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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so i am preparing to put a 3.38 diff from a 330i automatic in my 330i manual. this is a change from my current 3.07. is there anything i should be aware of before i begin? any advice is appreciated.
 

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Theres a diff. DIY swap thread around here. Id say look at that and make sure you have all your tools before you start. Also, be very careful when taking the driveshaft off. Appearantly theyre very sensitive.
 

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Are you doing this on a lift or jackstands? First be patient and take your time. It is a easy diy in terms of skill but loosening all the bolts and getting everything out and back in is a pain especially if you dont have much room with jack stands. The differential is heavy as you can tell. Also have a friend help. An extra hand is golden for this install and necessary. The hardest part is taking the diff out once all the bolts are off. You have to drop it down first and pull it out (mine took awhile since it was stuck on the drive shaft). Here a DIY link http://www.bokchoys.com/differential/diy_diff.htm. Overall great mod to do. Also keep in mind a software upgrade will bring everything together as it will let you stay in gear longer since your ratio is higher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for the advice. im getting my friend to help and were doing it in his garage. the car will be on a jack. in regards to the software change....is that necessary? i have a manual not an automatic....
 

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thanks for the advice. im getting my friend to help and were doing it in his garage. the car will be on a jack. in regards to the software change....is that necessary? i have a manual not an automatic....
When you say jack, you mean jack stands right? Not a floor jack? (floor jacks are for lifting the car up only, not keeping the car up. Especially with all the tugging and pulling you will be doing). For the software install, I have a 5 speed so I found myself shifting a lot and feeling like I needed an extra gear. Drove like this for 2 years until I finally got an AA software update. Now everything feels right and I am able to stay in gear longer (most noticeable in the 3-4 rpm range) since the software raises the rev limits. Not sure for a 6 speed but for my car made a good difference.
 

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make sure you have the special tools. i'd also change the oil Before you install it.
 

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^+1 open the diff up and make sure the gears are good. change the oil before you out it in other wise its a PITA. but other than that its an easy install!
 

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This is what I have. a 3.38 in my manual 330ci. I love it and hate it. But I love it more than hate it.

It's VERY aggressive, I feel like my 0-60 times have been halved! Very quick set up.

HOWEVER, the car seems to bog down up top and revs high in 5th gear on the highway (4-4.5k). Don't even get me started on gas mileage. 16mpg combined. But then again, I'm in NYC and I drive pretty spirited.
 

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Swapping a standard 330i diff (regardless of auto or manual) into a ZHP, I believe you have to swap the input flanges. The 330 has a "6-bolt" and the ZHP has a "4-bolt" where the driveshaft connects. Pay particular attention to the input flange bolt tightening sequence in the DIY. It has to be preloaded exactly or else you risk rapid wear of the gearset inside the diff.
 

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When you say jack, you mean jack stands right? Not a floor jack? (floor jacks are for lifting the car up only, not keeping the car up. Especially with all the tugging and pulling you will be doing). For the software install, I have a 5 speed so I found myself shifting a lot and feeling like I needed an extra gear. Drove like this for 2 years until I finally got an AA software update. Now everything feels right and I am able to stay in gear longer (most noticeable in the 3-4 rpm range) since the software raises the rev limits. Not sure for a 6 speed but for my car made a good difference.
Sounds like you have an automatic. OP has a 5 sp manual and will not need any sort of software upgrade.
 

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the ZHP has a "4-bolt" where the driveshaft connects.
No it does not (4 bolt is only used on driveshafts with a u-joint at the end, all 330 use a 6 bolt CV joint). Input and output flanges are all 6 bolt and I believe this is the case for all 330. What you have to watch out for is that some 6 bolt flanges apparently have even bolt spacing and some don't (they have 3 groups of 2 more closely spaced bolts). IIRC, this was associated with a production change made at a certain date.
 

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I already have the 3.38...is there a major difference between the two?
No. All non-M e46 diffs are interchangeable although certain swaps do also require swapping input and output flanges. The best way for you to know for sure is to compare the flanges on the 3.38 you've picked up to the ones on your car. They should all be 6 bolt and the spacing of the bolts should be the same. If the flanges match then it's a direct swap. If the output flanges need to be swapped, that's really easy as they basically just pop in and out. If the input flange needs to be replaced, that's a little more tricky as the nut needs to be torqued precisely to avoid trashing the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well i have an 04 zhp manual. I bought the 3.38 diff off of ebay. It hasnt arrived yet but it came from an auto 330...now im worried that everything wont line up. I was told to get the 3.38 because it came from a 330 and would be an easy swap. Thats why i didnt do the 3.46...i was told these dont come from a 330 and will be harder to swap
 

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I already have the 3.38...is there a major difference between the two?
Not at all. I have gone from 3.07 to 3.46 to 3.38LSD back to 3.46. There is barely any noticeable difference between 3.38 and 3.46 and if I had a choice in a 330 I would certainly go the 3.38 route.
Well i have an 04 zhp manual. I bought the 3.38 diff off of ebay. It hasnt arrived yet but it came from an auto 330...now im worried that everything wont line up. I was told to get the 3.38 because it came from a 330 and would be an easy swap. Thats why i didnt do the 3.46...i was told these dont come from a 330 and will be harder to swap
That is the basic rule. Most often there is absolutely nothing that needs to be changed over going 3.38 on a 330 since that's what it came off of. But a 3.46 certainly will need changes as it came off the 323/325.
If it's only the output flanges those pop on/off very easy.
 
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