E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 61 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #201
Pocket Rocket
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1999 323i
I have a 99 323i with a rebuilt GM trans ($4000) installed by local indy (no local dealer) about 50k ago. It had been ok until a recent trip. I was about 500 miles from home and parked on uphill incline with with the engine running while I checked out of a hotel. When I departed onto the street I noticed it was slipping so I turned off into the first available lot. By then it wasn't slipping anymore.I did a quick visual and did see fluid dripping under the car or smell anything (what else can you check?) If I had been near home I would have had it towed in but since I was 500 miles from home, it was Sunday and I had my daughter with me I started driving again, all seemed normal. Then it happened again, about a month and 2500 miles later. This time, in front of my house, again the car had sat idling for a few minutes, this time with one side up on the sidewalk and the other wheels on the street, so about 6" out of level. Again it started slipping when I took off. So straight back into the garage and parked. Drained the fluid, about 6 qts. and it looked clean. When I dropped the pan the filter came down with it, I didn't have to pull it off the tranny. Could that be the problem? I plan to finish the service and see what happens.
Pocket Rocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 09:21 AM   #202
Pocket Rocket
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1999 323i
So I did the filter and fluid change per the DYI. The filler plug was a bear, I ended up dropping the cross member right behind the trans (easy) and that allowed access with a 45 torx and 3/8 breaker bar with cheater pipe. I used some heat from a propane torch as well in case they used something like red loctite. The old filter dropped down with the pan and further investigation showed that it was a sloppy fit into the old seal that was still up in the tranny. That and there was only one of the orange seals instead of two like the new filter came with. I'm hoping that was the source of my problem. The new filter and seals required a firm push to install and is a nice tight fit. Refilled with Valvoline Import Full Synthetic, it took about 6.5 qt to fill. I did an oil change while I was at it since it was nearly time and the car was all jacked up and warmed up. Test drove it and it shifted normally but since it was an intermittant problem I won't know if the problem is solved. I plan to drain an fill the fluid again soon so I get a more complete change but I won't do it on the garage floor next time!

BTW one of the local parts stores (O'Rielly's) had the filter/gasket/seals in stock for $ 29.00

Last edited by Pocket Rocket; 01-06-2013 at 10:03 AM. Reason: added wording
Pocket Rocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 09:42 AM   #203
7xWDC-MSC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Peoples Republik of Massachusetts
Posts: 218
My Ride: 2005 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket Rocket View Post
So I did the filter and fluid change per the DYI. The filler plug was a bear, I ended up dropping the cross member right behind the trans (easy) and that allowed access with a 45 torx and 3/8 breaker bar with cheater pipe. I used some heat from a propane torch as well in case they used something like red loctite. The old filter dropped down with the pan and further investigation showed that it was a sloppy fit into the old seal that was still up in the tranny. That and there was only one of the orange seals instead of two like the new filter came with. I'm hoping that was the source of my problem. The new filter and seals required a firm push to install and is a nice tight fit. Refilled with Valvoline Import Dexron VI. I did an oil change while I was at it since it was nearly time and the car was all jacked up and warmed up. Test drove it and it shifted normally but since it was an intermittant problem I won't know if the problem is solved. I plan to drain an fill the fluid again soon so I get a more complete change but I won't do it on the garage floor next time!

Keep us up to date as to if it fixed the issue, I can tell you the filter should not drop with the pan, and with it missing an o-ring you said you were probably sucking air through the neck. Shame on the shop though for making that mistake.

The drain and fill plugs shouldn't be that tight, it's something like a 22 ft lb spec IIRC. Mine were cemented in place from age but I could still break them free with a regular 3/8 ratchet.
7xWDC-MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 09:57 AM   #204
Pocket Rocket
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1999 323i
Will do. I'm pretty bummed about the filter not being installed correctly. It was rebuilt by a tranny shop in Phoenix. The local independent shop recommended it and did the install, I don't know who did the original fill.

The tight fill plug issue is apparently common judging by the posts on the forum. Mine was very stuck, just as if red loctite had been use, it came loose with a snap. Luckily I had read all the woes of others and was prepared.
Pocket Rocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2013, 10:45 PM   #205
Starless
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 275
My Ride: 02' 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket Rocket View Post
So I did the filter and fluid change per the DYI. The filler plug was a bear, I ended up dropping the cross member right behind the trans (easy) and that allowed access with a 45 torx and 3/8 breaker bar with cheater pipe. I used some heat from a propane torch as well in case they used something like red loctite. The old filter dropped down with the pan and further investigation showed that it was a sloppy fit into the old seal that was still up in the tranny. That and there was only one of the orange seals instead of two like the new filter came with. I'm hoping that was the source of my problem. The new filter and seals required a firm push to install and is a nice tight fit. Refilled with Valvoline Import Full Synthetic, it took about 6.5 qt to fill. I did an oil change while I was at it since it was nearly time and the car was all jacked up and warmed up. Test drove it and it shifted normally but since it was an intermittant problem I won't know if the problem is solved. I plan to drain an fill the fluid again soon so I get a more complete change but I won't do it on the garage floor next time!

