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5 Series DIY
Knowledge Is Power! ~ The place for do-it-yourself threads on a variety of topics. Start a thread describing a particular job (oil change, cooling system overhaul, brakes, shocks and springs, etc.) or search for one you need help with!

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  #26  
Old 07-22-2008, 01:25 PM
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Elvis530i Elvis530i is offline
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Bump.

Did it yesterday, using these instructions. It's really a pretty simple, though time-consuming, procedure (assuming you've got all the right tools, of course).

I used MaxLife after satisfying myself that Valvoline more or less guaranteed compatibility.

Note: Maxlife is a full synthetic just like several other aftermarket options.
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  #27  
Old 01-21-2009, 09:27 PM
riro424 riro424 is offline
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1st anniversary update

My E39 has clocked 13K miles since I changed the ATF a year ago. At 64K, the tranny is shifting smoothly, and the occasional annoying hard downshift (from 2nd to 1st) has gone away. Thus, I am happy with using MaxLife as an Esso replacement.

I'm lending a hand to a fellow 'fester who is replacing his 525i's lifetime Esso with MaxLife. We've done a few DIY projects together, including the Vanos O-rings and cooling system overhaul.

We are also replacing our engine mounts; one of mine starting leaking a couple months ago. Bad engine mounts could result in harshness/vibration, and possibly result in the cooling fan hitting the shroud. We'll try to take some pics and do a writeup.
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  #28  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:55 PM
reyes3 reyes3 is offline
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Thanks for the write-up on this, used it today on my 530i w/ 67k miles! As soon as I started, tranny pan drain bolt was too tight & ended up stripping. Decided to keep going... used the siphon pump to drain as much fluid as possible through the fill hole. Then loosened the pan bolts & drained as much as I could before dropping the pan. Once the pan was dropped, used vice-grips to get the drain plug off. Glad I bought a new one before-hand!
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  #29  
Old 02-08-2009, 06:11 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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REAR Differential & MANUAL Trans Fluid Change: Tips and Tricks
I wrote this procedure in 2006 and this is also posted in the DIY section of this forum Manul Trans + Rear Diff):

http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/189240
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2009, 07:01 AM
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TimeOut TimeOut is offline
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Thanks for the write-up.

I did the tranny oil change on my 525i with 66K miles last weekend. The old oil was black, magnets looked like sponges and I replaced the filter as well.

I used Castrol Multi-Import ATF and so far so good.

My only concern is about the correct ATF level. I ended up adding ~6.5 quarts of new ATF into the tranny.


Anyway, I plan to do the drain/refill next weekend as soon as I receive the 14mm hex bit that I ordered to do the differential oil change.
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  #31  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:11 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I added a link to this thread in the bestlinks for future reference.

In addition, I linked to it in the summary fluid printout:
- BMW E39 fluid summary printout for your glovebox (1)

Doru suggests we replace the fluid in the power steering reservoir at every oil change:


It only takes about half a quart to suction out and then refill:


Most say you can't remove the filter but some (JimLev) say you can, so see his DIY on cleaning the filter.

Just make sure you use the right fluid. Do not use PSF; use DexronIII/Dexron VI ATF!
(This was my rookie mistake a few years ago when I first bought my bimmer & changed the fluids.)


Tying the PSF with the oil change makes sense, especially since the o-ring in the cap deteriorates at about the same rate as the two little o-rings in the lower half of the oil filter housing; so replace all three o-rings at the same time (every few years):


At about the same time, check the lower reservoir hose for leaks & fix it the cn90 way:


And, climb underneath to fix the power steering pump hose leaks also:


Otherwise, you face a power steering pump autopsy like this:


As for the power steering fluid pump filter, here is JimLev's procedure:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Looks like PS systems are the hot topic today

Quote:
On the V8 the drain plug on the PS pump will empty almost all of the fluid


There is apparently a screw or bolt holding the filter in place:


Apparently the circular screen will simply lift off at this point:


JimLev suggests you flush it all out with gasoline or other suitable solvent.


