BMW E30 Limited Slip Differential Restorationby Restore It   1 year ago


60,193   4,381

Sponsored by - Classic car gearbox, differential, axle & transmission rebuild parts.

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Bearing Kit -

Preloadrr Tool -

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Tools & equpitment used:
Quartz Lacquer -
Base Coat Paint -
Rust Remover -
Moldex Full Face Mask -
FGL 5 Spray gun -
A.N.I. R150-T Mini Spray gun -
Colad Washable Overalls -
Colad Mixing Cups -
Colad TurboMix Sticks -
Colad Synthetic Paint Strainers -
Steel wire bits -
Rotary Tool -
Concentrate Degreaser -
Mannesmann Socket Set -


This was the heaviest project I have done so far. I needed some help getting it back together again because of this. Firstly I tested the clutch plate slip. They were under spec and needed changing. I then drained the black diff oil out and started to remove the rear attachments. The speed sensor, rear bolts and rear casing itself then came off. Then I pulled out the side flanges with a bit of persuasion and impacted the side bolts off, again with a bit of persuasion. It was then a matter of lifting the LSD unit out of the casing. The pinion gear was next. The 30mm nut required a low profile socket so one was made on the lathe. The gear then took a lot of whacking to get out. I then set about removing the main seal with a lot of force. Once out, I could then remove the pinion bearing.

Once most of the internal components were out I de-greased the main parts. I then did my best to remove most of the super thick rust from the main casing. I also remove the old mount from the rear cover. Then I blast everything. The main case needed more hammer and chiseling as the glass would just bounce off. Once all the rust was gone, it was time to paint. Etch, wet on wet, and base coat were added to make the outer parts look new again. Then the smaller metal pieces were de-rusted and polished.

I wanted to replace as many parts as possible for this restoration. The bearings, seals, bolts, gasket, oil, and O-rings were all sourced from and BMW. Once everything was dry, cleaned and ready. Me and a friend set about taking apart and rebuilding the LSD itself. This involved the punching, pushing and pulling of bearings and racers. Once the pinion bearing was back in, and tight. It was time to test the preload of the gear. This was achieved by a special tool created by Once set to the correct resistance. It was time to reattach the LSD and side flanges. I could then test and adjust the backlash using yellow paint.

I then cleaned up the gasket face and applied some RTV gasket sealant. Once smoothed down I could then apply the paper gasket and have it be held in place by the RTV whilst I attach the rear cover. The speed sensor, drain plugs, bolts and ID tag all went back on before I filled the diff with brand new diff oil. The restoration was then complete. This restoration took 1 week, was a lot of fun and a massive learning experience.

- Disclaimer: I am no professional. Especially when it comes to electrics. It is certainly an area I am looking to improve in. I am completely self-taught and would appreciate any feedback, advice or constructive criticism.

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