DIY F15 Transfer Case Fluid change done. - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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X5 F15 (2014 - 2017)
The all new F15 BMW X5 started production August 2013 as a 2014 model year. The new X5 arrives in sDrive35i (RWD), xDrive35i, xDrive50i and a diesel xDrive 35d.

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  #1  
Old 04-07-2020, 11:32 AM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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DIY F15 Transfer Case Fluid change done.

As the title says, I finally was able to change the Fluid (Gear oil) in our '15 X5 3.5l xDrive, without removing the transmission cross member, so I thought I'd post what I did to help others if they decide to tackle DYI maintenance task.
1. In my case, I put the X5 on car ramps in the front & rear. (I used stepped boards for the rear to try to get the car as level as possible since I don't have a lift)
2. From underneath the car, I was able to insert a 14mm Hex that I attached to my 14mm ratchet wrench. I put a layer of clear tape on the hex to make it a light press fit in the wrench so it wouldn't fall out.
3. There is enough room to get the wrench w/hex between the cross member & transfer case & then get the Hex into the Fill plug hex socket. (see pic)
4. Loosen & remove the filler plug.
5. I inserted a small "J" tube that I had for sucking out rear differential fluid in my other "no drain plug" BMW's and used a homemade vacuum pump that uses compressed air to suck out all the fluid. (See pic)
6. I removed approx 17 oz (500 ml) of oil fluid (see picture attached) which was pretty brown in color.
7. I then used a small hand pump with clear tubbing to fill the case until fluid came out of the fill hole.
8. Re-install the fill plug & clean the area with brake cleaner. This way I can verify if I have a leak in the future instead of seeing the fill overflow fluid stain. If you clean it well after finishing, you will be able to see if it's leaking later after driving for a while.
9. I used the BMW specified fluid DFT 1 which is a SAE 75W Transfer Case Fluid.

Let me know if you have any questions & I hope this helps others. BTW, the X5 has 74k miles on it when I finally got around to it. After the COVID-19 quarantine time, I'll have my local BMW tech do the transfer case clutch reset.
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  #2  
Old 04-09-2020, 01:01 PM
DI54 DI54 is offline
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Pretty useful info, thank you for the post.
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  #3  
Old 04-09-2020, 03:27 PM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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Originally Posted by DI54 View Post
Pretty useful info, thank you for the post.
@DI54....I don't have an edit button to edit my above post to show you the picture of the 14MM Hex that I used, so I'll post it here. I bought the Hex set at Harbor Freight. You can take a punch & knock the Hex Bit out of the Socket holder, as shown in the picture. Now you have a short approx. (1 1/8"LG) Hex Bit that you can use with a wrench if needed. Hope this helps. I wish I had an EDIT button!
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2020, 06:02 AM
ninja250 ninja250 is offline
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Have you performed the calibration of the TC?



Quote:
Originally Posted by rav31 View Post
As the title says, I finally was able to change the Fluid (Gear oil) in our '15 X5 3.5l xDrive, without removing the transmission cross member, so I thought I'd post what I did to help others if they decide to tackle DYI maintenance task.
1. In my case, I put the X5 on car ramps in the front & rear. (I used stepped boards for the rear to try to get the car as level as possible since I don't have a lift)
2. From underneath the car, I was able to insert a 14mm Hex that I attached to my 14mm ratchet wrench. I put a layer of clear tape on the hex to make it a light press fit in the wrench so it wouldn't fall out.
3. There is enough room to get the wrench w/hex between the cross member & transfer case & then get the Hex into the Fill plug hex socket. (see pic)
4. Loosen & remove the filler plug.
5. I inserted a small "J" tube that I had for sucking out rear differential fluid in my other "no drain plug" BMW's and used a homemade vacuum pump that uses compressed air to suck out all the fluid. (See pic)
6. I removed approx 17 oz (500 ml) of oil fluid (see picture attached) which was pretty brown in color.
7. I then used a small hand pump with clear tubbing to fill the case until fluid came out of the fill hole.
8. Re-install the fill plug & clean the area with brake cleaner. This way I can verify if I have a leak in the future instead of seeing the fill overflow fluid stain. If you clean it well after finishing, you will be able to see if it's leaking later after driving for a while.
9. I used the BMW specified fluid DFT 1 which is a SAE 75W Transfer Case Fluid.

