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  1. #1
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    Cool Defiv Lockdown Kit Review + VAC Resolution

    So after 3 long weeks, I finally got my car back from the shop. As some of you may have read, my drive shaft split in half and my VAC street-style aluminum differential cover shredded at the ear mount.

    Let's start with replacement parts:
    • Brand new OEM differential cover (PN: 33 11 7 518 412)
    • Drive shaft lock nut kit (PN: 26 11 7 567 770)
    • Defiv lockdown kit
    • M14x1.5x133mm bolt to replace the stock "short" 120mm (PN: 33 31 1 092 591)
    • Gear oil
    • Sealant
    • Rogue Engineering transmission mounts - might as well!


    Current suspension/drivetrain mods:

    • Bilstein PSS9 Coilovers
    • Full M3 suspension except the Rear Lower Camber Link
    • Megan Toe arms
    • Quaife LSD
    • HPF Stage 2 Clutch
    • Pilot Super Sports (235/35/19F and 275/30/19R)


    Settings used during testing:
    • Front tire: 36 PSI cold
    • Front strut: 7/9 (9 is softest)
    • Rear tire: 34 PSI cold
    • Rear strut: 6/9 (9 is softest)


    Defiv Quick Review
    The questions on everyone's mind is does it fix the wheel hop? My answer to this question is "it depends". There are many factors to induce wheel hop. Let's list them below:
    • Launching on first gear
    • Dropping on second gear
    • Temperature
    • Tire pressure
    • Coilover settings
    • Pavement


    I took the car out around 6 a.m., the temperature was around 30 degrees F. I drove around normally in an open flat road until I got to 170 in the oil temp gauge then I proceeded with the following:


    1. First gear "soft" launch - dropped the clutch around 2.5K RPM, slight and short wheel hop, the tires eventually hook but there are vibrations in the rear
    2. First gear "hard" launch - dropped the clutch around 4K RPM, slight and long wheel hop
    3. Second gear drop - no wheel hop but no traction either due to the cold


    After that, I did the same tests around 2 p.m. when the temperature was around 60 degrees F. Again, I got my oil temps above 170 and did the same set of tests earlier on the same road:


    1. First gear "soft" launch - no wheel hop, lots of grip through 1st and 2nd
    2. First gear "hard" launch - very slight and short wheel hop
    3. Second gear drop - no wheel hop and lots of traction


    So yeah 30 degrees makes a big difference on launching. If Rick put the kit on my car as a free "test" and had me decide to pay after trying it out with the same results as I did above, I would still pay him to keep it on my car.

    How does it feel? Any noise, vibration, harshness (NVH)?
    One thing I noticed is I hear a slight high pitched whine when I'm not on the throttle, more noticeable on the freeway than street. The source of this sound is from the rear which I'm assuming at this time is the Quaife differential running through the metal bushings. There are no vibrations I can attribute to this but the rear feels considerably more planted and solid.

    Also, launching can be further improved by raising the rear a bit as its lowered enough to not have any gaps. It's not super tucked in but there is no gaps at all in the rear. The front has a 1 finger gap between the fender.

    VAC Resolution
    Just FYI, I emailed Mike@VAC and explained him the situation with the VAC differential cover. The shop that worked on my car noticed that the RACE vs STREET versions of this cover has noticeable thickness difference in the ear area. I had the street version.

    What I asked Mike was a refund to the VAC cover, replacement of the drive shaft and pay half of the labor which was 8 hours total. What I got back was just a refund to the VAC cover stating that there is no absolute proof that the cover failed first. So that's that. I wished VAC would've at least covered half to cover the price of the drive shaft and labor.

    That's all I have. Just glad to have the car back.

  2. #2
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    Thanks blisstik for that writeup. I feel the same way about investing in this kit, it's absoulutely worth it.

