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E34 525IT Transmission Fluid Change

Discussion in 'E34 (1989-1995)' started by kevinheap, Jan 13, 2009.

    kevinheap guest

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    Car bought with 88,000 miles 3 years old and was very well maintained by meticulous Dr.

    I assume a change of trans fluid was done but not sure. I believe this is a good move for the vehicle that now has 112,000 and most all our driving is around town.

    I have the kit from Pelican with new drain and filler seal and plan to drain and refill with dex-2. I will get it good and warm before the job and check level with coolant at 86-134 degrees F per Bentley (approx.).

    I will have the car 4 jacks or ramps in front and jack in back if it will work and jack from front and rear crossmembers. I need to review rear jack points locations but thats okay.

    I plan to fill container above car with enough dex 2 to fill the transmission then siphon it into the fill plug.

    Any comment on my modus operandi would be welcome.
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    granthr

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    I am not familiar with this trans. But I do have one recommendation. Buy a fluid pump! It will make your life so much easier!!! BMP Design and Bavaian Autosport sells them, they have different designs. I have one of each design. One for my auto trans fluid and the other for manual trans and final drive. They make for a quick and easy job.

    GR
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    mooseheadm5

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    I think I wrote up a little bit of a tutorial on that trans fluid change for someone else (it may have been for an E36, but it is the same trans.) Do a search (I am too lazy.) It is a GM trans with 2 pans and a little bit of a pain without a helper. It may take up to 6 quarts of fluid, depending upon how much you get out (basically how long you let it drain.)

    kevinheap guest

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    Thanks I will let it drain a long time. The pump idea from the previous member was a good idea too.

    I wish there was some way to do an analysis on the fluid to judge the tranny condition like they do on oil but you would need to have a baseline to work off of I believe.

    Sorry to be so enthusiastic. This wrenching is addictive and the beemers are in my blood.
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    granthr

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    Kevin:

    I am the person who Paul is referring to. I did not realize we had the same trans. My trans came with lifetime fluid in it. I replaced my fluid a couple weeks ago. It went smoothly with out issue. Afterwards I went for a high speed drive in 3rd, to make sure any loose dirt got sucked up into the new filter. Here is the exchange of Paul and myself. It was in the post, "What is the best car for an 18 year old" Also Pelican Parts has a good write up, but don't run the car in drive with the wheels full droop!!!!! Here is there article. http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Tranny_Fluid_Auto/E36-Tranny_Fluid_Auto.htm

    The names in () are those whom is writing/speaking whatever you call it in threads!


    (Grant)
    Paul:

    I am planning to change the automatic trans fluid in my wife's 328is (man 2/98,, 95K miles). I got the filter kit, pan bolts, Esso Lifetime fluid, crush washers, etc. I have the bentley manual. So I think I am all set to go to change the fluid.

    I have to work outside to do this. Will the cold weather cause any problems for me (PA). I know the trans needs to be warm (not hot or cold). Any tips you can give on this procedure?

    Thank you for the great advice!

    (Paul)
    My best tip is to make friends with someone that has a lift inside

    Make sure you have a fluid transfer pump and a helper. I believe that your wife's car has the GM trans (correct me if I am mistaken) with two pans. Get one of those big square transmission drain funnel things to catch all the fluid. Place it in your drain pan on a large piece of cardboard under the car which should be on ramps or on flat, level surface on GOOD jack stands. Loosen fill plug. If yours has a drain plug, then loosen that (I can't remember.) Remove the front pan, it'll be messy. Remove rear pan. remove filter and let things drain for a while as you enjoy an Irish coffee. Your neck and arms should be pretty sore right now. Clean all traces of the pan gasket from both pans and the trans surface. I use a razor blade, and sometimes have to break it in half to get the surfaces between the two pans. I clamp it in a pair of good needle nose vice grips. Make sure not to gouge anything. Clean the metal shavings from the magnet in the bottom of the pan. I use a little sealant on the gasket, but only very little. It is not absolutely necessary, but I do it anyway. I like Yamabond 4 (does not set up hard like RTV) or the very thinnest skim coat of black RTV you can manage. I mean thin. If that crap gets in your trans, you will be mad. Anyhow, reassemble. I tend to fill both pans halfway before installing them, but that is not easy on the ground- it is not super essential, but if you don't you have to pump in more fluid by hand. You will be hating life as you install a gazillion locktite coated bolts. Do not under or overtorque them! I find if you go by the book, they are mildly undertorqued and will weep fluid. If you go too tight, you will kill the gasket. The weather should not be a problem, because by the time your assistant starts the car and runs it through the gears once (foot on brake,) you top up and check while it runs in park, assistant runs through gears again (foot on brake,) and you check and top up yet again, and maybe a third time, it will be the correct temperature for you. Make sure you use a good wrench on the fill plug when removing and finally tightening it or you will bugger it up and hate life. If you think you might mess it up, buy one preemptively. It may take between 6-8 qts if you let it drain long enough.


    (Grant)
    Thanks Paul!!! You are the best.

    This is the confidence I needed! I have read the bentley a number of times and they are just so cautious. Kind of annoying, the old bentley on my e30s doesn't have that tone. I have quality jack stands and floor jack, so jacking is not an issue. I have had this car up a few times now. I also bought a new fluid pump, since I used MTL in my old one. Yes I believe I have the GM unit. It has the two pans. I am ready to tackle this beast now!

    Thanks again!!!

    GR


    (Grant)
    Originally Posted by mooseheadm5
    Let me know if you have any further questions.
    I think I am pretty good to go. Really my main concern was needing to have a warm transmission to do the change. I think I warm it up a little before hand, maybe around the block a couple times and then do the change. Thanks for the tips on the razor blade, etc. I have been afraid to use a razor blade to remove a gasket in the past. I will be careful.

    Thanks again!,
    Grant


    (MGarrision & Paul)
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MGarrison
    Grant, Paul - can you run the car in gear without damaging the halfshaft u-joints? For an E30, I think the Bentley manual claims doing so with the rear suspension at full droop might harm the u-joints, but I don't know if that might apply in this case.
    Foot on brake the whole time Granthr! Just cycle up and down the gears a couple of times between top-ups to run the pump and fill the valve body.
    Sometimes you have no choice but to run them in gear at full droop, but it is not good for them, and you should only do it when there is no other choice and you have a specific reason.
    __________________
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    granthr

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    Actually it is best this info is here. It was tough to find where this exchange took place. By the way who got that thread off topic!!! Chris, Botond :D

    GR
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    granthr

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    Another P.S. here. Kevin make sure to use a lint free towel to wipe out the pan, you don't want anything in there afterwards. So I would also suggest blowing it out with compressed air at the end when it is all clean.

    Good Luck.
    GR
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    mooseheadm5

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    Yeah, I didn't mention about cleaning the pan, but you must. I have a parts washer at the shop, but cleaning in solvent or detergent (purple stuff or simple green) is a good idea.

    kevinheap guest

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    Two question off the top of my head and thanks so very much for your time in getting that great post to me.

    1. What is this droop you speak of? Rear wheels hanging free?

    2. Could you not suck out alot of the fluid with your fluid pump to make the pan drop cleaner?
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    mooseheadm5

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    1. Yes
    2. No

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