be the best route, but is a 3.62 worth the swap from a 3.42? aside from the LSD... would an extra 0:20:1 really improve acceleration much to feel it? Well thinking about it... 0.20 = 1/5 or 1 extra revolution of the tire every 5th spin, so maybe, but anyone do this and really feel it?
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:37 PM   #8
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Then you have a 3.38 now. And what year is your automatic 330, do you have the early automatic or the later one? It would be a waste to throw money at installing 4.10 gears to an open diff for that automatic. I would take a limited slip over an open differential any day. And a 4.10 open would be a buzz bomb at highway speeds. Your automatic transmission software would hate that change.
Very few of the M3 guys even go with the 4.10. But we have the overdriven 6th gear and much higher engine rpm to use. We also have much better traction and the differential is mounted better to the floor.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:50 PM   #9
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Then you have a 3.38 now. And what year is your automatic 330, do you have the early automatic or the later one? It would be a waste to throw money at installing 4.10 gears to an open diff for that automatic. I would take a limited slip over an open differential any day. And a 4.10 open would be a buzz bomb at highway speeds. Your automatic transmission software would hate that change.
Very few of the M3 guys even go with the 4.10. But we have the overdriven 6th gear and much higher engine rpm to use. We also have much better traction and the differential is mounted better to the floor.
I have an 01 330ci auto with just over 70K miles. I thought the rear was a 3.46, but you say its a 3.38?!
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:54 PM   #10
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I have an 01 330ci auto with just over 70K miles. I thought the rear was a 3.46, but you say its a 3.38?!
Yeah, it's 3.38 in an auto 330. ZHP auto is 3.64.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, it's 3.38 in an auto 330. ZHP auto is 3.64.
if Im correct, the zhp is non LSD; also it might be worth it to just go M3 rear; I do know I would need the pumkin, rear suspension, and to shorten the drive shaft. or maybe the open ZHP rear could work well enough for my set-up
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:24 PM   #12
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Yep for automatics, 3.38. The 323s, 328s, 325s got the 3.46. And as posted above the 330-zhp got the 3.64. And us M3s have the different 3.62

zhp is an open differential
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:19 PM   #13
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if Im correct, the zhp is non LSD; also it might be worth it to just go M3 rear; I do know I would need the pumkin, rear suspension, and to shorten the drive shaft. or maybe the open ZHP rear could work well enough for my set-up
This is what you would need. I'm not sure if the automatic drive shaft would need to modified though. This is what I would do. I was going to do it to mine but then I bought a bike and it's kept my speed bug happy for now. Also this gives you a nice brake upgrade.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/01-06...item3a5c51abea
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:37 PM   #14
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This is what you would need. I'm not sure if the automatic drive shaft would need to modified though. This is what I would do. I was going to do it to mine but then I bought a bike and it's kept my speed bug happy for now. Also this gives you a nice brake upgrade.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/01-06...item3a5c51abea
nice link, but i"ll still be looking at like $2,000-$2,500 by the time Im done, even if I do it myself. still would need a driveshaft modification, shocks, brakes, misc. If I were able to find a wreck and pick it up for about $750 or so, then it would be worth it. But great to know ebay has it nicely packaged for you. Will definately think about it.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:35 AM   #15
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spoke with a gentle who does lots of custom work on BMW's today, and he quoted me at $1,800-$2,000 for an M3 rear installed! He also quoted me for about $3,000 for a 6spd MT swap from an M3. So roughly $5k for both installed. worth it?
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:23 AM   #16
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For that kind of money Id almost rather have a 'vette

http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail...5&aff=national



IDK, I think thats just kinda alot of money to put into ca car thats maybe worth 15k to begin with?
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:28 AM   #17
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is a 5 spd 01 330ci also a 3.38?
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:41 AM   #18
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550-650/hr... how many hrs would they take? I like a straight price for the job in advance.
well thats a request i don't think any honest shop would really feel comfortable indulging, in the northeast rust and wear can make an hour job take all day. I realize your car is probably not all rusted out but the point is, they won't ever give you a set 100% price but like i just gave you they will give you a pretty accurate quote beforehand. The job takes them probably 5 or 6 hours depending, yanno.

They are honest guys though, like i said i highly recommend them and if you do tell them Gage that moved to hawaii says,"Whats goody aaron, gus, and jeff!" haha good luck with the diff man

edit: remember things like diff bushings, and fluid can add up too
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:50 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by BeMyWhip View Post
spoke with a gentle who does lots of custom work on BMW's today, and he quoted me at $1,800-$2,000 for an M3 rear installed! He also quoted me for about $3,000 for a 6spd MT swap from an M3. So roughly $5k for both installed. worth it?
On a 330 for daily driver, I would have to say No.
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is a 5 spd 01 330ci also a 3.38?
Manual is a 2.93
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:51 AM   #20
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On a 330 for daily driver, I would have to say No.


Manual is a 2.93
thats the 6 speed (like my facelift 6M)
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