Free Shipping on orders $99 and up! Some exclusions apply. Contiguous US only.

BMW E36 M3 Differential and Gearing Upgrades

BMW E36 M3 Differential and Gearing Upgrades Upgrading various parts of the differential can have tremendous benefits in your car's performance. It's easy to forget that the differential is a source for making your car faster and handle better so it's often overlooked. The engine is not the only place to make the car faster. Our differential options vary from gearing upgrades to limited slip conversions. You can purchase the ring & pinion gear sets on their own (professional installation required) or have us build a diff around your own specifcations. The options are almost endless! Every custom-built diff is fully rebuilt with seals and bearings. We also design and supply bushing options to reduce driveline wind-up, finned differential covers for better cooling, and more!

Ratio Changes - Changing the differential gearing is one of the best and most-effective upgrades you can make on any BMW (old or new). By using a shorter (numerically higher) final drive ratio you are increasing your RPM relative to road speed - this puts you in a more powerful RPM range than before! Since you're in a 'meatier' part of the power band you're now putting down more power/torque to the ground. If you can trade outright top speed for faster acceleration at daily speeds then this is the perfect upgrade for you.

Limited Slip Upgrades - Sadly, many BMWs today are not equipped with a limited slip (posi-traction) differential. BMW has tried to compensate by using traction control that cuts power at the engine or applies the brakes to retard wheel spin (or a combination of both). But nothing beats the function and feel of a a true LSD which may be why BMW continues to use them in M cars. Our LSD upgrades can be done a number of different ways - a factory-type limited slip unit with either 2 or 3 clutch packs, helical type, OS Giken unit, or something truly custom. We can also vary ramp angles and setup to change the limited-slip behavior under acceleration, deceleration, and cornering. Need a custom diff? Call or e-mail to have a quote.
You're currently viewing parts for your (E36) M3 1995-1999. Reset your chassis
For accurate results, specify your model below.
Finned Rear Axle Cover - E36

This finned rear axle cover keeps your differential cool with 19 cooling fins. Alpina is a legendary name in BMW performance, and now you can add Alpina performance parts to your BMW to create a distinctive style and impressive performance.

Fits the Following BMWs:

E36 (All)

Alpina
Part #: 3310131
Price: $1363.00 (USD) 
Direct Ship
Quantity:   
Differential Drain Plug with O-Ring - Most BMWs This is the front or rear Genuine BMW differential fluid drain plug for many BMWs. This can also be the transfer case plug or automatic transmission plug on some BMWs.