He also suggests you plug the filler cap with a Q-tib cotton swab:


But most of us recommend simply replacing the filler cap o-ring every few years.
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Last edited by bluebee; 04-15-2011 at 06:11 PM.
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  #32  
Old 05-01-2011, 08:08 AM
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So that this information isn't lost, for the cross-linked reference record, Vetaid replaced 'all' his powersteering fluid using the following method:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > HELP!!! Power steering pump drain plug locatation for bleeding

Quote:
Originally Posted by vetaldj View Post
- Extracted all fluids from reservoir
- Removed reservoir from bracket
- Disconnected return hose from coil over to reservoir (this is the one that was replaced) from reservoir. Here I've got some fluid from reservoir but I was ready with towels and empty container.
- Disconnected 13mm bolt that holds two hoses at coil over BUT didn't removed them, while holding top one I just removed bottom one (that goes to reservoir and need to be replaced), got some fluid out but not much.
- Put new ring and attached new hose to its place
- Cleaned reservoir all hoses from mess
- Re-installed reservoir and added new fluid
- made about 10 turns, almost all fluids gone so I added some more to the almost MAX and made same 10 turns but this time level was the same.
- Cleaned everything and hurray - my first serious DIY done with success!!
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  #33  
Old 08-06-2011, 01:54 PM
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For the cross-linked record, this thread today shows the grave perils that await anyone foolish enough not to clean out the power steering reservoir circular mesh filter periodically:
> 2002 E39 525i - Power steering whine solved in detail

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  #34  
Old 11-03-2011, 07:06 PM
riro424 riro424 is offline
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Here's a 35K report on the MaxLife ATF. The color was a cherry cough medicine red when it was new, and it came out looking like grape juice. The original Esso was gray so that might have something to do with it (about 10% remaining after the first ATF service).

Since Valvoline MaxLife ATF no longer meets the BMW spec, I switched to Castrol Import Multi-Vehicle ATF (available from Wally @ $5.40/qt). It didn't have the foul smell of MaxLife, and that alone, made this DIY much more enjoyable.

At 86K miles, I decided do 2 drain/refill (without a pan drop/filter change) using a total of 8 quarts. Drove the E39 about 10 miles in between the drain/refill. Thus, my tranny now has roughly 85% Castro, 13% MaxLife and 2% Esso.

Using this Harbor Freight fluid pump made filling the tranny much easier. http://www.harborfreight.com/multi-u...ump-66418.html

Still shifting smoothly!

Last edited by riro424; 11-03-2011 at 07:35 PM.
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  #35  
Old 03-14-2012, 06:02 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Anyone have any leaking after changing the diff fluid? Man I swear. I have had no luck wiht this car. CCV, ICV, plugs, o2, ABS trifecta, brakes, window, door weather seal. lol. I was looking under the car at diff, after trip to Boston to see how things were holding up. I am not 100%, but pretty sure it was dry as the fill plug. but there's some shiny film near drain plug. Upon closer examination, I think it's coming from teh dif itself (a seal maybe). Hard to see in pic, but darker area is teh fluid. Just like the trainy, I guess one should not mess with things like that if they don't know the history. It was till I messed with it. :-) I don't think it can be overfilled as it leaks out when full. Anyway, anyone run into this before? Any DIY to fix it? Maybe it's nothing (I can only wish). I guess I can try to fill it up again this weekend and see how much it takes to see if it really is leaking. Well, it has to be leaking if wet there. I sprayed it a lot with brake cleaner last night. either the cleaner is still there, or it never cleaned off the oil. Maybe I should use a rag to clean it all off to be 100% it's not just a stubborn oil spot. :-)
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  #36  
Old 06-24-2012, 12:50 PM
Ted Milner Ted Milner is offline
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Thanks

Thank you so much for this thread. I just completed the 2, transmission and diff. oil changes following your detailed, and plainly written and wonderfully photograph description of this important and difficult maintenance item. I would never have attempted this without your wonderful, detailed description. I would never have had the correct tools and accessories. I thought I had a lot of tools, but I still had to buy several more necessary items, like the 14mm hex and T27 Torx, transfer pump etc. etc.

Just finished the 2, (bought the wrong ATF for the power steering so will do this week).

I very much appreciate your efforts to make tasks like this "doable". I am amazed at the number of people like you who take the time and effort to post these detailed procedures.

Midted, Barrie, On. Ca.

Quote:
Originally Posted by riro424 View Post
This is yet another data point for the growing number of E39 owners who have replaced the "lifetime" Esso ATF. There have been a number of threads that I have learned from, so I want to give thanks to those who have already shared their experiences. The details of this DIY are specific to the 525i, so 530i and 540i owners should verify any differences before proceeding.

