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Old 08-20-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
jamrobin
1st Gear Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Deep River, Ont
Posts: 42
Manual transmission fluid and differential gear oil change

After agonizing about it for a bit I changed the transmission and differential fluids on my '99 M3 vert on Friday... (113,500ish miles)

I have 2 nugets to offer...

I did NOT need a stubby 14mm allen socket for the differential, a regular allen key (although 14mm was not so easy to find) worked fine. I was prepared to have to cut a chunk off it and use it in a box wrench but there was no need at all. and it was NOT on so tight that I needed a breaker bar or have to do chinups on it... I was actually nervous I may have been torquing the plugs back in too much.

The gear oil didn't look bad coming out but I think the redline 75W140 fluid is probably better stuff anyway. (I'll pretend I imagine it being smoother?)

The transmission fluid change was an obvious improvement... I had removed the CDV and replaced the clutch flex line with ss braid a few months earlier and was pleased with the results but have always found this car to be notchier than I like... I have another e36 (but '94 318iS) that shifts much smoother.

My transmission had the yellow sticker specifying MTF so I used redline MTL.
I didn't notice much difference for a day or two but it now shifts smooth as silk. I still think I'll replace transmission mounts before long just to further help avoid a money shift but it's less likely already now.

Happy that the job is done and as mentioned the transmission fluid change was definitely an improvement... I do feel like I could have saved the $45 on the diff but It's a maintenance item I can tick off the list for a few years now.

As an aside the 318iS diff fluid was black when I changed it... and the difference was immediate as I drove away... it's transmission will be due soon but I think it's almost clutch time because all of the action is at the top of the pedal so I may as well wait... I also doubt I want to tackle that job on my own :-(
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
newbe46
2nd Gear Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 98
How often do you change the transmission fluid and the rear diff fluid?
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:04 PM   #3
jamrobin
1st Gear Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Deep River, Ont
Posts: 42
BMW says it's "lifetime fluid"... I disagree that any lubricant CAN last that long.
Most of the folks on the various boards suggest 80,000 miles (128,000km) so based on that my 318 was double overdue and my M3 was about 50% over...

My observation... The transmission fluid was definitely pretty much "well done" in both and the gear lube in the differential of the 318 was also way past it's prime at 265,000km but the M3 at 180,000km could have gone a bit longer on the gear oil.
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