View Poll Results: How about changing the differential fluid?

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  • No Thanks! I beleive in Santa, The Easter Bunny, and BMW's "lifetime fill"

    1 4.76%
  • OK, sounds easy (It is!)

    20 95.24%
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Thread: Differential Fluid Flush n' Fill

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Blown 530

    Differential Fluid Flush n' Fill

    This DIY is a guide, and you MUST take responsibility for yourself if you screw something up. I, nor will anyone else do this for you!


    Well, I guess you chose option 2 in the poll. You will need the following for the fluid change:

    1- 2 quarts of your preferred differential fluid (3 if you also flush the diff) I prefer Amsoil 75-90 after trying many other manufacturers.
    2- ramps, or a car lift
    3- jack stands
    4- 14 mm hex socket and wrench (or sometime less common 17mm)
    5- pump for gear oil
    6- rags
    7- a big piece of cardboard to lay on and catch the grease that WILL miss the oil catch pan
    8- oil catch pan
    9- 2 new crush washers, part # 07119963355
    10- car jack
    11- 45 minutes of your time



    Drive the car around for a while in order to get the fluid good and warm. This will let the fluid run out of the differential much easier if it is warm.

    Drive the car up onto the ramps, put into park, and turn off the engine. Jack the rear of the car up, and place on the jack stands securely. Even though it's been said lifting the car from the differential is not the proper way to do so, it works for me. If there is a better way feel free to let us know.

    Try to get the car a level as possible. This is optimum for the fluid to drain, and refill level.


    Here's the drain plug.


    Here's the fill plug.


    Place the cardboard on the ground under the oil catch pan, and under the differential. Remove the drain plug. If you have recently coverted from BMW's "lifetime fill" belief the bolts will be a little hard to break loose. If this is the case try some WD-40 or Penetrating oil, and a breaker bar.

    This RedLine Blue draining. IMHO


    Pop the out fill plug when the old fluid has finished draining. Use the pump and about a quart of the NEW oil to flush the diff if you choose.


    Replace the drain plug with a NEW crush washer. Fill the diff with oil until it overflows though the fill fitting. This is where having the car level is really important. The fluid should just reach the edge of the filler hole.


    Replace the fill plug with a NEW crush washer. I torque the plugs to hand tight. Similar to the oil drain plug on the engine. The Bently manual says 52 ft-lb is the technically correct torque


    Now get the car on the ground, and go for a drive around the block.

    Back the car up onto the ramps to check for leaks.

    If you didn't find any, Awesome! Now go have beer with you gearhead buds.

    FIN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    newark,DE,USA
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    03 BMW E39
    Thats an awesome write-up thanks alot.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    2000 528i (01/2000 mfg. date)
    Another great writeup Jackat559. Is it just the pictures or are those drain and fill plugs Torx bolts? I know you can use a hex socket on a Torx bit, and I'm not at home so I can't double check with my Bentley.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    02 530i/5 sport
    Thanks for the writeup. I have two quarts of Royal Purple ready to go, just need to find the time to do it. I was wondering if I could use the ramps and jacks together to get the whole car up in the air. I have a manual, but I guess with it in gear, E-Brake and wheel chocks at the back it should not be rolling off the ramps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    E46+E36 M3
    Thanks for the write-up.
    AW|Byzanz



  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Thanks for the support!

    Quote Originally Posted by PJB View Post
    Another great writeup Jackat559. Is it just the pictures or are those drain and fill plugs Torx bolts? I know you can use a hex socket on a Torx bit, and I'm not at home so I can't double check with my Bentley.
    They are hex. It is possible to use torx bits to do this, but I strongly recommend using hex. In the past, in a pinch, I used toxr on a hex bolt, and ruined my bit because the bolt was seized.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarletFire View Post
    Thanks for the writeup. I was wondering if I could use the ramps and jacks together to get the whole car up in the air. I have a manual, but I guess with it in gear, E-Brake and wheel chocks at the back it should not be rolling off the ramps.
    If the car is on level ground it shouldn't be a problem. I also used wheel chocks to be on the safe side. Of course when the car is 4" in the air they don't really do a lot

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    00 540i, 11' X5 50i
    Pardon me for being kinda ignorant here but does the differential do in a car?
    What differences, if any, did you notice after flushing out the differential?

    Current:
    2012 Audi A4 S-Line
    2011 BMW X5 50i
    2000 BMW 540i

    Past:
    2010 Mercedes ML350
    2002 Lexus IS300
    1998 Audi A6 Quattro
    1988 Honda Prelude

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    '99 540i, '89 325ix
    Great write up, I would recommend pulling the fill plug first just to make sure you can. It would suck to drain it and then find out you can't fill it up again...
    '90 325ix 5 Speed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Teaneck, NJ
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    2007 530i 6
    BTW, your undercarriage is SPOTLESS
    I had mine done at the dealer last month
    2007 E60 530i - Current
    2002 E39 530i - RIP

    BMW CCA MEMBER 397411

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Mass
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al's540i View Post
    Pardon me for being kinda ignorant here but does the differential do in a car?
    What differences, if any, did you notice after flushing out the differential?
    The web and a search engine is a wonderful tool. Try it.... you will like it
    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differential2.htm

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    00 540i, 11' X5 50i
    Quote Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
    The web and a search engine is a wonderful tool. Try it.... you will like it
    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differential2.htm
    Thanks for that. HOwever, what difference did the flush make? Any improvement in driving?

