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habbyguy 04-02-2020 05:36 PM

Post-transmission fluid change problem
And it was going SO well...

Yesterday, I did a transmission fluid change on my 130,000 mile 2006 530xiT. I replaced the pan, and the Mechatronics sleeve, tubes and square double-seal. It all seemed to go fine, and I refilled the fluid per the instructions (took about 6-7 quarts). I reset the transmission oil counter and adaptations via ISTA. Took it out for a "training drive" and was about 90% done with the suggested process.

Suddenly I got a boatload of error messages, including A0B1, CD99, CD9E, CD9D, CDB0, 55C3, CF5E, D358, A3AA.

And those were pretty much all at once. I don't seem to be able to connect - at all - to the transmission with my OBD device (an Autophix handheld). I haven't bothered trying to hook up the ISTA machine, because I'm 99% sure it's also going to tell me it cant talk to the transmission.

Looking back over my job, the only thing I can think of is that somehow the sleeve wasn't installed correctly, and the connector has backed away from the transmission's plug. The instructions call for a 2-3mm gap between the transmission case and the locking ring on the car's connector. Hard to say (since it's so hard to get to) but it's clearly a few mm more than that - if I had to guess, I'd say 5-6mm.

I THINK I got the sleeve in OK - I rotated it until I felt it "sync up" with the housing, and was able to push it in (I thought fully in). I was able to push the locking tab down without difficulty, but could feel that it was "against something" - pretty much like I'd expect it to if its tabs were riding down a slot in the sleeve. The rotating lock-ring seems to be fully engaged - I can't turn it any more with what feels like "more than enough force", and I certainly don't want to break it off... the instructions suggest rotating it until "snug" and I've done that and a lot more.

Any words of wisdom out there from folks who've done this process before? Did I miss anything?

Mainly, is it possible to not get the sleeve entirely seated (but almost!) and still push the locking tab inside the tranny down?

THANKS! :thumbup:

scottalexander 04-02-2020 07:43 PM

1 Attachment(s)
The CTSC did a write up on this.

They highlighted the pin misalignment possibility when reassembling.

See red arrow.

habbyguy 04-02-2020 08:24 PM

Thanks for the diagram. I was just on The CTSC website, and wasn't able to locate that troubleshooting guide (looks like it would be good to be able to follow the troubleshooting beyond the one page). I'm hoping it's not a pin pushed in, given the location of / access to that plug. But I suppose it's probably possible to wrestle enough slack to get it down where I could work on the connector if necessary.

scottalexander 04-03-2020 06:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
You said you were just on The CTSC website, and weren't able to locate that troubleshooting guide.

I've attached the full CTSC document where I extracted the earlier picture I sent you.

habbyguy 04-03-2020 08:19 AM

Thanks! I really (!) appreciate the document. I guess the prudent thing to do would be to check for a pushed-in pin first (since that doesn't require draining the tranny and dropping the pan off). I do know for a fact that the lockring for the connector is more than the specified 3.0mm from the case, though do have to wonder if the pins are so short that it makes a big difference (electrically). There's probably 3mm more gap there, so - unless I find that pushed-in pin, I'll be pulling the Mechatronics sleeve out and trying to re-seat it deeper (it sure seemed like it was in as far as it was going to go, but I might find something amiss).

I'm also going to explore removing something - anything - from the area to give me better access to the plug. It's SO tight that it took me longer to get the plug inserted than it did to swap out the pan and the tubes / seals.

scottalexander 04-03-2020 08:56 AM

In the document I gave you there was a picture showing the required 3.0mm space required at the connector. That was a key activity during the job.

You say I might be pulling the Mechatronics sleeve out again and trying to re-seat it deeper (it sure seemed like it was in as far as it was going to go, but I might find something amiss).

Here are some fun facts I collected recently on this topic:

o To get the new mechatronic sleeve back in far enough to be able to close the white clip, try cutting a little chunk of a 2 x 2 wood (which actually measures 1 and 1/2 x 1 and 1/2) about 1 and 1/2 inch long

o It will be cube shaped. Rest that little block of wood squarely against the edge of the sleeve, and then using a pry bar, push it into the valve body while at the same time closing the white clip. You just can’t push the sleeve hard enough with fingers

o Remember, when replacing the bridge seal, sleeve seals, the mechatronic sleeve, make sure you disconnect the battery first (while no one else does this, you just never know how the ‘your’ car will react).

scottalexander 04-03-2020 12:16 PM

1 Attachment(s)
In hind sight I just had another idea.

Before you pull out the old mechatronic sleeve, you get some of your wife’s pink nail polish. If she doesn’t have any, just ask your girlfriend.

Now place a line of pink nail polish on the old sleeve (see picture attached).

Take the old sleeve out. Line it up with the new sleeve and put a pink line in the same place on the new sleeve. Now you know exactly how far it should be pushed in.

habbyguy 04-03-2020 01:29 PM

Good idea (other than a girlfriend who wears pink nail polish...).

