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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW 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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  #26  
Old 06-15-2007, 07:26 AM
lharvey16 lharvey16 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
don't forget the sealant

The only thing I would add to that write up is use versachem megablack gasket sealer (loctite blue equivalent) on the transmission pan bolts. Unless you use all new bolts (which have an embedded sealant) to put the pan back on with, the bolts can, and do, back out causing slow leaks. I found this out the hard way by doing the servicing without and several weeks later developing the leak. Several of the bolts were loose. I took them out one by one and applied sealant. I let it set overnight and had no more problem.
(I did the fluid change before I had received the bentley manual. In the manual it states you should use new bolts or sealant.)
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  #27  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:29 PM
ezbmr ezbmr is offline
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You are all going to shoot your eyes out.

I have a 99, and I have the GM tranny, the tranny guy didn't charge me much and I bought amsoil ATF, it seems pretty good, smoother than before. And yes, the ZF rec oil is expensive, a tranny guy told me he pays like 250 for 5 gallons or so, maybe even more, I was like ATF or WTF, he was making me nervous until he saw my tranny and said, yeah you can use this, but warned me like a mo fo when he thought it was a zf

Now why kind of magic oil are they selling.....I raise the bs flag on ZF and there texaco oil
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  #28  
Old 07-03-2007, 10:44 PM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbmr View Post
You are all going to shoot your eyes out.

I have a 99, and I have the GM tranny, the tranny guy didn't charge me much and I bought amsoil ATF, it seems pretty good, smoother than before. And yes, the ZF rec oil is expensive, a tranny guy told me he pays like 250 for 5 gallons or so, maybe even more, I was like ATF or WTF, he was making me nervous until he saw my tranny and said, yeah you can use this, but warned me like a mo fo when he thought it was a zf

Now why kind of magic oil are they selling.....I raise the bs flag on ZF and there texaco oil
what are you trying to say?
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  #29  
Old 07-04-2007, 06:09 AM
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Chimera Chimera is offline
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  #30  
Old 07-12-2007, 11:21 AM
jamtuff jamtuff is offline
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mercon v level

Hey Torquewrench,
you stated changing your fluid and adding 6.5 quarts but you only drained out about 4-5 quarts. How is that possible?? i could only refill about 4-5 quarts (drain and refil) Mercon v does work.
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  #31  
Old 07-12-2007, 11:43 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Drain plug only or did you drop the pan?

Going back to my original post, I got ~3qts when I opened the FILL plug, ~1.5qts when I opened the DRAIN plug, and ~1.5qts when I dropped the pan.

Did you drop the pan, or just drain the through the FILL and DRAIN plugs? If you didn't drop the pan then the amount you were able to refill sounds about right.
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  #32  
Old 07-13-2007, 09:42 AM
jamtuff jamtuff is offline
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it was a drain and refill< first time was a pan filter the works. Thanks bud, i thought i was running my tranny low filling it 4-5 quarts when i was actualy overfilling it trying to get 5-6quarts, so i reduced it by 1/2 a quart and it runs like a champ.
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  #33  
Old 07-17-2007, 06:04 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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An update

After performing the service before I had a persistent smell of ATF, presumably from a very small leak that would blow back onto the hot exhaust. This smell went away but I wanted to make sure it wasn't because the fluid level had just dropped below whatever point it was leaking from, so I decided to open up the transmission again.

Just under 10,000 mi passed and the fluid came out looking dirty, maybe it had just mixed with the fluid that remained in the torque converter, maybe it got dirty on its own. There was some sludge in the pan and on the magnets, but not as much as the first time by far.

Used a new gasket, cleaned the pan bolts with solvent, and used blue Loctite to keep them from backing out. Filled with Valvoline Mercon V while running. Carefully cleaned everything up and even clean off the exhaust with brake cleaner to be sure, but I still had the ATF smell after a couple of days.

So I emailed Mike Miller, who writes Tech Talk for Roundel and he guessed it was leaking from the pan gasket. He recommended using Loctite and letting it set overnight. Also, he recommended torqueing the pan bolts to 12 Nm/9ft-lb/107in-lb instead of 6 Nm (he says the stock torque spec if too low).

