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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new-to-me 1987 325e (manual with optional lsd) with 50,000 miles was parked for 15 years 'til 15 months ago (November 2019). The gentleman who revived it from storage did so 100% by the book, draining, flushing and lubricating prior to moving it and turning it over. Runs like thoroughbred. Unfortunately the rear end, likely the differential, groans. It is most noticeable during low speed turns. The car is immaculate; it was previously owned by an aficionado who certainly didn't track it or do anything unusually adventurous with this car. Could it be that in a tiny % of cases the LSD wears prematurely (basically bad luck) in these cars, and my 325e happens to fall into that very small minority?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
1987 325e manual with lsd.50,000 miles. Salmon Silver with Pacific Blue leather.
Added TMS (Conforti) chip at 48,000
Stock 14" bottle caps with Michelin xIce 185/70R14s winter, Vredestein Sportrac 195/65R14s summer
Hella headlights. All else stock/BMW oem
Located in Fairfax, VA
 

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A few thoughts, could it be wheel bearings you are hearing? Also, change the fluid in the diff and make sure you use the correct LSD fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@tomstin thank you. Yes, the LSD is BMW spec. Differential was flushed (to the extent it can be) and then filled with the correct fluid. No filings or discoloration at all. The bearings have been checked and are fine. I wish the bearings were the issue...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Probably just need to put some miles on her. Or, the diff fluid is too aggressive.
I wondered about that. Oddly, at 47,500 (September) I didn't notice anything or may have dismissed the noise as 'old car creak'. It definitely got worse at around 50,000. Changed the diff fluid and added an LSD additive. Awesome initial result as it eliminated all noise when cold but once the fluid warms the groans come back. Initially all mechanics who listened said "dunno, but it's hard to believe it's the diff" whereas now they all say "it must be in the diff". I'm at 50,750. Should I keep driving or be done with it and swap it out. It's disheartening to hear it (one is always subconsciously hoping it will go away). For $2,500 all-in I can have a rebuilt diff installed and in theory I don't worry about it ever again. I'm going to daily drive this great car for 3-5 years, at least, and may never sell it (my nephew might benefit).
 

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‘89 325i, ‘98 528i, ‘99 528i, ‘03 325i
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Well, I don’t have much experience with diff additives/LSD troubleshooting, just trying to brainstorm with you a little.

What does BMW say you should be using in the diff? I have never had an LSD so I don’t know. I would go with the factory fluid though, whether that means a friction additive is required or not.

My first e30 had a noisy standard diff but it was just worn out, made a kind of shhhhhhhhhh sound that got louder with speed.
 
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