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      12-22-2009, 09:59 AM   #1
hdrewh
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DIY for changing MT fluid?

I searched but don't see one. If its out there, would appreciate a link, otherwise maybe someone can at least summarize the steps and give a few hints/details?

Thanks,
Howard
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      12-22-2009, 04:23 PM   #2
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While somebody jumps in, are you going to use stock fluid or something else? If the latter, what do you have in mind? I've been thinking of using Redline fluid to fix the cold notchiness (it cured it perfectly on my new Accord 6MT), but with BMW paying for services, am afraid of possibly voiding tranny warranty. I might do it, but want to make sure somebody else does it first and reports positive results.

As far as doing it, it should be pretty straight-forward, as tranny has both a drain and a fill plug; only extra step is removing a tranny belly pan, but should be simple as well. Only issue to watch is car should be level. You could always add the right amount, but I always prefer to wait for fluid to flow out of the fill hole, as fill amount will depend on how long you drain the tranny. I have 2 fill amounts, one 1.8 qts and 2.2 qts, and don't know which one is right. But again, it all depends on how long you drain.

I'm hoping the fill plug is in the rear of the tranny, so I can lift car from the rear only. During fill up, I could rig a tubing to the engine compartment, lower the car level, fill it from there, once it flows out stop, lift car again, tighten the plug, reinstall belly pan, and be done with it. If plug is in front, I'd have to put car in ramps and jack stands, which I hope to avoid. Keep us posted man.
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      12-23-2009, 08:45 AM   #3
hdrewh
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I'd consider switching to Redline based on positive comments here. But first I need to know how to do the job

I did a post-breakin oil change using the diy here, no problem. For the MT fluid, I don't even know where the drain and fill plugs are, and right now its too effin cold in semi-upstate NY to get under there and look.
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      12-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #4
JonM
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I have the factory instructions printed out from BMW TIS at home. I will try to scan and post. If I remember right, the instructions said something about and electrical connection required from GT1 to get all the old fluid out. I remember thinking that was odd (and wrong) for a 6MT... more like DCT.

Anyway, I will check and try to post.

You can get any how-to you want for the whole car from:
http://www.bmwtechinfo.com/
... for $30 per day.
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      12-23-2009, 12:46 PM   #5
hdrewh
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I have a few hours left on my 1-day subscription - where exactly do I go for the MT (and other) fluid change procedures? I couldn't find them.

Thanks
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      12-23-2009, 01:11 PM   #6
JonM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhendler View Post
I have a few hours left on my 1-day subscription - where exactly do I go for the MT (and other) fluid change procedures? I couldn't find them.

Thanks
I don't recall of the top of my head. It would be under group 25 which is manual transmission. Not sure if that is under repair instructions or maintenance.
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      12-23-2009, 01:47 PM   #7
alpineweissM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
I have the factory instructions printed out from BMW TIS at home. I will try to scan and post. If I remember right, the instructions said something about and electrical connection required from GT1 to get all the old fluid out. I remember thinking that was odd (and wrong) for a 6MT... more like DCT.

Anyway, I will check and try to post.

You can get any how-to you want for the whole car from:
http://www.bmwtechinfo.com/
... for $30 per day.
I know it sounds odd for the 6sp manual, but there is some sort of pump in there that needs to be activated to remove all of the old fluid. My plan will be to just drain what I can and refill. There will still be some old fluid, but it's better than not changing it at all.
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      12-23-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
JonM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineweissM3 View Post
I know it sounds odd for the 6sp manual, but there is some sort of pump in there that needs to be activated to remove all of the old fluid. My plan will be to just drain what I can and refill. There will still be some old fluid, but it's better than not changing it at all.
Totally agree.
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      12-23-2009, 10:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpineweissM3 View Post
I know it sounds odd for the 6sp manual, but there is some sort of pump in there that needs to be activated to remove all of the old fluid.
Yep, it's the transmission cooler pump buddy. And no, I wouldn't bother with that at all either, especially changing the fluid this early. And don't worry about the pump filter either; needs to be cleaned every 30K, and it's supposed to be done at 1.2K.

