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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 04-28-2011, 11:36 AM
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jman103099 jman103099 is offline
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Transfer Case - Fluid Change Time

For those of you that have changed the fluid in your transfer case - did you re-use the washers? The dealer doesnt stock this part and it looks like it's a custom order on bavauto.com.

Im planning on changing the fluid this weekend, but didnt want to go through with it if I needed new washers.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-28-2011, 01:25 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jman103099 View Post
The dealer doesnt stock this part and it looks like it's a custom order on bavauto.com.
Yes, I found the same thing.
He said they were 35 cents each and sort of offered to order one,
but didn't sound especially enthused to do so.

Clearly, dealer service techs. must re-use the washers, so I did the same.

It's not the sort of washer that deforms when tightened, so I was not concerned.
Just tightened to approx. what was the original torque and no leaks.
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  #3  
Old 04-28-2011, 01:33 PM
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I reused mine. Next time I will replace. No leaks on transfer case or differentials.
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  #4  
Old 04-29-2011, 09:51 AM
RAG810 RAG810 is offline
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I also reused mine but my mechanic showed me a trick to just flip (turn to other side) the washer. No leaks.
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  #5  
Old 04-30-2011, 03:44 PM
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Reused my friends when I changed the diff and tranny fluid for her. Used a torque wrench to set the spec correctly.
How many of you have changed your tranny fluild? If it has 50-60K miles it is a good idea.
I replaced the filter and used about 5.5L of Pentosin ATF1 but this is a ZF auto not a GM auto...
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  #6  
Old 04-30-2011, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2drive View Post
How many of you have changed your tranny fluild? If it has 50-60K miles it is a good idea.
.

Why?
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  #7  
Old 05-01-2011, 01:09 PM
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I did the transfer case fluid yesterday. It was very easy and took 30 minutes. The fluid that came out was black and the fluid that went in was light... like olive oil.

I havent done the differentials yet... I figured the transfer case was more important. Im going to check with the dealer on the cost of the tranny... I think it might be outside of my comfort level.

On another note, I also did the power steering fluid. After 54k miles, it too was in need of a change.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:48 AM
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how easy is this to do? I want to do mine but am somewhat scared. Did anyone do examples with pictures?
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2011, 12:53 PM
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It was the easiest thing... easier than changing the oil and I didnt have to raise the car! Search this forum and internet for examples/pictures. Basically you remove the fill plug, then remove the drain plug. Drain fluid and replace drain plug. Add new fluid via pump until full (fluid will start to come out) and replace fill plug.

Yes, it really was that easy. I dont do much on my car, but this was a breeze and saved about 300 bucks from letting the dealer do it.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2011, 01:04 PM
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Better find the proper torque for the drain plug

If it is like the oil drain plug it is made to snap off so you don't mess up the treads in the pan/tcase.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2011, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
If it is like the oil drain plug it is made to snap off so you don't mess up the treads in the pan/tcase.
No, I believe these are more heavy duty. Rubber o-ring type seal to keep oil in, water and dirt out.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:00 PM
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Plug no washer-

Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
No, I believe these are more heavy duty. Rubber o-ring type seal to keep oil in, water and dirt out.
I was referring to the plug itself but whatever, you need to know the proper torque spec regardless.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
I was referring to the plug itself but whatever, you need to know the proper torque spec regardless.
I know - I was answering your question about the plug itself.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2011, 05:28 AM
tempestv8 tempestv8 is offline
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I want to replace the transfer case fluid on my 2004 X3 with 100,000 kms on the odometer. However, I understand that the "wear sensor" needs to be reset.

Has anyone got information on how to perform this other than to take it to a dealer who probably doesn't know anyway since they don't service the transfer case?
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2011, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempestv8 View Post
I want to replace the transfer case fluid on my 2004 X3 with 100,000 kms on the odometer. However, I understand that the "wear sensor" needs to be reset.

Has anyone got information on how to perform this other than to take it to a dealer who probably doesn't know anyway since they don't service the transfer case?
I did mine awhile ago. Did not reset anything. No issues so far on 2007.

If it is a true sensor, it should not need resetting. If it is a "timer" based on miles, it would need resetting. However, this is a "lifetime" fluid so there should not be a reset.
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2011, 07:05 AM
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I didnt reset mine either... no issues so far and it's been about 4-5k miles. You might want to post this question in the e46 forum as I think their transfer case on the X-drives is similar.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2011, 07:19 AM
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I actually changed mine about 30k miles ago, so good long run and no issues.

