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Your reasons for choosing an E36 over the E46

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  • #46
    It was not an option in terms of choosing the actual differential.

    The trigger was choosing the sport suspension which then got you a 188N differential with torsen differential lock. This is for the Z3s with M43 B18/19, M44 B19 and M52 B20.

    BMW doesn't mention a torsen diff with other models. So it was never clear what version the others got but most said back in the day that these were clutch plate diffs.

    My original point being that not all Z3M cars got torsen. In fact it's the opposite in that most got the clutch plate diff. Only way to confirm is to look at build sheet.

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    • #47
      I don’t have the build sheet from the donor car, but dealt with enough clutch packs to know what they do to diff oil. I obviously got lucky, but clearly I was misinformed on when and how that Torsen was used in production. I thought after a certain production date all Z3M cars got it. Pretty sure I read that somewhere- possibly the CCA magazine but it may have been Bimmer magazine which I had a subscription to as well back then.

      It might have been the S54 Z3M cars that got it. I’m pretty sure it was after 99 anyway.

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      • #48
        I wouldn't trust any magazines. To this very day, many magazines and online articles still mention incorrect info that's been around forever.

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        • #49
          Well, live and learn.

          it would be good to have a clear answer. For the non-M cars you listed it makes sense to be part of the sport package. But the M is a sport package, so I guess I’ll look trough realoem and try each model year and see if I find an option or point where there is no option of choice.

          “for models with…” definition on the Torsen.

          But it’s good. I’m always learning new things.

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          • #50

            This comes straight from BMW TIS:
            [Model] | [Engine] | [Final Drive] | [Remark]
            E36/7 M43 B18/B19, M44 B19, M52 B20 168N From 1.04.98 these cars with sports suspension are equipped with the 188N final drive with Torsen differential lock
            E36/7 M52 B25/B28, M54 188N no lock
            E36/7 S54 188 with differential lock


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            • #51
              Very strange it is not defined.

              So you’d have to open the diff case (or bore scope it) to determine what you have in case of a repair?

              Entering VIN works of course but there must be a definition in the background for this somewhere.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by J!m View Post
                Very strange it is not defined.

                So you’d have to open the diff case (or bore scope it) to determine what you have in case of a repair?

                Entering VIN works of course but there must be a definition in the background for this somewhere.
                What do you mean? I just posted the exact defined listing from BMW TIS. Not sure what you mean here.

                Then again, these cars are old, you never know what any previous owner may have replaced with something else.​

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                • #53
                  Is there any differentiation with regards to the S52 engine variant of the Z3M? Or is the S52 engine version not listed in TIS? I do not see S52 on the chart you pulled. April '98 build would still be S52 engine.

                  S54 is with diff lock (medium case) with no definition. Perhaps all the S54's are Torsen. The change happened during the end of the S52 (perhaps started as "typical" with the S54, but I'm somewhat sure mine came from an S52 car, not an S54 car, due to when I got it) The small case diffs from April '98 on got Torsen diffs. That is clear.

                  Or, are there documented cases of S54 cars with clutch packs? I'm sure there was some overlap, but I acquired my engine and rear sub frame assembly so long ago that it seems as if it could only have been an S532 wrecked car it came from.

                  I'm not trying to be argumentative here, I'm just trying to define and understand it better. Why they would continue with clutch packs in the M car when the 4-bangers were utilizing the Torsen from April '98 just doesn't make sense to me from an engineering standpoint.

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                  • #54
                    Diff lock = clutch pack LSD.

                    Torsen only where explicitly mentioned. Though it was pretty self explanatory as no M car gets a Torsen diff.

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