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      07-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
turo
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Wavetrac vs Quaife

I'm looking to step up to an LSD, and trying to decide between the Wavetrac and the Quaife. From all the research I've done, I've found that these two behave nearly identical, with the main differences being:

Wavetrac:
+ Advantage on near-zero axle-load conditions
+ Cheaper
- Higher maintenance (friction plate replacement?)

Quaife
+ Been around longer
+ Maintenance-free
- More expensive

In one of the threads I searched (link), it mentioned that the friction plates on the Wavetrac may need to be replaced eventually, while the Quaife does not suffer from this. However, this is contradictory from what I've read in the Wavetrac website (link), which is why I put a (?) next to it in the list above. From what I've read on here so far, both seem to have been tested quite a bit by members and I couldn't really find any negatives on either, so my question is: What are the benefits of paying a bit more for the Quaife?

ps. I know this has been asked before (I've done plenty of research on old threads, Mr. 5's thread was particularly useful), but I still want to ask because this is a major purchase and I don't want to regret my decision!
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      07-10-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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I have a Quaife and here's what I like about it:
-Proven technology. Been around for decades
-Quiet. No difference vs. stock in this regard
-No maintenance

Can't comment on the Wavetrac. But the Quaife - the dependability of these things is worth a lot.
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      07-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
I have a Quaife and here's what I like about it:
-Proven technology. Been around for decades
-Quiet. No difference vs. stock in this regard
-No maintenance

Can't comment on the Wavetrac. But the Quaife - the dependability of these things is worth a lot.
Wavetrac pretty much the same, but not around as long. No problems noted on boards, either mfg.

Liked Wavetrac for its price and USA manufacture. Either way, major performance boost.
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      07-10-2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Wavetrac

OP, I just purchased a Wavetrac unit based on the plus points that you mentioned. The Wavetrac is really no more higher maintenance than the Quaife. If you ever did have an issue, that would be covered with their lifetime warranty. I think with the Quaife, you really are just paying for their long established reputation.

Ps. It's nice to see you took the time to search before creating a thread I wish more users did that!
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      07-11-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
But the Quaife - the dependability of these things is worth a lot.
I completely agree, especially on a piece that is not exactly easy to just remove and ship it back if something goes wrong. I am leaning towards the Quaife for that very reason (not to mention that every time I read about a tuner's setup, they all seem to use Quaife as well), but then the little devil on my other shoulder tells me that the money saved with the Wavetrac can be used towards coilovers! What to do, what to do...
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      07-11-2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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I ran into an issue with the Wavetrac where it wasn't manufactured correctly and caused my differential to clunk constantly. Here's my thread.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605830
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      07-11-2012, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
OP, I just purchased a Wavetrac unit based on the plus points that you mentioned. The Wavetrac is really no more higher maintenance than the Quaife. If you ever did have an issue, that would be covered with their lifetime warranty. I think with the Quaife, you really are just paying for their long established reputation.

Ps. It's nice to see you took the time to search before creating a thread I wish more users did that!
You're also paying for the cost of European origin; shipping across the pond and in my case, across the US.

Big picture: Not make or break - proven performance gives peace of mind. I went for Wavetrac, OTOH, and have yet to have anything to regret!
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      07-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
I ran into an issue with the Wavetrac where it wasn't manufactured correctly and caused my differential to clunk constantly. Here's my thread.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=605830
Hey TG - didn't hear if you got the Wavetrac back....is it working now?

Good to hear they made it right - VAC has an excellent rep. Wavetrac too.

Mine's a set 'n' forget install - working as advertised, every day.
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      07-11-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Hey TG - didn't hear if you got the Wavetrac back....is it working now?

Good to hear they made it right - VAC has an excellent rep. Wavetrac too.

Mine's a set 'n' forget install - working as advertised, every day.
The owner of VAC swapped out my defective wavetrac for a quaife unit and I paid the difference. No labor, nothing. This was also done very last minute on a Saturday because I had a track event the following Monday.

They spent all of Saturday morning diagnosing and checking backlash, etc. Didn't charge me a penny. VAC is true to its word. Really stand behind their products even when they aren't responsible for it.
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      07-11-2012, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
The owner of VAC swapped out my defective wavetrac for a quaife unit and I paid the difference. No labor, nothing. This was also done very last minute on a Saturday because I had a track event the following Monday.

They spent all of Saturday morning diagnosing and checking backlash, etc. Didn't charge me a penny. VAC is true to its word. Really stand behind their products even when they aren't responsible for it.
that's awesome, i will keep that in mind when i get to modifying my differential. thanks for the feedback.
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      07-12-2012, 01:39 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
The owner of VAC swapped out my defective wavetrac for a quaife unit and I paid the difference. No labor, nothing. This was also done very last minute on a Saturday because I had a track event the following Monday.

They spent all of Saturday morning diagnosing and checking backlash, etc. Didn't charge me a penny. VAC is true to its word. Really stand behind their products even when they aren't responsible for it.
That is excellent customer service.

I plan to get a good LSD on my DD 335i(I drive very aggressively on the street and the lack of traction from LSD-less BMW is killing me).

There are many threads on clunking issues with the Wavetrac, but not everyone posted what the real problem was and the solution. It didn't seem like it was a setup issues at all. Was it something internal, QC or design flaw with the Wavetrac?

I would rather have something that will work right the first time and not have to worry about it down the road. So far I am leaning towards the Quaife.
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      07-12-2012, 01:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
That is excellent customer service.

I plan to get a good LSD on my DD 335i(I drive very aggressively on the street and the lack of traction from LSD-less BMW is killing me).

There are many threads on clunking issues with the Wavetrac, but not everyone posted what the real problem was and the solution. It didn't seem like it was a setup issues at all. Was it something internal, QC or design flaw with the Wavetrac?

I would rather have something that will work right the first time and not have to worry about it down the road. So far I am leaning towards the Quaife.
Manufacturing flaw with some batches. I don't know the specifics but I think it's a crapshoot. I lost. Thankfully I had a great shop to back me up.

I wouldn't say they are the best shop in the world. But from my experience, they do back their products with excellent customer service.
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      07-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #13
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I have had a Quaife on for about a year. Went with it mainly due to the long track record compared to the Wavetrac. Wanted a gear driven differential due to the low maint. One thing I did do was have the diff. oil changed about 1,000 miles in.

Best mod I have done, and should be a "must have" if you want to take advantage of any power and suspension mods. Other than on a wet road once or twice, I haven't seen the traction control lights since putting it on.
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      07-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #14
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One difference that I just found out is that the Quaife maintains scoring of the inner bore of where the halfshaft seats in the differential. This is to keep it lubricated and in turn prevent seizure. My Wavetrac does not have that and the stock open diff does. Just one small attention to detail I suppose. Did you decide yet OP?
Refer to FBIS's review.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365404
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      07-22-2012, 07:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
One difference that I just found out is that the Quaife maintains scoring of the inner bore of where the halfshaft seats in the differential. This is to keep it lubricated and in turn prevent seizure. My Wavetrac does not have that and the stock open diff does. Just one small attention to detail I suppose. Did you decide yet OP?
Refer to FBIS's review.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=365404
Wavetrac acquired that some time back, to be competitive I gotta assume.
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      07-22-2012, 09:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Wavetrac acquired that some time back, to be competitive I gotta assume.
Really? I just looked at my Wavetrac unit and don't see anything.
Is yours different than this:
Attached Images
  
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      07-23-2012, 01:31 AM   #17
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I'm interested in buying a Wavetrac or Quaife diff with lower gearing (higher ratio) than stock to improve acceleration. Did some of you that bought these units also change your ratios? If so, what ratios did you go with and are you happy with the outcome?

I believe these are the stock ratios:

6MT
- 325i 3.23
- 325xi 3.38
- 328i 3.23
- 328xi 3.38
- 330i 3.15
- 335i 3.08
- 335xi 3.08

6AT
- 325i 3.73
- 325xi 3.91
- 328i 3.73
- 328xi 3.91
- 330i 3.64
- 335i 3.46
- 335xi 3.46

Thanks.
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      07-23-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
Did you decide yet OP?
Not yet, but strongly leaning towards Quaife!
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      07-27-2012, 08:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driverman View Post
I'm interested in buying a Wavetrac or Quaife diff with lower gearing (higher ratio) than stock to improve acceleration. Did some of you that bought these units also change your ratios? If so, what ratios did you go with and are you happy with the outcome?

I believe these are the stock ratios:

6MT
- 325i 3.23
- 325xi 3.38
- 328i 3.23
- 328xi 3.38
- 330i 3.15
- 335i 3.08
- 335xi 3.08

6AT
- 325i 3.73
- 325xi 3.91
- 328i 3.73
- 328xi 3.91
- 330i 3.64
- 335i 3.46
- 335xi 3.46

Thanks.
I bought the Wavetrac and love it. I have 20K hard miles on it without issue. I went with the stock 3.08 gear. With Quaife/Wavetrac the only choice you have is the 3.08 and 3.46. I cant hold traction in 1st and 2nd with the 3.08 so the 3.46 for me wasn't an option. My buddy has the 3.46 in his 335 and it does accelerate hard, although not as hard as mine He doesnt put the power down that I do so his drives great. Expect 5-600 more rpms in 6th on the freeway.
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      07-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #20
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Thanks for your input on the Wavetrac.

I love my 328i with 6MT but more power would be nice. I think changing the rear axle ratio is the best way to get more torque to the drive wheels, especially for those of us that live in the US that must comply (mostly) with low speed limits. Why not sacrifice some top end for more torque to the drive wheels throughout the range?

Upsides:
- better acceleration throughout the range
- keep entire car stock except the diff, which shouldn't affect any other components
- limited slip

Downsides:
- worse gas mileage
- more RPM while cruising on the freeway
- cost of upgrade
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      07-27-2012, 11:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
I have a Quaife and here's what I like about it:
-Proven technology. Been around for decades
-Quiet. No difference vs. stock in this regard
-No maintenance

Can't comment on the Wavetrac. But the Quaife - the dependability of these things is worth a lot.
We have been selling Quaife since 2006 and Wavetrac in 2008-09. Quaife has proven to be far more reliable than the Wavetrac and for every Wavetrac we sell we also sell 4-5 times that in Quaife. Wavetrac has been getting better over the years(mostly with clunking issues), with much less warranty claims lately.
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      07-27-2012, 11:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitehawk View Post
Really? I just looked at my Wavetrac unit and don't see anything.
Is yours different than this:
This is very important. I don't know if Wavetrac has added this feature to their latest units. Without proper lubrication to the stub axles, they can potentially sieze to the LSD and will be nearly impossible to take the unit apart for servicing or warranty.
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