When I get around to doing this I'll let everyone know how it turns out.
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  #34  
Old 07-19-2007, 04:25 PM
jamtuff jamtuff is offline
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i had the mercon v smell too, but realized it was from storing the containers in my trunk. Cleaned the carpet, removed the containers and rechecked fluid level and that fixed it. Remeber:
-Check fluid only when car is warm or neddle is a quarter mark (half way between COLD and operating temperature (MIDDLE).
-Fill fluid untill it TRICKLES or STREAMS vertically downwards at bottom of filler plug (that means full). Gushing out or flowing out horizontaly of filler plug at any presure means OVERFILL).
-If fluid is low, gas pedal is going to be hard to the step and downshifts will be hard to reach unless you floor the peddal. And car wont have much power at high speeds (60mph +).
-If fluid is overfilled, peddal will feel soft and act like its kinda searching for gears most of the time, and wont feel like it wants to accelerate either.
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  #35  
Old 07-19-2007, 08:51 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Great info Jamtuff, update

I checked my fluid level again and it is correct, just a trickle between 40-50C. I couldn't find any sign of fresh fluid around the pan seal, fill plug, drain plug, main seal, or transmission fluid cooler hoses, but I am still getting the smell.

Found out the hard way that the aluminum pan bolts won't take more than ~ 7 N-m, at least mine won't, and I managed to strip a couple. Mike Miller didn't realize the fasteners on this particular transmission were aluminum, and after I told him he agreed that not stripping the bolt heads is the way to go, so disregard the above torque recommendation and stick with 6-7 N-m.

I ordered some stainless steel M6x22 fasteners from McMaster-Carr to replace the aluminum ones. It's always important to use a torque wrench, even more if you go to this stronger bolt. I bet the reason the ZF engineers used the aluminum bolts is because they couldn't be overtorqued.

Any ideas where the fluid might be leaking from?
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  #36  
Old 07-20-2007, 12:09 PM
jamtuff jamtuff is offline
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Why do is suspect its probably the vapors excaping through and causing the smell> i will drive mine for a week longer (out of town) then see if the smell comes back. i doubt its got anything to do with pan screws but possibly the filler plug.

more add-ons on the 330i: http://www.caranddriver.com/article....&page_number=1

Last edited by jamtuff; 07-20-2007 at 12:12 PM.
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  #37  
Old 08-08-2007, 02:27 PM
Arby1028 Arby1028 is offline
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Torquewrench,

Incredible write-up on the fluid change! I have a 2002 330i (Steptronic) and am going to tackle this in a few weeks. I can't remember reading this, but do you have a Steptronic or Automatic and would the procedure be different? Also, can I use the Mercron on a 2002 330i? I'm sure I can since I have the ZF 5HP19 A5S 325Z Tranny.

TIA!
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  #38  
Old 08-08-2007, 06:14 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Yes

As far as I know all the automatics offered were steptronics. Mine is. If they are the same transmission they'll use the same fluid. You got it all right. Hope it goes well.
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  #39  
Old 08-16-2007, 09:50 AM
pietrab pietrab is offline
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Quick question, im looking to do this diy this weekend on my 2002 330i. My question is, why when you remove the fill plug, 3+ quarts of fluid come out, but when you refill it, you only top it off till it slightly overflows. Wouldnt that mean your not putting enough fluid back in?
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  #40  
Old 08-16-2007, 07:56 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Thanks much for the post. I am about to work on my 2000 540iA (5HP24 tranny). What is a good source of "lint-free" cloth/towels to keep lint from contaminating the working surfaces?

Will
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  #41  
Old 08-18-2007, 12:48 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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How much to fill

When you open the fill plug the car isn't running, so the amount that is taken up by transmission flows out. When you perrform the final top-off the car is running, so that amount is being taken up by the transmission.

As for lint-free cloths (sp?), how about microfiber towels from Walmart? I think they're lint free.
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  #42  
Old 08-18-2007, 01:53 PM
pietrab pietrab is offline
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Thanks alot torquewrench, the fluid change went very smooth. As for trying to get the pan bolts off, i was on my 7th one and managed to strip it. Any tips on how to remove this stripped bolt. Thanks Again!
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  #43  
Old 08-18-2007, 06:10 PM
bimmerZ5 bimmerZ5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pietrab View Post
Thanks alot torquewrench, the fluid change went very smooth. As for trying to get the pan bolts off, i was on my 7th one and managed to strip it. Any tips on how to remove this stripped bolt. Thanks Again!
You need to get a "bolt out" tool. It's basically like an inverted drill bit and grabs on to whatever is left of the bolt and pulls it out as you turn it. If there isn't anything to grab onto, you'll need to drill into the center of the bolt, then use a reverse drill bit that pulls out the remaining bolt as you turn it.

If there's enough to grab on to with some pliers, I usually try to use a set of pliers and see if I can grab the stud and turn it. If that doesn't work, i use the tools mentioned above.
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  #44  
Old 08-19-2007, 06:46 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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OK, here is my own fluid/filter change ...