BTW one of the local parts stores (O'Rielly's) had the filter/gasket/seals in stock for $ 29.00
Bad news for you. The old filter always comes out with 1 orange gasket, the other half is just stuck inside the hole and you must get it out. If you did not, your new filter installation is incorrect and will cause problems.
Starless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 12:10 PM   #206
Pocket Rocket
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1999 323i
The old filter came out with no orange seal on it and one stuck up in the tranny. The new one has two seals. Been driving a week now and it seems to be fixed, at least I can't replicate the failure. Also goes right into reverse now as opposed to the 1-2 sec delay it used to have on the first engagement of the day. So far so good. Not so good on the rebuild shop's part.
Pocket Rocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #207
7xWDC-MSC
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Peoples Republik of Massachusetts
Posts: 218
My Ride: 2005 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocket Rocket View Post
The old filter came out with no orange seal on it and one stuck up in the tranny. The new one has two seals. Been driving a week now and it seems to be fixed, at least I can't replicate the failure. Also goes right into reverse now as opposed to the 1-2 sec delay it used to have on the first engagement of the day. So far so good. Not so good on the rebuild shop's part.
I'm glad that solved your problem and its a good thing you caught it before any permanent damage occurred. Again though shame on that trans shop.
__________________
Rubs the roundel on its skin or else it gets the hose again.
7xWDC-MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2013, 01:17 AM   #208
Pocket Rocket
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
Posts: 20
My Ride: 1999 323i
+1 on the libs. Former Masshole here but long ago.
Pocket Rocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2013, 02:23 PM   #209
NCLee
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 53
My Ride: 2004 330xi
Send a message via AIM to NCLee
Thanks for the writeup!

I just finished this on my 2004 330xi. It appears the xi may be a little different: the fill plug is a 17mm hex bolt, instead of a T45, and it's on the side next to the drain plug. If you look up the 330xi and then the 330i on penskeparts.com (or presumably any other site with the parts fiche), you'll see that the diagram is the same, but only some of the parts are included in the parts list.
On the 330xi, you'll see item #10 in the list is shown as "SCREW PLUG, OUTER HEXAGON", part no. 24 11 7 507 787.
The 330i has listed as #9 "SCREW PLUG, INNER HEXAGON (from 03/03)", part no. 24 11 7 533 656.
The 330xi diagram has no #9 listed, and the 330i has no #10 listed.

I don't know why they are different - all the other parts of the job appear to be the same!

When I do this again, I am going to replace the drain and fill plugs completely, since their rubber gaskets are built in. I'd rather replace them knowing I have all-new gaskets.

Update: I just took the car for a drive, and WOW! The shifts are amazingly smooth. I can't even feel the shifts from 1-2 and 2-3. There is a slight bump from 3-4, and then 4-5 is extremely smooth as well. Is this my imagination, or can the fluid really make the shifts better? What is it about the new fluid that can help the feel?
__________________
What I've learned so far:
  • don't start working on the car unless you have a ride to the parts shop.
  • whatever you're doing, Mango's guide is probably right.
  • the Bentley manual skips steps. LOTS of them. Don't tear your hair out when the next step makes no sense.

Last edited by NCLee; 03-17-2013 at 07:02 PM.
NCLee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 09:47 AM   #210
new61n
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Sydney
Posts: 147
My Ride: 2005, 325CI
Quote:
Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
I think you are asking should you change the fluid after 178k miles?

I would say yes but be sure you do the procedure correctly. Any mistakes you make could easily cause the trans to fail.

If you are not 100% confident you can do the job just take it to a reputable BMW shop and have them do it. They will most likely not guarantee the work based on the mileage but your current trans fluid is way past being effective, i.e. it's filthy and like water.

If you do take it to a shop, I would NOT recommend doing a pressurized "flush", but just have them drop the pan, change the filter, and refill with either Dex 4 or Dex 6, whichever they or you decide (I like RedLine brand but YMMV). Make sure they explain to you their procedure. Then check their procedure against what everyone on E46F says to do, just to be safe.

I'm not a mechanic so this is just my .02. GL with whatever you decide and keep us posted!

-Daniel
If he wants to use a different fluid to his OE fluid, wouldn't he need a flush so he won't mix the two fluid?
new61n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 11:28 AM   #211
Mhnd
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 144
My Ride: 330XI
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCLee View Post
Thanks for the writeup!

