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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 07-03-2011, 09:29 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Rear differential capacity question

I changed the rear differential oil and it took about 1.1 liter (1.2 qt) to fill it up - until the oil started to seep out. I was reading somwhere (could be Bentley?) that the capacity is about 1.6 liters, which does not add up. Also, when I drained it, only about 0.6 liter came out.
Did I screw something up? Prior to draining I opened the fill plug, and actually nothing came out, which per Bentley, should be dripping - just like the transmisiion when checking the level. Was I short on fluid to start with?
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2011, 05:35 AM
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Shires Shires is offline
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Capacity on the I6 diffs is 1.1L. You must have a slow leak.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2011, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shires View Post
Capacity on the I6 diffs is 1.1L. You must have a slow leak.
You are probably right. The last time the differential was serviced, it was done by the dealer (under warranty). When I took off the bleed plug, I noticed caked oil around there, and also the plug was not as tight as the fill plug. The Bentley calls for 70 Nm tightening torque, which is very tight. The bleeder plug make up torque wasn't what it should has been, I believe.
The differential took 1.1 liter bang on, so at least that's good news. Thanks for confirming.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2011, 08:44 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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http://www.amsoil.com/mygarage/Produ...003+BMW+530i+8

Differential, Rear..........2.4 pints (1.2 U.S. quarts)
2.4 US pints = 1.13562354 liters.
[1] After refill check oil level.

You might have a leak around the half-shaft seals, where the half-shaft connects to the differential.
Common.
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 07-04-2011 at 08:48 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:36 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Hello Jason. Amsoil went in.
There is no leak aound the half-shafts. They are clean as a whistle.
The caked oil is/was below the bleed plug, and it ws not very tight when I took it off. Actually it came lose very easy compared to the fill plug. The dealer mech might have forgotton to tighten it up properly?
The capacity you also mentioned makes sense to what went in yesterday

Moral of the story: don't trust your car even to the dealer.
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TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2011, 10:59 AM
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Should we modify the current glovebox printout on the differential fluid?
- Differential: Rear differential hypoid gear oil (1) & differential fluid change DIYs (1) (2) (3)

Quote:
- Differential (conventional, i.e., non-limited-slip E39s): The Bentleys specify "BMW SAF-XO synthetic final drive gear oil" which doesn't exist (it's Castrol). The Bentleys don't specify the weight (it's SAE 75W-90); and the Bentleys don't specify the quality (it's API GL-5 hypoid gear oil). Given that, suitable replacements are Amsoil Synthetic Manual Transmission Fluid (MTF) API 75W90,Mobil1, Royal Purple Max-Gear, & Redline SAE 75W90 API GL-5 synthetic gear oils. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell which of the three (3) different differentials you have w/o looking at the numbers molded into the metal. Bentley page 020-11 & 020-26 & 331-6. [Volume: Type G=1.7 quarts, Type 188 Compact=1.1 quarts, Type 220/215 Compact=1.5 quarts.] Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).
- Differential (limited-slip E39s, such as the M5): BMW SAF-XJ API GL-5 SAE 75W-140 synthetic hypoid final-drive gear oil (aka Castrol SAF-XJ). This requirement is not listed in the Bentley manual; it is gleaned from the Castrol literature and from what is stated about the M5 in this thread below (please correct if necessary). Replacement Interval: Lifetime fluid (but most recommend replacing differential fluid at the same time you replace transmission fluid, which is about 5 years or roughly 60K miles).
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2011, 12:46 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Bluebee, I did my research for the differential oil.
The easiest differential oil to buy, for me, is Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 (SVGQT). It checks out for my car.
Also, make a note, the torque spec for both plugs is 70 Nm as per TIS and Bentley. The links you have, on some there are different torque specs.
The bleed plug on my car was undertorqued from the dealer (by feel and comparison with the fill plug), and I lost some differential oil in time. If I didn't changed the oil this weekend, it could have a catastrophic result.
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Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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