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Hello everybody , my E60 535d post LCI , march 2009 registered saloon has covered 61000 miles and i would like to change the gearbox oil , filter and sleeve . BMW , naturally are the most expensive and claim boxes are sealed for life .

 

I contacted Meyle but no response but ZF replied stating that oil should be changed between 60-80,000 miles and they suggested buying from ECP ! . Various emails to independent gearbox service kit suppliers and specialists also told a similar story -no such thing as ' sealed for life '

There are a number of suppliers of these kits on the web and on Ebay but i want to make sure my gearbox is 6hp26 or is it GA6hp26z , which is the model on Real OEM Parts.com site , based on the last 7 digits of the VIN .

 

I am also advised to use only ZF lifeguard 6 oil and not other equivalent spec alternatives such as Meyle , Castrol , Vaico etc .

 

BMW have quoted me £400,00 for the parts : the sump (plastic ) , mechatronic sleeve , 8 liters of ZF oil and screws .

 

All of the other sites inc Ebay state 7 liters of oil . Labor charge is quoted £ 150 upwards but i wondered if anybody also knows of recommended specialists in Middlesex that could change oil without ripping my arm off . 

 

One specialist in London has quoted £ 380 inc parts , labor and VAT and only use ZF bits but i know of a BMW specialist that will charge around £120 plus parts .

 

Could anyone enlighten me regarding the gearbox model designation for my car , registered 25th May 2009 with  the correct gearbox code and trusted seller of the bits and a fitter that would remove the old oil , flush with cleaner , drive 10 minutes flush oil and then refill with new oil as in a nice video from VAICO on a 535d on YouTube channel .

 

Thank you for any advice that you can give and i will keep you updated when i get this done .

 

Pumi

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The 6HP26z means the BMW variant of the 6HP26. As far as servicing goes it doesn't really matter although BMW do use a plastic sump and Landrover use a metal sump.

 

A flush with cleaner could be a big mistake. When you change the oil only about 6 litres come out and the whole gearbox is around 9 litres. So even with multiple flushes some of that cleaner will still be in there and the gearbox is really fussy about the oil. 7 litres should be ample for a change and allow some initial overfill before allowing the excess to drain out.

 

 

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Good afternoon Jason ,

 

Many thanks for replying and for the valuable advice about the cleaner flush . There are lots of sellers offering the kit with a variety of different oils on Ebay but all show 7 liters of oil . 

Some of the kits for the 6hp26 box are selling for approx. £200 and they appear identical to the stealer's offerings priced at double the price !

 

It appears that there are not many indy specialists in the Middlesex area and the issue is finding one that is recommended by the forum.

 

Once again thank you for your advice .

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A full service of a 6HP26 box from an automatic transmission specialist inc sleeve replacement will be about £400. 

 

If you have read enough horror stories on tinterweb, you would want to get your bridge seals replaced too, just ask @RightHandGoose, lol.  These are rubber o rings between the mechatronic unit and the gearbox. They go hard and leak resulting in pressure loss, which can lead to premature clutch wear which can lead to premature F10 ownership.........

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The mechatronic connector is a known weak point and for an extra £20 can be replaced at the same time as the sump and oil.

 

The bridge seals mostly fail in hot countries but now the E60 and E61's are getting older it's probably worth getting these changed too. In this case a little more cost than just the parts because the mechatronics need to be temporarily removed.

 

£200 is about the right price for the sump and oil.

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22 hours ago, JasonH said:

In this case a little more cost than just the parts because the mechatronics need to be temporarily removed.

 

Its a bit more involved than that as the mechatronic unit is very delicate and susceptible to static so you don't just whip it out with your socket set.  As I eluded to earlier @RightHandGoose got his done at the same time as a service at the same specialist who serviced my E60 and it was, taking into account for a bit of inflation another ~£150 more than my service.  But for that money it will give you piece of mind. Which, when owning an E60, is nice to have. ;)

 

I just wish I had known more about it at the time, but I fear my clutches were already worn so fixing the leak would be like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

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Thank you to all that have contributed .

 

I have heard that Stephens Engineering are good but they are over an hour from my house . I did not know about bridge seals and i will ask the BMW dude when he changes the oil .

 

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Just wondered my car has a lowish mileage but that is one helluva scary story . I hope my clutches fare well else it will be the end of my E60 ownership !

 

Thank you 

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Well Hello there.....I travelled nearly two ours for all the work mentioned above and happy with the results but not to mention the great advice from Andrew and getting the bridge seals done at cost but...….plus warranty. Car now moves up and all gears the way is should.  As I've mentioned on a few posts the well reputed specialist questioned why I wanted the bridge seals done......funny that....my money my request followed. End of. 

If love your car and want to keep it for some, be prepared to travel if need be. 

I have recently travelled to nearly three hours to get my wife a 3 year old car and at brilliant deal just like I've travelled up and down the country for all my cars apart from the first one.

