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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 12-29-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
B694515
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A few random questions before I start this repair...

1. Mechanic looked at RTAB and said he didn't see anything wrong. Car has 70K and I am switching to a new suspension. I figure I'd buy the tool and have him change the RTAB's and put a limiter kit on it. Make sense or skip it?

2. Differential seal has been leaking or weeping for at least five years. I was thinking just flush the fluid while he's down there. Worth it?

3. Was reading an old post that said not to use the Meyle hardware that comes with the Meyle HD conrol arm kit. Any truth to this? Mine is already installed with the Meyle hardware but FCP makes a BMW hardware only kit and he'll be taking off the control arms anyway. Should I swap the hardware?

4. What are your thoughts on upgrading to the Euro look LED rear tail lights or sticking to stock on a 325i. Turner has a nice OEM kit by ULO for $299 and I found an LED kit for $225. On a 12 year old car, you think the stock looks better?
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Old 12-29-2016, 11:58 AM   #2
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B694515 View Post
1. Mechanic looked at RTAB and said he didn't see anything wrong. Car has 70K and I am switching to a new suspension. I figure I'd buy the tool and have him change the RTAB's and put a limiter kit on it. Make sense or skip it?

2. Differential seal has been leaking or weeping for at least five years. I was thinking just flush the fluid while he's down there. Worth it?

3. Was reading an old post that said not to use the Meyle hardware that comes with the Meyle HD conrol arm kit. Any truth to this? Mine is already installed with the Meyle hardware but FCP makes a BMW hardware only kit and he'll be taking off the control arms anyway. Should I swap the hardware?

4. What are your thoughts on upgrading to the Euro look LED rear tail lights or sticking to stock on a 325i. Turner has a nice OEM kit by ULO for $299 and I found an LED kit for $225. On a 12 year old car, you think the stock looks better?
1. Do it. Put limiters. I also recommend using the M3 RTABs. They're stiffer but not as serious as poly bushings.

2. Replace cover seal. It's not that hard. Obviously this will require a full fluid swap. Diffs cannot be flushed. It's just a drain and refill.

3. I have no concern with Meyle hardware. Nobody has any evidence that it's not good. It's just fear mongering. However, you are removing lock nuts, and they should be replaced with new locknuts as a matter of proper procedure (not because they are Meyle).

4. That's up to you. The facelift coupe's LED tails are definitely the best looking tails for the E46. If they look like those, then OK.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

Regarding the cover seal, is there a lot of labor involved with that? When I first found out about the leak, the mechanic said it would cost around $800 for the labor and parts. Someone else even told me just to swap a new differential. I just left it the way it was.

Interesting with the lock nuts. Can you tell me why lock nuts need replacement every time though?

The LED tails actually look like the coupe. They don't have the "solid" white lights going across. The sedan lights look like the coupe design. My issue is that there are a few manufacturers and I don't know which is the best and I don't know if there is extra wiring involved because of the LED conversion. I'm interested in a plug and play install.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:08 PM   #4
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1.) If they're original or you don't know if they've been changed, then yes, definitely change them.

2.) Same as #1

3.) Never has any issue with their FCAB hardware, but that's my only experience with them. So if it makes you feel better, go for it. If it's any kind of lock nut, definitely replace it.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B694515 View Post
Thanks for the reply.

Regarding the cover seal, is there a lot of labor involved with that? When I first found out about the leak, the mechanic said it would cost around $800 for the labor and parts. Someone else even told me just to swap a new differential. I just left it the way it was.

Interesting with the lock nuts. Can you tell me why lock nuts need replacement every time though?

The LED tails actually look like the coupe. They don't have the "solid" white lights going across. The sedan lights look like the coupe design. My issue is that there are a few manufacturers and I don't know which is the best and I don't know if there is extra wiring involved because of the LED conversion. I'm interested in a plug and play install.
He may be able to get to the diff cover bolts without removing the differential. I think he's assuming that he will have to remove the differential. Honestly it's not that hard, especially on a lift. It might take 1 hour to remove and 1 hour to reinstall. BUT you'll have to buy all new driveshaft and prop shaft bolts because those are one time use.




The nuts on the control arms are nylock nuts. They have a little nylon insert in the top that serves as the locking mechanism. It's really a one time use thing. The nut itself is fine, but the locking nylon part is now compromised. If you reused them, it probably would be OK, but new nuts are cheap and it's the right way to do it.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:20 PM   #6
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The differential is leaking from the front not the sides. What part is in the front?
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:30 PM   #7
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Oh that's a different story. Yeah that's the input seal and removing the input is somewhat of a big deal.


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Old 12-29-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
B694515
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Doing some more research and I head people saying that the limiters make "noise." Is this true? I bought the limiters from ECS; they are ECS brand.
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Old 12-29-2016, 05:03 PM   #9
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A few random questions before I start this repair...

It's possible that they can click or rub a bit. Not a big deal


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