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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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#1 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 01:27 AM
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So for some reason I just had to change out my differential oil tonight - drained out the old stuff - it was actually pretty dark compared to the new oil so I'm glad I checked...

Anyway, I had two quarts of redline 75 x 90 and pumped it in - spilled a little bit but I'm certain that I pumped at least the indicated 1.8 quarts in there, but no oil was flowing out of the level check hole. I stuck my finger in there and the oil level was probably about a 1/3 of an inch from the hole.

My long-winded question is: will I damage my differential if I drive it a bit with the oil a little low? Drove it a bit after I did the fluid change and nothing seems amiss. Definitely going to go down to NAPA first thing tomorrow morning to get more fluid though.

Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 08:44 AM
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i dont recommend it at all. the differential is one thing that should always have optimal lubrication.

from the sounds of it, its really just a little bit. the rule of thumb is fill the diff till it just starts to come out the fill hole. and im talking just a little bit, maybe a string of fluid might come out..

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 08:50 AM
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I'd take the top bolt out ... and pump some more in there.. it wouldnt take that long.. and it will keep your mind quiet while driving..

Good Luck...

Les


1997 E36 M3 1990 E30 325i
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 08:57 AM
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I am doing that this weekend..I ordered 2 Qts of redline from bavauto, will that be enough?!? I read the capacity was 1.8, that is correct?

Complete mod list and pics:

My 1993 325i
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 04:10 PM
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I pumped maybe another quarter of a quart of oil in there before it started to spill out. I'm pretty sure that the surface that I'd parked it on was level. If I were doing this again, I'd definitely have another bottle of oil lying around just in case.

Got it up to around 80 on the way to work, no problems. I guess I'll know if I screwed up my differential if it starts grinding...

Still can't get rid of that damn rubbing noise - almost sounds like a brake caliper is sticking... but I'm not sure. It only does it the first time I start up the car after it's been parked for a few minutes...
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 04:18 PM
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the rubbing could be a wheel bearing.

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#7 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 04:36 PM
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or the handbrake.
If it is the handbrake:
Put the car in neutral and roll back at about 1-3 MPH and hit the handbrake hard. Not fast enough to where your tires chirp, but enough to be a hard stop.
That oughta fix it... maybe not but it does the trick every time for me.


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#8 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Furious@Nov 4 2004, 01:18 PM
the rubbing could be a wheel bearing.
[snapback]224528[/snapback]
But wouldn't the wheel bearing make the noise all time - not just the first 30 feet or so that I drive the car? I only hear the rubbing noise about once or twice when I'm rolling forward (related to the speed I'm travelling). Otherwise, I don't hear noise or feel vibration at all.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bitcore@Nov 4 2004, 01:36 PM
or the handbrake.
If it is the handbrake:
Put the car in neutral and roll back at about 1-3 MPH and hit the handbrake hard. Not fast enough to where your tires chirp, but enough to be a hard stop.
That oughta fix it... maybe not but it does the trick every time for me.
[snapback]224543[/snapback]
I'll try that - going to adjust the e-brake this weekend when I have access to a garage so I can put the back end up. There's appropriate amount of slack in the handbrake though - it's at full stop at about 7 clicks (I believe the appropriate range is 5-7 clicks).

I guess that would make the most sense - as it is something that occurs only after I have parked with the handbrake up... we'll see. At least I have some really good differential oil in there now
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 05:42 PM
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Once you fill it up, don't worry if it leaks a small amount from time to time.. I have a friend who is a Rolls Royce mechanic (he also works on BMW, Porches, Mercedes, etc..) And he says that differentials in german cars will do that. Its normal.

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#11 (permalink) Old 11-04-2004, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by kearnyme@Nov 4 2004, 02:42 PM
Once you fill it up, don't worry if it leaks a small amount from time to time.. I have a friend who is a Rolls Royce mechanic (he also works on BMW, Porches, Mercedes, etc..) And he says that differentials in german cars will do that. Its normal.
[snapback]224612[/snapback]
Yeah - I actually noticed while I was down there that the rear driver side axle was a little wet. But when I opened up the differential - the fluid level was fine. If I end up needing to do my rear bearings, I'll probably just switch out the seal then.
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#12 (permalink) Old 11-05-2004, 03:49 PM
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no a wheel bearing may not always make noise that you will notice. my buddies 328 had a blown wheel bearing (really blown) and it would only make noise at cetain speeds .

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#13 (permalink) Old 11-05-2004, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Furious@Nov 5 2004, 12:49 PM
no a wheel bearing may not always make noise that you will notice. my buddies 328 had a blown wheel bearing (really blown) and it would only make noise at cetain speeds .
[snapback]225255[/snapback]
Well - the utterly confusing thing is that the car only makes the rubbing noise once or twice after it's been sitting for about 10 minutes or so - I don't hear it in stop and go, just after I've parked the car for a little while - as I'm driving off going maybe 5-10 miles an hour... The rubbing isn't present at any other speed or time. I'm thinking it's gotta be something like a sticking caliper or something.
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#14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2004, 05:03 PM
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its possible. a sticking caliper is ok, a seized caliper is bad. if i were you, id take all the slider pins in the brake caliper and regrease them. also grease the ears of the brake pads so they move smoothly.

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#15 (permalink) Old 11-06-2004, 12:51 PM
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Wet axle could be the U-Joint seals leaking their grease...
I tore mine to hell when I snapped the U-join when I hit that fuckin curb and it slung everywhere whilst I drove back to the parking lot.


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