+ Year & Model Applications
(click to expand)
This item fits the following BMWs:
1970-1976 2002 BMW 1600 2002 2002tii
2008+ E82 BMW 128i 135i 1M Coupe
1977-1983 E21 BMW 320i 323i
1984-1991 E30 BMW 318i 318is 318ic 325e 325es 325i 325ic 325is 325ix M3
1992-1998 E36 BMW 318i 318is 318ti 318ic 323is 323ic 325i 325is 325ic 328i 328is 328ic M3
1999-2005 E46 BMW 323i 323ci 325i 325ci 325xi 328i 328ci 330i 330ci 330xi M3
2006-2011 E90 BMW 325i 325xi 328i 328xi 328i xDrive 330i 330xi 335d 335i 335xi 335i xDrive M3 - Sedan
2006-2012 E91 BMW 325xi 328i 328xi 328i xDrive - Wagon
2007-2012 E92 BMW 328i 328xi 328i xDrive 335i 335is 335xi 335i xDrive M3 - Coupe
2007-2012 E93 BMW 328i 335i M3 - Convertible
1976-1981 E12 BMW 528i 530i
1982-1988 E28 BMW 524td 528e 533i 535i 535is M5
1989-1995 E34 BMW 525i 530i 535i 540i M5
1997-2003 E39 BMW 525i 528i 530i 540i M5
2004-2010 E60 BMW 525i 525xi 530i 530xi 528i 528xi 528i xDrive 535i 535xi 535i xDrive 545i 550i M5
2010+ F07 BMW 535i GT, 535i xDrive GT, 550i GT, 550i xDrive GT
2011+ F10 BMW 528i 528i xDrive 535i 535i xDrive 550i 550i xDrive M5
1982-1989 E24 BMW 633csi 635csi M6
2004-2010 E63 BMW 645ci 650i M6
2012+ F12 BMW 640i 650i
1981-1987 E23 BMW 733i 735i
1988-1994 E32 BMW 735i 735il 740i 740il 750il
1995-2001 E38 BMW 740i 740il 750il
2002-2008 E65 BMW 745i 745li 750i 750li 760i 760li
2009+ F01 BMW 740i 740li 750i 750li 750i xDrive 750li xDrive 760li
1990-1999 E31 BMW 840i 840ci 850i 850ci 850csi
2004-2010 E83 BMW X3 2.5i X3 3.0i X3 3.0si
2011+ F25 BMW X3 xDrive28i X3 xDrive35i
2000-2006 E53 BMW X5 3.0i X5 4.4i X5 4.6is X5 4.8is
2007-2013 E70 BMW X5 3.0si X5 4.8i X5 xDrive30i X5 xDrive35d X5 xDrive35i X5 xDrive48i X5M
2008+ E71 BMW X6 xDrive35i X6 xDrive50i X6M
1997-2002 Z3 BMW Z3 1.9 Z3 2.3 Z3 2.5i Z3 2.8 Z3 3.0i M Roadster M Coupe
2003-2008 E85 BMW Z4 2.5i Z4 3.0i Z4 3.0si Z4 M Roadster M Coupe
2009+ Z4 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Z4 sDrive35i Z4 sDrive35is
2000-2003 E52 BMW Z8 Roadster

Genuine BMW
Part #: 33117525064
Price: $6.98 (USD) 
In Stock
Free Shipping Free Shipping
on orders $99 and up
Quantity:   
Genuine BMW Differential Plug Gasket, 22x27 - 07119963355 When servicing the rear axle and differential, it is always best to replace this sealing washer to prevent any potential leaks from forming.
Genuine BMW
Part #: 07119963355
Price: $0.99 (USD) 
In Stock
Free Shipping Free Shipping
on orders $99 and up
Quantity:   
Speedometer Sensor - Mounted in Differential - E36 Z3 E30 325IX This Genuine BMW speedometer / pulse generator is mounted in the back of the differential and provides wheel speed information to the instrument cluster speedometer.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1987-1991 E30 BMW 325ix
1992-1998 E36 BMW 318i 318is 318ti 318ic 323is 323ic 325i 325is 325ic 328i 328is 328ic M3
1990-1999 E31 BMW 840i 840ci 850i 850ci 850csi
1996-2002 Z3 BMW Z3 1.9 Z3 2.3 Z3 2.5i Z3 2.8 Z3 3.0i
Genuine BMW
Part #: 62168357020
Price: $32.17 (USD) 
$37.42 (14% off MSRP)
Ships in 6 days
Free Shipping Free Shipping
on orders $99 and up
Quantity:   
Output Shaft Seal E36 M3, E39, E46 Output Shaft Seal E36 M3, E39, E46 - does not fit E46 M3. this is the seal that is on the output side of the transmission.

This item fits the following BMWs:
1992-1998 E36 BMW 328i 328is 328ic M3
1999-03/2003 E46 BMW 328i 328ci 330i 330ci
1997-2003 E39 BMW 525i 528i 530i
1997-2002 Z3 BMW Z3 2.8 Z3 3.0i M Roadster M Coupe
Rein
Part #: 23111224799
Price: $14.95 (USD) 
In Stock
Free Shipping Free Shipping
on orders $99 and up
Quantity:   
OS Giken Limited Slip Differential Fluid - 80w-250 - 1 liter The OS Giken Super Lock LSD Gear Oil 80W-250 1 Liter FR is the OS Giken's very own special blend of gear oil which does an excellent job of lubricating and protecting your Super Lock LSD from failure. Through use of this high quality liquid, your Super Lock LSD will last much longer if regular oil changes are performed.

