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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
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  #1  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:03 PM
pkathee's Avatar
pkathee pkathee is offline
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Location: SALT LAKE CITY, UT
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 563
Mein Auto: 760 Li
Transmission Fluid and Mechatronic Sealing Sleeve Change DIY

I bought me a 7 a couple of weeks ago with 48K miles. Took it in to the ‘stealership’ for an oil change the other day and I received a phone call from the SA stating that I was having a slow tranny leak by the Mechatronic sealing sleeve. He quoted me a total of $700 to do the following.
-Replace the sealing sleeve
-Replace transmission pan gasket but re-use the existing pan
-Replace the transmission oil with ZF Lifeguard6 fluid
I contacted a local indy shop and I was amazed that he was gonna charge me $950 for the same scope of work.
Anyway, to cut the long story short, I decided to undertake this task myself. I went online and bought a ZF OEM tranny oil kit for only ($242). It included 6 Litres of the Lifeguard6 fluid, New transmission Pan with built-in Filter and a drain plug. Then I also got the sealing sleeve ($16).
It took me about 3 hours to finish the project. Now, I’m sure a lot of you folks have done this before but I would like to give a few pointers out of my own experience.
1) This whole process is way better and simplified if you use a lift. The Car must be level . Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to any lift so I had to do it with jack stands in my garage.
2) Before you drain that fluid, make sure you are able to unplug the filler hole. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a car without tranny fluid.
3) Replacing the Sealing sleeve. This is the most tricky and cumbersome step. Use some sort of lubricant on the two o-rings on the sleeve as it is really a pain to get it on there. In my case, I used Vaseline. Also, keep in mind the sleeve goes only one way with the help of a locating tab at 5 or 6 o’clock angle depending on how you look at it. Pay close attention to that.
4) There is a locking tab that will NOT lock unless the sleeve is in place and is all the way in. DO NOT force the locking tab if it feels hard to lock. Instead, make sure the sleeve is sitting right in place and it is all the way in.
5) With the help of a second person standing, I used an elevated wide funnel with a ½ inch delivery tube/hose to fill the fluid back in through the filler plug. I figured a $6 suction/siphon pump from Walmart would leave the whole place messy.
6) Keep track of the quantity of how much fluid you drain cuz that will give you an idea of how much you will need to put back in. In my case, with the pan down, I drained about 4 quarts and after following the top off procedure of filling it up with engine off, then with engine on/ running and shifting through all the gears several times (R-N-D-N-R) , I ended up using 5 quarts. My car had a leak so that definitely counts for the difference.
7) To make sure I didn’t burn my hands while trying to plug the filler plug back in place while the engine is running cuz trust me, the exhaust line will get hot in minutes, I got a soaking wet hand towel and folded it into two then placed it on the exhaust line right next to the transmission filler plug. That way, I was able to check and double check my tranny fluid level multiple times without the worry of toasting my hand. lol
8) I took the car on a long test drive to make sure the tranny shifts smooth and there are no FAILSAFE codes. All checked out good.

My 7 has only 48K miles and the old fluid that came out was NASTY, DARK and DISGUSTING. Do not buy that ‘Transmission fluid is good for the life of the car’ bull crap. If that is the case, then BMW should have a lifetime transmission warranty, don’t you think? Maybe I could have re-used my existing pan with a new pan gasket but it was only $120 difference if I got a new pan that came with a new gasket and a new filter. I did the math and it was a no-brainer to get the whole new kit. Besides, I know I am now good for another 50K miles without the worry of future potential leaks caused by pan warping or gasket failing.
All in all, I could have had the ‘stealer’ or the indy shop do my transmission service but I was up to the challenge and I also wanted to make sure the job is done right.
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:14 PM
Black_on_black Black_on_black is offline
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Location: SF
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 61
Mein Auto: 745i
If I told you, that you forgot to replace mechatronic adapter, would you redo it?? It's really worth it
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2012, 08:39 PM
USALEXUSBMW750's Avatar
USALEXUSBMW750 USALEXUSBMW750 is offline
Little Odessa
Location: Bergen County, NJ
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,275
Mein Auto: bmw
+1 you should change adapter too, also if you had dark fluid you need to change it few times as most remaining inside the converter, when i change my fluid at 73k color was not so bad my mechanic told me looks like it was changed but i know not, also my car had 73k 95% highway mileage maybe thats why
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2012, 03:36 AM
hummeking hummeking is offline
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Location: Richmond Va
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 2003 745i, 2005 hummer h2
Overpriced

I just had this done at the dealership. for 1200 dollars. The only reason I did not do it, is because I recently sold my house and I live in a downtown apartment, so I did not have the proper facility to do the job. Nevertheless, the job is COMPLETELY OVERPRICED! The transmission fluid was 43 dollars per quart, but the dealership sells them in liter increments. Bottom line, if you ever have to do this to your 7 and believe me you will, do it yourself.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2012, 06:39 AM
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roadfrog roadfrog is offline
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Location: Chilliwack, BC Canada
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,091
Mein Auto: 2003 745i
My Indy did it for 600 and that was with fluids, sleeve, pan and gasket etc.

