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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!

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Old 08-20-2013, 07:48 PM   #21
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Sub'd. Auto Trans Rebuild is one of the only DIY's I haven't done, and would like to do one.

I've rebuilt: Engines, Manual Trans, Differentials, and every other part of a car sans some of the electronics stuff...
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Old 08-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #22
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Great thread.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:49 PM   #23
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Kalim, thanks.
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Old 09-08-2013, 04:21 PM   #24
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ddaniel1, thanks for posting this. I have a few questions. I have a 2000 BMW 528i with 117K, that has had a problem when it's cold and in reverse it spews ATF out of the breather on top of the 5L40e trans. It's had the ATF and filter changed, but I don't think it was a Full ATF change just pan, filter, and ATF (my son had the car at the time when it was changed). I tried putting in some Seafoam trans Tune, but didn't help. Other than the ATF coming out the breather only in reverse the car shifts and runs fine. So now thinking about removing the valve body and cleaning it and rebuilding. How hard is it to rebuild? Can I just get 4 6" 6mm bolts and cut them down? Do they have to be 6 inches long? Where did you get the valve body kit, solenoids, and valve gel? You said all the solenoids were only $119. I priced just the TCC ??? solenoid it was $85. I did see a set of solenoids at ebay for $119 is this what you used? I wonder if the harness plastic connectors can be replaced separately? Thanks for any feedback.

Last edited by riverjamie; 09-08-2013 at 04:35 PM. Reason: added some wording
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Old 09-08-2013, 07:18 PM   #25
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RiverJamie, yes the solenoids I used were the kit on ebay for 119.00, it was the best deal I found and they are holding up well so far. You can get the bolts and cut them down, they do not have to be 6 inches long, you can get away with 3 inch bolts. I got all my other parts from cobra transmission linked above. The valve body is worth a try as a last resort but it sounds like a piston or seal leaking to me, throwing fluid around and hence the leak out of the breather. There are also companies that will rebuild it for you if you google it, for around 500, I just didn't have any luck with them at the time.
As I stated, removing the old gaskets were the hardest part, the valve body can certainly be done if you pay close attention to how everything comes apart and keep everything in order etc. I would take lots of pictures, they really help on the reassembly. With your mileage I would hope you wouldn't have the problem I did with the connectors, just be super gentle with them.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:04 PM   #26
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DDaniel1, is there also a gasket between the valve body and the main housing when you take it off? Just curious? Also I went by the trany shop where I would probably bring it to if I decide to have it rebuilt. Their a big rebuilder for ZF and GM tranys for the SF area. He showed me the forward pump ay and said that it's probably how the fluid is getting out through the breather. If he did just the pump and etc, probably around $1K, full rebuild with 2yr warranty $3.2K . He said most of the trany's go 130-150K so I'm getting close at 117K. I still might do the fluid and fliter, just to see what happens? Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:26 PM   #27
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No between the valve body and the case, the majority of the sealing surfaces it is metal to metal, there are two cylindrical seal assemblies in the middle, see the 2 and the 4 hole assemblies:
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Old 09-09-2013, 06:30 PM   #28
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The teflon seals on the pump and the input shaft are my concerns also, pump here, see the black seals:

And on the input shaft there are 4 white ones, these need a special tool to install and resize:
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:23 PM   #29
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River, I would not recommend a fluid and filter change, pretty sure you have a hard failure, new fluid wont help that. Thinking about your problem though, that would be a pretty easy DIY to remove the pump and the front two clutches to replace those seals, you would need the special tool I mention above, the pump comes right off. That would actually be easier than tackling the valve body for sure. If you want to consider it I could write a procedure for you.
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Old 09-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #30
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:56 AM   #31
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ddaneil1, thanks for getting back to me. Here's the thing about my 5L40e trany. First it doesn't do it all the time, and it only does it in reverse, mainly when cold (probably 95% of the time)? It seems after the trans has warmed up driven a little it doesn't do it. Example take a ride to store put in reverse to get out of parking spot no leaks. There are a few people out there that have had this problem, one put in SeaFoam Trans Tune, then fluid and filter change, and so far so good, another has put her's in the shop. Haven't heard back from her yet on what they found. Most of the shops I've talked to are also a little confused on the problem because it is intermittent. I agree it seems like pressure is either building up somewhere or leaking by a seal, or maybe a solenoid is not actuating properly, or maybe a screen filter is clogged?

