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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 10-08-2012, 04:22 PM
alanstocker alanstocker is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 525i auto sedan
!995 525i auto shifter seizing with heat

Whilst the auto shifter is free and normal when cold, within about 3 miles of driving in a moderate climate (say 60 degrees centigrade) the gear shifter becomes very stiff and before long refuses to be moved. It takes about 2 hours to cool off and become operable again. Disconnecting the linkage at the gearbox end proves that the problem is in the box. Is there an oil cooler with a thermostat on this model?, if so please advise me where it is located. Or does anybody have any other ideas. The gears shift perfectly smooth as you drive.
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:46 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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This is an unusual problem that you've encountered.

No, there is no special oil cooler for the transmission. It has two coolant lines which run all the way to the radiator and back and that takes care of cooling.

Please download the soft copy of the E34 bentley manual for E34s. It has a chapter on transmissions and a troubleshooting list of all kinds of transmission problems and their probable reasons at the end of the appropriate chapter. Read through the entire chapter first before going further. Please google for the download link.

What do the workshops in your area suggest could be the problem? Or call up some transmission specialists on the telephone, there's a good chance that they'll be able to identify the problem while talking to you especially since they can ask you detailed questions.

p.s. I'm assuming that you don't have any oil leaks, and that your transmission oil is in both good condition and sufficient quantity for your transmission.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-08-2012 at 06:20 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2012, 08:21 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:20 PM
Josh429er Josh429er is offline
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If It's anything I learned from mine, It's that It's picky as hell and hates heat. I changed my oil and the heat dramatically dropped. I'd advise oil change with filter. It will solve the heat issue.
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2012, 12:26 AM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
This is an unusual problem that you've encountered.

No, there is no special oil cooler for the transmission. It has two coolant lines which run all the way to the radiator and back and that takes care of cooling.

Please download the soft copy of the E34 bentley manual for E34s. It has a chapter on transmissions and a troubleshooting list of all kinds of transmission problems and their probable reasons at the end of the appropriate chapter. Read through the entire chapter first before going further. Please google for the download link.

What do the workshops in your area suggest could be the problem? Or call up some transmission specialists on the telephone, there's a good chance that they'll be able to identify the problem while talking to you especially since they can ask you detailed questions.

p.s. I'm assuming that you don't have any oil leaks, and that your transmission oil is in both good condition and sufficient quantity for your transmission.
The 1995 525i automatic transmission has a separate tranny cooler that is attached in front of the engine radiator .


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Last edited by supertech777; 10-09-2012 at 12:29 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-09-2012, 02:57 AM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Make sure there is no debri between the ac condenser and tranny cooler and between the tranny cooler and radiator . I have found that out when I replaced my radiator , specially when I seperated the tranny cooler from the old radiator , it had so much debri I was surprised if any air flowed through it ...

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  #7  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:51 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supertech777 View Post
Make sure there is no debri between the ac condenser and tranny cooler and between the tranny cooler and radiator . I have found that out when I replaced my radiator , specially when I seperated the tranny cooler from the old radiator , it had so much debri I was surprised if any air flowed through it ...

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How would you remove this debris without dismantling the radiator? Would a garden hose be sufficient? Any special angles recommended ? Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:15 AM
alanstocker alanstocker is offline
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Hi,
I've taken the advice of a transmission specialist because it appears to be such a rare fault.
Apparently it is a common fault in the UK because of the wet climate. The specialist (J Judge in Ilford) says that aluminium oxide builds up on the selector shaft in the box and this makes the steel shaft very tight as it slides through the very finely machined alloy casing. This is made worse with heat. He has quoted 200 pounds to rectify it by dropping the valve body, then lowering the rear of the box from the cross member so that the shaft can be withdrawn and cleaned with wet and dry paper before lubricating it, and then building it back up with a new filter and fresh fluid.
This all seems to make sense to me, what do you think?
By the way, in my 1st thread I typed 60 degrees when I meant 6 degrees centigrade.
I am taking the car in tomorrow and will let you know the result.
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  #9  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:39 AM
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supertech777 supertech777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
How would you remove this debris without dismantling the radiator? Would a garden hose be sufficient? Any special angles recommended ? Thanks.
There is no other way to remove the years of debri unless you take the radiator off ... IMO

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  #10  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:25 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanstocker View Post
Hi,
I've taken the advice of a transmission specialist because it appears to be such a rare fault.
Apparently it is a common fault in the UK because of the wet climate. The specialist (J Judge in Ilford) says that aluminium oxide builds up on the selector shaft in the box and this makes the steel shaft very tight as it slides through the very finely machined alloy casing. This is made worse with heat. He has quoted 200 pounds to rectify it by dropping the valve body, then lowering the rear of the box from the cross member so that the shaft can be withdrawn and cleaned with wet and dry paper before lubricating it, and then building it back up with a new filter and fresh fluid.
This all seems to make sense to me, what do you think?
By the way, in my 1st thread I typed 60 degrees when I meant 6 degrees centigrade.
I am taking the car in tomorrow and will let you know the result.
(Don't laugh but)...have you tried WD40 ?

I don't buy his story. The transmission is a sealed unit. Moisture does not get in. How then can it build up, or cause corrosion ?

