E90Post
 


Extreme Power House
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Xdrive Fluid Changes



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      07-22-2015, 02:25 AM   #1
Dhillon92
Lieutenant
48
Rep
584
Posts

Drives: '11 335xi
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (0)

Xdrive Fluid Changes

Hey guys, I plan on changing out my front/rear differential fluids, transfer case fluid, and (manual) transmission fluid.

What are recommended fluids for these? Would prefer more of an "upgrade" than to just put OEM fluid back in (unless thats best of course).

For those who have changed them out, other than opening drain bolts and having a fluid pump, are there any other complications to changing any of the fluids?

Looking to buy some fluids soon, all recommendations and experiences welcome. I'm also sure a list of fluids recommended for us xdrive owners can help out anyone else wondering the same thing.

Thanks!
__________________
///FBO+METH 6MT N55///
Appreciate 0
      07-22-2015, 08:00 AM   #2
cmg5461
First Lieutenant
United_States
39
Rep
318
Posts

Drives: 2008 Deep Green 335xi 6MT
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Falling Waters, WV

iTrader: (1)

Garage List
2008 BMW 335xi  [0.00]
It's lifetime fluid.... (for the 50k warranty period )

I've heard of people using redline in the front/rear dif and MT
__________________
Appreciate 0
      07-22-2015, 08:43 AM   #3
TheBigYahi
Private First Class
20
Rep
159
Posts

Drives: 2006 330xi 6MT
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Syracuse, NY

iTrader: (0)

I have Redline 75W90 in my front and rear diffs but TBH the old stuff came out looking new. 6MT has Redline D6 ATF (yes I know, ATF is specified by BMW, some prefer the D4), this came out dirty as hell. Transfer case has the OEM fluid ($$) because there is no cross list from any after market, it looked OK-ish and you have to do some coding to tell the car there is new fluid in there for slip and wear calculations. I had about 100k miles when I changed all the fluids.

The rear and 6MT are dead simple to do. The front is complicated because the fill plug is pretty high and you have to remove the metal stiffening plate (big bolts).

The transfer case is a PITA to get to the fill plug without removing the exhaust. I ended up cutting down a 14mm Allen key to about 1" then super gluing it into a fine tooth ratcheting wrench. This solves 2 problems
  1. You can only get about 10-15 degrees of swing with all the stuff in the way. I know this because I had a 5 degree ratchet and it clicked 2 or 3 times before I hit something.
  2. You will be hit on the face repeatedly by your Allen key stub unless you glue it in place. Nearly gave myself a black eye.
Right now I'm wondering what my next interval will be. The 6MT was so dirty I planned on doing it on a short interval to see if I could get any other gunk out (I've put 15k on it since so maybe that plan is out the window). The transfer case I'll leave for a long time since the fluid is so expensive and it's a pain to do (the original fill looked decent after 100k so why wouldn't I go another?). As for the diffs, it looked perfect when I took it out, but since I didn't put OEM fluid back in I'm not sure if the service life of the Redline is different than OEM. I'll leave it a few years and see if I get itchy for a project I guess.
Appreciate 1
      07-22-2015, 09:52 AM   #4
ajsalida
Colonel
ajsalida's Avatar
142
Rep
2,394
Posts

Drives: 95 M3, 02 R1150GSA, 09 335xi
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: SW USA

iTrader: (2)

That TC fluid must be some super high tech stuff, a quart of it cost more than all the rest of the diff and tranny fluids combined. I've read about people trying to use other fluids in the TC and they failed. But for the diffs and transmission Redline is fine.
Appreciate 0
      07-26-2015, 01:24 AM   #5
f0xfire021
Private
3
Rep
86
Posts

Drives: '09 e91 328xiT | 6mt
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: North

iTrader: (0)

I swapped my transmission fluid (6MT) for Redline D6 ATF, and have been really happy with it. I had a notchy shift from 2-3, with the gate going into 3 feeling like I was hitting something on the original OEM fluid at about 75k. That weird notchiness has gone away, and the overall shift action is much smoother now. About 15k on that fluid and would recommend it. Another consideration for Redline D6 is that it seems to function relatively well at low temps (-15 – 32F) but also doesn't seem to lose shift quality when the transmission is hot after hard driving.
Appreciate 0
      07-27-2015, 09:09 AM   #6
AdamN52
First Lieutenant
Canada
8
Rep
301
Posts

Drives: 2007 328xi (E90)
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Toronto

iTrader: (0)

I changed my diff fluids @150,000kms using Royal Purple 75W90
The old fluid looked a bit dark, but was probably fine. Noticed zero difference with the new stuff (which is likely a good sign).

The rear is super easy. The front is a bit more of a pain in the butt because of that stiffening plate, but still doable.

