Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

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Toed64
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Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:43 am

I've been putting off the acquisition of a proper diff for my mildly modded 135i on the basis that the open diff works, the suspension and tyres have improved the car enormously and these diffs are fecking expensive! It's quite easy to adjust your cornering to avoid shredding the inner tyre, something that driving a front wheel drive on track teaches you quickly, but it is slower; and that's a shame.

The E9X M3 diff was to me my choice. Rob180bhp (who has over 400bhp) has posted an excellent write up on E9X M3 diff installation, but I think the breakers have read it, because they are now charging a lot of money for the parts, almost as much as a Quaife...and they are all used, & there are very few breakers that I would trust to know whether a diff from a crunched car is any good.

The Quaife might be slightly compromised as it becomes an open diff if it loses traction completely on one wheel. This may not be a big issue if the car is equipped with proper suspension, but it seems to be a major flaw when you are buying a diff specifically to avoid this issue. Graearea recently posted on this problem specifically.

The Wavetrac is about £500 or £600 more than the Quaife, but has a mechanism that overcomes the Quaife's flaw. It also has a lifetime warranty.

I know nothing about Drexler diffs, except that I think Marco has one.

I'd be very keen to hear opinions of how they perform from those that have them fitted.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by docwra » Thu Jun 29, 2017 2:33 pm

I doubt anyone will have had all of them on the same car, so would approach this from another angle - what type of LSD's have you driven?

A standard M3 diff is viscous with clutch packs in it, so its a bit woolly on lock and unlock and less predictable than the others, it locks on wheel speed rather than anything else IIRC.
Quaife is a Torsen, which means it will shift torque to the wheel with most grip. As you say it wont work with one wheel in the air, I find that while they will make the best use of available grip they arent predictable in the same way the others are, particularly following loss of traction. Im not a great fan.
Wavetrac is a Torsen but apparently works with one wheel in the air - voodoo, clearly.

The other option (and my favourite) are mechanical diffs - 100% predictable on lock and unlock, you forget they are even there ........ until you are turning at slow speed where they can be a bit clonky and jumpy, the car can also tend to udnersteer at low speed.
1.5 way would be best on a 1er IMO, if I could find one Id probably do it for mine but TBF they are a bit overkill for a road only car.

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by ajl00 » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:52 pm

The wavetrac is a torsion diff but has a second ramp shaped like a wave which locks when a wheel lifts . As per the name wavetrac

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Graearea » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:24 pm

With my e90 m3 arbs, I don't seem to be able to keep the inside rear wheel down which means I have real issues with my quaife. If it's slow it lifts the inside and so I can't steer on the throttle, and fast it's generally good but honestly, not always. If replacing the rear arb wasn't such a see-you-next-Tuesday, I'd be getting something a bit thinner.


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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:59 pm

I spoke to Nick at CM Engineering, the UK Drexler distributor.

http://cmengineering.co.uk/drexler.html

He's a race engineer and handles the sales for Drexler here in UK.

Apparently, the M3 diff is a Drexler diff & Drexler is now the OE supplier of LSDs to BMW and Merc. It may be more complex than the aftermarket plate diff they sell and install on other BMWs. To get a full spec and quote, Drexler need details of the car and what it's to be used for. I'll do this, but from what I can determine, it'll be about £2400 with shipping etc.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by docwra » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:01 pm

Drexler aftermarket is plated IIRC, Drexler OE M3 is viscous+clutch, Id take the first 10 times before the second.

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:34 pm

I'm still reeling from the prices!

My car has the stiffer M3 vert ARBs. It's now very flat through corners and has amazing adhesion at high cornering speeds, but it lifts the inside wheel in car parks!

As I've said before, I was highly impressed with Graearea's 130i, but if the Quaife just allows the inside wheel to spin just when you need it the most, I would not be very happy and I'd end up resenting the spend.

For a few hundred more, I think one of the other technologies might be superior.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by ajmanby » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:46 pm

Toed64 wrote:
Fri Jun 30, 2017 1:59 pm
I spoke to Nick at CM Engineering, the UK Drexler distributor.

http://cmengineering.co.uk/drexler.html

He's a race engineer and handles the sales for Drexler here in UK.

Apparently, the M3 diff is a Drexler diff & Drexler is now the OE supplier of LSDs to BMW and Merc. It may be more complex than the aftermarket plate diff they sell and install on other BMWs. To get a full spec and quote, Drexler need details of the car and what it's to be used for. I'll do this, but from what I can determine, it'll be about £2400 with shipping etc.
Thats good to know, I think I would rather spend a tad more than the quaife and get the Drexler, is the drexler plated? Is that fitted? If it is then thats a very good price.
2011 135i Bluewater with Coral red leather.. DCT - Pro Alloy IC - BMWP exhaust - Birds B1 suspension - M3 LCA - M3 ARB - Stage 1 camber plates - M3 Performance steering wheel - Alufelgen CS7 - Whiteline subframe inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:13 pm

That's the price for a manual (welded crownwheel) if you give them the whole housing. They machine the crownwheel, drill and bolt in the new LSD, reassemble and return it.

It does not include the labour for removal from and refit to the car.

