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Do-It-Yourself H.Q.
Share your DIY projects or ask questions about how to fix something on your own. Help fellow Bimmerfest members improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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  #226  
Old 05-18-2011, 07:39 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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Good writeup. I did this recently on my e90 and e36. The process is the same except for the integrated filter on the e90 and different fluid. As for the lingering smell, it should burn off in a couple of days. If it doesn't I would check for a leak.
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  #227  
Old 07-09-2011, 07:05 AM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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VWs Esso LT 71141 oil is now nearly 11/ltr!, just changed the oil on my fathers VW Passat (also has a 5HP19 g/box).

Hmm, I should of seen if Citroen or Peugeot do it cheaper! :o
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  #228  
Old 07-19-2011, 09:01 AM
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sfidelisrp sfidelisrp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lstratos View Post
Is maxlife still good? i found older specs that mention the lt 71141 compatibility but not on the current labels..
+1
I'm not seeing LT compatibility on their website either. Did the formula change? Is it still good?
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  #229  
Old 11-03-2011, 08:03 AM
becks! becks! is offline
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guys... what do you do when you cant get the fill nut off?

like it was too tight and got really warm and damaged the hole (using an allen key) i was able to get the bleeder off and even that was hard, can I fill from there instead?

the space to work with is too small i cant get a socket and ratchet in there (1/2in)
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  #230  
Old 11-03-2011, 01:24 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Got really warm??

What do you mean by bleeder? There's a filler & a drain plug.....

What about 3/8 ratchet & socket? (although I vaguely recall when I did my 325 that I could only get an allen key in, I think).
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  #231  
Old 11-03-2011, 04:00 PM
becks! becks! is offline
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well because I kept pushing back and forth as hard as i could so many times i think the allen key tip got hot from the friction and so did the nut and it eventually got damaged as i cannot get the allen key all the way in now

i dont have any 3/8 8mm hex socket, only the 1/2 which was too long by 2-3mm which was a shame :/

anyway the other nut im talking about is 6mm and it is behind the transmission further up it (that is what im referring to as the bleeder, but its probably something else) I opened this out and no oil came out, im wondering if i could shove the pipe down there and fill it up going by what people here have put in which is 6.5 qts?
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  #232  
Old 11-03-2011, 04:57 PM
tblt44 tblt44 is offline
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always loosen the filler before the drain.
I hope you didn't drain all the fluid before you found this out
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  #233  
Old 11-03-2011, 06:08 PM
becks! becks! is offline
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yeh no i didnt take out the drain plug

ok so the filler plug is on the side facing the driver side right? now this other plug is on the transmission facing the rear of the car and is further up and is a 6mm hex as well, that is the one i am talking about using to fill since my fill plug is stuffed
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  #234  
Old 11-04-2011, 05:21 PM
becks! becks! is offline
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ok, this is the nut i am talking about, this is just a picture i found off the net so i cant see under there if the liquid falls directly into the pan, but what do you guys think? can I use that to pump the fluid in? (again I can't do the check while running thing, I was just going to pump 3qts, turn it on shift through gears, wait till luke warm then pump in 3.5 and that's it)

http://theeshucker.com.au/images/zf.jpg

Last edited by becks!; 11-04-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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  #235  
Old 11-04-2011, 06:34 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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These transmissions are very expensive so I would recommend sticking with the standard procedure for the fluid change. BMW makes a big deal about getting the correct amount of fluid in these things.

You can improve access to the fill plug by removing the exhaust bracket and the transmission support. This should allow the tranny to drop down enough for you to get the appropriate wrench on the plug. If the plug is too mangled to accept the wrench I would check on getting something to extract it with.

