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So I was going about 70Mph around a bend on the freeway a few weeks ago, and I felt something "let loose" in the driveline. I held the throttle as neutral as possible for the next 10 miles until my exit, and as I slowed down on the ramp, at perhaps 5-10Mph something "siezed" and the car stopped abruptly (luckily nobody behind me). I slowly feathered the clutch to see if the car would move, and to my surprise it did, and I pulled onto the local road and headed straight to my mechanic's shop which was about 2 miles away... unfortunately, it was bucking more and more as I got closer, and I pulled into a parking lot about a mile from his shop (he has a flat-bed).

Long story short, the front differential was ruined, but he thinks that was a secondary failure because all of the fluid came out when the passenger side bearings and seals in the supporting bracket (item 12 in the diagram) ummmm shall we say "disappeared." He wasn't able to find any trace of the bearings or the seals. I have no idea what caused this failure... anyone else have this happen?

Diagram and pictures attached... The shiny bracket is the replacement from BMW with the bearings and seals intact. You can clearly see the missing parts from the one which was taken out.

I'm just glad it all held together when I was going 70Mph: a front-end lock-up around a bend at that speed could have killed me or someone else.

-G
 

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