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Old 10-17-2012, 11:12 AM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Location: Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,255
Mein Auto: 545i
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
BimmerFan52, you are a champion and I would like to say thank you once again for helping me diagnose my transmission problem. Yes, the solenoid warning has gone after three cold starts now. CTSC were definitely helpful in the beginning, but your final suggestion to do a drain did the trick. So here is what I did. I took the pan off to replace the sealing sleeve, but unfortunately I could find the location to replace the sleeve without removing mechatronics unit, so I left that part. The oil was draining for the entire weekend (total of 5.5L came out and oil was dirty but not that bad) as I was to get the new bolts on monday. Monday afternoon, I used the old pan as it was near new after 12,000K's (also suggested to re-use by you) and filled up nearly 6.6/6.7L until the temprature went to about 31-32C, and then torques the filling bolts to 25ft-lb. Monday afternoon, tuessday morning and this morning, NO solenoid warning message.

The only negative part in all this is, I checked for leakage on tuessday and I suspect there might be a very very slight leakage at the bottom of filler plug, which I will monitor over the next couple of weeks. Also, I thought I didn't tighten the bolts on the pan enough, so I tried to tighten my new alternative bolt and just like the BMW bolt the teeths (sides) on my hex bolts started wearing off. So I stopped and just let it be for now. My learning from this, do not touch the bolts on the pan when it is still warm.

Overall, solenoid 4E87 warning is gone by draining and using ZF oil and filling it to the right temperature and quantity. And just in case this pan leaks in next two-three weeks, I will just replace it and do another oil drain then otherwise, leave it alone for another 30-40K's and then change the pan+oil.

You have been of GREAT help BimmerFan52.
Glad to hear it turned out well for you.

If you determine that the fill plug is leaking you may have to change it. Try to get closer to the 40C-50C temp spec. Replacing the fill plug before reaching this temperature will result in a very slight overfill. Reminder to start the car and stir the gears before removing the fill plug or fluid will come gushing out.

If you drained 5.5L and filled 6.7L it sure sounds like it was under-filled before you started and it is good that you addressed it.

Be careful applying more than the high end of the specified torque to the pan bolts. The key to obtaining a good seal with the gasket is careful cleaning of the gasket surface on the transmission body and pan, and following the tightening sequence to insure that the gasket seats evenly. For multi-fastener gasket applications I usually go through a tightening sequence in three parts, tightening to 1/3 of torque spec, 2/3 of torque spec and then the full torque spec to insure even seating.

If you end up changing the gasket again and are using other than BMW fasteners you may want to avoid the torx fasteners altogether and go with a standard hex head bolts that you can drive positively (insure the diameter of the bolt or washer matches the diameter of the OE bolt's built-in washer head). When I changed my plugs recently I stripped one of the torx head bolts on one of the brackets that holds the down the ignition coils and prevents them from vibrating loose from the plugs. I didn't dare start drilling on the fastener (metal shavings near plug holes equals disaster) so I bent the two wings on the bracket and was then able to rotate it carefully with a pair of pliers to loosen the torx bolt enough to remove it. I replaced all four bracket bolts with hex head bolts so I don't have to revisit this problem during the next plug change.

Here's to your persistence. Enjoy a Foster's mate and keep wrenchin'!
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