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      03-11-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
ThomasR
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Front and Rear Differential Oil Change *Updated 2022*

A word of advice. Change it.

My 2015 X3 has 70k. I'm changing all the drivetrain fluids for the first time. Front and Rear diffs, transfer case and transmission oil and pan. This weekend I started on the diffs.

The rear diff oil was very clean and looked great. The front diff however looked dark and very used. There is no drain plug for the rear so you have to use a siphon like this one that I used:



And to pump it back in:



The front has a drain and fill plug. You do not have to remove the stiffening plate to change the front. I didn't. Make sure you break the fill plug loose first in case you find it is seized.

All fill and drain plugs are a 14mm allen and should be torqued to 60nm.

**Update 1-16-2022**

Front and Rear both now require just under a quart each of Red Line 50104 75W85 GL-5 Gear Oil.

So as of model year 07/2011 the Rear diff fluids recommended are BMW:
83 22 2 413 512 Hypoid Axle Oil G3 (Fuchs Titan EG 4218)
83 22 2 295 532 Hypoid Axle Oil G1 (BOT448)





And the Front diff fluid BMW recommends:
83 22 2 413 511 Hypoid Axle Oil G2

Which is also covered by the same:



https://www.redlineoil.com/Content/f..._PROD_INFO.pdf

Quote:
**Old Original Content, See new information above** Each require just under a quart. I used this for front and rear:



The manual calls for BMW 83 22 9 407 768 and this part number is listed as the direct replacement oil from Red Line for that part number.


Last edited by ThomasR; 01-22-2022 at 09:33 PM..
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      03-11-2018, 09:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
A word of advice. Change it.

My 2015 X3 has 70k. I'm changing all the drivetrain fluids for the first time. Front and Rear diffs, transfer case and transmission oil and pan. This weekend I started on the diffs.

The rear diff oil was very clean and looked great. The front diff however looked dark and very used. There is no drain plug for the rear so you have to use a siphon like this one that I used:



And to pump it back in:



The front has a drain and fill plug. You do not have to remove the stiffening plate to change the front. I didn't. Make sure you break the fill plug loose first in case you find it is seized.

All fill and drain plugs are a 14mm allen. All fill plugs and drain should be torqued to 60nm.

Each require just under a quart. I used this for front and rear:



The manual calls for BMW 83 22 9 407 768 and this part number is listed as the direct replacement oil from Red Line for that part number.

The interesting thing is the front and rear diffs seem to require different BMW part numbers for diff/gear oil.
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      03-11-2018, 10:04 PM   #3
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Keep us posted on the ATF change. I'm going back and forth on whether or not I want to do it. Keep reading at the tricky procedure with having to get the fluid up to temp to get exactly the right amount in.
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      03-11-2018, 10:34 PM   #4
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How long did this take you ThomasR? I was looking at this and thought about the diff fluids/atf while I was changing my water pump and thermostat.
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      03-12-2018, 09:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dreamspeed View Post
Keep us posted on the ATF change. I'm going back and forth on whether or not I want to do it. Keep reading at the tricky procedure with having to get the fluid up to temp to get exactly the right amount in.
Nah it's nothing. I've done it on my wife's E90. Same deal. Get the car level. Drain it. Change pan. Refill, crank up, go from Park to Drive and back a few times. Turn off car. Make sure the transmission temp is above 30 degrees Celsius. Fill until it pours out.

You can use a thermometer you stick in the hole or an infrared. Just make darn sure it's above 30c before you button it up! My tech adviser told me that the ZF transmission tech(manufacturer of the transmission) that came out to their dealership for training stressed that!
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      03-12-2018, 11:20 AM   #6
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For someone who has never done this. Would you please recommend a good YouTube video that describes the process?
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      03-12-2018, 01:50 PM   #7
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Rear diff uses 75 -85 and can be had from online dealerships through eBay !
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      03-12-2018, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
The interesting thing is the front and rear diffs seem to require different BMW part numbers for diff/gear oil.
Not so. You had me worried there Polo. I just checked BMW TIS.

Rear: BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...th-lid/1EFiDSn

and
Front: BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...ential/1Tb0rtF
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      03-13-2018, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90705 View Post
How long did this take you ThomasR? I was looking at this and thought about the diff fluids/atf while I was changing my water pump and thermostat.
I did the rear after I got home Friday night from work. Took me 30 minutes or so. You can crawl under the rear with it on the ground and do it no issue like I did.

