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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Updates for E 38 A5S 440Z tranny oil/filter change.

Hi guys,

I have read couple DIY about the tranny flush and filter change and I would like together, with those who have done this, add some more useful info.

First, thanks to E38.ORG for a complete DIY. Also bimmerforums and bimmerboard.

# 1 step is to find out exactly what tranny model you have. You need to decode you vin # if you don't want to crawl under the car just for that. I used this link: http://www.bimmerspecialist.com/usa/pages/BMW VIN DECODER

# 2 step is to buy the filter , gasket,oil draining screw seal and oil pan screws .
Here comes the Questions : What filter brand should I go with ? OEM looks best choice but there's also a quite difference at the price. Some of the guys reported tranny sounds due to cheap oil filters which can cause oil starvation. Obviously you need a new gasket, but what about the oil pan screws? Draining seal is just for your peace of mind. Oil brand is again optional, you can check E38.org for a list of compatible oils.Capacity chart is in the pic. attached.

# 3 step is to think again if you will do it yourself or take the car to a shop. I personally will do it myself. This is my toy and my fun.

I was curious to know if you really let the car idling without tranny oil in it just to empty the torque converter. For me is a little bit risky to do that.

Questions :

What oil and filter brand have you used? Had any problems? Anybody used the meistershatz ?
Have you changed your oil pan screws? If not , have you had any leaks?
Do you let the car idling without oil in the pan to drain the torque converter?
About how much oil you were able to drain/fill? Please specify your E38's year.

Thank you for your input!
 

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I used the real Esso LT71141 fluid and it was not cheap. Back then, the research on compatible fluids was still inconclusive. It's now more readily available (like at BavAuto) and as a result, the price had come down a bit. Now you can also find other less expensive versions that specifically say they are LT71141 compatible.

But the filter? I've heard from too many people and mechanics not to consider anything besides OEM "Filtran."

For a service I plan to do every 80K miles, it wasn't worth skimping on the parts costs. (I mean, save a couple hundred bucks when I'll only do this service two or three times during the many years I will own the car?) Again, back then there was no clear alternative to the Esso and it retailed for over $25 per liter!
 

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#1 All years of the 750 have the 5HP30. The 740 used the 5HP30 until 12/1996, after that month/year, all 740s came with the 5HP24. I'm not sure if there is a difference between the step-tronic (sport model) and non-step-tronic 5HP24 models as far as internals or fluid capacity.

#2 I wouldn't replace any screws or bolts unless they were damaged, but the gaskets should be changed for sure.

#3 I did the work myself, but I worked at a shop at the time. I used a fluid pump to refill the transmission which made the job pretty easy, but if you don't have access to one, and all you have is one of those giant syringes that you buy at the auto parts store, prepare to lose a lot of fluid, take lots of time, and get very dirty.

I didn't drain the torque converter because I wanted a 50/50 mix of old and new fluid. But if you prefer to drain it, there is a drain plug on the torque converter itself, there is no need to start the car to drain it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks Balance,
I called BMW of Des Moines here in IA ( where I recently moved) and they told me that I need o take there the filter in order to give me the right one. I gave them my VIN and they still said there are 2 types at least, and they need to order both. I also gave them the part # that MWong mentioned above and still no luck. I asked for my curiosity about the oil price and I was told it will be $16-$20/ half liter. That means $32-40/qt! Can you believe that? I just think I had bad luck and an incompetent answered the phone....
I have the oil already but still want to buy an OEM filter.
 

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I did this myself with a lot of help from balance. I used the valvoline maxlife fluid and a febi billstien filter. Transmission was surging a bit and also making the ever popular " whirring " noise. I had to put my car on jacks, no access to a lift and I purchased a cheap fluid pump and don additional tubing as the one that came with the pump was to short. Did not change screws out just cleaned them to look like new as there was no apparent damage to them. Only needed help towards the end of the project when pumping fluid in and when going through the gears to ensure you have it topped off.3000 miles since and it shifts like new.2000 740 ol

Sent from my PC36100 using Bimmer App
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update :

I finally got around and changed my tranny filter and some of the oil.
I used the filtran filter , part # mentioned by M.Wong above which does not come with the O-ring neither the gasket unless you buy the kit. If not ordering the kit make sure You order them separately. For oil I went with Valvoline max life with the BMW specification.

