And so it begins. E36 M3 Evo Fluid Leak

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1991-1999) and E30 M3 (1986-1990)' started by JaseH1984, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. 1 Aug 2018 at 7:53 PM #1
    JaseH1984

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    Evening,

    So I just bought the car, 1998 M3 Evo. 85k miles. And i have spotted a couple of spots of fluid on the ground, and looking underneath there is a wet patch on the car and i can see a couple of drips forming.

    The wet area seems to be in the centre of the car, towards the rear (just behind the exhaust heat shield). Could this be a differential fluid leak?

    Hopefully the below link to photos is working

    https://ibb.co/album/eYXjMF
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  2. 1 Aug 2018 at 8:32 PM #2
    technovert

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    Front diff seal.:thumbsup:

    Check the breather first and Un clog that.

    It’s on the rear diff casing, just above the speed sensor.

    You should be able to see a little indent about the size of a 5p. In the middle of this is a small hole. This is the breather.

    If you can’t see it get a wire brush and clean up the area until you can see the hole then clean out the hole with a thin bit of wire.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  3. 1 Aug 2018 at 8:33 PM #3
    JaseH1984

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    Could you see the photos? And is this an easy enough fix?
     
  4. 1 Aug 2018 at 8:37 PM #4
    technovert

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    Could see pics.

    Easy enough for a garage. Mine was leaking and the seller did it for me.
     
  5. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:01 PM #5
    JaseH1984

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    Ok thanks, i'm just wondering if it's safe to drive. It isn't coming out at any significant rate, however I also don't know how long it has been that way.
     
  6. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:21 PM #6
    technovert

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    Easy to top up.

    Get some Castrol syntrax 75/140, take out the top filler plug, and see if any comes out, if it doesn’t then put some more in until it does. Will be ok to drive then for a while.
     
  7. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:22 PM #7
    JaseH1984

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    Looking at it closer, it appears to be dripping right above the rear sub frame, the section where you would jack the car up. So it does look like the front area of the diff.
     
  8. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:26 PM #8
    technovert

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    Nothing else round there with any oil in it.
     
  9. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:32 PM #9
    JaseH1984

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    Thanks for the help, much appreciated. Got the car as a summer driver, and ideally would like to do some of these jobs myself through the winter months when it's off the road, but i've a bit to learn!
     
  10. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:36 PM #10
    JaseH1984

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    And i'm struggling to find that breather :-(
     
  11. 1 Aug 2018 at 9:56 PM #11
    technovert

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    Tricky to see with the car on the ground.

    Look at the rear plate/cover of the diff.

    Drivers side about 1/2 way up is an electrical connector

    About 1 1/2” above there is where the hole is. It’s possibly covered in gunge. It’s a bit tricky to get at as the ARB is in he way.
     
  12. 2 Aug 2018 at 12:26 AM #12
    Iain

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    It's easy to change any of the diff seals. Just remove the diff, remove the retaining ring from the input flange bolt, remove the flange bolt {counting the turns}, pull the flange off, hook out the seal, fit a new one, and re fit counting the turns on the input nut. Should be no more than about 3 hours diy
     
  13. 2 Aug 2018 at 8:26 AM #13
    pablo_ni

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    changing an air filter is easy, thats a little tricker depending on what tools you have
     
  14. 2 Aug 2018 at 9:25 AM #14
    JaseH1984

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    Are there any significant tools required for this? I've heard that the front seal can be done without dropping the diff.
     
  15. 2 Aug 2018 at 9:27 AM #15
    JaseH1984

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    Also, the sub-frame looks like it's in the way.
     
  16. 2 Aug 2018 at 10:09 AM #16
    JaseH1984

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    I've just been quoted £240 all in for parts and labour from an independent specialist to do the job. Seems reasonable?

    Think it may be beyond my capability at this time. First garage I called wouldn't even touch it, says it may be preloaded or something and they wouldn't have the tools.
     
  17. 2 Aug 2018 at 11:02 AM #17
    mboon

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    Had my input seals done on mine recently while the rear was on the floor for the rear break pipes. This bought the labor down for me as it was a part already. The diff oil is expensive on these things
     
  18. 2 Aug 2018 at 12:32 PM #18
    technovert

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    The gen diff oil is, but the Castro’s LSD oil isn’t too bad off Opie.
     
  19. 2 Aug 2018 at 1:56 PM #19
    tim295

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    Doesn't sound too awful but probably a bit on the expensive side if just the front diff seal and depends if it's including changing the oil. If you're having the diff out and flushing it etc, it would be a reasonable time to consider at min having the front diff bush changed and the output seals while you're at it. Preload shouldn't be an issue if re-using the old crush collar and nut, it just needs to be marked off and put back to where it was.
     
  20. 2 Aug 2018 at 3:49 PM #20
    JaseH1984

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    I would be tempted to tackle it myself, as the car doesn't need to be on the road and can sit, however I don't want to make a mess of it potentially and not sure if I have the tools. I was looking for a DIY from someone else who has done it, but can't find much that makes sense, and mainly people doing the axle seals.
     

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