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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2012, 02:39 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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How to: ZF 6HP26 Mechatronics Solenoid Replacement / Valve body removal

Here is a quick video I did on removing the valve body/mechatronics on my E60 yesterday. I ran out of space on my memory card before I finished so there's not any video of it going back together, but it's pretty much just reverse from coming out.

Instead of replacing the whole valve body / mechatronics assembly, I replaced just the solenoids and it completely fixed all of my issues (slow shifting to reverse, rough shifts everywhere, jerky shifts 5 to 6 and 3 to 2 especially, hiccup in 5th, etc. etc.) Hopefully this will help someone.. It appears most E60 owners do not do as much DIY on this kind of thing as me. Let me know if any questions.

Hopefully this saves someone some money!

Also, about 3/4 of the way through the video it keeps stopping for me and acting like it's the end. It isn't, so make sure to watch the end.

Wish I could have gotten more detail on changing solenoids and re-installation, but I'm not doing it again for the sake of a video


Last edited by schpenxel; 10-28-2012 at 02:45 PM.
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2012, 05:56 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Thats diving right in. Thanks for sharing the Diy.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:14 PM
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Jaystyles Jaystyles is offline
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Thumbs up Great Job!!

I've been experiencing the slow shift into reverse as well. I'm going to have my guy take a look at your video and see if he could do just that instead of changing out the entire valve body unit in my transmission of my 2004 545i.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2012, 06:22 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Originally Posted by luckydog View Post
Thats diving right in. Thanks for sharing the Diy.
No problem! It wouldn't have been so bad if I had had another car to drive if I messed something up, lol. But this is my only car right now. No pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaystyles View Post
I've been experiencing the slow shift into reverse as well. I'm going to have my guy take a look at your video and see if he could do just that instead of changing out the entire valve body unit in my transmission of my 2004 545i.
He shouldn't have any trouble. thectsc has the parts. If he has any questions just PM me or post them here and I'll try to answer them.

Make sure you get enough fluid and make sure to reset everything in INPA so it can re-calibrate to the new solenoids. The accelerator to the floor for 30 second thing never did squat for me.

I had 7 quarts of new fluid on hand and it wasn't enough. I had to use a quart or so of the old stuff (which had been changed a few weeks ago so it wasn't so bad) to finish filling it up.

Last edited by schpenxel; 10-28-2012 at 06:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2012, 02:00 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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You are the man . Question, apart from resetting INPA was there any other recoding required from $ealership? My local indy has told me if the solenoids are changed, it would need recoding.

Also, in your video I could not see how did you remove the sealinng sleeve. If you remove the valve body, do you have to pull the sealing sleeve from outside the transmission body or just disconnecting the wiring harness is enough and the sealing sleeve just comes out along with the valve body.

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  #6  
Old 10-29-2012, 06:02 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Originally Posted by kskane View Post
You are the man . Question, apart from resetting INPA was there any other recoding required from $ealership? My local indy has told me if the solenoids are changed, it would need recoding.
Nope, no re-coding. Just reset the transmission adaptations. Technically when ZF builds these transmissions they do flow testing on each solenoid individually and program the computer with that data, so it has the most information possible about that solenoid. However, usually new solenoids are close enough that the range of adjustability that the transmission has is wide enough to make them work just fine. It just may take a week or two of driving for it to figure it all out. There are no serial numbers or anything on the solenoids that the computer can read, so it doesn't really know if they're new ones or anything like that.



Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post

Also, in your video I could not see how did you remove the sealinng sleeve. If you remove the valve body, do you have to pull the sealing sleeve from outside the transmission body or just disconnecting the wiring harness is enough and the sealing sleeve just comes out along with the valve body.

Sorry, after I stripped that pan bolt I forgot about the video for a bit. Yes, you have to remove the sleeve. It was so cramped up in that area, that I actually couldn't get it completely out of the car--I could only get it out of the transmission then just left it up in the car wherever it was and called it a day.

