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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Transfer case location



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      12-16-2012, 10:46 PM   #1
BoostaVita
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Transfer case location

About to DIY transfer case fluid. Would like to know if the transfer case is exposed or cover by transmission panel. Also if it is located between engine and transmission or connected to the end of the the transmission. Any underbody picture or diagram would help greatly. TIA.
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      12-17-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
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It is located right behind the transmission, you shouldn't have to remove any panels. Don't have a picture unfortunately.
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      12-17-2012, 11:11 PM   #3
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That description is spot on. Thanks.
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      12-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #4
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Let me know how it turns out, I will be doing mine soon as well.
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      12-22-2012, 12:25 AM   #5
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How many under body panels are there? I just had my trans serviced and thought there was a cover over the t-case.
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      12-28-2012, 12:30 AM   #6
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Went under the car and the Tcase was exposed with no cover. Had to abort the diy because the space to access the fill plug is too damn small. Can't find a hex stick short enough to access. Gonna try knock one out of the socket.
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      01-06-2013, 10:16 PM   #7
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Finally did it. It was really a painful job. The access to the fill plug is extremely limited. I didn't have to reset the Tcase. I did wait 15min. after locking the car for ECU to sleep before starting the process(dunno if that's the reason). Good luck to anyone attempting this.
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      01-11-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the update, Bossimo. I'll be attempting this too.

Bill
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      01-11-2013, 11:18 PM   #9
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Glad I could help. Wish my method would work on your car. Happy car happy life. GL and have fun.
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      03-08-2013, 10:59 AM   #10
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I tried to do this but I need some tips. What tool did you use to turn the hex key?

I cut a piece off of a 14 mm hex key, and am able to fit it into the transfer case socket just fine. However, when I come in with my wrench and fit it onto the hex key, there is absolutely no movement to loosen it, the wrench is pretty much pressed against the surrounding housings. I am only able to turn it in the tightening direction. When I flip the wrench around, now there is not enough room to fit the wrench head on the hex key. Is there any other tool that someone can recommend? If the head and shaft of the wrench was just a bit slimmer I would be able to get the wrench on to move in the loosen direction.
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      03-08-2013, 05:44 PM   #11
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honestly, I almost teared up after trying for an hour. factory torque for the fill plug must be high. lucky for me, it finally give on my last try (almost move the whole car off the jackstand). persistence pays off i guess. nothing special i used (harbor freight 14mm wrench (used the open end) and hex head from HFT socket). good luck!
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      03-08-2013, 05:56 PM   #12
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i used a 14mm ratchet from Advance Auto to do it. Oddly enough i could not fit the open end of it onto the hex, i had to used the closed end ratchet side. Overall it was a huge PITA to change the transfer fase fluid but after seeing what came out, it was worth it.
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      03-10-2013, 03:49 AM   #13
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rjc, i just went through this and phoz was super helpful in the process.

I was able to break the fill bolt loose using an open-end wrench up through the very-narrow gap underneath the fill bolt (u probably know, you have only 2 options to get a wrench on this fill bolt: from underneath it in that narrow gap between the t-case and the t-case support, or by coming in from the rear of the fill bolt (rear meaning toward the rear of the car next to the exhaust and heat shield). However, even though I could loosen the fill bolt from underneath (because I happened to be able to get the open-end wrench onto the hex bit), I had to tighten it using the "rear" opening because from underneath the wrench just didn't line up with the hex bit. I know exactly what you mean about not having any room to "move" the wrench. As I laid under the car, almost tearing-up as bossimo said (lol!), I thought "what I need is a short, stubby wrench". On a shot-in-the-dark, I went to Home Depot and there it was.....a set of "stubby" metric wrenches. BINGO! The stubby wrench allowed me to tighten the fill bolt enough using the "rear entrance" that I could then get my normal-length open-end wrench onto the fill bolt from underneath and crank it tight. As you know, it's all about being able to get the wrench on the bolt and being able to have enough room to move the wrench to turn the fill bolt to loosen (or tighten) it.

So, I would recommend trying the Husky "stubby" wrench set from Home Depot, it worked for me. They had 2 types, one was a "bag" of short wrenches, and one was a kit of stubby wrenches that were the Husky brand in a plastic case, not a bag.
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      03-16-2013, 04:43 PM   #14
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Fro thanks for the suggestion. I was actually able to complete the job today with a normal wrench. "Almost tearing up" is an understatement, it was the job from hell.
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      03-16-2013, 10:56 PM   #15
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Sweet! Glad you got it done! I just cleaned up my garage today from all the work I'd done on it, and looking at the samples, the t-case fluid was waaay nastier than the diff fluids so I think our efforts in drain-and-fill of the t-case were very worth it!
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      03-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #16
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I did this over the weekend after I saw the DIY here:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=740011

It was not complex, just PITA get the cap/plug broken loose. I did end up using my foot to push on the wrench.

Also, instead of cutting a Allen key, I bought an Allen socket from harbor Freight and punched the key portion out. It was the perfect length.

My car was at 75k miles and the fluid was still not bad, but a little dark.
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      03-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #17
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ECS sells a 14/17 hex wrench for these jobs buy its like $32
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      03-28-2013, 09:07 PM   #18
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just did this and honestly reading all of the pain you guys went threw this job should defiantly be done on a lift period . What you need to do is support the tranny/tcase with a transmission jack or a heavy duty exhaust stand , then take off the tcase mount bracket off the body off the car I think 6 bolts and then remove the bolt going threw the tranny mount so the bracket comes down . Removing those pieces is a total of 10 more mins of the job and the fill screw is in ur face easy too get too and easy too fill . any questions just ask
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