Good things come in pair.

Good things come in pair.

"In this Special SeriesI document my various experiences with DCT leaks, failing clutches, and their solutions, including the GTS Motorsport Oil Pan Kits

In this entry, I unbox the production units of the GTS DCT Motorsport Oil Pan Kits, and I document the final design revisions, including the new side pan. The DCT-003 gets on a stand to be serviced before its swap."
- Matt

It wasn't all for nothing. 

The GTS DCT Motorsport Oil Pan Kits has been in development since late 2022. It has been postponed and put on the back burner a few times. With the most recent challenges I've faced with the various DCT transmissions in my M3 V8, attention and ressources were derived to focus on getting this project to the finish line. 

The difficulties proved useful by isolating little things that could be improved upon the initial prototype, and to finally create the complementary side pan to eliminate failure points pertinent to the original pans. 

I received the pre-production units of the main pan, the side pan and its accompanying hardware in January 2024. The pans are machined in the USA with little compromises. 

To speed up the process, they were both delivered in raw aluminum. Anodized finishes in Black, Silver, Blue or Red are available on the production units. 

The main pan saw multiple revisions to create a high quality solution that addresses real life shortcomings of the original BMW pans.  

Further improvements were made to the machining files to reduce machining time, improving pricing for DCT owners. 

The internal baffle wall design was unchanged. 

One of these improvement in efficiencies is around the bolt hole section. The initial prototype had relieved sections - they were eliminated in the production version. 

Black hardware was spec'ed instead of bare metal. 

The drain plug was enlarged to fit M24x1.5 Genuine BMW sized drain plugs. We include a brand new magnetic drain plug with the main pan. 

Based on my experiences with the aluminum washers, we also spec'ed a copper crush washer as BMW originally does to seal all its drain plugs. 

We also include a new bolt and washer to secure the original BMW magnet to the main pan. 

The fins were slightly revised to maximize the available space within the original transmission undertray. 

The main pan retains the prototype's oversized capacity of 1 liter over the original design. With the GTS filling spec, you can overfill by 1.8 liters. 

The production version retains the use of channels to apply silicone to seal the pan directly to the transmission. This eliminates failures related to warpage and gaskets of the original BMW pan. 

Side pan.

The original BMW side pan is made from stamped aluminum - but the material itself is not enough to prevent leaks as previously documented. The gasket's design needed to be improved upon to ensure permanent leak free operation of the DCT.

The side pan design is most important, as it requires dropping the transmission to perform its servicing. In consideration of the relative tight area of the transmission tunnel, the side pan closely matches the original pan in shape and dimensions. 

To improve cooling, the pan was also designed with fins. 

As cooling the side pan is much less critical than the main pan acting as a heat sink, the fins' design were not as thin, nor as numerous as the main pan to keep the machining cost down. 

The internals of the side pan also match the original BMW design - except the sealing mechanism. Internal space is further limited by the presence of the mechatronics. 

As with the main pan, the side pan features a machined channel for application of silicone to seal directly to the transmission casing. 

The side pan did retain the machined bolt holes to clear the included black hardware. 

As a reminder, the kit also includes a GTS style banjo bolt to complete the overfill procedure per ISTA protocols, without requiring tilting the car. 

Final fitment validation. 

The installation of the new pan kit was performed during the engine out work for the S65-EVO camshaft package. The loaner DCT-002 was removed with the engine back into the chassis. 

The DCT-002 retains the prototype blue main pan. 

The loaner's side pan gasket had begun leaking slightly by the front of the transmission. 

The final replacement DCT-003 was sourced from a +/- 80,000 mile / 120,000km M3 V8. It got put on a stand to perform the kit's installation.

While-in-there, we also replaced the mechatronic's o-ring preventively. It had no symptoms of leaking. 

The DCT-003 did however present symptoms of side pan gasket leaks. As with the DCT-002, it was towards the front of the engine. This looks to be heat related - but my sample size remains small. 

With the DCT-003 turned over, it was obvious the main pan was seeping. It had sat on its pan during transport, that probably didn't help the plastic and its gasket. 

Whether this was wear or self inflicted doesn't matter, the DCT's main pan will eventually fail. 

This is anti-climatic - I unfortunately was not present during the final fitment of the pan and GTS banjo bolt. 

The mechs at InnovAuto confirmed the pans fit perfectly, and had no issues passing ISTA protocols. 

You can now finally spec your  GTS DCT Motorsport Oil Pan Kits year long. 


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