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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY- Transfer case shift actuator motor servo- 5F39



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      01-08-2012, 09:19 PM   #1
freon480
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DIY- Transfer case shift actuator motor servo- 5F39

So i recently purchased a 2006 325xi. ABS DSC and Red brake light were on. i scanned the ABS module with my snap on scanner and came up with code 5F39 which reads: transfer case internal error. i know ive seen a few people get this and freak out thinking their tcase is toast which is not the case. the tcase actuator has a series of gears inside which eventualy start to break up requiring replacement of the unit it self. i opened up the old one and as of now parts are not available for it and it looks like more trouble then its worth to try and Fab new gears so we replace it. list price on the actuator is about $600. i replaced in on the lift in the shop i work in in just under 30 mins. tools needed:
13mm socket,19mm socket,19mm wrench,inverted torx set(i belive E3,E4,E6,E8),a pick, prybar and hammer,7 or 8mm socket, block of wood, jack and jack stands or pole jack if you have luxury of using a lift.
so here we go:
first you will need to either get car on a lift or if you are going to try this on the ground i would recommend putting it up on 4 jack stands. the higher the better as you will need room for leverage later on. you will then want to set up a jack with a block of wood under transfercase as in the next step you will be removing the support for transfercase and transmission.

above we start by removing the transmission/transfer case support. there are 3 13mm bolts on each side of it and 2 8 or 7mm bolts that fasten the exhaust heat shields to it.


next you want to remove the 2 inverted torx screws supporting the exhast to give it some room for the next step

next youll wanna remove the 19mm bold and nut that attach the transfercase mount to the support. the bolt is quite a pain to get out. this is the hardest part of the whole job. it will take some prying of the exhaust and i used a hammer and prybar to hit it out along with raising the tcase w jack. which all though was a pain it was certainly quicker than removing the actual exhaust
a
a shot of the nut on back of mount

ok now with some wiggling after bolt is out you drop down the support and now you can see that costly bastard.

first you wanna unplug the two plugs which are seen on the red arrows, then remove the small E4 screw in the green arrow to get access to remove the 3 E8 screws fastening the motor to the Tcase. its as simple as just pulling it out now. you may lose some fluid depending on the angle your car is.

i used a pick to unplug smaller plug

close up of why you need to remove sensor on motor to get out right lower screw. almost all bmw screws are onetime use. so discard the old ones. the new motor comes with new screws. install all in reverse order.

ooh this is where anticipation of awd again starts to build

in yellow you see the transfer case fill plug. i took this as an opportunty to change my transfer case fluid as well. if not top it off through here. once youve got it all back together you are done! DUH. start the car up and the lights will be off. no need to reset computer or bring to dealer. just drive it.
any questions feel free to ask!
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      01-15-2012, 03:56 PM   #2
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e91 transfer case fluid change

This is a great write up. I don't have any issues with my e91 transfer case. However, I want to change the oil in it. The darn fill-plug is in the most obscure place possible. Thus, in your opinion, do you think the only way to fill her back up is by removing the transmission support bracket, which would allow enough room to access the fill-plug? Please, advise.
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      01-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #3
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i dont see how you could fill it with the support in there. the support bracket blocks the fill plug. the drain is easily accesable with it still in the car but thats only half the battle lol. good luck!
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      02-09-2013, 08:35 AM   #4
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N e one know how much fluid is needed in the t case? Did you use one of those vaccumm tools with the rubber hose to fill the t case?
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      06-25-2014, 02:49 PM   #5
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I have a 2006 330xi with the same problem. Do you have the correct part number for the Transfer Case Actuator? Is it 27 10 7 546 671? I've seen numerous part numbers in various threads and can't distinguish which is for an E90 and which for an X3/X5.

Also, if attempting this repair without a lift, is it possible to only jack up the car with two jack stands? If so, which would be easier: the front or rear?

