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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 08-26-2014, 11:07 PM   #61
ddaniel1
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JW, good progress, it helps to tilt the engine back to get to the top bolts, I loosen the motor mount top nuts a few turns and use a harbor freight engine support bar to hold the engine at an angle, helps on reinstall also.
Number one thing is to make sure you are square on those bolts, the heads can strip. It helps to have a second person help guide the long extension.

I have not rebuilt a pump yet but reading up on it there are many critical clearances and variable thickness parts based on the measurements and special tools involved, probably better to either use the used transmission or swap the pumps.

It is best to stand the transmission vertically, remove the five bolts and the little o-ring on the input shaft, if that little oring is left on, you will pull clutch packs out with the bell housing, you don't want to do that, as the bell housing comes up the center of the input shaft should stay put.

There is one half moon gasket and a big oring around the pump, I recommend changing those if you can. Cobra sells them separate.
The black plastic spacer only goes one way, if it is wrong, the pump wont go down flush. if everything is right, the pump and bell housing should slide in and be completely flush with the case, under no circumstances use the bolts to pull it in, if it isn't completely flush something is not right. I use trans jel to hold the plastic spacer in place, you can use Vaseline in a pinch. Good luck and let me know how else I can help.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:08 AM   #62
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ddaniel1,
Sorry it took so long to get back; I hate it when work gets in the way of... well work.

The sad part was when I last updated I did have the transmission tilted and was using an assortment of extensions to get up on top of the trans. I was using a deep well external torx socket to remove the trans mount bolts and couldn't get the angle to reach the top right bolt squarely. I went a bought a shallow socket and it made life much easier.

Once I got the trans out and disassembled I found the pump had failed as suspected. It looks to me like the rotor cracked which allowed the one vane to drop out the bottom along with the drive tabs that are turned by the torque converter. The really bad part was one vane was trapped between the rotor and the housing at an angle; you can see it in the pictures... It gouged both sides of the pump internal housing. I wound up sanding the immediate area around the gouges to blend them out so as to prevent the pump vanes catching in the future. I went all the way to wet 1000 grit and the surface appeared machined. You can also see how bent the top vane retainer ring is and the broken rotor drive tabs in the pictures. I also replaced the torque converter bushing and all seals that were removed during disassembly.

I put it back together and reinstalled the trans tonight; and it works great so far. Put about 50 miles on it without incident; but will still be paying close attention for the next several hundred miles. What I thought was going to be a trans rebuild wound up being about a $75 dollar fix when all was done. Also, although many calender days it only took about 16 hrs (mostly sanding and removing that one bolt).

Thanks again for your DIY, it gave me the confidence to tear into it since this was the first time I ever opened up an auto transmission. I was always told they are too complicated and never to attempt it. They are really quite simple (I tore it down further than needed just to inspect everything and see how they work). Anyway, the info you provided gave me the confidence to try to repair instead of replace.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:53 PM   #63
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Great Job! Glad to hear the DIY helped. Post any more pictures that you can since the DIY is weak in the pump rebuilding area, it is still a goal of mine but I have too many projects.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:58 AM   #64
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More simple solution would be to use improved GM transmission that is used on later years. BMW improved the overall quality
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:15 AM   #65
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I wonder if the newer tranny is a bolt and plug in? Nothing is ever simple. Can the BMW tranny be updated? Acura improved their tranny on the MDX, same kind of issue
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Old 10-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #66
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ddaniel1, amazing write up! I wish I had anywhere near your skill and knowledge in this. Looking for some clue...My tranny slip in cold temperature (below ~50F)through all gears until the unit is fully warmed up. Engine would rev but car will hardly move for a while and then it would work fine. I started to have this problem last winter. I kept driving until summer came and weather warmed up, my car drove fine with no slipping at all even during cold start. Now the temperature dropped and it start slipping again.. I am going to take it to a shop but wanted to try understand what's wrong first...
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Old 11-03-2015, 09:20 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheguevara View Post
ddaniel1, amazing write up! I wish I had anywhere near your skill and knowledge in this. Looking for some clue...My tranny slip in cold temperature (below ~50F)through all gears until the unit is fully warmed up. Engine would rev but car will hardly move for a while and then it would work fine. I started to have this problem last winter. I kept driving until summer came and weather warmed up, my car drove fine with no slipping at all even during cold start. Now the temperature dropped and it start slipping again.. I am going to take it to a shop but wanted to try understand what's wrong first...
Thanks, could be a piston but more likely a solenoid, let us know what the shop says, they will almost all insist on a rebuild. Drive in manual and see which gear is slipping or if it is all gears, also scan for codes, usually slipping will throw a code.
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:06 PM   #68
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Yeah The shop said I need a rebuild. It is slipping in all gears but strangely no CEL and no codes.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:48 AM   #69
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Update: for the first 15 minutes after a cold start,if I put the car on neutral when I stop at the light, and put the car back in drive at green, the car is a lot more drivable. Meaning the car would drive away fine with some slipping. And then once the car get up to temperature, everything would be normal again.

