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      08-11-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
AtlantaDan
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ZF 8HP trans fluid after 63000 mi (pix)

2016 328i with sport package. Got the filter change kit from FCP Euro. If you can fog a mirror, you can change the fluid and filter. It's far from rocket science. All-in, it took me about 30 minutes. Trans shifts smoother and faster, and it also seems to have taken away some of the vibrations at idle. My trans took back in 4.5 quarts.

Here's what my fluid looked like:


Closeup to see color against white:


Also did the diff fluid, plugs, oil and filter. Should be good for some time.
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      08-11-2019, 12:01 PM   #2
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I did the change in my old e46 and plan to also do it myself in my F30. Did you use OEM fluid or something else? Which transfer pump did you use for the refill?
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      08-11-2019, 04:23 PM   #3
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El cheapo - like $6.99 - transfer pump from Harbor Freight. Link

Kit from FCP Euro is here
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      08-11-2019, 07:43 PM   #4
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What did you use to monitor oil temps?
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      08-11-2019, 08:26 PM   #5
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send to Blackstone for a UOA. Photos are interesting but ya know.
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      08-11-2019, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
What did you use to monitor oil temps?
The volumetric coefficient of expansion is .00039 per degree (f) for synthetic oils. Math is hard, so I'll do it for you - if I put in 4 quarts (1 gallon) at 95 degrees, I will have .03 more at 175 degrees. In other words - its a non issue. It is far more important to make sure to run the trans through the gears and follow the proper sequence of gear changes and durations in order to ensure the trans has taken in all the fluid it can into the converter and the internal passages.

Of course, with anything - do whatever you wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
send to Blackstone for a UOA. Photos are interesting but ya know.
Not necessary, in my opinion. It had 65k on it and anyone that runs trans fluid for more than that deserves whatever happens. "Lifetime fluid" or not. It needed to be changed. I changed it. YMMV

Last edited by AtlantaDan; 08-15-2019 at 06:08 AM..
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      08-11-2019, 08:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
What did you use to monitor oil temps?
The volumetric coefficient of expansion is .00039 per degree (f) for synthetic oils. Math is hard, so I'll do it for you - if I put in 5 quarts at 95 degrees, I will have .156 more at 175 degrees. In other words - its a non issue. It is far more important to make sure to run the trans through the gears and follow the proper sequence of gear changes and durations in order to ensure the trans has taken in all the fluid it can into the converter and the internal passages.

The trans does not limit access to internal passages based on fluid temp. BMW saying that the fluid must be at X temp before checking the level is nothing more than a way to force owners into the shop.

The more you know....

Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
send to Blackstone for a UOA. Photos are interesting but ya know.
Not necessary, in my opinion. It had 65k on it. It needed to be changed. I changed it. YMMV
BMW actually advises against changing the oil... so there goes your theory!
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      08-11-2019, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
BMW actually advises against changing the oil... so there goes your theory!
ZF (who made the gearbox) says 50-75k depending on the useage.

Good luck with that lifetime fill trans fluid, champ.
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      08-11-2019, 09:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
BMW actually advises against changing the oil... so there goes your theory!
ZF (who made the gearbox) says 50-75k depending on the useage.

Good luck with that lifetime fill trans fluid, champ.
ZF also recommends a very specific drain and fill procedure including temperatures. You're all over the place newb. Contradicting yourself left, right and center.
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      08-11-2019, 09:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
ZF also recommends a very specific drain and fill procedure including temperatures. You're all over the place newb. Contradicting yourself left, right and center.
And I have shown you via chemistry and math that the temperature requirement is superflous. I know your type. Welcome to the ignore list.

Edit: To be clear, and since this is the internet - one can never be too sure - YES, get the engine and trans up to operating temperature, and yes - do the fluid check while it is running. I didn't mention that above because it's been mentioned about eleventy billion times before in other writeups. I figured that would go without saying but for clarity: When the engine is at OT, the trans fluid will be "warm-ish". If its warm to you, it's over 90 degrees or so which is fine. ZF says 40C to 50C (104F- 122F). That's ATF fluid checking 101 and its been SOP since damn near forever.

