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1987 325e Transmission Fluid

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    1987 325e Transmission Fluid

    I am about to change the trans and diff fluid on my 87 325e. I have an external (male) drain plug and a label on the passenger side of the trans. I know that this topic has been covered 100 times on this forum before, but I need some input. The label on my trans has weathered so much that the color is unidentifiable. It's white now.

    In 1987, did transmissions in the 325e leave the factory with both green and red labels? Does anyone know this information? I'm not sure if I should use ATF or MT-90.

    Without the label, is there another way to determine which fluid to use? These cars are getting old, surely I'm not the only one with an unrecognizable label.

    I'm tempted to just run synthetic 75w90 gear oil and call it done, but I've read that this could cause problems as some of these transmissions require ATF. I've also read that the label was only used during production so that MTF and ATF were not mixed when BMW technicians were topping off transmissions. I'm not sure what to believe. Any input will be appreciated.


      Recommended Red Line Synthetic Oils

      Green Label: MT-90 (75W90 GL-4)
      Red Label: D4 ATF
      No Label: MTL (70W80 GL-4)

      I have a 86 (9/85 build) 325e and I had a green label on my tranny, so I'm using Redline MT-90. Been running it in my car for two years, no problems. Not sure what the previous fill was.

      Check the colour of your old fluid when you drain it - ATF is generally red, as I recall - if it's not, then your label was probably a green one. You could try a sniff test on your old fluid... oil and ATF smell different.

      Oh BTW - open the fill hole first BEFORE you drain. It would be a real bummer if you drained the fluid and couldn't open the fill hole after. ;)
      Last edited by estoguy; 02-24-2015, 10:32 AM.
      1986 BMW 325, Alpenweiss ~ "Elsa"

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