WARNINGS:
* If you have not done a DIY oil change, please do not try this as your first fluid change.
* If you do not have jacks, stands/ramps (nor know how to properly use them) or if your head cannot withstand the weight of 3400 lbs, please do not try this at home.
* If you do not know that a running car in a garage without proper ventilation will kill everyone inside, please do not try this at home.

After gleaning wisdom from those who have shared their ATF change experience, I decided that at 51K miles (bought my 2003 525i at 49K miles) that it was time to purge the lifetime Esso. Since I was not using fresh Esso, I decided to do an immediate second drain & refill, getting about 85% new ATF compare to just 67% with just the pan drop and refill. There are some folks who drove another 1000 miles before doing a second pan drop, filter, & refill that will get them to 90% new ATF. Either approach is preferable than keeping the lifetime Esso in the tranny.

Since the differential and PS fluid changes require only an additional hour at most, I decided that a DIY Fluid Triple Play is the way to go.

NOTES
* The pictures were taken a couple days later since I did not have a clean third hand to take pictures while wrenching, cussing, screwing and moaning.
* I used the term "no visible wear" for the PS ATF and the diff oil only in visual comparison to the Esso ATF, and acknowledge that the fluids could have deteriorated.
* The times shown are estimates, not targets to beat. You are not practicing for a career at a 10-minute lube joint nor for a NASCAR pit crew slot. Take your time to do it right.

With a sunny, 50 degree forecast for Super Bowl Saturday here in central Virginia, I decided to go for it. Immediately after lunch, I took the E39 out for a 10-mile drive to get the fluids nice and hot before getting started. After getting the rear tires on the ramps, and placing jack stands on the front sides (with the jack on the front center lift point for additional support), I measured the temperature of the tranny (126 deg F) and diff (107 deg F) pans. The fluids inside would be a bit too hot to work with so it's best to start with the easiest job, replacing the PS fluid. By the way, the car should be as level as possible when placed upon jack stands/ramps.

The 525i has rack & pinion steering that uses ATF (Dexron III) instead of regular power steering fluid. The Bentley manual doesn't state the system's capacity, but given the collective knowledge of those who did the turkey baster drain/refills, one quart appears to be the magic number. The 540i has a different steering gearbox system.



Changing the PS fluid first allows the tranny and diff to cool down a little (but I didn't think of it until afterwards...I actually changed this last). Purists would want to do a complete drain before filling with fresh fluid, but that requires a lot more time and increases the risk of getting a leak in the PS system.

This process mixes new fluid with the old, but that's fine by me since it's better than not changing it. If you agree that it's OK to mix the new with the old ATF, this is probably the most simple fluid change on the E39.

Use a couple towels to cover the areas where oil is likely to drip, and you can save a couple minutes of cleaning time.



For $4 worth of ATF and an $8 suction gun, I probably save $100 compared to a dealer job. Then again, I might have extracted only new ATF the 2nd and 3rd time since there is no way to tell...

Now that my confidence is building, it's time for a slightly more difficult task of changing the differential fluid that also happens to be a magical lifetime oil. According to Bentley, it is a specially formulated synthetic gear oil (SAF-XO...cognac?) that is available through authorized BMW dealers. I picked up a filler spout with a 12" tube ($4) from Advance Auto that has a nice flow-lock device on the cap-screw. You'll need a breaker bar to get the fill/drain plugs out.



The 525i's differential has a 1 LITER (1.1 quarts) capacity, and dog-gone-it, the bottles in the US come in 1 quart size. I couldn't find M22 aluminum crush washers at the auto parts stores around here so I just reused the old ones. The lifetime diff oil didn't have any visible wear.

After torquing the plugs, use Simple Green to remove oil off the diff housing.



Well, wasn't that simple as well? Two quarts of M1 75W90 @ $9 each, $4 filler spout, $12 for the 18" breaker bar, $10 for a set of 3 large hex bits amount to a grand total of $44 for a job that a dealer might charge $150 for. The savings are adding up and paying for new tools. I even got to dust off my seldom used torque wrench for this job.

OK, my confidence is way up to the point of feeling like the 18-0 Patriots as a 14 point favorite in the Super Bowl. It is now time to do the tranny! Unlike the PS and diff fluid changes that are very straight forward, draining and dropping the tranny sump pan is quite a bit more involved.

