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  #1  
Old 09-13-2011, 02:19 PM
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Torque converter failing...

2002 X5 4.4, 147,000 miles.

I had a noticeable shudder while accelerating occasionally, and also a noticeable 'stepping' up in RPM's as I was accelerating (RPM's would jump up 200-300, then stop, then jump up 200-300, then stop, etc...)

Took it to a local trans stop, he diagnosed it as a torque converter going bad. He said the fluid did not look too bad, it was brownish, but it didn't smell burnt. He said unless he pulled the pan to see if there's excess material in it, there's no way of knowing if the trans should be rebuilt as well. So I could get away with just the converter being replaced, but if there's metal shavings, I should just do both. He said I may want to do both regardless, as pulling the trans is expensive and it does have high mileage.


Here's some cost figures he gave me:


His cost for a rebuilt converter: $1000
His estimate to remove/install transmission: $500 (7 hours)
His estimate to rebuild my trans: $2000 (12 month/12k mile warranty)

Total for the above: $3700
Total to just replace torque converter: $1700


I found another local company that rebuilds converters, they actually have one in stock, cost is $205. So I could install this myself, or have the shop do it for $500 + fluids, etc. The trans shop guy didn't recommend this company as they've had one or two problems, but many people HAVE used them problem free.

Those who have been through this, what are your experiences? Anyone just do a converter? Anyone pull the trans themselves? Was it worth saving the money? I'm not a professional mechanic, but I've done a lot of custom work on older BMW's; e30's, e34's, etc... (custom engine swaps, auto to manual conversions, I've basically rebuilt mine from the ground up). But X5's are a new animal to me, and I don't want to make an expensive mistake.
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  #2  
Old 09-13-2011, 07:00 PM
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no personal experience with x5 transmissions, but have spent plenty of time under other cars in my youth.

if you can afford to get it done do it, better you do what you do well, and let someone else do what they do well, especially if you get a warranty on there work

just my thoughts, maybe i,m getting lazy

EM
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:49 PM
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If you dont plan on keeping it, maybe you could trade it in on another vehical. They may not even notice the slipping. Usally when "testing" a car, its hammer down, and the TC will lock up just fine. Or they do notice it and give you a low ball offer and you just go home. And continue with plan A. (replacing the TC)
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:07 PM
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Any tips to noticing TC going bad?
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Old 09-14-2011, 06:57 PM
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I have an appointment to replace the torque converter and do a fluid flush in 2 weeks. Will be about $1000 total, using the $200 rebuilt converter.

He's going to use Wolfs Head Universal Synthetic ATF, which is supposed to meet LT 71141. Unless someone can tell me my trans will instantly blow up and kill babies and dogs if I use this fluid, that's what going in. Esso is $15+/quart (on sale at bavauto, normally over $20), which is just ridiculous.


I've had it with this overpriced, over engineered, and WEAK vehicle. My e30's both have over 300k miles and I haven't spent as much on both of them combined to maintain them over the past 10 years, as I have for this X5 since I bought it 10 months ago. I'm stunned at the lack of quality, where it matters, and the over engineering, where nobody gives a shit.

Anyone who wants it, this will be for sale after the converter replacement. Compelling for sale ad, eh?
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:50 PM
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You didn't get lucky I guess, I think your X previously was un-maintained. But it is a Weak, Glamour car. That can't do anything but get looks from people and is Agressive too.
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:07 PM
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I have excessive torque converter slippage code when driving on the freeway for extended periods of time 1 hour plus so I will be changing strictly my TQConverter as well. With a rebuild unit of course. I'll let you know how mine goes. I have the 3.0 though.
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:07 AM
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So the OP has known mechanical problems with his vehicle and you suggest trading it in and not informing whoever takes possession of it that the problem exist?.
Very honorable............ Perhaps you were just joking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordo View Post
If you dont plan on keeping it, maybe you could trade it in on another vehical. They may not even notice the slipping. Usally when "testing" a car, its hammer down, and the TC will lock up just fine. Or they do notice it and give you a low ball offer and you just go home. And continue with plan A. (replacing the TC)
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  #9  
Old 09-15-2011, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nik View Post
You didn't get lucky I guess, I think your X previously was un-maintained. But it is a Weak, Glamour car. That can't do anything but get looks from people and is Agressive too.
It was dealer maintained by a very wealthy man. Whenever maintenance was due or something needed fixed, it was taken to the dealer. It was, and still is, in mint condition. But random shit breaks all the time.

The entire cooling system needing replaced every 80k? A trans that if you're lucky will see 100k? Window regulators that randomly self destruct? For a $50-$60k vehicle, and parts that cost thousands to replace, that's a little ridiculous.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:35 PM
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I agree.
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