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      03-08-2020, 01:40 AM   #1
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Wavetrac LSD/ATB + xDrive, WORTH IT!


Quote:
Index:
0:00 Intro, why Wavetrac, and Wavetrac benefits
1:25 What's delivered from Diffsonline/unboxing
2:04 A look inside the differential, and F2x/F3x variants
3:52 What Diffsonline modifies/renews
4:24 Installation at VT Motorworks
5:04 Daily driving benefits and impressions
6:41 Test road features and impressions
8:52 Conclusion
Preface
Some of you may recall the thread where I tore one of my rear half shaft boots, and BMW in their ultimate wisdom don't have a replacement boot (or even procedure for changing it) for the rear half shaft, thus making complete unit replacement the only official option. It wasn't going to be a fun job, or even one that's really DIYable looking at how they press out and pull in the half-shafts with the rear hub. It was going to be a pricey job.

Well I decided to turn that expensive lemon, into an even more expensive lemonade. Since the half-shaft replacement work was a large chunk towards the work required to replace the differential all together, I said, "Why not?" and ordered a complete Wavetrac LSD/ATB unit built up by Diffsonline to be swapped with my OE open diff unit. I had been thinking about seeing what an LSD could do for my car, and the sway bar unfortunate event gave me just the excuse to jump on it.

Wavetrac xDrive Impressions
There's exceptionally little detailed experiences out there with LSDs on xDrive, so I didn't have a good basis on what to expect. Some comments out there said an LSD would be worthless with xDrive, and that xDrive wouldn't let an LSD shine. What I expected, was that I wouldn't really notice an LSD in daily driving, unless really pushed, and I'd probably notice it at the track. Boy, was I in for a very pleasant surprise!

Over the past week I've been daily driving with the Wavetrac and I'm very pleased to report that the improvement is quite noticeable across a wide range of daily driving scenarios! Anytime the car is taking off where you'd normally run into issues with wheel slip, such as taking off from a stop with the steering wheel set up for a turn, is vastly improved. Normally there's always a bit a hesitation, stuttering, and uncertainty as the car is struggling for traction, but no more! It just grabs and launches.

One of the most interesting things I found about adding an LSD was that it makes the xDrive vehicle feel more RWD. My hypothesis for this is that since the rear wheels are better locked together, the xDrive system/transfer case ECU doesn't detect enough wheel spin difference to shift more power to the front axle and instead maintains the default 40% front/60% rear power delivery. The effect is the same sensation you get from a RWD vehicle where you have a push and rotation from behind in a corner. The benefit of that is the car can hold a tighter inside line and feels like it has more corner grip.

Additionally I found the car has greater stability and less "vagueness" when entering corners at higher speeds. This increases driver confidence and has allowed me to increase my entry speed into corners. I'm very much looking forward to getting the car onto the track next and seeing if this holds true there and I can achieve greater corner speeds than before.

And of course, can I "hoon" the car out more? YES. Being an AWD car, it's been pretty difficult to get the rear end out under power alone with the open diff, but the LSD has made that much easier, and in a controllable manner.

So I'm a happy camper, and even though this was an expensive mod, it feels like it was well worth it to me!
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      03-08-2020, 08:46 AM   #2
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Great info! Thanks for the write up
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      03-12-2020, 11:06 AM   #3
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Well done FaRKle! , great writeup and watching the video now.
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      03-12-2020, 11:48 AM   #4
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What sort of cost?
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      03-12-2020, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium81 View Post
What sort of cost?
Diffsonline charges $2800 (including shipping) for the Wavetrac work and new bearings and seals. If you want them to acquire a diff for you and build it in that so you don't have any downtime there's a $400 core deposit, which you can get back after installing the new diff/pumpkin from them and shipping them back your original diff/pumpkin. They have cheaper options like their own branded helical diff (which is like $400 cheaper), and clutched options as well.
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      03-12-2020, 02:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Diffsonline charges $2800 (including shipping) for the Wavetrac work and new bearings and seals. If you want them to acquire a diff for you and build it in that so you don't have any downtime there's a $400 core deposit, which you can get back after installing the new diff/pumpkin from them and shipping them back your original diff/pumpkin. They have cheaper options like their own branded helical diff (which is like $400 cheaper), and clutched options as well.
Good info. I'll probably take advantage of that core deposit to limit downtime.

Enjoy.
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      03-12-2020, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacklinUSOB View Post
Good info. I'll probably take advantage of that core deposit to limit downtime.