What I take issue with is the 18 degree temperature window before checking the fluid level. Get it to OT and check the fluid level. If its dribbling out, you're fine. If not, add more until it dribbles out.

For farts and grins, I am going to pull the plug this afternoon after a drive home from work. I'll post back what happens. Judging from Sspade's cheeto-covered fingered internet dick wagging, it should be a fountain of pressurized ATF due to thermal expansion. We will see.

Last edited by AtlantaDan; 08-12-2019 at 11:26 AM..
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      08-13-2019, 03:47 AM   #11
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Hopefully some of those people who claim the car will blow up if you replace the fluid realize it's not rocket science. The 8HP is not any different from almost any other modern automatic in terms of fluid change. You drop the pan, replace the filter, re-install pan, level fluid, get up to temp, refill/level.

Fluid actually doesn't look bad. Makes sense though, since you're only replacing about half of the fluid so the other half needs to last to 120k miles. If you've already gone to the trouble of jacking up your car and leveling it out, you might as well just wait until the fluid comes up to temperature. I like doing my own work but I don't know enough about every little thing to be confident in forgoing a specific step outlined by the manufacturer.
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      08-13-2019, 07:18 AM   #12
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To close the loop here - put the car in the air last night, started it, popped the plug out and it had a little dribble of fluid. Just as I suspected it would. As with everything on the web, YMMV so please do whatever you feel you need to do.
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      08-13-2019, 07:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
What did you use to monitor oil temps?
The volumetric coefficient of expansion is .00039 per degree (f) for synthetic oils. Math is hard, so I'll do it for you - if I put in 4 quarts (1 gallon) at 95 degrees, I will have .03 more at 175 degrees. In other words - its a non issue. It is far more important to make sure to run the trans through the gears and follow the proper sequence of gear changes and durations in order to ensure the trans has taken in all the fluid it can into the converter and the internal passages.

The trans does not limit access to internal passages based on fluid temp. BMW saying that the fluid must be at X temp before checking the level is nothing more than a way to force owners into the shop.

Of course, with anything - do whatever you wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
send to Blackstone for a UOA. Photos are interesting but ya know.
Not necessary, in my opinion. It had 65k on it and anyone that runs trans fluid for more than that deserves whatever happens. "Lifetime fluid" or not. It needed to be changed. I changed it. YMMV
I figured a UOA would be interesting for the community.


The temp of the ATF during the fluid change is a ZF requirement not BMW. Some 8HP owners (not necessarily BMW) have experienced shift issues when off by a little as a couple of ounces. In any case the expansion coefficient of ATF is approx .0007 (ZFLG8 is not synthetic btw) and the unit holds approx 9 quarts. Per ZF the temp range for measuring ATF for the 8HP is 30-40C. As you know if the unit is over 40C you'll end up underfilling.

Congrats on performing the refresh. I hope you can keep your vehicle long enough to benefit from it. The 8HP is a great unit.
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      08-13-2019, 08:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
In any case the expansion coefficient of ATF is approx .0007 (ZFLG8 is not synthetic btw)
Per ZF's data sheet, Lifeguard 8 has a synthetic base stock and synthetic additives, so it is a synthetic ATF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Congrats on performing the refresh. I hope you can keep your vehicle long enough to benefit from it. The 8HP is a great unit.
I rarely keep my cars for that long (my wagon is another story..), so I doubt I'll see it rot into dust. I just like to address issues before they become issues and cost more down the road.

