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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #76  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:04 AM
zQUEz zQUEz is offline
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if you were to do this via the trans cooler lines, you wouldn't first drain the ATF, because you have no way of knowing how much fluid is pumped back in and you would be sucking air anyway. Unless of course you open the fill plug in which case, why bother with the lines in the first place. There is a Youtube video where some guy changed his Honda Accord ATF using this method. From memory, he just disconnected the lines, put the return in a bucket of new ATF and the output into a catch bucket and watched for the change in color. He also had a dipstick though to check the ATF levels when he was done, which our cars do not have. I would also think it would require more new ATF because you wouldn't know exactly how much new would need to be available before it starts to run clear. So, quite a bit of waste there.
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  #77  
Old 12-08-2010, 10:49 AM
kjsgadh kjsgadh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zQUEz View Post
if you were to do this via the trans cooler lines, you wouldn't first drain the ATF, because you have no way of knowing how much fluid is pumped back in and you would be sucking air anyway. Unless of course you open the fill plug in which case, why bother with the lines in the first place. There is a Youtube video where some guy changed his Honda Accord ATF using this method. From memory, he just disconnected the lines, put the return in a bucket of new ATF and the output into a catch bucket and watched for the change in color. He also had a dipstick though to check the ATF levels when he was done, which our cars do not have. I would also think it would require more new ATF because you wouldn't know exactly how much new would need to be available before it starts to run clear. So, quite a bit of waste there.
I want to drop the pan, because I want to replace the fluid filter and clean out the gunk from the pan and magnets. This will allow me to change about 60-65% of the total fluid in the system. Which means I will have to drain/drop pan, refill, atleast 3 times to get almost 100% clean new fluid in the trans. I don't wanna do it that many times, I can't spare the time. And the fluid isnt exactly cheap.

I want to use the lines, because it gives me access to all the fluid in the first try, including the fluid in the torque converter as well. The fluid that will come out of the fill hole, the drain hole, the pan drop, the filter and the transmission lines can all be measured, thats not really a problem. If you are concerned about the correct fluid level then thats not so hard either. The system is supposed to be a closed system. Even if I introduce air into it by droping the pan, disconnecting lines, because I will be using pressure, all the air will be replaced by fluid. And I will make sure to add exactly as much fluid as come out.

The only time fluid level would be a problem, if the equipment I use has leaks or cannot create/deal with the pressure. Which should not be too much since I plan on using a manual pump.

What do you guys think of this: MV7201 - http://www.mityvac.com/pages/products_fee.asp#07201

--Kiran
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  #78  
Old 12-08-2010, 08:54 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Kiran, these are my considerations why I would not do it the way you are planning to do it.

So, you plan to drop the pan, change filter and start manually pumping fluid thru the transmission via lines...Correct?

First, I'm not even sure the ATF will come all the way through without the internal transmission pump moving.

Second, you will most likely overfill the unit which is a bad thing.

Third, by pumping the ATF through the transmission with Mityvac pump, I do not think the ATF will run the route it usually runs inside the transmission, thus creating the risk of damage inside the unit.

Me personally, I'd totally not do it like this. Just my 2 cents worth though.

This is the way I'd do it. But it will use 2 times more ATF.

1. Before dropping the pan and changing the filter, I'd disconnect the lines, put the supply line in the big bucket with plenty of fresh ATF, connect the return line to some clear tubing and put it in the drain container

2. Let the helper start the car and tell him/her to shut it off as soon as clean ATF begins coming out of the return line. Now the unit is flushed (naturally so to say, not power flushed). Reconnect the lines.

3. Drop the pan and change filter. (Yes, the drawback is that you lose half of the fresh ATF that you just put in).

4. Fill using the standard procedure making sure the level is where it should be.

In the case of the complete flush you do not need to use the super expensive OEM fluid (because you are replacing all the fluid), in case of GM, Dex VI would sound like a good idea to me.