Enjoy.
You might be close enough to Diffsonline for that to be worth it (might even be able to drop the core off on your own)!

In my case that would've been shipping a diff cross-country, which is expensive, so not really having to worry about shipping a core back was worth it for me to just buy a donor and have it shipped direct to them.
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      03-13-2020, 03:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacklinUSOB View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Diffsonline charges $2800 (including shipping) for the Wavetrac work and new bearings and seals. If you want them to acquire a diff for you and build it in that so you don't have any downtime there's a $400 core deposit, which you can get back after installing the new diff/pumpkin from them and shipping them back your original diff/pumpkin. They have cheaper options like their own branded helical diff (which is like $400 cheaper), and clutched options as well.
Good info. I'll probably take advantage of that core deposit to limit downtime.

Enjoy.
That's not too far off from the official BMW LSD for xDrive M235/M240i
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      03-13-2020, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimBimM2 View Post
That's not too far off from the official BMW LSD for xDrive M235/M240i
Except that there isn't evidence that the official BMW LSD for the xdrive M240/340 actually exists. If you look at the PN BMW provides, it's the same PN as the RWD M240/340i.

The M240/340i RWD use a 215mm ring gear diff, the xDrive M240/340i use a 188mm ring gear diff, same as my 328d. The axle shaft seals are different sizes. I couldn't find one example of the M-Perf LSD actually being installed on an M240/340i xDrive vehicle, but there is a post on these forums of an xDrive 340i owner who tried to have the M-Perf LSD installed and the dealership found out it wasn't compatible. So it was an easy choice to go with Diffsonline and a Wavetrac, which I KNEW would work, versus buying the M-Perf LSD from a dealer, and finding out in the middle of the install that it won't work...
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      03-13-2020, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimBimM2 View Post
That's not too far off from the official BMW LSD for xDrive M235/M240i
Except that there isn't evidence that the official BMW LSD for the xdrive M240/340 actually exists. If you look at the PN BMW provides, it's the same PN as the RWD M240/340i.

The M240/340i RWD use a 215mm ring gear diff, the xDrive M240/340i use a 188mm ring gear diff, same as my 328d. The axle shaft seals are different sizes. I couldn't find one example of the M-Perf LSD actually being installed on an M240/340i xDrive vehicle, but there is a post on these forums of an xDrive 340i owner who tried to have the M-Perf LSD installed and the dealership found out it wasn't compatible. So it was an easy choice to go with Diffsonline and a Wavetrac, which I KNEW would work, versus buying the M-Perf LSD from a dealer, and finding out in the middle of the install that it won't work...
Similarly, there is no M-performance LSD offered for 328i 6MTs because of a unique final drive ratio and driveshaft size to all other models.
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      03-13-2020, 03:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimBimM2 View Post
That's not too far off from the official BMW LSD for xDrive M235/M240i
Except that there isn't evidence that the official BMW LSD for the xdrive M240/340 actually exists. If you look at the PN BMW provides, it's the same PN as the RWD M240/340i.

The M240/340i RWD use a 215mm ring gear diff, the xDrive M240/340i use a 188mm ring gear diff, same as my 328d. The axle shaft seals are different sizes. I couldn't find one example of the M-Perf LSD actually being installed on an M240/340i xDrive vehicle, but there is a post on these forums of an xDrive 340i owner who tried to have the M-Perf LSD installed and the dealership found out it wasn't compatible. So it was an easy choice to go with Diffsonline and a Wavetrac, which I KNEW would work, versus buying the M-Perf LSD from a dealer, and finding out in the middle of the install that it won't work...
https://www.shopbmwusa.com/PRODUCT/5...P-DIFFERENTIAL

Is that something different? If you put in your vehicle, it confirms it fits the M240i XDrive. I went the extra step and called up my dealership and they confirmed that it fits (I am sure that could go either way though, as they are looking at the same web page as I linked above hah)

What am I missing?

Sorry for being so new at this but I want to put in an LSD as well, and I am trying to learn as much as I can before pulling the trigger.
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      03-13-2020, 04:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimBimM2 View Post
https://www.shopbmwusa.com/PRODUCT/5...P-DIFFERENTIAL

Is that something different? If you put in your vehicle, it confirms it fits the M240i XDrive. I went the extra step and called up my dealership and they confirmed that it fits (I am sure that could go either way though, as they are looking at the same web page as I linked above hah)

What am I missing?