    I'll look forward to a little warmer weather then as highs are about 25F here now, with lows around 0F.
    E92 335i 2008 Space Grey 6MT | RB turbos | Quaife LSD | M3 Suspension kit | Íhlins Road & Track Coilover | DEFIVfab N54 diff lockdown kit | COBB PTF E50 map | Walbro E85 455 LPH LPFP | NGK 5992 plugs | Wagner FMIC | Wagner 3" DP | Milltek exhaust | Trueform Tech Intake System | Tial BOV | Motiv PI Stage 1 w/AIC | SPEC Stage 3+ clutch | SPEC SSM Flywheel | BMS CDV | 60-130 mph 7.55 s | 100-200 kmh 6.57 s

  3. #3
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blisstik Click here to enlarge
    What I asked Mike was a refund to the VAC cover, replacement of the drive shaft and pay half of the labor which was 8 hours total. What I got back was just a refund to the VAC cover stating that there is no absolute proof that the cover failed first. So that's that. I wished VAC would've at least covered half to cover the price of the drive shaft and labor.
    You were asking for a lot...

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    so i take it as no, wheel hop isn't 110% solved in your particular case?

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    I still have doubts about this kit.
    With the bushings made out of stainless you would, as you said, have all the drivetrain noises directly transmitted to the chassis/car, and rely on tires/shocks only for all dampening.
    Not sure if this is the right way to go for a DD with road track use...

    Thank you for the write-up though.
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

  6. #6
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blisstik Click here to enlarge
    How does it feel? Any noise, vibration, harshness (NVH)?
    One thing I noticed is I hear a slight high pitched whine when I'm not on the throttle, more noticeable on the freeway than street. The source of this sound is from the rear which I'm assuming at this time is the Quaife differential running through the metal bushings. There are no vibrations I can attribute to this but the rear feels considerably more planted and solid.
    This whine is your Quaife. It'll be there with both Quaife and the Wavetrac.

    Thanks for the review. Waiting on @rick@defiv to chime in on the hop situation. However slight it is I wanted and hoped this would see the end of it
    Click here to enlarge

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    I don't hear a whine with my Quaife.....
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
    I don't hear a whine with my Quaife.....
    Replace your bushings with stainless steel ones and you will...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

  9. #9
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    Interesting...I'm having VAC work up a quote now for new suspension and m parts...I guess that will be the tradeoff
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

  10. #10
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by bobS Click here to enlarge
    new suspension and m parts
    As long as you still have M bushings installed you 'll not hear any LSD noises.
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

  11. #11
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    You guys are not paying close attention Click here to enlarge Try doing decel in 2nd gear or 1st even, that's when you'll pick up on it the most...
    Click here to enlarge

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    I definitely have a slight whine from my rear diff as well. I have a Quaife. I can't hear anything from the exhaust when I on the throttle, but I get the sound when I get off the throttle. I don't hear it at all in the lower gears though, mostly on the freeway at higher gears/speeds. I rather enjoy it, sound almost like my old rally car.

    And I have to say that except testing at 60F temps (which I have't tried because it simply isn't warm enough here), my experience with the diff lock down kit is almost identical to the OP.

    I may not have eliminated the wheel hop completely yet (only tested in extremely cold weather), but the rear feel/respons/grip/predictability end is much, much improved.
    E92 335i 2008 Space Grey 6MT | RB turbos | Quaife LSD | M3 Suspension kit | Íhlins Road & Track Coilover | DEFIVfab N54 diff lockdown kit | COBB PTF E50 map | Walbro E85 455 LPH LPFP | NGK 5992 plugs | Wagner FMIC | Wagner 3" DP | Milltek exhaust | Trueform Tech Intake System | Tial BOV | Motiv PI Stage 1 w/AIC | SPEC Stage 3+ clutch | SPEC SSM Flywheel | BMS CDV | 60-130 mph 7.55 s | 100-200 kmh 6.57 s

