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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:56 PM   #1
mullethunter3
 
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Automatic transmission... which one do I have?

Hey all, I was thinking about changing my tranny fluid over the summer. I've already ran into a couple of problems.

I know the specs are different for each different tranny, so how to I find out which one I have? What kind of fluid do I use, specifically? How much fluid do I need? Are there any special tools I would need to do this job, i.e. a large socket or hex head socket?

VIN: WBABE6312PJC10380

And yes, I have my VIN memorized.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:14 PM   #2
94bmw325i
 
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I think you would need a hex socket. I have no idea if 318's use the crappy GM tranny, I hope not lol
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:38 PM   #3
mullethunter3
 
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I know that I'm supposed to know what kind I have. It should be either A4S 270R, A4S 310R or A5S 310Z.
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:44 PM   #4
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what year is your car again?
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Old 04-06-2007, 12:17 AM   #5
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it should be on a plate on the side of the tranny... put it on ramps or jack up the driver's side and you should be able to see it.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:56 AM   #6
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- check out this (the A4s 270r & 310r trans use same filter & gaskets) and you should be using dexron III
http://bmwfans.info/original/E36/Cou...4/ill-24_0799/
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:27 AM   #7
Dudesky

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If you wanna know specifically, "Qc" is right, the only way to be sure is to check what the ID plate says on the tranny casing. You never know if the thing might have ben replaced in the past, and it's also not unusual for manufacturers to substitute parts during a production run.
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:03 AM   #8
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Is that the damn GM transmission?
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Old 04-06-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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Gee, is the GM automatic transmission that bad? I always thought that automatic transmissions was the one thing that GM actually got quite right. Of course, proper care and maintenance help the cause a lot, and changing the fluid is in line with that (along with cleaning the electrical connections), but overall I thought they made a decent unit, just to allay your concerns a bit.
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Old 04-06-2007, 09:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mullethunter3
And yes, I have my VIN memorized.
kinda OT, but i have my vin memorized too. for my old and current bimmers!
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Old 04-06-2007, 11:25 AM   #11
drz

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Those GM transmissions are good. BMW is a smart company - they bought those trannies because they were good.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3050rpm
but overall I thought they made a decent unit, just to allay your concerns a bit.
Don't think you've heard the story... my mom's Chevy van (5 years old) crapped out on us when we were in Michigan, mind you, we live in Missouri. We towed the POS to a dealer in which they found that the ENTIRE transmission was broken. Not a little fix, not a bolt, not anything nice... we had to buy a whole new transmission! For a five year old van!!!! $5000 in parts and labor later, we finally made it back to Missouri and bought her a BMW. It's not like she ever mistreated it, she's very big on preventative maintenance. And when we sold the van, we could only sell it for $3500. For a 2000 year model. That POS cost $29500 new. And in five years the transmission basically fell out of the thing and we could only sell it for $500 less than I bought my 1993 318is for! In my honest opinion, GM is rubbish. If they made quality cars (or transmissions) none of that would have ever happened, my mom would still be driving the van instead of her E39, my sister would be driving a Saturn instead of her E30 and my dad would not be currently looking for a BMW. If I do have a damn GM tranny, I guess I'll have to baby it so that it doesn't leave me stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere and cost me $5000 to fix.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:10 PM   #13
3050rpm
 
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Ooooo, that's certainly an experience that'll color one's outlook, kinda the same reason why I won't buy another Dell... Well, my hope is that such a fate won't befall you, and doing the fluid changes (and watching for any seepage which might indicate a seal needs to be changed, which involves some work, but less than a rebuild) will bring you m-a-n-y miles. Be sure to check those electrical connections though, I understand they can get gunked up and loosened.
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Old 04-06-2007, 05:40 PM   #14
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well the thing is, I dont think the GM tranny is designed for my 325, I have driven plenty of other american, european, japanese automatics that were a lot better, shifting wise, and downshifting, etc. Oh and got better gas mileage for the size of the motor, and shifting all the time under 3k..
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Old 04-07-2007, 03:58 AM   #15
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To clarify some mis-info, GM makes quite a few different transmissions (and has for years) - the trans in "Mullets'" moms' van was a disaster project from GM (turbo 200) those vans were a disaster to start with. The typical GM trans (turbo 350 & 400) are extremely reliable and there are millions of them out there - Buicks, Cadillacs, Chev/GMC trucks, etc. The reason BMW auto trans (aka "GM version) gets a bad rap is the load/gear ratios of BMWs' diffs - and the lack of regular maintenance. If you do the fluid/filter changes every 50k you'll have no problems. If you drive it hard then do the filter changes more often like every 30k.
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