Try WD40 down the stick while sitting in the driver's seat. You can remove the cover around the stick as well to make it easier.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 10-09-2012 at 09:29 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-09-2012, 10:52 AM
alanstocker alanstocker is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 525i auto sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
(Don't laugh but)...have you tried WD40 ?

I don't buy his story. The transmission is a sealed unit. Moisture does not get in. How then can it build up, or cause corrosion ?

Try WD40 down the stick while sitting in the driver's seat. You can remove the cover around the stick as well to make it easier.
Hi again,
Thanks for your view again. Soaking the whole thing with WD40 was the 1st thing I did when the problem arose. I later found that the linkage is free but you cannot get any lubricant past the seal in the gearbox casing as it is designed to keep high pressure water out.
I am with you when you say that it is a sealed unit and mentioned this to the specialist. He said that even the very least presence of moisture where the two types of metal meet could cause a degree of corrosion. He went on to suggest that after the 116000 miles that the car has covered there surely is some wear in the seals, or even though the car has a full service history with a large BMW stealership they may have in the past changed the fluid in damp conditions using unsuitable equipment.
I have checked all other areas that have been suggested to me:-
debris blocking the veins of the radiator/oil cooler,
searched for troubleshooting explanations in manuals,

I find now that I have to go forward with this repair as I do need the car to attend hospital daily for necessary treatment.

Thank you all so much for your interest. Alan
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  #12  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:01 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Keep us posted with results and good luck in hospital
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Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #13  
Old 10-09-2012, 09:35 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanstocker View Post
Hi again,
Thanks for your view again. Soaking the whole thing with WD40 was the 1st thing I did when the problem arose. I later found that the linkage is free but you cannot get any lubricant past the seal in the gearbox casing as it is designed to keep high pressure water out.
I am with you when you say that it is a sealed unit and mentioned this to the specialist. He said that even the very least presence of moisture where the two types of metal meet could cause a degree of corrosion. He went on to suggest that after the 116000 miles that the car has covered there surely is some wear in the seals, or even though the car has a full service history with a large BMW stealership they may have in the past changed the fluid in damp conditions using unsuitable equipment.
I have checked all other areas that have been suggested to me:-
debris blocking the veins of the radiator/oil cooler,
searched for troubleshooting explanations in manuals,

I find now that I have to go forward with this repair as I do need the car to attend hospital daily for necessary treatment.

Thank you all so much for your interest. Alan
Well then sometimes there's no alternative to using the mechanic. And he seems to be sure about it.

If you can, be around when they do the repair. Tell him that you wish to take pictures of the corrosion when the gearbox is lowered. Ask him for permission, he might agree. Then post that up here.

Take the pictures, and the bill, and send both to the BMW stealership that had been maintaining your car all along. Insist that they reimburse you. This should have been a known problem...bmw has been selling cars in we countries for 50 years...and they should have taken care to prevent this from happening when working on your car all this while.

Good luck.
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2012, 02:57 PM
alanstocker alanstocker is offline
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Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Well then sometimes there's no alternative to using the mechanic. And he seems to be sure about it.

If you can, be around when they do the repair. Tell him that you wish to take pictures of the corrosion when the gearbox is lowered. Ask him for permission, he might agree. Then post that up here.

Take the pictures, and the bill, and send both to the BMW stealership that had been maintaining your car all along. Insist that they reimburse you. This should have been a known problem...bmw has been selling cars in we countries for 50 years...and they should have taken care to prevent this from happening when working on your car all this while.

Good luck.
Hi, I got the car back today and all is OK. The specialist said that the steel selector shaft was only slightly corroded but a plastic valve in the valve body was partially seized even at the low temperature when the box was dismantled. He purchased and fitted a new valve which was a modification of the plastic original, it was manufactured in die-cast metal.

Now the shifts are even smoother and the transmission stays cool and free. I will not be claiming any recompense from the BMW main dealership as I am just happy to get the car back to good running.
The bottom line figure for the repair was 250 pounds. A very good deal I think.
Thanks to you all again for the interest that you have shown.
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  #15  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:01 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Glad you got it straightened out I don't know if any of us would have been able to diagnose that problem. I had never seen it before. Thanks for posting the solution.
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  #16  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:07 PM
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BMWFatherFigure BMWFatherFigure is offline
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Mein Auto: E23;E30;E38;E32;E34 +
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Good - Fast - Cheap: Pick any two.
Current:
E23 735i; E32 735iL (X 2 - 1 Alpine White and 1 Glacier Blue); E34 535i; E38 735iL; R50 Cooper; R55 Cooper Clubman.
Previous:
E21 318i; E30 318i; E32 735iL; E34 535i; E38 730iL; E53 4.4i
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  #17  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:15 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanstocker View Post
Hi, I got the car back today and all is OK. The specialist said that the steel selector shaft was only slightly corroded but a plastic valve in the valve body was partially seized even at the low temperature when the box was dismantled. He purchased and fitted a new valve which was a modification of the plastic original, it was manufactured in die-cast metal.

Now the shifts are even smoother and the transmission stays cool and free. I will not be claiming any recompense from the BMW main dealership as I am just happy to get the car back to good running.
The bottom line figure for the repair was 250 pounds. A very good deal I think.
Thanks to you all again for the interest that you have shown.
I'm glad that you've solved the problem, but can plastic anything seize ? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I've always thought it was metal that would seize...plastic would only break.
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