  13. #13
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    Well, the noise transfer can be attributed to the subframe bushings and the helical diff, Wavtracs and Quaifes have made a slight whining noise on decel over 50mph with rigid subframe mounts, but it hasn't been loud enough to warrant complaints other than with one car with solid subframe bushings. The "fix" for that was to lay some Dynamat under rear seat covering the floor pan from one side to the other. I think as ambient temps increase,the ability of the kit to do its job increase as well, It may boil down to tire compound vs. temps, 80% of my testing was done in spring and summer months. I still think that there has to be some variable that I'm not experiencing here, I have a 2009 E92 tester here that I took out last night to run errands and couldn't produce chatter/hop with approx 38 deg ambient temps. Same exact performance with Blaizon's car...so what's the difference between the cars here and there, and blisstik,when you say "hop" is it the same as before without the kit or a subdued version? By definition wheel hop is the violent articulation of suspension on both sides due to torsional inequalities applied to drive axles, "chatter" is the result of tires fighting for grip,sometimes a result of how a helical diff splits the power,sometimes it's as simple as alignment settings being tailored more to the car/how low it is...
    Do me a favor to solve exactly what the case may be here, find a nice police free section of road/parking lot in relatively normal temps for the season and try to duplicate the launch where "hop" or "chatter" seems most relevant- then go back and look at the marks,snap a pic and send it to me/post if you can. I'll be able to better diagnose whats happening by reading the contact patches to give you an idea of what to tweak or what is exactly happening. This whole thing is irritating to me because i honestly cant duplicate this in any of the test cars or the M(albeit different slightly by design) and would like to find the answer...

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    Replace your bushings with stainless steel ones and you will...
    They're Aluminum...and as posted previously the subframe bushings are the ones responsible for sound transfer through the body,stock bushings=no noise...the more rigid, the noisier,but with increased feel. It's been that way in every motorsport application since the dawn of automobiles.there's always a slight amount of tradeoffs to be had one way or the other, it's all an application/hardware dependent hysteresis...

  15. #15
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    Hi Rick.
    My comments were by no means meant to put your product down.
    The doubts I have are merely if it is the right kit for my applications...
    If the downsides (noise) can be meant with some Dynamat,that much the better.
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

  16. #16
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rick@defiv Click here to enlarge
    They're Aluminum...and as posted previously the subframe bushings are the ones responsible for sound transfer through the body,stock bushings=no noise...the more rigid, the noisier,but with increased feel. It's been that way in every motorsport application since the dawn of automobiles.there's always a slight amount of tradeoffs to be had one way or the other, it's all an application/hardware dependent hysteresis...
    I left my subframe bushings as close to OEM as possible (i.e. M3 ones) for this specific reason.
    Click here to enlarge

  17. #17
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    Hi Rick.
    My comments were by no means meant to put your product down.
    The doubts I have are merely if it is the right kit for my applications...
    If the downsides (noise) can be meant with some Dynamat,that much the better.
    I didn't take it that way,no worries.Click here to enlarge Maybe I'm "slightly" irritable from the lukewarm feedback after time/investment/controlled results in house being different than what people are experiencing. Very frustrating.

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    I'm glad the noise is normal mechanical noise. And when I say wheel hop, I mean the judder/vibration in the rear when launching. I'll do some launches and take some photos of the road afterwards. I'm gonna borrow a friends GoPro as well and mount it in the middle of the bumper showing both tires and the LSD in action.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by G.I.Joe Click here to enlarge
    I definitely have a slight whine from my rear diff as well. I have a Quaife. I can't hear anything from the exhaust when I on the throttle, but I get the sound when I get off the throttle. I don't hear it at all in the lower gears though, mostly on the freeway at higher gears/speeds. I rather enjoy it, sound almost like my old rally car.

    And I have to say that except testing at 60F temps (which I have't tried because it simply isn't warm enough here), my experience with the diff lock down kit is almost identical to the OP.

    I may not have eliminated the wheel hop completely yet (only tested in extremely cold weather), but the rear feel/respons/grip/predictability end is much, much improved.
    Well isn't from your Quaife? Why would anything else be causing it?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blisstik Click here to enlarge
    I'm glad the noise is normal mechanical noise. And when I say wheel hop, I mean the judder/vibration in the rear when launching. I'll do some launches and take some photos of the road afterwards. I'm gonna borrow a friends GoPro as well and mount it in the middle of the bumper showing both tires and the LSD in action.
    That's good, but I also want pics of the first few feet where chatter occurs if you don't mind...need to see contact patch where adverse results occur in relative decent detail...sort of like a "palm reading" of traction results. If there's an alignment issue or "axle tramp" I'll be able to pick up on it and suggest adjustments. I would try clicking up the firmness on the rear coil overs one or two clicks considering the drop on the car.

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    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try stiffer settings in the rear. In fact, I run stiffest in the rear at the track and 1 click softer in the front.

