Diff' compatibility between models? - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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#1 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 06:39 PM
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Diff' compatibility between models?

Hello all...
My buddy, who is somewhat inept in the ways of forums like this , is pretty sure he has munged the diff on his '91 318ic. The question he wants confirmation of is "are all the diff's compatible between all e30's? Not talking about just the gearset, but the whole carrier assembly. There are a lot of e30 325 diff's on Ebay, but none of the ones that are local to him mention being compatible with 318's. He's in South Carolina so if any of you are local to him and happen to have a spare functional compatible differential, let me know and I will make sure to pass the word along!

Thanks everyone!

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Not currently on the Bimmer kick. Drivin' a 2003 Silver Civic at the moment, but I am STILL the Founding Member of the "325eXTATIC You're my hero" club.
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Originally Posted by <b>superdeadman</b><br>Josh W. IS my hero!

Originally Posted by <b>JoeMadoo</b><br>325eXTATIC, you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>Moosepuck</b><br>Oh yeah... 325eXTATIC...you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>e30dream</b><br>325eXTATIC....youre my hero.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 07:07 PM
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The 6 cylinder E30's and E30 M3's have a large diff, while the 4 cylinder E30s have a smaller diff.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 07:13 PM
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but is there any problem with installing one in the other? Is there a clearance issue or pinion angle change? Would suspension travel cause the larger Diff housing to bottom out under the trunk? Are the suspension mounts the same?

Thanks!

Josh W.

Not currently on the Bimmer kick. Drivin' a 2003 Silver Civic at the moment, but I am STILL the Founding Member of the "325eXTATIC You're my hero" club.
Quote:
Originally Posted by <b>superdeadman</b><br>Josh W. IS my hero!

Originally Posted by <b>JoeMadoo</b><br>325eXTATIC, you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>Moosepuck</b><br>Oh yeah... 325eXTATIC...you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>e30dream</b><br>325eXTATIC....youre my hero.

Last edited by 325eXTATIC; 05-23-2006 at 07:17 PM.
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 07:55 PM
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As long as you switch differentials that are the same size there wont be any problems.

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 09:38 PM
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I really appreciate your input Joe! The problem my buddy is coming up against is the fact that there just aren't any 318 diff's available for cheap, so he wants to know what challenges he would face if he used a 325 diff. Are there distinct differences in mounting or installation hardware/interface that would prevent him from dropping in a $150 325 diff instead of a $400 318 diff?

Thanks a heap!

Josh W.

Not currently on the Bimmer kick. Drivin' a 2003 Silver Civic at the moment, but I am STILL the Founding Member of the "325eXTATIC You're my hero" club.
Quote:
Originally Posted by <b>superdeadman</b><br>Josh W. IS my hero!

Originally Posted by <b>JoeMadoo</b><br>325eXTATIC, you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>Moosepuck</b><br>Oh yeah... 325eXTATIC...you're my hero...
Originally Posted by <b>e30dream</b><br>325eXTATIC....youre my hero.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 12:38 AM
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I see... I'm not sure if the mounting is the same or not between the different sizes

take a look at this though...
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1991-...spagenameZWDVW

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#7 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 10:51 AM
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#8 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 11:03 AM
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it should bolt right up. the small diffs have axle flanges that stick out farther to compensate for the narrower housing. everything else should be in the same location as the large diffs.
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 11:51 AM
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Haha thanks Idsbeaker, it only takes like 20 minutes to smack them in

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#10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 12:55 PM
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I have an '89 325i. I'd love to put in an LSD. Which models came with compatible ones for this car? 325is & M3?

Thanks!
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#11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 01:39 PM
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325e's, i's, and M3's all have large differentials.

325e's have either a 2.79 or 2.91 ratio.

325i's have a 3.73.

325iX's and M3's have a 4.10.

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#12 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:37 PM
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...AWNA%3AMT%3A12

Does anyone see a reason that this diff wouldn't fit in my 91 318ic 4 banger?? I'm about to bid..!!
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosepuck
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...AWNA%3AMT%3A12

Does anyone see a reason that this diff wouldn't fit in my 91 318ic 4 banger?? I'm about to bid..!!
Did you not read? It's physically bigger than that of a 318 ...

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#14 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 04:47 PM
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Did you read??? Someone also mentioned that the flange width is the same and that it should mount up...
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-25-2006, 09:27 PM
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I read!

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