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Currently facing a second diff failure (1995 24v manual 3,0). Sometimes audible clonking when driving and found quite a bit of play in diff gears - about 1.5"/35mm of combined play (rotate one wheel while other stationary) at rim of brake disk. Not sure how many degrees that is but significant.
The cause, I believe, is the synthetic gear oil put in when had clutch change about 5,000 miles ago. This is the car's second gearbox - first diff blew a few thousand miles after adding, you guessed it, synthetic gear oil. Was always planning to drop in a Quaife limited slip diff, though hadn't planned to be doing it just yet as not cheap. In meantime will be dumping the synthetic oil and putting EP80w/90 GL4 mineral oil back in.
Anyone else experienced similar?
 

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Manual transmission requires removal of the gears to get to the diff. The case is the issue.
Michael, my understanding is the diff can be removed without having to remove the rest of the gears.

George, my first diff blew in 1st gear too, just as was hitting peak power.
Today put mineral oil back in the box, junking the synthetic oil in it. Trying to organise the Quaife (Q2 requires ring-gear mod, Quaife does not). Costs about £800 plus fitting/bearings/shims... Not a cheap job by any means...
 

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I had a diff explode on my last 164Q... happened post accident I was taking it for one last drive, very spirited last drive, and during a hard pull in 1st gear the diff exploded causing the car to not move in any gear. I plan on buying a Q2 diff for the current 164 mostly to avoid the problems the gear set pins have on the stock diffs. Its a lot of money for one but I feel its worth it because replacing a transmission will be a lot more. if one does blow is it possible to get a new diff cover and install a new diff? or does it depend on the extent of the damage?
I think when diffs blow they blow a hole in the casing of the main box - which can potentially be repaired but cost wise, if means removal of more than the diff, prob best to source a replacement box. It's why I am trying my best not to blow this poorly diff - to preserve the casing.
 
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