Thanks!!
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      08-11-2014, 07:49 PM   #6
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In case this helps anyone, looks like someone is making a new gear to replace the one that wears out finally - $450 cheaper than replacing the whole actuator motor.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bmw-Transfer...3D261382410554
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      12-08-2014, 09:54 PM   #7
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Has anyone bought this gear yet? I sent the seller a message but haven't heard back about it yet. My local dealer just told me that my transfer case is bad and needs to be replaced to the tune of $4k. If I get a chance tomorrow I'm going to put the car on stands and pull the motor in hopes that I'll see the worm gear is shot.

My car gives me the long error message and set of lights but the car appears to drive fine...until the occasions that I start the car and the lights DON'T come on. Then the car feels like the AWD is fighting the steering as if there's a locked diff up front or something. The further I turn the wheel the worse it is.
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      04-12-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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Did anyone consider buying a used transfer case with the motor on it? I see them listed for around 400.
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      04-13-2015, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glachhman2
Did anyone consider buying a used transfer case with the motor on it? I see them listed for around 400.
I considered this as an option when I wrote the diy. at the time there were used tcases at around $250-3. I paid around $460 wholesale for actuator. if you could find a used tcase w around 20-30k id think you would be ok but would it be worth saving the $150 dont think so because they all fail.
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      01-13-2016, 12:19 PM   #10
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I used the above procedure to replace the worm gear as outlined in this post:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1059353

This DIY is EXCELLENT. The only thing I would add is that when you put the long 19mm bolt back in, put it in from the other direction (from the front) so you're not fighting with the exhaust pipe if you ever have to do it again. I had to use a 36" pry bar to flex the exhaust pipe out of the way to get clearance during removal. It was a pain. A more complete description of the issue I was having can be found at http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...=388537&page=3
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      01-13-2016, 01:01 PM   #11
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Also, after replacing the worm gear, my actuator gear did not perfectly mesh with the transfer case gear on re-installation. Be advised that the transfer case gear only rotates one direction (UP as you look inside) and spring returns DOWN. You will not be able to turn the actuator assembly gear once a new worm gear is installed. As such, I had to insert (to mesh the gears), then slightly rotate the actuator assembly (counter-clockwise as viewed from the rear of the car) upon re-installation to get the bolt holes to line up. Try and turn it the other way, and you may break something. Rotating the wheels does nothing to help the gears mesh.
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      01-14-2016, 01:39 AM   #12
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wow. Im glad to see this still being used. also glad to see a new wheel has been made available too. I would have went that route for sure.
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      08-29-2016, 11:19 AM   #13
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Great information

Thank you OP and others for the information in this thread. I am at 90,000 miles, so I am just replacing the Actuator motor/assembly instead of buying the gear. Also will be changing the transfer case fluid.

Question for anyone who has bought the actuator motor assembly: 27 10 7 546 671

Is the gear box greased, or did you pull it from the motor shaft and grease it up yourself?

Thanks!

-Rob
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      08-29-2016, 01:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unktone
Thank you OP and others for the information in this thread. I am at 90,000 miles, so I am just replacing the Actuator motor/assembly instead of buying the gear. Also will be changing the transfer case fluid.

Question for anyone who has bought the actuator motor assembly: 27 10 7 546 671

Is the gear box greased, or did you pull it from the motor shaft and grease it up yourself?

Thanks!

-Rob
bolt off and on no greasing required sir
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      08-29-2016, 02:24 PM   #15
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Sweet

cool, thanks

Ordered. $371 new OEM on Ebay, 12,000 / 12mo warranty.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/281711761474
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      12-06-2016, 09:28 PM   #16
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freon480, thanks for this DIY! Mine failed last week. Even though I didn't do the work myself, it helped me know that it was the motor & not the transfer case itself that was bad. I've seen other threads where guys pay $4000 for a new one where a $65 worm gear would have done the job. Ouch.

FYI, here's a great video from FCP Euro showing how to get to it. I gave up because I didn't want to be under the car in freezing weather trying to get that long bolt out.

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      12-06-2016, 10:33 PM   #17
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I tried to put the long bolt back in the other way as shown in the video, but it looked like my ATF pan was in the way. Maybe it works on manual cars?
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