There's a transmission mount at the rear of the tranny that if I could have removed, I think I could have gotten the sleeve out. I didn't have female star sockets on hand though so I couldn't get it out, but to answer your question, YES it has to come out.
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  #7  
Old 10-29-2012, 08:33 AM
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dolfan13 dolfan13 is offline
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Very cool Thanks!!
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:53 PM
hooch999 hooch999 is offline
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where did you get the solenoids from? What's part number?
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:54 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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http://www.thectsc.com/index.php?p=p...d=36&parent=52 is where I got them for mine. Email them if you're unsure which to buy.
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  #10  
Old 11-08-2012, 06:19 PM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Nope, no re-coding. Just reset the transmission adaptations. Technically when ZF builds these transmissions they do flow testing on each solenoid individually and program the computer with that data, so it has the most information possible about that solenoid. However, usually new solenoids are close enough that the range of adjustability that the transmission has is wide enough to make them work just fine. It just may take a week or two of driving for it to figure it all out. There are no serial numbers or anything on the solenoids that the computer can read, so it doesn't really know if they're new ones or anything like that.






Sorry, after I stripped that pan bolt I forgot about the video for a bit. Yes, you have to remove the sleeve. It was so cramped up in that area, that I actually couldn't get it completely out of the car--I could only get it out of the transmission then just left it up in the car wherever it was and called it a day.

There's a transmission mount at the rear of the tranny that if I could have removed, I think I could have gotten the sleeve out. I didn't have female star sockets on hand though so I couldn't get it out, but to answer your question, YES it has to come out.
Thanks, one more question, does CTSC actually provide a guide how to replace the solenoids on the valve body? Is it simple un-screw and screw back in or can you share any guide you followed? That would be much appreciated as I am planning to change all my solenoid in my next ATF oil change.
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:28 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks, one more question, does CTSC actually provide a guide how to replace the solenoids on the valve body? Is it simple un-screw and screw back in or can you share any guide you followed? That would be much appreciated as I am planning to change all my solenoid in my next ATF oil change.
They included very basic instructions, but it was just like "remove mechatronics", "remove solenoids", etc. nothing that will really give you a step by step.

Basically there's a retainer plate (you can see it in one of the pictures towards the end of the video, that has maybe 8 screws on it and runs the length of the solenoids. That is all that holds the solenoids in. The solenoids have o-rings on them that seal pretty tight to the holes they are in, so it takes a bit of a yank to get them out, but ultimately that's it. They don't screw into the valve body or anything like that

I wish I could have gotten a good video of swapping them--that was the part I wanted to record the most but I ran my memory card full on accident unfortunately.

I found a video on youtube that shows disassembly of a very similar mechatronics unit (maybe the 5HP or something like that?). I'll post it when I find it.

Here it is (below)

Note that the wiring harness doesn't really exist on the 6HP. It's a big plastic piece with connectors that line right up to the connectors on the solenoids, so that part is nothing like it. But removing the actual solenoids is the same.

And obviously ignore the whole taking the valve body apart part--no need to do that to change solenoids.


Last edited by schpenxel; 11-08-2012 at 06:32 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2012, 04:31 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
They included very basic instructions, but it was just like "remove mechatronics", "remove solenoids", etc. nothing that will really give you a step by step.

Basically there's a retainer plate (you can see it in one of the pictures towards the end of the video, that has maybe 8 screws on it and runs the length of the solenoids. That is all that holds the solenoids in. The solenoids have o-rings on them that seal pretty tight to the holes they are in, so it takes a bit of a yank to get them out, but ultimately that's it. They don't screw into the valve body or anything like that

I wish I could have gotten a good video of swapping them--that was the part I wanted to record the most but I ran my memory card full on accident unfortunately.

I found a video on youtube that shows disassembly of a very similar mechatronics unit (maybe the 5HP or something like that?). I'll post it when I find it.

Here it is (below)

Note that the wiring harness doesn't really exist on the 6HP. It's a big plastic piece with connectors that line right up to the connectors on the solenoids, so that part is nothing like it. But removing the actual solenoids is the same.

And obviously ignore the whole taking the valve body apart part--no need to do that to change solenoids.

