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  #1  
Old 03-07-2010, 11:01 PM
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XDrive Transfer Case Fluid DIY

I finally decided to change the XDrive fluid in my 2004 X5 3.0 tonight. After 91,500 miles, it's definitely time.

You'll need the following:

1 quart BMW XDrive transfer case fluid
Part #83220397244

2 new copper sealing rings

Fluid pump

Lift/jack/jack stands

Ratchet wrench/breaker bar

16mm socket

16mm spanner

Torque wrench

Oil catch

********************

First, buy yourself some XDrive fluid. I bought mine at ECS Tuning - $45 per quart - OUCH! Luckily, you only need one.




Next, get your ride up in the air. I bought a MaxJax lift last year and love it. That being said, I always have backup support in the form of at least two tall jack stands under the lift arms. Better safe than sorry.




Remove the 16mm fill plug near the top of the transfer case (large bolt in upper center of photo) on the front side of the vehicle. A socket will fit here. It's a little tough so you may need a breaker bar to make it easier:



Next position your oil catch under the drain plug and remove the drain plug. You can't get a socket on the 16mm drain plug (large bolt on bottom far right in photo) because it's too close to the subframe support member. You will have to use spanner/open end wrench. Because of this, you can't get a breaker bar on it so you're going to have to muscle it off:



After the fluid has drained replace the old copper ring with a new one and reinsert the drain plug. Because I couldn't get a socket on the plug I couldn't use my torque wrench so I had to torque it the old fashioned way; I tightened good and snug and hoped for the best. If you can somehow get a torque wrench in there, the proper torque is 33nm (24 lb-ft).

Next, attach your fluid pump to the XDrive fluid bottle (it takes a large mouth type pump). Pump the fluid into the fill hole until it just runs over. Replace the copper ring and reinsert the fill plug. The proper torque is again 33nm (24 lb-ft).

Clean up and take it for a test drive. You're done!

Here's what the old vs. new fluid looked like after 91,500 miles:

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  #2  
Old 03-07-2010, 11:09 PM
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Excellent write up, mods should definitely put this in the DIY section btw texmin how does she feel now?
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Last edited by sethro; 03-08-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:22 PM
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There's one step left. Adaptation values should be reseted after fluid change. As far as I understand you can only do it with coding tools.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:07 PM
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Does 01' has xDrive? If not, is there any similar fluid that I need to change on my 01' 3.0i? Differential Fluid?
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:30 PM
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Great write up and pics. Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeiZ View Post
Does 01' has xDrive? If not, is there any similar fluid that I need to change on my 01' 3.0i? Differential Fluid?
No it doesn't i believe it comes around 2004 but may be wrong.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:25 PM
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Agreed; the transfer case fluid seems to be the most dirty. I recommend it as part of Inspection II (that's when I had it done).
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:44 PM
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sethro - no change in the feel, which I generally take to be a good thing.

chris - I believe the adaptation values only need to be cleared when replacing the entire transfer case, not for fluid changes.

The transfer case is responsible for calculating the following factors:

Condition of transfer case fluid

Clutch plate wear

Servo load

Fluid temperature
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:39 PM
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Good to know I'm planning on doing this soon
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:39 PM
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I just changed mine because my tech read the value which stated that the oil was ready to be changed. He said a sensor measures the resistance of the oil to determine when it needs changed, but it doesn't clear when you put in new oil. He also said most dealerships don't check that computer at inspections unless you ask. I watched him reset the value after I changed it.
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Last edited by fulltilt; 03-08-2010 at 11:41 PM. Reason: addition
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