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7 Series - E65 / E66 (2002 - 2008)
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  #1  
Old 07-24-2012, 09:41 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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e65 745i Gearbox (Transmission) MAD!!!

I have read many posts on this forum about the gearbox (sorry 'transmission' im from the UK) and just find it difficult to believe that BMW have got away with this level of poor engineering.

I ran an e38 740i for 5 years and the gearbox was fine. It was smooth, reliable and displayed non of the idiosyncrasies of the newer gearbox fitted to my 2002 745i.

I have just over 100,000 miles on the clock and my gearbox displays all of the usual problems. Including harsh downshifts between 3-2 and 2-1, together with the odd occasion when it "bangs!" into gear and the hunting up and down the rev range when going 30-40 mph on light throttle.

The weird thing is it doesnít do these things all of the time. Some days its fine and others itís terrible.

There doesnít seem to be one definitive answer to the problem. Some suggest new software, some suggest torque converter, changing oil and filter etc etc.

Whilst there are many wide ranging suggestions of how to spend money fixing the problem that isnít really the point. I guess im just annoyed at the situation and amazed that BMW havenít sorted this out by way of a recall.

Am I the only one mad about these gearbox problems? Also I assume that most of you with higher mileage cars have some or all of these gearbox problems?

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  #2  
Old 07-24-2012, 09:48 AM
stuartjohn24 stuartjohn24 is offline
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I agree!!!!

My gearbox issues started at about 95K, before then ran amazing!

Had a leak, changed pan and oil, 2 months later complete failure, adaptor seal cracked, replaced and changed oil again, loads better, smooth changes but sluggish now and noisy humming noise under load.

Im convinced the torque convertor is knakered now. Mine is better some days, others its bad and I hate driving it!

Im just living with it and preparing myself for the cost of a new TC!

Stuart
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2012, 10:18 AM
kcmack28 kcmack28 is offline
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Have the same issue!!! Alot of us have the same problem....
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2012, 02:27 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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Stuartjohn24 would be interested to hear if you go down the TC route. I have begun looking into that as a possibility but im just not sure whether it would actually help. The fear is you change the TC and it makes no difference.
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2012, 07:42 AM
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DFEL750I DFEL750I is offline
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Software should always be kept at the latest on all modules if possible including the transmission. Guibo joint is a wear item and should be changed after 60K miles...remember that transmission is smooth with all that torque because the Guibo is absorbing alot of the driveshaft strain so it is not tranferred into the chassis.

Tranmission fluid is also something that is changed on most cars...why people think BMW transmission fluid is lifetime is beyond me.

I can see people having issues with having to change a torque converter but this is a heavy car with a higher than normal stall on the torque converter to allow the engine to get up to its peak torque RPM before transferring full power to the driveshaft. The higher the stall is on a torque converter, the easier it is for it to fail because of all the torque manipulation it is constantly doing.

With more power, higher stall torque converter etc things will fail quicker than the older cars...its just the reality we have to deal with when youre talking about mechanical parts. Remember the BMW transmission is made by ZF. BMW itself has nothing to do with the engineering of the transmission and ZF is the best transmission company in the world.
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  #6  
Old 07-25-2012, 08:14 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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Agreed. You make some very valid points. I think it is certainly worth changing the Guibo and the oil and filter. I will get on to this soon. I have in the meantime booked it in to get a diagnostic check done and a software upgrade.

Having built and run numerous cars over the last 20 years the fact remains that the issues with this particular gearbox are not acceptable for a car of this cost and quality. My previous e38 740i had a very similar 4.4 v8 block but granted it did have marginally less power and torque. However the gearbox felt a great deal stronger than the 6 speed unit in the later model. Perhaps not as refined but certainly more reliable.

Most parts on cars are made with outsourced suppliers and ZF are no exception. The fact is it reflects badly on BMW when these items fail. As im sure you're aware this particular gearbox was used in other models including the X5 and all of the other forums talk about the same issues. Perhaps ZF should have designed these units for a longer life cycle.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2012, 08:36 AM
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DFEL750I DFEL750I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharland View Post
Agreed. You make some very valid points. I think it is certainly worth changing the Guibo and the oil and filter. I will get on to this soon. I have in the meantime booked it in to get a diagnostic check done and a software upgrade.

Having built and run numerous cars over the last 20 years the fact remains that the issues with this particular gearbox are not acceptable for a car of this cost and quality. My previous e38 740i had a very similar 4.4 v8 block but granted it did have marginally less power and torque. However the gearbox felt a great deal stronger than the 6 speed unit in the later model. Perhaps not as refined but certainly more reliable.

