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Thread: 2.82 Differential Swap

  1. #1
    Senior Member Alex89's Avatar
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    2.82 Differential Swap

    Ok, I got to start one more thread about this topic...Haven't seen one in a while...

    I acquired 2.82 differential from 94' s420 (w/o ASR just like my E420) and now I want to know what do I need to do to put it in.From my understanding and research it should be an easy swap.. I am also thinking about LSD but its pretty expensive and not sure if I should do it on E420 but I can always take it off if I decide to sell the car.

    I know I would need to swap rear cover as they are different, anything else (other than cluster adapter)? I would like to replace all the seals and anything else that I can, I just cant find any DIYs with pictures or similar...Anyone has any ideas?I am sure it cant be too hard to do it.

    Or if I decide to have someone else do it, how much should I expect to pay?

    Any info would help, I am not too familiar with rear differentials as most of my cars were FWD.

    Differential 2.82.jpg
    Last edited by Alex89; 1 Week Ago at 05:14 PM.

  2. #2
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Just replace the side shaft seals, and re-seal the rear cover with either the black MB sealant, or Right Stuff. Don't touch the input flange seal unless it's visibly leaking. All of that is easy DIY on the workbench.

    LSD is nice, and highly recommended on a car without ASR, but it will cost you a tidy sum. It's advanced DIY so it you're not comfy with internal diff work, have a shop do it that is familiar with MB differentials.

    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Alex89's Avatar
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Ok, that should be easy replacing those 2 seals.

    Will I spin tires like crazy without ASR and LSD? How much would it cost to have someone install LSD for me?

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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex89 View Post
    Ok, that should be easy replacing those 2 seals.

    Will I spin tires like crazy without ASR and LSD? How much would it cost to have someone install LSD for me?
    If you cane it hard from a stop around a dry corner in low gear it will break the inside free for sure, and maybe both. First gear is really short but it shifts immediately to second unless you put your foot in it.

    With 5 liter power lsd is a must. Not really with 420. Unless you drive on slippery roads a lot.

    You can just put the new diff in and change the fluid.

    You will need new axle bolts. There is a kit.

    Your speedo will be off, so you need to send the cluster to north Hollywood speedo or similar and have them adjust the k factor or whatever it is called. Otherwise I have an abbot signal converter I never used that will convert the speedo signal. I will sell it for less than cost. You can put it under the dash and wire it in.

    Great upgrade. Highly recommend if you are in town mostly. Nobody expects the car to leave the line like that, and it just keeps pulling away as the revs climb.





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  5. #5
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    As atg said, it depends on the roads where you live, and what tires you have. You could always try it without LSD for a while and then decide if you want to shell out ~$2k for the upgrade.

    I don't know what shops would charge, but I'd wild guess around 5 hours labor if they ONLY install the LSD (ring gear carrier) and do not "fully rebuild" the diff, which would cost a bunch more to pull the pinion out, and then there's the risk of them screwing it up unless they are MB diff specialists. AFAIK there are only a few shops in the country that have the tools & experience to do that, and it's almost never needed. I've never had to touch the pinion or pinion bearings.


  6. #6
    Senior Member Alex89's Avatar
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by atg View Post
    If you cane it hard from a stop around a dry corner in low gear it will break the inside free for sure, and maybe both. First gear is really short but it shifts immediately to second unless you put your foot in it.
    Not sure I am getting what you are saying here?


    Also, is there really that much of a difference between 5.0 and 4.2 ?

    Ok, I will try just a differential without ASR or LSD and see how it goes. I don't do too much driving as it is, let alone highway driving. I drive the car once or twice a week maybe totaling 50-75 miles a week...

    Anyone has the link to axle bolt kit and that MB Sealant? Cant I just re use my current axle bolts?

    Is this the sealant? 003 989 98 20 10?

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    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    If you are at a stop, for example leaving a side street and turning on to a main road, and accelerate while turning... the inside rear wheel often spins. It's worse with wet or dirty pavement, and worse as power levels increase. This is where LSD helps significantly for street use.

    Yes, 003 989 98 20 10 is the black sealant. If the tube isn't fresh, it may take days (or weeks) to set, which is fine if you are not in a hurry. Don't fill the diff with gear oil until the sealant has fully cured. I clean the axle bolts with a die to remove the old threadlock, and re-use the bolts with blue threadlocker. And, I clean the flange bolt holes with a tap. New bolts with microencapsulated threadlock are nice, but will have male Torx heads, instead of female XZN heads.

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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    It will go great. Unless it rains.

    Bolts: really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex89 View Post
    Not sure I am getting what you are saying here?


    Also, is there really that much of a difference between 5.0 and 4.2 ?

    Ok, I will try just a differential without ASR or LSD and see how it goes. I don't do too much driving as it is, let alone highway driving. I drive the car once or twice a week maybe totaling 50-75 miles a week...

    Anyone has the link to axle bolt kit and that MB Sealant? Cant I just re use my current axle bolts?

    Is this the sealant? 003 989 98 20 10?


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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by atg View Post
    defer to gsxr on pretty much everything but the fsm says replace them.

    Fsm also said replace the ring gear bolts for instance, but they are nla so I reused them.


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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Yeah, the FSM says to replace them because they have microencapsulated threadlock pre-applied. It's nice, but not required IF you properly clean the old ones, and use threadlock.

    New bolts are 001-990-69-12 at $4.00 MSRP each, 12 total required for the two axle flanges (six each side).

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Dave M.
    1997 E420 (Bugeyes)
    1994 E420 (Blondie)
    1994 E500 (Q-ship)
    1992 500E (Mach 5)
    1987 300D (Sportline Stage 2)
    Click here for my website
    Click here for my YouTube channel

  11. #11
    Senior Member Alex89's Avatar
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Yea I am in no rush so I will make sure it cures well before filling the oil. But how much sealant do I put, how tick? What about anaerobic sealant, I used to put it on oil pans before...
    Good info on the bolts, I will definitely try clean them before I spend $50 on 12 bolts!

  12. #12
    .036 Hoonigan™
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    Re: 2.82 Differential Swap

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex89 View Post
    Yea I am in no rush so I will make sure it cures well before filling the oil. But how much sealant do I put, how tick? What about anaerobic sealant, I used to put it on oil pans before...
    Good info on the bolts, I will definitely try clean them before I spend $50 on 12 bolts!
    You only need a thin bead of the black sealant, around 1/8" diameter. There will be a small amount of squeezeout around the edges. Don't use anaerobic, or Hylomar, for this applicaton.

    (The FSM says to use a rear cover sealant that is blue Hylomar, however when using synthetic gear oil, after 1-2 years it will start leaking. The black sealant won't leak with synthetics.)

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