The differential on the E36 chassis backs right up against the spare tire well, limiting access to the drain and fill plugs, particularly the latter.  Both plugs require a 14mm Allen bit, which you can find for cheap at your local autoparts store.  The problem is that these bits are most often a 1/2″ drive, and there simply isn’t enough room between the spare tire well’s sheet-metal and the diff cover to get a ratchet and bit in there.

Now there are some specialized tools available, but a cutoff wheel or hack saw can make one out of your cheap store-brand Allen bit.  Then all you need is a 14mm ratcheting wrench to loosen and tighten the plug.

14mm Bit Cut Off Cut Bit Inserted Into Wrench

Note: Remember to just hand tighten (no gorilla strength) the plugs.  Do not use the OEM torque specs, as those are dry thread torques.  You will crack the relatively weak cast aluminum cover if you over-tighten, which is very easy to do when using a 1/2″ ratchet.  


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