Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
Rear Differential Fluid Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Differential Fluid Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$30

Talent:

**

Tools:

14mm, 17mm Allen bit, drain pain, oil quart container pump, oil suction pump

Applicable Models:

BMW Z3 (1996-02)

Parts Required:

Differential oil, differential plug sealing washers (2)

Hot Tip:

Drive car for short distance to warm oil

Performance Gain:

Extend differential life

Complementary Modification:

Replace drain plugs

The driveshaft transfers the rotation of the transmission output shaft to the input shaft of the rear differential. Inside the differential the axis of rotation is turned 90 degrees. Using specially designed planetary gears, the differential also splits the power in order to accommodate cornering: the two rear wheels must be allowed to rotate at different speeds in a turn. The output flanges of the differential connect to the drive axles that power the rear wheels.

The oil in the differential that lubricates the bearings and gears that drive the wheels of your Z3, is susceptible to harsh conditions and should be serviced regularly. You want these items to last, and with routine maintenance, you can extend their life. I suggest replacing your differential fluid every four years regardless of mileage. It's a good idea to check the fluid every time you change your oil and top up if necessary. The type of oil  in your differential is dependent on the year and model Z3 you have. 1996-1997 Z3 and 1998-2002 M models have a standard hypoid gear oil. From 1998 and on, Z3 differentials were equipped with a synthetic lifetime oil. When a vehicle manufacturer refers to a component as lifetime, the time period is usually 100,000 miles. This does not mean you shouldn't service. It is your car after all and you want it to last. I recommend replacing the BMW SAF-XO lifetime oil like you would with the standard hypoid oil. BMW recommends using a synthetic gear oil (SAF-XO). Give our parts specialists a call to help determine which gear oil is right for your vehicle.

Your rear differential holds about one liter of oil but you should have a little more on hand in case you spill it.

To avoid marring the paint and trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Drive the vehicle for about two to three minutes to warm up the differential oil. 

Lift and support the front and rear of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle. You want the differential you are servicing to be level when checking the oil level.

Checking fluid level:
To check your differential fluid.
Figure 1

To check your differential fluid. Using a 14mm or 17mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow) Fluid should be just at bottom edge of fill plug hole. Insert your finger into fill hole to check it. Be sure to wear a rubber glove to protect yourself from the oil. Top fluid up if needed.

If your socket and ratchet wonÃÆÂ'Ââ€Âš't fit into the space, place the box end of a wrench over the Allen socket and use it to loosen the plugs.
Figure 2

If your socket and ratchet wonÂÂÂÂ't fit into the space, place the box end of a wrench over the Allen socket and use it to loosen the plugs.

Replacing fluid:
Working at the differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug.
Figure 3

Working at the differential: Using a 14mm Allen bit, remove oil fill plug. (green arrow)

Next, using a 14mm Allen bit remove differential oil drain plug.
Figure 4

Next, using a 14mm Allen bit remove differential oil drain plug. (green arrow) Drain oil into suitable container that has a 2 liter capacity. Once oil has completely drained, reinstall drain plug with new gasket and torque: 70 Nm (52 ft-lb)

Pump oil into fill plug hole (green arrow) until it runs out.
Figure 5

Pump oil into fill plug hole (green arrow) until it runs out. Allow oil to stop dripping or come to a slow drip, then reinstall fill plug. Once done, take vehicle for a short ride and check rear differential for leaks.

Bookmark and Share

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:40:11 AM