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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-25-2010, 10:48 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Arrow DIY: ATF change GM A5S-390R

At 85K on the odometer I decided to service my transmission, id est change oil and filter.

I was following this wonderful DIY by james2538 from E46f:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ght=atf+change

I took my own pictures and did the write-up below. Later I'll either update this thread or do a separate DIY on how to put the car on 4 jack stands.

My 02 325i is equipped with GM transmission, A5S 390R-ZP in the BMW nomenclature or 5L40E in the GM nomenclature. The pan has a blue sticker with the oil part #: 83220024359 which is Texaco ETL 8072B oil. I decided to use the original type of oil and did not regret it and let me explain why. First of all I need to say that getting hold of ETL 8072B oil is getting more and more difficult since dealerships do not carry it any more because it has been replaced with Dexron VI oil. Some dealerships still have some of 8072B in stock though. The closest to me in St. Louis is Plaza Motors and they had about 9 litres left in stock, $ 9,11 per half litre. Mark, the parts guy brought the 25 L container to the counter (and I had a chance to make sure the big container had the right label "Texaco ETL 8072B" and the correct part #) and sold me 6 litres by pouring it into my own containers (I had three 2L containers with me). No wonder they do not recommend mixing this oil with other types! The color of this oil is dark brown with a tint of gold and not red like most of the ATF I've seen before. The viscosity of it looked to me thicker than the Dex fluid and more like that of motor oil. Mark and me compared this oil and GM Dexron VI at the sales counter and they did look like 2 different types of fluid based on visual observation of color and viscosity. That's all I base my opinion on, I have neither time nor interest to investigate into chemical composition of BMW oil versus other ATF. I do not regret buying the original, more expensive oil for the peace of mind. If my transmission fails some time in the future at least I'll know it's not because of the wrong fluid in it.

The evening before starting on the process of ATF change I put the car on 4 jack stands. I put the front wheels on ramps and jacked up the rear under the U-brace in front of the differential. Put the jack stands under the rear jack points and lowered the rear of the car onto the jack stands. Then I jacked the front of the car up under the right front point of the "frame rail" and put 2 jack stands under the front jack points and lowered the front.

First thing to do was to unscrew the fill plug. I used a T-45 socket and an 8mm combination wrench. The torque of this plug is 15 ft. lb (20nm), so using the open end was not enough to loosen it up, it kept coming off the torx bit. But I was successful with using the box end of the wrench inserted onto the torx bit and an extension for the additional leverage. The drain plug (T-40) presented no problem to unscrew, so in 10 minutes the oil was partially drained. Some still remained in the pan and inside the filter. At this point I put the drain plug back in and torqued it to 15 lb. ft. The next step was to remove the pan (unscrew all the bolts using a 10mm socket and pry it with the flat screwdriver if it's stuck), let all the remaining oil drip into the pan, remove the filter by pulling down on it with both hands, drain the oil in the pan and inside the filter into the drain container for the final estimate of the amount of evacuated oil. A note on the condition of the drained oil. The old oil was not completely black as many report. Definitely looked like a used oil after 85K but still retained some of its golden brownish color. If you compare it to a bright red AFT like Dex III or VI, it does look bad, but comparing it to fresh 8072B the difference is not that dramatic. I'm not sure about lifetime, but I got the impression it could easily last till 100K when BMW recommends it to be changed.

The amount of oil I was able to evacuate is as follows. The car was absolutely cold when I was doing the procedure. About 1.5 L drained after opening the fill plug. About 2.5 L came out with the drain plug removed. That's 4 liters. 1 litre was in the pan after I dropped it and waited till all the oil dripped into it from the filter. That's 5 litres. The old filter still contained about 0.25 L of oil when I removed it and tilted in the drain container. So the total amount was 5.25 L of oil.

The pan needs to be cleaned thoroughly. Mine did not look awful after 85K but still needed a good cleaning job, especially around the magnet. I used paper towels and a rag. When I removed the old gasket there was some rubber stuck to the edge of the pan. I removed it with some brake cleaner and then wiped dry with a rag. The idea is to not introduce any debris, lint, etc into the transmission.

It's time to replace the gasket lubing it with some ATF and start assembling everything back together. First goes in the new filter. When the old one came out the orange sealing ring is likely to have remained stuck in the transmission in which case it needs to be pried with a screwdriver, removed and discarded. With the new filter in place reattach the pan using new bolts. The torque of the bolts is 8 ft. lb, so there is hardly any need for a torque wrench but I did return to each bolt at least 3 times to make sure everything was tight.

Filling the transmission with new oil. The amount of oil I used to fill the transmission was 5.5 L, but the actual amount that came in was about the same as I drained – 5.25 L. This is due to the fact that no matter how careful you are during the filling process, there will be some spillage.

