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  1. #1
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    Bolted LSD in a Welded diff's Pumpkin

    As the title implies, will a bolted unit fit in a welded unit's pumpkin? I did some searching but I didn’t find much (or anything really). If the topic has been covered, shame on me but please post a link if you have it. I talked to Harold at HP Autowerks and he has implied that it would fit without issue but I have not gotten an exact response yet. He did say that the final drive units are identical which leads me to believe that the bolted unit would fit without issue.

    I am asking because this seems to be a much easier way to thrown an LSD in the car. Without access to a machine shop anymore I can’t do the welded swap myself, bolted is another story though. I looked around a bit online but couldn’t find a definitive place that sells just the ring gear. I emailed diffsonline and will update with what I hear back. The other option it trading someone the stock welded diff for their bolted LSD when they are trying to return to stock, this is my current angle.

    *EDIT* diffsonline came back and quoted me $895 + shipping for a ring gear and pinion. They informed me that you cant just use the ring gear alone since the gear and pinion are a matched set.

    Either way, seems like this might be a cheaper and easier solution to the LSD for the welded guys if everything fits. Just source the bolted version from the guys at HPA or VAC and then get the gear/pinion set from elsewhere (diffsonline is one option) vs swapping the entire pumpkin.
    Last edited by ATP; 02-29-2012 at 03:44 PM.

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    As youve already discovered, pinions and rings are paired for manufacturing reasons. I didnt think machining off the ring gear was more than 800 by VAC, correct me if im wrong, I've never looked into it.

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    If you can drive to VAC (or accept the down time), it might be $800 for the machining but I can't find that on their site. I am not close enough to make driving there feasible though I don't think. Would be a couple day trip at least I think. Purchasing the entire pumpkin from VAC (with a Quaife) on a welded unit is $2278 (plus shipping?) and I believe that is on a $300 sale right now, so $2578 regular price. HPA is about the same.

    VS.

    $1377 for the Quiafe from HPA and then $895 for the gear/pinion combo for $2272. Not a savings at all over the current VAC price if you buy new (maybe $300 savings if the price goes back up?). However, I am more curious about potentially buying a used LSD and "trading" for my welded unit. I was hoping new was more of a savings but it just isn't there; only savings is on down time I guess.

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    How much are you looking to save overall?
    From all the things I've lost,
    I miss my mind the most!
    Click here to enlarge

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    I don't have a number in mind really. I just didn't see the point in the whole pumpkin swap at first if the parts could be had for cheaper. It doesn't appear to be shaping up that way though. Maybe sourcing a used gear/pinion from a wrecked 335 could net you a cheaper overall price.

    However, it just so happens that some on e90 is selling their used Quaife unit (bolted) for $1k. So it got me wondering if the swap could be done. He is willing to ship for that price too. So if he was willing to accept my welded diff, pinion, and $1k in return for his Quaife diff, pinion, and stocker then that seems like a darn good deal.

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    Anyone with a bentley manual know how difficult it is to swap pinion gears? I suppose that will be the deciding factor on whether or not a used unit is worth it.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ATP Click here to enlarge
    Anyone with a bentley manual know how difficult it is to swap pinion gears? I suppose that will be the deciding factor on whether or not a used unit is worth it.
    Let's see what VAC has to say about it, @Mike@VAC

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    Yes it will work but as diffsonline stated, you need a paired R&P. Also these diffs are very tricky - an E46M3 is a joke in comparison. I would only trust a master machinist with hands on 135/335 experience. Remember, BMW only sells the final drive (you can't buy the R&P or some other components)

    Kill me for sounding like a shill, but I am a car enthusiast above all. When dealing with crucial items like engine, trans, diff etc. I'd worry more about choosing the best shop than working some sort of scheme to save a few hundred bucks. God forbid you have a problem after build...it will get VERY expensive quickly. Legit companies like diffsonline, VAC etc. not only have a ton of hands on experience, but we back up our work.

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    Mike, I see where you are coming from I just normally prefer to work on my own stuff. It's not as much about saving the $$ as it is doing it on my own. With proper tools and instructions nothing is all that difficult.

    If I were to get my own gear machined off, I would send it to someone who knows what they are doing. However, if I can procure a bolted unit I donít see that there is any reason to not install it myself.

