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Thread: 94 540i 5hp30 no forward

  1. #1

    Default 94 540i 5hp30 no forward

    I'm a little stumped on my transmission.
    Car info:
    1994 BMW 540i Automatic
    Mileage: 250008

    History:
    I just purchased the car privately knowing the trans was in question.
    Previous own stated that car has never given them any problems. Said the car quit moving forward on the way home from work. Sitting at a traffic light and it just would not move.

    Symptoms before:
    1: Car would not move forward. Strong reverse. Disconnect Trans controller, still no forward movement (no 3rd limp mode)
    Thoughts: Valve body, Solenoids, Clutch packs, Low fluid, Electrical issue.

    2: Auto / manual switch would not work all the time

    First Troubleshooting:
    Check Trans Fluid:
    Trans fluid was old, not burnt and did not smell burnt. (I'm hoping this rules out clutch packs)
    Check check balls: (Common issue / failure)
    Both check balls were under spec (.227 .228 vs OEM .230).
    Check solenoids:
    I checked all the solenoids (on / off and with pressure) and they seem fine, but I was unable to test the pwm fully.
    Check Auto / manual switch:
    Switch looks as if it took a bath in a soda.

    Fixes so far:
    Rebuilt valve body with 5hp30vbk
    Replaced with OEM trans filter (aftermarket plastic will crush) and filled with proper fluid.
    I also rebuilt the Auto / Manual switch located on the shift console due to improper function.

    Good news. Car moves forward, kind of. I am able to get the trans to move forward in 3rd (limp mode) but something seems off. After 10 to 15 minutes of running, things seemed to work better, but that was short lived. I have (I believe) all the zf manuals and I am thinking it might be something electrical.
    I can hear / feel movement when changing between P,R,N,D- etc... which is something new. (Lunging / loading on the engine)
    Reverse is great.
    Auto / manual switch works 100% of the time.

    My questions:
    1: what is wrong! (Well, just being honest.) but I guess that is the overall thing.
    Main Question:
    1: How to read trans codes?
    1.1: CAN /RS232/ RS422 messages? what type of interface do I need to talk to the controller.
    I am thinking at this time I just need to know what the computer / trans controller is seeing, issues with trans input / output speed sensors or codes, to do any additional troubleshooting. I have downloaded carsoft diagnostic software but I need to create / build the interface to connect the computer to the diagnostic port (question on message protocol /CAN or ??)
    2: Has anyone seen problems like this?
    3: Additional diagnostic check points?
    Thanks for your opinion / help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Oldham, England
    Posts
    3,070

    Default

    1. Sounds like your A clutch is toast
    1.1. You need an ADS interface
    2. Yes
    3. Have you checked the shift matrix (L1-L4) is sending the correct code to the TCM and that the shift solenoids 1-3 are powered up correctly?

    http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Troubl...ch%20Guide.pdf
    Oct '00 E46 330i. Feb '92 525i (departed)

  3. #3

    Default

    Whiskychaser

    First, Thank you for your reply and additional help / thoughts.

    I started checking into the shift matrix and noticed some odd things (one pin never changed states) and wanted to reference some other documentation prior to going down that rabbit hole. I plan to perform this testing this week and would be able to have a response mid week (I hope).
    Replacing / rebuilding the valve body was a good thing but now I have to shift gears (no pun intended) to possible clutch pack issues or ?.

    I will update the post with my matrix and comparison.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Oldham, England
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    All the pins change from 1 to 0 (+12V to 0V) at some stage. If you haven't found it already, the matrix is in the wiring diagrams for your car here:
    http://www.wedophones.com/BMWManualsLead.htm

    When diagnosing these boxes you can read what you like. But believe only what you see with your own eyes.
    Oct '00 E46 330i. Feb '92 525i (departed)

  5. #5

    Default

    Okay, so I decided to run up to work on the car tonight to check out the range switch.
    AGS unit is:GS 9.22
    Results:
    _____|_L1_|_L2_|_L3_|_L4_|
    __P__|_1__|_1__|_0__|_1__|
    __R__|_1__|_0__|_0__|_0__|
    __N__|_1__|_1__|_1__|_0__|
    __D__|_0__|_0__|_0__|_1__|
    __4__|_0__|_0__|_1__|_1__|
    __3__|_1__|_0__|_1__|_1__|
    __2__|_0__|_0__|_1__|_0__|

    I pulled out the controller and want to check it for solder joint issues or ? (just trying to remove any odd things)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Sydney, Australia
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    3 things to start

    1. Have you used the exact factory procedure to fill the trans to the right level by checking temperature and topping-off at the right times (with the car dead-level?)
    2. What kind of trans fluid did you use?
    3. Have you verified 100% the switch is good? Perhaps replace the auto/manual switch with a known good/new one, jic. I'm sure you know it would've done this first before doing any valve body work as you may have introduced a 'bug'. You need to evaluate the error codes/pressures in the trans now, check out this thread for the L-line interface necessary to talk to the trans in E31,32,34 cars.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...-ADS-interface... there may be other options nowadays. Note: Few OBD diagnostics interfaces OR third party software apps support OBD1/non-OBD BMWs (those with 20-pin interfaces).

    One things is certain, we'll all be keen to hear what you do and how it goes! Good luck...

    Join the Aussie
    540i LE yahoo forum

    08/88 535i e34 M30+miller MAF, 'stiens, tints & teeth!

  7. #7
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    Shift matrix looks exactly as it should. But TBH it doesn't really matter. When you disconnect the TCM, no MVs or EDS are working - you get full line pressure to either reverse or 4th gear. I'd suggest a broken manual shift valve but you will have installed one with the valve body kit. No insult intended, but did you ensure it was hooked up correctly?
    Oct '00 E46 330i. Feb '92 525i (departed)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskychaser View Post
    Shift matrix looks exactly as it should. But TBH it doesn't really matter. When you disconnect the TCM, no MVs or EDS are working - you get full line pressure to either reverse or 4th gear. I'd suggest a broken manual shift valve but you will have installed one with the valve body kit. No insult intended, but did you ensure it was hooked up correctly?
    Temp sensors are also known to fail- and are easy to test. I think they cause all kinds of havoc and limp mode when broken, but I'm not sure. Certainly valve operation is the other common cause of operational/running faults.

    Join the Aussie
    540i LE yahoo forum

    08/88 535i e34 M30+miller MAF, 'stiens, tints & teeth!

  9. #9
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    central coast nsw au
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    man u guys are awesome I wish I understood half of this stuff!!!!!! thank your chosen deity of choice for bimmernut folk an knowledge

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattyb View Post
    man u guys are awesome I wish I understood half of this stuff!!!!!! thank your chosen deity of choice for bimmernut folk an knowledge
    I don't imagine you would pay somebody 1200 to rebuild your engine. So why would you pay that to rebuild your auto transmission? And they will not even replace or refurb all the working parts. Read all you can, ask questions and only believe what your own eyes tell you
    Oct '00 E46 330i. Feb '92 525i (departed)

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