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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2012, 06:32 PM
StraightThrough StraightThrough is offline
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
 
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3
E83 AT to MT Conversion Feasibility

I should start by saying that I know how difficult and problematic this would be to undertake, so this is an idea to mull over for a while even if it isn't worth doing. Moving on, I have a 2004 X3 2.5i with the 5spd automatic with a (theoretical) plan to swap in the 6spd manual.

The way I see it, the major parts would be
  • The new transmission
  • Clutch
  • Flywheel
  • Pedal assembly
  • Hydraulic Components (Slave, Master)
  • Various electronic harnesses and components (probably the biggest hurdle)
  • Linkages
  • Shifter as well as trim pieces
  • Nuts, bearings, and bolts

Most likely there would also be structural and mounting issues with the new transmission, as well as the obvious difficulty in getting the new transmission to work properly with the ECU that is already there. I used these two threads to try and understand the issues better and any additional resources would be great.Conversion: AT to MT, DIY: **The New Unofficial Auto ----> 5 speed swap (the second link is an E46).

Anyways, this is my pipe dream, but I'm not planning on selling this car soon and will most likely drive it 'till the day it dies, so I would rather it have a proper gearbox in it!
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2012, 07:51 PM
iamthewalrus iamthewalrus is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 BMW X3 3.0i (manual)
Your best option is to sell your X3 and buy a used manual one that's similarly optioned.

Funny how nobody asks to do a manual -> automatic conversion. You listening BMW?
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2012, 09:01 PM
StraightThrough StraightThrough is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus View Post
Funny how nobody asks to do a manual -> automatic conversion. You listening BMW?
There are a few exceptions.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2012, 09:46 PM
alpinweiss alpinweiss is offline
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Mein Auto: E46, E83, E90 (all MT)
In addition to your list of parts, I think the gear ratio in the front and rear differentials may be different between AT models and MT models.

The only way I can see it feasible to change your X3 to manual transmission, would be to find a wrecked X3 MT with the driveline intact. And then begin swapping every part in the entire driveline.

Obviously, the best solution is to simply replace your present X3 with a pristine condition X3 that has MT. Unfortunately, I realize how difficult this will be, due to the rarity of the MT models in the North American market.

I will replace my present X3 with a new X3 (F25), as soon as it is made available with MT in the US. I am holding my breath for this availability. I am turning blue........

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  #5  
Old 08-05-2012, 07:47 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3
+1 on the only feasible (read-economic sense) way as finding a donor M/T X3 "sinker" and swap out the parts. With a "sinker" or flood car, there would be no damage to the critical parts usually found in wrecks. Obviously there are exceptions (tree falling on the roof etc) but a flood car is a good choice for mechanical parts. I agree with Wally and alpin though, just find a M/T and sell yours.

Last edited by UncleJ; 08-05-2012 at 07:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2012, 08:40 AM
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crowz crowz is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i, 97 528i
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus View Post
Your best option is to sell your X3 and buy a used manual one that's similarly optioned.

Funny how nobody asks to do a manual -> automatic conversion. You listening BMW?
Actually I have. Not on a bmw but a trans am I had. Actually switched back and forth about 7 times I think

I liked the stick shift for some track driving with long stretches but for autocrossing when the tracks were very small I liked the automatic better.

As for drag racing? Automatic = auto win vs a stick shift with high hp motors. Grocery getting hp level a stick is better for drag racing.

When it comes to bmw's it seems smarter to just buy what you want. The switch over isnt really cost effective.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2012, 08:55 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Mein Auto: '05 X3, '95 M3, '89 MkI
These swaps are very common, are you thinking in doing it yourself?
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2012, 12:15 PM
StraightThrough StraightThrough is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 BMW X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
These swaps are very common, are you thinking in doing it yourself?
Down the road when I have a more accommodating garage I would do the work myself, but as it stands now I don't have the facilities to do so (apartment building).

I guess waiting to see if a doner MT X3 pops up for a reasonable amount of money would be my best bet in terms of both cost effectiveness and just having all the parts at my disposal.
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  #9  
Old 08-08-2012, 09:28 AM
sjladopoulos sjladopoulos is offline
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Location: Toronto
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW X3 3.0si
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthewalrus View Post
Your best option is to sell your X3 and buy a used manual one that's similarly optioned.

Funny how nobody asks to do a manual -> automatic conversion. You listening BMW?


the end.
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