I just finished this on my 2004 330xi. It appears the xi may be a little different: the fill plug is a 17mm hex bolt, instead of a T45, and it's on the side next to the drain plug. If you look ?
I have the same car year and model, my car has 140k now. What type of Oil you used?

Thanks!
Mhnd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 09:18 AM   #212
jasonsjwou
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46, GMC Conversion.
I have 2001 325ci, with 120kmi. I'd like to do this tranny oil change, but would it be safe to do it?
jasonsjwou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 09:33 AM   #213
Sansho
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,899
My Ride: 2001 325i
Quote:
I have 2001 325ci, with 120kmi. I'd like to do this tranny oil change, but would it be safe to do it?
The fluid is only getting weaker as additives continue to break down over time. I would change the fluid and filter.

One of the potential issues discussed is that new fluid will cause chunks of goop in the transmission to come loose. If you subscribe to that, then replace with the same fluid that's in there today ... not something that's compatible. You can get ZF fluid or also source it from VW/Audi and other manufacturers. Sorry, I'm not familiar with fluids the GM transmissions use.
__________________
.
Sansho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #214
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,682
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonsjwou View Post
I have 2001 325ci, with 120kmi. I'd like to do this tranny oil change, but would it be safe to do it?
You are safe to do it. It will do a tranny good.

Do a filter and fluid change.
__________________
Founding Member of the Club of Dangerous Fanatics

Engine swap, HG, tranny swap, GM & ZF tranny rebuilds, shocks, struts, brakes, WPs, Thermostats, belts, tensioners, fuel pumps, radiators, window regs, hoses, PS pump, Spark Plugs, VCGs, coils, fuel filters, CVVs, VANOS seals, rack, LCABs, Exp. Tanks, OFHGs, RCABs, OP, boots, ABS, GUIDOs, starter, A/C, DISA, Diff, SAP

Ultra Premium Grand 10 Star+ Super Duper BMW-pedic Sport Plus +++
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #215
jasonsjwou
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 21
My Ride: E46, GMC Conversion.
Sansho, BMWCaptain, thank you for your reply.

How can I tell which transmission oil I need to be using?
Mine is a 2001 325ci (2000/Nov build), with S205A option code designated "Automatic Transmission".
Do I have ZF or GM transmission?
jasonsjwou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2013, 01:17 PM   #216
BMWCaptain
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: TEXAS - Where I give Real World advice and don't just criticize others. People here need to RESPECT other's opinions!
Posts: 1,682
My Ride: 03 325iT SportWagon
Probably a ZF tranny. Need to look under your car to verify. There is a data plate on the side for GM and on the back for ZF. Look at your data plate for the brand.
__________________
Founding Member of the Club of Dangerous Fanatics

Engine swap, HG, tranny swap, GM & ZF tranny rebuilds, shocks, struts, brakes, WPs, Thermostats, belts, tensioners, fuel pumps, radiators, window regs, hoses, PS pump, Spark Plugs, VCGs, coils, fuel filters, CVVs, VANOS seals, rack, LCABs, Exp. Tanks, OFHGs, RCABs, OP, boots, ABS, GUIDOs, starter, A/C, DISA, Diff, SAP

Ultra Premium Grand 10 Star+ Super Duper BMW-pedic Sport Plus +++
BMWCaptain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 12:38 AM   #217
Rezist09
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lancaster
Posts: 277
My Ride: 325i sedan
2001 325i sedan zf transmission
180k what fluid can I get where to buy?
Rezist09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 12:54 AM   #218
blkonblk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Herb Caen's Baghdad
Posts: 767
My Ride: 06/2000 330i ZSP/ZPP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rezist09 View Post
2001 325i sedan zf transmission
180k what fluid can I get where to buy?
Amsoil (dealer) or Pentosin (online). make sure it's compatible with LT 71141
__________________


Life is a journey not a destination, so enjoy the ride!
blkonblk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 12:58 AM   #219
Rezist09
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Lancaster
Posts: 277
My Ride: 325i sedan
Thank you how many liters? Also where to get the filter
Rezist09 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013, 01:34 AM   #220
blkonblk
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Herb Caen's Baghdad
Posts: 767
My Ride: 06/2000 330i ZSP/ZPP
I bought 7 quarts but only used 5.5 quarts. 1 gallon and 3 quarts from an independent Amsoil dealer for $9 a qt. Cheapest Pentosin online is about $16 a liter.

Filter and gasket from the dealer, I also replaced both drain and fill screw plugs.
__________________


Life is a journey not a destination, so enjoy the ride!
blkonblk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use