Best of luck. These things are very annoying to work on.
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  #236  
Old 11-06-2011, 05:15 AM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becks! View Post
well because I kept pushing back and forth as hard as i could so many times i think the allen key tip got hot from the friction and so did the nut and it eventually got damaged as i cannot get the allen key all the way in now

anyway the other nut im talking about is 6mm and it is behind the transmission further up it (that is what im referring to as the bleeder, but its probably something else) I opened this out and no oil came out, im wondering if i could shove the pipe down there and fill it up going by what people here have put in which is 6.5 qts?
Lol, you won't get it hot enough to melt the plug from friction , my guess is that either it already was partly rounded off (physical forces) from someone else not fitting the allen key all the way in (which can be tricky due to lack of space) or you've just done that .
If you've got a very small mirror & a torch look into the plugs hex & see if the base of it is still intact (might just be the top ~1/2 that is rounded off), if so see if you can hammer or lever in the allen key deeper into the plug, in which case you might be able to remove it. Oh & if your allen key itself is damaged hacksaw or grind the tip off, or get a new 1.

Re the other plug, you might be able to put fluid in there but you're not going to know the correct level are you? So no I wouldn't use that to fill from, 1 way or another you'll have to get the level plug out
I don't know what that other plug is either but they don't have bleed points. Inccidently before you're tempted to remove it anyway, sometimes plugs like that in g/boxes hold locking pins, ball bearings &/or springs etc!
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  #237  
Old 11-06-2011, 06:47 PM
becks! becks! is offline
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ha! thanks for the reply

yeah the top half of the plug is damaged and can't get the allen key all the way in anymore and even with removing the transmission mount bracket still can't get enough room to hammer it in, it sucks so bad i have tried 3 times now on 3 different days to get this off

i think i will have to go to an auto shop that can suck it out and do a full flush and fill
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  #238  
Old 11-10-2011, 05:27 PM
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Shabba Shabba is offline
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I just did this service in my garage. My car is a 2003 325i with the GM transmission. I'd like to point out a few things
-The fill and drain plug are both T-45 star bolts on my car.
-Pan bolts are all 10mm.
-Make sure you know which tranny you have. I ordered my parts from the local Bap Geon and was sent the filter and gasket for a ZF, not GM, tranny. That set me back a full day with my car up on jackstands.
-I used Dexron VI. The car shifts better, sounds better and is all around an improved transmission with 145k of use.
-I used cheap, plastic buckets to hold the fluid. Any local dollar store will have buckets for a buck a piece. I drained the tranny into one and filled another to make sure I replaced the same amount of fluid. I drained 6.25 quarts and replaced the same. It was a perfect match.
-Make sure you set aside plenty of time. Also make sure you have the correct stuff before you start. I ended up having to go get the Dexron VI as I had purchased Castrol multi-vehicle import. Stupid me.
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Last edited by Shabba; 11-10-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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  #239  
Old 01-16-2012, 07:27 AM
glhx glhx is offline
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To start with, i did not drop my transmission pan.....i did drain and refill to the extent of 28 quarts of fluid till my transmission fluid was red instead of black with a red tint to it....my car has 110,000 miles on it and i felt a full clean flush would be better than mixing old and new...which probably would have been ok. after it was red, i then pulled the pan and changed the filter, cleaned the magnets...wiped it down with lint free cloth (lint gets in the filter and clogs it).....i then did 2 more drain refills.the first one was very clean....the second drain looked like it came out of the bottle....of course i shifted through the gears upon each refill....it took forever....with the cost of replacing this zf transmission it is nothing to spend a couple hundred on maintaining it.....now that i know whats in there...i will probably run 13 quarts and a filter change at another 60,000 miles. The old fluid was as thin as water, very broken down. I like the idea that the new filter i put in there is filtering clean fluid and not old contamination.