Most parts on cars are made with outsourced suppliers and ZF are no exception. The fact is it reflects badly on BMW when these items fail. As im sure you're aware this particular gearbox was used in other models including the X5 and all of the other forums talk about the same issues. Perhaps ZF should have designed these units for a longer life cycle.
The weakest parts of the transmission and drive train is the guibo and torque converter. If you guibo is bad you will hear a "clunk" noise when you first put the car into D or R. If you are not hearing this clunk noise then your guibo is bad.

It sounds like you are having surging issues at constant speed. If you are not having any issues with fluctuating RPMs at idle in neutral then youre issues are with your torque converter. If you torque converter is low on fluid or have bad fluid it can cause this issue. If I were you I would change the transmission fluid and make sure it is properly topped off. If you problems still continue after the transmission fluid change then you may have to replace your torque converter.

I had mine replaced about 4 months ago and I have had no issue since. Before that I use to have surging of the RPM at constant speed and hard 2-1 downshifts and upshifts. I always previously replaced my guibo and had my transmission pan and fluid changed before finally changing the torque converter. The car is now very smooth and I can barely only feel the 1-2 upshift with is normal in this car. I was lucky and I found a good transmission shop with only works on ZF transmissions. It cost me 950 including parts and labour to change the torque converter.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2012, 09:11 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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Thanks for that. Yes I have the surging, usually at around 30/40 mph at light throttle. But it doesnít happen all the time, just ever so often. It doesnít happen in neutral only when moving in gear and not at higher speeds.

I get the harsh downshifts but up shifts tend to be really smooth.

I donít get a 'clunk' noise when I put it into gear however I get the occasional 'bang' into gear, again at low speeds, its almost like a clutch slipping like in a manual (stick shift) car.

These donít happen all the time, just some days. Very strange.

Just to check a couple of things with you. I assume if I do 'not' hear a clunk when I put it into D or P then the guibo might be OK.

Does the TC have its own separate oil or is it fed from the general gearbox oil.

I assume when you change the TC you need to replace the gearbox oil at the same time. I'm thinking if I change the oil and it doesnít make any difference and have to change the TC I wouldnít want to pay for the oil again.

Lastly was that 950 US? and was it new or refurbished TC?

Thanks for the advice. I find it amazing you have had to do all of this on your 2006 car.
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  #9  
Old 07-25-2012, 09:27 AM
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DFEL750I DFEL750I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharland View Post
Thanks for that. Yes I have the surging, usually at around 30/40 mph at light throttle. But it doesnít happen all the time, just ever so often. It doesnít happen in neutral only when moving in gear and not at higher speeds.

I get the harsh downshifts but up shifts tend to be really smooth.

I donít get a 'clunk' noise when I put it into gear however I get the occasional 'bang' into gear, again at low speeds, its almost like a clutch slipping like in a manual (stick shift) car.

These donít happen all the time, just some days. Very strange.

Just to check a couple of things with you. I assume if I do 'not' hear a clunk when I put it into D or P then the guibo might be OK.

Does the TC have its own separate oil or is it fed from the general gearbox oil.

I assume when you change the TC you need to replace the gearbox oil at the same time. I'm thinking if I change the oil and it doesnít make any difference and have to change the TC I wouldnít want to pay for the oil again.

Lastly was that 950 US? and was it new or refurbished TC?

Thanks for the advice. I find it amazing you have had to do all of this on your 2006 car.
The TC and the transmission uses the same fluid. If you have to change the TC just tell them to drain the fluid and save it to be reused since you just changed it recently.

The first thing I would do if I were you is make sure that the transmission fluid is not low. Alot of what is going on with your car can be due to low fluid if the TC is starved for fluid and does not have enough hydaulic pressure to operate properly.

You only feel a surge at 30-40 MPH because the clutch in the TC has not locked up at that speed and the failing TC is having issues with doing enough torque manipulation to control the variance between the engine RPM and driveshaft RPM. Past that speed the TC will lock up with the input shaft on the transmission to make sure there is no slippage and to save fuel. Once the TC is locked up this means that the RPM of the engine flywheel is the same as the RPM of the driveshaft which means no more engine surging.

My car has close to 80K miles at this point so the repairs I have had to make are quite normal at that mileage. I do not expect any of these parts to last more than 60K miles. My car had a small transmission fluid leak from the previous owner when I first got it which I suspected over time killed the TC.
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2012, 09:35 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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Thanks. Good advice. I will get it checked out immediately.

Thanks again for your help.
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  #11  
Old 07-25-2012, 06:49 PM
Yogixxx Yogixxx is offline
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I think that's the most helpfull post about trans ...
So if I'm going to a shop and need to change pan and oil , guibo joint what is a normal price to pay ?
By the way I'm from new jersey
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:59 AM
stuartjohn24 stuartjohn24 is offline
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Hi Guys,

DFEL750I, I'm hoping you could help me out with my transmission issues too! You appear to be rather knowledgeable on this and possibly experienced similar issues.

