E60 535i LSD/Diff swap (E65/E66 case)

Old_Man_Sedan

Lurker
May 12, 2020
14
5
0
Livermore, CA
Ride
2009 535i
Hey guys,
Bit of a lurker but this one felt like it was worth writing up

An LSD is something I've wanted for this car for a while, so here we are.

Quick primer, the car is an auto 09 535i with bolt-ons and KW V3s. My original plan was to finish the suspension out with rear monoballs and poly diff/subframe bushings, but my mechanic friends gave me the right nudge to commit to a helical LSD while the subframe was coming out. The driveline/subframe part numbers are listed below:

DescriptionPNQty
Big Ticket:
E65/E66 Big Case Diff (3.38)
33107537985​
1​
Mfactory Helical DifferentialMF-TRS-05E92
1​
BMW CV Axle AssemblyGKN 33207572430
2​
Miscellanious Seals, hardware, etc:
BMW Differential Pinion Seal Rear
33107609536​
1​
BMW Differential Side Cover Seal
33107505605​
2​
Differential Drain/Fill Plug
33117525064​
2​
BMW Axle Nut
33411133785​
2​
BMW Reinforcement
33207572719​
6​
Poly Bushings
Powerflex Rear Diff Front BushingsPFR5-725
1​
Powerflex Rear Diff Rear BushingsPFR5-726
1​
Powerflex Rear Subframe Rear BushingsPFR5-722
1​
Powerflex Rear Subframe Front Bushings - E60/E61, E63/E64PFR5-720
1​

With some creative BMW OEM research in hand, I sourced an E65/E66 differential off ebay (they're surprisingly cheap, and free shipping), the appropriate MFactory Helical LSD, and upsized manual/diesel 38mm axles.

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The E65 diff is a bigger case than the auto diff my car came with, bolted ring gear, and the 3.38 final drive was close enough to my factory 3.46 (2.3%). The E60 and E65 also share most of their subframe geometry, making this a plug-and-play swap. I was able to keep my factory driveshaft as well. The Rear End Shop in Livermore installed the helical LSD and shimmed everything for me.

There were some hiccups along the way, including a very stubborn driver axle that didn't want to come out. CA car, not sure why it was so stuck, but it took my friends about an hour to make it move

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Diff and subframe bushings were plug and play, although their stiffness makes getting the diff back into the subframe a bit of a wrestling match

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Aaand woosh, you have traction.
 

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Old_Man_Sedan

Lurker
May 12, 2020
14
5
0
Livermore, CA
Ride
2009 535i
As far as driving impressions go, I'm very happy and it feels like a different car. Corner exits under throttle feel worlds different, and overall the car is a lot more lively. With the combination of a complete monoball suspension, KW V3s, 265/285 tires, and the LSD it's a completely different car than last year. Very happy with the result, and it's a bit more car than I can handle for now. Now I get to dig into the weeds of getting it dialed in where I want it

PXL_20210313_003755439.MP_2.jpg
 
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