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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey fanatics, i would like to know if anyone in the Tampa area knows a good mechanic who can do an auto to manual swap on my 330i. It's an 03 model sedan and has 125k miles and I'm having a little slipping going from reverse to drive when the car has been sitting for 12+ hrs overnight. The car revs in first but barely moves for about 50 feet then catches Into second...no problems after that once warmed up fine. I changed the fluid and its still the same...I think some seals are getting old and not expanding enough. I think now is a good time to the swap but two mechanics in this area say the swap is a headache and they don't want to do it. Please let me know who can do it...I'm trying to stay below $ 3500 or so for everything
 

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That's a big and expensive job. Search this forum and others for threads that detail the swap to see exactly what is required. Not trying to discourage you, but it's cheaper and far easier to simply sell your car and buy one with a MT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah I agree with the expense probably better to just buy a manual but the miles put on the cars I've found are discouraging and all have multiple owners with poor maintenance records. I've put a lot of maintenance and would hate to give up the car because of a transmission issue. May just buy a manual e46 and park my car then replace the manuals engine with my very well taken automatics engine... Then I could enjoy the e46 for many more years
 

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Vortex Motorsport in Tampa can do it,; but its going to cost you a nice chunck of change.....
 

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my $0.02 - This is a common problem with these cars and it can act the way you describe for many years and many miles without causing a problem beyond what you have described. My car does it as well and I will keep it as is until it fails completely, then do the swap, or have my transmission overhauled. It has been doing it for at least 53,000 miles. I put it in D and just wait (while idling) until the system primes, which takes about 10-15 seconds in my case. As you stated, it will work perfectly once the system is primed...

I do however understand why you would want to do the swap before you are left with a failed transmission and no plan...

You can check "European Performance" in St Petersburg, they seem legit. I do almost all my own work, but did have them do the alignment after I overhauled the suspension a few months ago.
 

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You could try European Motors in Belleair/Clearwater. Marty has worked on my car ever since I bought it and knows a vast knowledge of BMW but the E46s and E30s in particular. Since it's family owned, I'm not sure if he'd be up to a job as big as this, but you could check. Won't bullshit you on price or parts needed. :thumbsup:
 

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Mine does this too, as others have said it doesn't necessarily mean failure is right around the corner. But I definitely agree with you, better to take care of it on your terms rather than end up stranded. I swear I recall reading somewhere about people draining the trans, dropping the pan, then removing and cleaning solenoids? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that was related (possible fix?) to this issue with these later GM transmissions.

Mine isn't my only car, so I plan to drive it until it gives out, then find someone willing to do the swap for me. I'm told it's even worse on XIs...
 

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Mine does this too, as others have said it doesn't necessarily mean failure is right around the corner. But I definitely agree with you, better to take care of it on your terms rather than end up stranded. I swear I recall reading somewhere about people draining the trans, dropping the pan, then removing and cleaning solenoids? Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm thinking that was related (possible fix?) to this issue with these later GM transmissions.

Mine isn't my only car, so I plan to drive it until it gives out, then find someone willing to do the swap for me. I'm told it's even worse on XIs...

The solenoid cleaning was for a no-reverse problem. This problem is associated with some seals that go bad allowing the fluid to drain out of the system.

OP- are you sure you have enough fluid in there? Mine did improve after I did a full synthetic Dex VI fluid and filter change and made sure I was fully topped off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So when it first started doing this I had the fluid topped off and then it stopped for a month or so then came back. At that time I then did a complete fluid and filter change at the stealer and it's still the same issue. I'm now letting it prime while holding the brake when going from reverse to drive and it's working out ok. This way there's less wear
 
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