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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:02 PM   #1
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MT & Rear Diff fluid change

Hey everyone

I just purchased my first Bimmer. '01 330i with a little over 100k on it.
I want to change out the Transmission and rear differential oil and I thought that I would check in to see what the preffered brand is.

Thanks for the info
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:04 PM   #2
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I'd say Redline gear oil... I think 75W90 is pretty much the standard. Redline makes an excellent product.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:56 PM   #3
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Do you use the same oil for both? Also how many litres for each?
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:40 PM   #4
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I used Royal Purple fluids and have had no problems. I used RP SyncoMax for the transmission and 70W90 for the rear end. Its fairly easy to do.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:24 PM   #5
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Here in Utah where it cylces between pretty damn hot and pretty damn cold, the best I've found so far for all year round was the Royal Purple fluids as well. Seems to give me the best balance.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
John in VA
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The diff holds just under 1 quart. I used Red Line 75W90 GL-5 Gear Oil.
John in VA
'13 328i xDrive
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:57 PM   #7
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Congrats on the new car. I recently changed out my transmission and differential fluids with Redline. I used Redline 75W90 in the diff and Redline MTL in the transmission (I have a 5 speed manual). I was very impressed with the improvement in shifting smoothness after the transmission fluid change (I replaced the original fluid at 94k miles). Some people run the ATF in their manual transmissions. I don't like the idea, but you can do it and it gives you smoother shifts in the cold, because it is not as thick. Mine is pretty notchy in cold weather.

Anyways, if you are going to do it yourself, make sure you invest in a cheap marine pump that will scew onto the bottle of fluid. One nice thing about the Royal Purple stuff is that it comes in squeeze bottles so it doesn't necessarily require a pump, but I don't have any personal experience with RP. Enjoy the car!
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ricey View Post
Do you use the same oil for both? Also how many litres for each?
H**L no! The diff gets Redline 75W-90 GL5 (gear lube formulation 5), but the box gets Redline MTL (manual tranny lube) GL4. If you put GL% in the box the box will be hard to shift - GL5 is tooo slick and the syncros won't work. If you put GL4 in the diff you'll be buying a new diff!!!

BTW, the box takes 1.6 qts of MTL, and the diff takes 1qt exactly of 75W-90.

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Old 02-25-2010, 12:24 PM   #9
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I've read in the forums that Redline performs well within the first 10K miles but starts to get notchy after that for their trannies.

I would stick with OEM. You can actually purchase a container and have your local dealer sell what is needed. I paid like $100 bucks for both OEM transmisson and differential fluids.
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Old 02-26-2010, 04:32 PM   #10
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I used Redline and have been very happy with it. You are right about the diff oil. The MT actually takes D4 ATF. Go to the Redline website and they list what you need, or call them.
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Old 01-31-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Despite ATF being Redline's website recomendation, most e46 owners, myself included, have been using Redline MTL with no adverse effects. Changed around 30,000 miles until 90,000.

At around 90,000 miles, I made the mistake of allowing the manual transmission fluid to be changed out from Redline MTL to a Valvoline oil (forget the exact name/viscosity), immediately shifts are noticeably notchier, and difficult when cold - HUGE MISTAKE!! Will switch back to Redline MTL ASAP.

Hope this prevents someone from making a similar mistake.

Last edited by Paul325Ci; 01-31-2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: too numerous to list :oO
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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Love my Redline MTL in the tranny and 75-90 in the diff. It does not go bad in 10K and D4 is inferior to MTL as a manual lube! Lots of internet BS here!
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