The front you have to get up in the air. I drove it up on my ramps and then put a jack under the rear differential (one of the few BMW approved jack points) and raised it up until it was level. Make sure you put the jack stand in front of the rear differential's back plate as specified by BMW. That's 2000lbs you're jacking up back there ALONE! (Side note I put my X3 on my new scales last year and it was EXACTLY 1000lbs on each corner )

The front probably took me twice as long because I didn't remove that plate and getting it up in the air and then positioning everything.
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      03-13-2018, 05:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
Not so. You had me worried there Polo. I just checked BMW TIS.

Rear: BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...th-lid/1EFiDSn

and
Front: BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...ential/1Tb0rtF
I read the same links, but I read the information differently.

I think the discrepancy is the front, not the rear.

If you have a E53 or E83 without an N46 engine, you should use a Hypoid Axle Oil G1 which includes the part number for BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768. However, since that isn't the case for an F25, it falls under "All model series and E83 with N46 engine" which is a Hyoid Axle Oil G2 part number 83 22 2 413 511.
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      03-13-2018, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
I read the same links, but I read the information differently.

I think the discrepancy is the front, not the rear.

If you have a E53 or E83 without an N46 engine, you should use a Hypoid Axle Oil G1 which includes the part number for BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768. However, since that isn't the case for an F25, it falls under "All model series and E83 with N46 engine" which is a Hyoid Axle Oil G2 part number 83 22 2 413 511.
Well I have ISTA+ also which is what the Bentley manuals pull their info from and what the BMW dealers used.

I threw in my vin and got this for the front diff:


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      03-13-2018, 09:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
Well I have ISTA+ also which is what the Bentley manuals pull their info from and what the BMW dealers used.

I threw in my vin and got this for the front diff:


I have ISTA+ as well - a newer version. See attached photos which include my X3 VIN as well as your X3 VIN. I still maintain that my interpretation of the instructions are correct.
Attached Images
   
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      03-13-2018, 10:12 PM   #13
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I figured you might say that. So here is my retort. Just because BMW changes their fluid recommendation for the same chassis, model and years from one year to the next doesn't make their previous specification invalid. In other words if it was good for F30s and F25s up until 2015 (and they have the same front differential part number) then it's still good today. Who knows what motivations changed their specs? Could be a new relationship with a new oil company?

Also if you look at the rear diff some publications/tis versions/ISTA+ versions they changed the rear fluid from BMW SAF-XO to Hypoid G3!

Also I might add every single online site I can find online shows same fluid for front and rear for the F25/F30. ECSTuning, Turner Motorsport, BAVAuto, FCPEuro, you name it.
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      03-13-2018, 10:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomasR View Post
I figured you might say that. So here is my retort. Just because BMW changes their fluid recommendation for the same chassis, model and years from one year to the next doesn't make their previous specification invalid. In other words if it was good for F30s and F25s up until 2015 (and they have the same front differential part number) then it's still good today. Who knows what motivations changed their specs? Could be a new relationship with a new oil company?

Also if you look at the rear diff some publications/tis versions/ISTA+ versions they changed the rear fluid from BMW SAF-XO to Hypoid G3!

Also I might add every single online site I can find online shows same fluid for front and rear for the F25/F30. ECSTuning, Turner Motorsport, BAVAuto, FCPEuro, you name it.
Sure, it's possible. But then I would counter with, why just change the specification for the front diff and not both front and rear diffs altogether?

The other interesting thing is the part number that shows up in BMW ETK/RealOEM.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=31_0932

If you click on Item 14, it lists the following as the front diff oil for your VIN:

83222413511
Hypoid axle oil G2
0,5L
BMW Group

Oddly enough, it doesn't say any history on BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768 used in the past and it being switched out to Hypoid axle oil G2 which it normally would if a fluid spec/part number was changed/updated.
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      03-14-2018, 03:14 AM   #15
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Were you able to siphon all of the old fluid out in the rear? I was thinking of just removing the diff cover to drain like the older Ford trucks, then resealing it with some rtv, then refill.
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      03-14-2018, 11:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chknlytle View Post
Were you able to siphon all of the old fluid out in the rear? I was thinking of just removing the diff cover to drain like the older Ford trucks, then resealing it with some rtv, then refill.
Yeah I siphoned it. I felt like I got it drained well. I even took what I drained and poured it in a measuring container to see how much I got out. I you decide the cover be carefull. I believe BMW has some special sealant they sell for the cover. Take pics if you do!
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      03-14-2018, 11:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Sure, it's possible. But then I would counter with, why just change the specification for the front diff and not both front and rear diffs altogether?

