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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 05-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Minneapolis
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My Ride: E36 318ti, E46 323it
DIY: ZF 5HP19 Reverse Drum Fix

Rebuild of ZF 5HP19 Automatic Transmission with failed reverse.

• New Reverse/D Drum. I got a "Kόhle Inc." brand aftermarket, updated unit. http://www.kuhleus.com/store/ $115 Shipped from "cascadetransmissionparts" on eBay.

• New o-ring for forward piston within the Reverse drum assembly. This o-ring is only available in the rebuild kit from ZF, not seperately. I measured it at 2.5mm C.S. and 140mm I.D. Material = Buna-N (Nitrile Rubber). Seems to fit nicely. Part# "N2.50X140" www.theoringstore.com. $8 Shipped.

• Two new plastic valve body pipes. One is sure to break upon removal, so just buy new ones and four new o-rings.
Pipes (2x): BMW Part # 24201423388
O-ring (4x): BMW Part # 24201423387. I measured these at 1.78mm C.S. and 21mm I.D.
$40 Shipped - www.bmwmercedesparts.com or www.getbmwparts.com or your local dealer.

• Transmission input shaft/torque converter shaft seal. BMW Part # 24201423382.
$12, shipped with the above parts.

• I also recommed replacing the large o-ring that seals the oil pump to the shell of the transmission. I measured it at 3mm C.S. and 215mm I.D., a size they sell at www.theoringstore.com. The 214mm one they sell might also be a viable option. I did NOT replace this o-ring on mine, so I cannot confirm that size will work. It was just my best measurement. $9 shipped with the required piston o-ring.

• New transmission filter. $19 www.AutohausAZ.com

• New transmission pan gasket. $20. I HIGHLY recommend a Genuine BMW gasket. Or a type similar to the BMW part - the waxy green paper. I started with a rubber gasket which leaked and I had to start all over with a Genuine BMW one. The issue was probably my fault though. If you overtorque those rubber gaskets at all, the bolt holes elongate and create a major leak.

• ESSO ATF LT 71141 compatible fluid. Approx 10 quarts; 7 quarts if you don't change any of the torque converter fluid. Some fluids available locally meeting the "LT 71141" spec:
- Valvoline MaxLife Dex/Merc ATF
- Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle
- Citgo Multi-Vehicle Synthetic Blend (what I used). $4.29 / quart.

That's only about $270 total. Parts, Shipping and Tax. Better than the $4,000 - $6,000 that a dealer would charge for a replacment transmission

Tools (for JUST the transmission rebuild):
• T27 Torx Bit
• T50 torx bit
• flat head screw driver
• Rubber mallet
• vice grips (2x)
• Tool to compress the cup springs in the reverse drum assembly. See video below.

*** Please note that I am not a professional. This is simply a DIY that I wanted to attempt on a cheap E46 I found on Craigslist. Attempt at your own risk! It's not terribly hard, but I'd say it's for "advanced DIY'ers". If you can pull the transmission, you can do this... and for about $300, including the new fluid and filter. Also, I rotated the transmission 180 degrees at some point when working on the valve body - so some parts will have reverse orientation when comparing various photos - easy to figure out though.

• Remove transmission and drain ATF.
• Remove torque converter. This simply pulls out. Make note of the corresponding notches on the torque converter shaft as well as inside the input shaft/oil pump bore of transmission. These will need to mate-up upon installation.
• Place transmission on a good working surface. I highly suggest getting it on a workbench.
Here's some good shots of the transmission.





• Remove oil pan. Clean pan and magnets and store in a clean plastic bag.

Last edited by CirrusSR22; 06-25-2012 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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Location: Minneapolis
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My Ride: E36 318ti, E46 323it
• Remove oil filter. 2x bolts, T27 head. See picture below
• Disconnect electrical connector for input speed sensor. See picture below
• Remove two screws securing output speed sensor. 2x bolts, T27 head. See picture below
• Remove the 14 noted valve body bolts bolts in the picture below.

• Remove clip holding main connector to transmission body. Press connector inside the transmission.

