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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2005 L322 td6 that has the GM 5 speed transmission that is "sealed for life".
How do I change the oil?
What spec is the replacement oil?
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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There’s a drain plug in the bottom of the sump pan and a combined filler/level plug on the side of the casing. You’re likely to only get about 4 litres out this way.

The fluid level must be set with the engine running and the transmission fluid at a temperature of 35-45 deg.C

The correct fluid is Texaco Texamatic ETL-7045E and, because it’s sometimes difficult to source, there’s been many discussions on the board as to what alternatives could be used, especially as the official fluid also says Dexron III on the bottle!

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=30994&p=295548#p295548

Phil
 

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pentosin atf1 is the esso alternative. It is a golden color VS the regular atf fluid which is red.

I will be changing mine this weekend .
 

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Yep, despite all the conjecture in respect of the correct fluid to use, any high quality latest spec auto transmission fluid is OK.
The industry specs are there for all to see and it's just oil companies attempting to claim that their fluids are better than others.
And at the time of the td6 release LR had some sort of collusive deal with Texaco hence their promotion of that brand at that time.
 

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Daniel said:
Yep, despite all the conjecture in respect of the correct fluid to use, any high quality latest spec auto transmission fluid is OK.
The industry specs are there for all to see and it's just oil companies attempting to claim that their fluids are better than others.
And at the time of the td6 release LR had some sort of collusive deal with Texaco hence their promotion of that brand at that time.
Actually this is not the case - especially for the GM 5l40E in the TD6. Not all late model transmission fluids are the same and more modern manufacturing tolerances, materials, and construction make it increasingly important to use the proper fluid. This is why the ZF 5HP24 used in the V8 vehicles uses Esso LT71141 (not Texaco) whereas the TD6 uses Texaco ETL-7045E rather than both using a generic Dexron III, IV, or + ATF. BMW even specifies 2 different types of fluid in two versions of the 5l40E used in the X5: Texaco ETL-7045E in the BMW A5S360R and Texaco ETL-8072B in the uprated BMW A5S390R (thanks Bemble!).

I did considerable research on this transmission and spoke to all sorts of people from Ian Ashcroft, to John Mackey, to some very competent folks at Sonnax Transmissions.

The 5l40E has some very real problems - nearly all of which are pressure related. In a nutshell, the biggest wear issues stem from wear in the valve body bores and in the torque converter clutch valve bore. It seems that, for whatever reason, the aluminum used by GM in the casting of these pieces is softer than the material used in other (older) GM transmissions. This wear leads to improper shift/lock-up pressures which in turn leads to premature wear in the rest of the transmission components (which drop particulates into the fluid and exacerbate the wear in the valve bores) and, at some point, transmission failure.

All of the people I spoke to concurred on a number of items:
-'sealed for life' is not a good thing.As the filter is on the suction side of the system, it can't be made too fine as otherwise it would cause cavitation in the pump. These means that wear causing particulates, once in the transmission fluid, are there to cause damage till removed - or transmission failure. Early, regular fluid changes are good and necessary.
- using the proper transmission fluid is vital. The valves tend to oscillate relatively rapidly in their bores and the GM engineers put considerable effort into the interaction of the materials vs. pressures vs. wear problems. Use only the recommended fluid - not all fluid is alike.
- when transmissions are rebuilt, cleanliness is vital as is checking the tolerances in the valves and the pump
- after a rebuild, changing the fluid is almost more necessary than before to reduce the likelihood of a repeat failure

Most TD6 transmissions will fail at between 80-100k miles. Some of the rebuilders I spoke to told me that they make minor modifications such as sleeving the valve bores with a harder material and for this reason, they felt that a transmission rebuilt properly was actually better than ex-factory while other stated that the best one could hope for is back to OEM-spec (with another failure in 80-100k miles).

I would not go to the dealer to buy my transmission fluid, but I would purchase only the recommended Texaco ETL 7045E for a TD6. Anything else is penny wise and dollar foolish IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Stevemfr said:
Daniel said:
Yep, despite all the conjecture in respect of the correct fluid to use, any high quality latest spec auto transmission fluid is OK.
The industry specs are there for all to see and it's just oil companies attempting to claim that their fluids are better than others.
And at the time of the td6 release LR had some sort of collusive deal with Texaco hence their promotion of that brand at that time.
Actually this is not the case - especially for the GM 5l40E in the TD6. Not all late model transmission fluids are the same and more modern manufacturing tolerances, materials, and construction make it increasingly important to use the proper fluid. This is why the ZF 5HP24 used in the V8 vehicles uses Esso LT71141 (not Texaco) whereas the TD6 uses Texaco ETL-7045E rather than both using a generic Dexron III, IV, or + ATF. BMW even specifies 2 different types of fluid in two versions of the 5l40E used in the X5: Texaco ETL-7045E in the BMW A5S360R and Texaco ETL-8072B in the uprated BMW A5S390R (thanks Bemble!).