This is how my filling process looked like. 5.25 L of oil came out. The transmission was still cold when I started pumping the fresh fluid in. I filled my pump bottle with a pre-measured amount of 2 litres of new fluid at a time. 4 litres came in and it began overflowing. Some spillage occurred at this point. I screwed the fill plug back in (hand tight), started the car and shifted through the gears 5 times to let the oil get sucked into the transmission from the pan. In about 5-10 minutes the pan became warm to the touch. I opened the fill plug and nothing came out (as I expected, remember 5.25 L came out and only 4 L came in so far). I started pumping the oil again. Taking into consideration the amount spilled and the amount that would be spilled when it overflows this time I poured 1.5 L in my pump bottle instead of 1.25 L. The pan was becoming a little bit warmer but still far from hot, so I was still good. I was right in my estimate of the amount of oil spilled because when I was almost done with my bottle filled with 1.5 L it started overflowing and I put the fill plug back and tightened it really good using the extension on my 8mm combination wrench for additional leverage. That's it. Not a difficult but messy project.

If there is a tricky part about this DIY, that definitely would be to be able to estimate accurately the amount of oil spilled during the filling process. Provided the transmission never leaked and still has the original (filled at the factory) amount of fluid, the same amount needs to filled into it as drained. When the transmission is at the right temperature and the oil overflows, it's the indicator it's ready to be plugged up. However when it happens you still want to be sure the amount filled is the same the amount drained, provided last time it was filled at the factory. Such a simple thing as a transmission dip stick would eliminate the need for any guess work, but alas.

After I'm done with this DIY I've come to a couple of conclusions for myself. First, now I do not share the opinion that some people have that the information BMW gives us on the type of oil to use and its changing interval is a marketing conspiracy. To me ETL 8072B did look different than the red colored Dexron ATF. So I personally would not mix it with Dexron unless I know how to displace all the oil to the last drop and replace it with a different type. And, second, regarding the changing interval, judging by the condition of the drained oil that still remained some of its original color, I'd say it is good enough at least till 100K without a change.























EDIT: Ok, after reading this diy at least one person was confused as to when you need to put the fill plug back in. I agree I should have made this point clearer in the write-up. So here we go. The transmission is at the operating temperature (30 – 50 Cº) and you are doing the final fill. As soon as it starts overflowing – you are done and need to put the fill plug back in. Yes, there will be some oil spilling out, making a mess. That's fine. It means you've reached the correct level providing the temperature is still between 30 and 50 Cº. My advice is to have the drain pan ready and fill plug handy when overflowing happens. It took me a little while to get everything together so I plugged it up when the overflow was reduced to dripping. To me it seems better to do it when the oil is still trickling rather then dripping out. Also when the oil started overflowing I still had some a small amount of ATF that had to (according to my calculations) go in. So I kept on pumping for a little longer despite the fact that it was already overflowing and then when all ATF was used I put the fill plug in.
Hope this edit helps to clarify this point.

Last edited by Starless; 04-21-2010 at 09:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:02 PM
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2010, 11:10 PM
slyfocks slyfocks is offline
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Great DIY, Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 03-26-2010, 12:59 AM
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Props on doing this yourself and buying the proper OEM fluid, I really dig that
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  #5  
Old 03-26-2010, 08:31 AM
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Good job on finally getting all your research done and giving it a go. I know you have been investigating fluids for quite some time now.

Nice write up as well.

The magnets seem to indicate your tranny has faired well so far in its life. How many miles did you say? EDIT: Oh i saw in one of your pics 85K The collected metal on mine looked very similar to your pictures when I did it at 60k.

Count yourself lucky on the ease of getting to the fill plug. Us XI folks need to drop the front driveshaft just to remove that sucker.... On the bright side once its down its then possible to get a torque wrench on it

Last edited by GCoop; 03-26-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:27 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Wow great job! Nice pictures of the diy
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:35 AM
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Just for reference I'll post up some of the information I found when researching whether Dexron VI was now appropriate for the GM 5L40E tranny. As some may have already discovered, Cadillac uses the 5L40E transmission in some of the 1999-? CTS models and GM says Dexron VI is now appropriate for them as it is backwards compatible with the Dexron III original fill.

What many folks dont know is that just because GM chose the same name for the BMW/CTS transmissions (5L40E) doesnt mean that they are the exact same transmission. Refer to the attachments for the specific examples.

What I was never able to conclude with taking the specific differences into account is whether the Dex VI would then indeed be recomended by GM for the BMW 5L40E. More than likely it would be just fine (As BMW has superceded the original ETL-8072 part # with a Dexron VI part #) but would it be preferred to the original fill? That is the question.*Note: I ended up going with the Castrol Import Multivehichle ATF for my fill and drain refill cycles as it meets the ETL-8072b spec.

