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Manual Transmission Selector Shaft Seal Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Manual Transmission Selector Shaft Seal Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

****

Tools:

18mm socket and wrench, 16mm deep socket, flathead screwdriver, floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, torque wrench, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Manual transmission fluid, selector shaft seal

Hot Tip:

Warm transmission by driving for three miles before beginning

Performance Gain:

Remedy a fluid leak

Complementary Modification:

Replace manual transmission fluid

The longitudinally installed BMW E60 drivetrain came with a choice of three styles of 6-speed transmission: manual with foot-operated clutch; sequential manual with automatic clutch (SMG); automatic (Steptronic).

The selector shaft or selector rod for the manual transmission is the connection between the shifter and the transmission. Where the shaft enters the transmission, there is an oil seal located in the transmission housing that tends to leak over time. When this seal leaks, it creates an oil leak down the rear of your transmission. This seal is often mistaken for a leak at the driveshaft output seal. When looking for the source of an oil leak, always look for fresh clean oil. This will direct you to the problem area.

To gain access to the selector shaft seal, it is necessary to lower or remove the exhaust system and remove the heat shields that protect the transmission and the chassis from the heat of the exhaust. You also have to disconnect the rear driveshaft. Exhaust system and driveshaft removal are covered in separate tech articles.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this article, I'll go over the steps involved with replacing the selector shaft seal on rear wheel drive BMW E60 models with a manual transmission.

Jack up your vehicle and support it using jack stands. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove the engine splash shields. See our tech article on engine splash shields removing.

This photo shows the leak and what to look for.
Figure 1

This photo shows the leak and what to look for. You can see fresh gear oil dripping from the selector shaft and oil residue on the coupler and shift rod (red arrows).

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the rear muffler (red arrow).
Figure 2

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the rear muffler (red arrow).

Working at the center muffler hanger, behind the fuel tank (green arrow), lever the rubber hanger off the support using a pry bar (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the center muffler hanger, behind the fuel tank (green arrow), lever the rubber hanger off the support using a pry bar (red arrow).

Next, move forward on the exhaust to the center reinforcement (green arrow).
Figure 4

Next, move forward on the exhaust to the center reinforcement (green arrow). Remove the four 13mm fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the reinforcement from the body.

Now it is time to remove the final few supports for the exhaust and lower it.
Figure 5

Now it is time to remove the final few supports for the exhaust and lower it. First move to the rear of the muffler and remove the two 13mm nuts (red arrows).

Then remove the rear most hanger fastener (red arrow), a 13mm nut located to the left side of the tail pipe (green arrow).
Figure 6

Then remove the rear most hanger fastener (red arrow), a 13mm nut located to the left side of the tail pipe (green arrow).

Working at the transmission cross member, remove the E10 bolts while counter-holding the 13mm nuts (red arrows).
Figure 7

Working at the transmission cross member, remove the E10 bolts while counter-holding the 13mm nuts (red arrows). Note the bushing position when removing (red arrows) for reinstallation.

Lower the jack supporting the muffler about 8 inches.
Figure 8

Lower the jack supporting the muffler about 8 inches. Then remove the center heat shield fasteners (red arrow). There are eleven 8mm fasteners.

Once the fasteners have been removed, rotate the center heat shield toward the right side of the vehicle and pull it out from above the exhaust toward the rear of the vehicle (red arrow) and remove it.
Figure 9

Once the fasteners have been removed, rotate the center heat shield toward the right side of the vehicle and pull it out from above the exhaust toward the rear of the vehicle (red arrow) and remove it. At the front most corners of the heat shield, there are folded retaining tabs. Reach up under the plastic body shielding and unclip them.

Now move forward to the front pipe heat shield.
Figure 10

Now move forward to the front pipe heat shield. Remove three 8mm fasteners (red arrows) and two 10mm sheet metal nuts (green arrows).

Once the heat shield is free, move it down away from the body and toward the rear of the vehicle.
Figure 11

Once the heat shield is free, move it down away from the body and toward the rear of the vehicle. This one can stay in the vehicle if you want. You will have enough room to work around it.

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the transmission (red arrow).
Figure 12

Place a screw jack or hydraulic jack under the transmission (red arrow).

Working at the transmission cross member, remove the two 13mm transmission mount nuts (red arrows) and the six 13mm cross member mounting bolts (green arrows).
Figure 13

Working at the transmission cross member, remove the two 13mm transmission mount nuts (red arrows) and the six 13mm cross member mounting bolts (green arrows).

Working at the rear of the transmission, remove the four E12 bracket fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 14

Working at the rear of the transmission, remove the four E12 bracket fasteners (red arrows). Support the transmission bracket when removing the final fastener.

Remove the transmission bracket from the transmission.
Figure 15

Remove the transmission bracket from the transmission. Then remove the driveshaft flex-disc (red arrow). See our tech article on driveshaft flex-disc replacing.

Next, remove the shift rod clip.
Figure 16

Next, remove the shift rod clip. You can unlock it using your fingers and slide the clip off (red arrow). Then remove the shift rod from the selector shaft by pulling it out toward the left side. Once detached, place it out of your way.

The connecting joint for the shift rod has to be removed next.
Figure 17

The connecting joint for the shift rod has to be removed next. A connecting pin that is retained by a spring clip holds it on. Use a small flathead screwdriver and remove the spring clip (red arrow). Rotate the spring clip so the split end is near the bottom of the coupler. This allows room for the screwdriver.

Then slide the pin (red arrow) out through the bottom and remove it from the connecting joint.
Figure 18

Then slide the pin (red arrow) out through the bottom and remove it from the connecting joint. Once out, remove the connecting joint from the selector shaft.

Now it is time to remove the seal.
Figure 19

Now it is time to remove the seal. I use a small flathead screwdriver and slowly lever the seal out. You have to stick the screwdriver into the seal, then lever, then stick it in deeper and lever. Now be careful not to damage the transmission housing and work gently and slowly. This photo shows my screwdriver in place and how I am levering out the seal (red arrow).

To install a new seal, use a 16mm deep socket (red arrow) and tap the seal (green arrow) in until it bottoms out in the transmission housing.
Figure 20

To install a new seal, use a 16mm deep socket (red arrow) and tap the seal (green arrow) in until it bottoms out in the transmission housing. Work slowly and gently. Before installing, check that your 16mm socket is a good fit for this procedure. If it is larger than the seal, find one that will fit better.

This photo shows the connecting joint components: the connecting joint (red arrow), pin (green arrow) and spring clip (yellow arrow).
Figure 21

This photo shows the connecting joint components: the connecting joint (red arrow), pin (green arrow) and spring clip (yellow arrow).

Once the new seal is installed, I installed the spring clip (red arrow) onto the connecting joint as shown in the photo.
Figure 22

Once the new seal is installed, I installed the spring clip (red arrow) onto the connecting joint as shown in the photo. Then once placed on the selector shaft I slide the pin in and then engage the spring clip.

Be sure the shift rod coupler clip is properly seated.
Figure 23

Be sure the shift rod coupler clip is properly seated. It will engage. Then press it in a little further until it snaps into place. Reassemble the remaining parts in the reverse order of removal. Then top up or service your transmission fluid.









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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:43:07 AM