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Old 11-30-2012, 10:51 AM   #1
NewToTheBimmer
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Diffentials went, and changed atf

Hello all, I hope you are enjoying your bimmers. I am but now i have run into a few problems.

First my rear differential snapped and is out of comission. I changed it and swapped it with a differential from a 325i? Now it drives.

Second after i fixed tgat i decided to do a atf change, it was easy but tge oil pan gasket (which is metal) completey fell apart. For the life of me i cannot find this gasket at any stores. Perhaps i should go to the bmw dealer? The part number is GM 96020493.

So anyways i skipped the gasket (bad idea i know) but i needed to drive some where. At first the car drove smooth. Then all of a sudden i hear this loud whining grinding noise, im like **** i hope its not the atf job... Anyways when the car is in idle nothing. When i put it in drive or 1~4 gear it switches fast. But only when i drive does it make this loud noise. Could it be the atf job or the differential. I also didnt add gear oil to the differential should i?

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Old 11-30-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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I also didnt add gear oil to the differential should i?
Nah, the complex internal gearset is so complex, it self lubricates.

No way to know what you messed up without being there. Generally a fried diff makes a whining noise, so I'm guessing you didn't fill the transmission all the way up.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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Did I read correctly!! You are running the differential without fluid... Put some 75w90 in there ASAP.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:13 AM   #4
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You need to go to the dealer (not in your BMW) and buy a gasket for your transmission immediately. Now you have to do the job twice because you'll have to drain again.

You need to fill your differential with oil. You better hope you didn't drive far on it. You might have just destroyed your new diff. That was not smart. All moving parts on cars need lubrication always. When in doubt, change the fluid out.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:33 AM   #5
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Thanks guys for the fast replies, defiantly will be adding gear fluid, and its fine that I'll have to do the atf again isn't it better to flush it anyways?

And no I didn't get to drive to far thankfully :]. Now to add gear oil in the diffs, how do I go about doing that? Must I remove the entire peice again, but I remember seeing a screw where I would be able to unbolt it and add gear oil, is that accessable without removal of the diffs?
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:47 AM   #6
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Thanks guys for the fast replies, defiantly will be adding gear fluid, and its fine that I'll have to do the atf again isn't it better to flush it anyways?

And no I didn't get to drive to far thankfully :]. Now to add gear oil in the diffs, how do I go about doing that? Must I remove the entire peice again, but I remember seeing a screw where I would be able to unbolt it and add gear oil, is that accessable without removal of the diffs?
I believe you don't have to remove the diff. The filler bolt is on the top half of the diff and the drain hole is on the bottom. There are many DIY guides on this.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:53 AM   #7
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I believe you don't have to remove the diff. The filler bolt is on the top half of the diff and the drain hole is on the bottom. There are many DIY guides on this.
Yes thank you, I found some. Great site, other sites are...rather slow in response.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:09 PM   #8
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The guides don't specifically say which gear oil to use, can you recommend any?

Found a few sites stating the 325I diffs need 75w 90 (considering I have a 325i diff now)

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Old 11-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #9
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Diffs are the same, just different ratios. I use Redline 75W90. Mobil 1 from the parts store works too. Make sure it's the one without the limited slip additive.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:23 PM   #10
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Diffs are the same, just different ratios. I use Redline 75W90. Mobil 1 from the parts store works too. Make sure it's the one without the limited slip additive.
Alright will report back to the thread tommorrow or the end of the weekend when I have finished up. Thanks for the answer.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #11
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i don't think you are just new to the bimmer. you are new to DIY as well.

do you self a favor, get the car fixed at a shop before you spend more on a new transmission and differential again. if you don't know that there is oil required, you really shouldn't mess with it. how the heck did you manage to swap the differential yourself if you didn't know how to fill fluid is beyond me.

i hope you never do your brakes. if you do, remember to put new pads in there lol
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:33 PM   #12
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Well...I didn't mean to say I forgot to add oil, I really ment that when there was fluid from when my step dad looked but he suggested to change the oil, but maybe I should have I'm thinking I should've added new fluids in it. Because at the time I thought it had enough, but it was an honest mistake because now theres a strange noise and It can only account to two things that I have done.

I mean you only learn from your mistakes, I'm not a gear head I just learned a few things from my step father watching him fix cars.

Last edited by NewToTheBimmer; 11-30-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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Well...I didn't mean to say I forgot to add oil, I really ment that when there was fluid from when my step dad looked but he suggested to change the oil, but maybe I should have I'm thinking I should've added new fluids in it. Because at the time I thought it had enough, but it was an honest mistake because now theres a strange noise and It can only account to two things that I have done.

I mean you only learn from your mistakes, I'm not a gear head I just learned a few things from my step father watching him fix cars.
Agreed. Some mistakes are more expensive than others though
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:11 PM   #14
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Agreed. Some mistakes are more expensive than others though
lol yeah when someone tells you to not drive, and to get that fix you do what is suggested lol!
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:29 PM   #15
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I'm more concerned about the transmission. If you didn't use a gasket, the fluid has probably already leaked to the level of the pan flange. That may explain your funny shifting issues.

The grinding you hear on the other hand is probably from an empty, or low, differential fluid level.
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Old 11-30-2012, 02:47 PM   #16
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I mean you only learn from your mistakes....
This forum is a great place to learn from someone else's mistakes!
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #17
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Are you retarded? You put your transmission pan back on without a gasket and drove it like that? Now you are wondering why it is making noise? Holy fvck. You should pick up a brain gasket while you are at it because I'm afraid that might be missing too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #18
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actually its not that low, i topped it off when i did the job, I looked just now all im missing was bearly half a quart gone. so i think the bmw gods are on my side for now/

just changed it, so that leaves the differentials as the culprit

Last edited by NewToTheBimmer; 11-30-2012 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:33 PM   #19
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Thanks guys for the fast replies, defiantly will be adding gear fluid, and its fine that I'll have to do the atf again isn't it better to flush it anyways?

And no I didn't get to drive to far thankfully :]. Now to add gear oil in the diffs, how do I go about doing that? Must I remove the entire peice again, but I remember seeing a screw where I would be able to unbolt it and add gear oil, is that accessable without removal of the diffs?
http://www.bokchoys.com/differential/diff_fluid.htm

you may have diff oil in the diff already from previous owner. but they often drain to ship because the oil isn't allowed to spill out as. fill the diff

i too think you need to know a little more about how to change the ATF and filter change. doing this improperly is a known cause of premature failure of the bmw Automatics. especially on higher mileage never changed atf e46s.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:44 PM   #20
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http://www.bokchoys.com/differential/diff_fluid.htm

you may have diff oil in the diff already from previous owner. but they often drain to ship because the oil isn't allowed to spill out as. fill the diff

i too think you need to know a little more about how to change the ATF and filter change. doing this improperly is a known cause of premature failure of the bmw Automatics. especially on higher mileage never changed atf e46s.
+1. Read every DIY you can find and the Bentley manual. It's the only way to cross check everything. I read so much before a project that I don't use a DIY while I work, I just remember how 10 other people did it and improvise.
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