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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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  #1  
Old 05-23-2012, 06:02 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Help with transmission input shaft seal replacement

Okay.... as part of an extensive driveline update I'm doing this week (new clutch, driveshaft centering sleeve, flex disc, center support bearing, CV grease & gasket, assorted shifter bushings), I thought I would also replace the seals from the rear main to the trans input shaft and also the shift selector seal. All three are (were) seeping.

I did the tiny shift selector seal first, much more stubborn than I anticipated. Very tough little seal with a thick metal band inside, was very worried I'd score the shift selector shaft bore, but at least got this one done.

Next I turned to the input shaft seal. Punched a couple tiny holes in it with the idea I'd be able to screw in a large wood screw and pull it out. Well duh, I was clueless how tough these are, had no idea they are some sheet metal with a rubber coating.

I have looked around the site and can't seem to find any DIY write-up for this, and am in serious need of advice from the experienced members.

The rear main seal is seeping but I'm not sure about even tackling that one.

Well, it all looked good on paper ...... (Bentley, TIS......)

Last edited by pleiades; 05-23-2012 at 06:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2012, 06:38 PM
nien2five540i nien2five540i is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 540i/6
I too will be looking to do this soon, hope you get some help.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:09 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Mein Auto: 540/6, S60 Volvo, Tribeca
Here's how to get it out.
I made a tool to help get the tranny pilot shaft seal out.
The crank rear main seal is easy (540) after you remove mounting plate, tap it out and tap a new one in.
Don't remember what the I6 rear main seal looks like.
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2000 540/6 Slightly tweeked...everywhere

Last edited by JimLev; 05-23-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old 05-23-2012, 07:36 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Thanks Jim, I'm looking at all those pics now.

One thing, my input shaft seal doesn't have the indicators for the locations to drive in those screws. Same with the new replacement seal. I already drilled three small holes in the seal and have been pulling with a couple of pick tools, no luck.

I think I'll go and get those sheet metal screws and try again. Probably should pick up some fresh Redline while I'm at it....

I have a puller that I bought (but don't use) for minor saxophone dent repair. The weight however is probably too light for this application.

Well another day, another roadblock, but I have to get this seal out now, having essentially destroyed it.
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  #5  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:04 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Update: Got the shift shaft seal out with just a few minutes more work, using a wood screw that I pulled with vice grips. I guess it had to give at some point....

I was lucky here. There's a huge rubber-sealed NSK bearing right behind that seal, with not much more depth. I checked and checked twice, no punctures, but anyone else attempting this. BEWARE!
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  #6  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:15 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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A rubber sealed bearing behind the seal, can you post a pic of that and the back of the crank?
Here is what my tranny looked like without the shaft seal, just a big C-clip and the bearing.
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  #7  
Old 05-23-2012, 08:25 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Uh-oh, I was just going to post that I finished installing the new seal.... Sorry. Imagine a huge orange rubber-sealed bearing right behind, on the shaft, at about twice the depth of the shaft seal. Nothing in between. Had I known beforehand, I'd not have been tapping holes. Really, blind luck here.

I didn't read the bearing model # but that thing is even bigger diameter than the shaft seal.
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2012, 01:03 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Glad you've got it under control.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-2012, 05:27 AM
TechWrench TechWrench is offline
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There is a universal seal removal tool that any transmission shop/mechanic should have.

It looks like a big/long right angle bar with a steel hook on the end, and a handle of the side of the other end. You hook the hook behind the seal and using a hammer, hit on the bent end to pull the seal out. And, when installing the new seal, there are several different type driver tools that protect the lip on the seal while allowing the seal to be driven into place and sit flush.

Here is a link to one type of puller.

http://www.restockit.com/l-type-seal...ci_sku=OLD7019

Last edited by TechWrench; 05-24-2012 at 05:32 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-2012, 07:21 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechWrench View Post
....You hook the hook behind the seal ....
How do you get the hook behind the seal unless you punch a hole in the seal first?

Drifts for installation are fairly easy to improvise with soft materials (wood blocks, delrin rod stock) but removal is kind of scary for me because I don't want to damage/score the aluminum part the seal is supposed to seal. I'm not a mechanic but wouldn't mind having a good set of "safe" tools for this task.
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  #11  
Old 05-24-2012, 07:23 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Today I was hoping to replace the rear main seal but I'm going to look at it more closely and make sure the "seeping" I see on it is not from some other source. The DIY write-ups on this are somewhat hard for me to find and the couple I've seen show the seal being replaced together with the plate as a single unit. I read that removing and replacing that plate introduces another issue: the risk of compromising the oil pan gasket and causing a new leak.