I'll be walnut blasting the intake valves this weekend or next and I'll post the results of that exercise as well.
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      08-13-2019, 08:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
In any case the expansion coefficient of ATF is approx .0007 (ZFLG8 is not synthetic btw)
Per ZF's data sheet, Lifeguard 8 has a synthetic base stock and synthetic additives, so it is a synthetic ATF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Congrats on performing the refresh. I hope you can keep your vehicle long enough to benefit from it. The 8HP is a great unit.
I rarely keep my cars for that long (my wagon is another story..), so I doubt I'll see it rot into dust. I just like to address issues before they become issues and cost more down the road.

I'll be walnut blasting the intake valves this weekend or next and I'll post the results of that exercise as well.
It's a semi-syn. Think of it as "synthetic technology". Not a big deal. If you're interested though search the MSDS and the associated CAS numbers.
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      08-13-2019, 02:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
If you're interested though search the MSDS and the associated CAS numbers.
I did. I wanted to make sure I replaced the factory fill with the correct stuff and its why I said what I did.

Quote:
From ZF:
From: <zfservicedesk@zf.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 3:15 PM
Subject: Your ZF Services Request #191658

Your question to us:
Is your Lifeguard 8 ATF a synthetic or semi-synthetic?


Dear XXXXXXXX,
LG8 is a true synthetic fluid.
Due to the full synth basestock and additive package, it is a full synth fluid and should be replaced with a full synth. I used the Liqui Moly in the kit from FCP Euro linked above.

Last edited by AtlantaDan; 08-13-2019 at 03:02 PM..
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      08-14-2019, 08:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
If you're interested though search the MSDS and the associated CAS numbers.
I did. I wanted to make sure I replaced the factory fill with the correct stuff and its why I said what I did.

Quote:
From ZF:
From: <zfservicedesk@zf.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 13, 2019 at 3:15 PM
Subject: Your ZF Services Request #191658

Your question to us:
Is your Lifeguard 8 ATF a synthetic or semi-synthetic?


Dear XXXXXXXX,
LG8 is a true synthetic fluid.
Due to the full synth basestock and additive package, it is a full synth fluid and should be replaced with a full synth. I used the Liqui Moly in the kit from FCP Euro linked above.
Gotcha,

Here's the composition of their LG8 product.


3. Composition/information on ingredients

3.2 Mixtures

Chemical nature:
Synthetic base oil and additives.
Highly refined mineral oil.
The highly refined mineral oil contains <3%
(w/w) DMSO extract, according to IP346.
* contains one or more of the following
CAS-numbers:
64742-53-6, 64742-54-7, 64742-55-8,
64742-56-9, 64742-65-0, 68037-01-4,
72623-86-0, 72623-87-1, 8042-47-5,
848301-69-9.