If I got it right, the bolted diffs are fitted here, but welded diffs are sent to Germany.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:41 pm

So, the Quaife is the cheapest and quickest solution, but it may revert to open characteristics if the car cocks a rear wheel.

The Drexler may be purist driver's best option as it's a plated mechanical diff that may behave in the most predictable way. From what I have read, elsewhere, plated diffs may be the best behaved under overrun and engine braking too. It is also the most expensive by several hundred and turn-around time may also be the longest for manual drivers as their diff will be sent to Germany for strip and rebuild. The Drexler also has service items, so unlike the others, it does not have a lifetime warranty.

The Wavetrac is beginning to look like the best compromise. I have not found any comments on how the Wavetrac wizzardry reacts under engine braking, but as the wave cams must react in either direction, I am assuming that it would have geared torque biasing on the overrun too. Their basic price includes removal of the diff from the car and re-installation with about a 5 day turn around for a car with a welded crown wheel.

I look forward to learning about their group buy price and conditions.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by mikeyscott » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:43 pm

Did Chris or Ash ever give any group buy pricing?
135i E82 2011 Alpine White, Birds B1, Michelin PSS
VW Golf MK5 R32 09 - Gone and miss the traction.
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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Danny_Boy » Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:11 pm

I'll be honest, when are you going to c**k a rear wheel in the air? The fact that other diffs work out almost £1000 more, the outlay doesn't justify it.

If you're a hardcore track driver regularly hitting apex curbs and bouncing cars out of bends do it. Otherwise seems pointless. I have a quaife and I love it.

I couldn't deal with a 1.5/2 way diff anymore, the noise and skipping annoyed me back in the day so now I'd be livid :lol:
2009 E82 135i Manual - MHD - Quaife Diff - BMWP Exhaust - VRSF DCI - Intercooler - Charge Pipe & Bov - Meister R's - M3 F&R Arms - Powerflex Bushes - Subframe inserts - AC S Type 3's - BMWP Strut Brace - Darklines - Spoiler

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Toed64 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:18 am

Danny_Boy wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:11 pm
I'll be honest, when are you going to c**k a rear wheel in the air? The fact that other diffs work out almost £1000 more, the outlay doesn't justify it.

If you're a hardcore track driver regularly hitting apex curbs and bouncing cars out of bends do it. Otherwise seems pointless. I have a quaife and I love it.

I couldn't deal with a 1.5/2 way diff anymore, the noise and skipping annoyed me back in the day so now I'd be livid :lol:
That's a very compelling comment. I don't know how susceptible to inner wheel spin my car would be with a Quaife. But if I spent the money on a Quaife and I found that it still suffered the open diff symptoms...

The Drexler is likely to be £1000 more, and I agree, for me that's not worth it.

I am a driving enthusiast, but have nowhere near your experience. I also have two other cars that I'd take on track before the BMW goes out. I am keen to get a diff for my BMW because the open diff seriously compromises what would otherwise be an excellent road car.
2010 E82 N55 135i, Forge ic, charge pipe, AFE induction kit, JB4
Proper tyres, M3 LCAs & ARBs, Whiteline bush inserts

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by Graearea » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:41 am

Danny_Boy wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:11 pm
I'll be honest, when are you going to c**k a rear wheel in the air?
on the track, all the damn time. even in the damp. :(
off the track pretty much never (unless you wanna chuck donuts) I'm pretty fed up with it to the extent that I'm trying to figure out how to fix my balance problem. I need to soften my ARBS at the rear but I'm struggling to find something between e90 and e87 ARBS. I don't really want to fit even stiffer fronts even tho it's by far the easiest (replacing the rear ARB is a complete SeeYouNextTuesday)

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Re: Quaife/Drexler/Wavetrac/M3 diffs - How do they perform?

Post by THETYRANT » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:09 am

Graearea wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:41 am
Danny_Boy wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 11:11 pm
I'll be honest, when are you going to c**k a rear wheel in the air?
on the track, all the damn time. even in the damp. :(
off the track pretty much never (unless you wanna chuck donuts) I'm pretty fed up with it to the extent that I'm trying to figure out how to fix my balance problem. I need to soften my ARBS at the rear but I'm struggling to find something between e90 and e87 ARBS. I don't really want to fit even stiffer fronts even tho it's by far the easiest (replacing the rear ARB is a complete SeeYouNextTuesday)
Ive got a Eibach 15mm rear bar spare if any good ? its not a huge upgrade from stock but that's the point as its designed to keep wheels on ground with some upgrade to roll stiffness :)

On my 130i with Quaife I found on the road it was fine in all but really tight hairpins when it would allow it to spin the inside wheel, on track no problems at all but Im a very smooth driver and ran a pretty compliant damper/spring/arb setup which was Konis dampers, stock/eibach springs and M3 front ARB with stock rear bar and used federal RSR tyres.

Edit to add, on my 135i I was close to getting a wavetrac before I sold it just to see the difference over quaife I had on 130i, although it wasn't a huge problem with quaife I would of preferred it to not give that issue on tight hairpins but not end of world, everywhere else car was sooooo much better at getting power down either would be a huge improvment.

Ian
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Now on my 3rd 130i, this time a nice E81 in Graphite, Previously 2 x 130i and 2 x 135i

Camber plate project - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=96465

Suspension Quest thread - http://www.babybmw.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=80208

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