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Topic Review (Newest First)

  • 01-17-2009, 07:01 PM


    Per my post below, where I wondered if a "flush" would help this problem - I didn't change my fluid until late spring '08 to get ready for a DE, and it hasn't been cold enough until this week to see how much difference it made for sure in low temps. My 5th gear shifter sticky problem isn't 100% gone, but it is almost gone, two improvements:
    1. It has to be colder than before before it sticks, or sticks noticeably.
    2. The time it takes to free up, even over the last couple days of zero - 20F weather, is minutes, and it is now completely gone when it frees up, not just some better. So at 30-40F, 2-3 minutes/leaving subdivision. At really low temps, 5-10 minutes at most.

    I did quite a bit of flushing. I added Seafoam trans tuner to the old oil (it looks like ATF), which is a mild overfill, to loosen things up and try to ensure I got as much gunk to drain out from the existing fill as possible, ran this maybe 50 miles - a few times to full temp.
    Drained the old fill, put in some generic synthetic ATF from Autozone (because it isn't staying in as you'll see below- about 1.5 qts, and added mineral spirits too.
    *I'm not going to tell you how for liability reasons - for all you know I have a car rotisarie, and I don't want somebody using jacks to turn their car on its side*, but I tilted the car/tranny to get as much oil and mineral spirits in as I could, dropped the car, and tilted it the other way (drivers side up) to get the oil forward and right - to the detent area of tranny. Let it sit overnight. Drove the car about 15 miles, VERY gingerly since the oil is very thin w/mineral spirits in there, but to full temp. back home, lift it up again with the tilt overnight. Also, both times while tilted, I worked the shifter at least 50 times to the right (5th) and left (reverse).
    Drained this fill, let it drip overnight, filled with 75% Royal purple ATF, 25% Redline MTF.
    Disclaimers: I took the risks of causing leaks that both overfilling and creating the really thin ATF/mineral spirits mix, hoping that after the new ATF mix was in, it would swell any leaky seals if that happened, but I had no leaks. You may develp leaks, and maybe they won't go away.

    I'll do the detent springs when I put a clutch in, but at 67k miles, that will still be a while. Really happy with these results for about $10 and a few hours of my time over a few day, thought I'd pass it on.

  • 12-08-2006, 07:59 PM

    It's a small spring that breaks or loosens up.

    I know that the part number and a good source for the part has been posted in the past. You could try searching the archives for it.
  • 12-08-2006, 02:55 PM

    I used Redline MTL and it helped some

    Redline MTL helped me some. It still sticks but not as bad.
  • 12-07-2006, 10:36 PM
    Werns 325i `94 (AU)

    I flushed mine and ...

    Everytime I stop at the lights and pull the shift into neutal I also push it over to 5th (not into gear just to exercise the return spring) and its slowly getting better.

    It only does it in the cold for me and eventually comes good when it warms up. I say its getting better because its starting to work sooner each morning.
  • 11-21-2006, 01:16 PM

    Re: Help: Gear shift sticking by 5th

    Thanks fellas, I will consider all and look into the tranny internals at my next clutch replacement....
  • 11-20-2006, 04:42 PM

    Probably won't help... but give it a try

    My information is that even if you were pointing a pressurized flow of fluid at the the part from inside, very little flushing action would actually result because of the very tight tolerances of the detent piston and the bushing/channel it sits in. Just a flush and refill seems pretty unlikely to get you any type of washing action there.

    However, it's worth a try since it's somethign you can do yourself and it's cheap. The only real alternative is to drop the tranny and replace those parts from the access hole on the side of the transmission, which comes with a pretty hefty labor cost if (like me) you had to have a shop do it.

    From what I've read, usually the detent piston is too large or has a burr on it. In my case, the bushing the piston sits in was machined badly and the piston was ok. The shop actually had to buy a special tool to pull the bushing out since they had only previously had to change the pistons before. Fortunately for me I didn't have to pay the extra $90, but labor was for the job (with clutch/flywheel install) was over 6 hours worth
    '93 325i sedan
    '98 M3 sedan
  • 11-18-2006, 09:27 PM

    Thanks-where is the vent hole?

    I'll want to watch for that or develop some temp collector or something, even if it's rags on the floor.
  • 11-18-2006, 06:11 AM

    Re: You know guys, I've wondered...

    My CPO'd 99 M3 had the same issue at around 45k miles.

    The tranny was pulled by the dealer, a very smart technician replaced an internal spring, which took care of the problem.

    Shifter again sets on the right as from factory.
  • 11-18-2006, 01:14 AM

    It is worth a try.

    The only downside is if you overfill, any extra will bubble out the vent hole. This prevents damage, but also may prevent your results. However, I think that may be worth a shot.
  • 11-18-2006, 12:52 AM

    You know guys, I've wondered...

    My 98 with 57k has started doing this some but is at the stage it goes away once really warmed up WELL.
    But I wonder, if we were to try a type of "flush", like with new auto tranny fluid and gunk engine flush, with a purposeful overfill (jack the fill plug side of the car higher), then run it maybe 10 miles with lots of shifts into 5th, etc, then a refill with your favorite synthetic like redline or royal purple, if we could flush the sludge out of the detent?

    I used to be in the machine tool industry, am an engineer, etc. I hypothesize this problem is simply some metallic wear that gets little fluid exchange and just gums up. If true, once the initial wear-in is complete, if one could flush the metal gum out, if MAY never recur.

    Just a thought. I'm overdue for a change and have the royal purple... I'll try it over the next couple of months and report if it works. A major unknown is if I can get the needed fluid exchange that high up to clean things out as I suggest-with no tranny or parts removal.

    Any thoughts?
  • 11-14-2006, 11:16 AM

    Internal tranny problem. Ignore it.

    The issue is caused by a stuck return spring inside your transmission. I've never felt that it was any sort of problem, so unless you have the transmission out for a clutch or something, ignore it.
  • 11-14-2006, 09:08 AM

    Help: Gear shift sticking by 5th

    Fellas, my gear shift is sticking to the right once I remove it from 5th gear, it gets worse by the day. I have to tap it back to the center (you know between 3rd and 4th).

    I have taken the boot off, and the foam piece, ans there is nothing in the way. I did not have this problem before
    Are my bushings shot, or is it a tranny lever problem?

    P.S. I have a UUC Short shifter.
    Thanks in advance

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