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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 04-24-2012, 09:41 PM   #181
Terran6
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I have an idea, but how should I do this? Is there a kit that I can buy to heli-coil it?
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Old 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM   #182
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Here is link to a you tube video about heli-coils
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:54 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Terran6 View Post
I have an idea, but how should I do this? Is there a kit that I can buy to heli-coil it?
You can purchase the correct size you need like 6mm , 8mm, ect.
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:08 AM   #184
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Changed the ATF fluid and filter yesterday @170K Km following the DIY. Fluid was black, with sludge on the magnet.
GM transmission ATF fluid and filter kit are OEM from the dealer - filter kit with BMWCCA discount was $161 plus tax and the ATF (8 L, 2 jugs) was $150 plus tax (ouch). Fluid from the dealer was branded Petro Canada Dexron VI.

DIY procedure was great, and various tips from everyone. The only exception was the filler plug, destroyed 2 tools in the process of getting the filler plug loose - my buddy made me a tool. Took at t45 bit and cutoff the length about mid-way, then used a Snapon box wrench with a short lead pipe over it for torque. My suggestion to all is really get prepared for the filler plug issue before you start anything.

What was really unsettling is that about 6L came out, and following the procedure we put in about 5L (total after warmup). Seems as if the factory fill was overfilled which may explain the shift delays when cold. So far so good, will test out the car more today (its cold today and hopefully I no longer have the reverse-to-drive delay when cold).
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Old 06-03-2012, 11:14 AM   #185
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Great DIY step by step. Thanks for the write up!
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Old 06-04-2012, 05:40 AM   #186
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Did the fluid exchange last weekend. Well this was on my x3, but the process was the same. Lucky, I had Torx screw only on the transmission drain plug. Other bolts were standard. Got about 5.1liters in..

Toughest part was closing the fill bolt at the end. Hot fluid was rolling down on my hands. Transmission shifts great now.
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Last edited by mps; 06-04-2012 at 05:45 AM.
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:44 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by crazydave View Post
Then I started the car and patiently shifted through P-R(which was a hard "pop")-N-D. The fill accepted another 2 quarts. Then started the car again and let it run for 10 minutes. Then I shifted through P-R (another "pop")-N-D, then up and down the gears a couple more times.
That "Pop" sound is also what I have experienced. I have to say it is very unpleasant to hear, and no doubt it has cause some damage to the tranny. Unfortunately this seems to be the standard procedure from official documents, and I think it may be somewhat flawed.

My theory is that before starting the engine, you can only add about 2 litres. Then you start the engine and shift through gears. This means you're shifting with way way below the requirement amount of fluids, which cause the "pop" and potentially cause damage.

I think in my next ATF change, I would just start the engine, keep it in P and continue to pump in fluid to at least 5 litres, then start shifting through gears as instructed, until the fluids flows out and the pan reaches the temperature range. This way, it should have much less risk of causing damage.

Last edited by TonyJ; 07-03-2012 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:06 AM   #188
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TonyJ, great idea. Will keep that in mind the next time.

All, the other mistake I made is that I didn't measure the fluid coming out, so I was always nervous about the correct level of fluid. Although I topped off with the engine running, measuring would have given me peace of mind for oil in vs oil out.

Thanks to everyone for there experiences. Makes it so much easier to complete the DIY
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:04 AM   #189
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Curious to how fast the GM's upshifts are supposed to take place when driving is spirited? They seem somewhat slow to me but guessing they're not gonna be F1 or SMG quick, right...
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:00 AM   #190
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I think in my next ATF change, I would just start the engine, keep it in P and continue to pump in fluid to at least 5 litres, then start shifting through gears as instructed, until the fluids flows out and the pan reaches the temperature range. This way, it should have much less risk of causing damage.
I have just done my second interim ATF change using this method. This is after 300km of first change. Did not drop the pan, just drain and refilled 4.6L. This time there was no pop noise when changing from P to D. So I will stick to it.

One thing annoys me is this process has to be so haste. I started the engine in the morning hoping to give me more time. It was only 6 degrees. But the pan heated up so quickly. I only barely had the time to remove dirty clothes and gloves, hop into the car to change gears for 5 rounds, then hop out, put back clothes and gloves and keep pumping. By the time the fluid came out, the pan has ready reached 28 degrees. Working under the car when the engine is running is no fun, and it is very hard to increase pumping performance due to space restrictions.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:25 PM   #191
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I am also planning to do this to my 2000 328i BMW, my only concern is if i change this is it possible my transmission will give out after all for the past 178k mile it has had the same transmission fluid im just worried that new transmission fluid will be to thick or to thin compared to what my transmission is used to. Any advice?
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Old 07-21-2012, 04:55 PM   #192
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I am also planning to do this to my 2000 328i BMW, my only concern is if i change this is it possible my transmission will give out after all for the past 178k mile it has had the same transmission fluid im just worried that new transmission fluid will be to thick or to thin compared to what my transmission is used to. Any advice?
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!

