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Hi everyone-

I bought a 2008 6-spd manual M5 off BringATrailer in October. I can't post links because this is my first post, but it's the BaT link ending in 2008-bmw-m5-43, if you're curious.

It looks like this in my work parking garage:

936290


Generally, it's in worse shape than I thought it would be (and it's had like 5 owners or something, so I wasn't expecting a perfect car), but I'm in Austin, TX and the listing was in California, so yeah, I bought it without seeing the car in person. I definitely don't regret it, I love the car, but I'll be happy when I get it into better shape.

Anyhow, one of the items on my list is to change the transmission and differential fluids because the history is relatively unknown on both. I spent some time searching this forum to see what folks recommend and have experience with.

At this point, I'd like to thank everyone that's contributed knowledge to this forum. I've read large quantities of (what I believe to be) thoughtful and helpful advice, so thank you to all who have done that.

I found some recommendations for OEM fluids, and then I found some recommendations for Royal Purple, and Redline, specifically Lightweight Shockproof from Woody (superuser @Fiftytwoeighty - thank you for your continued shared experience!). I've had some good luck with Shockproof in my track car (Saab 9-2X Aero, lol), so I was leaning towards that, but I realized I don't actually know the differences between their fluids.

So I called Redline's Tech Support Line.

I spoke with a really nice and seemingly knowledgeable man named Dave, and the notes from our conversation are below.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a firm believer in valuing one's own experience over what someone tells you over the phone or posts on the internet. I am not saying ANY of this is the way it should be done, and I'm not saying anybody is doing ANYTHING incorrectly. This is just the information that was relayed to me by the Redline Tech that I thought some people might like to read.

Recommended fluid for the 6-speed manual transmission: D4 ATF

Transmission notes: The Lightweight Shockproof has friction modifiers in it that makes it more slippery than desired for proper synchro engagement, which will result in worse shifting. For a dedicated track car, he recommended stepping up to MTL, which is a heavier fluid that will hold up better under abuse.

Recommended fluid for factory differential: 75w140

Differential notes: The 75w140 has 5% friction modifier, which makes it more slippery and reduces chatter. Lightweight shockproof is 3% modifier, so more likely to chatter. However, you do get more lock-up from the diff, so this may be a desirable effect on track. He said for such a heavy, high horsepower car, they would recommend the Heavyweight Shockproof; the lightweight is too thin (performs like a 75w85) for their liking. The downside of the extra protection provided by the Heavyweight is higher temps and more drag.

--End of Redline conversation notes--

Like I said before, this is just the information I received. I am not trying to argue or disprove anyone about anything. I specifically asked about the Lightweight Shockproof because @Fiftytwoeighty has had good luck with it, and I have a lot of respect for the amount of knowledge he has attained and shared.

My car has difficulty shifting into gear while stationary, especially 1st and reverse (obviously). Dave the Redline Tech pointed out that while the car is not moving, the type of fluid will have no effect on the ease of getting into gear. He recommended I try to observe whether the clutch is not releasing all the way, as that could cause this symptom. I'll try to check that out.

In the meantime, I will be changing the fluids to the recommended D4 ATF (transmission) and 75w140 (differential). I was told that I will need two quarts of each.

I will not be tracking the car. It is a daily driver that I enjoy taking on some drives in the Hill Country on the way to breakfast tacos with my wife and 2 kids. I'll report back here with how it works out for me.

Thanks everyone!

damen
 

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Damen,

Welcome to the 6MT Club! I'd be curious to see how the D4 ATF works. There is nothing wrong with incorporating any new recommendations from Redline. Based on your results, I may well make a switch the next time I flush my fluids.

There is little to zero information on our "afterthought" 6MTs. I try to document much of my "stuff" to give other 6MT owners a single point for reference.

What is next for baselining your Beast?
 
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Wait, whuuut? Your track car is a Saab?? Tell me it's a convertible.

Redline is good stuff for diffs/trans. I'm not so much on their engine oil but in general they make goood stuff.
 

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Hey thanks everyone!

@Fiftytwoeighty: Thanks again for all you've contributed!