While i was at it i changed the power steering reservoir (it has a filter in it that I will do every 60,000) and ran valvoline max life in there as well.....next time ill probably switch to redline 4 for that as it is full synthetic...valvoline max life is synthetic blend but is still a replacement for the esso fluid that came in the car.
The compatibility is not on the website, but it is on the bottle. To make sure, i called them and asked first...when i got to the parts store i saw it listed.....keep in mind....it is a lot cheaper to buy this by the gallon instead of the quart....i also asked the guy at autozone if he would cut me a break because i was buying so much.....16 quarts cost me $40. The gallon was $15.99 and he sold it to me for $10.
I like the red fluid because i can read it myself without having a lab test it, which is an excellent option. The esso fluid was brown....bottom line, if red fluid is black its not good. If brown fluid is black i could just be slightly dirty.

as far as fill and drain plugs....I used a quality allen socket...not a allen wrench to break loose the fill and drain plugs. I was able to tightly get the 3/8 ratchet and socket in the fill hole plug. i put a piece of pipe on the end of the ratchet to make it into a breaker bar giving me a lot more leverage. After this i used allen wrenches or just put the plugs in finger tight to do the drain and refills....it wont leak out as long as its seated. the car was 4.5 inches off of the ground on all 4 wheels. I measured the frame to the floor to make sure it was even for the refill. Every time i drained it , i jacked the car up at the back to force the fluid forward to the drain hole. when i went to refill it i lowered the car back to the jack stands.

on the last refill i started the engine and topped off the fluid....then tightened the fill and drain plugs with the socket....It is good to use quality tools when using allen type tools. the metal is stronger and wont strip out as easily.

Last edited by glhx; 01-16-2012 at 07:54 AM.
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  #240  
Old 01-16-2012, 11:03 AM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Wow that's a lot of oil you used! :eek
I bet you wouldn't use that much though if you were stuck with using the Esso LT stuff we stuck with over here (for the ZF boxes), 10+/ltr & that's trade price!

(1quart is about 1ltr isn't it?)

On the ZF boxes there isn't enough room for an allen socket & ratchet.
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  #241  
Old 01-17-2012, 04:49 PM
glhx glhx is offline
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no way if it was esso....but that's what I felt was necessary considering the cost of the transmission, its cheap insurance...I would have felt better if it was done at 60,000. Going back thrugh it again i probably would have run somewhere around 25 total with the same procedure. I reached my hand into the bucket and grabbed a hand ful of fluid...letting it pour out of my hand until it was pure red

1 liter is 1.05 quarts and i swear i got a craftsman 3/8 drive with an allen head socket in there....it was a tight fit and i had to wiggle it in diagonally but it went in there. This was just to break it loose and thats all. I would have done some grinding if it didnt fit so the next time it would have. its very close....would have been a lot tougher to break it loose with an allen wrench.

Last edited by glhx; 01-17-2012 at 04:56 PM.
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  #242  
Old 01-18-2012, 12:12 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Yea you said you had a GM box though didn't you? I'm guessing they have more clearance seeing as you got a socket in.
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  #243  
Old 01-18-2012, 03:49 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glhx View Post
no way if it was esso....but that's what I felt was necessary considering the cost of the transmission, its cheap insurance...I would have felt better if it was done at 60,000. Going back thrugh it again i probably would have run somewhere around 25 total with the same procedure. I reached my hand into the bucket and grabbed a hand ful of fluid...letting it pour out of my hand until it was pure red

1 liter is 1.05 quarts and i swear i got a craftsman 3/8 drive with an allen head socket in there....it was a tight fit and i had to wiggle it in diagonally but it went in there. This was just to break it loose and thats all. I would have done some grinding if it didnt fit so the next time it would have. its very close....would have been a lot tougher to break it loose with an allen wrench.
I couldn't get the socket on my ZF so I used a standard 8mm allen wrench with a cheater pipe to break it loose.
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  #244  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:36 PM
morganj2003 morganj2003 is offline
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Method to change transmission fluid with jacking up only front?

Hello,

So, I understand that these directions prescribe placing the car on 4 jack stands...2 in the front, and 2 in the back. Personally, given the slight angle the floor where I intend to work on my car, I'm uncomfortable putting the car on 4 jack stands. If I had a flat garage floor, I'd have no problem using 4 jack stands. My question, then: is there a way to change (and fill) the transmission fluid with only 2 jack stands? The car won't be level when jacking up only the front, so perhaps filling to the correct level will be impossible?

