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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 05-18-2011, 12:11 AM   #121
grandcarrera
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what about xi ? is it the same thing ?
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:37 PM   #122
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I saw most of people using FOUR jack stand to raise car, but I only have rhino ramp. Since the pan is removed, the complete drainage is not a problem. How about the fill part, is it a matter that only raise the car front?
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:39 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miyata View Post
I saw most of people using FOUR jack stand to raise car, but I only have rhino ramp. Since the pan is removed, the complete drainage is not a problem. How about the fill part, is it a matter that only raise the car front?
Just tested by myself, it is NOT WAY to replace the ATF with my Rhino 12000 Ramp. It's too low, and very uncomfortable to work underneath the car. The RAMP is only OK for oil change and coolant flush.
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Old 08-20-2011, 10:25 PM   #124
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This has to be the best singular post of the decade that I've read thus far on this forum!

Quote:
Originally Posted by camtscott View Post
I've enjoyed reading this thread in regards to BMW's B***S**T theory on their "lifetime" Fluid. About 10K miles back, around 80K Miles the 2006 330ZHP started getting a little funky on the shifting and was also making a "Growling Noise". The better half dropped by the dealer (we have probably the WORST RIP OFF DEALER in the country, here in Bend, Oregon!) and they drove it around the lot and told her it was time for a $7,300.00 transmission! AND they told her it was going to be an additional $2,300.00 for a new rack an pinion steering gear!

She called me and I told her to take it home and "park it".

Couple days later, I'm back in town and decide to service the transmission myself. Not much to lose I figured.....A few hundred bucks and if it's still FUBAR - then it's transmission time.

Lucky for me, I was able to procure a T-Tech Trans Flush Machine (BTW - I'm a total gearhead on this end - have to have my toys in my home shop)

Dropped the pan, cleaned it out, installed new filter, buttoned it up and topped off the trans with Red Line D4. Next, I loaded up the T-Tech with the 18 quarts of D4 and hooked up. The trans cooler lines are a snap! Just push then on a little further, then reach up and gently push the plastic clips up into the hose to release and pull the line off. "Voila" - you are unhooked. Very similar in design to ford Fuel Injection lines. Did the flush of the trans.

Next, I unhooked the return line to the Power steering reservoir and did a 7 quart flush there. Fluid exchanges QUICKLY, so be johnny on the spot to crank the wheel from stop to stop a couple times to flush all the old out. Again, Used Red Line for this.

Ever since this was done, all transmission issues have vanished, steering is perfect and quiet.

All in All, I spent the following:

T-Tech Trans Machine from Craigslist: $500.00
3 Cases of Red Line D4 ATF @ $120.00/case: $360.00
Trans Filter Kit from ECS Tuning: $24.00
Total Expendature for this project: $884.00

THEN

RESOLD the T-Tech on Craigslist for: $1,000.00.

FOUND 2 More T-Tech on Craigslist for: $250.00 each for a total of $500.00. Sold One for $500.00 and am keeping the last one for my home shop!

So with a little patience, perseverance and wheeling and dealing, I was able to service the vehicle (as well as several of my other vehicles) with little to no cost out of pocket.

Had I listened to the service vultures here at Carerra Motors here in Bend, I would have shelled out $9,600.00

So my advice? If at all possible, if you can do this stuff yourself - DO IT! Not sure what to do? Just do the posting and asking. Great DIY articles in here and a great BMW Community.

If you are a CCA member, make sure to get included in the "Friends of BMW" directory with the club. It's really neat to find people who live in your area with expertise that you can get to know through the club.


For those of you who live up around my area, look me up. I'm the "Central Oregon Regional Events Coordinator" (Translation - "A Highly Paid Volunteer Position!) for the newly formed BMWCCA Oregon Chapter! .....
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Old 08-21-2011, 08:56 PM   #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miyata View Post
I saw most of people using FOUR jack stand to raise car, but I only have rhino ramp. Since the pan is removed, the complete drainage is not a problem. How about the fill part, is it a matter that only raise the car front?
Quote:
Originally Posted by miyata View Post
Just tested by myself, it is NOT WAY to replace the ATF with my Rhino 12000 Ramp. It's too low, and very uncomfortable to work underneath the car. The RAMP is only OK for oil change and coolant flush.
I agree. You need to maximize the height ... especially for the fill procedure.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #126
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Nice written up DIY, i will try it tomorrow since my 2000 323i with 52,859 miles just started the slow reverse this weekend , crossing my fingers to see if this would fix my problem, is the cheapest way to go right now for me if not then is time to sell this car after 7 months i purchased this vehicle, a transmission is a no no !!
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:21 AM   #127
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I have a 2002 330i with 74,000mi and a ZF transmission. I did an atf drain/refill and rear differential drain/refill this weekend.
Those two fluids have never been changed. And I have had no performance issues was either system.

