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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:15 PM
TenOx TenOx is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 335i _+_ 1997 740i
Good Replacement Transmission Fluid for E38 (1997 740i)?

The title says a lot. It was leaking so I parked it for a while till I had time and budget to look into this. I believe the pan may be a bit dented from a bump, but I haven't lifted the car yet to be sure. Regardless, it will only move in reverse and in forward gears it shrieks (I tested that for about 1.3 seconds.)

I'm hoping I can bang the pan straight or replace it; new gasket; any filters R&R that are immediately accessible; button up with new fluid. So, taking recommendations on procedure, parts, and hopefully for a good choice of Transmission Fluid. I see Valvoline MaxLife mentioned in some existing threads. When I looked it up, the bottle label says "Dex/Merc". Is this the correct sub-type? Is there another choice, better brand, etc?

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2013, 12:45 PM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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The original fluid was Esso LT 71141 but this has been re-branded as Mobil LT 71141, and is still available. It is not advisable to mix fluids and you should be aware that it is not possible to drain the system completely as the torque converter retains a considerable volume.

The gearbox pan is not steel but alloy, so 'denting' this is likely to to have cracked it at the least.OEM filter is a must
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2013, 12:47 PM
TenOx TenOx is offline
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Further reading shows a lot of people posting in various forums that the Pentosin ATF1 fluid is rebranded Esso LT 71141 and suitable for the ZF recommended 5 liter (partial) drain and refill 50KM recommended service. I've read a lot of other conflicting information which is partly why I started this inquiry thread. I'm pretty close to pulling the trigger on this solution to get the car back on the street.

Thanks for your informative post. I hope to get under the car within a few days, and it's good to know that the pan probably can't be straightened if dented or cracked -- I can look for that. I have not found a factor for a new/replacement pan, may be time shortly to shop used. By OEM filter -- I guess there are lot of filters marked OEM, not just those supplied by BMW -- not suitable?
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2013, 01:39 PM
TenOx TenOx is offline
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Found this procedure for a total flush using a manual method.

http://www.amsoil.com/faqs/ATF_and_F...Procedures.pdf

It's from Amsoil. They recommend their product, "ATF1G-EA" for this transmission.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2013, 05:19 PM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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I like Redline and it will mix with any...
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2013, 08:01 PM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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tips for tranny filter and fluid change: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...818&highlight=

15K miles on valvoline, and still runs great.
Fluids should have the BMW LT71141 specification mentioned on the bottle.
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Last edited by joyism5; 02-21-2013 at 08:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:28 AM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenOx View Post
Found this procedure for a total flush using a manual method.

http://www.amsoil.com/faqs/ATF_and_F...Procedures.pdf

It's from Amsoil. They recommend their product, "ATF1G-EA" for this transmission.
I would discard these instructions, as for a start there is no dipstick filler. This is the correct way to to the job:

Before draining, make sure you can successfully remove the filler plug...

Drain the fluid, and measure the volume. Remove all pan Torx bolts (NB ensure you use the correct Torx bit-IIRC its a T27-lots of people have stripped the heads on these, possibly through using the more common T26). Remove the gasket and filter. Clean the magnet.

Use a Filtran filter and reassemble. Now the important bit:

Pump your chosen fluid in until it just overflows. Now you will need to measure the gearbox temp-either via diagnostics, or by attaching a temp probe to the pan with tape so you can see the temp on your multimeter. Start the engine and immediately start pumping fluid until it overflows again. (you may hear some noise in this phase which goes as air is expelled).
Work the gearstick through the gears pausing 2-3 seconds in each, BUT watch the temp. Keep adding fluid so it overflows a little, until the temp reaches 30C, then replace the filler plug, keeping the engine running as you do so. The volume added should be similar that removed as above, Remember you are only removing the fluid in the box, not the Torque converter as well.

The significance of this temp is that it as at the bottom of the acceptable fill range of 30-50C, so that you get the maximum volume in since the fluid is cool. If the temp is allowed to reach 50C you have to stop until things have cooled down (which takes a very long time)

Use the same method to check after a few miles use.

Last edited by chrisn7; 02-22-2013 at 05:34 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 06:37 AM
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joyism5 joyism5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisn7 View Post

Drain the fluid, and measure the volume...
+1, but I would add : first check if you have the right fluid level. If this is the first time doing it, most likely you need to add before you drain if you are going with the same volume.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 12:26 PM
chrisn7 chrisn7 is offline
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Agreed that the existing level might be low, but the only purpose of checking the drain volume is to provide a guide to refilling. There always be some loss in the pan and filter. We are not trying to match exactly...Just as long as its just overflowing at 30C
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