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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 03-28-2012, 12:08 PM
Mroberts3 Mroberts3 is offline
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Mein Auto: 330ci
Manual Transmission Fluid (no tranny sticker)

Hi all, I'm back for more DIY advice.

I have read a lot on what kind of fluids e36s take, but the problem is that my transmission does not have the sticker on it anymore. Is there any way to figure out what tranny fluid to use? I called a BMW dealer, but they haven't gotten back to me.

From what I have read it looks like royal purple synchromax should work as it is a fluid for manual transmissions that require automatic fluid. Anyone used this in their e36? mine is a 1993 318is.

I have a similar question for the differential oil. I can't find for sure what to use, but it looks like a general 75w-90 gear oil should work. My main question here is does it matter if I top off the differential with a fluid different from what was last put in, or should I do a full drain and fill?

Thanks in advance...you guys have always saved me in the past. (Here is to hoping I eventually learn enough to return the favor...)
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2012, 12:18 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Location: Seattle, WA
 
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I used Royal Purple Syncromax in my transmission,and Royal Purple 75W90 in my differential. Everything works perfectly.

Also, unless your differential is leaking, it will already be full with the existing oil, so you can't "top it off". You need to drain and refill it with new oil. Doing anything less is a total waste of time and money.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:30 PM
Mroberts3 Mroberts3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
I used Royal Purple Syncromax in my transmission,and Royal Purple 75W90 in my differential. Everything works perfectly.

Also, unless your differential is leaking, it will already be full with the existing oil, so you can't "top it off". You need to drain and refill it with new oil. Doing anything less is a total waste of time and money.
Thanks for the reply.

I should have mentioned in the original post that the differential IS leaking. I don't know how fast though...once I get my 14mm bit socket from harbor freight ill check the level to see if the leak is significant. The quote for replacing the dif seal was quite high, and I was told to just keep and eye on it and only come back if the leak is/becomes excessive.


side note: people say to remove the dif fill plug before the drain plug. Why is that? Just curious.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:50 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
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Yes, you always want to remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. It's a safety precaution, and it applies to both the differential and transmission. The reason is because you would be SOL if you drained all the fluid out of the diff or trans, and then later found out that the fill plug was seized. You'd be totally unable to put fluid back in and the car would be rendered inoperable.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #5  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:58 PM
Mroberts3 Mroberts3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeGerman View Post
Yes, you always want to remove the fill plug before you remove the drain plug. It's a safety precaution, and it applies to both the differential and transmission. The reason is because you would be SOL if you drained all the fluid out of the diff or trans, and then later found out that the fill plug was seized. You'd be totally unable to put fluid back in and the car would be rendered inoperable.
Ah, makes sense. That would be no bueno. (and particularly relevant to me because the bottom of my 93' is totally covered in crud. The seized plug is entirely possible).
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Old 03-28-2012, 04:00 PM
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Mr Gusta Mr Gusta is offline
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any ATF will work, The reason bmw trans uses atf is because of the synchro that is used in the trans.
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