In this case, the horse is out of the barn (and the old sleeve is in the dumpster). I do think I'll do the same thing (with a silver sharpie pen I use for things like this) on the new sleeve already in the tranny, and then push it in "with vigor" (and a pry bar this time). If the silver mark disappears, I'll know it's fully seated.

I think I'm the victim (hate to use that word though) of some semi-misleading info. From what I'd read, it's impossible to close the sleeve latch unless the sleeve is fully inserted. I believe that's not true. I also read (several places) procedures for installing the sleeve that just involve pushing it home with your fingers (and no mention of having to be able to puncture plywood with those fingers to qualify).

The good news is that I'll know for sure whether that's the problem soon... spent the morning running around... now it's time to get greasy (again). First job - scrubbing out my catch pans so I'll be able to re-use the fluid, or at least most of it (had a couple quarts of new fluid left and will put that in first when I button it all back up).

habbyguy 04-03-2020 04:39 PM

Well, back from the garage, and now cleaned up enough to test-drive (after I re-reset the adaptations - don't want to risk driving in limp mode screwing up any of the parameters).

I turned the lockring on the connector, and almost immediately got a steady drip-drip-drip of fluid. I didn't really have to go any further than that to know that I really DID have to fix the position of the sleeve. Happily, this also means that I didn't have to fight, wriggle, and bruise myself getting that connector lined up again.

Drained the fluid (into a carefully washed pan) and used a 1x2 about 18" long to wedge between the plug and the transfer case (or mount). That gave me enough umph to sink the sleeve to what is apparently 2.5 to 3mm. I'd inscribed a silver line on the previously protruding portion of the sleeve, and it's clearly quite a bit further into the case now.

TAKEAWAY FOR DIY'ers LOOKING FOR ADVICE: Do what scottalexander suggests, and use something (preferably something sort of soft, like wood) to press the Mechatronics sleeve into the tranny case, or you'll never get it in far enough.

Did a quick check with my handheld scanner, and lo and behold, the tranny is back! Reset all the (MANY!) error codes, and everything looks good.

Put the pan back on (torqueing it to spec again) and filled the tranny with the fluid that I just took out. FWIW, it looked pretty good for having had just one drain-and-fill process. Not pristine, but not the dark, evil looking stuff that came out when I drained it initially.

Now I just have to go drive around in circles and train the tranny to shift again. I'm confident this time it'll go a bit better.

Thanks, scottalexander, for your invaluable help. I owe you a couple adult beverages if you ever make it to Mesa, AZ (soon to be too warm for the COVID-19 virus to survive!).

scottalexander 04-03-2020 05:59 PM

Good work on re-seating the mechatronic sleeve.

As they say in New York, your transmission will now shift as smooth as butta.

I'm toasting your success with a 'cold one' as I write.

plus1111 04-03-2020 09:55 PM

There is a trick to seating the mechatronic sleeve that I just learned the hard way. Unfortunately you will have to drop the pan again. When setting the latch on the mechatronic that holds the sleeve, you have to push the sleeve into the transmission while engaging the locking latch. I had intermittent errors and stuff for a year after I did mine. A few weeks ago I dropped the pan and this time I used a pry bar to push the sleeve in a bit more. I actually did this with the connector plugged in and screwed down. It's a bit of a trick because you can push it too far and it won't latch. I pressed mine in then slowly released the pressure until the latch locked. I measured it and was just under 3mm. It had been almost 5mm before. Very smooth operation since.

habbyguy 04-04-2020 04:22 PM

Thanks, scottalexander. Drove around today, enjoying those "butta-smooth" shifts.

Plus1111, I'd relied on the suggestion that if the latch would seat, the sleeve was in the right position. Not so (obviously).

It's a bit surprising to me that just a few mm is enough to cause a non-connection. On mine, I'd guesstimate that it was at 6mm, and it worked fine - for 90% of the "training drive", then failed hard and long... never cut in and out. I can only guess that it wiggled another mm out of position during the drive.

Pressing it back in place with the plug in place was an utter joy, having taken at least an hour to wrestle that cursed plug into alignment with the tranny connector previously. ;-) It was a little frustrating to have to drain the tranny and remove the pan, but compared to messing with that plug... not too bad.

plus1111 04-04-2020 08:18 PM

That is exactly how I felt after I finally fixed it.

scottalexander 04-05-2020 06:13 AM

The habbyGuy transmission story is inspiring. Here's why.

This BMW forum is priceless, but what this forum doesn't have is Knowledge Management organization.

For example, we all use RealOEM and without it working on the vehicle would be so much more difficult if not impossible.

Look at how RealOEM is defined into clear sections so you can go right to the section you need, figure out how the parts all fit together, and start ordering parts.

It would be valuable for this forum to have similar sections.

For example, a ZF transmission section.

Are you doing XYZ transmission job today on your ZF 6HP19?

If so, make sure you do this:

4. and so on

By the way, make sure you DON'T do this:

4. and so on

Some might say these work plans have already been compiled on the forum.

With all the spectacular knowledge and experience we have on the forum, the forum is just not 'categorized' like RealOEM to increase the margin for success when we do maintenance.

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