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2001 330i (pre-facelift)
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Discussion Starter · #262 ·
At this point, I'm about 90% finished with the transmission work. It was more than I bargained for. Part of that was my fault.

Here's a quick recap of what I'm doing to the transmission:
  • Fluid and filter replacement
  • Transgo pressure regulator upgrade
  • Aftermarket oil cooler

It's been 15 years since the last time I had a car with an automatic transmission. The last one had a dipstick. IMO this "fill port in the side" nonsense is... well, nonsense. :rolleyes:

Unfortunately, my drain pan wasn't big enough, so it didn't catch all the fluid that drained out. That made a mess. Then my genius self forgot there would be fluid lurking in the pan. More mess.

I could tell the transmission had never been serviced before. The old fluid was almost black. None of the fasteners had any witness marks from tools. And last but not least, the old filter had a date stamped on it: October 2000. The filter was completely clogged with clutch dust. I'm surprised the transmission even worked.

Installing the Transgo PR valve was pretty straightforward. The instructions are pretty good. No nasty surprises there. However, when I reinstalled the valve body, I positioned the shift mechanism incorrectly. I didn't notice until after reassembly. When I tried to move the shifter, it was bound up. OOPS. Take it back apart, Mike!

The photo below shows what I did wrong.



Here's the correct orientation. That "knob" on top of the thingy is supposed to ride in that groove.



Then I reassembled it again. Next I wanted to install the oil cooler. It isn't replacing the stock cooler (which is actually a heat exchanger). It will be an additional cooler. And I want it connected before the stock cooler. So when the transmission is cold, the stock cooler can help warm it up. So the add-on cooler needs to be spliced into the output line (from the transmission to the stock cooler). I wasn't sure which line that was, so I disconnected them both from the stock cooler and started the engine.

I had no idea the transmission pumped fluid at such a high rate! The engine ran for maybe 5 seconds, and puked about half a gallon of trans fluid on the floor. Of course, it missed the drain pan. :cautious:

But it was obvious which line I needed to splice into. The next question was where to mount the oil cooler. I tried a few different places. But I settled on "front and center", right where the aux fan used to be. I test-fitted the plastic duct over it, and there's plenty of room. See below.



Now we're getting close to completion! Next step was to make some pipes for the new cooler. I bent some aluminum tubing into shape. See below.



The pipes wrap around the side of the radiator. I'll have to cut a relief in the plastic duct for them. I also want to make a bracket or two, to support the lines. But that will have to wait for tomorrow.

After those lines are installed, I can fill the transmission and call it a day. To be honest, I'm ready to be done with it. (the work, not the car)
 

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2001 330i (pre-facelift)
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Discussion Starter · #263 ·
FedEx dropped off something today.



Those are urethane engine and trans mounts, from Revshift. Several places sell them, but Hard Motorsport had the best price at the time. I plan to install those after the transmission work is finished.

The original mounts are pretty thrashed, so this should be a nice upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #264 ·
I finished the transmission work today. What a relief! After topping off the trans fluid, I let the engine run for about 10 minutes to warm up the transmission. I kept an eye on the new hose connections, but there were no leaks. I could feel the new trans cooler getting toasty warm. That was gratifying. 😎

To fill the trans fluid, I modified a cheap garden sprayer from the hardware store. I removed the spray nozzle, and replaced it with a piece of clear hose. The nozzle severely reduces fluid flow, even with the spray tip removed. The bottle has 1 gallon capacity, so I had to refill it a couple times. The transmission must have been empty, because it took over 2 gallons to refill. (the manual says 9.2 quart / 8.7 liter capacity)



As mentioned above, I made a bracket to support the new trans cooler lines. The bracket is just a piece of aluminum stock, with a few holes drilled in it, and a couple pipe hangers bolted on. I attached it to one of the mounting points for the aux fan. I also had to cut a relief in the side of the radiator duct, to make room for the hoses. See photo below.



Then I put the front end back together, and snapped a few photos. If you look closely, you can see the trans cooler lurking in there. There's plenty of airspace around the trans cooler. Plus it'll get extra airflow when the radiator fan is on. So heat soak shouldn't be an issue. A few photos...







Sorry for the dirty car. I haven't had time to clean everything up yet.