Strangely, Redline recommended their D4ATF for the M3, rather than MTL. They said it better matches the factory fluid. The MTL is used in earlier manual transmissions. As far as I know, nobody has switched tranny fluid so I'm eager to read the first review.

OP, it should be obvious which are the drain and fill plugs. If somebody doesn't post instructions, just lift your car and post pics and we can tell you which ones. I saw them when tech was working on my 1.2K service, but don't recall from the top of my head. Good luck.
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      12-23-2009, 11:33 PM   #10
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thanks for your timely help...it was much needed.....
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      12-24-2009, 08:20 AM   #11
alpineweissM3
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Just remember to remove the Fill bolt first!!!
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      12-26-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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See attached.
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      06-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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Does anyone understand this torque table? Which torques refer to the drain and fill bolts?
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      06-13-2010, 09:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyace View Post
Does anyone understand this torque table? Which torques refer to the drain and fill bolts?
Depends on which of the 5 trannies listed we have . My guess would be the M8x1.5 since it says 'hex bolt', and that's exactly what both drain and fill plugs look like. I never use a torque wrench to tighten drain plugs anyway, so I'm not concerned about that.

And the good thing about doing this early is we don't have to worry about getting all fluid out, making the job much easier (and DIY, since we have no way to activate the pump ourselves). I much rather do this twice, every 10K miles or so (2 years for me) than having to empty the cooler, or letting a dealer do it.

Are you using stock fluid? Please let us know when you're done, along with driving impressions (if different fluid). Good luck.
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      04-22-2012, 12:30 PM   #15
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I just changed the fluid in mine. Apprx 2.5 l drained out and that's also about the amount that went back in. Used Redline MTL. Also cleaned the filter screen. I don't know how to activate the pump so the lines and cooler still has old oil.
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      04-22-2012, 06:45 PM   #16
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Granted I haven't looked under there but wouldn't there be some kind of line that goes from the trans to the pump/cooler that we could unplug to drain the extra fluid contained in them?
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      04-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #17
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Yes I believe the lines can be detached from the body of the trans which would allow the lines and cooler to be drained but then I'd have the problem of refilling them with fresh oil. Not having a good way to accomplish that, I did not drain them.
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      04-23-2012, 03:43 AM   #18
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I'm assuming we could proceed the same way you'd do an auto transmission.

So in this case that would mean filling up normally until fluid overflows from the fill plug. Then we'd start the car, go through the gears -which should work the pump and suck in the fluid- and add more fluid until it overflows again.

Just a thought. In any case you'd want to keep track of how much fluid you take out so you can be sure to refill with the same amount.
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      04-23-2012, 04:48 AM   #19
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There is a wired sensor on the bottom of the transmission body. It appears to be a temperature probe. I'm guessing the pump is only activated above a certain temp. Running the engine while draining hot fluid might cycle the old oil out of the cooling lines but the fresh oil would be too cool to activate the pump to refill the lines; you'd have refilled the body but not the lines and cooler. Then the next time you drive the car hard and the oil got hot, the pump would activate, refilling the lines but lowering the level of the oil in the body. Not knowing how much oil is in the lines and cooler, and therefore how low the level of the oil in the would get in this scenario, I didn't try this. Of course, this is all guesswork on my part. Anyone know for sure? I'd much rather do a complete drain and refill.
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      04-23-2012, 06:42 AM   #20
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Did the change last week. Drained about 1.7l without the oil in lines. Refiled the same ammount.

To activate the pump without BMW devices is simple. There is a powercord going into it, to activate, unplug the original cord, find somewhere the cord with the same input, and here you go! plug it into the pump at one end, another plug into 12V...

Didnt have the cord with exactly the same input, so...
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