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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-20-2005, 02:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
ixi
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Hey, I recently bought a E36 325i from '91 (I'm a student..)

About 2 weeks ago I heard this loud 'boink' sound coming from the rear when I pressed the gas pedal or suddenly took my foot off it. I figured it must be something with the differential. Friends of mine had similar sounds and they told me they've been driving with it for over a year; nothing to worry about I thought!

Then yesterday all of a sudden a REALLY loud metal-on-metal noise came from the rear when I was just driving at a constant speed. I pulled over and checked if I could see anything, which I couldn't. I tried to drive it really slow in 1st gear, no sounds but after a few feet a screw fell on the ground. I checked the screw and it appeared to be broken off. I'm not much of a mechanic, but I know that's not good to say the least. If I drive it faster than 3mph (more or less) the loud sound comes back.

Anyways, I towed the car back home without any weird sounds or problems, so the differential still works (right?). I put the car on a bridge and inspected the differential, there appears to be 1 screw missing (see picture). The weird thing is that if I try to put the broken screw in the hole there's still 1.5 inch sticking out. Could it be the this screw slowly came out before breaking off? Or is a misplaced differential the cause for this?

Any idea's on how to remove the part that's still there? Does anyone know what this screw is attached to? Is there a chance that my differential is still in good shape after what happened?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-21-2005, 12:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That's the infamous differential bolt. They bend/break commonly. You're going to have to remove the differential and back the rest of the screw out because it's threaded into the differential.
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