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320i Diff Limited slip or Locked?

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I was looking at the diff that's part of the subframe that I recently removed the brakes and backing plates from and I was testing to see if it's a limited slip as the owner has told me. I first turned one axle and the other axle turned in the same direction. This, in my experiance, indicates that it's a limited slip diff. However, when I kept one axle from turning and tried to turn the other axle, nothing would move, the whole subframe started to lift up. Is there a "break away" amount of torque at which one axle will turn on it's own? I am going by the owner's say so about this diff. It has six bolt side covers and 10mm CV Joint bolts. This has been sitting for quite a while indoors at the owners place but I do not know any further history. I can use my "axle nut jig" to hold one axle from turning but I thought I would get the advice of you folks who are experianced in 2002's and 320's. Thank you for your advice.

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It can be quite a bit, and a diff that's been sitting for a while

(especially if it has the wrong fluid in it) can stick further.

Use your jig and sit on it- 150 ft- lbs won't hurt it, and if it

doesn't turn with that amount of force, it's probably either

welded or stuck.

But I'd bet it'll pop free.

The '25%' diff can be 'pushed' on the car by grabbing the

wheel and trying to turn it. It takes quite a bit of effort, but

it'll go by hand.



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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Any idea of a value on this torque? When I tried to turn one axle, the whole subframe lifted up. Thanks.

It's been my experience that a stock "25%" differential from a 320i in good condition (not worn) has a breakaway torque of 27-32 ft-lbs (but I have no experience with one that's been sitting...) -KB

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Wow, if you guys aren't the best! Thanks to c.d.iesel for the schematic and values and to kbmb02 for the 25% values on the break away torque. I bolted on my "axle nut removing jig" (this will have to be renamed axle nut removing and limited slip torque value jig) on the driver's side axle and put my old bar type torque wrench on the passenger side. I read about 35 ft-lbs before it turns. I should not have been so lazy as to ask before doing this. I appologize for my sloth. Although I cut my automotive teeth on German cars, I am now a generalist working on everything from resurrecting an air boat two years ago to my present project of the Daimler Ferret. I am consistantly amazed and delighted at the depth of knowledge and willingness to share of various forums and groups. Thank you all again and I am sure I will be back with various questions as I proceed on this car. I would like to find a cut away view of the body structure especially around the rear subframe as this 2002 has suffered through winters here in the Northeast and I will perhaps be hired to do structural and sheet metal repairs on this car. Thank you again for your kindness.

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The LSD differential of the 2002 is a non preloaded type. That means it only has the LSD effect when is being driven. So the static test consisting in raising the rear axle and testing the diff by turning one wheel by hand will always tell you that is a non LSD type. The only way to check if the diff is a LSD type is by unbolting the back cover of the diff and having a look to the inside. The differential of the picture is a LSD type one.

However, as far as I know, the 320i's differential is preloaded. No matter the % ratio of the diff, you should feel that you cannot turn by hand the wheels in oposite directions. Otherwise is an open differential.

Regards from Spain, Pepe de la Parte.IMG_1299_40.JPG

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