Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

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benjamin84
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Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by benjamin84 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:17 pm

Edit: Here's a link to the YouTube video!

So I finally got round to getting my Quaife diff ordered and installed! Ever since my first BMW I have felt that there was something missing from the driving experience, which was confirmed when I borrowed an MX-5 2.0 Sport for a few wintery days in 2008: what I needed was more control of what the rear wheels where doing, and where power was being sent!

The solution is of course a Torque Biasing (Torque Sensing) Differential. For those who don't know this operates in a subtly different manner to a regular LSD, and entirely differently to a normal open diff. A rough explanation:

Open Diff - will send power down the path of least resistance, in other words to the wheel with the least traction. Modern ESP systems work to counter this behaviour by applying the brakes to the spinning wheel, but this reacts both slowly and rather unpredictably.
Limited Slip Diff - will provide a more or less constant frictional force between the two output shafts, usually using clutch plates, binding the rear wheels together at a fixed percentage (correct me if I'm wrong here!)
Torsen Diff (Quaife, True Trac and others) - Will apportion Torque up to a fixed ratio to the wheel with the most grip. The Quaife diff in my BMW I believe is a 4:1 ratio. The benefit of this is a smooth lock-up and progressive action, or so I'm told as I've not tried a regular clutch-plate limited slip diff.

Anyways, first impressions after a good few hours on very wet roads are great! The first thing you notice is that you can hardly notice it. No noise at any speed or at full lock. The steering does appear to gain a slightly stronger self centring action though, which I would attribute to the slight preload in the Quaife diff, making the wheels want to turn at the same speed.

The second thing to note is the vast increase in grip at corner exit, most noticeable in round-a-bouts or T-juntions. I mostly drive in the DTC setting (safety systems half-off) and usually a spirited corner exit would end in a flashing ESP light and a gentle application of brakes to the inside wheel. Now it just results in brilliant acceleration! The same increase in grip is evident in my gravel drive way, no more wheel spin :D I can't wait to see what effect this has in the Norwegian winter conditions!

Finally, and most importantly: The car is so much better to drive! It now handles far more predictably in wet conditions, ESP interaction is less frequent and smoother than it was before. Simply put I reckon all BMWs should come with a Quaife diff! Mighty impressed. Hopefully it will hold up well and prove to be a true fit and forget upgrade :D

Anyways, here are some pics with comments from the installation process at Arctic Trucks:

Arrival of the diff! (Edit:Not my hand ;))
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Very well made piece of kit, nicely machined.
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On to the operating table...
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Not the usual kind of car Arctic Trucks do work on!
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Beautiful rainy day, perfect diff testing weather ;)
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What's missing?
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Final drive housing is out!
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Housing opened, revealing the old open diff.
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Quaife in the foreground, old open diff in the background.
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Crown wheel in place on the Quaife.
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The Quaife diff has to be taken apart prior to inserting it into the final drive housing,
then it gets put together while inside the housing. A rather tricky process! The rubber
tubing is there to hold the belleville spring washers in place, these provide a certain
amount of pre-tension to the diff, preventing it acting like an open diff should one wheel
completely loose grip.
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;)
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Final drive housing back in place and ready to be tested! Many thanks to the guys at
Arctic Trucks who allowed me to nosily watch over them during the entire process.
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Last edited by benjamin84 on Wed Sep 22, 2010 10:47 am, edited 3 times in total.

punky
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by punky » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:23 pm

That looks 8) I bet it feels great.
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by Onehp » Wed Aug 11, 2010 6:39 pm

Nice! That is commitment to driving :D I am sure you will enjoy it!
May I ask, what did the whole (parts + install) cost you (in NOK)?

I have considered a Quaife but my car (as the 135i) comes with an electronic diff that still works with DSC and DTC off. Works fine during winter which is the main "use" of it :D
In the wet though it is not very progressive but the combination of driving hard + rain happens so seldom that I cannot justify the cost.
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benjamin84
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by benjamin84 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:37 pm

Just been out for a little trial run on some gravel roads, and... WOW, the difference this thing makes is just huge! Snow is going to be an absolute blast ;)

The cost for the diff was 890 pounds including shipping. Add 25% VAT to that and you are at around 11k NOK. Arctic Trucks charged me for 4.5 hours, totalling to just over 4k NOK. So around 15k in total :) A lot of money for sure, but for me it's definitely worth it! It's a mod I feel every time I drive the car, and as such I reckon it will just keep on reminding that it was worth while :)
Last edited by benjamin84 on Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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preppeller
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by preppeller » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:46 pm

Awesome writeup and great pics! I always felt my 130 was missing out with an open rear diff!

...but dude, cut your freakin fingernails :P
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by punky » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:51 pm

preppeller wrote: ...but dude, cut your freakin fingernails :P
:lol:
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions.

Post by benjamin84 » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:59 pm

preppeller wrote:...but dude, cut your freakin fingernails :P
;)

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by benjamin84 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:31 pm

Got a little bit of footage of the diff doing it's thing ;)

Youtube Vid!

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by Theivz » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:53 pm

love the vid - great work :)

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benjamin84
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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by benjamin84 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:18 pm

Here's a vid showing exactly what the slippy diff prevents (except for the stone in the eye part, that could still happen ;) ):

Masses of one wheel peel with a 120d

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by ATG » Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:19 pm

very impressed with your LSD Diff installation.
Could you please answer the following questions:

1) Where did you order this item?
2) What is the item number?
3) Was it just 'plug-n-play' install or something special should be done (drilling, cutting metal etc)?

Thanks

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by benjamin84 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:19 am

ATG wrote:very impressed with your LSD Diff installation.
Could you please answer the following questions:

1) Where did you order this item?
I got it from Birds Auto (http://www.birdsauto.com)
ATG wrote:2) What is the item number?
For my car the correct item is 33468302, but you should just send them an e-mail with the chassis (VIN) number of your car and they will make sure you get the right diff :)
ATG wrote:3) Was it just 'plug-n-play' install or something special should be done (drilling, cutting metal etc)?
More or less plug and play but you do need some specialist tools if you want to do it properly, firstly a hydraulic press to get the bearings off in a straight line, and secondly equipment to measure the backlash once the unit is installed to make sure it doesn't need adjusting. Took about 4 hours to do :) No drilling or cutting required, although getting the bearings off the old diff proved difficult without grinding down the metal a little to get at it.

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by mrash » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:46 am

Have to laugh at the comments on the video. "The tyres dont screech much", well, he's been watching too many hollywood films where tyres screech on dirt tracks... :roll:
please take time to just ask someone how they are. Kindness costs nothing, but means everything.

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Re: Quaife diff installed! First impressions and Video!

Post by benjamin84 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 9:43 am

I particularly like artwel123's well thought out and insightful comment... Youtube is full of some strange people! Must admit though, never thought the vid would get 4000 views :)

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