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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:38 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Changing gear oil on M3 5speed and rear dif

Is there an easy way to do this with out a car lift? Or does it need to be completely level, I'm guessing there's no way to get to the fill/drain plugs other than with the special BMW tool and has to be level so that the drain and fill will be correct...??
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:49 PM
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It's just like changing any oil. Lift car. Remove drain plug. Drain. Replace drain plug. Fill.

You don't need any special tools. Just a big-ass allen socket for the diff and a fluid pump thingy for the tranny fill plug, and those are easily obtainable...
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Last edited by Gooby; 01-28-2012 at 07:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2012, 07:49 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I serviced my transmission and differential with the car on four jack stands, fairly level. It would have been easier on a lift, but it's the not terribly hard the way I did it. Special tool? It takes a 14mm Allen wrench and a fluid pump of some kind to put the lube in. I used Royal Purple in the diff and Red Line in the trans (because the parts house didn't have the RP I needed).

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  #4  
Old 01-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Thanks I now know what size Allen to get,I just thought it looked awkward so I figured it was a special tool (14mm Allen is kinda big) gonna get the BPM oil perg to suck out the smelly old ish... So you recommend royal purple for rear dif and red line for trans?
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:17 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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I would have used RP in both, but they didn't have the correct weight RP fluid for the trans, but RedLine is good stuff, too . You can't go wrong with either one.

The stuff is pricey, but I had a fellow BMW owner/nut that worked at the local Advance Auto that got me the RP oils and fluids for his cost (almost $3/qt cheaper than retail). Unfortunately, he moved up to management of another store way off from here, so I'm back to paying retail, or ordering it on line.
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:23 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
I would have used RP in both, but they didn't have the correct weight RP fluid for the trans, but RedLine is good stuff, too . You can't go wrong with either one.

The stuff is pricey, but I had a fellow BMW owner/nut that worked at the local Advance Auto that got me the RP oils and fluids for his cost (almost $3/qt cheaper than retail). Unfortunately, he moved up to management of another store way off from here, so I'm back to paying retail, or ordering it on line.
Thank you
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:32 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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welcome!

Please be sure the car is secure on whatever you use to raise it. BMWs will kill you, even when they aren't running. Gravity is an unforgiving b!tch. 'Nuff said.

Edit: forgot to tell you, the trans has two plugs: a drain and a fill-to plug. Pull the drain, empty it into a pan, replace the plug, open the top plug and fill until it's even with the upper hole, replace plug (obviously). The diff only has one plug (I think......don't recall two on mine)
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
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Last edited by hornhospital; 01-28-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:48 PM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
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how the hell do you drain it and fill it then?
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2012, 09:53 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Good point. Magic!

Nah, I went back and looked at the Bentley pictures....diff has two just like the trans. Hey, it's late, I'm zoomed on Lortabs because my knee is killing me. Pay no attention to the old guy.
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
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  #10  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:01 AM
Robby F Robby F is offline
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Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Good point. Magic!

Nah, I went back and looked at the Bentley pictures....diff has two just like the trans. Hey, it's late, I'm zoomed on Lortabs because my knee is killing me. Pay no attention to the old guy.
Oh Lord... If only I had a dollar for every time my wife or kids tell their friends that.
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  #11  
Old 01-29-2012, 05:14 AM
RhymeGrime RhymeGrime is offline
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That Old diff fluid is very stinky... And slippery

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  #12  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:13 PM
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DinanM3e36 DinanM3e36 is offline
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Sounds like a fun day on my back,
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2012, 08:15 PM
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good luck and let us know how it goes.
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2012, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinanM3e36 View Post
Sounds like a fun day on my back,
thats what she said. sorry, had to.
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:02 AM
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If you havn't started I believe that you can get a magnetic DP go that rout. I have it for my trans and you would be surprised what it catches.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:05 AM
3B2M8WI 3B2M8WI is offline
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thats what she said. sorry, had to.
hahaha
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Old 01-30-2012, 08:25 AM
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back on topic...

I've searched around and even checked out the pelican how-to but nowhere can i find how many quarts of oil is needed... I was gonna get the Redline 75W-90 to put in both the trans and diff. i had good experiences with it in my last car and theres a corvette place around the corner that sells it by the quart.

How many quarts for the diff? How many for the trans?

Also what pump do you guys use? does it matter?
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2012, 08:29 AM
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If you havn't started I believe that you can get a magnetic DP go that rout. I have it for my trans and you would be surprised what it catches.
They don't come with those standard?
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Reglue Peeling Hedliner
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2012, 09:41 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Interestingly, what nobody has mentioned here is that you will need a stubby allen key for the differential fill plug due to the spare tire well being in the way. There will not be enough clearance for a regular allen tool. Also, always remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. You do not want to drain all the fluid out only to later discover that you can't get the fill plug out for one reason or another. It's just a safeguard.
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Old 01-30-2012, 09:55 AM
RhymeGrime RhymeGrime is offline
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I used a regular Allen key, it wasn't special or anything I don't think. Anyway, I had the car on a lift, I literally grabbed the key, then used my other hand to grab my forearm, and had to do a little pull up and shock it off, should of used pb blaster or a cheater pipe...

And + 1 to the fill before drain plug, they're both pretty hard to get off the first time.

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  #21  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:00 AM
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Rhyme, you used a regular allen key for the differential or the transmission? I don't see how there could ever be enough room to remove the fill plug on the differential while using a standard allen key with the spare tire well being right there.

Anyway, you'll want to use new aluminum crush washers for the differential plugs, too. Transmission has tapered plugs with no washers.
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2012, 10:02 AM
RhymeGrime RhymeGrime is offline
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Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Rhyme, you used a regular allen key for the differential or the transmission? I don't see how there could ever be enough room to remove the fill plug on the differential while using a standard allen key with the spare tire well being right there.

Anyway, you'll want to use new aluminum crush washers for the differential plugs, too. Transmission has tapered plugs with no washers.
My apologies, I thought we were talking about the differential, I have not tackled the transmission fluid yet

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Old 01-30-2012, 10:04 AM
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No, I was talking about the differential. How in the world did you remove the upper (fill) plug on the differential without using a stubby allen? Is your spare tire well dented in or something?
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:49 PM
RhymeGrime RhymeGrime is offline
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It fit in with no room to spare, it rubbed a little against the spare wheel well, but I didn't have a problem with either one of them using the allen key, I don't quite understand what kind of key you were using that it didn't fit though. I used a standard key that's like L shaped

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  #25  
Old 01-30-2012, 03:56 PM
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anyone remember how many quarts the trans took? the diff?
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Project List:
Replace coolant temp sensor
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Replace Passenger Lock Actuator
Reglue Peeling Hedliner
Swirl removal
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