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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 11-21-2012, 04:29 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
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ATF change goat-rope

Sometimes you have to be able to laugh at yourself. I decided to attack the ATF fluid and filter change last night. It went something like this:
1. Raise front and back of car evenly. Support front end with ramps. Support rear of car with jackstands.
2. Loosen fill plug from side of transmission.
3. Remove drain plug from transmission pan. Allow fluid to drain. (all good up to this point).
4. Reinstall drain plug.
5. Remove 22 bolts from the perimeter of pan, being careful to leave a bolt in the front and back to hold in place while the other bolts are removed. Carefully remove last 2 bolts while holding pan up. (hey this is going really well.
6. Hold pan up with both hands and slowly lower. Spill the fluid remaining in the pan on the floor because you didn't realize the back of the pan must be lowered so the front can be worked around the filter.
7. Clean the pan. Remove and clean the magnets. Remove the gasket. Clean the transmission gasket surface.
8. Apply hylomar gasket dressing to the pan, install gasket, apply more hylomar on top of the gasket.
9. Remove the 2 screws holding the filter in place.
10. Install the new filter.
11. Carefully put pan back in place, bringing the front up first, then pivoting the rear in place.
12. Install 22 pan bolts.
***JEAOPARDY TIME*** change shirt while inside
13. Pump about 4 quarts of fluid into the fill plug until it dribbles out, spilling fluid occasionally as the hose comes off the pump nozzle or when the end of the hose works it way out of the fill plug.
14. Look around for the key to start the engine.
15. Locate pan magnets on the workbench. Cuss, contemplate, throw a tantrum, cuss some more.
16. Clean waste oil jug. Cut top off one of the transmission fluid bottles to make a larger funnel.
17. Remove transmission pan drain plug and move jug with funnel under pan to catch fluid, spilling some fluid here of course.
18. Remove 22 bolts to remove pan, again.
19. Spill more fluid.
20. Install magnets. Reattach pan with 22 bolts.
21. Decide that the fluid in the waste oil jug needs to be in the quart bottles so the pump can reach the level. Pour (and spill) more fluid. Overfill the bottles to spill even more.
22. Pump fluid into the fill plug, again spill fluid when the pump hose end comes out of the fill plug or when the hose comes off the pump nozzle.
23. Finally, start engine, add more fluid.
24. Wonder why you don't have enough fluid.

Lesson here: Don't forget to reinstall the magnets!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:34 AM
nsogiba nsogiba is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6
Ah, a day in the life of a DIYer. I recall installing a set of lowering springs on a friendís WRX and having the whole car put back together and done, and then finding the rubber dust boot for one of the shocks on the work bench. That wheel had to come completely apart, spring/shock out, compress and remove spring, etc. Pain!

Kudos to you for keeping your sanity. Iím sure the transmission shifts great, that makes it all worth it.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 05:56 AM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vavet5308 View Post
Sometimes you have to be able to laugh at yourself. I decided to attack the ATF fluid and filter change last night. It went something like this:

8. Apply hylomar gasket dressing to the pan, install gasket, apply more hylomar on top of the gasket.
Not sure that using Hylomar as a sealer was a good idea. This stuff does not dry EVER. I suspect some will mix with the fluid over time. I cannot say this will happen or if it did what damage if any it could due to the transmission. The factory replacement gasket does not need sealer.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:35 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Mein Auto: 2002 525it
Went to Wally world this morning to get 2 more quarts of ATF and found oil-dri mats while I was there. I got back home, attempted to make coffee twice (forgot to add water, hence the need for more coffee), and finally got back out to the garage to finish the job after the majority of the coffee was consumed.
I started the engine and started pumping in fluid. I kept my laser thermometer handy to keep checking the temperature. It actually worked out pretty nicely. It was about 90 degrees F (32C) about the time it started trickling out.
I got it all buttoned back up, cleaned up a little, jacked up the rear end to get the stands out of the way, then backed down off the ramps (in the front) and went for a little test drive.
She drives like a dream.
I finished cleaning up the garage (oil-dri mats and kitty litter) and tucked her back into her space.

I think the front end rebuild (thrust arms, control arms, tie rods, and sway bar end links) is the next project. After that I'll be set for a little while. I told my wife to have me committed if I ever mention doing a transmission service at home again.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:19 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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Bet that wont happen next time. I cant count the times I have done this to my cooling system. Put the fan and shroud back on only to realize.. I wasnt done YET!! Setbacks suck. as said, The life if the DIY er
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:20 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Is there a specific temperature that has to be reached/not reached while putting in the tranny fluid?
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:26 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Mein Auto: 2002 525it
Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
Is there a specific temperature that has to be reached/not reached while putting in the tranny fluid?
Yes. The fluid should be between 30 and 50 degrees C when the level is checked.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2012, 07:20 PM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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Mein Auto: 530i MSport
diy blues

You make me laugh Vavet, sounds like something that would happen to me

I am going to use your post as a training aid I am doing my ATF over the Christmas break.

God luck with the front end.
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