What Parts & Special Tools Are Needed To Install An Aftermarket Limited Slip Unit In The 188mm Type K Differential?

March 22, 2017 Jonathan Thayer

Inspired by a question posted on the Spec E46 racing Facebook page (we really do appreciate the support of the racing community!), I am rough drafting this important information.  Please note that this information is in draft form and will only be refined further with your questions!  Please use the leave a comment functionality here to ask for additional information or if something is not clear.

The question:  What parts and special tools are needed to install an aftermarket limited slip unit in the 188mm Type K differential?

The two most important things needed to properly install an aftermarket limited slip unit is a very refined mechanical knowledge and lots of patience. If you are hesitant on ripping deep into an engine or get frustrated at complex tasks, this job is not for you. There's a reason professional installation is typically preferred.

If that doesn't scare you, keep reading ...

This information is not intended to be comprehensive, rather information to get you started on your journey. The below assumes that the differential is the correct gear ratio in the correct case with the correct input flange and there will be no changes made to the pinion tolerances, bearings, input flange, etc.

All the below is stocked and provided by Thayer Motorsports. Please contact us with any inquiries.

Minimum Parts / Supplies Needed:

 Part Link Reason
Ring Gear Bolts Link Coming Soon These bolts are single use due to being torque to yield.  Never reuse ring gear bolts.
Red Loctite Link Used to permanently set new torque to yield ring gear bolts.
Carrier Bearings Link Old bearings should never be reused.  The bearings used within the Type K differential are very unique size and style.
Carrier Shims Link Coming Soon To properly tolerance the new unit, shimming the unit for proper pattern and bearing preload is necessary.
Carrier Seals Link Removing the existing open carrier necessitates removing, and likely destroying, the old seals.  As a bonus, these are included in our carrier bearing kits.
Gear Paste Link Coming Soon Used to verify gear pattern before finalizing installation.
Case Sealant Link Paper gaskets always leak.  Instead, use a high quality case sealant.

Special Tools Needed:

Hydraulic Press (10 Ton Minimum)
Dial Style ( Torque Wrench
Large Vice (6"+) Securly Mounted To Heavy Bench
Very Long Quality Breaker Bar (24" Minimum)
Pipe To Extend Breaker Bar
Extra Large Snap Ring Pliers

As mentioned above, I expect this article to evolve over time.  Please use the leave a comment feature below to ask any applicable questions.

And as always, you can always reach to the Thayer Motorsports team here.


Jonathan Thayer

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