If you really beleive in BMW's claim of lifetime ATF fluid, might as well believe in ghosts, fairies, the boogie man, etc..

This is the so call lifetime ATF fluid after 87911 miles:



This is how the pan looked like:



That black stuff in the pan is not rust - it is more of the magnetic particles that is attached to the pan as well - the magnets could not pick up more stuff themselves (look at how heavy they are coated):









This is how one of those magnets should look like once cleaned:





Here is the cleaned pan/magnets ready to go back:



although I first cleaned/removed the remnants of the old gasket (before and after):





I then tackled the filter:



It is just hard to believe how full of crap the element was:











When putting the new filter back in, remember to have the new o-ring in place:





Then the pan goes back:



And fill with whatever your research tells you is adequate fluid for your particular tranny. Myself, I don't buy in the boogie man story that only ESSO works in the 5HP24 tranny, so I used one of the many approved fluids for replacing ESSO - Valvoline MAXLIFE.







I am now going to wait about 3-4 weeks to get the new fluid to help clean everything inside the tranny, and then will repeat the drain/filter change/fill process. After this, I will probably just do a drain/fill (no filter change) on a yearly or every 18 months or so, changing the filter every other time.

The tranny was working perfectly before the fluid change, and it remains working perfectly after the fluid change (about 30 miles so far). I will report more as I put more miles on the new fluid (really a mix since I only got 6-7 quarts of the old fluid).

You will need the stubby 8mm tool (mine is a SnapOn), as well as new filter, filter O-ring, and new gasket.:



This particular site has a great summary and photos of the whole process, fill-up, etc.:
Notes/Photos for changing the transmission oil and filter on 1998 E38 ...


I also want to thank Torquewrench and other members that helped by sharing their own research, photos, etc. - much appreciated.
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  #45  
Old 08-27-2007, 11:25 AM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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Torquewrench, Great write up, thanks!!

bmwm3coupe,
Thanks for the pics!!

I'm planning to take on this project on my '01 330i with 79k. Still debating which fluid to use.

How are your tranys running now?

Thanks!!
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  #46  
Old 08-27-2007, 11:31 AM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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You are welcome!

The 5-spd tranny in my 2000 540i is doing perfect after the service. I already got about 400 miles since the service

I am still planning on doing another pan drop/filter change, and fill-up in a couple of more weeks. I will post pictures of how everything looks at that time
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  #47  
Old 08-27-2007, 01:54 PM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Running great. Smell that was bugging me has disappeared, maybe it was just fluid left on double-walled exhaust heat shielding. Next time I'll teflon tape the drain and flill plugs, but if you do this make sure to keep any teflon tape out of the inside of the transmission.

I used Valvoline Mercon V for the two changes I've done so far, but I think I'll try Redline D4 next time, just for kicks.
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  #48  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:17 PM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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Thanks.
It's on my to do list.

bmwm3coupe,
I noticed you used Valvoline Max Life. Isn't that different from Valvoline Mercon V?

Has anyone here had any trouble using the Mercon V?
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  #49  
Old 09-05-2007, 05:56 PM
bmwm3coupe bmwm3coupe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blurin03 View Post
Thanks.
It's on my to do list.

bmwm3coupe,
I noticed you used Valvoline Max Life. Isn't that different from Valvoline Mercon V?

Has anyone here had any trouble using the Mercon V?
Yes, the MaxLife that I used is different than Mercon V, but if you look in the can/bottle, it also states compatibility with the ESSO fluid (LT 71141).

I now have over 700 miles since the change - everything still perfect. I am going to wait another week or two and try to get to about 1000 miles to do it all over again (drain, filter change, fill-up) with MaxLife again
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  #50  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:10 AM
blurin03 blurin03 is offline
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bmwm3coupe wrote:
Quote:
Yes, the MaxLife that I used is different than Mercon V, but if you look in the can/bottle, it also states compatibility with the ESSO fluid (LT 71141).

I now have over 700 miles since the change - everything still perfect. I am going to wait another week or two and try to get to about 1000 miles to do it all over again (drain, filter change, fill-up) with MaxLife again
So you're going to change the filter again at 1000 miles?
It will be interesting to see how dirty it got.

I've been emailing Valvoline who said the Mercon V is now fully synthetic where before it was semi-synthetic.
(I think the LT71141 is semi-synthetic, is it?)
They suggested MaxLife over the Mercon V.

Keep us updated.
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