Thanks schpenxel, one more question in relation to INPA. I am not very confident with INPA, but following your post, I got a cable and somehow got the INPA 5.0.1 with EdiABAS 6.4.3/7 working. Can you please tell me exact steps how to clear adaptive transmission memory? In my scripts, under transmission, I can only see how to read and clear the errors in transmission, but how do I clear the adaptive transmission memory? I would really appreciate the information.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2012, 10:19 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks schpenxel, one more question in relation to INPA. I am not very confident with INPA, but following your post, I got a cable and somehow got the INPA 5.0.1 with EdiABAS 6.4.3/7 working. Can you please tell me exact steps how to clear adaptive transmission memory? In my scripts, under transmission, I can only see how to read and clear the errors in transmission, but how do I clear the adaptive transmission memory? I would really appreciate the information.
I'll look it up once I'm back home--been on the road w/company car the last few days.

It's somewhere under activate I believe--it should be pretty clear once you see it. It's something obvious like "clear adaptations" or "adaptations reset"
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  #14  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:15 AM
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kskane kskane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
I'll look it up once I'm back home--been on the road w/company car the last few days.

It's somewhere under activate I believe--it should be pretty clear once you see it. It's something obvious like "clear adaptations" or "adaptations reset"
Thanks Schpenxel, I think I found it after re-installing the INPA today for me it is F4 (load E60) - something in the middle - F3 (reset adaptation). IF those are your steps, then thanks anyways.

By the way, in INPA, is there a way to run a quick one single test to scan the entire E60 for any errors in any system?
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:41 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks Schpenxel, I think I found it after re-installing the INPA today for me it is F4 (load E60) - something in the middle - F3 (reset adaptation). IF those are your steps, then thanks anyways.

By the way, in INPA, is there a way to run a quick one single test to scan the entire E60 for any errors in any system?
When you are at the screen to select engine or transmission or whatever, click the very top left (I believe it's E60 or something like that, above all of the engine/transmission, etc. options) and over on the right I think it will say functional jobs. Pick that. From there you can scan errors for the whole car.

It will just show the module and error code though, no real details. but at least you can see where errors are from there
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:33 PM
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Thank you for the write up. Very few people are aware of this issue with the bmw transmission. I recently replaced my solenoids and it totally transformed the way that my car drives. It was a dirty job, but well worth the effort.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by amennrahh View Post
Thank you for the write up. Very few people are aware of this issue with the bmw transmission. I recently replaced my solenoids and it totally transformed the way that my car drives. It was a dirty job, but well worth the effort.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:01 PM
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:24 PM
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:28 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amennrahh View Post
Thank you for the write up. Very few people are aware of this issue with the bmw transmission. I recently replaced my solenoids and it totally transformed the way that my car drives. It was a dirty job, but well worth the effort.
Very good to hear I'm not the only one who has had success with changing the solenoids.

It wouldn't be so bad if transmission fluid weren't dripping on your head the whole time, lol. I was lucky it never went in my eyes (that's what she said..)
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:37 PM
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I need to have some sort of code before I can get the warranty company to pay for changing out the solenoids. I have a slight delay in reverse and the back and forth shifting from 5th-6th; heck I might just do it on my own. How much is the solenoid kit and what is the process of getting the right amount of fluid back in the tranny?
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:41 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vapiano View Post
I need to have some sort of code before I can get the warranty company to pay for changing out the solenoids. I have a slight delay in reverse and the back and forth shifting from 5th-6th; heck I might just do it on my own. How much is the solenoid kit and what is the process of getting the right amount of fluid back in the tranny?
It varies depending on the exact model, but I paid $400 and some change for it.

I would replace fluid and pan/filter while you're at it. Total probably 700-800 if you do it all?

