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    Project #23: ZF 5HP18 Transmission Valve Body Overhaul DIY Part 1

    Some helpful info before we get going on this DIY:
    ERIKSSON INDUSTRIES
    Authorized ZF Distributor North America
    1-800-388-4418
    http://www.zftranspart.com/index.php...parent=40&pg=1
    The following ZF transmissions (plus helpful information) and everything you need for them, are on this site:
    4HP18
    4HP22/24
    5HP18
    5HP19
    5HP19FL/FLA
    5HP24
    5HP30
    6HP19/21
    6HP26/28/32
    Nat Wentworth owns/runs the site, great guy. He offers tons of electrical, hardparts, kits, literature and even transmission fluid (if you want the official stuff). Best prices, good service (mails to us APO/FPO people around the world) and even emailed me back about questions/ clarifications I had on the differences between ZF's instructions provided in the VBK kit, and ZF's official pdf files on their website of their transmissions (the web site PDFs are not vetted for correctness; provided instructions by ZF are. I ordered the VBK for ~$154, which included shipping. Here is the 5HP18 valve body kit, so you can see what comes in it:
    http://www.zftranspart.com/index.php...d=52&parent=43


    Next is a link: it is the 5HP18 pdf from ZF's website (again, note that instructions sent via a ZF kit override any discrepancies that occur with these online ZF PDFs....and it has nothing to do with what country your e39 w/ A ZF was destined for---the provided instructions rule):
    http://www.zf.com/na/content/media/u.../.../5HP18.pdf


    This next photo is to give you an idea of ho to find the specific number of your ZF transmission (it is important, because kits vary, you can't just say I have a "5HP18", as there are many different variations of the 5HP18 kits). This metal stamped plate will be on the passenger side of your ZF transmission, nearly shrouded by the exhaust pipes. You will have to get a mirror, and a magnifying glass, while holding a flashlight in your mouth, to find out this special number (why they couldn't put this in a more accessible spot, well, never mind....):



    Ok, let's get rolling with the DIY procedure & the pics. Remember, the procedure's steps and methods will apply to virtually any ZF e39 transmission, if you would like to perform a vavle body kit (hence this kit will be referred to as: VBK) overhaul. The DIY procedure pics will be as it happened for me, a sort of a journey, and I hope they are educational, helpful, or maybe just plain hilarious. Don't ask me why I did this procedure, as the car & transmission was ok with 200,000kms on it, but now that it is done, I notice differences, some big differences (in shifting quality, responsiveness, smoothness and eerily at times, the quietness of the shifts).


    Pics 1/2/3 below: You have to choose your poison in terms of the transmission oil. My transmission requires the infamous LT71141 trans oil, but as a few of us on here (and other sites) have proved, there are many substitutes for this oil. Even ZF told me that there really are no special friction modifiers and additives that others have wondered aloud about here. My choice has been this (if I had access to the Valvoline LT71141 substitute, I do it instead because it is much cheaper than Royal Purple and just as good, imho):





    Pic 4 below: This is the poor man's version of BMW540san's garage lift. Get the car as high as you can, safely as you can, and have backups in case one fails. Notice the car is on Craftsman 3 ton jack-stands, then has gorilla ramps under the wheels in case any/all jack-stands fail, and finally, there is a big hydraulic jack put up snug to the base of the differential, just in case the jack-stands fail, and the gorilla ramps fail. I like to be safe, for obvious reasons, as these cars are heavy:



    Pic 5 below: this is a no-brainer. You're going to be disconnecting the transmission electrical connections. Do yourself a big favor (and save lots of headaches) by disconnecting the battery (in your trunk, passenger side, behind & below the shelf box that tilts out). 13mm wrench is what my battery connection takes:



    Pic 6 below: you have to take the underneath bra off the car to get at the transmission. A Philips head screwdriver, loosen up 8 or 9 screws (remember, they stay attached to the bra), and you are in business:



    Pic 7 below: After the bra comes off, you are greeted with a full sight of transmission, looking a the bottom tranny pan. In this pic, the right side is the fill hole (notice I have the grren, not black, cap transmission) ad the left side is the drain hole:


    Pic 8 below: as you lie there, can see plainly stamped on the transmission pan this:

    If you have any brains and/or sanity, here is where you might want to admire that you got yourself this far, put everything back together, and call it a day. If you are insane, move forward at your own risk.