I decided not to touch the transfer case because I didn't want to have to deal with it if things went sideways.
Even my local indy told me to just leave it alone unless I was having issues, or planned to keep the car forever.
Appreciate 0
      07-27-2015, 08:11 PM   #7
PhaseP
Major
201
Rep
1,246
Posts

Drives: 325XI
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Earth

iTrader: (0)

I replaced my transfer case fluid at 90K miles/9 years old.
It came out maybe half the volume what it should be, and in consistency like dirty water, not like oil. I am glad to have changed it. It wasn't leaking, it somehow have been evaporating by time, or something like that.
Appreciate 0
      07-28-2015, 03:18 PM   #8
wdeerfield
A family of bimmers
United_States
700
Rep
5,708
Posts

Drives: '13 f30, '11 f10
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Clifton Park, NY

iTrader: (0)

Im looking to have TC, front and rear diff, tranny, radiator, and engine oil changed out at my next dealer visit. Any other things i should have done at that point at 85kmi? Power steering fluid? im going to tackle spark plugs myself.
__________________
2013 EB 335i xdrive | Msport | Coral | DHP | ZPP | ZCW | ZTP | 400M | Coded | MPerformance Bits | M3 Grills | Painted Reflectors | BMS Exhaust Tips | LED Turn Signals
2011 JB 535i xdrive | ZPP | ZSP | ZCW | 6FL | NAV | 331s Square | MPerformance Spoiler | M5 Grills | Painted Reflectors
Appreciate 0
      07-28-2015, 04:44 PM   #9
PhaseP
Major
201
Rep
1,246
Posts

Drives: 325XI
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Earth

iTrader: (0)

Since they will drain the coolant and oil, it would be a good time to replace the oil filter housing gasket if it is leaking, and most probably is if not replaced.
Appreciate 0
      07-29-2015, 09:58 AM   #10
wdeerfield
A family of bimmers
United_States
700
Rep
5,708
Posts

Drives: '13 f30, '11 f10
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Clifton Park, NY

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
Since they will drain the coolant and oil, it would be a good time to replace the oil filter housing gasket if it is leaking, and most probably is if not replaced.
I had the OFHG replaced last year due to leaking.
__________________
2013 EB 335i xdrive | Msport | Coral | DHP | ZPP | ZCW | ZTP | 400M | Coded | MPerformance Bits | M3 Grills | Painted Reflectors | BMS Exhaust Tips | LED Turn Signals
2011 JB 535i xdrive | ZPP | ZSP | ZCW | 6FL | NAV | 331s Square | MPerformance Spoiler | M5 Grills | Painted Reflectors
Appreciate 0
      08-13-2015, 12:35 PM   #11
m_thompson
Major
m_thompson's Avatar
United_States
54
Rep
1,239
Posts

Drives: M-Sport 128i, 328xi, 3.0CS
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: New England, USA

iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2009 128i  [0.00]
1972 3.0CS  [5.00]
if you change the TC fluid you need to tell the TC computer that it has new fluid.
__________________
'09 128i - Black Sapphire Metallic\Coral Red\Glacier Silver\N51 DISA\6MT\Navigation\Premium\M-Sport\Heated seats\Xenon Headlights\iPod\Smartphone\Euro Delivery

Appreciate 0
      08-14-2015, 11:36 AM   #12
ucdbiendog
Lieutenant
43
Rep
595
Posts

Drives: 2008 335xi E90
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Reno, NV

iTrader: (0)

the TC is the only tricky one, the fill plug is kind of a pain to get to.
Appreciate 0
      03-29-2017, 08:36 PM   #13
jwebb335xi
Major
United_States
95
Rep
1,015
Posts

Drives: 2008 335 XI
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Chicago Burbs

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida View Post
That TC fluid must be some super high tech stuff, a quart of it cost more than all the rest of the diff and tranny fluids combined. I've read about people trying to use other fluids in the TC and they failed. But for the diffs and transmission Redline is fine.
Hey guys - I don't consider this a hi-jack, but if you do I apologize...

My 335xi has just passed 96K miles. Transmission, transfer case and differential oils were changed at 55-55K. Hence, worst case I'm at 40-45k on existing oils. Differentials are Redline and while transmission and transfer case are STOCK fluids.


(1) I plan to change both differentials' oil next week. Where is the FILL plug on the front differential? Is it a hex? Does anyone have a photo?

(2) I used Redline on my 328is in transmission and differential as well as in my 330 zhp. Both cars saw a ton of autocross and the e46 saw several track days. No gearbox problems on either. So, I "feel" Redline was a good choice. That said, is there something even better for a daily driver --- i.e. I don't autocross or track my 335xi, though it's nearly FBO and driven hard.

Thanks for the comments and your experience.
__________________
JWebb335xi

MHD / Wedge / 93 Octane/ xHP / FMIC / Inlets / Catted DPs / CP / DVs
Appreciate 0
      03-29-2017, 11:23 PM   #14
OffensiveDriver
Private
OffensiveDriver's Avatar
26
Rep
97
Posts

Drives: 2008 E92 335xi 6MT
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: California

iTrader: (0)

This is TC fluid I used when I replaced the actuator motor worm gear: RAVENOL J1C1125 Transfer Case Fluid TF-0870 "Engineered and Made in Germany to exceed Original Equipment (O.E.) factory fill specifications"

Good price too.
Appreciate 1
      03-30-2017, 11:50 PM   #15
Cory S
Major
Cory S's Avatar
United_States
192
Rep
1,129
Posts

Drives: 2011 335i-X
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: N.H.