For those curious about the difference between cheap and OEM :
First I ordered the Meistersatz oil filter because I got fooled by the german name (meister shatz in german means = masterfull babe) and I thought it's made in Germany. I said to myself that it is a trusty part if it's german build and it was on sale so I got double fooled. Of course after I received the part it was not mention anything about the origin country so it turned out to be a market scam for me. I ordered the OEM from local stealer. I have inspected both filters and at the first look they are identical.There is a difference in the texture of the material in them and some numbers there don't match. So definitely
I don't recommend anything but OEM/filtran

Tips for the DIY :

-after you put the car on Jacks take the spare wheel and slide it under the car too. Better safe than sorry...
-like the oil pan stated there : OPEN ONLY AT TEMPERATURES BETWEEN 30C-50C!
-you can use a infrared thermometer($30) and read temperature from the oil cooler line not the oil pan !
-instead of getting dirty and fry your hands on the exhaust when pumping oil in the tranny, use the gravity to refill, and use your wife's mirror to watch the overflow, check the pictures attached.
-use a 8mm hex bit for your drain and filler plug and a T27 torx bit for your pan screws. Make sure you seat them all the way before turning
- THERE IS NO DRAIN PLUG ON THE A5S 440Z TORQUE CONVERTER AND NO WASHER FOR DRAIN PLUG OR FILLER PLUG ! If you find either one send me a picture and I will send you a 12 pk!
- I torque pan bolts to 10 NM, drain plug to 30 NM and filler plug to 35 NM.
- recheck fluid level after driving couple miles

I have to mentioned that my transmission has 150K miles even on the factory oil and filter and does not ,,act" in any way. Still about 150-200ml oil it was missing so I recommend check fluid level and color before it starts to ,,act". I am doing this change for preventing maintenance only. I only hope that I did not move the dirt to sensible holes when doing that.Small chances but is possible.

Check the pictures with the dirty oil and filter and remember them when THEY are saying that it's LIFETIME. I consider my car as being resurrected anyway since I changed the engine on it.

I was able to drain about 6.2 QT and fill 6.4 QT. Out of 9 QT capacity is pretty decent. The difference of 2.6 QT isin the T. Converter and Valve body.

After I road tested runs good and since I had no problems with it I can't mentioned about any change. I definitely will sleep better knowing that I removed the dirt and black fluid from it.

Good Luck and Be safe !!
 

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Nice post Joyism5. Ive still yet to get around to changing mine, after i found the Drain plug and Fill plug to be stripped. I havent tried your method yet that you posted to me on a previous post.
I like your gravity method. Basically like a blood transfusion. Very McGyver like (SP?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thx!... McGyver yeah...I actually enjoyed that movie at that time :rofl::rofl::rofl:
I actually got it done pretty easy and clean.

Keep in mind to recheck the level after driving couple miles and after is cooling overnight.I had to add more the very next day. Better safe than sorry. As soon as the fluid passes the 50C temperature the fluid will start to overflow more than it should be. So if you are passing this temp range let it cool and start again later.

Keep me posted with your plugs, I am curious how they will come off. I will keep the fingers crossed.

Good Luck !
 

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Well, it looks like I gave you the wrong information when it came to the drain plug on the torque converter. On my 5HP30, it is there, and there is a circular cut-out on the bottom of the bell housing with a removable rubber plug to reach it. I wonder why they didn't put this on the 5HP24, maybe they considered it redundant with the "lifetime" fluid.:tsk::D

Sorry about that man.

And ou18, since they are stripped, why don't you order new drain and fill plugs, and drill out the old ones after you take the pan off of the car? It may make it easier depending on how badly they are stripped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Well, it looks like I gave you the wrong information when it came to the drain plug on the torque converter. On my 5HP30, it is there
No problem . I appreciate your input anyway. I really do. Honestly I would check that anyway , and I thought there is one too before starting the thread since there is a rubber piece (square in my case) on the bell housing. I turned the engine couple times by hand and nope. I posted the ,,no found" in the thread, in case that somebody looks for it , they don't waste the time.

It was nice to have one but, that's it.
 

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Maybe someone can figure this one out...
I used to have the metallic whirring noise when my car first starting driving, which would go away as soon as some heat built up. I had my transmission filter changed with what Bimmersp. site said was Filtran (and had markings on it) and indie used Royal Purple equivalent (to Esso). Now my transmission makes this noise ALL THE TIME, most noticeably in gears 1 and 2, and doesn't shift as friendly either. All I can think is the filter is incorrect OR the Royal Purple isn' t very compatible OR the level is low. When we took the old filter out, the oil was mildly discolored but no debris, all looked great. Now I'm regretting changing it at all!
Any advise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
First I do not have a training in automatic transmissions nor the BMW's transmissions.
This is my opinion:
Metallic whirring sound (from what I read and I read a lot) it's due to oil starvation. The oil starvation could be due to filter clogged or low fluid level.

