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      07-04-2020, 01:35 AM   #1
EndOfAnEra
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Thumbs up DIY: Let's change our transfer case fluid

Not sure if I'll end up writing this well enough for it to be considered a true DIY, but here it goes!

Okay so first of all the patient is a 2012 BMW X3 35i with 80K miles. I have chosen to go with the Shell transfer case fluid, OEM Part # 83222409710.

Link to fluid here -------> https://www.ecstuning.com/b-shell-pa...222409710~shl/



Before you start this DIY make sure you have a nice fluid transfer pump. The one I used can be viewed here: https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben.../022253sch01a/

Okay so if my memory serves me correct, here is a parts list of everything you'll need for this DIY:

- 1 quart of transfer case fluid
- fluid transfer pump
- ratchet
- 8mm socket
- 10mm socket
- 13mm socket
- 16mm socket
- 18mm wrench
- flathead screwdriver or a tool to remove plastic push pins
- various extensions
- 14mm hex socket

The two following pictures are the jacking points as described by BMW. The first picture shows the jacking points, and the second picture is the jack pads underneath the vehicle. Use these as a guide to properly raise and support your X3.

NOTE: Be sure to make sure the car is level once it's raised into the air. This will allow for the proper level of fluid to be put back into the vehicle.







Once the vehicle is up in the air, grab your 8mm and 10mm sockets and go to town on the lower engine cover underneath the vehicle and the cover directly to the rear that covers the transmission.

Once you remove both of those panels, the next thing to do is to remove the underbody panel that's directly under the drivers seat. I partially removed it with it still in place so I could maneuver around it to get to two of the transfer case support bracket bolts. You'll need a flathead screwdriver for the plastic push pins and a 8mm and 10mm socket. I left it hanging like this:



Next thing to do is to support the bottom of the transfer case with a jack before you remove the support bracket. NOTE: use a small piece of wood in between the bottom of the transfer case and the jack.



So now we're going to remove the support bracket. I have seen other people say they didn't remove this, but the amount of room it gives you to work with it removed is SO MUCH EASIER than with it still in place. Don't be lazy. It will literally take you a few minutes to remove it.



Okay so first, let's start with the long ass bolt that goes through the bracket and bushing on the transfer case. The bolt itself is 16mm, while the nut on the other side is 18mm. Use a ratchet, extension, and socket combo to take the bolt out while using a 18mm close-ended wrench to hold the nut in place. You won't have much room to fit the 18mm wrench in there.





Once the long ass bolt and nut are off, we can remove the (3) 13mm bolts that hold the drivers side of the support bracket in place.



Now we are going to remove the (2) 16mm bolts holding the passengers side of the support bracket in place. These two are hidden by the plastic underbody cover. Pull it down a bit to remove the bolts.



At this point you can maneuver the support bracket out of the way. Set it on the ground and smile at the amount of room you'll have to access the drain/fill bolt.



Use a 14mm hex socket to remove the drain/fill bolt on the transfer case.



When I removed my drain/fill bolt I had a little bit of fluid come out. Make sure you have something in place to catch any old fluid and also the new fluid once it starts flowing out of the hole!



Okay so at this point I am out of pictures but the process is simple. Stick whatever pump you're using into the hole and suck out all of the old fluid. I probably removed roughly 500-600mL of fluid. Pump all the new fluid back in and when the fluid starts pouring out of the hole go ahead and thread the drain/fill bolt back into place and tighten her up to 60Nm. At this point everything is opposite of what you just did so it should be self explanatory. I hope this will help anyone who is attempting this DIY!
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Last edited by EndOfAnEra; 07-05-2020 at 09:20 PM..
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      07-04-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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Can you take a picture of the jacking points?

Thanks
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      07-04-2020, 12:50 PM   #3
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Chris, you are awesome for doing this

Very helpful pictures. I am now confident to try this one on my own!!!

Last edited by evilchargerfan; 07-09-2020 at 02:11 PM..
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      07-04-2020, 01:59 PM   #4
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Great write up with clear pics of all the fasteners. Nice fluid extractor/pump and custom cut collection bottle .

Did you perform a calibration using a diag/scan tool after the fluid change?