A list of things I want to get done sort of immediately:
  • Transmission & diff fluid change, as mentioned.
  • I have a receipt for the rod bearings being done, but it doesn't mention the HP VANOS line, so I need to follow up and (hopefully) that was done at the same time. If not, do that.
  • I think add power steering fluid? The steering acts unhappy every now and then in parking lot maneuvers, and I've read about the reservoir perhaps being on the small side, and my fluid level is not at the max level.
  • Trunk spring/shock replacement; currently it really flings open in a concerning way
  • Replace the trim around the front and rear windscreen- they're totally cracked all the way around
  • Pulled/wrinkled fabric at the base of both A-pillars. It seems like this an E60 thing and fixable without too much drama
  • The "Service Due" message comes up after every start. I had a post-purchase inspection done and nothing currently needs serviced, so I'd like to clear that.
  • Get some dents removed, hopefully PDR can get it done.
  • Try to repair some scratches and rock chips. I love the AMMO NYC YouTube channel, so I got some syringes to try as per his methods.
  • Brake fluid flush
  • I'm getting an intermittent CEL with "Increased Emissions!" message. The OBDII reader I have says something about coolant temp not matching something. I've just been clearing as it comes up, maybe once every 15 drives. I'd like to track that down and fix properly.
  • There are some odd intermittent noises from a couple spots that are going to be difficult to track down, but I don't like them. I'll get a reader and some ISTA stuff to double check that nothing is super out-of-whack. Hopefully?
  • Aaaaand some black grilles because I like that look :)
  • I'd like to get it dyno'd just to see how it's running.
@desmo01: Sorry to disappoint, it is not a convertible. It is a wagon though; it's the strange GM/Saab/Subaru collab that existed only in 2005/2006. It's mostly just a 2005 WRX wagon; the door panels are stamped "SUBARU" inside. AWD 2.0L EJ205 5-speed that I bought for $1,500 after it had water up to the dash in Hurricane Harvey in 2017. I have a blog about it: https://badwaytolive.com/saabaru-blog

Glad to hear a positive opinion on the Redline driveline fluid!

@bprinsloo: Cheers, amigo, may we both find success and happiness! And if not, a sympathetic shoulder to cry on :)

damen
 

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It’s awesome to see these cars finally falling into the hands of enthusiasts.

Congrats again!

Ive had multiple chances to move out of this platform to “newer” and “faster” toasters, but NO THANK YOU.

6 speed v10s are few and far between.
 
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One more of these has fallen into the hands of an enthusiast! Or it will be in my hands in a few weeks when the truck gets here. Found of all places in MD - a car that lived almost it's whole life in OH. And now it's coming out to CA. 66K miles on the clock and 1 of 126 total E60 M5's for the US market done in Monaco Blue I might add! With a full leather black interior and some nice options like HUD as well. I wasn't going to create a thread until I had my hands on the car, but what the hell - I'll jump in here. Especially since I for sure will be doing all fluids once I get the car - don't know why I wouldn't. Hasn't had rod bearings yet - that on the docket within the first year for sure. I should drive this 5K ish miles a year. Latest sedan was a Panamera S and before that a E39 M5 that I owned for 6 years. Long sorted history with way too many cars that I won't bore ya'll with. Used to be into autox then HPDE then raced w/ NASA for awhile but haven't done that in awhile now. Might even get this car to the track, but I have a 71 Pro Touring Camaro more set up for that. Which also has a 500hp+ NA motor btw, but one with a lot more TQ. It will be interesting to compare it to the M5.

And yes - a 6 speed. Only way I was getting one. PDK is a lovely transmission and much better than a SMG - but it's not really a manual. I didn't like it. Too many years behind a manual - can't get it out of me so why fight it.
I'm back to BMW //M and back to a manual in my sedan! All my other cars already have one btw.
 

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Welcome to the 6spd club!

When I got my beast I changed the gear oil and diff oil with the standard BMW fluids. I don’t track the car, but for daily driving all works well with these fluids.

happy motoring


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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I recently bought a 6MT E60, and it sounds like you're dealing with the same issues I'm dealing with. I didn't have a history of the car, but I could tell it was decently maintained. I bought it sight unseen, but I had a PPI from a reputable shop that knew a lot about the S65 and S85 engines. It had 83,000 mi, so I changed the rod bearings within the first 10 miles I owned it. The rod bearing job gave me time to really study the condition of the vehicle. I also noticed several items that had been replaced, which gave me some peace of mind. For example, the production date on my oil cooler is 6 years newer than my car, so I know it was replaced.

