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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, happy holidays!!! I have recieved a bunch of PM's and as I have been writing up my DIY (which has turned into a 15 page epic so far i am trying to condense into a readable thread...my brother is helping me with it since I have the memory of a hippy, and he's been busy at his shop this time of year)...well these should answer the most common questions I have recieved...each sentecnce seperated by 3 periods is a seperate question i recived from members...just something to chew on as I finish up the ultimate tranny swap DIY...this was sent to various members who have pm'd so y'all can stop reading this now:

on a scale of 1 to 10, it is a high 9, if you have great mechanical skills you can do this swap...it is much more difficult than an engine swap and more time consuming, and since BMW has 4 billion computers and electrical gizmos, there is a lot involved...the other thing is is that there is a hell of a lot more involved than swapping tranny's...you need a new drive shaft, diff flange, pedal assembly, clutch, flywheel, throw out and pilot bearing, shift linkage, linkage mounts, tranny of course, guibo, a diff if you want to keep your revs under control (i left my 3.46 diff in and it revs at 3500rpms at 75 mph), master cylinder, clutch linkage, tranny coolant line delete, you need to take your neutral safety switch off your STEP and hook it up to the existing wiring harness so you can start your car, deflash your shark (if you have one), and most important, since you are doing this swap, replace your starter, since you need to remove it from the tranny anyways...all labor was done by me, my brother, and my step father, total for labor was about $40 in various fast food stops...parts were around $3100 for everything (got a deal from my guy, I got a 5 speed tranny, flywheel, clutch and pressure plates, all bearings internal, new drive shaft, 3.15 diff i left off, DSC computer (which is different on a manual, but i left mine in and DSC works fine), pedal assembly, linkage, new master cylinder, all hoses and vaccum lines, all bolts, off of a 2003 325i with 954 miles (rear ended) for $2750 shipped from hotlanta!!! I bought a new starter for $180, power steering pump for $80 off the aforementioned car (blew this somehow, so replaced it), linkage harness for the back of the linkage the sits on the chassis for $40, tranny mount (STEP is diffrent, needs to be replaced) for $40, shift boot for $35, and i believe just some various other trinkets...we left the coolant lines and mounted them up until we get a coolant tank off a manual (5 speed does not need radiator fluid running through it)...all harnesses connecting to the STEP are now mounted in celephane lubed up in silicone tucked underneath the micro filter housing, as not to get wet...as for reverse lights, another member is doing this swap and will let me know which wire to plug into the transmission (on the 5 speed there is only one electrical wiring harness on it as opposed to the STEP which has 3)...i believe it is one of the wires you will disconnect from the STEP shift boot, we just need to splice that wire into the harness on the tranny, i have gone without them for over a month and no problems so far...it is do-able, but the stress level is through the roof, and i don't recommend doing this without another person or two...have patients, use all of your strength and your friends to loosen the tranny bolts to the bell housing... the strater is the hardest and most tedious part...as well as mounting the flywheel to the clutch...make sure you change the drive shaft and it is balanced properly...while we were under there we checked for sub frame damage, not as common in STEP as in manual, but we checked and it was fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AnthraxCrumpet said:
this thread makes me reconsider switching to a manual when my step dies :(

how many total hours do you think it took?
over the course of one month we did around 25 labor hours, and about 20 hours on the comp or TIS trying to calculate and pin point our each and every move...we made a few mistakes we had to go back and fix (a pressure plate put in backwards, wrong tranny mount had to wait 3 days for it to come in from HQ in NJ, 4 broken universal sockets, stripped tranny bolt from too much torque, as i kiss my muscle, jk!!!)...def worth it absolute best mod I have done, car drives amazing, and it is such a blast i can't wait to drive to work everyday...I know that I was against this at first and urging people not to go through with it, it is now something I encourage and will help anyone who needs it with all of the advice they can use, that I know!!!

Good luck anthrax if you do it, your car will love you, and oh yeah your STEP is going to die a lot sooner than you think!!! do i hear 6 speed???
 

