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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well I did it again... After selling my Grey e46 touring earlier this year I've been browsing around looking for another wagon. I was looking for a e91 RWD touring in any exterior color or another RWD e46 touring in White or Red.. No exceptions.

When I saw this posted I jumped on it. Overall it's in good shape. All original paint (though the paint is pealing in a few places..), no accidents, California car it's entire life with zero rust. Honestly I can't recall ever seeing a red RWD touring being posted for sale locally and I've been browsing wagons for years now.

Funny enough the seller works as a technician at my old job - BMW Dealership in the Bay Area. That simple fact definitely helped me get the car since I wasn't the first caller!







 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The next day I decided to drive the car to my work and give it a good inspection.. To my surprise it really doesn't need much at all. This is probably the first used BMW I've ever purchased that has Zero oil leaks, seriously. The radiator is still original, the ignition coil's are still original.. but the rest of the cooling system was definitely serviced along with gaskets to fix various oil leaks the car has probably had over the past 20 years.




I gave the Alcantara steering wheel a good wash.. Here's the before and after photos..




And my curiosity inspection, finding all the coils still original (which is unbelievable to me lol)

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Well.. obviously a S54 conversion is the plan like I did to the last one.. But I don't have a donor car so only time will tell. For the meantime I'll be doing a 5 speed manual conversion, in fact I start tomorrow. Yes, I've only owned this car for 4 Days. Lets get this thing done 😃.

I still have a full M54 5 speed swap in my backyard left over from my 2001 325i touring (everything had to be removed from the car when I did the S54 swap on that wagon).

I think others would agree the biggest pain in the ass doing manual swaps are the pedals/ hydraulics.. So at least when I do a S54 conversion the pedals and everything under the dash will be sorted and ready for a S54 w/ Manual Transmission.
 

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That wagon looks familiar, was it listed on here in Classifieds?
Found it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So that’ll make three of us in the east bay? Hell yeah.
What’d you do for a muffler for the last one, and are you going to do the same for this one?

I know you've seen the thread but I'll just link it lol. Wait you have a Red touring as well or your just mentioning 3x S54 swaps in the area?
On my old touring I ended up going with a ZHP muffler, so full M3 exhaust up until the muffler section. Sounded great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
That wagon looks familiar, was it listed on here in Classifieds?
Found it!
Damn! That's crazy! I had no clue, I figured it was only listed on CL. He had about 5 callers when I went to see it. Regardless it's in my driveway now 😃.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Alright so today I got a good amount of progress done! I was busy the entire afternoon getting the car smog'd, registered in my name, and other random things around the house. Finally at 4.30PM I got the car on jackstands and dug into the transmission removal. Here's the progress pics from today, I packed up around 7pm to relax since the sun went down.

Tomorrow I plan to get up early, around 7am and really dig into the swap. I hope to get the pedals fully installed, hydraulics, and possibly even the manual transmission installed. Next weekend will be the wiring and coding, unless I get more done then expected tomorrow- then I'll start the wiring.



When I was working at the dealership, one of the service writers gifted me this transmission jack. It's definitely gotten it's fair share of use over the years.



I somehow got my grandfather on board for the manual swap, but you can still see him looking at the part's thinking "He's only had this car since Tuesday, and today's Saturday. Why the hell did he pull a transmission from a perfectly running car!" LOL

I almost lost him this year so I try to spend as much time as I can with the grandparents, he turns 90 in two weeks.

Brand new piolt bearing because, the car never had one lol. Automatic!





 

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Looks good, but I might suggest you put a BMW pilot bearing in it. The aftermarket ones always seem to be slightly undersized in OD and thus they don't fit tightly and can come out. And in the case of the car pictured below it came out, seized to the input shaft and grenaded itself.

Gas Automotive tire Auto part Metal Nut
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Lot's of work done today.. I'm at the final 90-95% of the 5 speed conversion! It should be running and driving by next weekend, I probably could have finished if I rushed myself but the swap needs to be done perfect.. So I've been taking my time with things. Plus it still need's coding.

Last night I logged into my BMW AIR account (wiring diagrams, repair instructions, SIB's) and started looking up wiring diagrams. It seems everyone who does a manual swap runs two individual wires from the reverse switch to a random chassis ground, and to the reverse relay in the E-BOX.

It looks so damn "half ass" IMO so I came up with a plan, re use the existing Automatic transmission harness connecor wires (which are no longer being used) and create a reverse light harness from that. The wires from the Automatic transmission plug lead directly into your E-BOX, 1 inch away from the reverse relay. Why has no one ever done this? It's crazy to me that people will run multiple feet of wire and drill holes into your Ebox when un-used wires are already existent.. Plus you get to use Original BMW wiring, not aftermarket wires..

Anyways, the day consisted of..
-Clutch installed
-Transmission installed
-Driveshaft installed
-Shift linkage fully re built, and installed
-Pedals under the dash installed
-Hydraulics to clutch pedal installed
-New clutch master/ slave cylinder
-Reverse harness



Here was my study session last night..







I have a pretty good "collection" of parts in the garage from doing this crap too long. I found a brand new 5 Speed ZHP shift knob, stock e46 shift linkage, and good used ZHP shift boot/ parking brake boots on the shelf which are perfect for this wagon.


















Your actually not just adding the clutch pedal for the swap there's a few other minor items. The gas pedal is different (manual transmission doesnt have that "click" when you press the pedal down full throttle, to downshift your car).

Also the plastic under panel is cut out for the clutch pedal. They have different part numbers but I suppose you could cut/ modify your automatic panel to accept a clutch pedal if your in a pinch.















Remove the factory plug, install the new rubber grommet, and last but not least- install the white clip that holds the hydraulic line securely against the fire wall.



















There are 3 connectors under the console that no longer will be used. They all originally connected into the automatic shift indicator but since this car is now a manual transmission, the connectors were taped off with Tesa tape and tucked away against the harness to make everything neat.









I also removed this stupid thing which proved to be a mistake, now the key gets stuck in the ignition. Turns out manual transmission cars have a different ignition lock assembly. I'll have to fool around with it next weekend.


 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)



I found the perfect plug to fill in the hole no longer being used. The e46 M3 I removed the pedals and hydraulics from (being used on this wagon) must have not had the plug, or I would have taken it?

The plug needed was the same size as my SACHS clutch grease cap, so I brought it along for reference lol








I filled in these now un-used holes with some tar stuff, to reduce road noise in the cabin..










Here you can see the reverse harness connector I used. Originally the harness had the connector I'm holding on the left, now it has the correct manual transmission reverse plug. The wires lead right into the E-BOX, and the wires you see with blue tape in the pictures are the two wires I need to connect directly to the blue reverse light relay.. Only 1 inch away? Easy.













Looks factory!!











The transmission mounts, guibo, ect. are all brand new but some rain water got on them.. So they look a bit "dirty" in the pics.








Shift linkage rebuilt with a new plastic retaining clip, rubber bushing, yellow washers, and carrier bushing. Make sure the arrow face's towards the front of the car on the rubber transmission tunnel grommet! Common mistake I've seen.


























[
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looks good, but I might suggest you put a BMW pilot bearing in it. The aftermarket ones always seem to be slightly undersized in OD and thus they don't fit tightly and can come out. And in the case of the car pictured below it came out, seized to the input shaft and grenaded itself.

Well I read this one a bit too late.. Wonder what brand that bearing was in your photos, BMW normally use's FAJ. or INA? I put in a INA bearing, in FAJ packaging.

PS: Had to spell it FAJ because if you spell it correctly, with a "G" e46fanatics blocks the text for "bad language".. 😃
 
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