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-   -   Which auto transmission to I have (ZF vs GM)? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=421667)

phil0618 12-26-2009 06:06 PM

Which auto transmission to I have (ZF vs GM)?
 
Hi,

I've been all over the forums looking at various items related to changing transmission fluids.

I just want to confirm the transmission on my car without having to jack up the car.

My car is a 2003 e46
The plate on the door says 06/03 (June, 2003)
The last part of the VIN reads KP81689
The sticker on the underside of the pan is green, but I can't read the markings
(i can see the sticker is green by placing a mirror under the car)

It's a California car and so I believe that I have the M56 SULEV engine (oil fill in front of engine)

The e46 wiki states that as of March 2003 all transmissions are GM.

However, I also used a VIN decoder I found online and it said that I had the ZF transmission.

Is it possible to know for sure just using the above data which transmission I have?

Best,

Phil

SlimKlim 12-26-2009 07:58 PM

It's a GM, you have a 2003 and 1/2 model like I used to and its sort of got a weird mixture of stuff. I did the same thing you did and bought the filter for a ZF transmission, didn't figure out it was a GM until the tranny was drained. Turned out to be quite a long afternoon chasing down the right filter. :tsk:

EDIT: I'm pretty sure I edited the wiki when i figured that out. :rofl:

Melquin 12-26-2009 08:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
AFIK all the M56 vehicles had the ZF transmissions. (see attached PDF). I have seen some of the ZF blue stickers that have oxidized and turned sort of a bright metallic green color over time. (as opposed to the more flat-puke green colored GM sticker). Best to check the recommended fluid part number listed on the label to verify which you have.

edit: PDF was too large so just took a snapshot of the first page

SlimKlim 12-26-2009 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Melquin (Post 4793173)
AFIK all the M56 vehicles had the ZF transmissions. (see attached PDF). I have seen some of the ZF blue stickers that have oxidized and turned sort of a bright metallic green color over time. (as opposed to the more flat-puke green colored GM sticker). Best to check the recommended fluid part number to verify which you have.

edit: PDF was too large so just took a snapshot of the first page

Ohh, didnt know that, sorry about the misinformation. I wonder why they would bother to fit two different trannies for the different emission engines.

Starless 12-26-2009 09:43 PM

I just decoded your VIN. Your tranny is A5S325Z which is ZF tranny. It requires ESSO ATF LT 71141 fluid.

smolck 12-27-2009 06:12 AM

Count the pan bolts. The GM trannies have 22 bolts, the ZF have 14.

STREETFIGHTER50 12-06-2012 10:21 PM

I'm just peeking under the car & can't really see or read anything off of the sticker. I'd have to lift it up this weekend to tell I guess. My car's VIN # tag reads 08/03. So is it the GM tranny for sure?

Fast Bob 12-07-2012 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by STREETFIGHTER50 (Post 7235644)
I'm just peeking under the car & can't really see or read anything off of the sticker. I'd have to lift it up this weekend to tell I guess. My car's VIN # tag reads 08/03. So is it the GM tranny for sure?

Read Smolck`s Post# 6....it doesn`t get much more definitive than THAT !

elbert 03-28-2016 11:54 AM

Came across this thread on Google, so I'm bumping it up from the dead because...

Quote:

Originally Posted by smolck (Post 4793619)
Count the pan bolts. The GM trannies have 22 bolts, the ZF have 14.

The ZF has 22 bolts, while the GM has 20. Granted the GM gasket has 22 holes, but only 20 bolts.
But otherwise great idea, better than using label colors like that idiotic Bentley manual suggests.

I believe the pans are shaped a little differently too. The ZF's is more-or-less trapezoidal. The GM's is an ovalized rectangle, but it's symmetric.


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