    Pic 9 below: The point of no return. Time to drain the transmission pan. Look at pic 7 again (above). The drain plug is a 5mm hex plug screw, with washer. It's torque spec (remember this for later), is 11-12ft lbs or 15-16Nm). A simple long handled 5mm hex key works best, allowing you finite control as you remove the screw plug so the transmission can drain (I hope I don't have to remind you that draining a transmission on the BMW is always done with the car cold as possible):



    Pics 10/11/12 below: this step is important, imho, if you want to avoid headaches later. You will need to pop of the fill hole cap cover (the green one, in my case), and loosen up fill hole plug slightly, mainly because it is torqued to 74 ft lbs or 100Nm ad you will not be able to loosen it (if you want) when the pan is off the car. You do this step "after" the pan has been drained completely. The fill hole plug on my pan is a 17mm hex, and I foind it easy to use a 3ft breaker socket bar with socket 17mm hex socket to loosen this plug (there is a washer on this plug, don't lose it, and you think you don't have one, think again, it is stuck up inside the fill hole. Get something to pry it loose and off:





    end of Part 1. There is a 20 pic Roadfly restriction, so I have do do this writeup in five parts. I will attach the subsequent parts to this 1st part.
    EuroDavid
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    Part 2:

    Pics 13/14/15/16/17/18 below: Next step is pretty obvious. Two brackets that help hold the underneath bra on need to come off, in order to get access to removing the transmission pan and also have unfettered access when you are dropping the valve body. Get yourself a 10mm socket and wrench, with a flexible shaft, and remove all the bolt/washer (they are welded as once piece) holding these brackets on. There is one bracket on the driver's side of the transmission, and one on the left side. The pics are self explanatory, and you can see what the brackets & bolt/washers look like once they are off the car:








    Pics 19/20/21/22 below: Since I am doing this procedure outside (Belgium has been hit with 70+F weather the past two weeks, and there was no way in heck I was going to do this VBK DIY in a garage). The pics ought to be obvious what I am trying to do. If they need explaining, then I recommend you stop immediately and contact someone for help. I used any and everything I could find to make a controlled yet comfortable environment for under the car (also, ignore the homemade transmission jack in pic 21: I wasn't smart enough to make this until I did the re-install of the valve body, and yes, i took the valve body out with arms, hands, elbows, forehead and anything else I could muster while I did my best not to die from drinking too much transmission fluid poring all over my face, nose, mouth and throat):






    Pic 23 below: now is the time to take off the transmission pan via the pan bolts and expose the mother-load---the VALVE BODY. For the transmission pan, a simple 10mm socket and wrench with small extension will do the trick to remove the 8 transmission pan bolts. These 8 bolts (each have an attaching pan bracket that come off with their respective bolt, do not separate them or even attempt to, as you will strip them, they were not designed to come apart) have a torque spec of 4.43 ft lbs or 6Nm (again, remember this torque spec for later re-assembly). Once the pan is off, immediately put it inside a new, large garbage bag so it doesn't get filthy; (note: once the valve body is out of the transmission, you will immediately reattach the transmission pan. This serves two purposes: one, they torque converter, once the valve body is out of the car, will drain another 2-3 quarts, and also it keeps everything clean and removed from any debris, floating and/or otherwise):