For oil level:
  • Remove fill hole plug from side of transmission
  • With car off (and transmission pan/drain plug in), fill through fill hole until no more oil can be added without it flowing out. I bought a little hand pump from Advance Auto to do this for $12
  • Install fill plug partially to stop oil from coming out (just in case)
  • Start car
  • Remove fill plug
  • Add fluid until enough is in the transmission that it slowly dribbles out
  • Measure transmission temperature either via INPA or some sort of thermometer. When transmission hits 104*F and fluid is still slowly dribbling out, replace fill plug. There is a temperature you can't get over, I believe it is 120*F. If you go over that temperature, you have to wait for everything to cool back down and start over.
  • Tighten fill plug
  • Done

RESET ADAPTATIONS BEFORE DRIVING!!!

And no, being under the car while it's running is NOT a fun job. I would also recommend a few heavy rags to insulate the back of your hands from the exhaust pipes that go right by that area (or did on mine anyways). Ask the back of my hands how they know..

Last edited by schpenxel; 01-29-2013 at 06:44 PM.
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  #23  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:52 PM
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Vapiano Vapiano is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
It varies depending on the exact model, but I paid $400 and some change for it.

I would replace fluid and pan/filter while you're at it. Total probably 700-800 if you do it all?

For oil level:
  • Remove fill hole plug from side of transmission
  • With car off (and transmission pan/drain plug in), fill through fill hole until no more oil can be added without it flowing out. I bought a little hand pump from Advance Auto to do this for $12
  • Install fill plug partially to stop oil from coming out (just in case)
  • Start car
  • Remove fill plug
  • Add fluid until enough is in the transmission that it slowly dribbles out
  • Measure transmission temperature either via INPA or some sort of thermometer. When transmission hits 104*F and fluid is still slowly dribbling out, replace fill plug. There is a temperature you can't get over, I believe it is 120*F. If you go over that temperature, you have to wait for everything to cool back down and start over.
  • Tighten fill plug
  • Done

RESET ADAPTATIONS BEFORE DRIVING!!!

And no, being under the car while it's running is NOT a fun job. I would also recommend a few heavy rags to insulate the back of your hands from the exhaust pipes that go right by that area (or did on mine anyways). Ask the back of my hands how they know..
Great! Thank you. Regarding INPA to check tranny oil temps and resetting adaptations; is there a kit that I can purchase online? Thank goodness I have a friend who owns a service shop; he should have INPA come to think of it!
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2013, 07:12 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vapiano View Post
Great! Thank you. Regarding INPA to check tranny oil temps and resetting adaptations; is there a kit that I can purchase online? Thank goodness I have a friend who owns a service shop; he should have INPA come to think of it!
Cable that works most consistently is here:

http://www.one-stop-electronics.com/...&product_id=16

It comes from China and takes about two weeks to get though, so that part sucks.

INPA here:
http://bmwcoders.com/forum/bmw-gt1-o...-software-328/

Pictures don't work, but you can follow directions without them. Make sure to follow all of them.. especially the last part starting with

Quote:
"After restart:

Open :\Referenz2006\INSTALL\Instprog.exe

Click OK:"...
etc.
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2013, 02:03 AM
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amennrahh amennrahh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
It varies depending on the exact model, but I paid $400 and some change for it.

I would replace fluid and pan/filter while you're at it. Total probably 700-800 if you do it all?

For oil level:
  • Remove fill hole plug from side of transmission
  • With car off (and transmission pan/drain plug in), fill through fill hole until no more oil can be added without it flowing out. I bought a little hand pump from Advance Auto to do this for $12
  • Install fill plug partially to stop oil from coming out (just in case)
  • Start car
  • Remove fill plug
  • Add fluid until enough is in the transmission that it slowly dribbles out
  • Measure transmission temperature either via INPA or some sort of thermometer. When transmission hits 104*F and fluid is still slowly dribbling out, replace fill plug. There is a temperature you can't get over, I believe it is 120*F. If you go over that temperature, you have to wait for everything to cool back down and start over.
  • Tighten fill plug
  • Done

RESET ADAPTATIONS BEFORE DRIVING!!!

And no, being under the car while it's running is NOT a fun job. I would also recommend a few heavy rags to insulate the back of your hands from the exhaust pipes that go right by that area (or did on mine anyways). Ask the back of my hands how they know..
I would say that being under the car while its running was the worst. lol Talk about HOT!
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