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Old 10-21-2019, 02:48 PM
540MSport 540MSport is offline
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E83 2006 front differential rebuild - need info

Just wondering if anyone on this forum has had the pleasure of successfully rebuilding a front differential for a 2006 e83 X3 2.5i.

It looks like the input end pinion shaft bearing has failed. The input flange can be moved side to side and diff fluid has spilled out through the pinion shaft seal.

I haven't cracked the diff open yet but I think the pinion and crown gears might be in good shape as well as the output shaft bearings. If so, I'm hoping to simply replace the two pinion shaft bearings and the input seal.

Does anyone know where I might be able to buy the crush sleeve? I've checked with all the usual suspects and had not had any success locating one.

Also, does anyone have the tightening torque spec for the input flange nut and the bearing preload torque (i.e. the torque required to turn the input flange once the proper preload has been set?

Many thanks in advance.

Last edited by 540MSport; 10-21-2019 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:25 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Take it apart before buying parts. If I remember correctly, there isn't a pinion gear but rather a worm gear that drives the axle gear. Pretty simple system; it's easy enough to take out (you can do it with the subframe and engine in place, just pop the axles out). Seals are easily replaceable.
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:41 AM
540MSport 540MSport is offline
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I had the diff out already a couple of months ago when I did the oil pan gasket. That was a fun job.

For the time being I'll be picking up a used diff from a 2005 donor - fingers crossed - at a self pull facility for about $80. Worth a try. They have two. At that price I might just pull them both.
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Old 10-22-2019, 10:53 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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I'd pick the one with less miles, but if you can, drain the fluid there. Pick the one whose fluid looks the best. For only $80, I'd definitely grab one (or both) rather than trying to rebuild yours; parts and labor would definitely far outpace the cost of the used diff and fluids. Pick-aparts usually have decent warranty/exchanges for bad parts, so it's not entirely a crap shoot.

Before installing, definitely replace the axle seals; they're cheap and easy. I wouldn't however break it down to replace the input shaft seal unless you see evidence of an actual weep (more than just seepage) due to the headache of securing the worm drive while you blast the nut off with an impact. When I had mine off a month ago for oil pan gasket, I replaced the output shaft seals, but even though I had an input shaft seal, did not replace it because it wasn't leaking.

I don't know if these vehicles had different differential gear ratios depending on engine, or they were all the same. Before buying one, double check that it is the correct gear ratio; if not, your transfer case will explode.

Edit: here's the NEWTIS information. No torque on the nut is given, just aligning the marks.

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...ential/FoIYi2V
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Last edited by dukedkt442; 10-22-2019 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:45 PM
540MSport 540MSport is offline
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Thanks for the reply. That's pretty well my line of thinking.

No way of getting the mileage of the vehicles, that would have been too easy.

Picked up both units today. Checked VIN numbers of the donor vehicles on RealOEM and the gear ratios are supposed to be correct. Can't confirm the part numbers as the labels are illegible after cleaning and the housings only appear to have generic casting numbers on them.

Drained fluid from both diffs before pulling and was surprised to find fluid was translucent golden brown, like maple syrup, and smelled nice. No sparklies in the fluid. Yay.

Looks like I'm good to go.
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bearing, differential, e82, pinion shaft, preload, tightening torque, x3


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