Obviously we can obsess about this to no end but as Starless has shown -- For peice of mind you can not go wrong with what was put in there originally.

The next question will be what do for peice of mind when we can no longer get the original fill anywhere?
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCoop View Post
The next question will be what do for peice of mind when we can no longer get the original fill anywhere?
Then you can take BMW's excellent life time oil advice that was proven correct time and agin, and save yourself the work, the cost, and the risk of breaking things.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:59 AM
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Nice DIY!

The Amsoil ATF meets those specs. ETL-7045E, ETL-8072B & N402
Amsoil ATF
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:09 PM
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Great stuff! Really nice DIY's you do man!

I guess the only thing you forgot was the post op drive, how does it feel?
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Old 03-26-2010, 02:46 PM
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Excellent DIY and you couldn't have posted it at better time for me. I to have the same tranny in an '03 325i and have been trying to decide what fluid to use for the change. It's not a cost issue with me, I just want to use the right fluid. I have so far been unable to find the original fluid anywhere. Tischer BMW lists the new part number (83220397114) that has apparently superseded 83220024359, but that is Dexron VI, not the original fluid. I don't have anyway of removing all of it, so I'd prefer to go back with exactly what's in it. Does anyone have an online source for the 83220024359 fluid?
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Old 03-26-2010, 03:43 PM
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Awesome write up (as usual), Alex....thanks for sharing ....

($9.11 per half-liter....Oy....I could get some good quality bourbon for that price :-)
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Old 03-26-2010, 06:59 PM
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Also available in Fuchs and Total.
http://www.eactuning.com/parts/produ...ls/83220432807
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:01 PM
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very nice write up.many thanks
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:20 PM
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Great write-up Starless! Good thing I have a manual trans and it's slightly easier!
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Old 03-26-2010, 08:51 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Thank you everybody for positive reviews!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCoop View Post
Just for reference I'll post up some of the information I found when researching whether Dexron VI was now appropriate for the GM 5L40E tranny. As some may have already discovered, Cadillac uses the 5L40E transmission in some of the 1999-? CTS models and GM says Dexron VI is now appropriate for them as it is backwards compatible with the Dexron III original fill.

What many folks dont know is that just because GM chose the same name for the BMW/CTS transmissions (5L40E) doesnt mean that they are the exact same transmission. Refer to the attachments for the specific examples.

What I was never able to conclude with taking the specific differences into account is whether the Dex VI would then indeed be recomended by GM for the BMW 5L40E. More than likely it would be just fine (As BMW has superceded the original ETL-8072 part # with a Dexron VI part #) but would it be preferred to the original fill? That is the question.*Note: I ended up going with the Castrol Import Multivehichle ATF for my fill and drain refill cycles as it meets the ETL-8072b spec.

Obviously we can obsess about this to no end but as Starless has shown -- For peice of mind you can not go wrong with what was put in there originally.

The next question will be what do for peice of mind when we can no longer get the original fill anywhere?
Good info, GCoop. I was just on the amsoil web site and had an idea regarding if the original fill is not available anymore...They (amsoil) do not recommend flushing machings because when they are used technicians often just use the machine without dropping the pan and cleaning all the gunk, then they flush and what I think can happen is the gunk can not bypass the filter obviously and clog the filter (and if it goes past the filter it's even worse), the flow rate of oil diminishes and the tranny can not function properly and soon goes kaput. Probably if you clean the pan first then do the flush it'll be ok, probably. In which case you can use other oils...Just a crazy thought...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared@EACTuning View Post
Nice DIY!

The Amsoil ATF meets those specs. ETL-7045E, ETL-8072B & N402
Amsoil ATF
The problem I see here is the same oil conforms to many other specs including Dex 3 and BMW says it's a no-no to mix. Can you really please all with one oil? (Rhetorical question)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared@EACTuning View Post
That's actually interesting...I did not see those oils before. If they are specifically made to conform only to 8072B, then it sounds better to me than Amsoil fluid...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Great stuff! Really nice DIY's you do man!

I guess the only thing you forgot was the post op drive, how does it feel?
Thank you for reminding! I was gonna add that...transmission is shifting really well and smoothly, but it had been shifting the same way before. It was more of a preventative maintenance rather than a fix. It still works! That's good!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahammer View Post
Excellent DIY and you couldn't have posted it at better time for me. I to have the same tranny in an '03 325i and have been trying to decide what fluid to use for the change. It's not a cost issue with me, I just want to use the right fluid. I have so far been unable to find the original fluid anywhere. Tischer BMW lists the new part number (83220397114) that has apparently superseded 83220024359, but that is Dexron VI, not the original fluid. I don't have anyway of removing all of it, so I'd prefer to go back with exactly what's in it. Does anyone have an online source for the 83220024359 fluid?
Dahammer, call the dealerships in your neck of the wood! They are the only source of the original oil. Hopefully they'll have some left in stock!
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:00 PM
Dahammer Dahammer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Dahammer, call the dealerships in your neck of the wood! They are the only source of the original oil. Hopefully they'll have some left in stock!
Yeah, already called a couple and a no go. The closest 4 dealers are 100, 150, 150, and 190 miles away. I'll try a few more though. What I'd like to find is one that would be willing to ship me some of the stuff, but so far none of them even have it and say BMW has switched it to Dexron VI. As you were, I'm just leary of mixing that in there, no matter what BMW says. Especially since they also say not to change it at all.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:26 PM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
The problem I see here is the same oil conforms to many other specs including Dex 3 and BMW says it's a no-no to mix. Can you really please all with one oil? (Rhetorical question)