• The valve body can now be removed with the wiring harness still attached. Carefully set it aside and cover with a clean plastic bag. I cleaned all the bolts in my Harbor Freight ultrasonic cleaner.

• Remove input speed sensor shown here. 1x T-27 head bolt. These red marks will be important later....

• Inspect and clean oil cooler inlet/outlet ports and o-rings. Once clean, cover ports with tape. It wouldn't hurt to replace these, but mine still seemed supple and in great condition, minus some discoloration.

• Remove the yellowed plastic pipe without the metal in it. It will just pull out. The second pipe has a metal spacer in it. Behind the spacer is a spring. Behind the spring is a valve. Grab the metal spacer, push down, and turn about 45-90 degrees. This will disconnect three tabs on the metal spacer from three ledges on the inside bore of the plastic pipe. Remove spring. Pull out plastic pipe. This pipe is snapped into the bore and will probably break upon removal. Using a magnet (or your little finger) remove the valve inside.

Fully assembled:


Full assembly removed from transmission.

New ones, plus a new torque converter shaft seal.

Last edited by CirrusSR22; 05-09-2012 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:21 PM   #3
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* From this point forward, I HIGHLY suggest you establish a large, clean work area where you can arrange the transmission guts in the order and orientation you removed them. Take lots of pictures!!! *

* In addition, as you remove the transmission parts, most are separated by a three-piece thrust bearings. Watch for these. Keep them together so you know how they were installed *

* And now back to this photo..... Another suggestion I have is to make marks like this with a Sharpie. Both on the transmission frame and the internal parts of the transmission. There are numerous clutch packs that need to get fully seated for this all to go together as it should. These marks will show you whether each individual part is installed far enough into the transmission upon reassembly. If the part does not go in far enough, you most likey do not have something seated properly.

• More pictures:

• Now comes time to disassemble transmission. Start by making marks on the oil pump body and transmission frame. The pump needs to be reinstalled in the same orientation/rotation as it's installed now.

Remove the 9x bolts from the face of the oil pump housing.

Using a pair of vice grips, clamp onto the oil pump fins. Pull firmly - rotating might help. This takes a fair amount of force, but it's not too bad. I did it without vice grips (just plain pliers) but I can tell it would be MUCH easier with vice grips.

• Once the oil pump pulls free, you might get another "shell" that comes with it. Friction with the clutch packs is holding the units together. In this case (picture below) I had one shell come out with the oil pump.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:22 PM   #4
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• From this point on, most of the remaining components just simply pull out (and quite easily). No bolts, no clips, nothing

• A look at the next item to come out. Pull it out by its large shaft.

• The backside of this item. Notice the clutch packs.

• The next item is a set of three nestled drums. The splines on these drums mate to the splines on the clutch packs ahead of it.

• Take a look at the top left of this picture, with the three arrows (forget the rest for now). You can see a set of two splines and a third geared surface (sun gear). That is the BACK side of the three nestled drums you just took out.

• Those three splined/geared surfaces mate to the next item, a planetary gear set. Notice the three splined/gear surfaces?

• The backside of the planetary gear set. Notice the OUTER geared surface (planet gears) of the planetary.....

• The OUTER geared surface (ring gear) of the planetary mates to the next item.

Last edited by CirrusSR22; 05-09-2012 at 02:50 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #5
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• We have now reached the Reverse drum. This drum is bolted to the transmission with three large bolts - T50 head. Remove the bolts and remove the reverse drum as you did with the other components.

Note the forward lip (right side of picture) which has failed severely. It will spew metal chunks into the transmission. Find these bits and "reconstruct" the drum lip to make sure you have found all the large pieces.

• Remove the next item inside. I saw these strange wear marks on the splines here. I believe this is the only aluminum alloy piece in the transmission with male splines. Looks like aluminum is a bad choice here....

• Almost there.... Remove the next item which is ring gear for the aft planetary gear set.

• Finally we reach the aft planetary. It's optional if you want to remove this or not. You might find it easier to reassemble with it out.

• And the transmission taken apart (aft planetary still there).
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:23 PM   #6
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• Now comes time to tackle the teardown and rebuild of the reverse drum. As much as I hate making videos, I made one because I thought it was the best way to describe the reverse drum assembly.

