More gear ratio options for your E36-chassis BMW

Have you been planning a motor swap in your E36 and need a new differential gear ratio, but you are not so happy about the options available in the standard E36 offerings? Perhaps you have been interested in doing a limited-slip swap, but all of the E36 fitment differentials are a little out of the price range? Never fear as you may have more gear ratio options than you may have realized.

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I stumbled upon the “E36 Bullet-Proof Differential Conversion” kit from RallyRoad.net. From the description, with just a little bit of fabrication, this will allow you to bolt in a differential from a 5-Series (E34 chassis) or 7-Series (E32 chassis).

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This might not sound exciting, but in addition to more gear ratio options, this also allows you to run the more robust differentials from the M5, the V8 5-Series and 750i/iL cars. These have 210mm ring gears compared to the smaller 188mm ring gear found in most 6-cylinder BMWs (save for the E36 M3).

And, if going bigger isn’t on the list, but adding a limited-slip is, this opens new, low-cost options as E32 and E34 limited-slip differentials are somewhat plentiful and readily available.

This means your LS1-swapped E36 3xxi can be fitted with a limited slip differential from a 750iL and you can go out and do burn-outs until your little heart is content.

John "Hans" Ackerman started his love affair with cars at an extremely early age. A lover of racing, fine bourbon and good beer, John "Hans" Ackerman is always looking forward to the next event: ready to Build. Race. Party.