dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
9/30/14 3:35 p.m.

Is this a hard job? Is it a bolt in deal? If so is there a parts list around so I can go shopping and be sure to have everything (and so I can price it)

Thanks

clutchsmoke
clutchsmoke Dork
9/30/14 5:26 p.m.

I think this might be on the more difficult side with modern ECUs etc.

rcutclif
rcutclif Reader
9/30/14 5:29 p.m.

you can probably sell and buy another and nearly come out even...

I'd check realoem.com for parts list and stuff, you can compare the manual to the auto.

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
9/30/14 6:47 p.m.

IIRC the wiring harness is quite different from manual to auto and you will need some custom DME programming done. Pretty sure the diff ratio and driveshaft are different too.

Considering the price of manual 330's these days (even manual 325 wagons are showing up cheap now), I wouldn't waste the time and effort; it would be cheaper to sell it and buy an OEM manual, as previously noted, and you will not have much luck selling a DIY manual swapped E46 without taking a huge loss.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
9/30/14 6:51 p.m.
dean1484 wrote: Is this a hard job? Is it a bolt in deal? If so is there a parts list around so I can go shopping and be sure to have everything (and so I can price it) Thanks

Ive a friend on the book of faces that just got his 5 series back having had this conversion done in a newer like 2000-2005 bmw and at a professional shop with a warranty it cost 4 k total completed

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Dork
9/30/14 7:09 p.m.

I'm fairly certain that you would also need to get a manual transmission bracket, manual transmission mounts, manual trans guibo, and possibly a manual trans driveshaft. Of course, you would need a used clutch pedal. It's not the worst idea in the world when the auto trans starts slipping. I wonder if you would need to change out the center console, or just the gear lever cover.

ryanty22
ryanty22 Dork
9/30/14 7:11 p.m.

Actually Ive heard that if you have a good shop doing it, its cheaper than replacing the auto trans new parts for new parts

SlickDizzy
SlickDizzy PowerDork
9/30/14 7:33 p.m.

In reply to ryanty22:

Not if you're comparing apples to apples....of course if you're thinking about paying list price for a new auto at the BMW stealership, paying an indie to swap in a bunch of used parts from a wreck is going to be cheaper. A new 5/6-speed manual from the dealer ain't exactly cheap, though, and when you add in all the required accessories and DME flash (which a dealer won't even touch) you end up spending nearly twice the cost of a new slushbox. Also, keep in mind that most of the newer BMW automatics are made by GM and are pretty cheap to rebuild, as Bob's Transmission Shop down the street has probably done a thousand of them before.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 7:12 a.m.

I should just shop around and see what it would cost to have it rebuilt if I bring them the trans. Speaking of that I was told that the removal of the trans is an 8 hour job? Is that true or is it a total of 8 hours to R&R the trans.

What I am trying to do is see if the car is worth saving OR if it would be worth maybe giving him some $$$$ for it and fixing it and selling it or ???? I don't really want one of these at the moment for me but I am always looking at options.

The car is at the local BMW repair shop and I think he is getting hosed a bit on the repair cost. IT may be worth having it towed to a transmission shop I know and have them quote it as it is just a GM trans so that should be a simple rebuild.

Storz
Storz Dork
10/1/14 7:20 a.m.
rcutclif wrote: you can probably sell and buy another and nearly come out even... I'd check realoem.com for parts list and stuff, you can compare the manual to the auto.

There are enough E46s out there that I would just sell it and buy a manual car.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 7:45 a.m.
Storz wrote:
rcutclif wrote: you can probably sell and buy another and nearly come out even... I'd check realoem.com for parts list and stuff, you can compare the manual to the auto.
There are enough E46s out there that I would just sell it and buy a manual car.

There is a problem with that in that as it sites it is probably only worth $1500 at best. Fixed and running it is a 4-6K car. IT seems to be worth fixing even to then sell. I can get used auto trans for about $600 and bolt it in. I would only do this if I was dumping the car. I can get the trans rebuilt. I don't have a cost on this but since it is a GM trans it can not be that much $$$$. I was even wondering if it may be worth it to do the rebuild my self. I should look at what a kit costs with the upgraded revers drum. This would probably help the selling of the car if you can say that the trans has been rebuilt and upgraded parts were installed so in theory this problem should not happen again.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Dork
10/1/14 8:06 a.m.