This is one of those jobs that was NOT worth doing myself. Too many things to go wrong, especially when you don't get the tranny up to the proper temps when adding the fluid. This isn't the same as adding fluid to an '86 Buick.
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  #6  
Old 01-17-2012, 04:54 PM
LIONEL LIONEL is offline
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Location: COLUMBUS,ohio
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 745 LI
I paid 599 plus tax
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2013, 02:26 PM
jrconsejerotoo jrconsejerotoo is offline
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Location: texas
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 750li
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkathee View Post
I bought me a 7 a couple of weeks ago with 48K miles. Took it in to the ‘stealership’ for an oil change the other day and I received a phone call from the SA stating that I was having a slow tranny leak by the Mechatronic sealing sleeve. He quoted me a total of $700 to do the following.
-Replace the sealing sleeve
-Replace transmission pan gasket but re-use the existing pan
-Replace the transmission oil with ZF Lifeguard6 fluid
I contacted a local indy shop and I was amazed that he was gonna charge me $950 for the same scope of work.
Anyway, to cut the long story short, I decided to undertake this task myself. I went online and bought a ZF OEM tranny oil kit for only ($242). It included 6 Litres of the Lifeguard6 fluid, New transmission Pan with built-in Filter and a drain plug. Then I also got the sealing sleeve ($16).
It took me about 3 hours to finish the project. Now, I’m sure a lot of you folks have done this before but I would like to give a few pointers out of my own experience.
1) This whole process is way better and simplified if you use a lift. The Car must be level . Unfortunately, I didn’t have access to any lift so I had to do it with jack stands in my garage.
2) Before you drain that fluid, make sure you are able to unplug the filler hole. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a car without tranny fluid.
3) Replacing the Sealing sleeve. This is the most tricky and cumbersome step. Use some sort of lubricant on the two o-rings on the sleeve as it is really a pain to get it on there. In my case, I used Vaseline. Also, keep in mind the sleeve goes only one way with the help of a locating tab at 5 or 6 o’clock angle depending on how you look at it. Pay close attention to that.
4) There is a locking tab that will NOT lock unless the sleeve is in place and is all the way in. DO NOT force the locking tab if it feels hard to lock. Instead, make sure the sleeve is sitting right in place and it is all the way in.
5) With the help of a second person standing, I used an elevated wide funnel with a ½ inch delivery tube/hose to fill the fluid back in through the filler plug. I figured a $6 suction/siphon pump from Walmart would leave the whole place messy.
6) Keep track of the quantity of how much fluid you drain cuz that will give you an idea of how much you will need to put back in. In my case, with the pan down, I drained about 4 quarts and after following the top off procedure of filling it up with engine off, then with engine on/ running and shifting through all the gears several times (R-N-D-N-R) , I ended up using 5 quarts. My car had a leak so that definitely counts for the difference.
7) To make sure I didn’t burn my hands while trying to plug the filler plug back in place while the engine is running cuz trust me, the exhaust line will get hot in minutes, I got a soaking wet hand towel and folded it into two then placed it on the exhaust line right next to the transmission filler plug. That way, I was able to check and double check my tranny fluid level multiple times without the worry of toasting my hand. lol
8) I took the car on a long test drive to make sure the tranny shifts smooth and there are no FAILSAFE codes. All checked out good.

My 7 has only 48K miles and the old fluid that came out was NASTY, DARK and DISGUSTING. Do not buy that ‘Transmission fluid is good for the life of the car’ bull crap. If that is the case, then BMW should have a lifetime transmission warranty, don’t you think? Maybe I could have re-used my existing pan with a new pan gasket but it was only $120 difference if I got a new pan that came with a new gasket and a new filter. I did the math and it was a no-brainer to get the whole new kit. Besides, I know I am now good for another 50K miles without the worry of future potential leaks caused by pan warping or gasket failing.
All in all, I could have had the ‘stealer’ or the indy shop do my transmission service but I was up to the challenge and I also wanted to make sure the job is done right.
Doing same procedure...your instructions are great but how did you get the sleeve off to beguin with? I can't get my hands in there to twist the locking nut even
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2014, 06:46 AM
crazyrobbery crazyrobbery is online now
Registered User
Location: boston
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 95 e34 530/5
I used a long screw driver to twist the locking plug out of the sleeve. Then VERY carefully used a slight pry action to remove the old sleeve.

-RObbery
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