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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 11-15-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
EDness
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front diff fluid change

Sorry this is my first post. I usually do all the maintenance of my cars myself and I just bought this car as my winter car.

I've been searching for a DIY for front diff fluid change...I've found the rear diff and transfer case but not the front diff. Just want to get some info before i tackle the job.


thanks
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:46 AM   #2
ferngreen 325xi
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To make it easy, take off the front driver side tire to refill the pumpkin.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:00 AM   #3
SILVRRONIN
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Go to DIY BMW differential fluid change( google). Its easy..I used the expensive differential fluid-purple stuff 75-90.
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Old 11-16-2010, 09:18 AM   #4
EDness
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVRRONIN View Post
Go to DIY BMW differential fluid change( google). Its easy..I used the expensive differential fluid-purple stuff 75-90.
They are all for the rear which i've found. I'm looking for the front diff...just want to make sure where the fill and drain plug is. I'm sure I'll find out when i look at it...i just want to see if online before i go tackle it.
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Old 11-16-2010, 10:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDness View Post
They are all for the rear which i've found. I'm looking for the front diff...just want to make sure where the fill and drain plug is. I'm sure I'll find out when i look at it...i just want to see if online before i go tackle it.
You will be fine. its fairly obvious once you take a look. In any case here is a diagram:

Drain on the bottom (#10) Fill on the side (#10)

[
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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Look fro the bottom plug to drain. Then open the top and use a small hand pump(wall mart $8 found in the marine outboard section) to suck it all out. Then go to the top...remove plug using hexhead. Pump all the new fluid in. The recommendations are in the article.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #7
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^ make sure to loosen the top one first to make sure you can get it open before you drain your fluid by opening the drain one..
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:10 PM   #8
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The bottles of Motul fluid with the extendable long skinny penis-type spout makes filling it very easy, btw.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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The bottles of Motul fluid with the extendable long skinny penis-type spout makes filling it very easy, btw.
hahaha

If you're not down with playing with penis, the bottle pumps you can get at Autozone or Advance Auto work great too.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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use an extension to get at the fill bolt. I used my impact gun that way and it flew off.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:11 AM   #11
EDness
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thanks guys. I'm going to change the fluids out once the fluids gets in. Also doing an bunch of other stuff as well. Fuel filter, spark plugs, oil change, clean ICV...and a full exterior detail. It's swirl city at the moment.
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
The bottles of Motul fluid with the extendable long skinny penis-type spout makes filling it very easy, btw.

I had my fluid changed by an indy using bmw diff fluid, but now i fear i have a leak (possibly one of the plugs) and might be low. im going to do this change myself and replace the drain/fill plug washers. Which fluid do you recommend? which motul?
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Old 11-17-2010, 03:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
I had my fluid changed by an indy using bmw diff fluid, but now i fear i have a leak (possibly one of the plugs) and might be low. im going to do this change myself and replace the drain/fill plug washers. Which fluid do you recommend? which motul?
The original fill was SAF-XO which is/was a synthetic GL5 75W-90 Gear Oil.

Any synthetic 75w-90 GL5 spec gear oil will be fine. I used Redline 75W90

Last edited by GCoop; 11-17-2010 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:03 PM   #14
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red line +1 deerfield. Turner Motorsport sells the redline kit for diffs, transfer case, and man trans. That's what I bought.

edness- i just did a fuel filter on my 01 and it needed new hoses and pipe clamps. 3 little pieces of fuel hose, and 6 small pipe clamps later i was good as new.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by athayer187 View Post
hahaha

If you're not down with playing with penis, the bottle pumps you can get at Autozone or Advance Auto work great too.
Hey Andy- yeah I have one of those, and I also have one of the syringe style suction guns. I bought the suction gun because I always made a little mess with the hand pump. Suction gun worked great until the plastic tube fell off while I was filling, which made a Big mess. I had a buddy bring over some 75w90 because my remaining redline was on the floor- thats how I discovered the Motul trick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckb View Post
use an extension to get at the fill bolt. I used my impact gun that way and it flew off.
Yeah a 3-4" extension between a 3/8" ratchet and the socket works great and you def dont have to take the wheel off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
I had my fluid changed by an indy using bmw diff fluid, but now i fear i have a leak (possibly one of the plugs) and might be low. im going to do this change myself and replace the drain/fill plug washers. Which fluid do you recommend? which motul?
I used the Motul 75w90 (300 I think) because that's what my buddy had in his garage when I called him. I'd recommend Redline. I've used Royal Purple too because it was available at Autozone and I was too lazy to drive to HMS, turner, or bav.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:45 PM   #16
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What's the consensus on whether the car has to be level to properly fill the diff? I've always put the car on stands before doing this job but I've always wondered if it was truly necessary.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:01 AM   #17
SILVRRONIN
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Place the car on ramps to drain....keep it even when filling. Autozone sells the PURPLE KING synthetic fluid..75-90...awesome stuff..
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:19 PM   #18
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who has changed their transfer case fluid? is anyone using the purple king? of the Redline d4 atf?
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:02 PM   #19
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Use the same stuff that went into your manual transmission. If you don't have a manual, then just use MTL. I used Royal Purple Synchromax.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #20
325xi.bimmer
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Use the same stuff that went into your manual transmission. If you don't have a manual, then just use MTL. I used Royal Purple Synchromax.

Isn't MTL (manual transmission lubricant) for use if you DO have a manual transmission?
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