Sorry for being so new at this but I want to put in an LSD as well, and I am trying to learn as much as I can before pulling the trigger.
That's the part I was referring to where I said there's no other evidence that it actually works for xDrive. If you were to select the RWD M240i and look up the LSD for that you'll see it's the exact same part number.

Additionally, on RealOEM it shows that PN under the RWD M240/340i but not xDrive versions.

Here are some posts by someone on the forums that tried to have it installed on his 340i.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
I tried to have it installed on my auto trans equipped 340xi in 2016, BMW na had assured my dealers parts manager it would fit but after disassembly Dealer discovered that RWD and xDrive vehicles use different rear axles, no way to make it fit. BMW had corrected the accessories website to show the incompatibility but I see they have since removed the correction. Do you have the part number for what they tried to install?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
You're having the same issue I did, BMW's web site has an error and should specify this M LSD will only work on RWD cars. The kit they tried to install for me back in 2016 was 33108659989 (correct for RWD auto trans)which is the same part number they are trying to sell now, no way changes sufficient to make it compatible (with xDrive) now would not result in a different part number. Bottom line is unfortunately you might as well tell your dealer to reassemble your car and return it to you, they will not get this to work.

edit: make sure your repair invoice documents an attempted install, saved me a denied warranty claim after a dealer accused me of tampering with the rear end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
Just a heads up. In Oct 2016 I had my local Dealer attempt to install MP LSD pn 33108659989 into my USA Spec'd 2016 340xi with ZF auto trans. They were not able to do the install and stated "M Differential not compatible with xDrive vehicles" They also reference "internal part incompatible", I think the specific problem was with the axle shafts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
Well this suck's, just got off the phone with Dealer who just confirmed with BMW NA, M Performance LSD will NOT work on xDrive 340's due to different axles being used than on RWD. They have the car all disassembled and it will not fit, period, no options. I'm still getting the MPPSK but no MPLSD.
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      03-13-2020, 09:18 PM   #13
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Awesome Review! Can you confirm what OEM Part # you are using?

I'm looking to do this for my 330I Sport Wagon and I'm showing 33107616972

I'm not seeing any $200 Used Diff's on Ebay tho?
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      03-14-2020, 12:39 AM   #14
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Awesome Review! Can you confirm what OEM Part # you are using?

I'm looking to do this for my 330I Sport Wagon and I'm showing 33107616972

I'm not seeing any $200 Used Diff's on Ebay tho?
Your car came with a different rear diff than mine. The 328d, 328dx, 330i, and 340ix share the same 188mm ring gear diff. The diff that came with my car from the factory is PN 33107605589, which was superceded by PN 33108485723, and you're supposed to use PN 33108485724 when ordering a new diff from BMW. Looking at the casing of the diff you can tell which rev you have (either 589 or the 723/4) by looking at the numbers embossed on it. 589 has the numbers "202 370B" next to the "+GF+" and 723/4 have "202 370C."

The way BMW structured the diffs for gas models is that the xDrive models get one size ring gear diff smaller than RWD models. So the 330i shares the same 188mm ring gear diff as me, but the 330ix has a 168mm ring gear diff. Likewise the 340i has a 215mm ring gear diff, but the 340ix has a 188mm ring gear diff. Your 330ix has a 168mm ring gear diff, so you'd need to search ebay for one of those to use as a donor.
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      03-14-2020, 07:56 AM   #15
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It's pretty disappointing that you can't just buy an LSD anymore and install it yourself. Nowadays everything is welded in so it requires machine work to bolt in the aftermarket diff.
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      04-18-2020, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kern417 View Post
It's pretty disappointing that you can't just buy an LSD anymore and install it yourself. Nowadays everything is welded in so it requires machine work to bolt in the aftermarket diff.
+1

I have been looking into this for awhile and wasnt sure how it would work with the xdrive. now i know.
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      04-18-2020, 08:10 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by BimBimM2 View Post
https://www.shopbmwusa.com/PRODUCT/5...P-DIFFERENTIAL

Is that something different? If you put in your vehicle, it confirms it fits the M240i XDrive. I went the extra step and called up my dealership and they confirmed that it fits (I am sure that could go either way though, as they are looking at the same web page as I linked above hah)

What am I missing?