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Awesome info, can't wait for the DIY.
i purchased a 6 spd for my 325i a year ago, just need to save
the money to get the parts and labor. I am definitelly going to let a professional take care of this.

Do you know a good place for parts? especially a new driveshaft for the six speed?
I figure i will go with the clutch/flywheel package from UUC.

Thanks for the info!
 

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that'd be rad if you could make a write up :bow:
 

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Ok, so what is a real world estimate to get this done professionally? I am not THAT mechanically inclined to take on something that huge nor do I have hours upon hours of research time. So you paid $3,000+ on parts alone. So the entire job with labor would run me hmm.... $5-6k? :brent2:
 

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I probably paid around 2k for everything. I bought my transmission, shifter assembly, pedals, clutch lines (master/slave cylinder), SPEC stage 1 clutch, and transmission mount all for 1100. Then I bought a Fidanza lightweight flywheel for 425, and a driveshaft for 125.

I also bought a EVO3 SSK, but this wasn't necessary as I already had all the OEM parts.

It took my 8 days, 4 of which I had to wait for a new clutch master cylinder. Mine broken when I was bleeding the clutch.

I didn't run into any problems with it, I took off all of the auto stuff, bolted on the manual parts. Hot wired one of the transmission lines instead of removing the assembly like dankbmw did.

Car started up and drove the first time.

My only problem now is that my clutch pedal seems to engage too low. I have to press the pedal so far down that the UUC clutch stop I bought is too high at its lowest setting. I think bleeding the clutch again will fix this.
 

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There is a reverse light relay in the E-Box on the driver side of the engine bay. This shows the location of the relay (removed, wires are shown in it).



Here is a close up of the connections. Both of these wires are hooked up to the two wires from the reverse switch on the side of the manual transmission.



This is a shot of the black connector from the side of the automatic transmission. The wire across here connects 12V to the EWS, allowing you to start the car without the automatic transmission.

 

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ASAed330 said:
Anyone figure out how to make the reverse mirror tilt work? It would be nice to see the curb when trying to parallel park. :p
I am working on this, once I get my car flashed I am going to remove the transmission control module. Once I can dig around in its wiring and with the Bentley wiring diagrams, I am hoping to perfect the swap. :thumbup:

If anyone happens to know the codes to program our cars on a GT1 it would help me a lot. I understand there are three, a VN, SNN, and one more that I don't know the name of.

I can't get my car programmed until I find out these for a 2001 330CI 5 speed. :thumbdwn:
 

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swap...

When I did a swap with an auto ecu we just plugged in another 330 with a 5 speed and got the codes from that. Then flashed the auto ecu with those codes and everything was good. I imagine the drive by wire is keeping the revs up between shifts. When you flash it back to a manual ecu that should go away. Glad to see its working out for you!

-Jason
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
xm: awesome bro, I hooked up reverse lights today, you flippin rock!!! as for the clutch engagement, I had the same exact problem with mine...I had to cut my UUC short shift so low, it barley was stable in there...if you remove your clutch stop, engagement isn't met till the clutch pedal is on the floor??? If so, shave your clutch stop to about 1/2" of thread, then try it, it should work...I have no clue how to raise the engagement on it...bled the clutch as well to no avail, did a gravity bleed though!!!

are you having any problems with reverse??? my cars revs shoot to like 400 when I put it in, and even hitting the gas the car feels like it is going to stall...but what a ride huh??? you love that we can keep our 3.46's (unless we s/c)!!! Damn wish you were on the east coast, would have been there with you!!!
 

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Are your reverse lights good? Mine seem a little dim from what I remember.
I am going to have to look at another way to wire it, maybe keeping the original relay and adding a different circuit, running the lights through that line could be dimming it down. Better than nothing!

My clutch engages higher, it seems to be better than it used to. However, I still have to press the pedal to the floor to put it in/out of a gear. I'm not sure whats up with that, I am pretty sure its not supposed to be like that.

jbriedis: You don't happen to still have those codes laying around on a napkin somewhere, do you? I don't know anyone local and the shop I use does not have any cars in there that they can read them from. The only other BMW shop is the dealer and they are not of any help.
 
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