That's actually interesting...I did not see those oils before. If they are specifically made to conform only to 8072B, then it sounds better to me than Amsoil fluid...
Yes, you can often please many specs with one oil. Many specs overlap (or are near identical) and as long as there aren't conflicts there is no reason why one can't serve many. You'll see that there are other ATFs on their site also. The one I linked does not meet some of the other specs.

If you search both of those oils you'll see they meet other specs too. It's just not noted on the site. The Fuchs number is TITAN ATF 3353 if you'd like to research it.
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:42 PM
Dahammer Dahammer is offline
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The first one is FUCHS TITAN AFT 6000 SL, which is a GM approved Dexron VI. Here is the information the manufacturer lists on it:

http://www.fuchslubricants.com/index...d=product_38_1

They claim it as a replacement for the following BMW part #s:
BMW 83 22 0 397 114
BMW 83 22 0 403 248
BMW 83 22 0 403 249
BMW 83 22 0 432 807
BMW 83 22 9 407 858
BMW 83 22 9 407 859

There is no mention of part # 83 22 0 024 359 or ETL-8072B. I found a data sheet at:
http://www.opieoils.co.uk/pdfs/FUCHS...06000%20SL.pdf

But it doesn't list the technical data values.

I can not find any info on the other one, Total Fluidmatic G6. Total's website lists a Totalmatic G6 Syn though, which is another Dexron VI. But it's datasheet doesn't list it as compatible with the ETL-8072B spec either.
http://www.total-lubricants.ca/uploa...0SYN%20PIB.pdf
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Old 03-26-2010, 09:50 PM
Dahammer Dahammer is offline
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Fuchs Titan ATF 3353 is Dexron III and is listed as compatible with the following BMW part numbers:

BMW 83 22 9 407 765
BMW 83 22 9 407 807

http://www.opieoils.co.uk/pdfs/FUCHS...ATF%203353.pdf

No mention of ETL-8072B that I see though.
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  #21  
Old 04-04-2010, 01:25 PM
bhansell bhansell is offline
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Awesome write-up. I have 45k on my car and plan to tackle this project soon. Thanks,

Brian

EDIT: Looking at eeuroparts.com, I see there are two brands for the kit: Meisterstatz and Elring ($50 and $30, respectively). Any thoughts on either? I know GCoop and Starless have both used the Meisterstatz kit with no problems.

Last edited by bhansell; 04-04-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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  #22  
Old 04-04-2010, 03:47 PM
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Alex. Your DIY is very concise and focused on doing the job right. Any post-DIY reviews, or updates? Do you think this DIY made a difference?
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  #23  
Old 04-04-2010, 04:27 PM
ojaibimmer ojaibimmer is offline
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Great write up! Your DIY his mirrored my experience changing the tranny fluid on my 99 323i (109k miles) and recent postings on fluid changes by a newbie to BMW's. I wasn't able to properly measure amount of the fluid that came out, but ended up adding almost 6 quarts including spillage so that is pretty close to the 5.5 litres that you added. I didn't use a torque wrench either, I started to but it seemed even at the low setting that I might over tighten the bolts so I used a 3/8 wratchet and "choked up" on the handle. No leaks now 2 weeks after the fluid change. I used Redline D4 ATF, it meets all BMW specs as listed.

Last edited by ojaibimmer; 04-04-2010 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:36 PM
ojaibimmer ojaibimmer is offline
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You mentioned doing a write up on lifting the vehicle and placing it on jack stands. I noticed that the front of the vehicle had two hard plastic pads for jack stand placement, yet the rear didn't. Are mine missing or does only the front have these pads due to the greater weight up front (engine, tranny) compared to the aft end of the vehicle?
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ojaibimmer View Post
You mentioned doing a write up on lifting the vehicle and placing it on jack stands. I noticed that the front of the vehicle had two hard plastic pads for jack stand placement, yet the rear didn't. Are mine missing or does only the front have these pads due to the greater weight up front (engine, tranny) compared to the aft end of the vehicle?
I have 4 on mine.
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