I did considerable research on this transmission and spoke to all sorts of people from Ian Ashcroft, to John Mackey, to some very competent folks at Sonnax Transmissions.

The 5l40E has some very real problems - nearly all of which are pressure related. In a nutshell, the biggest wear issues stem from wear in the valve body bores and in the torque converter clutch valve bore. It seems that, for whatever reason, the aluminum used by GM in the casting of these pieces is softer than the material used in other (older) GM transmissions. This wear leads to improper shift/lock-up pressures which in turn leads to premature wear in the rest of the transmission components (which drop particulates into the fluid and exacerbate the wear in the valve bores) and, at some point, transmission failure.

All of the people I spoke to concurred on a number of items:
-'sealed for life' is not a good thing.As the filter is on the suction side of the system, it can't be made too fine as otherwise it would cause cavitation in the pump. These means that wear causing particulates, once in the transmission fluid, are there to cause damage till removed - or transmission failure. Early, regular fluid changes are good and necessary.
- using the proper transmission fluid is vital. The valves tend to oscillate relatively rapidly in their bores and the GM engineers put considerable effort into the interaction of the materials vs. pressures vs. wear problems. Use only the recommended fluid - not all fluid is alike.
- when transmissions are rebuilt, cleanliness is vital as is checking the tolerances in the valves and the pump
- after a rebuild, changing the fluid is almost more necessary than before to reduce the likelihood of a repeat failure

Most TD6 transmissions will fail at between 80-100k miles. Some of the rebuilders I spoke to told me that they make minor modifications such as sleeving the valve bores with a harder material and for this reason, they felt that a transmission rebuilt properly was actually better than ex-factory while other stated that the best one could hope for is back to OEM-spec (with another failure in 80-100k miles).

I would not go to the dealer to buy my transmission fluid, but I would purchase only the recommended Texaco ETL 7045E for a TD6. Anything else is penny wise and dollar foolish IMO.

Ok thanks for that - so then why does GM specify different ATF and why do BMW dealers themselves specify and sell Esso ATF (under a BMW label and part number)?

GM categorically state that any of their approved list of D6 oils are OK to use and specifically require that the D3 spec (as in Texaco ETL7045E) be superceded by the later approved D6 ATF regardless of lube manufacturer or lube type??? They provide a whole list of approved D6 spec ATFs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
OK - I've just about used up my research time allocation for this year.

My research now concludes with this -

The L322 td6 transmission is the European (Straussbourg France) GM manufactured 5L40E otherwise known as a Hydramatic and also fitted to a vast array of other vehicles including BMW in Eutope and GM in USA.

GM pre 2006 specified Dexron III and post 2006 GM specifies Dexron VI.

Various lube manufacturers produce equivalent spec ATF although GM only authourises certain approved ATF for their transmissions and warn that any ATF that carry specs other than D6 are not approved and could prove harmful.

Most lube manufacturers still list D3 specs and are therefore not approved by GM for any of their transmissions.

Many of the more commonly available lubes are only to the D3 specs and therefore not suitable (and probably harmful) to any modern GM transmission.

Many fully synthetic ATFs including all of Castrol's (aka BP) and Mobil's (aka Esso) ATF products are not to D6 specs and are therefore unsuitable for use in the td6 GM transmission.

It appears that Penrite ATFDX6 (semisynthetic) is suitable. Penrite's ATF synthetic is not suitable.

I'd be interested to hear from other researchers.
 

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I know what you mean by using allocated research time...

What all rebuilders concurred on, was that the engineers went through great pains to select a lube that - amongst other characteristics - reduces the wear caused by the oscillation of the valves in the (soft) bores.

While the GM 5L40E is basically the same in a GM/BMW/RR/whatever, there are differences in the valve bodies. One co. I spoke to who modify valve bodies wanted the valve body from the exact vehicle - no other supposedly same - for end customer cars as they had bad experiences modifying valve bodies from different 5L40E's throwing codes or, worse, shifting improperly, etc. Even some of the most renowned experts I spoke to stated that there were just too many variables affecting transmission operation to equate one to the other. They all recommended sticking to the manufacturer recommended ATF.