Let us know what you decide to do and how it will have worked for you.
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  #79  
Old 12-09-2010, 02:22 PM
shadow 2 shadow 2 is offline
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Like your idea for getting out all of the fluid.
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  #80  
Old 12-09-2010, 02:56 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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I am sooo glad I have a manual trans now. 2 qts of any one of a dozen brands of lube and a hand pump, 10 minutes later I am done. And Starless is correct, if you don't have the car running and the pump working, your method of fluid exchange wont work.
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  #81  
Old 03-09-2011, 07:46 AM
gabriels gabriels is offline
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ATF Leak

Hi to all ,

Last week i noticed a small leak in my atf oil returner (or something).
the oil that leaks from there was still red - so i guess its a good sign .
the leak was fixed immidiatly of course.

Gabriel.
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  #82  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:37 PM
jimvideopro jimvideopro is offline
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Outstanding writeup. A question for Starless. I have the same tranny filled with ETL8072B. I'm guessing I won't be able to find it since the fluid has been superseded by BMW. So any thoughts about what I should use? From what I've read, I don't like the idea of mixing fluids, but I'm not sure I'll have any choice. Thank you.
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  #83  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:51 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimvideopro View Post
Outstanding writeup. A question for Starless. I have the same tranny filled with ETL8072B. I'm guessing I won't be able to find it since the fluid has been superseded by BMW. So any thoughts about what I should use? From what I've read, I don't like the idea of mixing fluids, but I'm not sure I'll have any choice. Thank you.
You know what...I hate mixing fluids too, but that's what I'm going to do soon. Drain fluid, disconnect AT cooler lines to drain even more fluid, leave over night to drain even more fluid and then fill with Dex VI, drain after a couple of days and fill with Dex VI again and be happy.

Dex VI is the fluid
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  #84  
Old 04-08-2011, 02:08 AM
tttomttt tttomttt is offline
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Been using Dex VI for months now since the I dropped the pan. Tranny shifts smooth as can be.
T
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  #85  
Old 04-23-2011, 08:16 AM
Mhnd Mhnd is offline
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Originally Posted by tttomttt View Post
Been using Dex VI for months now since the I dropped the pan. Tranny shifts smooth as can be.
T
My car is 2004 330xi automatic, GM A5S390R P/N on the transmission is the 8320024359 Texeco ETL 872B This part number has been superceded by 83-22-0-397-114 which is nothing more than Dexron VI. ANy high quality Dexron VI will be fine for the XIs GM tranny (discussion with the dealer). My question to you, I still have the original fluid in my tranny never been changed and my car currently at 125K. What do you think about mixing the fluids. Old ETL 872B (left in the torque converter) with the new Dexron VI. I know you have a similar car and you've already completed this job. Did you have any issues, problems, concerns? Did you use the synthetic Dexron and what type, the dealer suggested the valvoline?! How many time should I change the mixed fluid to get rid of all the old fluid? Where did you get the filter kit and how much? Thanks for sharing your experience.

How long since you changed the fluid?! did you change it once or multiple times?

The bolt you mentioned that made it easy, is it on the driver side or the passenger side and did you use the Allen torx T45, or the socket?

I've been looking and searching all over the internet for an answer, you're the first one who experienced the AT oil change with an XI and 2003 and an automatic.

Oh, the Dealer told me that they will use Dexron VI if I had to service the car at their dealer and they will charge $500.00, just drain and not a complete flush !!!!!

Thanks Again and sorry for the too many questions!

Last edited by Mhnd; 04-23-2011 at 08:19 AM.
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  #86  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:12 AM
tttomttt tttomttt is offline
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Mhnd,