848301-69-9 is GTL
68037-01-4 is PAO

The rest are a variety of light/heavy petroleum oils.
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      08-14-2019, 09:26 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
To close the loop here - put the car in the air last night, started it, popped the plug out and it had a little dribble of fluid. Just as I suspected it would. As with everything on the web, YMMV so please do whatever you feel you need to do.
I've done this fluid change twice now and have found temp to be a material factor in getting the correct level but I don't believe it is due to fluid expansion.
My first change was back in 2015 and there was a dearth of info on fluid changed in the the 8HP45. I did come across a ZF procedure in an Audi forum, see attached. I confirmed with ZF that it was applicable to the 8HP45.
I drained the fluid almost immediately after 30miles of highway driving, so scalding hot. Went about adding fluid but was only able to get in ~3.5qts using the procedure. I hadn't measured what came out but it seemed light for the refill. Took it out for a 20mile highway drive and let it sit over night. Next morning went through the procedure again and had to add another qt to get the level right. I was taking the car in for warranty work and had the dealer verify the level, nothing added or drained.
Fast forward to a few days ago and the 2nd change. Drained while hot again and measured what came out this time. Figured I would just put back in the same amount and at least be very close. The transmission case was still warm but I could hold my hand on it so figured it was cooled down enough. I use a barbed fitting in place of the fill plug and snake a hose up to the top of the engine to fill. In went the same amount the came out. Went through the procedure and expected minimal spillage when taking the fitting out. I pulled the hose of the barb and I did get a "firehose" of fluid. Got it plugged up quickly and decided to let it sit for a few more hours. 2nd go around I got the same result. Since I had a barbed fitting in the fill hole the drain out of the bard sits higher that when draining out of the hole. I remeasured what came out and got the same volume. Let it sit overnight like the 1st change and the level came right in following the procedure with no fluid +/-.
The Audi procedure mentions thermostatic control valve in some units that require exactly what I did to get the level right.
My best and only guess at this point is the cooler drains out with the rest of the fluid but is bypassed befoer the fill and first level check. The test drive opens the cooler circuit up resulting in a lower level initially on the next day check.
If anybody has another explanation.....
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Audi 8HP55A.pdf (15.6 KB, 3 views)
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      08-14-2019, 10:21 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catskillclimber View Post
I've done this fluid change twice now and have found temp to be a material factor in getting the correct level but I don't believe it is due to fluid expansion.
My first change was back in 2015 and there was a dearth of info on fluid changed in the the 8HP45. I did come across a ZF procedure in an Audi forum, see attached. I confirmed with ZF that it was applicable to the 8HP45.
I drained the fluid almost immediately after 30miles of highway driving, so scalding hot. Went about adding fluid but was only able to get in ~3.5qts using the procedure. I hadn't measured what came out but it seemed light for the refill. Took it out for a 20mile highway drive and let it sit over night. Next morning went through the procedure again and had to add another qt to get the level right. I was taking the car in for warranty work and had the dealer verify the level, nothing added or drained.
Fast forward to a few days ago and the 2nd change. Drained while hot again and measured what came out this time. Figured I would just put back in the same amount and at least be very close. The transmission case was still warm but I could hold my hand on it so figured it was cooled down enough. I use a barbed fitting in place of the fill plug and snake a hose up to the top of the engine to fill. In went the same amount the came out. Went through the procedure and expected minimal spillage when taking the fitting out. I pulled the hose of the barb and I did get a "firehose" of fluid. Got it plugged up quickly and decided to let it sit for a few more hours. 2nd go around I got the same result. Since I had a barbed fitting in the fill hole the drain out of the bard sits higher that when draining out of the hole. I remeasured what came out and got the same volume. Let it sit overnight like the 1st change and the level came right in following the procedure with no fluid +/-.
The Audi procedure mentions thermostatic control valve in some units that require exactly what I did to get the level right.
My best and only guess at this point is the cooler drains out with the rest of the fluid but is bypassed befoer the fill and first level check. The test drive opens the cooler circuit up resulting in a lower level initially on the next day check.
If anybody has another explanation.....
Sounds reasonable.
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      08-14-2019, 04:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaDan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by F32Fleet View Post
Gotcha,
Here's the composition of their LG8 product....
Are you stating that you are correct and the manufacturer is not? I am not going to die on this hill, bub. Please, claim victory if it makes you happy.

Catskillclimber - your hypothesis is probably exactly what is going on. I know on my other car, I've got a massive trans cooler installed (high stall, lots of torque, and lovely ATL summer temps...) and it doesn't open up until the fluid reaches a set temp. That's to allow the fluid to get up to temp in colder climates. I bet you are spot-on with the fluid temp requirement and why its there, but also why it can easily be circumvented by the DIY wrencher.
Nope just letting you know so you can compare it to the Liqui Moly ATF if you so desire.

Regards,

Bub
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      08-14-2019, 07:43 PM   #21
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info on oil cooler thermostatic bypass and its effect on oil level.
https://www.import-car.com/zf-8hp-tr...n-replacement/
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      08-14-2019, 08:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catskillclimber View Post
info on oil cooler thermostatic bypass and its effect on oil level.
https://www.import-car.com/zf-8hp-tr...n-replacement/
Good info. Thanks for sharing
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