    As far as alignment, I got them at the time of the Megan Toe arms install, 4706 miles ago (2.5 months).

    • Front camber: -1.38L / -1.14R
    • Front toe: 0.03L / 0.03R / 0.06 Total
    • Rear camber: -1.96L / -1.82R
    • Rear toe: 0.09L / 0.09R / 0.18 Total

  22. #22
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Well isn't from your Quaife? Why would anything else be causing it?
    Helical/Torsen style diffs do have a tendency to get noisier as they wear in(in certain applications/amount of stresses applied), but diff set up/ gear mesh can play a HUGE role in whining noises.9 times out of 10 pinion gear bearing health or improper preload will make noise. Once the adverse pattern is "written" to the ring and pinion it's typically there to stay if these pieces are re-used even with proper pinion preload, sometimes mileage accrued will subdue this effect while the gearset re-meshes itself. I am curious as to the actual strengths of the oem pinion and bearing assembly in a higher output N54, in hindsight I would've suggested painting the ring gear to check contact patterns while the cover was off on blisstik's car, but too late now...I have heard this in solid bushed N54's so there's evidence that it may be a universal E90/92 thing possibly from the gear cut. Regardless, one dynamat "door" kit, problem solved. Makes me curious as to whether or not quenching noise was a contributing factor with the whole failed 3-point rubber mounting strategy BMW used.
    Again, testers with stock subframe mounts didn't exhibit the noise, so it's all about rigidity and transfer.
    Last edited by rick@defiv; 01-20-2013 at 02:14 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by blisstik Click here to enlarge
    Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try stiffer settings in the rear. In fact, I run stiffest in the rear at the track and 1 click softer in the front.

    As far as alignment, I got them at the time of the Megan Toe arms install, 4706 miles ago (2.5 months).

    • Front camber: -1.38L / -1.14R
    • Front toe: 0.03L / 0.03R / 0.06 Total
    • Rear camber: -1.96L / -1.82R
    • Rear toe: 0.09L / 0.09R / 0.18 Total
    Yeah, I DEFINITELY want to see the tire contact patches with that much negative camber/drop...
    Also, could you drop the clutch and launch that way before installing the kit without experiencing violent hop? Especially with the whole "2nd gear drop"...just looking for a clearer before/after synopsis in regards to your specific application, considering you had the VAC cover before,etc...
    Last edited by rick@defiv; 01-20-2013 at 03:23 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Well isn't from your Quaife? Why would anything else be causing it?
    I'm not sure I understand your question? There's no doubt in my mind the sound is coming from the Quaife diff, so I think we agree?
    E92 335i 2008 Space Grey 6MT | RB turbos | Quaife LSD | M3 Suspension kit | Íhlins Road & Track Coilover | DEFIVfab N54 diff lockdown kit | COBB PTF E50 map | Walbro E85 455 LPH LPFP | NGK 5992 plugs | Wagner FMIC | Wagner 3" DP | Milltek exhaust | Trueform Tech Intake System | Tial BOV | Motiv PI Stage 1 w/AIC | SPEC Stage 3+ clutch | SPEC SSM Flywheel | BMS CDV | 60-130 mph 7.55 s | 100-200 kmh 6.57 s

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by rick@defiv Click here to enlarge
    I didn't take it that way,no worries.Click here to enlarge Maybe I'm "slightly" irritable from the lukewarm feedback after time/investment/controlled results in house being different than what people are experiencing. Very frustrating.
    I can certainly understand that, I would feel the same way, but even so I have to say that I'm very happy with the kit.
    E92 335i 2008 Space Grey 6MT | RB turbos | Quaife LSD | M3 Suspension kit | Íhlins Road & Track Coilover | DEFIVfab N54 diff lockdown kit | COBB PTF E50 map | Walbro E85 455 LPH LPFP | NGK 5992 plugs | Wagner FMIC | Wagner 3" DP | Milltek exhaust | Trueform Tech Intake System | Tial BOV | Motiv PI Stage 1 w/AIC | SPEC Stage 3+ clutch | SPEC SSM Flywheel | BMS CDV | 60-130 mph 7.55 s | 100-200 kmh 6.57 s

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