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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > VAC Motorsports - 335i, 135i Performance Built Differential - How we do it!



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      02-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
Brian_VACsales
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Arrow VAC Motorsports - 335i, 135i Performance Built Differential - How we do it!

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Hey guys,

A number of folks were wondering what our banner ad means when it says 'precision work done in house on our CNC machines.' I am proud to say that we in fact do everything in house - nothing is outsourced.

As many know, most 335i and 135i models have a challenging stock differential. Unlike most cars, most 335i and 135i models have a differential where the ring gear is WELDED to the unit. Note: Just about every car on the road has a ring gear that is BOLTED to the unit.

In order to add a Quaife, Wavetrac, OS Giken unit to your 335i or 135i, you need to re-use the ring gear and pinion in your differential. Not so easy since the ring gear is WELDED to the stock unit!!

So, in order for us to upgrade to a Quaife, Wavetrac, OS Giken etc. we put our machines to work and created this incredibly accurate process to to separate the ring gear from the carrier and prepare said ring gear it to be bolted to the new aftermarket unit.

This is a quick tutorial. We wanted to do the best job possible, so we configured our CNC lathes and mills to handle this challenging task. The end result is beautiful =)


VAC Performance Built Differentials are built to last with the highest quality components, procedures, and technical expertise in the industry. We have been building BMW differentials since the 1980s - 2002, E46, E92, street, race - we have done it.

How is a VAC Performance Built Differential made (this is not a complete list, but most major operations are covered)

1. Photograph and inspect every differential for damage/missing parts etc.

2. Drain and inspect fluid looking for shavings or anything odd with the fluid.

3. Remove cover, inspect ring gear, confirm gear ratio. Pictured: The infamous welded ring gear. Note how it is actually welded to the carrier.






4. Test backlash before dissassembly.

5. Remove axle shafts, old side cover seals, snap rings.

6. Carefully remove the carrier.

7. Remove inner races from carrier.

8. Clean up the carrier, and prep for CNC operation.

9. Set up the carrier in our ultra rigid and precise CNC lathe. Pictured: Stock welded ring gear/carrier on one of our lathes.



10. Machine away weld that secures the ring gear to the carrier. This is an extremely robust weld.





11. Remove the resultant step (weld) so it is flat enough to machine. Pictured: stock ring gear separated from carrier.



12. Machine the ring gear flat (to ensure a precise mating surface for the new unit) Pictured: Separated ring gear | fully machined ring gear | drilled/tapped ring gear



13. Set up the newly finished ring gear on our CNC mill. Pictured: Machined ring gear on our HAAS 5 axis machine.





14. Machine the ring gear to make it compatible with the limited slip unit.

Pictured: Completed ring gear still in the HAAS mill.



Before:


After: Note how we machine the entire face, not just the area where the LSD bolts. Our machining method ensures ideal accuracy and reliability. Not sure that anyone takes it this far.



15. Assemble the limited slip unit.

16. Pressure wash and paint the housing.

17. Soda blast and clean the differential.

18. Install bearings/snap rings.

19. Check pattern, install seals, gasket material and differential cover. Pictured: Checking the pattern on the newly assembled differential.


20. Tag and prepare for install/shipment. Pictured: VAC Performance Build Differential with optional Billet Differential Cover.

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Last edited by Brian_VACsales; 02-15-2012 at 03:40 PM.
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      02-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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      02-13-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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WOW!
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      02-13-2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Excellent write-up Mike. I was wondering myself, even though VAC already built my diff into a Quaife. Write-up of my differential build experience at VAC:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=631500

A performance diff is worth every last cent!! At VAC.

P.S. make sure you get the M3 subframe brushings to go with it.
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      02-13-2012, 11:30 PM   #5
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Newb question, but what's the benefit from removing that weld?
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      02-13-2012, 11:34 PM   #6
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I got mine built there as well, then I ended up getting the M3 suspension with it.
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      02-13-2012, 11:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamSoloE93 View Post
Newb question, but what's the benefit from removing that weld?
Since the ring gear is welded to the carrier, it is impossible to upgrade to a Quaife, Wavetrac, OS Giken etc. You are not able to buy a new ring gear, so the stock unit must be re-used.
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      02-13-2012, 11:39 PM   #8
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I also had my differential built at VAC. Excellent place to go.

here's my review of it:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566942
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      02-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #9
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Wow that's very impressive!
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      02-13-2012, 11:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@VAC View Post
Since the ring gear is welded to the carrier, it is impossible to upgrade to a Quaife, Wavetrac, OS Giken etc. You are not able to buy a new ring gear, so the stock unit must be re-used.
PM with a Quaife LSD please.
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      02-14-2012, 12:07 AM   #11
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@VAC

Do you need the car or can I send you the 335is Final Drive for it to be worked on and then shipped back ?
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      02-14-2012, 12:10 AM   #12
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^^I'm pretty sure you can ship it to them.
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      02-14-2012, 12:21 AM   #13
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I see what you did there

Nice write-up Mike!!! Hopefully I'll be getting one of those beauties in my e92 this spring!!!! YOU tell ME
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      02-14-2012, 12:41 AM   #14
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Nice details!
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      02-14-2012, 04:22 AM   #15
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Very interesting documentary. I already have a Quaife, but still quite enlightening to see how it's done.

BTW I'm getting my VAC differential cover (anodized black street version) installed right now. A real quality piece!

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      02-14-2012, 08:26 AM   #16
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Nice I plan on installing the solid diff bushings in a few
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      02-14-2012, 11:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamSoloE93 View Post
PM with a Quaife LSD please.
Will do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuraQ View Post
Do you need the car or can I send you the 335is Final Drive for it to be worked on and then shipped back ?
Send us the final drive and we handle the rest. I will PM with more info

Quote:
Originally Posted by mykal335xi View Post
Wow that's very impressive!
Quote:
Originally Posted by turugara View Post
I also had my differential built at VAC. Excellent place to go. here's my review of it:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566942
Quote:
Originally Posted by blisstik View Post
I got mine built there as well, then I ended up getting the M3 suspension with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
Excellent write-up Mike. I was wondering myself, even though VAC already built my diff into a Quaife. Write-up of my differential build experience at VAC:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=631500

A performance diff is worth every last cent!! At VAC.
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3_WC View Post
WOW!
Quote:
Originally Posted by 99three View Post
Nice details!
Thanks guys. This is in my opinion the #2 mod for a N54/N55 powered vehicle. #1 being boost/power stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpina_B3_Lux View Post
Very interesting documentary. I already have a Quaife, but still quite enlightening to see how it's done.

BTW I'm getting my VAC differential cover (anodized black street version) installed right now. A real quality piece!


Quote:
Originally Posted by skim7x View Post
Nice write-up Mike!!! Hopefully I'll be getting one of those beauties in my e92 this spring!!!! YOU tell ME
Spring already started

Our machine shop:


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      02-14-2012, 11:50 AM   #18
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I'm so happy and proud that you guys are semi local to me
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      02-14-2012, 12:35 PM   #19
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awesome write-up Mike
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      02-14-2012, 12:39 PM   #20
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Can you pm me with pricing for shipping you my unit?
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      02-14-2012, 01:03 PM   #21
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Droool! My next big purchase will be an LSD from you guys!
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      02-14-2012, 01:43 PM   #22
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Awesome documentation!

It would pair well WITH THAT ported/enlarged intake-valve N54 HEAD! (hint hint)
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