Type: FULL SYNTHETIC
SAE: 80W-250
API: GL-5
Flash point: 208℃
Viscosity: 320.5(40℃), 43.7(100℃)
OS Giken
Part #: OS250R
Price: $49.95 (USD) 
In Stock
Quantity:   
ECS Magnetic Differential Oil Drain Plug You use a magnetic drain plug for your engine oil, right? Why not apply the same proactive thinking to the differential too? This is a direct replacement magnetic differential drain plug for your BMW. It will catch and retain fine and larger metal particles in your diff oil. If you're proactive in your diff oil servicing, you will catch a minor issue long before it becomes a headache. Diff drain plug includes one sealing o-ring.
ECS
Part #: 009314ECS01A
Price: $21.95 (USD) 
In Stock
Free Shipping Free Shipping
on orders $99 and up
Quantity:   
E36 Differential Upgrade - Custom Options


Upgrading or rebuilding the differential is one of the keys to performance on your E36 325i/328i or E36 M3. Adding a shorter gear set will make the car accelerate quicker with almost no downside. And adding or changing the limited slip unit will improve traction and handling. The diff is crucial to getting the most out of popular engine upgrades such as an M50 manifold swap and cams where the new gear ratio will keep you in the power band sooner.

Gearing Changes Using a shorter gear ratio (numerically higher) will give you better acceleration but will reduce your top speed. The higher ratio puts you at a higher RPM point for any given speed. This puts you further up in the power band, giving you more torque to the ground. Refer to the chart below for examples.

Gearing Charts:

1997 M3, 5-speed manual, 245/40-17" rear tires

(click to expand)

Gear RatioGearSpeedRPM

40 MPH in 4th

3.234th40 MPH2,200 RPM

3.464th40 MPH2,300 RPM

3.644th40 MPH2,450 RPM

70 MPH Cruise

3.235th70 MPH3,100 RPM

3.465th70 MPH3,300 RPM

3.645th70 MPH3,450 RPM

5th Gear Speed With Raised Rev Limit

3.235th159 MPH7,000 RPM

3.465th149 MPH7,000 RPM

3.645th141 MPH7,000 RPM

These are just a range using three gear ratios (stock, middle, extreme). Speeds and RPM will obviously change in between ratios. Speed in 5th gear at 7,000 RPM is for theoretical and comparison purposes only. It doesn't mean that these speeds are actually reachable.


Limited Slip Options. If you're lucky enough to have an E36 with a factory limited slip differential we don't need to make too many changes. But we will rebuild it for you (you'll be amazed how much better the fresh LSD will perform). If you do not have an LSD already you will want to get one, especially if you're deleting the ASC+T traction control. If you only deleted the ASC and not using an LSD you're suffering from 'One Tire Fire' - all of your power goes through one wheel. The limited slip will balance the torque through both rear wheels before the one begins to spin (depending on the lock-up you choose). We offer limited-slip options that are similar to the factory 2 or 3 disc limited slip, Quaife helical style (no clutch packs), and OS Giken multi-disc variable LSD that our race team uses.

Core Charge. If we are building a diff from our own stock a refundable core charge will apply until we get your original diff back. You have a maximum of 30 days from the time you receive the diff to send it back us for a refund. There is a $400 charge for a factory LSD diff and a $200 for a factory non-LSD (open) diff. To make the process simple, all custom diff orders are charged $400 and the refund will be based on the diff that you send back. Click here for more detail and explanation of the core charge.

FAQ: For a full FAQ on the custom diff process, click here.

This custom differential fits the following BMWs:
1992-1998 E36 BMW 323is 323ic 325i 325is 325ic 328i 328is 328ic M3 (US model)

​*Please note, if open differential core is returned only $150 if core charge will be refunded* 

Turner Motorsport
Part #: TMS338680
Price: $1999.00 (USD) 
Direct Ship