Question : Did your indy checked the fluid level before draining?

A metallic whirring sound not all the time can be cured with an oil change. One of the reason that BMW technicians says that don't touch it is because when you open the tranny it will absorb invisible metallic dust , and the other reason is that when you drain the oil the dirt will move in it as well. Imagine your kitchen sink full of dirty water and you taking out the drain plug. In the valve body and not only , there are tiny holes that could be clogged with that dirt. There is a small chance but there is.

Question : Have you checked the fluid level after driving it couple miles? In my case I had to add more. Only driving it will fully disperse fluid in all gears.

What transmission do you have ? Does the torque converter has a drain plug? If yes, did your indy drain the fluid from it? If not you still have some old oil in your tranny .

What I could recommend is check the fluid color and level again. If the color is not clean enough I will do at least a partial flush with that purple oil.

If that will not cure it, I would take the car to a shop where they can hook up the BMW software and read the car ECM while you driving it. They can tell , comparing the data obtained when and how your tranny is shifting at what speeds and temperatures. That should give a right diagnosis.

My opinion again, Good Luck!
 

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When I did mine, we put her up on the rack (at a tranny shop) and took the pan down and replaced the filter with dealer part. Then cleaned the pan and magnets. We put the pan back on with a new gasket and then filled the trans with new fluid (Esso). THEN we loosened the cooler return line and started it up (after letting her cool down), and I watched the fluid come out into a big bucket as a mechanic was pumping the new fluid in the fill hole. We made sure not to let her starve for oil. Finally, the oil came out looking new. (12 qts). My trans shifts great (knock on wood) and have completely replaced all fluid.
 

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Well,
Finally got it done. WHAT A PITA this was. The drain plug was completely stripped, but figuring there is more than one way to conquer this and get it done i forged on.

So what I did was

#1 - jacked the car up at the font and put on jack stands. The fill plug wasnt stripped after all. So i opened that up. Oil started draining out the fill plug due to the angle i had the car at.
#2 - Once oil stopped coming from the fill plug, i jacked it up even higher with the hydraulic jack and more drained out, obviously i wasnt under the car at this point.
#3 - After no more came out, i lowered it back onto the stands and began loosening the torx bolts. Which by the way, to me, is the worst invention ever. But anyway.I began at the back of the pan, and took them out completely and then started working toward the front loosening them but not removing them. The pan began to drop at the rear emptying more fluid from the pan into my oil catcher.
#4 - I jacked the car up again on the hydro jack to increase the angle, more came out. Once this stopped. I lowered the car back onto the jackstands,
#5 - lifted the back of the car onto stands, and proceeded to remove the pan and filter. Cleaned up the pan, magnets put the pan back on and let sit over nite.
#6 - Emptied another litre of fluid.
#7 - reversed the entire process and put her back together.

Never did replace the drain plug. But I now know it can be done without getting it out. Drove the car last nite for about 30 minutes. Will put back on stands and check the level and fill as needed.

I do however think i may have a converter issue as the slight hesitation\surge is still there between 1500 and 1800 rpms under very lite acceleration.

Anyway, just thought i would share on my tranny experience. Thanks to all for your advice on this procedure. This forum is great...

regards
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's great , you got it done!:thumbup:
And funny ...At that point I didn't thought about draining the fluid without taking the plug off...I bet it was a mess around :D
And is a good news that your filler plug is not stripped!
I don't know what to say about the torque converter, but I hope that will not get worse.

Take care and see ya around....:D
 

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Just gotta think outside the transmission pan i guess. Took me a bit to figure it out. And it really wasnt a mess. it was actually kind of clean to be honest.
Just went slow and didnt rush it. It could definitely get messy if your impatient.

Yeah im going to check the levels this week on the car and make sure they are good.

Funny thing. I have one of those Laser temp gauges. Decided to do a test even though i knew the answer but wanted to see how drastic a difference it was.

Checked the hood of my car in the sun (keep in mind, its black) at Noon in SFLA, ,,,,175 degrees F

Checked my truck hood 1 minute later, its silver, 135 degrees F.

Big difference in color and heat...
 

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Sorry to resurrect this post, but I have a quick question from the tranny gods. I have had the oil replaced in my 2001 740iL recently and I can see that I have a slow leak from on of the lines attached to the transmission cooler. The fluid level has not gone down noticeably when I check the reservoir. My guess is that this has been this way for at least the last year (prior to my purchase last month). Question, what is my risk level to have this go for a few thousand miles or so or should I get it fixed immediately? I don't have any symptoms with the transmission, it shifts fine, no funny noises, etc. Any help would be great.
 
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