I jacked the car at the front Al center point, and it (predictably) bent slightly.
In the end, I had the front wheels on rhino ramps and jacked up the back. I had 4 jack stands at each jack stand point, and then a 5th jack stand at the rear jack point for insurance.

Fluids/Process/Results

Valvoline Maxlife ATF -- I drained 4.2 quarts of the original atf, which came out dark brown. Then I attempted to refill, but was using a 6mm hex fill hole in the back (rear) of the transmission. That 6mm hex fill hole would (thankfully) not accept fluid. I was using the wrong hole. Then I found the proper 8mm hex on the aft driver's side. The refill accepted 2 quarts. 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. When I reopened the fill plug with the car running and in Park, fluid came out. So I guess I was full (I was at temp with car on level, and moved through the gears), even though I had removed 0.2 quarts more than I refilled. The fluid came out dark. So if you wanted to get more new fluid in there, you could do the drain/refill twice or more.

The car never had any transmission issue.
But the result is a smooth, buttery shift into reverse all the time, which was better than before, and very smooth upshifts and downshifts.


Mobil 1 75W-90 -- I drained about 1 quart and refilled 1 quart, even though fluid never came out of the fill hole.
I stopped at the 1 quart refill, since that was all that I purchased. And I have read that the capacity is 0.95 qt.

The car never had a differential issue. And I notice no performance difference here.
However, the old fluid was black. So I am glad to have new fluid (which is almost clear) in there. Both new and old fluids reek of sulfur to my nose.


I just wanted to share the experience, since I have used this site for a lot of information about these two processes.
Thanks to all previous posters.

I think I will have a mechanic do the pan removal and atf filter replacement as I near the 100,000 mi mark.

Last edited by crazydave; 10-04-2011 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:19 PM   #128
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Just adding a few notes based on my recent experience with this project:

the fill plug on the GM A5S 360 transmission should be torqued to 18 Nm or 24 ft-lbs.
I didn't find it anywhere on the forum so I'm posting it here for the next guy.

I would highly suggest that when you're trying to remove the fill plug,
think about taking off the cross support just behind the transmission (4 bolts, 2 nuts to remove)
This will allow you to lower the transmission a little bit and give yourself room to get a torx driver + ratchet on the fill plug. It's an impossible to use the ratchet or torque wrench on it otherwise.

If your plugs are rusty, throw them away or else you run the risk of stripping them the next time you want to do take them off. Some of the transmission kits comes with filter, gasket, 20 pan bolts, fill plug and drain plug, which is very convenient.

Last edited by joeku; 10-24-2011 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:53 PM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeku View Post
Just adding a few notes based on my recent experience with this project:

the fill plug on the GM A5S 360 transmission should be torqued to 18 Nm or 24 ft-lbs.
I didn't find it anywhere on the forum so I'm posting it here for the next guy.

I would highly suggest that when you're trying to remove the fill plug,
think about taking off the cross support just behind the transmission (4 bolts, 2 nuts to remove)
This will allow you to lower the transmission a little bit and give yourself room to get a torx driver + ratchet on the fill plug. It's an impossible to use the ratchet or torque wrench on it otherwise.

If your plugs are rusty, throw them away or else you run the risk of stripping them the next time you want to do take them off. Some of the transmission kits comes with filter, gasket, 20 pan bolts, fill plug and drain plug, which is very convenient.
good timing. I was doing mine today and tried to find the torque value.
on the 330xi, the torx fill plug is very very close to the front driveshaft, so I used the hex bolt on the opposite side of the transmission. its the same height as the fill plug so I guess its okay.
I am doing a double flush since I am using Dexron VI from Valvoline, its GM approved so I guess its okay, besides its about $6.75 a quart from NAPA.
drain, drop the pan, change filter and clean pan, fill to the correct level, wait over night to cool, drain, fill to correct level.
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Last edited by jasonbimmer; 10-29-2011 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 11-20-2011, 02:17 PM   #130
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Installing Filter on Transmission

Hello,
I'm in the midst of changing the fluid and filter in my transmission on a 2003 325 xit (all wheel drive wagon).