My car feels very sluggish and as if the TC is slipping almost constantly, Im not convinced im getting lockup either. I remember when I first had the car it was really responsive and a real pleasure to drive.

I could just tap the throttle 5mm and it would be instant power and you could feel the acceleration instantly. now however its bogged down and just makes a louder noise when accelerating lightly, the revs will increase pretty quick and then it takes a few seconds for the car to gradually accelerate.

I dont get any surging, the fluid is not low, it has previously had low oil and then the adaptor seal blew out resulting in low oil pressure. I do occasionally get the klunk when selecting D or R (once or twice a month) but i can live with that!

Shifting 80% of the time is smooth, sometimes a little jerky where you can just feel it, not as bad as it used to be.

EGS does not record any errors in the 3K miles this has been going on. Fuel economy has reduced 15-20%.

Am I right in saying the EGS will throw errors if excessive slippage is detected within the clutch packs? as gear ratio errors?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Stuart
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:21 PM
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DFEL750I DFEL750I is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogixxx View Post
I think that's the most helpfull post about trans ...
So if I'm going to a shop and need to change pan and oil , guibo joint what is a normal price to pay ?
By the way I'm from new jersey
I would say for parts and labor for the guibo youre probably looking at 300-350 at a fair price
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2012, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stuartjohn24 View Post
Hi Guys,

DFEL750I, I'm hoping you could help me out with my transmission issues too! You appear to be rather knowledgeable on this and possibly experienced similar issues.

My car feels very sluggish and as if the TC is slipping almost constantly, Im not convinced im getting lockup either. I remember when I first had the car it was really responsive and a real pleasure to drive.

I could just tap the throttle 5mm and it would be instant power and you could feel the acceleration instantly. now however its bogged down and just makes a louder noise when accelerating lightly, the revs will increase pretty quick and then it takes a few seconds for the car to gradually accelerate.

I dont get any surging, the fluid is not low, it has previously had low oil and then the adaptor seal blew out resulting in low oil pressure. I do occasionally get the klunk when selecting D or R (once or twice a month) but i can live with that!

Shifting 80% of the time is smooth, sometimes a little jerky where you can just feel it, not as bad as it used to be.

EGS does not record any errors in the 3K miles this has been going on. Fuel economy has reduced 15-20%.

Am I right in saying the EGS will throw errors if excessive slippage is detected within the clutch packs? as gear ratio errors?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Stuart
Yes if the transmission is slipping then I would expect to get an EGS error. The torque converter itself however is strictly mechanical and a failure within the torque converter will not throw any error codes. I had issues with my torque converter with no codes at all. Are your issues exaggerated when going up hills? Based on your description I would think you have worn out clutch plates in your torque converter.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2012, 02:23 PM
stuartjohn24 stuartjohn24 is offline
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Thanks for the reply! That's what I was thinking, although the egs could see an issue as its aware of rpm and the input speed. Perhaps it's not slipping enough.

Yes it's worse up hills, best way to describe it is, when accelerating while cruising its like it's in too higher gear. Although if you boot it does pick up but it's nowhere near as powerful as it should be!

Stuart
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2012, 05:32 AM
fratan fratan is offline
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I have a 2006 750 I with 115,000 on it. I've had the clunking noise appear on downshifts especially in Sports mode. When it first happened to me ,I thought another car rear ended me.

I've reset the tranny with the 25 second pedal to the floor method and that helps for a few weeks.

I've been researching this and I'm going to replace the guibo but also the Mechtronic sealing sleeve and adaptor. These parts are short money and while they have the car in the air I'll have them see if there is a tranny leak. Alot of shops recommend not to change the tranny oil on the e65.
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2012, 11:52 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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An update on the gearbox. I had it at a local BMW specialist and it turns out there is a slight oil leak from the back of the sump plate, clearly visible when its up on the ramp.

There were no transmission faults on the computer.

I will get a new sump/filter and oil fitted and report back to see if that helps things.

Im pretty sure the harsh downshifts will not be solved by this as im sure that will be a software problem. Once the sump is changed I will move on to that problem.

I will keep you informed.
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  #18  
Old 08-01-2012, 12:00 PM
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skybmray skybmray is offline
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had all the same symptoms, had the guibo replaced, transmission pan, oil flushed twice and software update. The transmission is smooth as silk now. I can hardly notice the transmission change up or down a gear. The car feels like it just come out of a showroom. Worth doing to eliminate before going to the torque convertor.

