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#898897 - 05/12/07 10:06 PM 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
This trany has a reputation for being delicate in BMWs. They seem to fail around 100-120,000 miles. Anyone know why? I change my fluid and filter every 30,000 or so. Others may not. TIA
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

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#898898 - 05/12/07 10:19 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Russell, the 4L30E was also used in the Cadillac Catera, the Isuzu Rodeo, Trooper and Axiom. The Isuzu's were heavy offroad worthy 4x4's and the transmissions held up as good as any modern day unit (had 4 Zu's in the family). Faulty range sensors can cause grief and give shady shops an excuse to replace the trans. The range sensor is just bolted to the shift linkage and a super easy R/R, the other issue is lack of maintenance. Around ~1996 Isuzu took the ATF dipstick away from the 4L30E which made servicing way more of a challenge. If these units are run low on ATF, they do die very quickly.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#898899 - 05/12/07 11:34 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: JTK]
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
Yep, BMW did the same (no dipstick)on the cars with this trany around 91 or so. Made it much harder/expensive to check and service them. Also, BMW didi not seem to remind people to do a trany serice at the inspection II every 30,000 or so. Sure glad I maintain mine and drive like a reasonable person. Plan to go to Dexron VI this summer.
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

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#898900 - 05/12/07 11:35 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: JTK]
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
Quote:

Russell, the 4L30E was also used in the Cadillac Catera, the Isuzu Rodeo, Trooper and Axiom. The Isuzu's were heavy offroad worthy 4x4's and the transmissions held up as good as any modern day unit (had 4 Zu's in the family). Faulty range sensors can cause grief and give shady shops an excuse to replace the trans. The range sensor is just bolted to the shift linkage and a super easy R/R, the other issue is lack of maintenance. Around ~1996 Isuzu took the ATF dipstick away from the 4L30E which made servicing way more of a challenge. If these units are run low on ATF, they do die very quickly.

Joel




What is a range sensor? BMW may call it something else. TIA
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

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#898901 - 05/12/07 11:46 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Buffalo, NY
I've seen them called a TRS, transmission range sensor or mode sensor. Basically it's a 'black box' bolted to the shift arm out the side of the trans. Inside is a ciruit board with a wiper arm type contact that tells the PCM which gear the driver has selected. It also lights up the appropriate PRND321 light on the dash/console. When the contacts go out, get wet, etc, you will notice the PRND321 lights go nuts and the trans will shift HARD and erratically. I know isuzu stopped using the 4L30E in 2003, but Isuzu USA basically went belly up in 2004. So basically the 4L30E was in production from ~1991-2003.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#898902 - 05/12/07 11:46 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
Ramblin Fever Offline


Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Timberline
I've had 3 vehicles with the 4L30-E GM transmission:

'91 Isuzu Rodeo V6 4x4 went over 155k easily
'97 Isuzu Rodeo V6 over 173k miles now, and
'02 Isuzu Amigo V6 4x4 with 57k miles

Haven't had the Amigo long; but the 2 Rodeo's were/are both religiously serviced every 15-20k with partial fluid swap; filter gets done every 60k.

Both trucks have lived a rough life, hauling a heavy boat 75% of their lives through mountains/plains, mild to rough 4x4 trails, and thousands of miles of open highway as well as stop/go city driving.

I do not/did not have a tranny cooler on either one, but both have served me VERY well, I have no complaints.

Neither transmission has required any internal work, though the '97 Rodeo blew the floor shifter seal, $2 part that only required an hours worth of labor, but they are very much a pain in the butt to refill with tranny fluid.

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#898903 - 05/13/07 05:50 AM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Ramblin Fever]
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
Thanks everyone.
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

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#898904 - 05/13/07 10:18 AM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
windnsea00 Offline


Registered: 04/07/03
Posts: 651
Loc: la jolla, ca
Swap to a 5-spd when it goes, it will be much more fun to drive

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#898905 - 05/13/07 03:08 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Oh one other little tidbit in regards to the GM 4L30E. It's actually a modified version of the old Chevy Chevette 3L30. GM liked this AT enough to bolt a seperate overdrive housing to the input end, add electronics and call it a 4L30E. I don't know of any other 'domestic' AT with a seperate 4th gear housing and pan. BTW, the only differences between the Isuzu and BMW 4L30E is the torque coverter and PCM programming. Seeing how this trans served my needs, I wouldn't hesitate to own another.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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#898906 - 05/13/07 03:59 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: JTK]
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
Chevette! now that is encouraging!!

So that is the story of the second pan. No swapping to a 5 speed per the wife. My However, my last BMW was a 5 speed. I loved it.
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

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#898907 - 05/13/07 07:46 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
Ramblin Fever Offline


Registered: 06/28/05
Posts: 1627
Loc: Timberline
I now have an '85 BMW 325e - 5 spd to drive around at least 3 out of 5 days, quite different from the Rodeo, that's for sure.

Same here, I have no complaints over the 4L30-E GM tranny, and as long as I knew of some of it's history, I would have no problems owning a 4th vehicle with one!!

Kidding, of course, for now anyway....the 2 Isuzu's I have now are serving us just fine.

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#898908 - 05/14/07 07:47 AM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Ramblin Fever]
nel Offline


Registered: 08/02/03
Posts: 270
Loc: Northern CA
I have the same tranny in two cars--a '95 BMW 525iT and a '97 328i.

The '95 had its transmission replaced at 146K miles. It had a small leak--and this was back in the days before I started working on the car myself. The initial sign of trouble was that the car would not accelerate at first if it's at an incline. Then it would surge rapidly. Short on fluid so it ran hot and eventually died.

Learned my lesson so I now drain and fill every year on both cars. The '97 has Redline D4 and 124K miles with no signs of any trouble. Regardless, I know it's just a matter of mileage before it'll be due for replacement.

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#898909 - 05/14/07 06:31 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: nel]
Russell Offline


Registered: 12/04/04
Posts: 2136
Loc: Lexington, KY
Nel, that is not good news to me as mine has 138,000 miles. Seriously, drain and fill wiil keep these tranys in good shape, especially if you do not abuse it.
_________________________
Russell Casey
1995 BMW 525i M50TU 2.5L-6, abt 235K miles. Rebuilt trany.
1998 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 153k miles, 4L-SOHC V6. timing chains replaced

Top
#898910 - 05/14/07 07:13 PM Re: 4L30e GM French made trany for BMW [Re: Russell]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 7305
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Just thought of another potential problem area for the 4L30E. The accumulator piston cover. It's the cylinder shaped boss out the side of the trans case. Not unheard of to spring an ATF leak from the O-ring on them. Replacement covers, snap rings and O-rings are easy to be had. Again it boils down to; If she springs a leak, you have to address it ASAP.

Joel
_________________________
2014 Subaru XV Crosstek 2.0L, 5spd, 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan SE (Babe magnet III)

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