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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 04-04-2014, 08:43 PM   #41
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Interesting rebuild procedure. great job.
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Old 04-04-2014, 09:14 PM   #42
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Any new news?
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Old 04-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #43
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Well sorry to say still leaking out of breather at times

I've done some posting on this problem. 2000 bmw e39 528i 120k has GM5l40e trany. It does it mainly when it's cold and in reverse. I live near San Francisco, CA so it does get to cold hear, but the car is in the garage most of the time. I tried some SeaFoam Transtune (cleaner). Then did ATF flush through return cooler line and filter change. Seemed to go away for a while about 3wks. Then started in off and on.

It does not seem to do it if when cold if I start it in neutral, drive, neutral, then reverse. But can't be sure if it's doing it while driving?

After 3000 miles since ATF change it's lost about 6 ounces. I jacked up the car yesterday, warmed it up to correct temp 98 and opened fill plug, no stream, it didn't need much but still 6 ounces? So not to comfortable with that. I was thinking about installing a extension tube, if I can, to the top of the breather and running it up under the hood to a reservoir tank. But not sure if the fluid will just go back down into the trany if when the pressure drops or not? If it just went back down into the trany that would be great. But I don't know if there might be a check valve?

I just can't see taking in a good working trany (no shift problems and smooth) and having the whole thing rebuilt for this.

Any thoughts, has anyone else had this problem? What about the pressure solenoid?

Thanks
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:29 AM   #44
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ddaniel1, you have a water on transmission and must exchange the oil cooler, part #1 http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...&fg=05&lang=en and also 2-3 time exchange oil._nr_
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:18 PM   #45
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Interesting rebuild procedure. great job.
Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:47 PM   #46
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Any new news?
Yes, thanks, I have some news, I have been learning more about these transmissions, I bought a core to play around with and learn the pump. I have learned that the valve bores in both the pump and the valve body wear severely, both Sonnax and Transgo make repair kits, what I am working on now is how to detect the wear in the home shop without special equipment.

On to how the transmission has done, we had a failure at around six months with the typical limp mode, I cleared codes and drove the car and duplicated the light and limp mode getting on the freeway, we shut the car off and got out of the limp mode, I then drove in steptronic mode, carefully shifting into each gear, all was well until I selected fourth, nothing happened for 10 seconds or so, then it would shift into fourth and pop the light, I was able to go straight to fifth.
This told me the valve body was not responding to the commands of the TCU.
I decided to get a sonnax modified valve body and found a good deal on one.
Bought it and installed and problem was solved. I decided to to troubleshoot the valve body I rebuilt and started by ohming the solenoids, The fourth gear solenoid was bad, at only six months the coil had failed,
10.6 ohms, this was the fourth gear problem:




Here is a good one, 15-17 ohms for the shift solenoids:







Here is a chart with the ohm values and pins so you can check your solenoids from outside of the transmission, I should have done this before buying the new valve body:




The bad thing is the new rebuilt valve body I bought failed for reverse after 30 days, I am currently pursuing the warranty with the company, hopefully they will stand behind the product.

I replaced the fourth gear solenoid with one of my old ones and put the valve body that I rebuilt above back in, it works fine so far, no problems with reverse or fourth gear.

I no longer recommend the Ebay solenoids I linked above, looks like the dealer may be the best option.

As I learn more about the worn valve bores I will post more updates.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:48 PM   #47
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ddaniel1, you have a water on transmission and must exchange the oil cooler, part #1 http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...&fg=05&lang=en and also 2-3 time exchange oil._nr_
Kuno, I have not had any water in the transmission.
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Old 04-14-2014, 10:56 PM   #48
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I just can't see taking in a good working trany (no shift problems and smooth) and having the whole thing rebuilt for this.

Any thoughts, has anyone else had this problem? What about the pressure solenoid?

Thanks
River, you have a leaking piston or seal in the front of the transmission, interesting idea of running a hose, eventually that clutch pack will fail but since there isn't much stress in reverse it may last quite a while. I don't think it is related to a solenoid or the valve body. Keep us posted.
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:08 PM   #49
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ddaniel1, this is great. I do have one question that maybe you can answer. I have looked everywhere to no avail. There are three shift solenoids in the 5l40e transmission. 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd and 4th to 5th. What is used to shift from 3rd to 4th? Thanks
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:51 PM   #50
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Arms, It is sort of misleading, while the solenoids are labeled as they are it is for reference only IMO, what changes the gears is actually a combination of which solenoids are off and which are on, in the chart below, to the right side you can see for each gear, which solenoids are involved and which clutch packs and sprags they are actuating, in the valve body there are valves that the hydraulic pressure from the solenoids move, there are specific valves for each gear shift, if you get the manual you can see which valves do what, it easy to find the PDF online if you google 5l40E.pdf, do you have a specific malfunction?