I've also flushed and changed all the fluids (except brake fluid) in the first 300 miles. I went with the redline ATF fluid in the tranny, but I stuck with the BMW factory fluid in the rear end. I changed all rear diff seals. I read that some fluids can cause unusual rear end issues with the limited slip, so I didn't want to deviate from the factory recommendation.

Its interesting that you note the trunk spring. Mine also opens violently. I thought there may be an adjustment necessary, but maybe that's normal. I swear that I'm going to be knocked out cold if it hits me on the chin.
 

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Hi everyone-

I bought a 2008 6-spd manual M5 off BringATrailer in October. I can't post links because this is my first post, but it's the BaT link ending in 2008-bmw-m5-43, if you're curious.

It looks like this in my work parking garage:

View attachment 936290

Generally, it's in worse shape than I thought it would be (and it's had like 5 owners or something, so I wasn't expecting a perfect car), but I'm in Austin, TX and the listing was in California, so yeah, I bought it without seeing the car in person. I definitely don't regret it, I love the car, but I'll be happy when I get it into better shape.

Anyhow, one of the items on my list is to change the transmission and differential fluids because the history is relatively unknown on both. I spent some time searching this forum to see what folks recommend and have experience with.

At this point, I'd like to thank everyone that's contributed knowledge to this forum. I've read large quantities of (what I believe to be) thoughtful and helpful advice, so thank you to all who have done that.

I found some recommendations for OEM fluids, and then I found some recommendations for Royal Purple, and Redline, specifically Lightweight Shockproof from Woody (superuser @Fiftytwoeighty - thank you for your continued shared experience!). I've had some good luck with Shockproof in my track car (Saab 9-2X Aero, lol), so I was leaning towards that, but I realized I don't actually know the differences between their fluids.

So I called Redline's Tech Support Line.

I spoke with a really nice and seemingly knowledgeable man named Dave, and the notes from our conversation are below.

DISCLAIMER: I'm a firm believer in valuing one's own experience over what someone tells you over the phone or posts on the internet. I am not saying ANY of this is the way it should be done, and I'm not saying anybody is doing ANYTHING incorrectly. This is just the information that was relayed to me by the Redline Tech that I thought some people might like to read.

Recommended fluid for the 6-speed manual transmission: D4 ATF

Transmission notes: The Lightweight Shockproof has friction modifiers in it that makes it more slippery than desired for proper synchro engagement, which will result in worse shifting. For a dedicated track car, he recommended stepping up to MTL, which is a heavier fluid that will hold up better under abuse.

Recommended fluid for factory differential: 75w140

Differential notes: The 75w140 has 5% friction modifier, which makes it more slippery and reduces chatter. Lightweight shockproof is 3% modifier, so more likely to chatter. However, you do get more lock-up from the diff, so this may be a desirable effect on track. He said for such a heavy, high horsepower car, they would recommend the Heavyweight Shockproof; the lightweight is too thin (performs like a 75w85) for their liking. The downside of the extra protection provided by the Heavyweight is higher temps and more drag.

--End of Redline conversation notes--

Like I said before, this is just the information I received. I am not trying to argue or disprove anyone about anything. I specifically asked about the Lightweight Shockproof because @Fiftytwoeighty has had good luck with it, and I have a lot of respect for the amount of knowledge he has attained and shared.

My car has difficulty shifting into gear while stationary, especially 1st and reverse (obviously). Dave the Redline Tech pointed out that while the car is not moving, the type of fluid will have no effect on the ease of getting into gear. He recommended I try to observe whether the clutch is not releasing all the way, as that could cause this symptom. I'll try to check that out.

In the meantime, I will be changing the fluids to the recommended D4 ATF (transmission) and 75w140 (differential). I was told that I will need two quarts of each.

I will not be tracking the car. It is a daily driver that I enjoy taking on some drives in the Hill Country on the way to breakfast tacos with my wife and 2 kids. I'll report back here with how it works out for me.

Thanks everyone!

damen
Lots of good info from Redline, see highlights
The MTL is worthwhile getting just for the shift improvements as I found with the Amsoil version
I shift to neutral at long light, cars would start honking as lights turn green as I was trying to find first, often I had to just start in second in order to quiet irate drivers, no longer a problem with the 5-30 syncromesh
F304B942-A81E-4D02-95DB-BCFB1B97E0DF.png
 

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Hey Damen, congrats on your acquisition! These cars are rare enough, but three pedal variants are a bit like unicorns.