My harsh shifts completely disappeared by replacing the guibo. Used to have very harsh down 2-1 like I was getting rear ended.

Last edited by skybmray; 08-01-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:01 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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I have it booked in at my local BMW independent for the oil and filter change next Tuesday. I have agreed with them that if the guibo needs changing they can do that at the same time.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 08-02-2012, 08:30 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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Im willing to bet most of the problems listed in this thread (not all but most) are directly traceable back to not changing the fluid. BMW has had the lifetime fluid thing going for awhile but has finally recommended 100k changes. But it reality this is a bit long for some people. It greatly depends on how the cars driven. To be on the safe side if the fluids changed every 50,000 miles or at least 75,000 miles your not likely to ever have problems. There is an issue with the tcc lockup valve that seems to occur a good bit and there are "shift kits" or direct kits that address these issues.

For those that have already started having problems. Get the fluid changed. Then find a mechanic that will do the kit for you that knows what they are doing. Even if you get ripped off on the cost of installing the kit its tons cheaper than buying a transmission

Kits range from $42 to about $75 normally. Install cost shouldnt be over $100 but depending on how people get done sometimes it may be a good bit higher. Buts thats less than thousands for a transmission. The tcc issue normally roasts the torque converter if not addressed fairly quickly.
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  #21  
Old 08-02-2012, 08:38 AM
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crowz crowz is online now
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As for it being a design fault its kind of a yes and no. There isnt anything wrong with the design of the transmission. Its the way its controlled by the computer in the car that causes the issues with the torque converter lockup solenoid. The valve itself could of be designed a bit more robust to solve this but the computer is the culprit.

The original lockup converter's were setup to flat out lock the converter up when you reached highways speeds. This greatly increase gas mileage by technically making the automatic transmission a stick shift by eliminating all slippage. Very efficient and worked great. But customers complained constantly about the harsh engagement. A kind of thud or thump when the converter fulling locked.

So in pretty much all cars they devised a plan to stop the complaining by slipping the converter into the locked state. Worked great. No more complaints. Converter life was shortened a bit but not to bad.

Of course engineers cant leave stuff alone. Since they now had partial engagement with this new system they found they could push gas mileage even further by using the converters locking system in other gears besides overdrive and several other "creative" uses for it.

This valve in the transmission was originally designed to lock the converter, period. Now it was meant to help with 10% lock, 20% lock etc up to finally being fully locked.

The computer controls all of this. So it gets worked to death. Again the reason some of you have issues at different mileage is because of your different driving styles and where you drive.

This slippage stuff going on with the converter also shortens the effective life of the fluid too. So the quality of the fluid degrades faster for some vs others. City driving is the worst on it.

The valve fails with time and binds up. The harsh shifting feeling is usually caused by the trans going to into full on pressure mode to get it to function after its started sticking.

Ive kind of simplified a few bits of this to try to make more sense.
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  #22  
Old 08-10-2012, 03:40 AM
sharland sharland is offline
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So I got the oil and filter changed. We also discovered that the guibo (rubber disk) was indeed worn so that was replaced as well.

The result is amazing. The car is totally different. I'm not sure how long the gearbox oil had been leaking however fixing that combined with the new guibo has made the shifts a lot smoother and the drive train feels much tighter.

The harsh downshift is still there to an extent but is no where near as bad. To get rid of this entirely I will need to get the software updated. But to be honest its now quite minor so im not in as much of a hurry to get this done.

As for the revs hunting when on part throttle at low speed, this appears to be fixed although I will need to do more driving to be absolutely sure.

Costs for the work so far in total inc parts has been £420.

I will report back once ive done a few more miles however I would suggest a good starting point for anyone getting the usual e65 gearbox problems would be to get the guibo changed. Inevitably after 100k+ miles this is going to get worn. The difference of replacing it is very noticeable indeed. I think in isolation that would have cost around £100 to replace. I would highly recommend to anyone with a higher mileage car.

Simon
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  #23  
Old 08-10-2012, 10:48 AM
msc123 msc123 is offline
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I can't believe it took me so long to find this site. I have worn myself out trying yo explain to my dealer the issues I am having with my transmission. It is comforting to know I am not crazy. This beast is mine for about 3-4 more weeks and I don't have the luxury of parking it until then. I have 133,000 miles and the main issue is the slamming when in first/second. I will look into the oil /filter change as well as the quibo. Thanks for the info.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:50 PM
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update your transmission ( EGS ) WITH daten ver. 46 software (7595863) the difference is like day and night .
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  #25  
Old 08-10-2012, 12:54 PM
johndade johndade is online now
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How long has that software update been out?

Sent from my Motorola Electrify using Bimmer App
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