Sorry for being so new at this but I want to put in an LSD as well, and I am trying to learn as much as I can before pulling the trigger.
That's the part I was referring to where I said there's no other evidence that it actually works for xDrive. If you were to select the RWD M240i and look up the LSD for that you'll see it's the exact same part number.

Additionally, on RealOEM it shows that PN under the RWD M240/340i but not xDrive versions.

Here are some posts by someone on the forums that tried to have it installed on his 340i.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
I tried to have it installed on my auto trans equipped 340xi in 2016, BMW na had assured my dealers parts manager it would fit but after disassembly Dealer discovered that RWD and xDrive vehicles use different rear axles, no way to make it fit. BMW had corrected the accessories website to show the incompatibility but I see they have since removed the correction. Do you have the part number for what they tried to install?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
You're having the same issue I did, BMW's web site has an error and should specify this M LSD will only work on RWD cars. The kit they tried to install for me back in 2016 was 33108659989 (correct for RWD auto trans)which is the same part number they are trying to sell now, no way changes sufficient to make it compatible (with xDrive) now would not result in a different part number. Bottom line is unfortunately you might as well tell your dealer to reassemble your car and return it to you, they will not get this to work.

edit: make sure your repair invoice documents an attempted install, saved me a denied warranty claim after a dealer accused me of tampering with the rear end.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
Just a heads up. In Oct 2016 I had my local Dealer attempt to install MP LSD pn 33108659989 into my USA Spec'd 2016 340xi with ZF auto trans. They were not able to do the install and stated "M Differential not compatible with xDrive vehicles" They also reference "internal part incompatible", I think the specific problem was with the axle shafts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beek View Post
Well this suck's, just got off the phone with Dealer who just confirmed with BMW NA, M Performance LSD will NOT work on xDrive 340's due to different axles being used than on RWD. They have the car all disassembled and it will not fit, period, no options. I'm still getting the MPPSK but no MPLSD.
Thanks - yes, I was looking at that Diff as well, when plugged into RealOEM, lists LCI. Just so confusing why it lists XD fitment. Almost wondering if the dealer didn't know what they were doing.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...i/33108659989/
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      04-18-2020, 09:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CntryClub007 View Post
Thanks - yes, I was looking at that Diff as well, when plugged into RealOEM, lists LCI. Just so confusing why it lists XD fitment. Almost wondering if the dealer didn't know what they were doing.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-genuine-...i/33108659989/
The only X Drive this works on is the M140iX, 3 doors, B58, EUR, (1P91)
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      04-18-2020, 11:36 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
The only X Drive this works on is the M140iX, 3 doors, B58, EUR, (1P91)
I believe that's an error. The stock diff for the M140ix is the 188LW just like the 2/3/440ix vehicles. Additionally, the rear half-shafts listed for the vehicle are the same as the 340ix (not the same as the 40i vehicles), which aren't 215 diff type, and the M-Perf diff isn't listed under the "retrofitting/conversion/accessories" section.
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      04-19-2020, 12:11 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
The only X Drive this works on is the M140iX, 3 doors, B58, EUR, (1P91)
I believe that's an error. The stock diff for the M140ix is the 188LW just like the 2/3/440ix vehicles. Additionally, the rear half-shafts listed for the vehicle are the same as the 340ix (not the same as the 40i vehicles), which aren't 215 diff type, and the M-Perf diff isn't listed under the "retrofitting/conversion/accessories" section.
Very possible you are correct. Realoem is sometimes wrong, though that's very seldom the case. And I'm not that interested to drill down further, lol.
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      04-19-2020, 08:50 AM   #21
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Agree with the OP. I had the M-Performance LSD installed on my 435i xDrive, after getting one from the fire sale. Similar experiences had with daily driving and spirited driving. Love not being a one-tire-fire, too. Best $900 spent on parts and labor yet.
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      04-19-2020, 09:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by IK6SPEED View Post
The only X Drive this works on is the M140iX, 3 doors, B58, EUR, (1P91)
I believe that's an error. The stock diff for the M140ix is the 188LW just like the 2/3/440ix vehicles. Additionally, the rear half-shafts listed for the vehicle are the same as the 340ix (not the same as the 40i vehicles), which aren't 215 diff type, and the M-Perf diff isn't listed under the "retrofitting/conversion/accessories" section.
Got it. So basically if I'm getting an LSD for an 340i XD, I'm just going your route, correct? That seems like the most amount of confidence for it to work on the first attempt. You've done some serious research here IK6SPEED and FaRKle!, thanks gents.
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