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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 02-12-2011, 05:11 PM   #61
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Englewood, CO
Posts: 25
My Ride: 325Xi
Originally Posted by Mark M View Post
While under my XI this morning I made an interesting observation.

Back wheels off the ground, if you spin one wheel, the other spins the opposite direction. This means the rear is a standard open differential as we all know. Now for the odd thing. If the front is also an open differential we'd expect the same results right? Wrong. With the front axle off the ground, I spun the passenger wheel and the driver's wheel did not move, but the driveshaft to the TC was spinning. I then went over and spun the driver's wheel, but the passenger wheen did not move, although again the driveshaft to the TC was spinning.

It would almost seem that the front differential is an unusual form of an open diff. Perhaps the front diff is Vicious and not gear driven?? Anyone ever seen inside one?

Also, regarding the TC, why does it have a vacuum line feeding into it? If it were just a vent pipe there would be no need for a hose right? However there is a vacuum hose that comes off the TC and goes up over the trans tunnel. Why?
Completely normal. There was less resistance on the driveshaft then the other tire, so the driveshaft spun instead.

Next time grab the driveshaft so it doesn't spin and then you will see the other tire rotate the oposite way.

2002 325Xi

2003 F250 Super Duty

2013 Volt
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Old 02-12-2011, 11:36 PM   #62
Mark M
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Lancaster, PA
Posts: 422
My Ride: e30 M3 / e90 335d
Thanks Seth, I guess that makes sense when you put it that way. I'm just use to the old test on the rear wheels, but there the driveshaft has a lot of resistance from the trans / engine so natrually it spins the opposite wheel. Thanks!
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