The 525i steptronic has the ZF 5HP19 transmission (aka A5S 325Z) that is filled at the factory with a lifetime Esso ATF. If you decided to change the ATF, you probably don't believe in the tooth fairy either. To be absolutely sure that you have the 5HP19, you should check the stamped GREEN metal label on the back of the tranny. You will need a towel to wipe off the crud on the label.



I've divvied up the ATF change into two separate processes: 1) Pan drop and reinstallation, and 2) ATF fill. Having the right tools makes the pan drop job much easier. Wally carries a large rectangular oil drain pan for ~$6, and I highly recommend getting an electric screwdriver with a clutch (Black & Decker $20 @ HD). Repeat after me: I will get a high-grade T-27 socket and driver bit, and not a combo bit that will waste an hour of my time by stripping the pan bolt.

BMW parts you will need (crownauto.com):
PN 24 34 1 423 376 - OEM Filter (Filtran) - $18.92
PN 24 10 1 423 380 - OEM Gasket (green paper) - $10.66
PN 24 10 1 423 273 - T-27 bolts with spring washer (order at least 4 extra) - <$1 each



Wait, there's more. A magnetic dish to hold (22) pan bolts will keep them from rolling throughout the garage as they are removed. The optional (in my case, mandatory) drill with a 7/32 bit and vice grip for removing stripped pan bolts.



Some of the other posts recommended the purchase of an overpriced Snap-On stubby 8mm hex. However, another benefit to owning a 525i is that there is just enough clearance to use a regular 8mm hex bit, 3/8-1/2 drive adapter, and a breaker bar. Thus, 525i owners do not have to kill themselves trying to loosen the Fill Plug with just a ratchet.





Before we get started with dropping the tranny pan, here's a quick change of scenery to get the adrenaline flowing.



I had two objectives: 1) Don't make a mess, and 2) Don't strip any of the (22) T-27 pan bolts.

In step #4, be careful in loosening the T-27 pan bolts with the ratchet. Even with great care, I ruined the T-27 socket tip, stripped two bolts, and spent an hour trying to remove them. Ultimately, I drilled them out and used a vice grip to remove the bolts. So much for a perfect 19-0.



I'm in the home stretch, and it's time to fill the tranny.



If you use jack stands in the rear of the car, keeping your foot on the brake when running the tranny through the gears will keep the wheels from spinning. Allowing the wheels to spin without a load will trigger your DSC, and more importantly, be hazardous to anyone standing around the vehicle. Keep checking for leaks around the gasket whenever you crawl under the vehicle. Tighten the bolts where you see oil seeping along the pan seal and around the pan bolts.



Since I haven't put too many miles on the car, I couldn't really tell if the tranny is performing better. However, I definitely feel better knowing that I no longer have gray Esso and filthy magnets in the tranny. For less than $80 in fluids/parts and $150 worth of new tools in my garage, I easily saved $400-700 on the ATF change and knowing that I did the job properly. Well, that's all folks, and enjoy the Bean in Chicago's Millennium Park!

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  #37  
Old 08-04-2012, 02:40 AM
ferguscan ferguscan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
Anyone have any leaking after changing the diff fluid? Man I swear. I have had no luck wiht this car. CCV, ICV, plugs, o2, ABS trifecta, brakes, window, door weather seal. lol. I was looking under the car at diff, after trip to Boston to see how things were holding up. I am not 100%, but pretty sure it was dry as the fill plug. but there's some shiny film near drain plug. Upon closer examination, I think it's coming from teh dif itself (a seal maybe). Hard to see in pic, but darker area is teh fluid. Just like the trainy, I guess one should not mess with things like that if they don't know the history. It was till I messed with it. :-) I don't think it can be overfilled as it leaks out when full. Anyway, anyone run into this before? Any DIY to fix it? Maybe it's nothing (I can only wish). I guess I can try to fill it up again this weekend and see how much it takes to see if it really is leaking. Well, it has to be leaking if wet there. I sprayed it a lot with brake cleaner last night. either the cleaner is still there, or it never cleaned off the oil. Maybe I should use a rag to clean it all off to be 100% it's not just a stubborn oil spot. :-)
That doesn't look like it's coming from the drain plug. More like the half shaft output above it.

My service manual has a procedue for renewing that flange seal.

Have you changed your diff oil to see how much is left in there?

Stuart
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  #38  
Old 08-04-2012, 09:04 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferguscan View Post
That doesn't look like it's coming from the drain plug. More like the half shaft output above it.