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:40 PM   #193
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Hey guys i am planning on doing a trans fluid change well actually i need to find the leak i have first but i can not find the L shaped torx anywere is there an alternative?? Or were did you guys get yours??

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Old 07-24-2012, 07:42 PM   #194
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Hey guys i am planning on doing a trans fluid change well actually i need to find the leak i have first but i can not find the L shaped torx anywere is there an alternative?? Or were did you guys get yours??

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If you're talking about the fill plug, my ZF is a 8mm hex screw. There is no chance I can fit a wrench and socket in there, so I just bought an L shaped 8mm hex key from ebay. Surprisingly good quality. It was very tight so I have to insert it into a 50cm pipe to make it easier.

Pretty sure you can find it in hardware stores. (need good quality though)
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:16 PM   #195
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I used a torx socket and placed an 8mm closed end wrench on the shaft part of the torx bit and it fit it perfectly. The socket portion of the torx bit keeps the wrench on and helps to keep it from moving. My socket was either a craftsman or an lisle.

Last edited by BMWCaptain; 07-24-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:26 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by gnome View Post
Changed the ATF fluid and filter yesterday @170K Km following the DIY. Fluid was black, with sludge on the magnet.
GM transmission ATF fluid and filter kit are OEM from the dealer - filter kit with BMWCCA discount was $161 plus tax and the ATF (8 L, 2 jugs) was $150 plus tax (ouch). Fluid from the dealer was branded Petro Canada Dexron VI.
The BMW filter kit is wayyyyyy overpriced at $161 plus tax. OEM kits can be found online for $50.

The fluid you bought from the dealer (Petro Canada Dexron VI) is also wayyyyy overpriced at $150 plus tax. Full synthetic Amsoil "Fuel Efficient ATF" (Dexron VI) is a thousand times better and less than half the price.

For the next fluid change, I would seriously recommend buying one of the $50 OEM filter kits and some Amsoil ATF. You would then be able to do the entire job for $150 instead of $311. Basically you paid double and the Petro Canada stuff is inferior when compared with the Amsoil.

I used to hate doing these "official BMW fluid changes" for customers using BMW's crap materials because I knew the customer was overpaying and sacrificing quality in the process.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:12 PM   #197
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Did this yesterday on my 02 330xi. It took 6.5 Qts. of Redline ATF D4.
OP, thank you for the DIY, great job on the write up!
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:43 PM   #198
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Thats good info MOONX. Thanks for sharing.

Lou.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:20 PM   #199
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Just wanted to say this post was great for my tranny job but something's happened along the way, as they usually do. I own an 8/2002 330XI that had 147K on it. Yes, I know!!! I bought the car with 101K and they said it had a flush but by the watery, silvery, brown , tranny hunting for gears I discovered lead me to believe a service report is a piece of paper and can be a lie. I want to do this sooner but kay sera...

There were some differences. The main difference is the filler plug is not a T45 but a 17mm shallow hex made from aluminum so it's going to strip!!. The shift linkage is in the way and causes all types of interference. I found it was best just to disconnect the linkage with a 13mm wrench and reset after done. The shift linkage on the tranny in the fully forward position is park. As I was doing the P-N-D sequence during fill I just clicked the linkage by hand to the three respective positions. I also did this on a lift so it was easy.

Also for filling the tranny I found this neat Attwood gear lube pump in the marine section @ Wal-Mart for 7 bucks, well worth it

http://www.attwoodmarine.com/store/p...gear-lube-pump

I ordered the Elring Klinger tranny kit from Pelican (24-11-7-557-070-M30)and discovered after I removed the filter that the one sent was slightly different and wouldn't let my pan sit flush. The new one had the open vents on the bottom with this plastic piece, the original had the vents on the angle part. The new one also had this standoff that I guess is supposed to sit on the pan and hold the pickup in tight. Original did not have this. I had to saw off all the plastic parts, deburr and clean them well. SEE PIX

I also used Castrol tranny fluid. After said and done, shift and drives like a dream. I plan on doing another fluid change in about 5000 to get some of the fluid that was in the torque converter. Also I am going to replace the fill plug since it's buggered
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:56 AM   #200
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Belmar, begging to differ-The fill on my '02 330x is indeed a T45. It is directly opposite the drive shaft, covered by a white sticker. The clearance is very small between the drive shaft & plug, needing a special/cutom tool to get at it.
I took a T45 bit from a socket and ground it down. A 5/16" wrench fits the bit perfectly.

I'm not saying what you did was wrong-it can be done that way. By using the T45 plug there were no obstacles in the way besides the drive shaft. When I pumped the new fluid in, I ran the fill tube over the drive shaft. Here is a discussion on the subject-
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...3#post14845803
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