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Old 07-07-2014, 07:47 AM   #51
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ddaniel1, thanks for the quick response. I have had the same issue for around 50 thousand miles so I do not see it as life threatening LOL. OK here goes. I get a random slip between 3rd and fourth. It only happens after the car has been driven for several miles (30). The slipping is when I drive the car very easy. That means the RPM is around 2500 and the shift is happening at 40 MPH. This started to happen when I had 85000 miles on it. I changed the filter and oil and it seemed to get better for around 3000 miles. I now have 125000 on her and will be doing another change of oil and filter. What drives me crazy is that when I use the manual or SP mode there is no slip ever. One other thing I did notice is that after I get my first slip, if I put it in SP mode for one or two shifts and then back to D it does not slip again for several shifts. This is the only issue with the trans. It just seems as if there is a sticking solenoid, solenoid filter plugged. Any ideas?
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:50 PM   #52
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Arms, this sounds like good news, you mentioned you changed the oil and filter, did you DIY or pay someone? I am asking to gauge your DIY skills, if they are good to go and you have access to the proper tools, I believe this fix is within reach.
Here is why, my theory is that if a clutch pack was going out it would slip in manual or auto, no matter what and probably wouldn't be temperature dependent.
There are two slightly different fluid paths between manual and auto so the problem sounds like it is in the valve body for sure, most likely a sticking valve, item 345 or 346 in the book on page 164.
If you are interested in a DIY we can proceed with the directions and tool list to R&R the valve body in the car. I would also ohm the solenoids from outside the transmission with the directions on post 46 above. A weak solenoid is possible also.
You can mail it off to be rebuilt and tested or exchange it with sites online for around 500. There may be local places that will do it also. Much more cost and time effective than a rebuilt transmission. If you are working with a shop instead of a DIY hopefully they will work with you.
Let me know if you want to tackle it, there is a disclaimer though, while this problem sounds pretty straight forward, this is internet troubleshooting and these transmissions can be notoriously difficult to repair, many shops wont touch them, most of the problems center around rebuilding the valve body and I don't recommend that for the DIYer unless you have a ton of experience. High end shops have a test bench to test them.
If you want to learn more, this book on scribd has the in depth theory of the transmission, lots of troubleshooting info, it is worth the download:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/34140538/5L40E

Welcome to the forum, you will find a lot of help on here with DIYs or advice on repairs or mods.
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:00 AM   #53
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ddaniel1, i did the last oil change and filter myself. I will not be doing and DYI on the valve body (no tools). I plan on a new vehicle in the fall so I just wanted to fix it if not to expensive. When I do the oil change I will check the solenoids and post back what or if I find something. Planing on change end of week. Thanks arms
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:41 PM   #54
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Ok, on checking the solenoids, I recommend either do it from the outside connector or insert the probes into the back of the connector, on many transmission the plastic connectors are so brittle that when you try to remove the catch snaps off. You have to be very careful unhooking that catch when taking the connectors off the solenoids if you have to change them, a new harness is over $100.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:36 AM   #55
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ddaniel1, I have two more question before I start my adventure. I noticed in your pictures testing the solenoid that there are yellow and black alligator clips running to the solenoid. Your tester shows red and black. Are you running the test through the wiring harness? Are you testing the solenoid in the open or closed position? Thanks
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #56
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Those were just so I could take the picture, when you ohm the solenoid, it is just a coil of wire, an electromagnet, no polarity, but it should read close to the spec. They are in an off position when de-energized. Hope that answers your question, let us know how it goes.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:35 AM   #57
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Arms, I may have misunderstood your question, I have a bunch of short pieces of wire with male or female connector pins on them I use for testing things out, those are the red and black wires you see coming out of the solenoid. I set it up that way to take the picture.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:03 AM   #58
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ddaniel1, this is a great DIY you have created here filling a huge info void regarding these transmissions.

My daughters 328I just stopped moving the other day with no warning, no slipping and no warning lights or codes. It won't move in any gear and just acts like you left it in park or neutral. I pulled the pan and found what appears to be one of the pump vanes in the filter plus I can here what sounds like more pieces moving behind the bell-housing with the engine running & car in gear. Obviously I believe the pump has failed and I'm considering trying to change only it. From reading your DIY I think I would only need to removed the transmission from the car, remove the bell-housing and I should have access to the pump. I'm also not exactly clear on what tools are needed to do that vs the entire job. Does this pass the sanity test?
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Old 08-25-2014, 09:09 PM   #59
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JW, it would be an easy DIY to change the pump/Bell housing if you could find a rebuilt one, One O-ring and 5 bolts and it lifts right off, the bell housing and pump are one unit. No special tools, one black plastic spacer to be careful of. A used transmission would be a good source.
In this case though I think it may be risky, if the pump came apart there is a good chance the metal has contaminated the rest of the transmission and valve body. Post a picture of the vane, I have some new ones handy to compare to it.
If it does have metal shards throughout the passages a full rebuild and clean out would be necessary. The filter and pan should show some evidence. There is a plastic screen filter on the output of the pump that may have stopped it but I am not sure how a vane would make it all the way into the pan. How does the pan look?
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Old 08-26-2014, 08:40 PM   #60
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ddaniel1, thanks for your reply and sorry it took so long to respond back when I am the one looking for advice.

I found a pump kit for $38 on the Cobra Transmissions site you mentioned above ... http://cobratransmission.com/index.p...ducts_id=13052.

As far as risk, I found a replacement transmission locally for $575 and the complete overhaul kit is more than that even before consumables, so I think it is worth a try. The piece I found in the filter was a pump vane in perfect condition, no chips missing, no damage at all (it could be used again). The only metal I found in the pan seems to be two small chunks smaller than a BB and looks to me like they are part of the pump retaining rings (see attached picture). The part that I think is promising is the vane and chunks of metal fell into the filter in reverse of normal flow so it seems like the pump failed but the parts fell down instead of being circulated since fluid flow stopped. I will feel very lucky for this type of failure if this works!

Right now I have the transmission almost out pending my ability to reach those stupid top bolts! I hope to be able to find all the pieces of the pump still in the pump housing because that would make me fell even better and I should know soon. It really comes down to if this doesn't work it is cheaper to replace the trans than to fix it.

Thanks again for your wonderful work on the DIY and your assistance with my situation. I will keep you posted on the progress & result.
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