The other interesting thing is the part number that shows up in BMW ETK/RealOEM.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=31_0932

If you click on Item 14, it lists the following as the front diff oil for your VIN:

83222413511
Hypoid axle oil G2
0,5L
BMW Group

Oddly enough, it doesn't say any history on BMW Synthetics OSP 83 22 9 407 768 used in the past and it being switched out to Hypoid axle oil G2 which it normally would if a fluid spec/part number was changed/updated.
I agree with you on the above. I can't imagine why they would spec different fluid. I could see it if one was lsd and the other not but looking at them I don't see anything different between them.
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      03-17-2018, 01:13 AM   #18
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Did you run a reset/readapt software procedure on your transfer case? Some do and some don’t. If you did, what software or tool did you use to perform the reset? I own the Foxwell scanner tool, and it “appears” to have a VTG Transfer case reset function, but other posts I have seen there is actually a specific adaptation procedure. Trying to verify 1) if absolutely needed and 2) the correct procedure for doing so. Currently at 55K so it’s about time for the fluid flush (have previously done ATF and Diff on my E90...but the transfer case is a new task for me....)

Last edited by jgX3; 03-17-2018 at 10:27 AM..
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      03-17-2018, 10:55 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jgX3 View Post
Did you run a reset/readapt software procedure on your transfer case? Some do and some don’t. If you did, what software or tool did you use to perform the reset? I own the Foxwell scanner tool, and it “appears” to have a VTG Transfer case reset function, but other posts I have seen there is actually a specific adaptation procedure. Trying to verify 1) if absolutely needed and 2) the correct procedure for doing so. Currently at 55K so it’s about time for the fluid flush (have previously done ATF and Diff on my E90...but the transfer case is a new task for me....)
I have not yet changed the transfer case fluid. I have bought the fluid to do it though.

Yes you ABSOLUTELY need to do the transfer case reset. It resets the clutches for the change in viscosity. In fact could possibly trigger a light if you don't! I have read a lot on this and between what I've read and the fact my friend and service advisor has confirmed that they do it at the dealer every time they change I'm now sure it is necessary. I have been researching the Foxwell NT510 tool or any alternatives that could do it for me as I will not change it until I know I can reset the adaptations. I have yet to determine if the reset in the PTF Bootmod3 that I will be running soon can reset it, or if it can, will it JUST reset the VTG.

If you use the Foxwell tool to reset it please tell us! It would be awesome to have a video of using the Foxwell to do it also!

Last edited by ThomasR; 03-17-2018 at 11:02 AM..
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      03-17-2018, 01:05 PM   #20
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Thanks Thomas. I’ve contact Foxwell for confirmation. As yet no reply. I am also going to call my indy / BMW specialist shop next week and confirm if they have the software to perform the reset at a reasonable price (like throw them a bone for $50). I love my Foxwell tool and it has saved me countless $$$. (Schwaben purchased from ECS tuning on sale - same thing) But unfortunately although it points to various VTG functions (VTG control Module Reset?) there is nothing called “fluid change” or “adaptation reset”. I’ll post if I get a definitive answer.
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      03-17-2018, 01:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jgX3 View Post
Thanks Thomas. I’ve contact Foxwell for confirmation. As yet no reply. I am also going to call my indy / BMW specialist shop next week and confirm if they have the software to perform the reset at a reasonable price (like throw them a bone for $50). I love my Foxwell tool and it has saved me countless $$$. (Schwaben purchased from ECS tuning on sale - same thing) But unfortunately although it points to various VTG functions (VTG control Module Reset?) there is nothing called “fluid change” or “adaptation reset”. I’ll post if I get a definitive answer.
Indy SCHMINDY! Use the foxwell! It's supposed to do it.

I found this online about it:
'One of better tools out there. Just performed transfer case oil change and used it for "Maintenance" -> "VTG" -> "Oil Change" procedure, took many steps, but all completed successfully and the code was allowed to be cleared from VTG module. '

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...6&postcount=24
'No, the tool has helped me a lot. It cleared the wear indicators on my transmission and transfer case fluid after I changed them and helped me diagnose a few other things. '

http://www.foxwellmall.com/info/nt51...tions-100.html
'Q: Will the NT510 Multi-System Scanner with 1 Free Car Brand Software+OBD Free Shipping By DHL support resetting the adaptation setting for the transfer case after changing the transfer oil on a 2005 BMW X5 (E53) ?

A: NT510 support the function you want.'
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      03-18-2018, 11:04 AM   #22
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One example is for the e90 and one is for the previous gen X3. Similar but not exactly the same. My experience is that sometimes even though it's the same engine, an option will be available for the 3 series but not the x3 since the 3 series is much more common.

But if you guys try this first hand and it works please reply back. Thanks!
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