    Pic 24/25 below: You are going to be staring a large number of screw bolts, and you are going to wonder to yourself, as David Bryne of the Talking Heads sings:
    "And you may ask yourself
    How do I work this?
    And you may ask yourself
    Where is that large automobile?
    And you may tell yourself
    This is not my beautiful house!
    And you may tell yourself
    This is not my beautiful wife!
    (chorus)
    Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
    Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
    Into the blue again/after the money's gone
    Once in a lifetime/water flowing underground.
    Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
    Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was...
    Same as it ever was...Same as it ever was..."
    Thankfully, ZF made this somewhat but not totally intuitive. Some of the bolt heads are larger than the other ones (look closely in pic 24). These are the ones affixing the whole valve body to the interior of the transmission. They are not symmetrically placed, as you would think to hold this heavy valve body up in there. They are placed at random, sometimes grouped together, other times not. Oh, did I mention that some will be different lengths than others?? You bet, make darn sure you note which bolt came out of which hole (these screw bolts are torque to the spec of 71 inch lbs or 8NM, and they use a T-27 torx to be removed. In fact, ZF in their infinite wisdom, made every single bolt head that you will work on from here on out, considering all the valve body and its components, serviceable via a T-27 Torx (handy to have this in 2 or 3 socket forms, and also in key form, will be obvious later as you look at the valve body dis-assembly):




    Pic 26 below: remove all the large head bolts in the center of the valve bodies and around their edges, but leave to the two large head bolts that obviously are helping hold up the transmission valve plate to the body. Once is located at the rear, the other at the front. Remove these last two last, and be prepared for two things: more oil coming out and going everywhere (note I have large sheets of plastic laid out on the driveway) and two, it being a lot heavier than you anticipated (and here is where you feel like a moron you didn't make a transmission jack (which is easy) or if you are fortunate, you already have one (as they are not expensive):



    Pic 27 below: Thankfully, it was late in the early evening and my wife was home, otherwise I'd been toast. I screamed her name for like 10mins, until she finally heard me (or chose to hear me), and she came outside, realized I was barely hanging on holding the still attached (electrically) valve body with my slowly weakening left arm, while balancing it with my right. She realized, after surveying me for a painful 2 or 3 mins that I needed help, and she quickly got the large plastic oil drain pan (lol, with the old oil filter in it, by that point, I didn't care) and we built a makeshift tower that I could slide the valve body on. Whew, catastrophe 1 avoided:



    Pics 28/29 below: Ok, I chose to leave some pics out, as I don't want to look like an complete nube-idiot. But let me tell you that even though it appears you cannot do it, you will disconnect the complete valve body electrical connections via its plug high up in the transmission body. DO NOT ATTEMPT, like a certain moron here did, to unplug all the different electrical connections on the valve body sitting in front of you. Those numerous plastic connections are old, brittle, and a major PIA getting loose and off. If you crack and/or break one, the complete wiring harness alone will set you back another $200. So, remember, go for the full electrical plug up high in the transmission body, as once it is disconnected externally, the electrical socket plug pushes back in towards the interior of the transmission and will fall out, making the valve body free and clear of the car. Pic 28 is reminding you not to be a moron, and pic 29 is showing you the external (to the transmission) socket plug clip you will have to remove before shoving the socket back into the interior of the transmission and having it beautifully fall out into your hands w/ all electrical connections still attached:

    EuroDavid
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    Part 3:

    Pics 30/31/32/33 below: These next pics are one backside of our property, where mancave number 1 is. I decided to turn it into a temporary outpatient transmission surgical facility, which worked great for the 3 days of doing this DIY (took this long because of various reasons). I walked back with the precious valve body in my hands and entered this facility with hopes of not having any more catastrophes (which unfortunately didn't pan out, lol) (note: make sure you don't forget to put the transmission pan back on the transmission, or you will be greeted with 2-3 more qts of tranny oil draining out from the torque converter, and also dust, bugs, whatever lodging up inside the transmission, a big no-no):



    (notice I have two chairs in pic 33. The black Craftsman was being saved in case I needed to fly a certain someone across the pond and help me finish this, as it is ALL his fault I do these crazy DIYs to my car......................)