My service manual has a procedue for renewing that flange seal.

Have you changed your diff oil to see how much is left in there?

Stuart
Hi Ferguscan,

After more close observation, I too saw it wasn't the drain/fill plug. However, after about a month or so, it appears to have stopped leaking. I haven't checked in a month or so though. I think I'll try to add some fluid and see how much it takes to fill it and get an idea of how much it is/was empty. Perhaps I over filled it, but that's hard to do since when it drips, it's full. :-)

It could be though that it didn't like being 100% full which is probably a sign of a bad seal anyway. I haven't spent a lot of time looking into this because what I've find suggest pulling out the diff. I did find a DIY somewhere that suggested a seal replacement without pulling the diff, but that it added a lot of complexity / frustration by leaving it in?
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  #39  
Old 08-04-2012, 01:34 PM
StanClem StanClem is offline
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Hood will not open

The hood on my 2000 540i will not open.I disconnected the lever and tried pulling on the cable with vise grips,no luck? I pop out the two grilles ,not sure what to do?
Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank-you. Stan C.
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  #40  
Old 03-19-2013, 11:19 AM
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bin01123 bin01123 is offline
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Extremely good write up for this DIY
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  #41  
Old 06-23-2014, 12:11 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This excellent picture & fact-filled DIY was just written today:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > DIY: 1998 BMW 528i MANUAL Transmission & REAR Differential Fluids UPDATED version
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
DIY: 1998 BMW 528i MANUAL Transmission & REAR Differential Fluids UPDATED version

* To see the original DIY from May 2006 (@88K miles), scroll down to see it. This is for updated version of what I just did at 141K miles.
See also:
- ATF: Automatic transmission fluid (1) (2) (3) (4) & automatic transmission fluid & filter DIYs (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & torque values (1) & how to find the hidden E39 transmission fluid level dipstick (1) & why ATF gushes out of the fill hole (1) & ZF 5HP19 facts (1)
- Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (0) (1) (2) (3)
See also:
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWC View Post
No _ I didn't do either the filter or the o-ring -- but the steering feels much smoother. I'll wait until my next oil change and tackle -- thanks for the info!
No rush.

Most seem to clean the filter about every few oil changes.


And, if you don't replace the o-ring every couple of years, you'll need the M-sock mod:
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 06-25-2014 at 11:08 AM.
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  #42  
Old 06-28-2014, 05:15 PM
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sixpot_simon sixpot_simon is offline
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Many thanks for the write-up. I feel much better now that my car is no longer running on 13 year old fluids!

Damn, the drain plugs were in tight. They needed a breaker bar to loosen them. As the OP says, alway open the fill plug first.
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  #43  
Old 07-12-2014, 05:56 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the crosslinked record, it was asked today over here whether RTV is needed:
E39 (1997 - 2003) > Using RTV Sealent instead of Transmission Oil Pan Gasket

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ustad View Post
Hi,

I have a 2003 530i with 43000 miles and automatic transmission. It has the green sticker on the transmission oil pan with the ZF 5HP19 (A5S 325Z) trans.

While I have no issues with my trans (except for the occasional hard shift or 'thud' while going into reverse), after reading through the posts here, I decided to go ahead with the transmission oil change as a preventive maintenance.

Something about crawling under the car while it is up on jackstands made me want to go a shop to get it done (Also the low clearance kinda scared me off). I called the ZF Service Center in Vernon Hills, IL just to see if they do this sort of thing now. They directed me to a Bosch service center which apparently does work on the ZF trans. Bosch in turn said that they do not do it and directed me to a independent oufit called Underground Autosports in Hoffman Estates, IL.

I went to see them today and apparently they do a lot of custom work for race cars. There were a couple of E46 M3's being worked on and it looked like a place which knew its Bimmers.

After talking to the owner about the trans oil flush, he mentioned that they do not use the gasket to seal the trans oil pan. Instead they use RTV sealent. While I am aware that there are discussions outside this forum as to the effectiveness of using RTV to seal the pan, I could not find anybody who had done it a a DIY (I guess because as a DIY, its almost impossible to get the pan surfaces clean enough that the sealent will actually work).

So now I am of 2 minds - I would like to see how effective RTV sealent is, but obviously I dont want the fluid to leak after the oil is changed. The owner said that they always use sealant instead of the gasket, so it looks like they dont have a problem with it on the cars they do.

What says the collective wisdom on this forum?
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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