BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Drive Axle

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LEVEL CHECK



Rear Axle

This procedure covers all models.

The oil in the differential on models through 1974 should be checked at least every 8,000 miles (13,000 km); 12,500 miles (20,000 km) for 1975 and later models.

To check the fluid level, proceed as follows:

  1. With the car parked on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the side of the rear differential.
  2.  
  3. If the oil begins to trickle out of the hole, the level is correct. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads) into the hole and check that the oils is up to the bottom edge of the filler hole.
  4.  
  5. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear oils come in a plastic squeeze-type bottle with a nozzle. You can also use a common kitchen baster. Use only standard GL-5 hypoid-type gear oil, SAE 90W.
  6.  

325iX Models
This model comes equipped with front and rear axles
  1. With the car on a level surface, remove the filler plug from the side of the front differential or rear differential.
  2.  
  3. If the oil begins to trickle out of the hole, there is enough. Otherwise, carefully insert your finger (watch out for sharp threads) into the hole and check that the oil is up to the bottom edge of the filler hole.
  4.  
  5. If not, add oil through the hole until the level is at the edge of the hole. Most gear oils come in a plastic squeeze bottle with a nozzle; making additions is simple. You can also use a common kitchen baster. Use only standard GL-5 hypoid-type gear oil, SAE 90.
  6.  

DRAIN AND REFILL



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

There is not recommended change interval for the rear axle but it is always a good idea to change the fluid if you have purchased the car used or if it has been drive in water high enough to reach the axle.

  1. Park the car on a level surface and set the parking brake.
  2.  
  3. Raise the rear and support safely on jackstands.
  4.  
  5. Remove the filler plug (10mm Allen wrench) at the side of the differential.
  6.  
  7. Place a large container underneath the rear axle. Remove the drain plug (10mm Allen wrench) at the bottom of the differential and allow all lubricant to drain into the pan.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the lower drain plug ...



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: ... and allow the fluid to drain into a suitable container



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Add new oil using a pump-equipped container

  1. When all lubricant has drained out, clean and replace the drain plug.
  2.  
  3. Refill the differential using the proper grade and quantity of lubricant as detailed earlier in this section. Replace the filler plug, run the car, then check for any leaks.
  4.  

 
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