    Current:
    2012 Audi A4 S-Line
    2011 BMW X5 50i
    2000 BMW 540i

    Past:
    2010 Mercedes ML350
    2002 Lexus IS300
    1998 Audi A6 Quattro
    1988 Honda Prelude

  13. #13
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    Great write-up!

    Do you know if there is a difference between the (2) Amsoil severe gear oils 75w-90??

    I have the other....
    http://www.amsoil.com/storefront/svg.aspx
    SEVERE GEARŪ Synthetic Extreme Pressure (EP) Lubricant 75W-90 (SVG)
    Formulated for the severe operating conditions of today’s pick-up trucks, SUVs, heavy equipment and other hard working vehicles.

    See Pricing Information or Place an Order
    Package sizes include:
    1-Quart Bottle
    1-Quart Bottles (case of 12)
    5-Gallon Pail
    16-Gallon Keg
    30-Gallon Drum
    55-Gallon Drum


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Pull n Release
    LOL it says Lube on the bottle.....



    Great writeup man! Hopefully that will give people the extra BALL needed to do the job.

    Another FP5241 Creation
    Parting out M54 Engine. Intake and all. Cats avail as well. PM ME!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    In the wood
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    Holy cow man! the Under belly of your car is cleaner than most people's car LOL. But thanks for write up.

  16. #16
    Join Date
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    No kidding on the undercarriage. Great write-up and pics!
    2008 Lexus LS460
    2016 Lexus NX200t
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    Island Elites - West Coast Elites
    Team Airrex
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    2002 540iA Sport (SOLD)
    1998 M3/4 (SOLD)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    Great write-up!

    Do you know if there is a difference between the (2) Amsoil severe gear oils 75w-90??
    Thanks! I'm not sure of the exact differences between the two products. The severe gear oil seems to have been developed for harsh conditions. Amsoil tech may have to answer this to be more precise. All in all I love their products.



    I like to keep the car clean a possible, for many reasons. It's easy just to wipe things down, as general maintenace things are done. This way it's easy to spot if things are starting to go wrong. For example while changing the power steering fuild I noticed fluid just below the supercharger. Due to everything being relativly clean it was easy to trace the leak to an oil return line.

    Also when the car goes in for work the anal retentivness is noticed. It's funny to watch people look at the car then see it has 150,000 miles. I had it serviced under warranty by accident about 2 years ago when the sercice guy miss read the odmeter, and though it said 13,500 instead of 135,000. A clean car saved me some duckets that day!

  18. #18
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackcat559 View Post
    Thanks! I'm not sure of the exact differences between the two products. The severe gear oil seems to have been developed for harsh conditions. Amsoil tech may have to answer this to be more precise. All in all I love their products.



    I like to keep the car clean a possible, for many reasons. It's easy just to wipe things down, as general maintenace things are done. This way it's easy to spot if things are starting to go wrong. For example while changing the power steering fuild I noticed fluid just below the supercharger. Due to everything being relativly clean it was easy to trace the leak to an oil return line.

    Also when the car goes in for work the anal retentivness is noticed. It's funny to watch people look at the car then see it has 150,000 miles. I had it serviced under warranty by accident about 2 years ago when the sercice guy miss read the odmeter, and though it said 13,500 instead of 135,000. A clean car saved me some duckets that day!
    Thanks!
    I love Amsoil too!
    Jared "JYost" hooked me up, and got me the preferred customer status.
    The Amsoil application lists the Severe Gear fluid (the one I pictured) for my car, hence, that is why I bought it.

    I asked the Amoil dealer (Jared) about it, and he said the other gear oil you used is great too, maybe even over-kill.
    So, it's all good!

    My car was serviced at the dealer up until it was at 60k miles, which was when the cabin filters were replaced last.

    I just replaced them at 80k miles, and I literally dug out dirt out of the filter compartment. Plus, I pulled out leaves too...
    I guess my car is not quite as squeeky clean as yours.

    Thanks!
    Jason

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Reading the bottle discriptions they seem very close to each other. Just one is more heavy duty.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    ireland
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    2001 530d sport
    wow that is one clean underbody

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Miami, FL
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    '02 530i & '15 X1 35i
    The DIY man does it again!

    I just put new BMW fluid in mine. Since I had a few bottles in my tool box.

    I love your car Jackcat...it's so sleeper.
    '02 E39 530i/5sp Topaz Blue/Black Interior - MegaSquirt3x - PTE6262 turbo - E85 fuel - Volk TE37 SL - Custom Porsche Brembo BBK - 600whp @ 22 PSI
    '15 E84 X1 35i M Sport Alpine White/Coral Red Interior - H&R Sports & Bilstein B6 - OEM 437m wheels - ETS FMIC - MPI Charge pipe & DME Flash - 3.5" down pipe


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NJ
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    02 530i/5 sport
    Well I did both the diff & manual trans. fluid today. All went really well because of the great info on this site. One thing that no one ever mentioned is how bad the old fluid smells. WOW the garage still stinks. I used RP fluid for everything. next comes new plugs.

  23. #23
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    I thought this would have been dumped in the DIY sticky for future referance.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    98 528i
    Awesome BRO!! Will have to do soon!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Omaha, NE
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    1998 528i 5-spd 102K
    Great DIY. However, I posted my DIY for Man Trans and Rear Diff Fluids some 3 years ago in May 2006.
    - No need to jack up the car: I use woodramps...(see pics).
    - No need to buy the oil pump (it is messy). I use clear vinyl tubing and gravity fill (see pics):
    http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/379239

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