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BMW Transfer Case Fluid Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Transfer Case Fluid Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Talent:

****

Tools:

Fluid pump, 18mm wrench and socket, 14mm Allen bit

Applicable Models:

BMW 325xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 330xi Sedan (2006)

Parts Required:

Transfer case fluid, transfer case fill and drain plugs

Hot Tip:

Work on hard level surface.

Performance Gain:

Extend lifetime of your transfer case

Complementary Modification:

Change transmission fluid at same time

The transfer case fluid condition is monitored by the transfer case control module. In theory, you will be notified when a service is due on the info display via the transfer case control module. However, the fluid may need replacement more frequently. It is a good idea to service your fluid every 50,000 miles. If you're unsure of the last service, replace the fluid as soon as possible. Doing so will extend the life of your transmission. The only catch with servicing this fluid is you have to reset the transfer case control module adaptations each time you replace it. My suggestion is to replace the fluid, then have the adaptations reset by someone with a BMW scan tool. Choose a fluid that meets BMW's current specifications for your vehicle. To determine the fluid that belongs in your transmission, check your owners manual, or give our parts specialists a call.

Drive vehicle for about 3 miles to warm transfer case fluid.

Jack up all four corners of your vehicle. I suggest using four jack stands and slowly raising vehicle to required height. Vehicle needs to be level when checking and replacing fluid.

Remove lower splash shields. See our tech article on engine splash shield removing.

Place drain pan under your transfer case and remove 14mm Allen fluid drain plug.
Figure 1

Place drain pan under your transfer case and remove 14mm Allen fluid drain plug. (green arrow) Allow the fluid to drain completely. Once drained, reinstall the drain plug and tighten it. The transfer case mount bracket has to be removed to fill the transfer case. You will have to support the transfer case while doing this, then jack it to the level position when refilling it.

Place a jack under the transfer case to support it.
Figure 2

Place a jack under the transfer case to support it. Use a piece of wood between the jack and the transfer case to protect it from damage.

Working at the transfer case mount, remove nut and loosen the 18mm mount bolt.
Figure 3

Working at the transfer case mount, remove nut and loosen the 18mm mount bolt. The nut will come off but the bolt will stay in the mount while you remove the bracket.

Now remove the 10mm heat shield fastener (yellow arrow).
Figure 4

Now remove the 10mm heat shield fastener (yellow arrow). Then remove six 13mm transfer case mounting bracket fasteners. (green arrows) The jack isn't shown in this photo, be sure to keep the transfer case supported while removing these fasteners.

Now remove the transfer case mounting bracket.
Figure 5

Now remove the transfer case mounting bracket. You will have to pull the bolt out far enough to clear the mount.

Level the transfer case.
Figure 6

Level the transfer case. Then remove the fluid fill plug (green arrow). Fill the fluid until it is level with bottom of fill hole or very little leaks out. Once full, install and torque fill plug. Reassemble mount bracket and splash shields.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Billy Comments: Hi, I have a bavarian technic diagnostic tool which works like the BMW scan tool. The options for the transfer case fluid are the following:
1ECU Reset
2Delete HO integrators
3Reset resistor class of gearbox
4Delete Calibration
Do you know which one is for resetting the transfer case fluid adaptations?

Thank you,
Billy
August 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not familiar with that scan tool or those menu items. I would contact the tool manufacturer, they will know which it is. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
yun514 Comments: E90 328xi 2007
July 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
yun514 Comments: hi i got a E90 328xi and i have 3 light that came up on my dashboard 4x4. Abs and brake red light. So i scan the car its came up with the speed wheel sensor - transfercase malfonction and some other code !
July 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start by replacing the wheel speed sensor that set the fault code. That may be the only issue. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Manny Comments: I have a 2008 328xi....do u know the weight for the transfer case and the diffential oil?
June 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I only have the BMW info:
Diff:
All models are factory filled with a synthetic final drive oil.

Limited Slip Differentials
BMW Synthetic Final Drive Oil (SAF-XJ)
(with multi-plate limited-slip differential)

Non Limited Slip Differentials
BMW Synthetic Final Drive Oil (SAF-XO)
(without multi-plate limited-slip differential, or with viscous differential lock [325iX/iXA])

Motorsport vehicles
All E46 M3, E60 M5, E63/E64 M6 and E85 M roadster and M coupe require SAF-XJ Fluid

Transfer case:
Fluid TF0870
BMW part number 83 22 0 397 244

Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what fluid weight is.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
MLCM Comments: Can I lower the transfer case to loosen the fill plug before I remove the drain plug? Every differential fluid change procedure I've seen says to loosen the fill plug before you touch the drain plug, lest you drain the fluid only to find you can't open the fill plug.
April 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes you can, but you will have to support it when draining it, or removing the drain plug. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Micool Comments: Hi, the seal is leaking on the transfer case where the drive shaft attaches. I didn't see a write up on it. Thanks in advance. 07 328xi.
March 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We don't currently have that tech article. If we get a chance to perform the procedure, we will be sure to document it.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799.

