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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 12-04-2011, 05:34 PM   #1
jasonbimmer
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F/R diffs capacity?

I was changing diff fluids today thought the rear diff takes 2 qts and front takes 0.75qts.
the actual figure turned out rear diff is about 1.2 qts and front is close to 0.8 qt.
did I miss something?
and yes I know how to change fluids, I pumped and pumped till fluid came out like stream. I even waited 5 min then double checked it again.
I was also amazed how low the old fluid was, nothing came out when I pulled the fill plug.

FYI, if any of you guys getting chattering noise at the front near the diff at 35mph, check your diff fluid, it might be low.
I replaced the axle twice and lost some amount of fluid and it was making a chatter noise at 35mph.
also the front diff fluid gets worn out much quicker than the back due to engine heat.
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Last edited by jasonbimmer; 12-05-2011 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:35 PM   #2
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Was the car level when you filled the rear? I'm surprised that none came out when you opened'er up.
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Old 12-04-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TiAgXi View Post
Was the car level when you filled the rear? I'm surprised that none came out when you opened'er up.
no no no.
none came out when I opened the FILL plug (low level).
yes the car was level.
10 yo and 116k miles I am not surprised the level got low, no leak tho.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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you probably need front diff seals
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by redbull 325is View Post
you probably need front diff seals
like I said no leaks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Mine was the same as yours when I did the fluids for the first time @ 60k. since then I have found many others that had similar experiences with the original fluid fill level so its probably normal. I wouldnt be too concerned.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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My notes say the front differential takes 1.3 pints and the rear takes 2.6 pints.

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Old 12-05-2011, 02:07 PM   #8
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My notes say the front differential takes 1.3 pints and the rear takes 2.6 pints.

ECS Tuning
once again, great info from ECS. so I was about right.
I guess the 2qt rear is for RWD version since they have much beefier rear diff.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:10 AM   #9
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^No rear diff is the same as rwd. So is the fluid capacity.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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^No rear diff is the same as rwd. So is the fluid capacity.
thats interesting.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:48 AM   #11
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Correct the E46 (used an 01 for my numbers) RWD uses 2.6 pints in the rear diff.

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:37 PM   #12
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Per::
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Component OEM Royal Purple Redline QTY (Qts)
MAN Trans MTF-LT-2 Synchromax D4-ATF 1.3
AUTO Trans
Transfer Case Synchromax D4-ATF 0.2
Front Diff Max-Gear (75W90) 75W90 Gear oil .8
Rear Diff Max-Gear (75W90) 75W90 Gear oil 1.1
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