Let me know if you have any questions & I hope this helps others. BTW, the X5 has 74k miles on it when I finally got around to it. After the COVID-19 quarantine time, I'll have my local BMW tech do the transfer case clutch reset.
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  #5  
Old 04-27-2020, 05:43 AM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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Have you performed the calibration of the TC?
No, Not yet. Staying at home during these COVID-19 times. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure if it makes a ton of difference. All the Reset does is find the max & min positions of the transfer case clutch actuator to compensate for any wear that may have occurred since the new or last rest. I'm not trying to say that it's not needed, but I know how these German engs. think. Sometimes, they make it over complicated. I'll have my local BMW mech. do the reset at our next BMW CCA dinner, whenever that will happen. He does it for me as a favor. It takes all on 1 min to do. I just don't have the software & computer to do it. Thanks for the comment.
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:29 PM
ninja250 ninja250 is offline
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It makes some difference on how the TC presses the clutch plates together - too much squeeze and the TC will be gone.

I have pulled out and replaced the TC internals in my X3 that broke at 80k. There is a design error in their ATC450 boxes - the clutch pack wears out very quickly and you end up with RWD only and no ABS and ATC - most of the E83 model has a serious issue with that box. With the ATC450 it is key to change the oil every 15-20k and calibrate it, otherwise it is a miserable ride, LOTS of grinding noises.

The F15 X5 has a newer TC, ATC 45L, but it looks very similar on the inside and I fear it may break too.

I calibrated the TC yesterday with a running engine, successfully, but it says do it with the engine shut-off. It drives good, no issues, no grinding, very smooth, it said it calibrated by 2 degrees, whatever it means.

I run ISTA+ to diagnose and calibrate, but get a ton of error messages (mainly interrupted communications with the car). On the X3 I used DIS - super slow but worked well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rav31 View Post
No, Not yet. Staying at home during these COVID-19 times. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure if it makes a ton of difference. All the Reset does is find the max & min positions of the transfer case clutch actuator to compensate for any wear that may have occurred since the new or last rest. I'm not trying to say that it's not needed, but I know how these German engs. think. Sometimes, they make it over complicated. I'll have my local BMW mech. do the reset at our next BMW CCA dinner, whenever that will happen. He does it for me as a favor. It takes all on 1 min to do. I just don't have the software & computer to do it. Thanks for the comment.
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  #7  
Old 04-27-2020, 03:06 PM
DI54 DI54 is offline
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I did very similar to what you did.. after changing the oil--I suspected it was previously never changed and the vehicle is @110K--I was able to add 650 ml of oil. Then with the engine off using ISTA+ I reset the TC. So far so good, it's working fine and hopefully continues without any issues.
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Old 04-29-2020, 07:20 AM
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Good info here, thanks.
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Old 04-30-2020, 03:34 AM
panjap panjap is offline
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on F15 it has no need to reset TC unlike E70 it need to calibrate TC when change tranfer case oil.
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:00 AM
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^^^^ +!
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:21 AM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panjap View Post
on F15 it has no need to reset TC unlike E70 it need to calibrate TC when change tranfer case oil.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
^^^^ +!
@panjap & Doug...... Interesting comment about TC not needed to reset. Could you explain the reasoning for this comment? I know the ATC45L is the newer version than the earlier xDrives & uses less than the fluid requirements that I had with our E83 X3's. I will assume that BMW has engineered the F15's to run more as rear-wheel-drive car & the clutching may be used less on dry surfaces & becomes more active on slick surfaces. Just my opinion.
I found this video yesterday for an E70, wished I found it earlier, that did the fluid change the same as I did. He did the reset & it only showed a 0.2 deg change. I feel most issues with the transfer case & driving issues are caused more by tire differences from front to rear, making the car think your losing traction & tries to adjust. Would love to hear comments.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:34 AM
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I believe that the classification resistor accomplishes what you are concerned with. In no BMW document that I have read is it even suggested to change the classification resistor. The procedure to change the classification resistor that I recall requires a test fixture. I have read many NewTIS TC maintenance procedures and recall none that mention readaptation. I do not recall reading a procedure to change the clutch pack.

I was associated, as a professional, with the service of 20,000 Hp, 200 RPM multi-plate wet clutches - plural, perhaps two dozen - and recall no analogous requirement.

I have never seen an authoritative document directing transfer case readaptation. Absence of evidence (seen) is not evidence of absence (of the requirement), it is merely evidence of lax technical standards.
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Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
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