The prop shaft has to be installed before the differential, so it was next on my list. I didn’t expect this part of the build to warrant a post, but I decided it was worth a mention, because it wasn’t as easy as expected (for this build anyway).

The first thing worth mentioning is the grease-nipple on both universal joints. I wanted to start as I mean to carry on, so I decided to get the grease gun out and top up the lubrication. It’s full of Castrol Multipurpose (LM), which is lithium based.

I applied a small amount of BMW spline grease into the prop spline, and applied a smear of oil on the shaft to protect the gearbox oil seal during insertion.

Makeshift drip tray

I assumed I might get a few drips of gearbox oil when the bung was removed, so I wrapped a lid in a bin bag as a temporary drip tray. I used side cutters to remove the tie wrap and pulled the bung is out from the gearbox.

Now I am not sure why, but for some reason the front universal joint of the prop shaft was wider than the transmission tunnel, not all the way down, just the cut-outs / recesses for the seat belts, and not by much. The problem was limited to about one inch and the solution was to push it through with a simple tap of my hand, but this removed paint from the universal joint and the aluminium cut-out skin. It was one of those moments when you have to decide between do (and cause damage) or don’t (and the car won’t be built). Now, I am keen to look after my car as best as I can, but at the end of a day it’s not a show car – I want to drive it, so it will never be “perfect”.

What’s strange is, that I don’t remember this from my last build, but the 360R had a 6-speed gearbox, so maybe the universal joint may have been smaller, or this is a tolerance issue with the seat belt cuts-outs.

Still nothing that POR15 chassis paint couldn’t sort, so this is just a warning for future builders.

Tool Used

  • Grease gun
  • Side cutters