The video:

And a picture of the exploded Reverse drum. I'm kicking myself for not getting a good shot of the entire transmission taken apart, but you can see most of it in the background. There's only a few items aft (left) of the reverse drum still installed in the transmission. The right side of the picture is the front of the transmission i.e. oil pump). Not too hard to figure out.

• I took time here to install the new input shaft oil seal. This is your standard, metal-framed radial seal. I suggest using a tiny drill bit to drill through the metal face making a small hole. Then screw in a small sheet metal screw. Pry the seal out with the claw of a hammer. Make sure you do this entire procedure with the pump turned upside down though as you will make a tiny bit of metal shavings when drilling. You want the shavings to fall out when you pull the seat out and not fall into the oil pump! I've found a ~1" diameter wooden dowel about 12" long to works well taping in these type of seals.



• Now the transmission can start to be reassembled.

The trouble getting the transmission reassembled is getting the clutch pack assemblies mated with their proper splined parts. No matter how carefully you line up the clutch packs, the sections will not mate easily. Because of this, I found a technique to work well which is letting gravity seat the parts while gently twisting the parts together. This engages each clutch disc individually, versus the entire clutch pack at once. You can feel the splined drum drop past each clutch disc and finally a metallic clunk as the assemblies fully seat. Again I made a video to demonstrate this technique which might make more sense than what I just described.

Because these clutch packs can be difficult to seat fully, this cannot be done (at least by me) "inside" of the transmission. I found the best technique is to make sub-assemblies; grouping and assembling parts that have clutch packs OUTSIDE of the transmission. Then, install these pre assembled chunks as one unit. If I took a better picture of the entire transmission internals I'd be able to better show this. But in general I assembled the reverse drum and everything AFT of it in one assembly. I then reinstalled this as a unit. The other was everything forward of the reverse drum.

Here is an example of a pre assembled unit. In this case, I believe this is the six, forward-most items that come out (includes those three nestled drum/shells).

Again this is very hard to describe, but you just need to play with it. Everything goes together in a rather logical, easy to figure-out order. It's just a matter of getting everything lined up properly. It will take you a few tries, but you can do it.

• After you have reassembled the internals, it's pretty much all backwards from here. Make sure you properly seat the shift lever (which attaches to the shift cable) with the sliding piston/lever on the valve body! You can see it on the lower, center of this photo. http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f2...58/ZF/zf27.jpg

• Make extra sure you fully seat the torque converter upon reinstallation. There's even a measurement to take:
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/04/54/32 Just a note, I got mine to seat about 35mm-36mm; a little further-in than spec. It probably pulled back out a couple millimeters though when I bolted it back to the flywheel.

• And a final autopsy of the filter. The black chunk is a piece of the outer o-ring from the reverse drum's forward piston. Also there are tiny metal flakes/chunks - these should be from the destroyed reverse drum.

Last edited by CirrusSR22; 05-13-2012 at 03:03 AM.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #7
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That's awesome!
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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+1 Thats Amazing

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Old 05-09-2012, 12:46 AM   #9
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So many BMW owners with this issue, you can make a fortune if you make a business out of it. I vote for the the DIY of the year. Or even best DIY ever. My hats to you, sir

Oh, and makes me want to never get anywhere within 100 feet of an automatic transmission again!

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
So many BMW owners with this issue, you can make a fortune if you make a business out of it. I vote for the the DIY of the year. Or even best DIY ever. My hats to you, sir

Oh, and makes me want to never get anywhere within 100 feet of an automatic transmission again!
Some credit has to be given to "Chance_P" for making what I think was the original reverse drum DIY thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=750714

I just thought that with a complicated procedure like this, hearing numerous descriptions/techniques is very beneficial. I also really wanted a good set of photos up on this.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:31 AM   #11
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Very nicely done DIY.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:40 AM   #12
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Wow! Thanks for your contribution! Very nice DIY which will save people thousands
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:32 AM   #13
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Fantastic info...thanx very much....is there a big difference if the tranny is a GM P22?
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