Here's the Seafoam one:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...582&highlight=


This is the one that I think you've alread viewed

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=947510
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #32
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I guess it is worth a try but again, it is a hard failure, seafoam may correct it for a while but it wont be a very reliable fix if it does.
I have been reading the theory and the hydraulic flow during reverse, the fluid pressure comes from the pump and out the area with the black teflon rings on the picture of the pump in post 28, the larger round clutch unit in the the following picture is where the reverse clutch is housed, the fluid flows from the ports with the black seal to holes in the inside of the reverse clutch housing, so there are several seals and pistons that could leak when cold and sling fluid to the breather, it is plausible that the seal could expand when warm and leak less or not at all.
At a minimum I would remove the pump and replace the black teflon rings and replace the pistons and seals in the reverse clutch assembly, it is one of the easier clutch packs to rebuild. I would ask the shop that offered to rebuild the pump to do the reverse clutch pack also, if you could get them to do that for 1K it would be a good deal and I am confident that it would correct the issue. Of I course I encourage a DIY if you have the mechanical abilities and patience.
Let us know what you decide to do and I hope this thread armed you with much more knowledge than 99.9% of people that go to a transmission shop.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:45 AM   #33
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ddaneil1, today going to try the aft change. Do you know at the transmission which cooler line is the return line? I'm going to disconnect it and pump the fluid out through the line for a complete flush. According to Realoem.com it looks to be the lower line on a 2000 528i? Just curious if you know. Also what is the torque setting for the mounting bolt for the cooler lines at the transmission? Thanks again for all your feedback.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:39 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by riverjamie View Post
ddaneil1, today going to try the aft change. Do you know at the transmission which cooler line is the return line? I'm going to disconnect it and pump the fluid out through the line for a complete flush. According to Realoem.com it looks to be the lower line on a 2000 528i? Just curious if you know. Also what is the torque setting for the mounting bolt for the cooler lines at the transmission? Thanks again for all your feedback.
On my 328 the hose on the left side of the cooler as you look down from the top is the supply, when it is disconnected fluid sprays out of it very strong, not sure if is upper or lower, I have it in a book at home. Not sure on torque I could only get an open end wrench on it, no reason to take that fitting loose if you are working from the cooler. Good luck.


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Old 09-12-2013, 07:57 PM   #35
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ddaneil1, did the ATF fluid flush, looked pretty dirty being that it only had 4k on the new fluid. The pan looked pretty clean not much on the magnet. I suspect the it did not have a full fluid change when it was last done 4k ago. So I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I put in Napa Auto Dexron VI. Ran and shifted well. This trany originally had the green label on it for Texaco ETL7045e liftetime fluid, but so much for lifetime fluid on a trany anyhow. The lower cooler line is the return.

Last edited by riverjamie; 09-12-2013 at 07:58 PM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:55 PM   #36
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I called Blackstone labs a few years ago, (Oil analysis) and asked which oil they recommended. Mobil 1, Valvoline, Quaker State etc... Answer? CHANGE IT!!! The best oil is fresh oil. and I ALWAYS fill the engine oil filter 1st, cause the oil soaks in, and why start dry? Even if the filter mounts on the side of the block, only a bit of oil runs out. Doesn't apply to Bimmers, but cheap insurance, and I never use a $2 filter. BTW, my Mann oil filter is made in Mexico. is there a German filter?

But this sounds like a hard part failure, and changing oil is just a "I hope" fix...
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:57 PM   #37
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:00 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by riverjamie View Post
ddaneil1, did the ATF fluid flush, looked pretty dirty being that it only had 4k on the new fluid. The pan looked pretty clean not much on the magnet. I suspect the it did not have a full fluid change when it was last done 4k ago. So I'll keep you posted on how it goes. I put in Napa Auto Dexron VI. Ran and shifted well. This trany originally had the green label on it for Texaco ETL7045e liftetime fluid, but so much for lifetime fluid on a trany anyhow. The lower cooler line is the return.
Glad it went ok, Keep us posted as to how it works for you.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:20 AM   #39
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Thanks for the detailed write up. I have been looking for a DIY on the "GM" Tranny for months, because I am at the point where my intermittant reverse is getting more pronounced. It's not easy finding a repair shop you can trust. Thanks again.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:34 PM   #40
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FL, If reverse is intermittent and not slipping it could well be a valve body solenoid issue.
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