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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 12-17-2013, 10:25 AM   #1
mikewrfc
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Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

I need to so some work on my E46 I have what I would appraise to be a failing Torque Converter on my 03 Steptronic Wagon. Likely induced by a rumblestrip symptom of a failed Guibo & Center Bearing. It had been happening for months but only last week was I able to diagnose it as a simple bearing instead of assuming my transmission was dieing. The classic clutch failute symtoms rapidly started to manifest yesterday after I had an oil change done. Reving, Halting from 1-2, Crashing gas milage. No codes but a couple months ago I had one or two very sporatic Gear lights on my dash that reset with a start

My hypothosis is that the vibration finally worked a failure on the seal around the converter, letting out enough transmission fluid out that the converter is low power. I confused the fluid with a blown power steering hose that I fixed last week in the snow.

My course of action, is to order the parts for the Guibo/Center Bearing (fcpgroton?), and a Transmission Fluid Kit. (which one/Fluid?)

Id like to check and top off the fluid to see if the torque converter recovers and then do a removal and seal replacement. If the converter doesn't recover I would get a rebuilt one (source?)

I would drop the pan and check for metal and such. Is there anything else I should do? I have heard about the reverse solenoid failute, should I check the that or the mesh screen?

I had an issue with my expansion tank a year and a half ago and I cant remember if my thermostat was changed or not, is there anything I should look at to see about heat failure in the Tranny?

Lots of question. I would appreciate any opinionating. Thanks
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
mikewrfc
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Found this on another forum, something else to look at



the "cattle grid" vibration is primarily slippage in the lock-up clutch, which may be caused by common faults in one of the sets of control valves in the 'box, which can be changed for only a couple of hundred pounds (only one set of valves needs attention, so the whole valve block doesn't need to be changed at huge cost). In many cases, apparently, this resolves the lock-up clutch and vibration issue, since the replaced valves then control the clutch mechanism properly. So, J Dain advise that I have those valves changed
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Old 12-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
Loaded325i
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Youneed a new transmission my friend. Whats the code? 59 is stalling speed I.e. torque converter. Low fluid burns clutches fast.
Wouldnt hurt to see if uneed a fluid top off.or drain it to look for clutch glitter. Im going through this right now in my recently bought 525i sport with a bad zf transmission due torunning low on fluid.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

My converter failed at 58k. The stub on the converter swelled and took out the seal ring which wiped out the front pump. I rebuilt it myself and all has been good since (4 years ago). My cost was a touch over 500 bucks for the parts and fluid. I've put 30 k on the car since. Took a little over a day to do it all. No, you do not need a new transmission.


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Old 12-17-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Don't listen to those saying you need a new transmission. In most cases the transmission issues most people have are either the torque convert or the reverse drum......both of which can be repaired. If indeed you diagnose the torque converter to be bad whatever you do DO NOT buy a repaired or rebuilt torque converter. Yeah they might be cheaper but in the long run it will cost you more money down the road as it will inevitably fail sooner than purchasing a remanufactured unit. Its very easy to tell the difference between a ZF remanufactured torque converter and a repaired/rebuilt. Remanufactured ZF torque converters are not painted while the others are. Trust me I've been down this road and just recently replaced my torque converter on my 325i. I had a trans slip fault causing a check engine light and once I replaced the torque converter it fixed the issue and the car drives smooth as silk. Honestly the transmission now feels like brand new. I didn't want to mess with pulling out a transmission in my garage so I ended up driving 100 miles to a well respected ZF certified BMW shop and they did all the work for about $1650 including all new parts and labor.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:35 PM   #6
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Re: Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

I have had the same problem(rumblestrip & vibrations at certain speeds). 1 day wile i was driving on the highway the Torque converter spun on to the transmission pump bushing and all the fluid leaked out and burned the clutches and other stuff. Samething happened to it as the link below.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=754511

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:55 AM   #7
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Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

Side note. If you decide to do the job yourself, you must remove the valve body to remove the front pump. It cannot be removed without doing this.


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Old 12-18-2013, 07:07 AM   #8
Ugur Ekim
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What where your symtons? Viberation at random moments including rpm drop, loss of power (not much tough)?

I think i have a bad torque converter also :/
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:43 AM   #9
SoCaLe39
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Typically you'll get a fault code for excessive slip. Another way to tell if your TC is on its way out is to cruise at 80mph on straight level road and see where the RPMs are. On a good TC you should be around 2700 RPM. When my TC was slipping it was always around 2900 not to mention I have the fault code.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
Ugur Ekim
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in what gear socale39?

i dont have any fault codes regarding the TC..
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:47 AM   #11
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5th gear for 80mph check. What makes you think you have a bad TC?
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:55 AM   #12
Ugur Ekim
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...801&highlight=

Car viberates at low RPM's (below 2000 or arround 2000). The car shakes short but heavily and i feel the viberation (bass feeling) trough the car. It makes also noise (bass noise). RPM drops down when it all happends, the only way to stop this is to give more gas or drop the gas and then give more gas.

I've searched on the internet since i have this problem and everytime the torque converter comes up on the list.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:17 AM   #13
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Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

My symptoms? Cloud of smoke and no forward momentum.


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Old 12-18-2013, 11:18 AM   #14
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No, symptons of OP
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Old 12-18-2013, 05:38 PM   #15
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Re: Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickbuilder View Post
Side note. If you decide to do the job yourself, you must remove the valve body to remove the front pump. It cannot be removed without doing this.

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+1. I forgot to mention that.
I took out the transmission at my dad's shop and took it to the to a transmission shop. They opened the whole transmission in 40 mins and told me clutches were bad because since i was driving my car on the highway and lost all the fluid and burnt the clutches. So they rebuilt the whole transmission.

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Old 12-18-2013, 05:39 PM   #16
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Re: Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

I didn't had no codes for torque converter or anything but it died.

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Old 12-22-2013, 10:47 PM   #17
mikewrfc
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Thanks for all of the responses. No codes, no nothing other than a low RPM rumble in the zone of 1500-2000 RPM, Sounds like a 'cattle grid' or a rumble strip. It has been very cold of late, which I believe contributed to the noticability of the slippage. As I mentioned I had a power steering hose blow so I may have missed a failing seal on the transmission and loss of fluid.

I have a local option for getting it up on a lift to check out. It is a steptronic, likely a GM transmission. I was going to have the pan dropped to drain the fluid and check for shavings before I have the whole Transmission and drive axle dropped. I believe that I had a failed guibo and/or Drive axle center bearing that contributed to a low fluid situation. 137k on the vehichle now. Still to be determined what has happened as I have not been driving it and have had to wait to get it in somewhere.

All the responses are much appreciated.

So, what are the votes on the BMW only fluid or another option? Found a guy who will take customer parts.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:34 PM   #18
mikewrfc
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This Transmission 'Front Pump' is it part of the converter, inside the unit behind the seal or is it a separate part that needs to be ordered. If so, is there a part number or another term for it. I'm at a loss
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Old 12-23-2013, 03:08 AM   #19
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Torque Converter or Torque Converter seal?

The front pump is what you see when you look into the transmission bell housing. It is about 10 inches in diameter and there is a ring of bolts visible. The spud of the torque converter is what drives the pump. Unless you know for a fact what parts you need, don't order anything. Sounds like you might be a candidate for a transmission shop. This rebuild is not, repeat, NOT for someone who is without experience and the correct tools. Do you own an arbor press? A micrometer? Without these you are dead in the water.


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Last edited by Stickbuilder; 12-23-2013 at 03:13 AM.
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