I have had no issues since replacing my tranny fluid and it has been at least 3000 mi of combined Hwy and local driving. My car shifts beautifully through all gears and manually as well. After confirming the location of the drain plug I had to remove the short driveshaft in order to access it. I am sorry to say that I do not remember what type of socket I had to use to remove the drain plug however I did notice that there was another drain plug looking bolt on the passenger side rear of the tranny. I was hesitant to remove this plug so I went with the known location of the drain plug on the drivers side. Upon removal of the pan and filter I noticed that the plug on the passenger side (r/h) was indeed a drain plug. After cleaning and replacing the pan I filled as per all the Diy's (especially Starless' in depth Diy) using AC Delco Dexron V1. I believe I drove the car for a week of commuting probably a couple of hundred miles before draining the pan again this time using the R/H drain plug and refilling as per the Diy's. As far as the mixing of fluids as a rule I doubt that a product would be approved as superceding another without being compatable. That being said it is always a concern mixing fluids whether they are both new or if one is old and you are mixing it with new. By doing the redrain after a few hundred miles you are probably in the 90% or more range of replacing the entire amount of fluid. I have noticed a few more Diy's about draining the torque converter or flushing it but having been an Aircraft Mech for 13yrs and now an Electrician I have learned you can pretty much overkill anything if you so desire. Finding the other drain plug is a big score that made this Diy a lot simpler as the bolts for the short driveshaft have a fairly high torque and seemed to be of hardened steel and from my experience it seemed like they were going snap rather then loosen.
Don't worry about all the questions I am glad to help you. Personally I would not hesitate to change the fluid in my transmission I do not care how many miles it has gone. I know there are people out there who say do not do it but that philosophy just does not make sense to me.
Good luck with your work.
T
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  #87  
Old 04-25-2011, 01:02 PM
Mhnd Mhnd is offline
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Tom,
Thanks for sharing your experience and answering my questions. Why did you choose the Dexton VI AC Delco brand? what do u think about the Dexton VI Valvoline? Did yoy install the filter during your initial fill up, or during the second refill? My car runs nice and smooth and I'm only doing it as a preventive maintenance!
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  #88  
Old 04-25-2011, 01:03 PM
Mhnd Mhnd is offline
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Tom,
Thanks for sharing your experience and answering my questions. Why did you choose the Dexton VI AC Delco brand? what do u think about the Dexton VI Valvoline? Did yoy install the filter during your initial fill up, or during the second refill? My car runs nice and smooth and I'm only doing it as a preventive maintenance!
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  #89  
Old 04-26-2011, 03:30 AM
tttomttt tttomttt is offline
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Mhnd,
I used the AC delco brand mainly because a buddy of mine works at an auto parts store. But in reality they are the manufacturers or at least the people who spec'd the product in the first place so who better to use. I am sure the valvoline product is fine as well. As far as the filter I changed it on the initial change when I dropped the pan, thereafter I just redrained with the drain plug and refilled to spec.
You will notice the improvement in the shifting even if you like the way the car shifts now.
T
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  #90  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:39 AM
Mhnd Mhnd is offline
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Tom,

Many thanks, you are such a great help. I'm getting all the tools and parts ready to complete this DIY. I heard that the Allen Torx 45 makes the job easier when removing the fill bolt. They sell it at Autozone! Or may be just go with your method and use the other refill bolt. I will keep you informed. Oh ..... two more Q? .... :-)? what's the recommended AT oil change mileage interval after completing this DIY considering the the use of the new Dexton VI fluid?
My car currently @ 125K.
Which filter brand you end up using and from where?

Thanks!

Last edited by Mhnd; 04-26-2011 at 07:32 AM.
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  #91  
Old 06-06-2011, 11:45 PM
daonlydann daonlydann is offline
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I'm a little confused on what oil type to use after reading the thread. Some users have indicated that they used Castrol Import ATF Fluid. However on castrol's website, it specifically says this fluid (Not for use where DEXRON®–VI is required).

http://www.castrol.com/castrol/secti...tentId=7028224

So should we use dexron-VI or castrol import or would either be okay?
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  #92  
Old 06-07-2011, 03:29 AM
tttomttt tttomttt is offline
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I am not sure what the Castrol is supposed to replace as far as BMW fluid is concerned but I do know that Dexron VI is the replacement for fluid 8072.
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  #93  
Old 06-07-2011, 08:56 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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Can someone point out the magnets? Also, in the original DIY, the OP opens the fill plug first. That seems counter - intuitive to me. Is there a reason behind it? I would open the drain plug first, let it drain, then open the fill plug. That should reduce the probability of a spill.
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  #94  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:06 AM
ventsyv ventsyv is offline
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Also, getBMWParts has the Dex VI 4L for $48:
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...22&startrow=26

It's strange that OP reports 5.25L of fluid, I would imagine BMW would've been selling the fluid in the correct sizes ...
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  #95  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:07 AM
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moiz21 moiz21 is offline
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You take off the fill plug first, because if you cant remove it at all and drain the fluid first you're going to be screwed as far as driving it is concerned because you wont be able to refill the transmission with atf.
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  #96  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:08 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
Can someone point out the magnets? Also, in the original DIY, the OP opens the fill plug first. That seems counter - intuitive to me. Is there a reason behind it? I would open the drain plug first, let it drain, then open the fill plug. That should reduce the probability of a spill.
Pictures 2 and 3 from the bottom show the magnet (there is only 1).

