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2002 330 Ci convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2002 3.0 convertible and am interested in changing the transmissions. I have been unsuccessful in identifying a path to do that.
Additionally, I am interested in, over time, updating the car with performance related modifications, but I want to start with the transmission.

Any and all suggestions welcome. I am in the Raleigh NC area.

Mark S.
 

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2004 330ci (6MT Swap)
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97 Posts
There are plenty of posts on this forum for manual swapping the e46. There are also 2 videos that come to mind on youtube that go in depth with step by step and parts required. Look up e46 manual swap on youtube. The video by shoplifeTV and 50s kid are incredible. Give them a view
 

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Are you planning on using a 5 speed or a 6 speed? How do you plan on sourcing parts, are you going to pull everything yourself from a junkyard? What do you plan on getting new vs used? How attached to the current car are you? Even in the current used car market e46 can be found cheap enough that getting a manual car may make more sense than swapping.
Make sure you have all the parts needed before starting & have a plan in place for coding the car.
 

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Hey Mark, we don't know your skill level... A manual swap is a tall order for someone who doesn't do much wrenching.... And I am not saying you do or you don't...I am saying I don't know.

If an oil change is a 1 and an S54 swap is a 10, I'd put a 5-speed manual swap at a 7.
It's just mechanical, hydraulic, wiring, and coding...and it's all documented.

As you ponder whether to do it yourself, I suggest you find a couple of non-dealer BMW specialists - with good reviews- and go talk to them about doing it.

A 5-speed swap is quite a bit cheaper than a 6-speed swap.
 

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2002 330 Ci convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Mark, we don't know your skill level... A manual swap is a tall order for someone who doesn't do much wrenching.... And I am not saying you do or you don't...I am saying I don't know.

If an oil change is a 1 and an S54 swap is a 10, I'd put a 5-speed manual swap at a 7.
It's just mechanical, hydraulic, wiring, and coding...and it's all documented.

As you ponder whether to do it yourself, I suggest you find a couple of non-dealer BMW specialists - with good reviews- and go talk to them about doing it.

A 5-speed swap is quite a bit cheaper than a 6-speed swap.
Thank you for replying and my apologies for not making this point clearer. I am definitely NOT doing the swap. I am looking for shops that do this kind of thing. I would be happy with a five speed manual over the 6 speed--what matters to me is bringing the third pedal back into my driving experience, not the extra revs/whatever I could get from the additional gear. I will increase my search with non dealer BMW specialists--the one I use for regular maintenance does not do this kind of work. Thanks again! Mark
 

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2002 330 Ci convertible
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you planning on using a 5 speed or a 6 speed? How do you plan on sourcing parts, are you going to pull everything yourself from a junkyard? What do you plan on getting new vs used? How attached to the current car are you? Even in the current used car market e46 can be found cheap enough that getting a manual car may make more sense than swapping.
Make sure you have all the parts needed before starting & have a plan in place for coding the car.
Hi--thank you for replying. I had not thought about 5 vs 6 speed honestly-I assume a five speed since that is what I think this engine was mated to when sold as a new manual. You are giving me way too much credit if you think I am going to try and source this from a junkyard, so no to that--way above my pay grade. I am not sure about the how attached am I to my current car..I like it, but I am not opposed to going with something else with a manual already installed. Put it this way--if this car was a manual I would be pretty attached to it. I appreciate that idea--and have been watching bring a trailer for e46's and newer BMW convertibles with factory installed manuals. Thanks for your insight!
 

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My guess would be that you could sell your auto vert, and buy a decent driver-quality 3.0 convertible with a manual for less than the cost of converting yours. The pre- '04 cars (pre-facelift) with 5-speeds are generally a little less than the later 6-speed cars..

If you pay someone to do it, it's going to run $2500 minimum parts and labor in my estimation. Of course, your prices might vary...but ask around.
 

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Heck how about this one?
 
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