It would be similar to this procedure:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/TRANS-Output_Shaft_Seal_Replacement/TRANS-Output_Shaft_Seal_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
pat Comments: my 2007 328xi e91 does not have a 30mm nut on the output shaft your figure 8 just a clip. also my output shaft is flush with the transferncase, unlike yours. how do i pull the output shaft on my transfer case to get to the seal? part 4 in this image http://www.e90post.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=394643&stc=1&d=1275921304
January 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Remove the snap ring, then you can pull the end off. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Yangorang Comments: How hard is it to replace the rubber mount 22316773125 since the bracket has to be removed anyway while replacing the fluid? How often does this mount typically need to be replaced?
December 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is pressed in and out. Once out, use a shop press or the BMW press to replace it. This is on a different model, but similar concept:
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E46/115-TRANS-All_Wheel_Drive_Transfer_Case_Mount_Replacement/115-TRANS-All_Wheel_Drive_Transfer_Case_Mount_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
devildogae Comments: Is there a way to reset adaptations yourself without going to a shop?
August 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not unless you have a BMW scan tool. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Twinky64 Comments: 2007 328xi with 110k miles - Why would one need to reset adaptations if only changing the xfer case oil? I understand new hardware, but it's still required when scope of change involves fluid only? Or is the recommendation to have adaptations reset a safety measure but not required? If I do not reset adaptations, will it impact the driveability of the vehicle?
April 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It is a clutch driven transfer case. The module makes adaptations as the fluid and case age. They have to be reset when the fluid is replaced. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Max Comments: How much oil would I need to fill the transfer case and the automatic transmission after draining them out on a 2006 BMW 325xi?
Thanks you
April 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Measure what you drained, that is the best bet.

Transmission holds 9.5 liters.

Transfer case holds 0.6 liters. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
laurence barnes Comments: Hi Nick:
Is this the same as 2008 xi? I saw some posts saying you don't need to remove any bolts.
January 19, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, it is the same for a 2008. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ajazjohn Comments: Thanks Nick it ended up that i had to reprogram new actuator motor to my car. All controls r working and all the warning lights are off.
January 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Toicy4ya Comments: Is the transfer case oil and transmission oil the same thing?
January 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ajazjohn Comments: Also code did come up for wheel speed sensor, but scanner does not show which wheel sensor it is. how can i check that.
December 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can monitor each wheels speed sensor using a BMW scan tool. The one that reads the incorrect speed is likely the issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ajazjohn Comments: Do i have to take support bracket out or can i check it with support bracket attaches.
December 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Whatever it takes to get the motor back out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ajazjohn Comments: Hi nick i have a 330xi, Recently Actuator motor was replaced and i still get Red brake, Abs,Traction icon, 4X4 light still on, Cruse control dont work either.Any suggestion what i look for. I pull codes using icarsoft i910 scanner and it shows. 5f39 Transfer case internal.
c998 Insignificant szl fault and a0b5 wheel-speed sensor.
December 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if the lever where the actuator attaches at transfer case is broken. Move it by hand, you should be bale to tell it if is making contact.

Check the wheel speed sensor signals also. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
DCaron Comments: Just did this on my 2009 328i xdrive with 142,000Kms. Ended up loosening the cross brace without removing it to access the fill hole. The large transverse bolt would not come out of the cross brace as the exhaust pipe was blocking it. Quite cramped up there even with a loose brace that you can move out of the way a little bit.

Id like to add that after draining the old dirty fluid, I had extra fluid which I used to purge the transfer case of the old remains. Once clean fluid started draining out. I put a new drain bolt back on and tightened it. I proceeded with filling with fresh fluid and approximately 600ML went in before spilling through the fill hole.

Make sure you clean any oil stains from all areas that get hot, or you will be smelling the stuff for a while ...
September 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ryan Comments: Does taking off the transfer case mounting bracket make it difficult to remove and torque the fill plug with the transfer case being unsupported?
July 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, it does not. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mo Comments: I'm having a issue getting the 18mm bolt back through. It came out fairly easily. But no matter what I do i cant get the holes to line up. To get the bolt through. Any suggestions?
January 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That part can be a pain. Once the bracket is installed, you may have to raise or lower the transfer case to align the bolt hole. Sometimes I use a small punch to get the hole to line up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Luis Comments: how long after the fluid change do i have until i have to have the adaptations reset? can i do the fluid change and then drive the car to my indy mechanic without a problem?

Thanks, Luis
November 20, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That would be fine. Just do it right away. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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