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Old 03-22-2015, 05:39 PM   #1
KTulay
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Rear Axle Differences - Early 01 vs Later

The car I am building a '01 330CI, with a build date of 10.08.2000 (last 7 of the VIN are JU21013). After buying this car I later bought a wrecked '02 330ci (can check the VIN and build date if someone cares to know it) for a spare engine, trans, and whatever else was salvageable. I knew there were some differences from the two cars, but this one is a big one.

The rear axles are completely different, and it is said that later style is better. I opted to put the '02 axles on because they had less miles, but never took notice to the difference until I just tried to bolt them on the car.

The flanges on the differential are different! For me, not a big deal as I can just swap the diffs since I am just running the stock one for this year and have it from the wrecked car. But, I am unsure if Dan from diffsonline.com knows about this yet, and if it is an option when you buy an LSD from him.

However, that isn't the only difference. The ABS tone ring is different on the axles, the OD is smaller on the later style axles, but the good news is they both have the same number of spaces. But, the ABS speed sensors are different, and of course the plug is different too.

The drive shafts are the same though.

Luckily for me I have all of these parts, and I am going to swap everything to be able to use the later style axles, but I am hoping that if Dan doesn't know this he will now be aware of it, and anyone else who ends up with the early style axles that wishes to upgrade, realizes what else is also different.


Early style axle on top, later style on the bottom. Very easy to see the differences, but notice the ABS tone rings. And yes, I know there is a zip tie on the one boot, I didn't have the correct clamp and it was ordered today.


Early style axle on the left, later style on the right. I took the right axle apart to re-grease it. The holes that the 3 zip ties are in actually have rivets that hold the cap on, as well as the "washer" that two bolts go through.


Early style diff flange.


Later style diff flange.


Early style axle bolts and "washer" on the right, later style on the left. The early style bolts are actually the same as the drive shaft.


Later style axle installed on my early 01 trailing arm. Notice the large gap from the ABS speed sensor to the tone ring.


Later style ABS speed sensor. Notice how much further it protrudes towards where the axle would be.


Early style ABS speed sensor plug on the left, later style on the right. They appear the same, besides the color, but the key way inside is different.
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Old 03-23-2015, 08:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTulay View Post
I knew there were some differences from the two cars, but this one is a big one.

The rear axles are completely different, and it is said that later style is better. I opted to put the '02 axles on because they had less miles, but never took notice to the difference until I just tried to bolt them on the car.

The flanges on the differential are different! For me, not a big deal as I can just swap the diffs since I am just running the stock one for this year and have it from the wrecked car.
The late model 330 is weird; AWD e46's also have the paired Y style mounting CV's and stubs.

E46 differential is weird in general as they were working out a lot of specifics in the supply chain; very late model e46 units transitioned to the plastic cage ball bearing;
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Old 03-23-2015, 12:50 PM   #3
Rob in VA
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We noticed some other small differences as well. Like Max's car doesn't have the typical clutch plunger switch.
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Old 10-14-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
Ronin951
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FWIW, that looks identical to the shaft that came out of my e36 M3. Makes me wonder if it's the same part.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:53 PM   #5
Estebanpalacios
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Where can I purchase the newer axle

I haven't been able to find anyone that sells the newer version of the axle. O rielleys sold me the wrong part the old version. So I asked for a 2002 e46 axle and it's still the same part number. I drive a 2001 e46 330i 5 speed. Can anyone lead me the right direction.. why can't I locate it.. online or anything..
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:43 AM   #6
Evnmopwr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTulay View Post
The car I am building a '01 330CI, with a build date of 10.08.2000 (last 7 of the VIN are JU21013). After buying this car I later bought a wrecked '02 330ci (can check the VIN and build date if someone cares to know it) for a spare engine, trans, and whatever else was salvageable. I knew there were some differences from the two cars, but this one is a big one.

The rear axles are completely different, and it is said that later style is better. I opted to put the '02 axles on because they had less miles, but never took notice to the difference until I just tried to bolt them on the car.

The flanges on the differential are different! For me, not a big deal as I can just swap the diffs since I am just running the stock one for this year and have it from the wrecked car. But, I am unsure if Dan from diffsonline.com knows about this yet, and if it is an option when you buy an LSD from him.

However, that isn't the only difference. The ABS tone ring is different on the axles, the OD is smaller on the later style axles, but the good news is they both have the same number of spaces. But, the ABS speed sensors are different, and of course the plug is different too.

The drive shafts are the same though.

Luckily for me I have all of these parts, and I am going to swap everything to be able to use the later style axles, but I am hoping that if Dan doesn't know this he will now be aware of it, and anyone else who ends up with the early style axles that wishes to upgrade, realizes what else is also different.


Early style axle on top, later style on the bottom. Very easy to see the differences, but notice the ABS tone rings. And yes, I know there is a zip tie on the one boot, I didn't have the correct clamp and it was ordered today.


Early style axle on the left, later style on the right. I took the right axle apart to re-grease it. The holes that the 3 zip ties are in actually have rivets that hold the cap on, as well as the "washer" that two bolts go through.


Early style diff flange.


Later style diff flange.


Early style axle bolts and "washer" on the right, later style on the left. The early style bolts are actually the same as the drive shaft.


Later style axle installed on my early 01 trailing arm. Notice the large gap from the ABS speed sensor to the tone ring.


Later style ABS speed sensor. Notice how much further it protrudes towards where the axle would be.


Early style ABS speed sensor plug on the left, later style on the right. They appear the same, besides the color, but the key way inside is different.
Dude, Im hoping you can assist

I swopped in a 2005 330i (DSC) engine, trans, Propeller shaft, Diff and Rear trailing arms with those later style Side shafts ( Smaller outer CV cups as you documented ), into my 2001 station wagon (ASC).

Im sitting with the SAME issue with the ABS Sensors...
I have no ABS and no speedo working..

Which sensors did you end up using?????
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:46 AM   #7
KTulay
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Sorry I never followed up more with this. Without re-reading my original post from a few years ago, here is some updated information.

The early build manual 330's (at least), had automatic style axles, which had the evenly spaced bolts at the differential flange. They later switched to the manual style axle which had the three pairs of 2 bolts.

The axle flanges simply pop in and out of the diff and can just be swapped. The axles are then physically interchangeable as well. Except for ABS issues as stated.

When I originally did this, I simply swapped the connector on my car harness, and the sensors themselves. It appeared to work, as the car was still in the garage and never driven. When I finally got to a track with the car, the speedo was not working and I had no ABS, which then these cars mechanically will lock up the rear tires first. No issue, I wasn't at a race and just took it easier on the brakes.

So, why?

Well, the gray plugged sensors and blue plugged sensors are not interchangeable as I tried to do. The early year cars have a MK20 DSC unit with gray speed sensor plugs, where the later year cars have a MK60 DSC unit with blue speed sensor plugs. These sensors are different internally and therefore do not work by simply swapping the connector as I tried.

The solution is that there is a very short built period where the MK20 cars came with the manual style axles, and the speed sensors from this period are the correct type to match the MK20 DSC unit, but also the correct length to have the proper air gap on the axle tone ring.

I don't have the number available at the moment, but I will look for it later tonight.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:47 AM   #8
KTulay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin951 View Post
FWIW, that looks identical to the shaft that came out of my e36 M3. Makes me wonder if it's the same part.
E36 axles are not the same as E46. E36 use the same axle from side to side, where E46 differ in length from one side to the other.
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:50 AM   #9
KTulay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob in VA View Post
We noticed some other small differences as well. Like Max's car doesn't have the typical clutch plunger switch.
There are many small differences like that through the years. I've learned about A LOT of them! I offer a service to thin someone's entire chassis harness for them where they will mail me the entire chassis harness and I remove all of the un-needed items specifically to how they want by them first filling out an order sheet that allows them to say if they want to keep the high beams, or low beams, or both for example, among many other options to pick from.

But yes, the earlier cars had 2 plunger style clutch switches. One tells the DME that you depressed the clutch pedal slightly to turn off cruise control. The other tells the EWS module that the pedal is fully depressed and allows the starter to engage.

The newer style is build into the clutch master cylinder and does both of those functions but with a single switch. This newer one requires the newer clutch master cylinder too.

Either way, the clutch switch can be by-passed, and even EWS can be removed if programmed out of your DME.
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:33 AM   #10
Evnmopwr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTulay View Post
Sorry I never followed up more with this. Without re-reading my original post from a few years ago, here is some updated information.

The early build manual 330's (at least), had automatic style axles, which had the evenly spaced bolts at the differential flange. They later switched to the manual style axle which had the three pairs of 2 bolts.

The axle flanges simply pop in and out of the diff and can just be swapped. The axles are then physically interchangeable as well. Except for ABS issues as stated.

When I originally did this, I simply swapped the connector on my car harness, and the sensors themselves. It appeared to work, as the car was still in the garage and never driven. When I finally got to a track with the car, the speedo was not working and I had no ABS, which then these cars mechanically will lock up the rear tires first. No issue, I wasn't at a race and just took it easier on the brakes.

So, why?

Well, the gray plugged sensors and blue plugged sensors are not interchangeable as I tried to do. The early year cars have a MK20 DSC unit with gray speed sensor plugs, where the later year cars have a MK60 DSC unit with blue speed sensor plugs. These sensors are different internally and therefore do not work by simply swapping the connector as I tried.

The solution is that there is a very short built period where the MK20 cars came with the manual style axles, and the speed sensors from this period are the correct type to match the MK20 DSC unit, but also the correct length to have the proper air gap on the axle tone ring.

I don't have the number available at the moment, but I will look for it later tonight.
Thanks dude..
I checked VIN of A felow fanatic from local forum here in SA.
He has a 2001 E46 330i Pre-faclift

Part number for the Sensor you talking about is 34521166126 ...

Its grey plugged and Sensor looks Extra lengthed to the Sensor on my wagon.
Im currently trying to source a Breaker who has a Pre-facelift with those sensors

As soon as i get, I will feedback
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Old 02-17-2018, 03:19 PM   #11
KTulay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evnmopwr View Post
Thanks dude..
I checked VIN of A felow fanatic from local forum here in SA.
He has a 2001 E46 330i Pre-faclift

Part number for the Sensor you talking about is 34521166126 ...

Its grey plugged and Sensor looks Extra lengthed to the Sensor on my wagon.
Im currently trying to source a Breaker who has a Pre-facelift with those sensors

As soon as i get, I will feedback
That is the correct number. Sorry I didn't get to post it the other day.

It's a very limited production run of these, so finding a used one will likely be difficult. I would just buy two new ones.

This part number from ATE always works: W0133-1790239

FCP Euro looks to be about the cheapest with the BMW number;
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products?keywords=34521166126
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:07 AM   #12
Aussigazza
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This looks like the spot to get help....

I have a 98 318i that now has a June 2000 330ci auto rear end. It has the mk20 asc unit I think.

The reach to the tone ring is the same for old grey sensor vs new blue sensor.

Do you know of a sensor that will work? I think the 330ci tone ring is for magnetoresistive vs my older inductive abs sensor.


I feel I will need to replace the tone rings.

Thanks for any advice.

Garry
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:30 AM   #13
Evnmopwr
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Just an Update.. for reference for the next person since i could not really find Allot of information about this and the Different sensors

Thanks to a fellow Countryman of mine who done this conversion too, There was a breaker close to his place Stripping a 2001 330i Pre FL and he managed to get 1 sensor. the other i order from agents New
Found the sensor i needed
Side by side Comparisons

One on left was sensor i needed. Part Number 34521166126
One on Right was the Sensor on my Wagon. Part Number 34521164370


Last edited by Evnmopwr; 03-07-2018 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:37 PM   #14
indee321
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Thanks for a very infomative thread. Can anyone help me with a couple of questions ? Im trying to install bigger breaks..

My first question is the probably the easiest to answer.. is there a reason why i cant simply replace my 325 rear hubs with 330 ones ? Or do i have to swap entire rear trailing arm?

I have changed my diff for a 3:38 out of an automatic 330 .. i am a manual 325.
I had to change the output flanges of the 330 and put my own in. So now i have my own flanges and my own axle drives into the hub..

