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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys been around for a little bit but never made an account or posted but here I am... with some questions and seeking some advice.

So I've got an 05 ZHP, currently automatic. yay... but a friend of mine has an SMG tranny from an 03 M3 for me. I will be converting it to a 6SPD then putting it into the zhp.. Has anyone done this before? if yes, where are u guys at.
so....
(automatic<SMG<6SPD)

I will be keeping the diff that the zhp came with (3.46) Is there a drive shaft that fits between that diff and the M3 tranny?

Thanks
 

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There is a diy here somewhere. If you search e46 smg 6mt conversion on google you'll find it. Its not necessarily hard, its just time consuming and a pita. You may be better off selling the smg and buying a 6mt kit because you will need a clutch, flywheel, shifter, shifter linkage, clutch slave cylinder, pedals, ect. Also look up e46 auto to 6mt swap. And no matter what you choose, you will need to have some coding done to get your car to run properly

[bimmerapp]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a diy here somewhere. If you search e46 smg 6mt conversion on google you'll find it. Its not necessarily hard, its just time consuming and a pita. You may be better off selling the smg and buying a 6mt kit because you will need a clutch, flywheel, shifter, shifter linkage, clutch slave cylinder, pedals, ect. Also look up e46 auto to 6mt swap. And no matter what you choose, you will need to have some coding done to get your car to run properly

[bimmerapp]
Ya i found a few DIY's on the SMG to 6spd conversion, but thats not a problem, its easy.. and if i bought a whole 6MT kit it would cost me triple the price. I got the M3 tranny for ridiculously cheap.
I have a few people that can re-program my car for me as well.
And i have found a few threads with people doing an automatic to a 6spd, but to a regular 6spd from a 3 series (ZF), not to a Getrag (M3)
I'm just trying to find out what parts would be best for this.
 

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Ya i found a few DIY's on the SMG to 6spd conversion, but thats not a problem, its easy.. and if i bought a whole 6MT kit it would cost me triple the price. I got the M3 tranny for ridiculously cheap.

I have a few people that can re-program my car for me as well.

And i have found a few threads with people doing an automatic to a 6spd, but to a regular 6spd from a 3 series (ZF), not to a Getrag (M3)

I'm just trying to find out what parts would be best for this.

Just the auto to 6 or 5spd manual is a difficult project to pull off and do right. There are a lot of guys on here that have done the swap for cheap but I would question the quality. My car is currently in line for this swap and I have the 6spd trans from an 05 non M but as the parts list adds up and the estimate gets higher I'm having second thoughts about it and I may abort the project. The estimate is well over $5000 right now and my guys are still figuring some last minute details. I'm thinking I may just sell the trans and instead of doing the swap I might just look for either an e30 project or an e36 M3 and just enjoy my e46 how it is. I've already spent way too much on getting the car near perfect and the trans swap will put the dollar amount into the atmosphere. It's a lot more work than most will tell you if you want it to be done as if it came from the factory. A couple guys actually warned me a while back about how expensive and detailed the swap would be and I should have just listened then and not bought the transmission. You might want to reconsider and spend the money elsewhere and just enjoy your car. Or sell the ZHP auto and try to find one with a manual.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just the auto to 6 or 5spd manual is a difficult project to pull off and do right. There are a lot of guys on here that have done the swap for cheap but I would question the quality. My car is currently in line for this swap and I have the 6spd trans from an 05 non M but as the parts list adds up and the estimate gets higher I'm having second thoughts about it and I may abort the project. The estimate is well over $5000 right now and my guys are still figuring some last minute details. I'm thinking I may just sell the trans and instead of doing the swap I might just look for either an e30 project or an e36 M3 and just enjoy my e46 how it is. I've already spent way too much on getting the car near perfect and the trans swap will put the dollar amount into the atmosphere. It's a lot more work than most will tell you if you want it to be done as if it came from the factory. A couple guys actually warned me a while back about how expensive and detailed the swap would be and I should have just listened then and not bought the transmission. You might want to reconsider and spend the money elsewhere and just enjoy your car. Or sell the ZHP auto and try to find one with a manual.


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Ya thats why i haven't bought any parts yet. I actually haven't even bought the M3 tranny yet, but its available to me for 500... I was trying to get a full picture of completing this thing with parts, labor and all.

I was also thinking of starting an e30 project to mess around with instead of the swap, but they have gotten so expensive lately, everyone wants them...
I have seen stock IS's priced the same as my ZHP lol..
and I don't really wanna go the route of selling my car and going through all that...
Thanks for the input, getting a grasp on deep i want to go with this.
Good luck with your swap or whatever you decide
 

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Ya thats why i haven't bought any parts yet. I actually haven't even bought the M3 tranny yet, but its available to me for 500... I was trying to get a full picture of completing this thing with parts, labor and all.



I was also thinking of starting an e30 project to mess around with instead of the swap, but they have gotten so expensive lately, everyone wants them...

I have seen stock IS's priced the same as my ZHP lol..

and I don't really wanna go the route of selling my car and going through all that...

Thanks for the input, getting a grasp on deep i want to go with this.

Good luck with your swap or whatever you decide

I was completely ready to go forward with the swap but as the cost started getting higher and higher I started to question my sanity. First off its a car that I only drive a few thousand miles a year, and at this point my other "fun" cars are manuals so I'm trying to tell myself it will be cool to have a "fun" car that I don't have to shift gears in. I'm not one to do a project half assed so I'm not just going to buy a bunch of used parts from a junk yard and patch together a manual transmission in a car that I plan on keeping for years. The reward of having a manual just doesn't outweigh the cost of doing the project the right way. I'm almost positive that I'm going to end up just finishing up the overhaul on the car and put it back together as an automatic, how it came from the factory.

As far as the E30s go you just have to be patient. From my research you can put a pretty nice one together for between $10k and $15k all done. The big thing is finding one that isn't rusted out. You should just skip the manual swap and spend that cash either refreshing your ZHP if it needs it, or start another project like an E30 and just drive and enjoy your ZHP as it is. Don't let the manual guys on here talk you into doing this swap. There is nothing wrong with driving an auto. The e46 is still a great car to drive even if its not a manual trans, and its not a sports car anyway so its not like its a sin to have it in an automatic. Save your money and the headaches. I'm sure there will be guys that chime in here that did a manual swap for a couple thousand, but there's no way its as quality as the actual factory manual cars are. To get quality it costs big money.


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