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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 01-09-2012, 11:37 PM
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doru doru is offline
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As far as I'm concerned, and my tranny - 5HP19- the Trade Name 11B fluids
Attached Files
File Type: pdf ZF Tranny Oil.pdf (81.7 KB, 238 views)
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Last edited by doru; 01-09-2012 at 11:49 PM.
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  #27  
Old 01-10-2012, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blight67 View Post
Pentosin ATF1 is the only full synthetic that I came across that meets LT71141. Attached are the product sheets for the Pentosin, Castrol, and ESSO products.

My indy highly recommended the Pentosin due to it being a full synthetic. In my case, that was the main reason for paying more for the Pentosin.

I guess the question is then what does it mean to be LT71141 compliant.

The real question is not which ATF is most similar to ESSO LT71141 but rather should be what ATF (performance characteristics) does ZF require for their trannys. The attached .pdfs only describe the physical characteristics of each ATF. And a comparison indicates different levels of performance. However, both refer to ZF TE ML, 11B or Zf te-.ml11, 14. I believe these documents will identify the minimum performance characteristics that are required of the ATF to be used in the ZF tranny. While the auto manufacturer identifies ATF recommendations, ultimately, it is the tranny manufacturer that knows most about their product and which ATF to use.

As with most products, there appears to be a range of performance characteristics that are acceptable for use. Hence, I would not sweat it regarding which is the "best" ATF to use. Much like motor oil, adequate (to mean meets minimum requirements) is an acceptable solution. And like motor oil, more frequent change intervals is probably more important to reducing wear than the type of ATF when left in for extended durations. When it comes to lubricants, there should be no perceptible performance difference created by using lubricants within the required range of performance. The primary benefit would be in extended service intervals.
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  #28  
Old 01-10-2012, 08:16 AM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The real question is not which ATF is most similar to ESSO LT71141 but rather should be what ATF (performance characteristics) does ZF require for their trannys. The attached .pdfs only describe the physical characteristics of each ATF. And a comparison indicates different levels of performance. However, both refer to ZF TE ML, 11B or Zf te-.ml11, 14. I believe these documents will identify the minimum performance characteristics that are required of the ATF to be used in the ZF tranny. While the auto manufacturer identifies ATF recommendations, ultimately, it is the tranny manufacturer that knows most about their product and which ATF to use.

As with most products, there appears to be a range of performance characteristics that are acceptable for use. Hence, I would not sweat it regarding which is the "best" ATF to use. Much like motor oil, adequate (to mean meets minimum requirements) is an acceptable solution. And like motor oil, more frequent change intervals is probably more important to reducing wear than the type of ATF when left in for extended durations. When it comes to lubricants, there should be no perceptible performance difference created by using lubricants within the required range of performance. The primary benefit would be in extended service intervals.
I didn't mean to imply that one ATF was better (performance-wise) over another. The specs were attached primarily to provide the documentation that the Pentosin is the only full synthetic of the bunch I examined. I'm sure that if they meet the ZF TE-ML 11B spec, they will perform just fine in the ZF tranny. Likewise, since ZF selected ESSO as the OE ATF, an ATF meeting LT71141 should be fine as well. In all the cases besides ESSO, it comes down to the ATF manufacturer standing behind their product for this application. ESSO is a special cases since I'm sure that ZF performed their initial testing with it.

I prefer to go with the Pentosin since I believe that a full synthetic will do better in extended service interval usage, especially in high-pressure, high-temperature environments.

[edit] Not that this means anything, but I just noticed that Castrol IMV ATF claims support for LL71141 but not ZF TE-MT 11B spec.

Last edited by Blight67; 01-10-2012 at 10:07 AM.
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  #29  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The real question is not which ATF is most similar to ESSO LT71141 but rather should be what ATF (performance characteristics) does ZF require for their trannys. The attached .pdfs only describe the physical characteristics of each ATF. And a comparison indicates different levels of performance. However, both refer to ZF TE ML, 11B or Zf te-.ml11, 14. I believe these documents will identify the minimum performance characteristics that are required of the ATF to be used in the ZF tranny. While the auto manufacturer identifies ATF recommendations, ultimately, it is the tranny manufacturer that knows most about their product and which ATF to use.

.
I would place more emphasis on what BMW says to use vs. ZF tranny, and here's my argument for it. Just like adhering to BMW's tire psi vs. the tire mfr's max psi, the automaker ultimately controls the application side of the product, even though the product isn't made by BMW. When the trans gets installed into the various cars, BMW may opt to do this and that, sometimes just tweaking the shift programming, other times incorporating a different sprag or springs within the valve body, to get the desired feel and performance out of that type transmission. Thus, the formulation of the fluid may be different than what ZF might have speficied initially in order to exact the characteristics that BMW seeks. in addition to viscosity characteristics, there's also the friction coefficient that has to be looked at with the ATF. Unfortunately, the latter is rarely provided, if any, even though fluid friction coefficient is one very important criteria for the clutches to work optimally. If the fluid is too slippery, the clutches will overheat, not enough slip, the bands around the clutch packs prematurely fails. The ATF has to slip just right for a given trans, and like stated earlier, BMW ultimately controls how the trans is to perform.

