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Transfer Case Fluid - 328xi early 2007
Published by nomile
09-03-2012
Transfer Case Fluid - 328xi early 2007

1) Obtain special fluid from BMW - it's about $50-60 per liter, but you only need about 0.5-0.6L. While you are there, get a new "drain" plug. I reused the "fill" plug b/c I only had one spare.
2) Cut 25-30mm off a 14mm allen key. Clearance is tight, so the short piece makes it doable.
3) Jack up car, with the rear slightly higher than the from (drains fluid better)
4) Identify "drain" and "fill" ports - loosen the "fill" plug FIRST to make sure you can get the 14mm in there. It's a tight fit, but with enough fiddling, can be done. I used the open end of the wrench - experiment a bit.
5) I partially unscrew the "drain" plug to control the flow of oil a bit. Makes less of a mess. See images.
6) Used a cheapo pump to refill the transfer case

Notes:
- I have done this on an early-2007 and a late-2007 (pre-TPMS sensor and post-TPMS sensor). The late-2007 car went into a form of limp-mode (4x4-light, I think) after I did this procedure until I reset one of the transfer case sensors with the BT tool. The early-2007 car did not complain - possibly fewer sensors? Not certain.
- Do this earlier than I did - as you can see the oil was heavily discolored and cloudy. About 85kmiles. Did the other car at ~65k, and the oil looked better (whatever that is worth)

Good luck!
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  #1  
By tubesguy on 09-03-2012, 01:14 PM
Thanks! Nice to have some pics to visualize what others have described.
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  #2  
By Wayne's World on 09-21-2012, 10:18 PM
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FYI

I took a chance and used this:
http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/ima..._qt_640pxh.jpg

Been using it for 6 months now and no issues. 75w, GL4. At $15/qt, it's decent stuff.
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  #3  
By phozenstone on 02-19-2013, 09:54 AM
Thanks for the DIY!

Old fluid


New fluid
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  #4  
By ska///235i on 03-04-2013, 06:25 PM
op, what u use to cut the allen key....a saw with metal cutting blade?
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  #5  
By kluski on 03-24-2013, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for the write up.

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

The process is straight forward, but just a PITA trying to get the key into the plug. I ended up trying to tape the key onto the wrench, which kinda worked, but then I could not remove the wrench to readjust it. So I ended up using two fingers from each hand and stretching around the brace near near the case to put the key in.

Then I used my foot to push hard enough to overcome the torque necessary to break the plug loose.

Oh, and I did not need to reset any codes for my 2006 330XI. Been driving for 50 miles now and no problems/codes/faults.
Last edited by kluski; 03-24-2013 at 10:26 PM.
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  #6  
By Aznfe on 11-29-2013, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluski View Post
Thanks for the write up.

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

The process is straight forward, but just a PITA trying to get the key into the plug. I ended up trying to tape the key onto the wrench, which kinda worked, but then I could not remove the wrench to readjust it. So I ended up using two fingers from each hand and stretching around the brace near near the case to put the key in.

Then I used my foot to push hard enough to overcome the torque necessary to break the plug loose.

Oh, and I did not need to reset any codes for my 2006 330XI. Been driving for 50 miles now and no problems/codes/faults.
How do you punch the key out of the socket???
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  #7  
By E36graduate on 11-30-2013, 08:40 AM
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I use Mobil 1 synthetic ATF. Did it around 90K and then when I did my clutch at 120K. When I took out the ATF at 120K (30k miles on ATF), it looked like new.

I'm not saying this is the way to go, but there is a lot of discussions out there about atf and the bmw oil engineered just for the TC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne's World View Post
I took a chance and used this:
http://www.amsoil.com/StoreFront/ima..._qt_640pxh.jpg

Been using it for 6 months now and no issues. 75w, GL4. At $15/qt, it's decent stuff.
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  #8  
By gray boy on 06-09-2014, 11:17 AM
i cut the 14 mm, leaving just enough to get the (ratchet) wrench on it. And i bought a quality, (expensive ) wrench that allowed small movement and i had the
fill plug out in two minutes.
extremely easy compared to the tran drain and refill.
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  #9  
By dw1 on 07-09-2014, 02:25 PM
Question: Is there a significant reason to use the BMW bottled power diverter oil rather than a good 75W GL4 synthetic fluid from Mobil / Amsoil / Red Line? I do see that the BMW fluid is clear and most gear oils tend to be gold in color. Thanks.
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  #10  
By deeLow on 07-09-2014, 03:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dw1
Question: Is there a significant reason to use the BMW bottled power diverter oil rather than a good 75W GL4 synthetic fluid from Mobil / Amsoil / Red Line? I do see that the BMW fluid is clear and most gear oils tend to be gold in color. Thanks.
Uhhh, I'll pay you 100$ if you put gear oil in the transfer case and it doesn't blow up.
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  #11  
By dw1 on 07-10-2014, 01:15 PM
deelow: can you provide some specific technical details on your post on the differences in the BMW oil & other 75W GL4 lubricants?
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  #12  
By deeLow on 07-10-2014, 01:33 PM
dw1

Not necessarily, but the cost difference between all the others and the OEM bmw is NOT enough for me to risk blowing the TC. I went with the bmw fluid strictly for this reason.

I'd hate to see you/anyone else on here smash the case because of a few dollars really.
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  #13  
By ska///235i on 07-10-2014, 09:39 PM
I have a bottle of oem TC fluid and drain/fill plug (traded the car) if anyone os interested
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  #14  
By dw1 on 07-15-2014, 03:34 PM
I am very much so.
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  #15  
By ryancole on 07-21-2014, 07:57 PM
Thanks for the DIY. I just did this along with my MT and both diffs on my 2007 335xi. The trick with the small hex bit worked like a charm and overall a fairly quick and easy job. Just a note that it only requires about .5 qt of oil so don't be surprised when it starts overflowing out the fill hole sooner than expected.
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  #16  
By ucdbiendog on 08-26-2014, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryancole View Post
Thanks for the DIY. I just did this along with my MT and both diffs on my 2007 335xi. The trick with the small hex bit worked like a charm and overall a fairly quick and easy job. Just a note that it only requires about .5 qt of oil so don't be surprised when it starts overflowing out the fill hole sooner than expected.
just did the same on my '08. I ended up removing the cross brace under the xfer case to get access to the fill hole, sort of a pain to get it off, but i had no luck getting to the fill plug prior to that.
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  #17  
By dcaron9999 on 09-15-2014, 11:03 AM
What reset tool are you guys using to reset the TC after the fluid swap? Is this a necessity? Im about to do this to my 2009 328i xdrive and have about 600ml left of TF0870 BMW fluid. The fluid has been sitting around in a bottle for a couple of years, ever since I change fluid in my old X3. Thanks.
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