You ALWAYS open the fill plug first. The reason is very simple: it's often a pain to open the fill plug (tight location, etc), so if you open the easy drain plug, drain the ATF and then cannot open the fill plug, guess what - you are screwed. Many people have made this mistake which cost them some time without the car.
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  #97  
Old 06-07-2011, 09:11 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
Also, getBMWParts has the Dex VI 4L for $48:
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...22&startrow=26

It's strange that OP reports 5.25L of fluid, I would imagine BMW would've been selling the fluid in the correct sizes ...
They do not. They charge per liter and will sell you how much you want if they have any Texaco at all...

Last edited by Starless; 06-07-2011 at 09:13 AM.
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  #98  
Old 09-01-2011, 09:42 AM
Gwos25 Gwos25 is offline
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So I'm somewhat resurecting this thread. I have a '05 X3 2.5I with the GM transmission, it has 170,000km and I don't know the service history, so I'm going to drop the pan, clean it, and refill. Not sure what sticker colour is on it yet, but I'm going to go with the Redline D4 fluid. I've used in a high mileage Audi A6 with the ZF trans with good results, and it's listed as being compatable with:

Texaco ETL7045
(BMW 01 3 series Xi, X5 3.0, Z3, 98-05 3 series, w/ GM5, 99-00 5 series w/GM5, 04-08 X3 w/GM5)

Texaco ETL8072 B
(BMW 00-05 5 series & X5 w/ GM5)

And also Dexron III and IIIH

So it would appear that regardless of the sticker on the trans, this fluid should work. I see someone else tried the Redline D4 as well, but didn't see much of an update.
Great write up by the original poster BTW.
Thanks!
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  #99  
Old 09-10-2011, 08:05 PM
regalzr7 regalzr7 is offline
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I just followed Starless' excellent DIY in changing my fluid today. I have the 390 transmission with about 51k. I bought a large metal pan from Auto Zone of about $10.00. It measures about 2' x 4' and really prevents a lot of mess. It is well recommended.
The fluid was pretty clean but there was definitely a film of crud on the pan.
Make sure that the rubber seals for the neck of the filter come out. Mine didn't and it prevented the filter from seating completely.
It is a PITA to keep the gasket aligned while putting the pan back on. Problem solved by a thin coat of gasket seal at several points on the pan.
A cordless screwdriver with a 10mm socket on the end would greatly ease putting the pan bolts on.
I have a fluid transfer pump that holds about 1/2 a liter. Since you'll be putting in approx 6 liters that means about 12 trips under the car just for the fluid transfer. So the lesson is that more pumping capacity is better.
I could not find the Texaco fluid Starless used. I used the Febi/Bilstein equivalent, about $17.00 a liter from Bavauto. It is Dexron VI.
My first impression is that the car definitely shifts better and the slight slippage I felt in second gear was not present.
I'll update after a few hundred miles.
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  #100  
Old 11-14-2011, 04:24 PM
JG4 JG4 is offline
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Guys I have a question. I let an Indy mechanic do the job for me (along with various other maintenance chores) and the tranny seemed to be shifting much more smoothly than before. This was 18 some months ago. During the very cold mornings of last winter, I noticed that the tranny (GM) refused to engage while the car was cold. The first few minutes of driving were very sluggish. Since then, the tranny reverted to the "pre-replacement mode" (kinda sluggish when shifting while cold).

I asked around and the consensus is that the mechanic most probably under-filled the tranny with ATF. So, the suggestion is to add some more fluid. The question is how much? (since I don't plan to completely evacuate and refill the transmission).

I read the DIY closely and my understanding is that, as long as the refilling process is happening at the correct temperature range, you cannot overfill the tranny, because any excess fluid is disposed from the filling plug. In other words, within the appropriate temp range, the system can only hold a specific amount of fluid.

Is my understanding correct? If it is correct, my problem is solved - I just bring the tranny to the right temp and refill until it overflows. If not, does anybody have a good idea of how to measure the amount of additional fluid needed?

I would appreciate any help
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