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    I had a welded crown to the carrier in my final drive. Bought the Wavetrac unit for about 1300 shipped, too the car to a good local tranny shop, they cut and machined the ring gear off the stock carrier, tapped it for bolts and then used the spacer provided in the Wavetrac install kit to bolt the ring gear on the carrier and into the final drive...almost 2 years later, tons of hard driving on the street and drag strip fun this unit is one of the aftermarket modifications that has never had a single issue unlike a few others I've had on the car...basically as reliable as a set of downpipes or an exhaust Click here to enlarge

    If you have a tranny shop with many years of experience in building trannies doing this work is a piece of cake and an every day thing to them...its not really that sophisticated obviously when its your day job and you know what you're doing...but as Mike said and I've witnessed this many times, there's way more shops out there that'll just take your money, add the bmw tax on it and still do a $#@! job in the end leaving you with a mod that doesn't work right and hating your car...drivetrain is not something you want to mess with, its not like a tint job, but i'm sure you guys are aware of that

    In the end I paid $1k for labour involved, $2300 installed (unit+labour) into my final drive and on the road
    Click here to enlarge

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    I hear ya man. As long as you aware of the risk/challenge, it's all good :-) dzenno found a local guy to complete his job properly and it seems to have come out a few hundred cheaper (when you factor shipping) than it would have it he bought from diffsonline or VAC (at the regular price)

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ATP Click here to enlarge
    Mike, I see where you are coming from I just normally prefer to work on my own stuff. It's not as much about saving the $$ as it is doing it on my own. With proper tools and instructions nothing is all that difficult.

    If I were to get my own gear machined off, I would send it to someone who knows what they are doing. However, if I can procure a bolted unit I don’t see that there is any reason to not install it myself.

  12. #12
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    I hear ya man. As long as you aware of the risk/challenge, it's all good :-) dzenno found a local guy to complete his job properly and it seems to have come out a few hundred cheaper (when you factor shipping) than it would have it he bought from diffsonline or VAC (at the regular price)
    @Mike@VAC, what do you guys charge for fitting a Wavetrac unit into a final drive that has a welded ring gear?
    Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Mike@VAC Click here to enlarge
    I hear ya man. As long as you aware of the risk/challenge, it's all good :-) dzenno found a local guy to complete his job properly and it seems to have come out a few hundred cheaper (when you factor shipping) than it would have it he bought from diffsonline or VAC (at the regular price)

    If I was still in college, I would probably get really ballsy and machine it myself. Basically did the exact same thing to an ATV diff for my senior design project. I will keep my options open. I am close enough to Diffsonline that I could have them machine it off for me. They offer the machining service and install for $1200 which doesnít seem too bad, I am guessing itís about in line with your price. Downside is that they quoted me 2 weeks for the service and I wonít be able to afford that amount of downtime in the near future.

    Stupid welded ring gear....

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ATP Click here to enlarge
    Stupid welded ring gear....
    hate bmw for that, absolutely hate them Click here to enlarge
    Click here to enlarge

  15. #15
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    @Mike@VAC , what do you guys charge for fitting a Wavetrac unit into a final drive that has a welded ring gear?
    Based on the price of a standalone Wavetrac vs Quaife, I am guessing the Wavetrac pumpkin might be ~$100 cheaper. That’s pure speculation though.

    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    hate bmw for that, absolutely hate them Click here to enlarge
    Yea, but it makes sense. The diff supplier can have a machine weld it vs. paying someone the labor to bolt it. I’d bet the welded unit it also lighter.

    We should all be happy that the carrier and gear weren’t cast together, that’s what I dealt with when I was working on my senior design project. PITA

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by ATP Click here to enlarge
    We should all be happy that the carrier and gear weren’t cast together, that’s what I dealt with when I was working on my senior design project. PITA
    Not sure what you mean but the carrier IS welded to the crown (i.e. big gear) in this case...
    Click here to enlarge

  17. #17
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dzenno Click here to enlarge
    Not sure what you mean but the carrier IS welded to the crown (i.e. big gear) in this case...
    Yea, its welded, so they started life as 2 different pieces. The unit I used from an ATV was one piece, no weld. Similar situation but a little harder to machine off since the entire carrier was hardened. I don't know much about the weld on our unit but I bet the ring gear was hardened and the rest of the carrier wasn't and then the 2 were welded.

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    Haha, I saw that somewhere else. Never found out of it was a joke or not.

    Some guy back in the day on the SRT forums boost leak checked his car and started it with the system pressurized. Never found out if that story was true or not but seeing the thread he made was EPIC.

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    OMG you gotta be joking

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  22. #22
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    this has to be a joke... Seriously bro? Come on.
    Some people live long, meaningful lives.

    Other people eat shit and die.

    I'm not racist, I hate everybody equally; especially fat people.


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