If it were me, I'd just pay the coin and use what BMW says to use.
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  #30  
Old 01-10-2012, 09:59 AM
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Sorry, Blight, I didn't mean to imply it was you who was referring to "best" ATF. It just seems that every other thread is from someone asking about what is the "best oil" or "best ATF" or "best PS fluid" to use. My view is there is no "best" of anything (which is just an opinion). It all depends on what your needs are. For instance, if you don't need low temperature starting and are willing to change out your oil regularly, old fashioned "dino" motor oil is every bit as good as synthetic at a lower cost.

The intent of my original post was to simply identify lower cost alternatives to ESSO. While some have no issue with going with what is recommended and others are willing to pay more for "improved" performance, I fall in the "What is the cheapest that will work the same" camp. I'd rather spend my money on a good bottle of bourbon or wine where I can taste the difference!
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  #31  
Old 01-10-2012, 10:16 AM
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This.:

http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/atf.aspx
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  #32  
Old 01-10-2012, 03:38 PM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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No worries Fudman.

This all started as a researching exercise for my own ATF change. The e39 wiki only mentions the Castrol ATF with a link to this thread. My initial post was intended to ensure that people don't blindly go with the LT71141 without knowing the other possible e39 ATF's that might be required.

With all the confusion about ATF, the point was just to ensure that everyone is making informed decisions about what they put into their tranny. I didn't realize that the discussion would evolve into a what's best discussion.
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  #33  
Old 01-10-2012, 03:43 PM
Blight67 Blight67 is offline
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Jason5driver,

I don't know if Amsoil can be recommended since it carried neither the ESSO LT71141 nor the ZF TE-ML 11b certifications. It only carries certifications for the ZF 5HP30 found on certain the e31, e32, and e34 cars.
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  #34  
Old 03-20-2013, 12:13 PM
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update

I purchased some Valvoline Max Life ATF fluid because Im about to do a fluid change, and it said on the back of the bottle that it is recommended for use in applications using the BMW LT71141. Then I read some conflicting info in this thread. So then I went to the website and it doesnt list the BMW LT71141 on the spec sheet. So its on the bottle, but not on the website. So I called the Valvoline hotline on the bottle, (1800TEAMVAL) and spoke to a Valvoline product technician. He confirms that this fluid IS an "exact substitute for the LT71141." He said the the website is in the process of being updated and is not current. As of right now, according to a Valvoline product technician, the Valvoline MAX LIFE Dex/Merc that has BMW LT71141 on the product label, is an "exact substitute" for the LT71141.

By the way, this fluid is a "Synthetic base", which I assume is a synthetic blend, as is the original Esso/Pentosin fluid.
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Last edited by Studawg; 03-20-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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  #35  
Old 06-27-2014, 07:42 PM
BeemRat BeemRat is offline
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Arrow January 2014 ZF list of approved transmission fluids

The list of lubricants TE-ML 11, Edition 01.04.2014 replaces all previous editions. The current list can be requested from any ZF after-sales service center or accessed on the Internet under www.zf.com/lubricants.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TE-ML 11_en-2014-01-04.pdf (113.5 KB, 22 views)
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  #36  
Old 06-28-2014, 01:27 AM
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BTW, factory ZF Lifeguard 5 is available in 1 liter bottles from Bavarian Auto for $16.95 each. I've used it for my last two changes (been doing 30k since new), previously I used the Esso, later relabeled Mobil, LT71141.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-28-2014 at 01:28 AM.
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  #37  
Old 06-28-2014, 12:35 PM
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What is the difference between the 11A and 11B fluids?
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  #38  
Old 06-29-2014, 12:11 PM
BeemRat BeemRat is offline
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Post ZF 11A and 11B specs

The 11B is described as "longer life fluid." Here is a decent discussion (links are dead):
http://www.meurosport.com/ZF_Transmission_Fluid.php

"...oil (trans fluid) change on automatic transmissions is recommended between 80,000 km and 120,000 km or 8 years, depending on the load. In each case, only released ATF oil may be used for oil changes. And oil changes must be performed in accordance with the relevant specifications."

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What is the difference between the 11A and 11B fluids?
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  #39  
Old 06-29-2014, 05:26 PM
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So the 11b is compatible with the 5hp24?
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