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.


I stumbled upon the “E36 Bullet-Proof Differential Conversion” kit from 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).


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.