I checked another forum - I think the reset comes in mainly if your light trips.
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  #18  
Old 10-05-2011, 10:03 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
I actually changed mine about 30k miles ago, so good long run and no issues.

I checked another forum - I think the reset comes in mainly if your light trips.
There is no light.

Was discussed here a few months back.

In essence:

- the state of the fluid is indirectly measured by the pressure needed to operate one or more of the clutches in the transfer case
(not sure if the fluid thickens or thins out when it degrades)

- when a resistance threshold is reached, a code is set that only the GT1 computer can read

- this is the code referenced in a SIB that directs the dealer to change the fluid (under warranty or free maintenance if appropriate)

- this code can obviously be deleted/reset when the fluid is changed
(not essential, but avoids a misunderstanding later)

- it also should be reset so that the algorithm used to relate the resistance detected to a wear value gets re-initialized

- what happens if no code has been set? Can the wear value be re-initialized regardless when the fluid is changed?

Probably it can, in order for monitoring to re-start from the right initial conditions.
If it doesn't get reset, and can't cycle through automatically, I suppose the monitoring is no longer meaningful.
But does that matter if you are now committed to changing the fluid at sensible intervals?

The more important question is,
when did the new improved fluid start being used?
Early X3's (maybe into 2005 or even 2006?) had a factory fill more resembling an ATF, and the need for that fluid to be changed even without the code being triggered is likely greater than for later model years.
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:21 PM
tempestv8 tempestv8 is offline
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What would be considered to be a "sensible interval" for the TC fluid?

I just checked the fluid and it was (much to my surprise) in a very good condition, so the previous owner must have had it serviced recently before I bought the vehicle. Either way, I'm happy that I don't have to change the fluid quite yet and that it hasn't been left in a very poor condition.

I'm now debating whether to return the unusued/opened fluid back to the dealer or just keep it till the next sensible interval, whatever that is meant to be.

Last edited by tempestv8; 10-05-2011 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Corrected grammatical error
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:04 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempestv8 View Post
What would be considered to be a "sensible interval" for the TC fluid?
Anything better than the BMW recommendation of lifetime, whatever that means (never?).

As we are not getting any help from the manufacturer on a change interval,
and some dealers tow the party line and refuse to do it even if you are paying (some are more realistic), we have to just take an educated guess.

Something like 50K miles (80K km) I consider sensible.
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  #21  
Old 10-06-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tempestv8 View Post
What would be considered to be a "sensible interval" for the TC fluid?

I just checked the fluid and it was (much to my surprise) in a very good condition, so the previous owner must have had it serviced recently before I bought the vehicle. Either way, I'm happy that I don't have to change the fluid quite yet and that it hasn't been left in a very poor condition.

I'm now debating whether to return the unusued/opened fluid back to the dealer or just keep it till the next sensible interval, whatever that is meant to be.
How did you check the fluid? Crack open fill port and draw some out?

Basically, change around 50k if possible. I changed my X3 at 70k. Fluid was dirty. Also changed front and rear differentials at same time.

Still have AT fluid to do!
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  #22  
Old 10-06-2011, 03:43 PM
tempestv8 tempestv8 is offline
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I loosened the drain plug, and as I was winding it out, the diff fluid that started to seep out between the threads looked like it was in very good condition. A slightly darker version of the fresh new fluid in the bottle. It was also clear and looked to be in very good condition. So I didn't bother to drain it.

My auto trans fluid, which I changed the weekend before was in terrible condition by comparison. It looked like used engine oil. So much for the "lifetime" fill.
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  #23  
Old 10-06-2011, 08:24 PM
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Was the AT fluid a big job? I believe you have to loosen the pan, let the fluid come out, remove pan, clean any gasket material off and wipe down, replace filter, reattach pan (what torque value?), then fill?

Hopefully not too bad.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2011, 09:46 PM
tempestv8 tempestv8 is offline
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Wink

Hi Dave,

Since your question is about the auto trans and not the transfer case, I've responded here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...86#post6364286
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  #25  
Old 10-08-2011, 02:12 PM
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Thanks. I visited that thread before.
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