If i buy a rear traing arm set up , most include the hub, will my 325 axles slot into the 330 hub ? I dont know how to actually do any of this yet hahaha i just need to know if i can buy ANY year 330 rear trailing arm with hub or do i have to look out for certain year. I am aware the 330 changed the axles but it made no difference to me at the diff end ( i swapped flanges from 330 to my 325 ) but i just dont know about the hub ( wheel ) end.
cant afford to buy a whole rear arm setup and find it wont fit !!

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Old 10-10-2018, 01:41 AM   #15
Evnmopwr
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Originally Posted by indee321 View Post
Thanks for a very infomative thread. Can anyone help me with a couple of questions ? Im trying to install bigger breaks..

My first question is the probably the easiest to answer.. is there a reason why i cant simply replace my 325 rear hubs with 330 ones ? Or do i have to swap entire rear trailing arm?

I have changed my diff for a 3:38 out of an automatic 330 .. i am a manual 325.
I had to change the output flanges of the 330 and put my own in. So now i have my own flanges and my own axle drives into the hub..

If i buy a rear traing arm set up , most include the hub, will my 325 axles slot into the 330 hub ? I dont know how to actually do any of this yet hahaha i just need to know if i can buy ANY year 330 rear trailing arm with hub or do i have to look out for certain year. I am aware the 330 changed the axles but it made no difference to me at the diff end ( i swapped flanges from 330 to my 325 ) but i just dont know about the hub ( wheel ) end.
cant afford to buy a whole rear arm setup and find it wont fit !!

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When i checked mine, the Splines on the 325i Shafts were the same as the Spline groves on the 330i hubs...

I have a Preface lift 325i touring. and the rear trailing arms were from a Facelift 330i...

I was forced to change the Prop shaft, Diff etc because i installed the 330i 6 speed manual.

But i remember it working.. The only thing Diff on the trailing arms are the Brakes size.
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:04 PM   #16
indee321
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evnmopwr View Post
When i checked mine, the Splines on the 325i Shafts were the same as the Spline groves on the 330i hubs...

I have a Preface lift 325i touring. and the rear trailing arms were from a Facelift 330i...

I was forced to change the Prop shaft, Diff etc because i installed the 330i 6 speed manual.

But i remember it working.. The only thing Diff on the trailing arms are the Brakes size.
Thats the glimmer of hope im reaching for, thanks.

So you were actually able to use your 325 axles in the 330 hub, is that correct?

If i understand the OP correctly he is saying there are two variations of 330i axle , with different fittings at the diff end, but BOTH styles fit into the HUB end.. have i understood that correctly?

So in theory i do not have to worry about any variation of hub size.. it stays the same . So i can grab any 330 rear trailing arm and hub.

Really appreciate your reply ive only had two , and the other guy said he didnt think so .. im leaning towards what you have said because you say you have done it, but i really could use a few more answers if possible..

I also have the early syle evenly spaced axles at the diff end..

If the wheel bearing for the 330i and 325i share the same part number, would this be a good indication that the 325 axle will fiy into the 330 hub?

Last edited by indee321; 10-11-2018 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:10 PM   #17
indee321
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just recieved this message from another member ..

I'm going with no. 325 half shafts wont fit in the 330 hub.

I happened to have a 330 half shaft, and a 328 trailing arm assembly next to me. The 330 spline is a good bit larger.

Last edited by indee321; 10-11-2018 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:12 PM   #18
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This is on turner motor sports Click image for larger version

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ID:	757913

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Old 10-12-2018, 01:09 AM   #19
indee321
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Recieved this from eric at rally road
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Last edited by indee321; 10-12-2018 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:15 AM   #20
indee321
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Forgot to post the older style of axle from turner motor sport ( this is mine ) it seems that the models are interchangable between 325 and 330 ? But each style of axle is quite specific ..

Also another guy on a different thread has measured the spline in a 330 hub has laying around its 32.7 mm ish .. so this would mean in theory the older style 31mm axle ive pictured is designed to slot into the 32.7ish 330i hub? Is that logical?

Last edited by indee321; 10-12-2018 at 01:18 AM.
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