I did put a bottle of Lucas trans fix fluid but it didn't make any difference.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
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Old 01-08-2016, 11:00 AM   #70
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Oh, the mysterys of the internal workings of a tranny.
My '84 Suburban 700R4 stopped shifting, it started shifting again just like old times for a month, then back to no shifting. I dropped the valve body 3 times, even had it looked at by a professional the third time, found a few small issues with it, and it never shift it again. I pulled the tranny a couple of months ago, and the torque converter is jammed on the input shaft, a not uncommon problem if a ground wire is missing, but this one was intact. I can't wait to open it up one day and see what failed
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:22 PM   #71
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Sorry to bring this thread back to life

ddaniel. Hi. Great thread btw!
I have a 2000 BMW 323i with the same tranny you rebuilt. Here's my problem. Same problem as river described. I noticed that it leaked ATF thru the breather hole at below freezing temps only. But, if I let the car warm up for at least 15 mins in below freezing temps there was never a leak. I read some forums last winter and proceeded with what I thought made the most sense for the money. I did a filter and fluid change, added 8oz of Seafoam trans tune. Ran for a couple hundred miles, did the exact same thing over again for only 100 miles the second time. The fluid appeared much brighter red. So for a final time I got the OEM much more expensive filter and used Valvoline Maxlife Dexron/Mercon fluid all 3 times. The tranny shifted like new and I had no more problems till temps dropped to below freezing again this winter. Well, thinking that maybe it needed a "deeper cleaning", and since it worked before last winter it'll work again I proceeded to do the same all over again. Only this time I used a full 16oz bottle of Seafoam trans tune and Dexron VI fluid and left it in longer than I had last time. Because it stopped leaking and it was shifting super smooth. But, after I got on the highway the other day. Maybe 300 miles after, the tranny stopped working all together. I have no gears whatsoever. Got the car towed home and I've been breaking my head ever since till tonight when I found your thread! Please help. You're the only one I have found that has done a total rebuilt of this specific tranny. Many people seem like they know what they're talking about. But you sir actually got down and dirty with all the details needed for anyone who's mechanically inclined and with common sense to do this themselves. I just need to know, can you pinpoint what went wrong in my case. I'm thinking valve body and pump issues. Thank you so much. Sorry for the long thread. But I felt I needed to be very specific about what happened to get the most specific answer/solution possible. Thanks again. I hope to hear from you soon. Although I know your thread is a few years old. I noticed you were back on the subject early on November. Thank you!

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Old 02-28-2016, 11:46 PM   #72
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D, have you checked the fluid since it stopped working? The symptoms sounds like you dumped the fluid, this happened to use when a cooling line blew, if the fluid level is fine we can look at other problems, but no gears at all sounds like no fluid pressure. If it is low, refill and test it out. Let me know.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:57 PM   #73
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I did check the fluid. It was full and dripping when I removed the fuller plug. A friend suggested that maybe the filter got clogged due to all the cleaning. Drained the pan. Got 5 quarts out. Replaced filter. Added new 5 quarts Dexron VI. Still the same.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:58 PM   #74
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I did check the fluid. It was full and dripping when I removed the filler plug. A friend suggested that maybe the filter got clogged due to all the cleaning. Drained the pan. Got 5 quarts out. Replaced filter. Added new 5 quarts Dexron VI. Still the same. Fluid that I drained was darker. But very minimal residue on the magnet.

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Old 02-29-2016, 10:03 AM   #75
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D, you got all the filter seals out of the pump inlet? They usually stay in there and will prevent the filter from seating all the way. There should be two pink seals above a white Teflon ring on the filter and it should snap in place hard, really hard, if the filter was seated properly and the fluid was full it sounds like your pump like JW had up above, see the seals in the filter hole?, make sure to remove these:
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:55 PM   #76
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ddaniel1, yes, both seals were removed every time I changed the filter. I watched a few videos on YouTube on how to remove and install the filter. They were very specific about the 2 pink seals and I made sure I got them both out every time. Thank you.
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Old 02-29-2016, 03:55 PM   #77
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OK, trying to think of all the easy stuff to try, have you scanned for codes?
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:35 PM   #78
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I haven't got a scanner. Wish I did will have to invest in one. I'm not sure if the problem is mechanical or electrical.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:18 PM   #79
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Leaning to believe it's either the pump or the valve body. Found a pump repair kit on eBay for $128. And a remanufactured valve body with a lifeline warranty also on eBay for $546.87 after a $200 core return refund. See links below:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/5L40E-Repair...hUJvn4&vxp=mtr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291228421153...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

Not bad considering I've checked dozens of places for both and haven't found anything that comes even close to the price and quality plus the warranty. Still not 100% sure these are the parts I need to get her up and running. Please advice, thank you!
PS. At least if it's any or both of the above I won't have to pull the tranny to repair and/or replace them.

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Old 02-29-2016, 09:01 PM   #80
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Are you ready to DIY this? You do have to pull the transmission to rebuild the pump, it is a part of the bell housing. Speed sensors and valve body are all you can do in the car. the repair kit is for a worn valve bore in the pump that happens but isnt a 100%, here is the rebuild kit for the pump:
https://cobratransmission.com/5l40e-...or-kit-13052-1
If you can find a good used transmission you could use that or rob the pump from it very easily, with the transmission out, it comes right off the front once the bolts and an o-ring are removed, if you keep the transmission vertical you wont disturb any of the clutches, it can be a pain to get them back in. Be sure to download the manual.
If the pump tore itself up then you are looking at a pump stator and maybe a bell housing, those will run into money.
Scroll through the 5L40E parts on cobra transmission to familiarize them. I may consider renting the tools. Study JWLeanord's post above, he opened the pump and repaired for under 100 dollars.
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