    Pics 34/35/36/37 below: Pic 33 is of the full valve body, just as it is as it would drop out of the car. the left side of the pic is the front of the car, the right side is the back of the car (valve body orientation in the transmission). the first order of business is taking care of an unavoidable casualty of removing an old wiring harness plug from inside the transmission body. The sealing 0-rings on the plug are toast, flattened, old and brittle. you see in one pic a piece just came off in my fingers. I replaced these two o-rings with high-temp nitrile 1 inch o-rings; my 1 inch buna o-rings kept breaking when I had to stretch them around the 1 1/4 inch diameter electrical plug---a little trick/hint: use a 1 1/4: socket, put it in a vise, clamp it hard, use a pre-soaked transmission oil nitrile o-ring, use little picks to stretch it & slide it down around the socket, then put the socket up the face of the electrical plug, and push the nitrile o-rings (there will be two) on. They are a tight fit, but risking busting the electrical plug's brittle plastic housing while you trying to stretch and put on these new o-rings is not a good idea:






    Pic 38 below: now that we are going to be removing the 3 smaller valve housing bodies from the main valve plate, plus removing the electrical solenoids housing, there is one thing vital here to note. Do not use anything that will leave a residue and/or little fibers on any part of anything that concerns the valve housings, bodies, orifices, etc. Get yourself something like this, they are well worth it:
    EuroDavid
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    Pics 39-51 below: Now, we are going to start removing the 3 valve housing bodies and the solenoid housing body (note: all screw bolts from here on out have a torque spec of 4.43 in lbs and 6Nm). First up is the front topside upper valve housing body. All these pics should be self-apparent. The front upper valve body is removed via several bolts (again, some are different lengths, KEEP TRACK or you will have headaches) that are the bottom side of the complete valve body, and go up through the bottom lower front valve housing body. Also note how clean my transmission orifices are, from several pan and full flushes since 100000kms: for those of that advocate not changing your fluid, keep whistling in the dark to yourselves. Further note little things like the blue Thomas Train tracks I stole from my youngest kid to use as a separator (duct taped the back of them together, marking each lane 1 through 8) of all the springs and mechanisms I will be removing and replacing in each valve body (trust me, this is a necessity). Also notice the pics I drew of the housing plate's bolt holes, because some bolts are longer than the others and you have to keep track of this or big problems will loom. I also included several schematics (plus the official ZF VBK instructions, the pic that has my hand-writing on it) to help with things. Lastly, I took one snapshot (I did not do any others, too time consuming) to give you an idea of the differences of the old versus the new springs I was installing (the spring difference pic has the new spring in front, the old spring behind it):















    Pics 52-56 below: after you completed servicing the front upper valve body housing, set it and its body attaching bolts aside. Now we will focus on removing the solenoid valve housing body. Thankfully, we don't have ot service it. To remove it, first note you have to remove the two speed sensors via their each two respective bolts. The rear speed sensor has little spacers under it, so mark that down so you remember it and don't mistakenly put them on the front (towards the "front" of the car) speed sensor. Included also are two schematics of the solenoid housing valve body. Again note how clean the orifices are. Transmissions, especially automatics, love new fluid like nothing else in this world:






    Pics 57-58 below: now we are going to deal with the lower two valve body housings of the overall transmission valve body. First, I wanted to show you these two pics so that you can see how the gear selector moves as you shift from "P" to "R" to "N" and to "D" (as far as I understand, the steptronic functions are done electronically via the solenoids, not via this sliding manual lever). Also note in these two pics all the bolts that are still holding on each lower valve body:

    EuroDavid
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    Part 4:

    Pics 59-61 below: after removing the front and rear lower valve body housings, this is what you will be looking at. Again, all the orifices in my tranny are whistle clean, very little residue, very little metal shavings, etc. I shudder to think, remembering how dirty the tranny oil was when I first serviced it at 100,000kms, what these orifices would look like if I decided to be an ostrich and stick my head in the sand about not changing the transmission (you North Americans do know BMW Europe rescinded that "Lifetime" stuff on the e39 automatics some 8 years ago now, yes?). Also, have I mentioned that ZF loves bolts of different lengths, and now, get ready for it, bolts that are identical in overall length but have different thread length? Whatever you do, keep track of which bolts come out of which holes, or in my opinion, you are setting yourself up for hours of headaches (draw pictures, mark where that particular bolt goes, and tag/identify it some way). 6 bolts, some of different thread length but not overall length, hold the rear lower valve body on, and only 3 bolts hold the front lower valve body housing on (again, it is vital you note which holes they come out of):