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by m_thompson View Post
if you change the TC fluid you need to tell the TC computer that it has new fluid.
Not true. The TCU has no input on age of fluid.
__________________
2011 335i X-drive 6AT / Pure turbo / 500AWHP/526TQ
Appreciate 0
      03-31-2017, 02:39 AM   #16
WhiteBeard
Lieutenant
United_States
89
Rep
545
Posts

Drives: slowly
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Jacksonville

iTrader: (0)

Not sure if it's even worth to touch diff. fluids until 100k miles at least
Appreciate 0
      03-31-2017, 02:44 AM   #17
OffensiveDriver
Private
OffensiveDriver's Avatar
26
Rep
97
Posts

Drives: 2008 E92 335xi 6MT
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: California

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory S View Post
Not true. The TCU has no input on age of fluid.
Standard procedure to reset adaptations etc.
Appreciate 0
      03-31-2017, 06:39 AM   #18
PhaseP
Major
201
Rep
1,246
Posts

Drives: 325XI
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Earth

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb335xi View Post


(1) I plan to change both differentials' oil next week. Where is the FILL plug on the front differential? Is it a hex? Does anyone have a photo?
It requires a 14 mm allen hex bit. Fill is on the driver side of the differential, and drain is of course on the bottom.
There is at least one DIY for front differential oil replacement, but it is simple you will see the plugs when you lift the car and remove the engine belly covers. Removing the driver side wheel gives easy access to fill plug but people do without removing wheel too.

Plugs have o-ring like gaskets which BMW don't sell without the plugs. I think you can find on EBay the gaskets alone but I haven't used ebay ones so don't know how good they are.

The same plug is used on rear diff, at least on my car.
Appreciate 1
      03-31-2017, 12:10 PM   #19
jwebb335xi
Major
United_States
95
Rep
1,015
Posts

Drives: 2008 335 XI
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Chicago Burbs

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwebb335xi View Post


(1) I plan to change both differentials' oil next week. Where is the FILL plug on the front differential? Is it a hex? Does anyone have a photo?
It requires a 14 mm allen hex bit. Fill is on the driver side of the differential, and drain is of course on the bottom.
There is at least one DIY for front differential oil replacement, but it is simple you will see the plugs when you lift the car and remove the engine belly covers. Removing the driver side wheel gives easy access to fill plug but people do without removing wheel too.

Plugs have o-ring like gaskets which BMW don't sell without the plugs. I think you can find on EBay the gaskets alone but I haven't used ebay ones so don't know how good they are.

The same plug is used on rear diff, at least on my car.
Thanks for the tip on wheel removal!!
__________________
JWebb335xi

MHD / Wedge / 93 Octane/ xHP / FMIC / Inlets / Catted DPs / CP / DVs
Appreciate 0
      04-09-2017, 05:02 PM   #20
Zebaztian7
New Member
Zebaztian7's Avatar
1
Rep
26
Posts

Drives: e92 335i 2011 xDrive
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: West Texas

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OffensiveDriver View Post
This is TC fluid I used when I replaced the actuator motor worm gear: RAVENOL J1C1125 Transfer Case Fluid TF-0870 "Engineered and Made in Germany to exceed Original Equipment (O.E.) factory fill specifications"

Good price too.
At what mileage did you replace the fluid and how is it going for you?

Is it this one? > https://www.amazon.com/RAVENOL-J1C11.../dp/B00QCVP6UK

Goes for about $30 US
Appreciate 0
      04-18-2017, 10:41 AM   #21
OffensiveDriver
Private
OffensiveDriver's Avatar
26
Rep
97
Posts

Drives: 2008 E92 335xi 6MT
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: California

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebaztian7 View Post
At what mileage did you replace the fluid and how is it going for you?

Is it this one? > https://www.amazon.com/RAVENOL-J1C11.../dp/B00QCVP6UK

Goes for about $30 US
That's the one. Fluid has been replaced more than once. Actuator motor gear replaced with new fluid at about 120K. TC case still running smoothly.
Appreciate 0
      04-19-2017, 02:13 PM   #22
Gamb1t
First Lieutenant
Gamb1t's Avatar
Canada
51
Rep
333
Posts

Drives: 4 wheels, 2 headlights, engine
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Canukistan

iTrader: (0)

If you change the TC fluid at lower mileage, the ECU may not detect enough of an difference b/t the old fluid degradation and new fluid to trigger any warning lights.

TC oil change is the most challenging to perform. Dropping the brace will help much but itself poses some challenges. The BMW TC oil might be expensive, but you only need to use about 500ml. So you are good for another change later.

I used BMW Sintetik OSP 75W90 for the front and rear diff. IIRC they are made by Castrol.
Appreciate 0
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:22 AM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST