Where to find the cheapest drive shaft
So I thought the diff was going out and I bought a used one on my '98 E36 M3 sedan with a manual 5 speed tranny. Went to put it in and found that the U joint was out where the drive shaft attaches to the diff. It's ok though cause my old diff is getting worn and I want to see if I'm savy enough to rebuild it from a 3.23 to something lower (higher in number). Maybe a 3.64 or something similar. Car has 112,000 on it.
Anyway, question is why do you have to replace the whole drive shaft? How come BMW doesn't give out part numbers for the exact U-joint you need in late model E36s. I realize that you're suppose to dynamically balance it and all that but how come this is not required on American made vehicles?? Most US vehicles you can easily replace old U joints on the existing drive shaft and don't require a dynamic balance afterward.
I couldn't find anyone on the internet that has rebuilt their own BMW drive shaft or recommends a specific U joint to replace the existing ones for the manual E36 M3 drive line. One do it yourselfer on a forum tried it and said that when he went to press out the U joint there wasn't enough clearance in the coupling to get the assembly apart. The forum then ended and didn't give any other details. The point is, rebuilders are selling these online so there must be a way to get the assembly apart and a specific U joint that works outside of the need for a dynamic balance. Is there some secret drive shaft society that only exchanges information with each other?? I highly doubt it but someone has to know something about this somewhere.
Cheapest rebuild I've found for a manual E36 M3 was at wholesaleimportparts.com for $372.50 with an $80 core. I can't even find a cheaper rebuilt one on Ebay that will actually fit my car which is mind blowing. It seems that there are many available that fit the E36 M3 auto tranny but hardly any that fit the manual tranny. All other cheapies on Ebay are beat to hell used ones from Joe Blow which I'm not going to buy from.
Last edited by albinomidget; 12-04-2013 at 02:42 PM.