I'll be the first to save a buck when I can. I love Chinese tools (that work) and only cost a 1/10th of the normal price. For me, it's simply not worth saving 50€ and risking €3000 as one would here.
 

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adara said:
I changed the oil/filter with a friend so here is the experience:
http://www.fullfatrr.com/forum/topic1259.html
As I own a Td6 with a GM 5L40-E automatic gearbox and the ATF change procedure isn’t really explained anywhere (it's actually quite controversial), I thought I should write this down. As my car was approaching 125000km and after reading hundreds of posts both on BMW and LR forums, I decided it’s better to change the “filled for life” gearbox oil. I also was concerned with the shudders my car started to have while reversing, or the vibrations that were felt if stationary when in D. The documentation in RAVE does not deal with filter change, and the gearbox filter isn’t even listed in Microcat! The special Texaco oil isn’t even available in my country! So after identifying the GM5L40-E as the BMW A5S360R gearbox and the Texaco ETL 7045E oil as the BMW p/n 83 22 0 026 922, I tried to find them as cheap as possible. The oil is available only at the BMW dealer for 11EUR/liter, but the filter (p/n 24117557070) costs over 90 EUR there, so I found a Bilstein filter kit for 40EUR. I purchased 9 liters, in the end I used less than 7.

Right, with the help of a mechanic friend (and who owns a ramp), I started the draining of the gearbox oil.

The engine was warm, so we loosened the fill plug that is situated on the left side( facing forward) towards the front of the gearbox, and then we removed the drain plug that is on the bottom in the front (my car is LHD). We got more than 6 liters out, and we started to remove the 20 bolts. The pan was removed easily and we started cleaning it and the magnet too.

The oil was dirty, not totally black though and there were some particles on the magnet but nothing to be worried about.

The surprise came when we noticed that the bottom part of the filter was different from the one I bought!

My mechanic friend decided that LR probably enhanced the design to avoid any chance of it getting loose from very rough off-road handling, but as the filter was very hard to remove from the pump in the first place and it’s supported anyway to the rear by the shape of the pan, we decided that there is no risk in using the new filter.

While removing the old filter we noticed that there are 2 o-rings on the tube pointing upwards and one of them remained stuck in the hole. We got it out with a hook made from thick wire. After cleaning the gasket location thoroughly, we fitted the new filter; then the clean pan with the magnet in place and the gasket were tightened with the new bolts provided in the kit. We refitted the drain plug and started putting back fresh oil. After 4 liters it started pouring from the fill hole, so we tightened the fill plug a little and started the engine. While pressing the brake pedal and with the engine running, I went through all the gears a dozen times. After stopping the engine we refilled with more oil until it started overflowing. We tightened the plug a little again and started the engine. With the foot on the brake I shifted to N and my friend unscrewed the fill plug and added some more oil. We stopped the engine, tightened the plug and I drove around the block. When back and with the engine off, we opened the fill plug and about 250g of oil poured from it. At this point we tightened the plug for good and off I went. The whole deal took 2 hours, it’s not difficult and if done properly it’s not dangerous at all. After 10km I can say that the shudders and hesitations are gone, the shifts are smoother and the noise seems to be lower too... It would be great if I could repeat this procedure after a few hundreds km, this way more of the original oil would be swapped.



Thanks for that adara - nice summary and pics.

Where are you in Eastern Europe? I'm in Australia but in 3 weeks time will be travelling throughout eastern Europe - Polska, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and then up to the arctic circle - we have a route planned out covering just over 10ooo kms.

Any way back to the td6 - we also have no such ATF as Texamatic available - the BMW dealers here sell BMW brand (rebadged Esso oil) and they do not even know what they are selling - if you read various BMW forums then you'll see that most BMW dealers sell the wrong spec ATF anyway. So my conclusion is to follow the manufacturers (Gm) recommendations and go for the true dexron VI spec AFT approved by GM with authorisation number. That spec ATF costs us $AUD300 for 20 litres (about 10 euro per litre). I purchased the genuine German BMW filter kit from Pelican parts in USA for about 22 euro each complete with filter, gasket and pan bolts.

I've had the reverse shudders in my L322 td6 since new - I thought that it was linked to the electric steering assistance and not transmission.

