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Manual Trans Fluid Change e36

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by phanley, Mar 14, 2008.

    • Member

    phanley

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    I'm attempting to change the transmission fluid on my 96 328, but the filler plug is on there pretty tight-at least I didn't find that out after I had drained the fluid. Before I put a ton of force into it, I want to make check that:
    a. the plug isn't reverse threaded
    b. tips for getting the plug loosened

    The car is on jack stands, so I only have so much room to work with. I have used a 1.5' pipe on the end of my wrench and liquid wrench to no avail.

    As always, any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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    mjweimer

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    The plug is a standard thread so righty tighty - lefty loosey applies.

    The 1.5' pipe on your wrench may not be enough leverage to get the plug broken free.

    I would try a larger piece of pipe or a large breaker bar/socket combo.

    Matt
    • Member

    327350

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    On my 330ci the plugs are not reverse threaded...

    they are just like you'd expect, right hand thread. But the first time removing them is hell. They are very tight. I wound up using a breaker bar and impact socket and it took all I had to get them loose. I guess BMW figures that since that's "lifetime" fluid in there, no reason to make it convienent to get back in the trannie..

    When you finally do get them out and service the transmission, on the reinstall some very light thread sealant will suffice along with about 40ft lbs of torque. I use a Ace hardware liquid teflon sealer - works good and will make it easier next time. Cheers!
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    mjweimer

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    Good tip on the Ace Hardware liquid teflon sealer.

    I have been trying to determine the best product to use for the forthcoming fluid changes on both of the E46's.

    I'll give this a try.

    Matt
    • Member

    327350

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    You can email Redline oil

    Got redlineoil.com and find their contact section on the site. Tell them about the car and they'll back to you pretty quick. I'm willing to bet your trannie takes MTL which is a 70/90 wt GL4 lubricant. Cheers!
    • Member

    phanley

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    Thanks for the advice! I look foreward to finally getting this done.
    As for the trans fluid, I've bought royal purple synchromax as I've heard good things about it.
    • Member

    mjweimer

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    I recently purchased some Royal Purple Syncromax but have not yet had time to change the trans. fluid.

    Post your feedback after the change, I will be curious if you notice smoother shifting, etc.
    • Member

    phanley

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    Will do. It'll be about a week before I do though. I have to deal with a DME replacement first and the car will be in the shop for a couple days.
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    mneidert

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    This reply is a little late, but still applicable for anyone who comes across this thread later in a "search"...

    As everyone's mentioned...the fill/drain plugs are on TIGHT. I've had good luck with a breaker bar and a 2lb dead-blow hammer acting as a poor man's impact wrench.

    For the record, I've got Redline D4 ATF in my E36 gearbox, and just installed Redline MTL in my E46 gearbox yesterday. I live a few miles away from Summit Racing Equipment, so Redline fluids (and other brands) are in easy reach for me :)

    Matt
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    phanley

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    ..back from the dead

    I finally got around to putting in the Synchromax and am very pleased with it. The shifting is much smoother. Also, engaging first gear while moving (at walking speed) has become exponentially easier. Hopefully your results were equally as good.

    Incedentally, the tip that did the trick was to break the drain/fill plugs while the car was hot. That, plus leverage and force, finally did it.
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    relton

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    I always, always, loosen the filler plug before I take out the drain plug. That way you aren't stuck with a car up on stands with an empty differential or trans, and a broken off filler plug.

    Bob
    • Member

    chicane

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    Rule #1: Always remove the filler plug first. But you know that now

    Try an air socket wrench. It will get up in that tight space and get the baby right off. Forget about a breaker bar ( unless you own a lift) because you will never be in a position to lean on it sufficiently with the car up on jack stands.
    • Member

    chicane

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    +1 on the royal purple synchromax.
    • Member

    phanley

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    Judging by the previous few posts, there seems to have been some confusion. I was removing the filler plug first. When it wouldn't yield, I was glad that I hadn't drained the fluid and then tried to release the filler plug. In the quote above, I was patting myself on the back for loosening the plugs in the correct order.

    I do appreciate the advice-thank you:). Perhaps I didn't make it clear enough in my original post that I was not stuck with a drained transmission and a jammed filler plug.

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