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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 > 335i and 135i Differential FAQ (No LSD, really?)



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      03-05-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
Brian_VACsales
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Post 335i and 135i Differential FAQ (No LSD, really?)

Shortly after the N54 powered 335i and 135i were released, enthusiasts and tuners wanted to ‘fix’ the lack of limited slip differential. Making easy and abundant power was simple with the twin turbo inline 6, but putting it to the ground was not.

Enter the infamous final drive. Open, LSD, welded, bolted, large body, small body, 3.08, 3.46 etc etc. We will try to make sense of everything with this blog entry.

Open vs. LSD:
The 335i and 135i were not offered with a limited slip differential. Yes, BMW sold a twin turbo, 6MT sporty car without a LSD. No factory option, nothing. So, owners had to rely on the aftermarket for a solution. Initially the solution was pretty simply, till BMW switched things up on us.

Open:

LSD – limited slip differential:


Welded vs. Bolted:
Very early 6MT equipped cars had a traditional ‘bolted’ setup where the ring gear was bolted to the gear carrier. Shortly after, the engineers in Munich decided to weld, not bolt the ring gear to the gear carrier. Well, that complicates matters a bit!

Welded:


Bolted: (we are using a bolted aftermarket diff for illustration purposes)



Master Reference Chart:


Does your car have a welded or bolted differential??
See chart above. As you can see, the majority of 335i and 135i owners are blessed with the welded differential. This makes adding a LSD a bit challenging, as the ring gear must be separated from the carrier carefully to ensure it can be re-used. Very few shops can do this properly and consistently, but we pioneered the what we think is the best way of performing this operation.
This is how we do it.




Large or small differential?
There are 2 differential (housing or ‘pumpkin’) sizes. The table above shows which cars have which size. So, a Quaife ATB limited slip unit designed for the 6MT large housing will not work in your 2009 335i automatic. Fortunately, Quaife and Wavetrac have solutions for both the large and small differentials. Here are some pics so you can see the dramatic difference:











Gear Ratios:
See chart above. All 6MT cars were equipped with 3.08 final drive ratios. Automatic cars had 3.46 ratios. Note: we have built a few 3.46 differentials for 6MT cars and the owners were thrilled. They were willing to sacrifice top speed for an incredible power band around town :-) Lastly, DCT equipped cars have 2.56 and diesel cars have 2.81 final drive ratios.

Conclusion:
When you modify your N54 or N55 powered E9X or E8X, a proper differential is an essential modification if you want to put all of that power to the ground. While it is quite confusing, I hope this entry makes it a bit easier to understand.
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Last edited by Brian_VACsales; 03-05-2012 at 02:49 PM.
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      03-05-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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awesome informative writeup!
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      03-05-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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Nice write up Mike!
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      03-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #4
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Sticky! very informative Mike
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      03-05-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by import36 View Post
Sticky! very informative Mike
+1 Awesome post Mike...All the info in one spot finally
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      03-05-2012, 03:10 PM   #6
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Great Post! We need more stuff like this from all vendors!
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      03-05-2012, 03:22 PM   #7
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Great post Mike!
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      03-05-2012, 03:38 PM   #8
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Great info!!! Now that im hooked on Meth i definatly need LSD!!!
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      03-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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That 2.81 or 2.56 sounds pretty good for a modded 6MT.
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      03-05-2012, 03:48 PM   #10
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This is sooooo great!!! I am very happy you guys posted this. I will definetly give you a call when I'm ready to do a differential.
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      03-05-2012, 03:49 PM   #11
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Very nice work, finally the definitive word on diffs. this is going to save quite a few future repetitive threads from being created.
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      03-05-2012, 03:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slidewayz View Post
That 2.81 or 2.56 sounds pretty good for a modded 6MT.
I like the 3.46 idea better ;-) Though, a 600hp car with 2.81 or 2.56 would hit some scary speeds...

Thanks guys. I could have included a ton of additional info, but I figured I'd keep it basic. The internets has plenty of differential info..but nothing 335i and 135i specific.
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      03-05-2012, 04:12 PM   #13
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LSD and Ediff

If you put a LSD on are there any electronic concerns? Will ediff go crazy?
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      03-05-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zubin75 View Post
If you put a LSD on are there any electronic concerns? Will ediff go crazy?
Speaking of that, is there any way to disable the ABS system?

The 1M does some weird stuff on radical maneuvers at autocross, I can feel the brakes working when dropping the clutch into first while braking/turning and it stops me from generating a small slip angle through the 180 degree gates.

And this is with TC all the way off...
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      03-05-2012, 05:28 PM   #15
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Great write up and info.
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      03-05-2012, 05:44 PM   #16
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i got a bolted diff, large housing. how hard is it to install quaife (or even wavetrac) ?
is this a direct replacement or will i have to worry about adding/removing shims ?
i'm somewhat familiar with backlash measurement, but i'm not a pro.
nobody around me (okc) has experience installing lsd on e90.
i talked to my euro-shop today, they don't even have the tool to unhook the drivetrain.
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      03-05-2012, 05:58 PM   #17
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      03-05-2012, 06:04 PM   #18
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Are the part numbers for the Quaife the same for all large housings, ie. AT vs.MT?
I've been having noise issues after a recent install and this may shed some light although Quaife should have confirmed based on the provided VIN. I'm a large housing bolted AT and a 10N was installed.
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      03-05-2012, 06:17 PM   #19
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Question, I'm seriously considering buying another 135 or 335i.

Are the bigger diff's stronger?

If so, you can't get a 135i AT with the larger diff, correct?

The only 335i AT you can get with the larger diff and a bolted diff is a build date of 7/07 or earlier, correct?

It's cheaper to put lsd in a bolted diff, correct? By how much?

Thanks, had a 12/06 build 335i for 3 years.
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      03-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #20
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I did a lot of searching in various posts before buying an LSD...this post is very good for those of you looking to research LSD options for you car.

The LSD is one of the best mods you can ever do. Shame on BMW for not including this as an option.
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      03-05-2012, 06:31 PM   #21
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Great writeup. Quaife LSD was the best mod I ever did to the car (yes better than the Rob Becks). I love the one wheel burn out photo
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      03-05-2012, 06:43 PM   #22
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Every time I do a burnout in my car I always leave 2 long tire marks. I have an stock diff. Why is this?
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