I'm not sure that you did the correct thing by opening the level plug after warm up. In auto transmissions it is critical that the correct level of ATF is maintained, Too much is never a problem but too little is critical especially in off road situations. As I understand it, the ATF level must be checked at normal workshop temperature (20°C -30°C. An auto tranny will easily reach 120°C- 150°C at which time the ATF expands and is at a far higher level. I would putting that 250 ml of ATF back in and probably some more as well when you check it at room temperature (not operating temperature!)
 

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Daniel said:
...the ATF change procedure isn’t really explained anywhere....
The filling instructions are very clear. When the fluid level is set the fluid temperature must be between 35 & 45 deg.C and the engine must be running (to ensure that the torque converter, oil cooler and all the valve block galleries are full) - as I stated in my post above.

Phil
 

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RRPhil said:
[...the ATF change procedure isn’t really explained anywhere....
The filling instructions are very clear. When the fluid level is set the fluid temperature must be between 35 & 45 deg.C and the engine must be running (to ensure that the torque converter, oil cooler and all the valve block galleries are full) - as I stated in my post above.

Phil[/quote]

that wasn't my quote - that was adara's quote - I guess it's all relative. 35°C - 45°C is the temp of ATF here in Australia within 30 secs of engine start - perhaps except in the dead of winter in the southern regions where it may take 1 minute to reach that temp.

Therefore the advice that checking ATF levels is done at room temp rather than at running temp still applies and is critical especially if the old ATF is drained at running temp.

And too much ATF is never an issue as the tranny will simply throw out the excess through the breather whereas too low a level will result instant destruction of clutch linings.
 

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...and because you didn't have the engine running when you set the fluid level your transmission is now running with insufficient fluid in it.

Phil
 

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Yes sorry - I thought that we were discussing temp and not the engine running aspect of this.

I took the engine running as granted and that is standard for any transmission with in built pump and running oil coolers. Most modern manual transmissions are similarly equipped with lube pumps and oil coolers and they also need to have the engine running to get a proper level check.

My comments were in the contents of "adara" who stated as you see in his quote from the "fullfatRR" forum that he went for a drive and then decanted about 250 ml of the heat expanded ATF back out down to the level plug.

My understanding is that the level check must be on a virtually cold (room temp) vehicle with the engine running.
 

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Daniel, I’m glad you found my story interesting. I’m from Romania, a country that apparently isn’t on your list of places to visit… Yet!
The car is still running fine, but I will check the fluid level with the engine running tomorrow and let you know if/how much fluid went in. RRPhil is of course right, as in RAVE it is stated that: “The gearbox fluid level must only be checked when the temperature of the fluid is between 35C and 45C. The reading obtained will be incorrect if the fluid is outside this temperature range.” Then the manual goes on: With the engine running, remove filler/level plug and allow excess fluid to drain off. If no fluid loss is apparent when filler/level plug is removed, with the engine at idle, fill gearbox with recommended fluid until a small thread of fluid runs from filler/level plug hole. Move selector lever from 'P' through each gear position and return to 'P' , allowing any excess fluid to drain off. Fit new filler/level plug and tighten to 20 Nm (15 lbf.ft).”
RRPhil, what I meant was that the oil change was not clearly recommended or described, not the filling instructions.
Thank you both!
 

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adara said:
Daniel, I’m glad you found my story interesting. I’m from Romania, a country that apparently isn’t on your list of places to visit… Yet! /quote]

Thanks Adara

Yeah not visiting Romania this time but next time as it is on our list.
 

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I went to my mechanic friend and he said that there is no need to check the level now because when he unplugged the fill plug the engine was definitely running. Looks like I was so scared at the time I just didn’t remember correctly…
 

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Hey guys,it`s a little old topic but I really need an advice for the fluid change.... :?
...the steps I made in my GM5 were little diffrent from yours,becouse of some mechanic friends advices...

1)draining all the fluid and left the car without the pan and filter all night to drain even more.

2)Next day I've filled the pan with 2 liters from the ETL7045,tightened the 20bolts-filled 3liters at the filler hole and stared the engine for few seconds,then filled with another 1 liter at runing engine,but it didnt reach the max level,and didnt pour.
Catalogues say that the cappacity is 5.3,and i added ,approximately 5.8liters....
3)Anyway I drove the RR for few days and just to make sure I bought another liter from the fluid,of course adding it at cold runing engine,with the idea that 7 liters are really enough to pour ,but it didnt again,I'm stuck really right now,what should I do,add more or :pray:
 
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