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Hey all,

I fell prey to the infamous Step tranny failure Monday of this week. Went to a muffler shop to price the "Kpeng exhaust" out, lol. Mechanic went to back up my car and was like WTF is wrong with your car? Huh, what you mean... Needless to say i played the blame game with him :argue: . Because of course none of us expect this fine piece of German engineering to ever fail on us. So of course i came to back home to the reliable e46 fanatics. Did a few hours of research and found out i'm not alone in my troubles. So an AT to MT conversion is looking very appealing as opposed to paying 4500+ for an out of crate Step tranny again. Looking into doing a AT to MT conversion. My question is will the MT from a 2001 Z3 be a compatible transmission to swap to with my 2001 330CI. I have found a junkyard Z3 with only 28 miles on it. Any help with my issue would be appreciated. TIA guys.
 

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how many miles did you have? some people have had there reverse not work for a day then start working and never stop working again for a long time, and sometimes its on and off try changing you fluid play with it a lil bit...good luck....that a huge job bro just sell it and get a stick! that what i'm do i got 69k on my step hopefully it will last a couple of more years i know a few people who have had steps with a 150k how hard did you drive your car?
 

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The reverse problem can be fixed typically it is in the valve body removing the gaskets cleaning resealiong the valve body will fix the reverse problem typically only 800-1200 parts and labor
 

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I did a little HW for you to consider before going foward with this.

Kelly Blue Book values for your car. I put in 70,000 miles and sport package in "good" condition. Private party value is $15,570.00. Dealer trade-in value is $13,065.00. That is with a working automatic transmission. If let's say it does cost exactly 10 thousand dollars to do this conversion, you are going to spend a little less then the entire value of the car just to change the transmission over to manual. Keep in mind the rest of your car has 70+ thousand miles on it as well which means subframe, and overall wear on your car. Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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As a last resort you could try changing out your ATF.

Pick some cheap stuff up, since it could be dead anyways. If you need help with it check the sig.

^^ I have heard it comes close to 5K to. 10K is way to high an estimation. The differential and instrument cluster can be reused, and the ECU can be flashed. Check out the thread above, very informative.
 

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Go to http://europeantransmissions.com
You can buy a rebuilt ZF 5HP19 5sp tranny (which is ours I believe), for about $2000. Figure in labor, and it's not a crazy proposition to just do the repair.
My auto tranny has 146,000 miles on it ('01 330ci like yours), but I drive all highway and don't drive it hard at all.
Good luck.
 

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The reverse problem can be fixed typically it is in the valve body removing the gaskets cleaning resealiong the valve body will fix the reverse problem typically only 800-1200 parts and labor
Seth...have you performed and VB replacements restoring reverse? Which Steptronic trans seems to have the most reverse issues? I presume it is either specific to GM or ZF Step transmissions. Do you know?
Thanks,
George
 

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Figure you are going to pay 1-2.5K for a tranny, depending on model, type, and condition...
and..
250-500 for a driveshaft
150-300 for a ssk
700-1000 for a clutch and flywheel
and then you need pedals, some hydraulic lines, and misc parts - $1-300

so thats 2400 - 4k in parts basically..

Then you gotta throw labor in there.

I had it done from from 5MT to 6MT so it wasn't as much to do. You guys with autos should also get your DME reprogrammed, and will lose the tilt function for the passenger door, and your reverse lights will have to be wired up seperately too. You will also have an ! on the instrument cluster.

Worth it though, or just sell the damn thing and buy a 5mt.
 

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Seth...have you performed and VB replacements restoring reverse? Which Steptronic trans seems to have the most reverse issues? I presume it is either specific to GM or ZF Step transmissions. Do you know?
Thanks,
George
They have all been ZF tranny's so far I don't replace the valve body i dissamble and clean and replace the gaskets a small chunck of plastic from shipping falls from the torque coverter and works its way into the check ball or vavle removing thsi very samll piece of plastic takes car of the issue I hav done 10-12 in the last three years.
 

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My car will be back friday from the shop, just completed the auto to 5 speed after my reverse took a hike.. Looks like im getting out the door for 5grand, picked up the tranny, driveshaft, flywheel at junkyards, new clutchmasters stage 1 clutch, RE SSK, RE tranny mounts, UUC clutch lines, alcantara shift boot, ZHP knob, etc, if you need any help with a parts list send me a PM as I have put together an excel with all the OEM part numbers and various parts I had to buy for the swap.
 

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They have all been ZF tranny's so far I don't replace the valve body i dissamble and clean and replace the gaskets a small chunck of plastic from shipping falls from the torque coverter and works its way into the check ball or vavle removing thsi very samll piece of plastic takes car of the issue I hav done 10-12 in the last three years.
Seth,
I believe the 11-02 build date 2003 325xiT has the GM transmission. Have you seen any failures with that type of transmission.

Also, you mentioned changing the fluid at 60,000 miles. Would the same thing apply for the transfer box and the front and rear differentials? I'm not a fan of the life time fluid concept and would consider changing the fluids.

Mark
 

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i can actually say on my GM tranny, my reverse went south too, but only for a little, call it a vacation, at 103,413mi. I pushed that **** into the garage, and heres what i did.

My equation= 1. Seafoam Trans Tune + Old Fluid and filter + Quick trip round the block (floor that sucker). Hit every gear a couple of times.
2. Drain fluid immediately after this (Caution: Filling is hot), and pull filter, all of it.
3. replace filter(push it in HARD), refill (see someone elses DIY for full instructions) with a GOOD Dexron ATF + Lucas Trans fix, this should equal about 8 quarts.
4. Drive it like you stole it.
5. After about a week, i noticed i was still having reverse problems, so i drained and refilled again, with Valvoline High Mileage Dexron Mercron III, and 2 bottles of lucas. Been cool since.
 

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its more than just the transmission, its everything down to the driveshafts, differentials, ecu, instrument cluster, shifter, a third pedal. i believe its 10k total

man, you really shouldn't post up in forums on topics you have no clue about. this estimate is way off and is just plain bad information.
 
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