I was wondering how you've found the oil choices given to you by David at Redline. I spoke to him the other day and received the same recommendation. I've already picked up D4 ATF (30504) for the transmission, 75/140 GL-5 (57914) for the diff and RL600 (90402) for a brake flush but haven't gotten past draining the transmission so far due to the heat lately.

Anyone else have experience with these oils who might chime in?

Thanks in advance for any info.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cheers y'all-

Sadly, COVID has thrown a pretty serious wrench into my family's routine, so I haven't swapped fluids yet. Sorry to not have a report back by now.

I did, however, pick up a screw in the shoulder of a rear tire.

940997


They're not that worn, but they are 4 years old, so I decided to replace all 4.

One of my friends is a test driver for Michelin and he told me the Pilot Sport 4S is a no-brainer, so I called Discount Tire to get some put on and found out the 285 rears were on backorder. Since I have another car to drive, no problem, I can be patient.

That was over a month ago, but they assure me the tires will be here Monday; fingers crossed!

I'll make sure to report back here when I'm able to try the new fluids. If you get there first, please report here as well!

Stay safe, everyone-

damen
 

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Hey Damen, thanks for the prompt reply and completely understandable.

I have had a similar experience with a shard of metal in the shoulder of a very low mileage Continental. I was naturally quite annoyed when I discovered it, yet further annoyed when I pulled it out only to discovered that the shard of metal was cut off of my truck by me... Sigh, no one to blame but myself!
 

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Hey everyone,

So some quick details. My 07 M6 (6MT) has about 42000 miles and the last recorded driveline service I can find in the BMW service records is from around 30000 miles for transmission and diff.

Per Redline's recommendation, I have used Redline D4 ATF (30504) for the transmission and Redline 75/140 GL-5 (57914) for the diff. I have only put about 20 miles on since but so far haven't noticed any difference at all. No difference in sounds and the shifts feel the same. I experienced no grinding of the diff while turning which I've heard complained about. I should mention that had to drive about 12 miles to find somewhere spacious enough to do my R/L circles, a very inconspicuous activity BTW, so perhaps that lubed up the clutches enough. The only notable smell from the transmission oil I removed was money... It honestly just smelled, expensive and was a bit grey. The diff oil was darkish and had a tiny amount of metal in the last ounce or so, so I'll run it through a filter to get a better idea of whether I should be concerned or not but it smelled fine. Not at all like the rotten stink of traditional heavy weight gear oil at least.

I was a bit surprised to see that the lower diff plug isn't magnetic. Does anyone know if there's a magnet in the diff to collect any bits, if not I think I'll pick up a magnetic one. Seems silly not to have one as cheap insurance.

Unfortunately I never thought to check the temp of the transmission or diff before the fluid changes but I did after with some spirited driving in case anyone is interested. At an ambient temp of about 78°F transmission was in the 135-165°F range and the diff was in 140-150°F range (via the cheapest IR thermometer in the world).

Next is a Redline RL600 brake flush followed by investigating what I think is I a bad driveshaft CV. There's a clank/shudder when loading/unloading the clutch in reverse and first which frankly sounds like cheap garbage even though it behaves nicely during all other shifting activities.

I'll report back with my impressions of the Redline oils after some mileage.

Any opinions/thoughts on anything above is welcome. ;)
 

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I believe the smell test to be a reliable indicator of remaining fluid life.

I believe most contaminates in differential oil would be clutch material, I have a magnetic drain plug never find anything on it other than trace amounts even after heavy track use that give transmission overheat warning, “continued driving will result in reduced power”

I avoid clutch wear by keeping wheel spin to a minimum and by not using the “clutch friction modifier additive”.

I want maximum clutch friction since slippage heats gear oil that leads to failure.

In fact I get the welcome differential grinding noise turn steering wheel as little as 20 degrees off center, it tells me my clutch plates are a 100% effective.
I never get one wheel spin which was a problem in my 2006 m5 that I did use the friction modifier on
 

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Thanks for the feedback Ticat, I appreciate you taking the time.

Grinding/chatter is often a comment in threads I've read about our diffs so I wanted to make mention of it for anyone who might ask.
I've never been bothered with clutch chatter (from a diff at least). My truck does it when cold and as you said it is reassuring that your clutch pack is doing its job.

As you mentioned, I think a magnetic plug is a good idea as it would at least give us some warning.
 
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