Thanks!
Jonathan
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  #245  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:02 AM
Torquewrench Torquewrench is offline
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Doesn't sound like a good idea. Your drain will probably be fine, though you might have a little extra in the pan, but the fill needs the car to be level. Since the fill plug is towards the rear you will end up with low fluid level if you only elevate the front. What about driving the rear onto boards and putting the front on stands? Or driving the front onto ramps and using jackstands on the rear?
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  #246  
Old 05-24-2012, 01:26 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Yea the car's got to be level, no getting around that.
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  #247  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:57 AM
BMWer14 BMWer14 is offline
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First off...a big (make that HUGE!) thank you to 'Torquewrench' for the outstanding write up. Also, to all the others who have made a contribution to this thread. This write up gave me the confidence to do this diy...and saved me many many $$$. So well, done!
I was able to get my 2000 323i off the garage floor by about 18 inches. This made it fairly comfortable to get and work under the car. The car has 190,000 km (approx 120,000 miles) on the odo and had not had any transmission work done. The shifts before the fluid and filter change were smooth...howerver after the change the shifts do seem to be a bit smoother. I was able to loosen both the fill and drain screws/bolts with the help of a cheater bar on a allen key....and I did make sure I could get the fill bolt loosened before I even made an attempt on the drain bolt!! I did manage to strip one of the torx screws on the transmission pan...but was still able to get it undone and off. The specs on the screws call for a T-25 bit...I found that a T-27 worked better. The T-25 was the bit that stripped the one screw. I didn't replace the screws but will do so on the next change. My fluid was also a nasty dark (almost black) colour..and there was a lot of metallic sluge attached to the magnets in the pan. I cleaned everything up, replaced the filter and filled the tranny with new fluid. I did use the Castrol Import fluid that says it is compatible with the Esso fluid. I have to admit..it was a bit scary being under the car with the engine running, pumping fluid into the fill hole of the tranny.

I have only put on about 100 miles since the change...but the tranny seems to be working fine. I have already ordered another filter and pan gasket from Pelican Parts and will do another fluid and filter change.

Now a few questions...Do you think it would be OK to run on the renewed fluid until spring...probably about 2000 miles? Now that the weather is getting colder, I would like to wait until spring for the warmer weather to do the change...rather than in a cold garage in December.
I guess I should have read the whole thread before buying my fluid. Now, should I just stick with the Castrol or should I switch to the Valvoline MaxLife on the next change? Has anyone run the Castrol fluid for any length of time?
The bolts are M6 X 22...will using steel bolts have any reaction with the aluminum tranny housing? or should I stick with aluminum bolts?

Any other comments would also be appreciated. Again, a big thanks to all for making this a great and useful thread!
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  #248  
Old 10-11-2012, 04:57 PM
steve's mobil steve's mobil is offline
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I have been a pro. gear head for 45 years. The most important fluid change is the 1st. one. The break in period is when 90% of metal will shed off.
I still beleve in 1,000 mi. for eng. 25,000 for trans and rear end. I have never herd of break down caused from fluid being to clean!!!
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  #249  
Old 10-12-2012, 12:47 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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I will just re-iterate that the pan bolts are not made of aluminium, I can't remember who said that now but they are wrong.

They use steel bolts all the time to screw into ally, & yes sometimes you get corrosion problems, just as you do with steel into steel. Although AFAIR the bolts came out prestine clean from my 325s gearbox & my dads Passat (nearly the same gearbox).

BMWer14
Your tranny box oil is cleaner than it was , it'll be no problem to leave it for 2k, or much longer.
Btw if a T27 bit fitted then that is the size they are (I can't remember what they were offhand), it's very easy to go 1 size too small on small torx screws.
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Last edited by Assimilator1; 10-12-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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  #250  
Old 10-14-2012, 12:03 PM
tblt44 tblt44 is offline
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I have put off my trany change because I just dont know what is a good fluid now that the original is not available. Amsoil, redline, maxlife or just a dextron VI. Now I here they just recomend dex VI to repllace my fluid
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