Additional notes:
Make sure the vehicle is level front to back and side to side to get the most accurate fluid level. This goes for any fluid that uses a fill plug.

After I filled mine and fluid ran out, I spun the front drive shaft by hand a few times and was able to add additional fluid. I probably drained more out since I have a drain plug and let it drain for an hour while I did some other work.

Last edited by pungo; 07-05-2020 at 01:54 PM..
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      07-04-2020, 10:21 PM   #5
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Nice write up.
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      07-05-2020, 07:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndOfAnEra View Post
Not sure if I'll end up writing this well enough for it to be considered a true DIY, but here it goes!
Very nice tutorial EndOfAnEra! Thanks for taking the time to take the pix along the way and describe the process!
- Nice clear pix
- Good resolution
- Took the time to annotate the pix
- Described the process and things to look out for

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      07-05-2020, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willywi View Post
Can you take a picture of the jacking points?

Thanks
Added to the beginning of the DIY.
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      07-05-2020, 06:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndOfAnEra View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by willywi View Post
Can you take a picture of the jacking points?

Thanks
Added to the beginning of the DIY.
Thanks bro!
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      07-06-2020, 03:53 AM   #9
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Did you use a level somewhere to check on if it is flat/level? I am looking at doing it myself, but will need to somehow trim out the tilt in my garage.
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      07-06-2020, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romero1990 View Post
Did you use a level somewhere to check on if it is flat/level? I am looking at doing it myself, but will need to somehow trim out the tilt in my garage.
Grab a level and put it under one of the sideskirts. It doesn't have to be exactly perfect, just get it as close as possible.
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      07-08-2020, 11:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the write up. I am about to do the same for my 2017 X3 (xDrive N20) and I have the following two question:

(1) Anyone has the torque spec for the supporting bracket fastener. I thin the drain/fill plugs should be torqued at 60nm. but I don't have those for the supporting bracket.

(2) I am still very confused of which oil used in the transfer. My Toyota truck use 75w90 for transfer. but X3 uses transmission oil in transfer case? Make it worse - The FCP Euro suggest to use BMW DTF1 (part#: 83222409710); however the ECS Tuning says "does not fit". So which fluid is right for the transfer case?
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      07-10-2020, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxm View Post
(2) I am still very confused of which oil used in the transfer. My Toyota truck use 75w90 for transfer. but X3 uses transmission oil in transfer case? Make it worse - The FCP Euro suggest to use BMW DTF1 (part#: 83222409710); however the ECS Tuning says "does not fit". So which fluid is right for the transfer case?

I called FCP euro today and placed an order for transfer case fluid, front/rear diff fluid, the trans service kit, 4 replacement drain/fill plugs.

The guy over the phone was very helpful, and gave me a good range of fluids to choose from.

FWIW, one of the ones that works was a "benz" fluid (made by shell) and even the fcp euro fitment guide says that It-Does-Not-Fit-Your-Vehicle but yet the rep says it works. I'm sure that ECS guide is probably in the same boat, and the fluid would still work
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      07-12-2020, 04:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxm View Post
Thanks for the write up. I am about to do the same for my 2017 X3 (xDrive N20) and I have the following two question:

(1) Anyone has the torque spec for the supporting bracket fastener. I thin the drain/fill plugs should be torqued at 60nm. but I don't have those for the supporting bracket.
Bolts securing the brace to body are 19nm, the through-bushing bolt/nut is 68nm. All drain/fill plugs are 60nm.

https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/f...r-box/Gu6Rx77O
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      07-12-2020, 04:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evilchargerfan View Post
I called FCP euro today and placed an order for transfer case fluid, front/rear diff fluid, the trans service kit, 4 replacement drain/fill plugs.

The guy over the phone was very helpful, and gave me a good range of fluids to choose from.

FWIW, one of the ones that works was a "benz" fluid (made by shell) and even the fcp euro fitment guide says that It-Does-Not-Fit-Your-Vehicle but yet the rep says it works. I'm sure that ECS guide is probably in the same boat, and the fluid would still work
Do you have the parts number of the shell. I will soon need to do the same of my e-class benz...
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      07-12-2020, 05:28 PM   #15
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Instead of all the extra work of removing the cross member just Do this:
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      07-19-2020, 04:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
Instead of all the extra work of removing the cross member just Do this:
Same here, instead of taking off the supporting bracket I bought this special wrench from ecs for $16. It has 14mm allen at one end 17mm box on the other. It works well on my fluid change. There is a downside, that i could not really torque the drain/fill plug to the spec, and only went with the feel. Hopefully I did not over-tighten it.
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      07-19-2020, 08:20 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
Instead of all the extra work of removing the cross member just Do this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by wxm View Post
Same here, instead of taking off the supporting bracket I bought this special wrench from ecs for $16. It has 14mm allen at one end 17mm box on the other. It works well on my fluid change. There is a downside, that i could not really torque the drain/fill plug to the spec, and only went with the feel. Hopefully I did not over-tighten it.
There's more than one way to skin a cat. Select the method that works best for you. I too didn't want to go through the extra effort to remove the large support bracket and use a jack to hold everything up. I didn't have a special tool or a 14mm allen to cut a section from. I just took a grade 8 bolt and welded on 2 nuts for use with a box end wrench. It doesn't look pretty, but it works fine. I tighten a lot of fasteners by feel so not being able to put a torque wrench on the plug didn't cause me any concerns.

Worlds ugliest transfer case plug tool
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      07-19-2020, 08:26 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
Instead of all the extra work of removing the cross member just Do this:
Effective, but it's really not much work to drop the brace.

With the brace out it also makes draining/filling much easier. It's hard enough to get the fluid out as is, I'm not sure how you can get all the fluid with the brace in the way, since the hose would be pushed upwards with trying to make it turn 180 degrees.
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      07-19-2020, 09:47 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG_KID View Post
Instead of all the extra work of removing the cross member just Do this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6MT_Addict View Post
Effective, but it's really not much work to drop the brace.

With the brace out it also makes draining/filling much easier. It's hard enough to get the fluid out as is, I'm not sure how you can get all the fluid with the brace in the way, since the hose would be pushed upwards with trying to make it turn 180 degrees.
Some models have drain a plug, so no need to suck the fluid out on those. It looks like that's the type BIG_KID has.

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      07-22-2020, 12:24 PM   #20
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Finally got around to doing this. Mostly went smooth, getting the brace off took a little effort (I used large pieces of wood, bad idea).

I didnt pay attn when the op said to use a "small" piece of wood. Someone else mentioned in another thread to be careful not to block the cross member brace when it comes off.

I overcame this with finesse, and adjusted my wood and jack around until the brace came off. The rest was a walk in the park.


note: this was enough to block the brace, even with the wood shifted to the left


as per usual, suck out the dirty stuff



dump into a sous vide clear container (measurement markings are nice)



yuck. very dark and smelly


(set aside a small sample for uoa testing)

refill with new fluid, I used about 600ml


reinstall plug and tighten down to 60 nm


a nice cold beer after putting away all tools and cleaning up
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      07-24-2020, 10:06 AM   #21
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Posted in another thread, thought I'd share here. I used a Foxwell NT530 to "Initialize" the transfer case. I couldnt find a "reset", I figured this is the closest thing avail.




Main Menu -> BMW
Select A Vehicle -> BMW
SmartVIN -> follow prompts/select your car
Main Groups -> Service
Service Function -> Drive
Drive -> Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> Repair
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> [4] = Initialization Of Transfer Box Control Unit
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> "calibration necessary - start engine" -> Start Engine -> OK
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> WAIT
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> "unitialization procedure completed" -> OK
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> "end service function" -> OK






















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      07-24-2020, 10:07 AM   #22
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*NOTE*
I lost track of where these 2 steps go, but they were not critical.

Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> "to check initilization switch on terminal 15" -> OK
Transfer Box Transmission Control Unit -> "coding matches vehicle data" -> IIRC, just wait for next prompt









optional step, I kept my car on charger while doing this









*IMPORTANT*
upon first start up, car may show CEL's. I cleared it using the following steps:

Main Menu -> BMW
Select A Vehicle -> BMW
SmartVIN -> follow prompts/select your car
Main Groups -> Diagnosis
Quick Scan
Erase
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