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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 10-29-2012, 06:14 PM   #1
5speed30
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My XI drivetrain, insight?

Ok here's the truth of my XI, I picked it up less than 1 year ago with 97000 miles on it. Everything was in shape except for a few things, Slight rust on quarter and needing a new thermostat stabilizer links, not a big deal at all. The deeper i get into things other issues decided to show up. control arms bushings/balljoints inner and outer etc, Now im getting into a complete drivetrain flush and fill closing in on 117k and hoping its even going to hold up to new fluid. Transmissions never slipped on me getting into the throttle that i've noticed but I fear the worst thinking her scheduled maintenance has been neglected, last thing i need is my diffs and tranny exploding leaving me angry enough to kick puppies and punch babies.. Just got my fluids in the mail today with lurbo moly MoS2 additive for the transfer case and diffs.

My question is should I go through with this fluid flush since ive got these kind of miles and if so how should I go about it? should I use any additives in the transmission like ProLong? I appreciate any and all insight on this, thanks
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Old 10-29-2012, 07:59 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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Do you have an auto? If yes, do NOT flush the transmission. You can and definitely should change out the fluid in the gear box along with the transmission filter as both of those things will surely help out the life of the car. Flushing the gear box will open up Pandora's box.

As far as the diffs and transfer case go, all of them are gear driven with no clutch packs of any kind. Changing out their fluid will immensely help in prolonging their life. Make sure that the diff fluid you have is 75w90 gear oil and the TC uses manual transmission fluid (not the same as the diffs!). If this is your first time changing fluids, I highly recommend changing them now and then again in 5000 miles (diff and TC only). This helps to get all the crud out of your components and let them have some clean fluid to splash around in.

What tranny fluid are you using? You don't need any additives in anything, most of those things are all marketing and not worth it at all.

PS run a bottle of techron through your fuel system on your next fill up.
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Old 10-29-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
Blizare
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a.

Last edited by Blizare; 10-29-2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012, 08:05 AM   #4
bikesandcars
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+ what samdoe1 said.

What I know of as a transmission "flush" is when you hook the car up to a transmisison fluid exchanger and add a quart of "special top secret guaranteed new transmission" flush fluid.. run it for 10 minutes, then exchange the transmission fluid with new. I've never talked to anyone that recommended that because 1) Unless you waste a lot of fluid you don't get the flush out and 2) it stirs up the stuff that shouldn't be stirred up (hence pandora's box). A torque converter is basically a centrifuge... better to leave the crud lie. The only thing a flush might help is a solonoid that is stuck with goo.. but i wouldn't do it as preventative maintenance. You really just need a clean fluid to renew the friction / lubrication properties and a filter to make sure the fluid is circulating at proper pressure.

You can always put in a cheaper fluid for a short time if you think it has been neglected.. like us cheap 75/90 gear oil in the diff and dexron III in the TC, as long as the fluids are compatible and you swap them out relatively quickly. Remember, just because a fluid is brown doesn't mean it isn't within spec and working well.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
Rickna
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The DIY's here do not recommend flushing. Since there is no ATF fill from the top or dip stick, I don't even know if a flush can be done. Last week I did a filter & fluid change from underneath, following the DIY. The trans runs better than when I bought the car. Next week (when the power comes back) I will change the fluid again.

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Old 10-31-2012, 10:12 AM   #6
bikesandcars
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a flush or exchange would be done by intercepting an AT cooler line going from the transmission to the radiator, installing special fittings to connect the fluid exchange machine, and then using the machine to send the old fluid into a disposal container while injecting new fluid.

I just purchased one of these machines from harbor freight on sale ($199!!) they are usually $500 for harbor freight and over $1,000 for shop-quality. I'm going to start a separate post on that process when I actually have time to do that job (if I can make it work)... I really bought it for the rest of my "fleet".
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:45 PM   #7
5speed30
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Flush/drain, I use the term lightly lol a flush is hooking the machine up to the return and feed line on the Trans. Not even thinking about doing that. Steptronic transmission, Fluid wise I've got redline D4 and 75w90 for the diffs. Going in again after 5k is definitely in the plan, I know I won't get everything out after the first I use injector cleaner after every oil change, I know techron is OE approved but I've always used seafoam with a full tank never had any issues. I think the only way I'm going to be for sure on whether to do the drain and fill is to feel/smell the fluid for myself. Concidering I've had no slips/hard shifts or anything to indicate the fluid being bad. Thanks for all the posts and help, I apprieciate all the help. I'll keep everyone posted with some pics on it when I get into it Saturday. Thanks again
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:43 PM   #8
Iggy27
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What type of fluids should be used for the diffs and transfer case? I need to do a flush.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:48 PM   #9
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iggy27 View Post
What type of fluids should be used for the diffs and transfer case? I need to do a flush.
Diffs: 75w90 synthetic gear oil
TC: Either synthetic MTL or synthetic ATF. I personally use MTL.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 11-11-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:48 PM   #10
5speed30
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Sorry about the delay on getting back to everyone about how the drivetrain flush/fill went, Works been killing my free time lol. Finished all the fluids last saturday (12/9) W/ 119xxx miles on the car, had it all done in about 2+ hours did a TON of cleaning while I was at it. So far ive got 72miles on the new fluid with no issues and any issues I did have went away in under 30miles. Shifts soooooooo much better, smooth and firm. I only had a chance to take a quick pic of the valve body after the pan and filter were off, got a lil pressed for time. Fluid out of the diffs and transfer case was nice and black lol not really a surprise but ill definitely be draining them again soon, maybe 5-7k. trans fluid was in amazing shape for how long its been in, slightly burnt but it wasn't black. Nothing on the magnet in the pan and Compared to the new fluid put in it felt just about the same. Even had the pleasure of tasting some of it.. lol some bolts are just easier to get to when you have your mouth open and tongue stuck out just the right way
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5speed30 View Post
lol some bolts are just easier to get to when you have your mouth open and tongue stuck out just the right way
Only thing that tastes worse than ATF is used gear oil... ughhhhh
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #12
5speed30
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Originally Posted by redbull 325is View Post
Only thing that tastes worse than ATF is used gear oil... ughhhhh
+1 for sure lol
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