Shim R32 R200 LSD Diff into S13

Well after my run at winton i got some advice that getting a locker for the s13 would be a good idea make the car more predictable etc.

So i did a bit of reading around and tried to find a open diff to lock, without really researching much i bought a R180 6 bolt open diff from another s13 for $50 when i looked at my car more closely later i found that my car has in it a R200 5 bolt lsd doh.

So i started researching a bit more found that R180 is alot smaller than R200 diffs see picture below for a size comparision.

R180 6 bolt open diff on left
R200 5 bolt lsd on right

The aboveĀ  image for a list of diffs that come stock with S13 taken from
Like it says the shafts ( the bits sticking out of the diff ) can be either 5 or 6 bolt, but its easy to change them over you can knock them out with the hammer reasonably easy.

So i saw an R32 Skyline R200 5 bolt lsd for sale for $100, i snapped this one up and the fun begins, we opened the diff up and was a little confused as to where to weld a LSD as all the research i had done was about how to do this with an open diff, if you are after a good guide on how to weld an open diff check ‘The Guides’

So anyway back to more research, i had heard all sorts of things about locking diffs by welding an open one or by shimming an lsd alot of people said dont bother shimming it will just wear out and lots of people were saying a welded open will just break. Well i had the R32 lsd and i started to research shimming how to shim etc.

The Guides

PDF Versions
D1NZ How to Shim Diff ( 13.8mb )
Skyline Australia How to Shim Diff ( 18.43mb )
Zilvia How to Weld Diff ( 10.45mb )PDF Version

The Shims

0.80mm = 3842440f60 price = $10.12
0.85mm = 3842440f62 price = $14.67
0.90mm = 3842440f63 price = $9.97
1.01mm = 3842440f67 price = $9.79
1.05mm = 3842440f68 price = $14.40
1.10mm = 3842440f70 price = $6.37
1.20mm = 3842440f73 price = $6.37
1.30mm = 3842440f76 price = $10.89
1.40mm = 3842440f80 price = $6.37
1.49mm = 3842440f83 price = $6.37

If you follow the above guides they have good instructions.

My diff shimming was a little different as the diff i had was from an r32 and i needed to put it into my s13.

R32 Diff into S13

1. So to start with we followed the guides above i ordered 4 shims 1.01mm, when we had the diff open we found that the shim already in there was a large one most likely around 1.4mm. The idea of shimming for me was to lock the diff completely so we put 2 extra shims in there which should have brought the total to around 3.4mm.


a) Brute force normally works
b) Getting Diff center out is a bitch try to lever it out
c) Getting the crown wheel bolts undone was a bitch, try a vice and a breaker bar or take it to a workshop with a decent rattle gun.
d) Getting the Diff center in again is what we had most problems with, using a hammer doesnt work that well here and it is very awkward as you have to put it back in evenly while hold the spacers and bearing caps in place. The method we used was to put it down evenly and give it a little tap to get it started and then we dropped the diff on its end to ‘shock’ it in, this worked well and once it was down enough we put the flanges that whole the diff center in place and did them up evenly to pull it down the rest of the way.

e) For the love of god make sure you read the instructions and line up the splines on the LONG axle side, we did this but we lined the the Long axle on the short side by mistake and had to take the whole thing apart again cause we couldnt get the axle in. Just to be sure before you try to put the diff center back in put both axles in diff center and make sure they will go in, if they are hard to get out see tip a)

2. Ok so we have our diff all shimmed up and center back in the housing, now with the R32 diff the back alloy cover is not going to fit onto a S13’s mount points on the back as it has 2 big bolts on the back and s13 has 4 smaller bolts. What we did was take the alloy cover off my original s13 r200 5 bolt lsd and use a gasket and goo and put it on the r32 diff and put the r32 one back on my s13 diff to keep dust out.

r32reardiff r32topdiff

R32 Back Cover
I dont have a photo of the s13 rear cover but its got 4 bolts which are smaller.

3. The last thing you need to do is hope that your r32 diff comes with the bushings for the two front mount points because if you look at the s13 diff it has small mounting holes not big ones like the r32 diff. Even with the bushing you will need to get bigger bolts, the bolt needs to have 35mm of thread poking from the end of the bushing the stock s13 diff bolts wont be long enough!

4. As the guides said if you dont want it to be locked them maybe just put one more shim in.


Once it was all bolted up i took it for a little test drive and the desired result was achieved it was locked to the shit house, i noticed that normal driving was more difficult when turning but that’s ok cause i don’t drive this car daily anymore, but for someone who is driving daily i wouldn’t recommend locking it, maybe just add one shim to make it more tight.

I also checked the ratio when we had the center out it has a 4.36:1 ratio.

I have attached PDF versions of the guides in case the links go dead.

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