    Pics 62-76 below: Ok, now for some real fun. There is main valve body plate, a gasket underneath it (which you'll be replacing via your VBK), and all kids of lovely, maddening little orifice gaskets, screens and balls. I cannot emphasize enough that this is going to be beyond maddening for you. why? Well, the VBK comes with all these things neatly packaged together, but with different colors, and you think to yourself, no problem, I'll put the correct color new one in where I remove that color at that location. The new VBK orifice gaskets are color coded purple, green, red, and the check balls are brown, and thank heavens the springs and screens are the same color. Look at the colors you see in the pic when I first remove the plate, then the plate body's gasket. Do you see any little round purple gaskets? Do you see any green little round gaskets (not the darn check balls, but the gaskets!), do you see any red ones?? Argh, I cursed for a good hour wondering how I was suppose to figure this small gasket placement out because the instructions, no matter how clear you think they are, are not clear at all, plus EVERY color was different and not noted in the instructions. Sure, the obvious stuff like the screen, little springs and check balls (which, btw, had no difference in circumference between the old, 0.22" diameter versus the new 0.24" diameter), but damnn, those gasket were maddening. After you stare at them for awhile what is different between them, you start to go loco. Also, to remove them, you are going to need some kind of dental pick set to gently remove & lift them out, and also to place new ones in. Thus, I included a pic of the dental pick set I have (note that the diameter of a toothpick is way too big to deal with these gaskets mm-sized holes):














    EuroDavid
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    Part 5:

    Pics 77-80 below: Ok, now that we are done with the maddening main valve body orifice housing, we are going to service those two lower valve housing bodies that we removed earlier. These pics deal the lower rear valve housing body. As you go through these pics, you will notice in one pic I am holding a new, packaged spring and it seems that the ZF worker building this transmission back in late 1995 was having a bad day. Why? Well, he left out this spring, which is sort of crucial in the it is the "2-3 traction valve". I always wondered why the transmission took so long to respond when I was at speeds of 20mph through, say 40 or 50mph, as there always seem to be a lag & then a kick when the gear when finally kick in. It wasn't a problem, but upon doing this DIY, I noticed a huge change in how the transmission reacts to my feathering and/or hammering the accelerator pedal in-between this speed range (if I haven't told you, all these bolts we've been dealing with on on part of the removed--out of the car--valve body housing have a torque spec of 4.43 in lbs and 6Nm):







    Pic 81 below: this next pic is to give you some idea of the little slide plates that hold in some of the mechanism and the springs. You will have to remove a few of these (note the instructions) to get at replacing the springs. They are not too bad. I was able to work them out with my fingers, and re-inserts them using the top of wide ball point pen to push the whole mechanism & spring in, while I re-inserted these stop plates. Just be warned that when you remove these (just like with all the other valve body housing face plates, the springs and/or mechanisms will come flying out if you are not careful):



    Pics 82-85 below: Now you will service the lower front valve housing body. Same routine as the others, just be patient, go slow, and get everything correct the first time (it helps if you have a bit of obsessive-compulsive order when doing this, recheck things over and over and over, it is worth it):






    Pic 86 below: It was late into the evening and I needed to go to bed. I re-assembled the complete valve bodies together. If you kept track of everything, especially where every bolt goes and into which specific hole, then it will be a breeze (if you didn't keep track, then much good luck). Just re-assemble in reverse order that you removed the 3 valve housing bodies and the solenoids. In other words, first goes on the lower front valve housing body. Second, the lower rear valve housing body goes on. Flip everything on its side, and then install the solenoid valve housing body. Remember, all bolts are 4.43 inch lbs or 6Nm. Finally, attached the upper front valve housing body, and your baby is ready for re-insertion to your beloved 39. For me, it was midnight, I was dead tired, so I wrapped up my turkey with some foil, and went to bed:



    Pics 87-88 below: to avoid the fiasco I had when removing the valve body, I look around my stuff and decided to build a transmission jack that I would use for re-insertion of the valve body. It worked so well I couldn't believe it. Still, I needed my wife there to help steady the valve body once it was raised, because this thing was going "inside" the transmission, so it had to rest on something and couldn't be attached to it.
    Finally, we got the valve body re-attached. Go slow, and fit it carefully, as the main valve body plate also has a metal 1/4 inch thick pin near its outside edge that it slides into (on the passenger side of the internal transmission). Make sure you get this thick cotter-like pin in there correctly, or your valve body will be ruined once you begin shifting. Also note, you have to re-attach the maunal gear selector I spoke of earlier. If you are able to so all this yourself while you are balancing the whole valve body on your transmission jack, then my hat is off to you. Remember, the whole valve body cannot have any fixings attaching it to the jack, otherwise you won't got it up into the transmission body (the tolerances are less than 1/8-1/4"). I needed another set of hands, and my wife came through swimmingly. Further note, you will need to remove the transmission pan again, and you will find another 2 or so qts of transmission oil in it. Just be prepared; do the same steps, drain it first, then remove, place it in its clean garbage bag until you can get to it:




    Pics 89-93 below: After the valve body is up in the transmission, and you put the corresponding bolts into their carefully marked locations (and you torqued them to spec of 71 inch lbs or 8NM that I mentioned earlier----and you thought you didn't have to pay attention), you need to clean your transmission pan and its magnets. My pan had basically nothing in it, except for a thin sheen of material the pan magnets picked up. I decided to bolster my pan magnets with some computer hard drive magnets, as they are the strongest type of magnets known, as since our transmissions rarely get above 70 Celsius operating temps, due to our front-of-the-car mounted transmission coolers, these computer magnets are awesome (watch out, they are small but wicked strong, and will rip the flesh off your fingertips if you thinking you can play around with them. I have a pic showing where I took an old hard drive apart, and got the magnets out. You also need a transmission filter (its 3 bolts torqued to the same 4.43 inch lbs or 6Nm, and don't forget its o-ring as you put it on), so there a few pics of that. There is also some pics of torque wrenches, I have 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" torque wrenches, and they are a necessity. For this job, I needed the 1/4" for all the inch lb torqued bolts, and I needed the big 1/2" for the transmission fill hole screw plug, which has to be torqued to 73.8 ft lbs (foot, not inch, lbs) or 100Nm.
    To remind you, remember the fill hole plug screw takes a 17mm socket hex:




    EuroDavid
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    Part 6:

    Pics 94-99 below: this DIY procedure will cause you to loose anywhere between 7-8 qts of your transmission's overall oil level. Mu 5hp18 transmission holds 11.1 qts, so this amount drained is a significant amount. A little trick is to now drop the front of the car while keeping the rear end up high, and begin filling your transmission. For now, this is all done with the car cold. I learned this from ZF themselves, as they actually do something similar. You will actually have to go through one more cold fill, plus one more fill with the car running up to its required temp and do the correct fill procedure (which I provide pics of ZF's instructions for). I cannot emphasize enough on the first cold fill, with the rear up high and front basically as low as you can safely get it, to get as much new transmission oil in there as you can. The transmission is going to be starved the first time you start it up, and go through the gears for a few minutes, allowing the torque converter to replenish itself, along with all the valve bodies to replenish themselves. After only 3-5 mins of taking the gear selector from "P" through "R" to "D" and stopping for 3-4 secs at each setting, turn the car off. Jack the front of the car back up to its level position, and begin pumping more oil in through the fill hole. You will find that you have to put in another 2-3 qts of oil; put it in until it runs out of the hole again, because this time you are going to drive it for 5-10 mins and come back and get ready to do the official ZF fill method (which you will find will take another 1-2 quarts to get the fluid to run out of the fill hole, with the car dead level, while the transmission is operating between 30-50 Celsius). Last thing I want to comment on, look at the pics of the little pump that goes into the new bottle of Royal Purple. It is a lifesaver when you are filling these transmissions under your car, on your back. Put it in there, pump the new oil in, grab another bottle if necessary, and keep going until you got it right. I have 3 of these, they cost $4.99 each from my favorite store in the whole world: Harbor Freight:








    That's it, folks. I hope this helps anyone out there. I ti s not as hard as I thought, nut it is somewhat hard. Maybe more correct to say it is time-consuming and long stretches of attention to every detail is required. Now that I know what I am doing, I could probably do this whole DIY again (which I don't want to, lol) in maybe 5-6 hours. As it is, I was tired, but ecstatic I pulled this off and seemingly restored my transmission to a new-like condition. As I said in the beginning of this writeup, the outcomes and noticeable things that happened after doing this DIY were a big surprise to me, especially since I didn't think that much was wrong with my ZF transmission. Anyhow, the blue suede tennis shoes man had to drink alone, but happily. Thankfully I didn't have to go far to get to the bathroom:







    P.S. Please excuse any grammar and/or spelling errors. I wanted to get this DIY writeup done while stuff was still fresh in my mind.
    EuroDavid
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    OK, go on. It's really interesting. I thought first you dropped the whole tranny out. What you did seems doable.
    Great writeup so far. Thanks David for doing this.
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    I want a man cave in Belgium now.
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    Craig,

    LOL. Come on over, you can help with my next project brewing in my mind (after this summer's rear end stuff, of course). The next thing I want to do is the timing chain guides, where I have to take the head off. When I am in sportmode and/or shifting myself, and when I am hammering it, between 5k-6k rpms, I hear a slight chain slap (or rattle) as the engine comes out of that gear and goes up to the next. Nothing happens under 5k rpm (in any gear), stiull, there are days I like to do some hard runs, especially when i get into Germany, and I hate that momentary little noise. I figure the chain guides might be a little worn, as I already replaced the lower chain tensioner (http://bimmer.roadfly.com/bmw/forums/e39/9336627-1.html).

    You're welcome to come on over this summer and share the mancave, drink some very, very fine beer, and work on an e39. All the things in life a simple man can ask for ;-D



    P.S. Someting is bugging me: how did so much transmission oil drain out? The car was dead level, if anything pointing slightly down towards the front, yet I checked again this morning, and I put a little over 8 qts of Royal Purple back in there just to get a little bit of drip to come back out at 40-45 Celsius? When the valve body is removed, does everything in the torque converter basically come back out and into the transmission pan while I was working the removed valve body? I thought oil stays in the torque converter no matter what, and the only way to get it out was doing the self flush using its own internal pump that I usually do while someone sits in the car going back & forth between "R" and "D" and into "Sport Mode 1-5"? Does the removed valve body relieve the pressure that is holding the oil up in the torque converter?
    EuroDavid
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    Great write up Euro....I mean "Mr. ZF Tranny Man". You've got a nice Man Cave shop, tile floor too!
    Your post just may push Rajaie's Vanos post off the map for top dog!
    Your right about posting pics and text. If the pics are wider than ~768 you have to scroll to the bottom of the post, which is a PITA, to move the pics over to see the rest of the pic. If you are using a notebook with a small screen the text then gets cut off.
    Great Job. What's next on the list?
    Just a few mods.
    If it ain't broken make it better and quicker!
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    Jim, I tried to edit the post (just html links, no img pic link), but I couldn't?

    Wonder if I should ask Charlie and/or Alan to delete the DIY post, and I'll re-post it again tomorrow, except this time no "img" links that bring up all the pics? I'll re-post it just like the "Show Print Version" where only html links to the pics are shown, and a person would have to manually click on them.

    I hear ya about the length, sorry it was so long. I was trying to make it idiot-proof, but maybe I made it worse by making it too long.

    Whaddyathink, should we beg Charlie and/or Alan to deep-six it??? (We both know that no one is going to take the time to try to go through the pics with the way that scroll bar thing is set up)?