Maybe sort of sticky on the autobox zf service with bridge seals mentioned to save a repeat conversation ADMINS...!!!!!

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Good afternoon Goose ,

 

A pleasure to chat with you and please accept my sympathy on the costs that you incurred with gearbox woes . I had spent close on £3k due to worn out tracker and subsequent diagnostic and batteries replaced last year around March 2017 .

 

Are you happy with the garage that did your box , and if so where about's are they . You are correct about the travel and it makes sense if they provide a better service . Garages in London charge extortionate rates and some are quite dubious and will happily rip of your wallet .

 

Regarding the bridge seals , if they don't need doing then i won't get it done unless my lotto numbers come up in which case , it'll be a nice E60 M5 with trimmings , thank you , or an E28 M5 !

 

The mileage i do per year is a paltry 5500 miles and in 6.5 years of ownership , i have done around 30,000 miles ! , some of our readers probably do that in a year !

 

Thank you 

 

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14 minutes ago, pumi63 said:

 

Are you happy with the garage that did your box , and if so where about's are they . You are correct about the travel and it makes sense if they provide a better service . Garages in London charge extortionate rates and some are quite dubious and will happily rip of your wallet .

 

 

We got ours done at Mackies Transmissions in Glasgow.

 

They know their onions and are ZF agents.

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Anyone used this offer on the bay? Says the Mannol oil is lifeguard 6.  £129.99 and free delivery.  Seems to be everything that is needed for the gearbox service.  With about £100-£120 labour it would be a great total price.  Or another at £139.50 delivered.

s-l200.jpg

s-l200.jpg

Edited by oldjohnny

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hi johnny ,

 

I have never heard of the brand but have been told that it is popular in Russia and on the continent . However , every outfit that i have emailed recommend ZF followed by Meyle . 

One may argue oil is oil and this is Lifeguard 6 but that is a huge difference in price and the gearbox being one of the most complex parts of a car , the little extra for the ZF is a small price to pay for longevity and peace of mind , unless you plan to get rid of the vehicle pretty quick and save some cash .

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On 9/3/2018 at 7:15 PM, 535i Andrew said:

 

We got ours done at Mackies Transmissions in Glasgow.

 

They know their onions and are ZF agents.

Alas , if only Mackies would move to London !

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For diy you need the car up in the air, level, a pump to pump in the new fluid and means to measure the temperature of the box. In other words run the engine while the car is up in the air on axle stands, nah not for me.

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I reckon i'll go the BMW guy and he will take to his work place , stick it on a ramp suck out the old stuff and put in the new oil for £ 120.00 labor plus parts and he's 30 minutes drive on the M4 .

My brother got his 520d E60 serviced by the guy using genuine oil and OEM parts ( he does work at BMW )  and the car feels more responsive than the last time it was serviced at an all makes garage .

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It is a little more complicated than it seems.  My spanner man is mainly mercedes but has done this many times.  It takes three  fills to get to the correct level, with the car up and down each time from the ramp and a correct temperature achieved.  Sump is weeping so will change the lot whilst it's off.  Also the car will be put up on the ramp overnight to drain completely ready  for refitting the next day. He does not recommended a flush.

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4 hours ago, 535i Andrew said:

For diy you need the car up in the air, level, a pump to pump in the new fluid and means to measure the temperature of the box. In other words run the engine while the car is up in the air on axle stands, nah not for me.

 

 

I'd did a spill and fill on axle stands with Inpa and a handheld thermometer.  It wasn't ideal, but I would do it again.

 

Dropping the pan and replacing components, cleaning the mating surfaces and torquing to spec would be a nightmare.  I wouldn't even consider it. 

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7 hours ago, Deviant said:

 

 

I'd did a spill and fill on axle stands with Inpa and a handheld thermometer.  It wasn't ideal, but I would do it again.

 

Dropping the pan and replacing components, cleaning the mating surfaces and torquing to spec would be a nightmare.  I wouldn't even consider it. 

 

Yeah I think it is best left to the professionals. But as long as you have no leaks from the sump or sleeve, your approach will have extended the life of your box for sure.  Mine had a leaking sump, so it needed a full service, which was in fact nearly 6 years ago now !  Could well be leaking again.....

Edited by Tuvoc

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On 9/6/2018 at 5:01 AM, Tuvoc said:

 

Yeah I think it is best left to the professionals. But as long as you have no leaks from the sump or sleeve, your approach will have extended the life of your box for sure.  Mine had a leaking sump, so it needed a full service, which was in fact nearly 6 years ago now !  Could well be leaking again.....

 

Yeah, I'm glad I did it. ZF will tell you the car must be level. I've seen a video of a guy with a spirit level trying to make sure it's spot on. What ZF actually meant was, don't use wheel ramps or axle stands and only raise the front like you would for an engine oil change. 

 

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