Also, since the car is up on jackstands, I might as well replace the drivetrain mounts. So we'll segue straight into that. Have a nice weekend, everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #265 ·
The video for the transmission work is up. It's over 30 minutes long... probably my longest video to date. But it covers a lot of stuff. And you get to watch me make a big mess (and gripe about it).


The motor mounts should be pretty easy in comparison. Maybe I shouldn't say that... :p
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Here's a tip from someone that's BTDT.

I worry about various pipes of coolers/hoses that have been retrofitted into cars. I loose sleep wondering if hose X can loosen and/or slip off....
I usually try to flare the end a little to retain the hose/clamp.
I also have used the tubing cutter to make very slight ridges on the piece of pipe that the hose/clamp attaches to. The last inch or so.
The ridges provide a BITE for the hose so it can't slip.
I also usually double clamp those ends.
 

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Here's a tip from someone that's BTDT.

I worry about various pipes of coolers/hoses that have been retrofitted into cars. I loose sleep wondering if hose X can loosen and/or slip off....
I usually try to flare the end a little to retain the hose/clamp.
I also have used the tubing cutter to make very slight ridges on the piece of pipe that the hose/clamp attaches to. The last inch or so.
The ridges provide a BITE for the hose so it can't slip.
I also usually double clamp those ends.
Just to make you laugh i hope,i have before added a lyer of superglue where rubber meets metal pipe as insurance- i do not recommend this its what i have done.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Just to make you laugh i hope,i have before added a lyer of superglue where rubber meets metal pipe as insurance- i do not recommend this its what i have done.
:ROFLMAO: (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #269 · (Edited)
Here's a tip from someone that's BTDT.

I worry about various pipes of coolers/hoses that have been retrofitted into cars. I loose sleep wondering if hose X can loosen and/or slip off....
I usually try to flare the end a little to retain the hose/clamp.
I also have used the tubing cutter to make very slight ridges on the piece of pipe that the hose/clamp attaches to. The last inch or so.
The ridges provide a BITE for the hose so it can't slip.
I also usually double clamp those ends.
Sounds like you and I have similar experiences. Also, when you cut a piece of tubing with the cutter, it leaves a slight ridge on the cut end. That helps with sealing. I think it also helps that the 12mm ID hose has to stretch a little bit to fit over the 1/2" OD tubing.

The trans cooler is a low pressure circuit, so hose blow-off shouldn't be a concern. But still, I made sure to have at least 1.5" of overlap between the hoses and the tubing. IMO it's good practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 ·
I'm jealous of the time you have to play around with stuff.
Just a few hours here and a few hours there. I try to make the best of the time available.

Speaking of which, those motor mounts are now installed. Here's another shot of the new urethane mounts.



They appear to be pretty high quality. But looks can sometimes be deceiving. We'll know for sure soon enough. But they can't be worse than the original mounts. The old ones were thrashed! Three of the four were broken!



How many times did I drive THAT down a drag strip?! 😲
 

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Discussion Starter · #272 ·
The motor mount video is up!


Now I need to decide what to do next. I have some gauges to install. There are also some warning lights on the dash to deal with. And I'd also like to delete the evap system. Decisions, decisions... :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #274 ·
Good news! I'm back home. No tow truck required. 😎

The Basket Case BMW also made a new personal best: 14.51 @ 94.9 mph. The previous best was 14.88 @ 92.3 mph. That previous time was during the winter, too. It's stiil pretty warm and humid now. After the weather cools off, the numbers should get even better.

Here are a couple photos. The first one was when I arrived at the track, and was getting signed in.



The second photo was at the end of the night, just before I headed home.



So the Basket Case BMW redeemed itself. That makes me a happy camper. Anyway, it's bedtime. See ya later. (y)
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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The motor mount video is up!


Now I need to decide what to do next. I have some gauges to install. There are also some warning lights on the dash to deal with. And I'd also like to delete the evap system. Decisions, decisions... :unsure:
Word of caution:
@~ 9 min. You place your fingers in a precarious position. (Yeah I've done it too at times) But should the jack slip or fail.., the engine mount arm will crush your fingers.
Usually a well placed/sized piece of wood 2x4 between the subframe and the underside of the pan can keep your digits intact... FYI.
Good vid as always.
 

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Discussion Starter · #277 ·
The full video is up!


Also, I have a new goal. I want to get into the 13s with the stock engine and transmission. Shouldn't be too hard.
 
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