Can the differential cover on a E36/7/8 be removed with the differential still in the car?  It sure can.

A few forum threads had suggested that I might have to slightly lower the subframe to gain access to the top two bolts on the cover.  Fortunately that wasn’t necessary.  I did have to remove both mufflers, push the battery box up into the cargo compartment, and unbolt the sway bar from its frame mounts.  With the two bolts that fasten the cover to the frame removed, the differential will sag down just enough to get at those upper bolts.  I did place a bottle jack underneath to prevent it from sagging too much, but it wasn’t needed.

So why am I removing the Rogue differential cover that just went on a few months ago?  Well, it’s a bit overkill for my street driven M Coupe.  The Coupe also has a Torsen LSD, which uses helical gears instead of clutch packs.  Helical LSDs are a bit more immune to high differential temperatures that would reduce the life/efficiency of a clutch pack.  Since my M3 is going to be a track-day special, I needed a means of keeping the differential cool.  It’ll maintain the M clutch-style LSD, and with it being hammered it’ll generate a lot more heat than the M Coupe would.  Rather than buying a second Rogue finned cover ($$$$) I decided to just swap it over.  The  Coupe has been modified to run an E36 dual ear cover, so the two are interchangeable.  The other option was to run a differential cooler.  The advantage to the cooler would be added ground clearance over the Rogue cover, but would mean adding a more complicated setup (heat exchanger, pump, oil lines, fan, wiring, etc.)

Rogue Differential CoverCover Removed


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