If one were to remove this seal by itself, would this be another example of using the BMW slide-puller with screw-bit approach?

Last edited by pleiades; 05-24-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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  #12  
Old 05-24-2012, 08:43 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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If you remove the seal housing from the block/oil pan, it's very simple to tap the seal out of the seal housing with a drift & hammer. I suppose in principle, the seal could be pulled from the seal housing, but pressing it in whilst keeping it square to the crank is probably not so easy. This seal does not use a garter spring to hold the lip against the crank, so the seal is somewhat delicate until it is in it's proper position.
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  #13  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:11 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
If you remove the seal housing from the block/oil pan, it's very simple to tap the seal out of the seal housing with a drift & hammer. I suppose in principle, the seal could be pulled from the seal housing, but pressing it in whilst keeping it square to the crank is probably not so easy. This seal does not use a garter spring to hold the lip against the crank, so the seal is somewhat delicate until it is in it's proper position.
Possibly my preceding message was not clear. I'd like to know how to remove the seal alone, without touching its housing plate, due to the risk of damaging the oil pan gasket along the bottom edge. I do like the idea of being able to just press the thing out through the back, though, so maybe I'll see if I can get the housing off without tearing the pan gasket.

Incidentally, the earlier version of the seal (with internal spring) is still stocked and sold. I have one of those as well as the newer one that has no spring but that comes with a plastic support bushing. The former is the usual stiff rubber-coated lip but the newer one has a much thinner, harder and probably fragile lip. TIS procedure warns not to touch it with "your fingers." Hell I've already touched it so I'm thinking of just using the support bushing to press the earlier version in.
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  #14  
Old 05-24-2012, 09:41 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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In that case, you should be fine. There is nothing damageable behind the seal, it's about 10mm to the #7 bearing cap. I thought it actually came out easier than the transmission input seal.
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  #15  
Old 05-24-2012, 10:51 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
In that case, you should be fine. There is nothing damageable behind the seal, it's about 10mm to the #7 bearing cap. I thought it actually came out easier than the transmission input seal.
Whew I hope so, the input seal was really stubborn and then popped out with great fanfare, almost landing me on the floor!

Another question for ya'll: Is the oil level in the i6 engine above the lowest point of the rear main seal? Or to put it another way, do I really have to drain the oil just to replace this seal?
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  #16  
Old 05-24-2012, 11:03 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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This must be what your rear main seal and the metal housing plate that holds the rear main seal looks like, #1. (this is from a 2000 528i)
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...67&hg=11&fg=10

Mine is similar (V8 engine) and in the pic above.
The gasket you are worried about in my V8 is a heavy plastic material. When I removed the seal housing plate from the block I used a thin blade (exacto or utility blade) to free the gasket from the upper oil pan and the housing plate. It came off very easy with no damage to the gasket at all. When I put it back together I cleaned both surfaces with alcohol and used some RTV silicon on both sides of the gasket.

Looks like your gasket is metal according to RealOEM, #8.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...87&hg=11&fg=10

Here is the back of my engine with the housing plate removed.
I think you are being a bit too cautious. If you did damage it RTV would fix it.
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Last edited by JimLev; 05-24-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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  #17  
Old 05-24-2012, 12:07 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimLev View Post
....I think you are being a bit too cautious. If you did damage it RTV would fix it.
Yeah this being my first time to tear into any car like this and not knowing all the gotchas waiting, I'm trying to be cautious because I can't afford any big mistakes of judgment .....

I wasn't aware the pan gasket was steel; thanks, good to know this. I think I'll pull the seal bracket housing but am wondering. TIS indicates a threadlocker of some kind for all the bolts. I have Permatex red and blue here. Certainly they don't mean RED?

As to RTV silicone, I have Permatex ultra gray, black, copper....

I ordered a new flywheel for my car so now I have more time to be cautious and do everything right. My plans when I started were to have this all buttoned up and driving again ... last Sunday, LOL!
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  #18  
Old 05-24-2012, 01:38 PM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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The 2 M8 (13mm Head) bolts have a blue pre-applied Loctite patch on them. I'm just not sure if this is for thread sealing or thread locking. I kind of think it is for sealing. I was going to use the Loctite thread sealer, but in the end I just went ahead & purchased 2 new bolts (part #11141744147).
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:35 PM
TechWrench TechWrench is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
How do you get the hook behind the seal unless you punch a hole in the seal first?

