Originally Posted by Birds BMW
In a word, no.....Only way is to remove the drive and rear cover to look inside.
If you submit your VIN, we can look on BMW ETK to see which final drive part number BMW say your car was built with. Inevitably, very few 335d cars were built with bolted drives, and some of them don't have drives with identifiable part numbers.
So we occasionally see cars that have part number that do not exist on BMWs parts database. Always best to assume it's welded, and sometimes you can get a nice surprise. I know this doesn't help if you are running up against a strict budget.
So pm me your VIN, and I'll let you know what drive you have.
I'm kind of interested to know who says they have gone back to bolted differentials. That's not been seen in our workshops, and the only organisations licensed do this process are VAC in the USA (not many diesels over there), Atomic Import in Russia, and Southern BM in Oz.
As it happens, all of the later cars, F20, F30 etc. that we have seen also have welded drives, even with the smaller engined cars. We have to face up to the fact that this is the way it will be in the future, and of course we are actively looking for better and cheaper ways of dealing with these drives.
Well - I'd imagine I've been misinformed as you seem pretty much certain things have NOT changed back. Perhaps by someone else eager to have the work done but not wanting to spend well over 4 figures on it
I'll check the VIN when I'm in range of the car (Won't be for at least a week as I'm away) again for you and send it over.