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tranny fluid advice sought

Discussion in 'E36 M3 (1995-1999)' started by Brian Cassity, Dec 12, 2009.

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    Brian Cassity

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    In a 98 M3 manual "lifetime" tranny fluid; would I be better to go with Redline MTL or the auto trans. fluid. I have recently been having an issue with the shifter wanting to default to the 5th gear side rather than at 2cnd and 3rd. Car has under 50K and never driven hard.
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    steven s

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    I recall a bulletin where you could use either.
    I've been using D4 ATF for years.
    Although I like BG SyncroShift II A LOT!
    Everyone has their favorites.

    Not sure what you mean by wanting to go into 5th, but there is a return spring that sticks after a period of time. For me the problem was the lever not returning to center making me feel around for 3rd and 4th.
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    tiFreak

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    check your owners manual, if it calls for ATF you can use either but if it specifies MTF I don't think you can use ATF
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    Brian Cassity

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    what solved your shifter problem; sounds like the same thing as mine.
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    327350

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    My 330ci did the same thing...

    It is due to a spring loaded steel plunger located in the transmission case. In my case cooler weather brought on the spells of the missing 5th gear gate. The first shift into 5th pushed the plunger into it's bore and it stayed there until the trans case got hot, expanded and then all was well. Let the trans cool off overnight and here we go again.

    My drive to work had me in stop and go traffic and after about 10 minutes the gate would slowly begin to come back ( case warming up). When this would happen , if I was stopped I'd pump the shifter over to the 5th gear gate ( while in nuetral) while at a traffic light. We're talking about a steel plunger in an aluminum case and my plan was to wear the aluminum bore out. It worked. By the time the winter was over I had worn the bore out enough that it never sticks anymore, and I have had the car in fairly cool weather. As a side note, I use Redline MTL in the box and it shifts better now at 120k miles than when it was new. I know your dispair well and I hope this helps. Cheers!

    dtlemoine guest

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    Yep - your problem is the same as another thread discusses:

    http://bmwcca.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6550

    The 5th gear detent spring is getting stuck in the cold. I also have a '98 M3 with the same issue - I recently flushed with the Redline ATF and the problem is a "bit" better, but definitely not fixed.

    A true fix requires pulling the transmission out. Roughly 3/4 of the way down the following page has a good writeup:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?p=8895043#post8895043

    If your commute allows, try to drive for 4 or 5 minutes before shifting into 5th and you shouldn't see any issues, as the transmission warms up enough in that time.

    Good luck,
    Dave

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