It's highly recommended that you don't rebuild an auto trans yourself due to the complex nature of it and that most DIY and professional mechanics don't really get a chance to fix them on a weekly or monthly basis.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 10:17 a.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: It's highly recommended that you don't rebuild an auto trans yourself due to the complex nature of it and that most DIY and professional mechanics don't really get a chance to fix them on a weekly or monthly basis.

This is what all the transmission shops want you to think. They really are not all that bad. What you do need is enough CLEAN space to work in, be orginsed, and know what you are looking for. No more complicated than rebuilding a motor really. Also don't be cheap when it comes to replacement parts and I ALWAYS replace the torque converter. Another key is to completely clean the cooling lines and the cooler by flushing them. The better thing to do it replace them with new. Tool wise again if you rebuild motors you invest in the proper tools same with transmissions.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
10/1/14 10:27 a.m.

Backing up a bit, what are the symptoms of the failure? Are you sure it needs a new or rebuilt trans? The GM transmissions in E46s of that time frame had a habit of clogging up one of the solenoids and it would take out reverse. If you clean or replace the solenoid the problem is gone for the next 100k miles or so. Lots of folks have paid for transmission rebuilds then found out later it was just a bad or clogged solenoid.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 11:04 a.m.

Hummmm I did not know that I was told that it was the revers Drum and that was a common failure. That is REALLY good info. Is there a test for that? This is actually what I suspected as there is a similar failure in the JATCO JF506E transmission used by ford but I could not find anything on it with respect to the BMW/GM trans in this car.

The symptoms are no revers. All other forward gears appear to be good.

Dean

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 HalfDork
10/1/14 11:44 a.m.

Ditto on the reverse problem being in the valve body.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=458451

That's probably the single most comprehensive thread on the topic.

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
10/1/14 12:51 p.m.
dean1484 wrote: Hummmm I did not know that I was told that it was the revers Drum and that was a common failure. That is REALLY good info. Is there a test for that? This is actually what I suspected as there is a similar failure in the JATCO JF506E transmission used by ford but I could not find anything on it with respect to the BMW/GM trans in this car. The symptoms are no revers. All other forward gears appear to be good. Dean

The drum is a common failure in the ZF transmission, the solenoid is the cause in the GM transmission. Symptoms are the same in both cases I believe: no reverse, forward gears work fine.

Do you know if the car has the GM or ZF transmission? I think that's the main thing to check.

http://www.noreverse.org/ is all about this issue but is a bit confusingly laid out.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 1:47 p.m.
dculberson wrote:
dean1484 wrote: Hummmm I did not know that I was told that it was the revers Drum and that was a common failure. That is REALLY good info. Is there a test for that? This is actually what I suspected as there is a similar failure in the JATCO JF506E transmission used by ford but I could not find anything on it with respect to the BMW/GM trans in this car. The symptoms are no revers. All other forward gears appear to be good. Dean
The drum is a common failure in the ZF transmission, the solenoid is the cause in the GM transmission. Symptoms are the same in both cases I believe: no reverse, forward gears work fine. Do you know if the car has the GM or ZF transmission? I think that's the main thing to check. http://www.noreverse.org/ is all about this issue but is a bit confusingly laid out.

I am looking in to that now as it will probably determine if the car gets fixed or ????

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 1:48 p.m.

Would the vin tell me that?

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
10/1/14 1:53 p.m.

The date of manufacture of the car should tell you. You can also look at the transmission and get the model # off the tag on it.

Paul_VR6
Paul_VR6 HalfDork
10/1/14 2:35 p.m.

It's green

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/1/14 3:20 p.m.

So is the ZF not a GM trans? And as such not have a GM label on it? Or are they all GM transmissions just different ones?

dculberson
dculberson UberDork
10/1/14 3:58 p.m.

ZF is a different manufacturer, in Germany. "ZF Friedrichshafen AG, also known as ZF Group, and commonly abbreviated to ZF." So if it says GM on the transmission it is not a ZF one.

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/2/14 7:09 a.m.

Ahh ok thanks!!!!

dean1484
dean1484 UltimaDork
10/3/14 5:04 a.m.

Ok another question. Will a GM trans interchange with a ZF trans? The car has a ZF unit in it. I can get the GM one used for short $$$$$ and with a $500 upgraded valve body it makes them bullet proof. The ZF units are not as easy to find and even if you do if they are close to 100K on them they are a problem waiting to happen unless they have had the revers drum upgraded.

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