A strange white plastic spacer looking piece fell out when I pulled the filter. I cannot figure out where it is from. I thought it just part of the seal that gets stuck in the tranny but it is not.

I'm wondering what is referred to here in step 7 as the "white cap". I can't find any other reference to it and don't know what that is. Maybe it's the piece I have but I can't find anything on that either.

7. Find the new filter kit. Open and remove the filter. Install the filter by grasping both sides and pushing up until the sealing ring is out of site. The white cap should be at the base of the transmission.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:05 PM   #131
e46bonestock
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I did mine over 3 years ago. Tranny was ok, wouldn't say sluggish, was grey. After ATF change with Mobil 1, car felt smoother. Changed diff fluid, old was golden but I didn't want to leave it in there as I wanted to change all so I'd know when the intervals are. After driven 40k km, car runs like new. prestinely maintained by me.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:43 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisr03325xit View Post
Hello,
I'm in the midst of changing the fluid and filter in my transmission on a 2003 325 xit (all wheel drive wagon).

A strange white plastic spacer looking piece fell out when I pulled the filter. I cannot figure out where it is from. I thought it just part of the seal that gets stuck in the tranny but it is not.

I'm wondering what is referred to here in step 7 as the "white cap". I can't find any other reference to it and don't know what that is. Maybe it's the piece I have but I can't find anything on that either.

7. Find the new filter kit. Open and remove the filter. Install the filter by grasping both sides and pushing up until the sealing ring is out of site. The white cap should be at the base of the transmission.

Thanks,
Chris
it is on the filter tube seal. the plastic piece is below the seal.
you need to make sure the old ones are not stuck in the transmission, and when you put new filter in, the plastic on the tube would stop the filter going deeper.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:51 PM   #133
chrisr03325xit
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I was not sure where that piece could have been from and could not find it in any diagrams but now I think I do see a photo with it on the filter tube. I did not re-install it and the new filter did not come with one. Uh oh. I was careful to remove the old seals.
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Old 12-03-2011, 07:24 AM   #134
wayne2970
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Great write up..I'll be taking care of this soon
What is your opinion on other Trani Fluids like Amsoil or Royal Purple instead of BMW?
In step 5 you mention "You can discard the screws" I assume your talking about the pan bolts. Why are you replacing them?

Thanks
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:11 AM   #135
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Some transmission filter kits include the 20 tranny pan bolts with it. No reason you cant re-use them.

As I have said in other posts. There are 2 types of pan gaskets. A metal one with a strip of rubber, or just a rubber one.

Try to use the metal gasket, as this is more reliable and is what the factory uses.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #136
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Quote:
Some transmission filter kits include the 20 tranny pan bolts with it. No reason you cant re-use them.
I put a small dab of Locktite blue on each bolt before reusing them.
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:12 PM   #137
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I put a small dab of Locktite blue on each bolt before reusing them.
Yes, the new pan bolts have Locktite on them.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:17 AM   #138
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Anyone know what kind of oil i should use in the transfer case?

Planning on doing ATF soon with some mobil dex IV, so while i'm down there...

Also, whats the word changing the fluid in the diffs? same as x-fer case oil?


*edit* oh yeah, its a 325xi / GM tranny
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Old 12-18-2011, 07:38 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaTR View Post
Anyone know what kind of oil i should use in the transfer case?

Planning on doing ATF soon with some mobil dex IV, so while i'm down there...

Also, whats the word changing the fluid in the diffs? same as x-fer case oil?


*edit* oh yeah, its a 325xi / GM tranny
I think you need dex VI in your gm trany. I used red line in the diff.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:02 PM   #140
ShaTR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaTR View Post
Anyone know what kind of oil i should use in the transfer case?

Planning on doing ATF soon with some mobil dex IV, so while i'm down there...

Also, whats the word changing the fluid in the diffs? same as x-fer case oil?


*edit* oh yeah, its a 325xi / GM tranny
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyetide View Post
I think you need dex VI in your gm trany. I used red line in the diff.
that's what i meant

Last edited by ShaTR; 12-28-2011 at 04:01 AM.
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