    Quote Originally Posted by jimlev View Post
    Great write up Euro....I mean "Mr. ZF Tranny Man". You've got a nice Man Cave shop, tile floor too!
    Your post just may push Rajaie's Vanos post off the map for top dog!
    Your right about posting pics and text. If the pics are wider than ~768 you have to scroll to the bottom of the post, which is a PITA, to move the pics over to see the rest of the pic. If you are using a notebook with a small screen the text then gets cut off.
    Great Job. What's next on the list?
    EuroDavid
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    IMO, don't deep six it yet. Let us all continue to use it to figure out how all of these should be done from now on. It seems like you've got them engaged to come up with ideas (like using a "blog" or "wiki" instead of a normal post, for instance)

    As one of them also said - having it as a normal post means it can't easily be printed which is a problem.

    On another vBulletin forum I frequent, they use the "wiki" functionality for things like this. One member posts a writeup with lots of pictures, graphs and inlaid text. The software then allows "comments" and "discussion" to take place afterwards but the main article is pretty easy to follow. The downfall of this method is when the authour needs to post in multiple parts for whatever reason. Either they need to make "part 1", "part 2", "part 3" wiki posts and each one gets isolated discussion or the followup parts (2 and later) actually appear in the discussion section.

    Take a look at http://geekhack.org/showwiki.php?tit...hes+and+boards for a sample.
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    wow you are logical, methodical and have lots of guts, great job but only for certified BMW mechanics, pros or highest level do it your selfer like you. KUDOS . VERY IMPRESSIVE ! what is your day job?
    2000 528 5sp Premium Package. Titanium silver,grey leather, heated seats,folding seats, 6cd player, bone stock except ash tray mod. Garmin GPS
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    He's "The Cylinder Hunter" ! Seriously, EuroD, that is a most EXCELLENT write-up. Thank you for putting forth all of your efforts to document this operation so thouroughly for the rest of us.

    Do you have a back-up pair of those blue shoes? I'd hate to think that your mechanical abilities might be lost if anything untowards happened to those shoes? (Hercules' without his hair?)
    1987 325 5Spd 2Door (Bought at 210k Mi, sold at 280k; strong car)
    1987 325 Auto 4Door (Wife's Car; Bought at 125k Mi, "sold" to daughter at 250k; flywheel broken and retired)
    1989 525i 5Spd 4Door (Bought at 150k, Trans Broke at 230k, sold to repair shop)
    1994 740iL Auto (Bought at 95k Mi, parked at 110k Mi, awaiting minor repairs)
    1998 528 Auto (Bought at 122k Mi, parked at 175k Mi, awaiting Geberal Module repairs)
    2003 530i Auto (Wife's Car; Bought at 68k Mi, Going strong at 132k Mi)
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    Slick stuff, EuroD, nicely done. Like others have said your aft cave is quite nicely appointed. Gotta get me an Easter Egg table protector like yours. Makes hunting for screws and washers entertaining. I thought I saw some cylinders hanging on your pegboard - have you been holding out on us all this time???

    '03 540iA M-Sport, H&R springs & M5 trunk spoiler
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    Thks for positive feedback everyone.

    As a side note, after some experimentation (as Charlie mentioned), if don't have your computer monitor resolution set above 1200 x 800, then you are going to be faced with those maddening 20 pic thread limit scroll bars, which is enough to drive anyone insane. for me, I changed all my home computers to 1280 by 768, and voila', the maddening scroll bars disappear and the pics are shown fully.




    Thanks again.
    EuroDavid
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    Quote Originally Posted by eurodavid View Post
    As a side note, after some experimentation (as Charlie mentioned), if don't have your computer monitor resolution set above 1200 x 800, then you are going to be faced with those maddening 20 pic thread limit scroll bars, which is enough to drive anyone insane. for me, I changed all my home computers to 1280 by 768, and voila', the maddening scroll bars disappear and the pics are shown fully.

    Thanks again.
    I'm at 1280 x 800 and still have the scroll bars.......ugh!
    Just a few mods.
    If it ain't broken make it better and quicker!
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    thanks caveman , useful information,, i am gonna do the same thing with my car as well , thank you one more time ,,,
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    Good day!
    My name is Eugene, I'm from Ukraine.
    Stumbled on your article in the forum, and it was interesting.
    You might not share the background information on the 5hp18
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