Drifts for installation are fairly easy to improvise with soft materials (wood blocks, delrin rod stock) but removal is kind of scary for me because I don't want to damage/score the aluminum part the seal is supposed to seal. I'm not a mechanic but wouldn't mind having a good set of "safe" tools for this task.
You insert the hook between the seal and the stator shaft (flat side parallel to seal lip), then rotate tool 90 degrees so hook end is behind seal. Then pull seal out, using hammer to assist. Since you are not trying to save seal, any damage done to lip material is of no matter. I have removed hundreds of front transmission seals in this maner. It is easier with automatic transmissions, because the seal rides on the torque converter hub, which is not in the way when the converter is removed. When the hook type puller wouldn't work on a manual transmission, I would use a small, sharp flat chisel driven in at the outer metal edge of the seal at a 45 degree angle. You drive it in just enough to break the point through, then using the chisel as a lever, pry the seal out. I've never had one I couldn't get out.
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  #20  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:54 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechWrench View Post
..... I've never had one I couldn't get out.
Me too, though my "never" started yesterday and I'm just two for two, haha! I appreciate your explanation of that tool and I'm going to be slowly collecting a couple or three for future stuff like this (also have a Subaru that needs many seals replaced now....).
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  #21  
Old 05-28-2012, 11:44 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Just a brief update. Compared to the input shaft seal, the rear main seal was a breeze thanks to all the advice and assistance I received here. Thanks guys. I removed the seal plate and knocked the old seal through with a dowel, then installed the new one with smooth wood blocks tapped by a leather mallet. Using the plastic support bushing, the plate with seal almost slipped on too fast. Only time consumer was that because I had neglected to buy the two new bolts for the lower corners, I had to clean the old threadlocker off and apply fresh blue. Getting that stuff off probably requires a special Loctite product. Took me probably more time to do that than anything else in this RMS procedure. Although I was worried about damaging the oil pan gasket, it wasn't a problem at all.
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  #22  
Old 05-29-2012, 06:31 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Here are some pics from when I did the repairs you are talking about (for reference for other users)

Rear main seal housing removed, can see oil pan gasket exposed. Cleaned area and replaced RMS, housing and added some sealer at bottom of housing as mentioned in Bentley and also cleaned and re-sealed bolts for RMS housing.

528iT RMS and oil pan gasket:




I too used the sheet metal screw trick to get the tranmission input shaft seal out:

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  #23  
Old 04-27-2013, 02:01 PM
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musa musa is offline
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I need to remove the transmission to replace the RMS. How did you guys
protect torque converter from slipping out? How did you clamp the torque converter in opening in transmission housing?

I'm looking at TIS and Bentely manual and they require to insert special tools 244131 and 244133 in the transmission opening. They point out that during transmission installation and removal the oil pump must be protected from damage. The tool is supposed to help keep the torque converter in place, to prevent oil pump damage due to misalignment.

How did you guys handle this process?

1997 528ia 170K miles.
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  #24  
Old 04-27-2013, 02:29 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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MUSA:

When I've pulled auto trannys from other BMWs (E30 and E36) the pry bar method works. Meaning ... after unbolting the flex plate .... as you separate the trans from the motor, keep constant backwards pressure on the torque converter so that it stays put. Lower and pull jack / trans cradle backwards while keeping torque converter on the trans input shaft. Use bailing wire or a piece of soft bent aluminum and a bolt in the bell housing to apply pressure on the torque converter to keep it seated on the trans.

Biggest PITA is to make sure trans and TC are moved back far enough and separated from flexplate/motor before dropping them / lowering them. This is where the TC can get hung up and the full weight of the trans can be hanging on it and thus the trans pump inside front of transmission.

It looks like "special tool 24 4 130 Torque Converter Clamp Set" is nothing more than a "C" clamp that holds the TC against the trans. I am sure you could use similar C-clamp or fab something up to hold the TC onto the trans.

it also looks like special tool 11 7 310 (V8 cars) and 11 7 370 (6-cyl cars) is something a 2"x4" or similar could substitute. Just need something to support trans between engine oil pan and front subframe. Large squares of cut to fit 1/2" plywood might work better to be able to adjust height as needed.

Good luck.
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  #25  
Old 05-29-2015, 02:59 AM
Sroor9001 Sroor9001 is offline
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Hi bimmers
So for changing this seal as precaution
No need to drain gear oil right ??
Cause I'll take it to a mechanic so I want to change engine rear man seal and this transmission shaft seal in the same time if it doesn't need change transmission oil it'll be nice and it'll be cheaper
And I'll ask my mechanic for the labor charge but to have a clear picture that I'll not lose my tranny oil as it's just 20000 km since changed
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