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Thread: Non-M E39 -> OS GIKEN LSD upgrade

  1. #1
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    Non-M E39 -> OS GIKEN LSD upgrade

    hey guys - im new to this site, but not to cars. I love my e39 because its a great car but since i got it, the one BIG downside is that theres no LSD, and very little aftermarket options. Ive noticed that most of you e39 enthusiuasts are not using LSD's so i figured id help make it easier for you (you dont know what youre missing!!)

    I am a strong believer in the quality and function of a smooth clutch rear diff (similar to what the M5 has from the factory) but I wanted something a little more aggressive. The OS Giken LSD's are just that -- and in fact the only diff I use in my personal projects is Carbonetic. In my experience they are far superior to Quaife, far superior to kaaz or cusco, and in normal driving you dont notice it... until you push it. Very predictable, zero chatter (and its well below freezing here) with great manners. On Xmas eve my friendly delivery guy dropped it off, and i took some pics before the big day











    This can be installed by any competent home-mechanic with tools. I have broken it down and took pics almost every step of the way, i may have missed a couple minor things but the big stuff is in there. The end result is so bada$$ you need to do it to understand, there is no way i can explain in a forum post. However i can help you to do it yourself. Now to the fun part - heres my new project, the rear end is the one that needs some love this time around (the dog is named turbo):


    the items you need before starting this project are:

    diff:


    axle seals from BMW (you should be able to just copy this part number)


    (2) Quarts of OS Giken 80W-250 (makes the diff butttery smooth)


    penetrating lube is your friend on street cars:

    not shown: TOOLS, RTV (i recommend hondabond, it works great and never leaks, but black silicone rtv works great too), rags, brains

    STEP 1: Spray all bolts with the PB Penetrating lube to ensure they come off easily and no problems





    Next, drain the gear oil from the diff, then unbolt the axles:



    **ooops i forgot to take pics of this its an easy step tho -- Remove the (3) mounts with an 18mm wrench + 18mm socket/ratchet (use a vice grip + 18mm socket on the pass side due to the trunk bubble). the front mount is a 21mm, use a ratchet and wrench here. Then get the diff ready to come out - if you have a friend use him, but its safer with a floorjack or tranny jack.

    here is the diff after its been removed. i gently popped the axle stubs out with a mallett and breaker bar


    remove the axle seal -- in the process of removal, it will get destroyed which is why i listed up there you need to buy (2) new axle seals from BMW

    ^^destroyed axle seal after removal


    get the rear diff cover off and get ready for swapping



    now that the axle seal is gone, careully remove the super-beefy massive Circlip that holds the diff's carrier bearings in place.



    **oops i forgot to take a pic here, bu this is also pretty easy -- Once this circlip is out you can slide the bearing races out, then the diff comes out the top ****CAUTION - KEEP THE BEARINGS AND RACES TOGETHER NEVER EVER PUT THE PASS SIDE BEARING OR RACE ON THE DRIVERS SIDE AND VICE VERSA**** MARK THEM IF YOU NEED TO!!

    Next, using an impact gun - Remove ring gear and bolts from stock diff (bolts normal right-hand-thread). Prepare the ring gear and bolts ready to go on the os giken LSD

    Using aluminum soft-jaws in your vice to safely hold the OS Giken LSD, attach the ring gear and bolts


    I use small amounts of red loctite on the bolts to ensure they never come loose. Tighten them to spec (i forgot to record the tq spec)


    Using a bearing puller, carefully remove the bearings from the stock diff, *** AGAIN MAKING SURE YOU KNOW WHICH BEARING CAME FROM WHICH SIDE AND WHICH RACE MATCHES UP TO THAT BEARING****




    carefully pressing the matching bearing onto the diff.


    Bearings swapped! getting ready to install the OS Giken LSD in her new home:



    but the diff is a little too big for the housing. We need to do some very light grinding/clearancing to make room. i use a 4.5" angle grinder, but this stupid website will only let me post 30 pics per page so this pic is missing too.



    after grinding, the diff will sit in place:



    carefully popped the diff in, put the MATCHING RACE TO THE MATCHING BEARING, made sure everything was clean, and now its time to re-install the circlip



    making sure the circlip is fully seated, now its time for the new axle seals. I used an old piece of metal to carefully tap it into place, going in circular motions and being careful not to damage or force the seal.



    ***no pic b/c its basic*** now, use some silicone RTV on the back diff cover and carefully boolt into place, making sure the RTV is fully covering the diff:cover surface and preventing any leaks. Let it dry for a cpl hours.

    pop the axle stubs back in...



    hit with a mallett to make sure the clip is fully seated. (axles popping out if you dont do this is stupid and a pain in the butt)



    fill w/ 1.5 qt of OS Giken LSD fluid



    RTV dry, fluid full, diff is ready to be re-installed in my e39


    happy traction
    Last edited by frgeoff; 01-06-2011 at 02:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    that's really sweet! Whats the price? Does it bolt up to the Oem shafts?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhstealth View Post
    that's really sweet! Whats the price? Does it bolt up to the Oem shafts?
    !!




  4. #4
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    price is about 1700 bolts up to stock axles, KILLER performance, no other diff like it
    Last edited by frgeoff; 01-04-2010 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5
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    this is only available for 6-cylinder cars, right?

  6. #6
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    nope 8 cyl too. the 8 cyls dont require any grinding
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by frgeoff View Post
    nope 8 cyl too. the 8 cyls dont require any grinding
    You aren't helping me save money.

    Great write up, and helpful pictures. Thanks! If I ever find cash, I'll probably go this route. Buying a house is first priority, then either diff. or exhaust.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb3113 View Post
    You aren't helping me save money.

