I bought a BMW e39 with a bad transmission (ZF 5HP18). I bought another one in a junk yard and I plan to rebuild myself the one that came with the car and keep it as a spare. My question is: after I do the rebuild and put together the old transmission it will be dry without ATF how do I store it (for years)to avoid corrosion on the inside?

1 Answer 1


welcome on this site.

Good luck with rebuilding the transmission, this is one of the bigger challenges in car maintenance.

You need to store the transmission with ATF inside in a clean dark place with constant temperature. Do not overfill the transmission. Ideally the gearbox is wraped with oil soaked paper/rags

  • 2
    While I agree with the premise here, there's one other thing I'd do. If you go to a regular transmission shop, they'll usually have plugs which can be used for the transmission. They'll either give them to you free or you can get them for a cheap price. Get one for the input and tail shafts. Then get smaller plugs for where the transmission cooler lines go into the transmission and a small one for the breather tube which is usually near the top of the transmission. If you can plug these up to prevent dust/air from going into the transmission, you should be able to maintain it indefinitely. Mar 18, 2017 at 21:06

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