    Great write up, and helpful pictures. Thanks! If I ever find cash, I'll probably go this route. Buying a house is first priority, then either diff. or exhaust.


    diff > exhaust. You won't gain significant time around a track with an exhaust on these cars even with the weight reduction. You will however, gain time and smiles with a proper LSD

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    diff > exhaust
    ^^^qft
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  10. #10
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    their wEbsite doesn't list e39 540, and I'm not sure e34 530 with m60 has the same diff. ):
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    their wEbsite doesn't list e39 540, and I'm not sure e34 530 with m60 has the same diff. ):


    what about E39 M5? Can you swap the actual differential between M5 and 540 cases?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    what about E39 M5? Can you swap the actual differential between M5 and 540 cases?
    Unknown, prolly not without driveshaft change. In all honesty I love this DIY, but I still don't think lsds are still reasonably priced for our cars.
    (oOO\(|||)(|||)/OOo) /00=[][]=00\

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    Unknown, prolly not without driveshaft change. In all honesty I love this DIY, but I still don't think lsds are still reasonably priced for our cars.
    $1700 is the most reasonable I recall... for something like this.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb3113 View Post
    $1700 is the most reasonable I recall... for something like this.


    I meant to say NOT reasonably priced
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    Unknown, prolly not without driveshaft change. In all honesty I love this DIY, but I still don't think lsds are still reasonably priced for our cars.


    I think you misunderstood my question.

    I'm saying can you remove this (yes, remove ring gear, too):



    from the M5 and bolt the 540 ring gear on and bolt it into the 540 case? basically how frgeoff bought JUST the LSD, swapped the ring gear and all, re-sealed, re-shimmed (I think), and reinstalled it in the SAME case.


    Most auto manufacturers don't change much between RWD differentials typically 2 or 3 cases w/ varied options - LSD, cooling fins, mounting differences, etc.

    However, I can't find a breakdown of individual part numbers [at realoem.com] for an M5 diff and/or a 540 diff. When I say individual, I mean diff bolts, bearings, seals, ring gear, pinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    I meant to say NOT reasonably priced


    "real" LSDs are always expensive. My 240sx drift-specific diff (ATS Deftforce) was $1300+ when new. Their quiet, smooth-engaging Carbon LSD was closer to $1800 and there is a far bigger market for those.
    Last edited by mattmartindrift; 01-05-2010 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orxan4ik View Post
    In all honesty I love this DIY, but I still don't think lsds are still reasonably priced for our cars.
    a high quality LSD is not cheap, but the performance improvement to the E39 chassis is substantial to say the least. I feel it was worth every penny (and then some) to get my E39 feeling THIS dialed ...now i just need more power


    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    "real" LSDs are always expensive
    agreed, most people think an LSD is an LSD... we picked up so much time on a time-attack STI going from the OE LSD's to this style it was incredible, did not expect the difference to be as big as it was, but there is no question about the end result. this is why stock m5s are light years better than the non-m e39's

    Quote Originally Posted by mattmartindrift View Post
    what about E39 M5? Can you swap the actual differential between M5 and 540 cases?
    the m5 uses a bigger diff/ring gear and larger axles/stubs/hubs
    Last edited by frgeoff; 01-04-2010 at 04:08 PM.
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  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    i think it was like 18$ each
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  20. #20
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    very very cool stuff. I always enjoy looking at diff stuff.

    I cant tell from the pics but is there a shim between the bearing race and circlip?

    also what is the break away torque of these LSDs. I assume its greater than the usual BMW 25%

    Thanks posting.

    2003 M5 LSx l 6 Spd Manual l 4.10 LSD
    Build Thread
    The chassis must always be regarded as a means to an end and never as an end itself

  21. #21
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    there is no shim used in this differential - the bearing is just held in place by the circlip
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by frgeoff View Post
    a high quality LSD is not cheap, but the performance improvement to the E39 chassis is substantial to say the least. I feel it was worth every penny (and then some) to get my E39 feeling THIS dialed ...now i just need more power




    agreed, most people think an LSD is an LSD... we picked up so much time on a time-attack STI going from the OE LSD's to this style it was incredible, did not expect the difference to be as big as it was, but there is no question about the end result. this is why stock m5s are light years better than the non-m e39's



    the m5 uses a bigger diff/ring gear and larger axles/stubs/hubs

    So, you realized a huge difference even with your stock I6 E39???!!!!???
    Are you speaking strictly from track use?

    Thanks!
    Jason

  23. #23
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    ... and just to irritate the purists some more, thats a 2jz head on the floor



    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    So, you realized a huge difference even with your stock I6 E39???!!!!??? Are you speaking strictly from track use?
    i like "spirited" driving, and ive owned many cars with different LSD's so i know how to drive and what to look for. as my car makes more and more power the benefits of this LSD will just become more and more apparent. i have cars for the race track, the E39 is just my people hauler
    Last edited by frgeoff; 01-04-2010 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by frgeoff View Post
    ... and just to irritate the purists some more, thats a 2jz head on the floor





    i like "spirited" driving, and ive owned many cars with different LSD's so i know how to drive and what to look for. as my car makes more and more power the benefits of this LSD will just become more and more apparent. i have cars for the race track, the E39 is just my people hauler
    LOL!
    My car is also a daily driver.
    I haul around the kids, and the wife, if I have to... LOL!
    I am only wondering if the LSD would be over-kill on my 525i....???

    Thanks!
    Jason

  25. #25
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    I cant say if you would appreciate it as much as me... if you know how to drive the car the improvement is dramatic and really lets the e39 explore its potential. LSD is really the only major chassis difference from the M5 to the non-m's.. and with an os giken in place your car is basically an underpowered m5 but with small brakes and a steering rack
    Last edited by frgeoff; 01-04-2010 at 07:41 PM.
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