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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-30-2015, 03:13 PM
murdered_e36 murdered_e36 is offline
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Convert auto to manual

Hey guys, I recently bought a 1992 e36 325i, that I knew needed so TLC, but ended up being a little more than expected. A few days ago I started to have tranny problems. If I end up having to drop in a new one I would really rather put in a 5 speed. My question is how hard and how expensive is it to do a conversion.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2015, 07:19 AM
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tim330i tim330i is offline
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I moved your question to the E36 3 series forum, you will get more help in here. I am sure there are some DIYs around if you search. I don't know for sure but I'm getting it is about $1500 in parts and a very full weekend of work. How good are you at turning a wrench?

Tim
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2015, 07:43 AM
murdered_e36 murdered_e36 is offline
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Originally Posted by tim330i View Post
I moved your question to the E36 3 series forum, you will get more help in here. I am sure there are some DIYs around if you search. I don't know for sure but I'm getting it is about $1500 in parts and a very full weekend of work. How good are you at turning a wrench?

Tim
Ok thank u. I am a novice at best when it comes to working on cars but I have a very good friend who is a mechanic and a BMW enthusiast. I'm not sure weather I have to replace it or not yet but if I do I would much rather have a 5 speed anyway.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:18 AM
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hnaz hnaz is offline
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How hard? Not very, the electrical part becomes a pain in the ass and make sure to leave the shifter in neutral or park before ripping everything out. You will also need to install a clutch safety switch as well. Then you will need to buy a tab to weld onto the firewall for the clutch line from the brake master cylinder. You will also need to buy another cross member for the tranny support for a manual car. Then, depending on whether you go with a GETRAG 520 or ZF tranny, you will need to buy the reverse light extension wire (for ZF transmission since the reverse light switch is on the passenger side versus the driver's side like the GETRAG 520). Then of course you will need to buy a driveshaft, flex disc, flywheel, friction disk, pressure plate, throw out bearing, pivot pin and spring, slave cylinder, clutch pedal cluster, master clutch pedal cylinder, clutch lines, possible a new master cylinder, and then start playing with the TCU (so you keep your ABS brakes).

Expect to spend anywhere from $2800 - $3000 if you're good with finding parts at a junkyard or Bimmerforums Classifieds or Craigslist.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2015, 10:07 AM
murdered_e36 murdered_e36 is offline
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Originally Posted by hnaz View Post
How hard? Not very, the electrical part becomes a pain in the ass and make sure to leave the shifter in neutral or park before ripping everything out. You will also need to install a clutch safety switch as well. Then you will need to buy a tab to weld onto the firewall for the clutch line from the brake master cylinder. You will also need to buy another cross member for the tranny support for a manual car. Then, depending on whether you go with a GETRAG 520 or ZF tranny, you will need to buy the reverse light extension wire (for ZF transmission since the reverse light switch is on the passenger side versus the driver's side like the GETRAG 520). Then of course you will need to buy a driveshaft, flex disc, flywheel, friction disk, pressure plate, throw out bearing, pivot pin and spring, slave cylinder, clutch pedal cluster, master clutch pedal cylinder, clutch lines, possible a new master cylinder, and then start playing with the TCU (so you keep your ABS brakes).

Expect to spend anywhere from $2800 - $3000 if you're good with finding parts at a junkyard or Bimmerforums Classifieds or Craigslist.
Ok cool thank you, I appreciate that, I've been trying to get a detailed list like that for a while. Sounds like I'll just b putting an automatic back in if I have to replace it.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2015, 08:18 PM
66 6 66 6 is offline
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I have a full swap, all the parts you need from a 98 323 $750
Flywheel to rear end including 2.91 ratio rear, clutch cylinder, mount etc etc. Still in a running car just waiting to be pulled.
I'm in Maryland 21158
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2015, 09:51 PM
murdered_e36 murdered_e36 is offline
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Originally Posted by 66 6 View Post
I have a full swap, all the parts you need from a 98 323 $750
Flywheel to rear end including 2.91 ratio rear, clutch cylinder, mount etc etc. Still in a running car just waiting to be pulled.
I'm in Maryland 21158
That would b great if u where a little closer to me, I'm in Arizona.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2015, 04:29 AM
66 6 66 6 is offline
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That's usually the problem. Good deal, too far....
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2015, 06:41 AM
M-technik-3 M-technik-3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66 6 View Post
I have a full swap, all the parts you need from a 98 323 $750
Flywheel to rear end including 2.91 ratio rear, clutch cylinder, mount etc etc. Still in a running car just waiting to be pulled.
I'm in Maryland 21158
That is a decent deal, does it come with the pedal assembly? and the slave cylinder?
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2015, 08:53 AM
66 6 66 6 is offline
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Originally Posted by M-technik-3 View Post
That is a decent deal, does it come with the pedal assembly? and the slave cylinder?
Yup, everything needed including the pedal switches. Just not the wiring as that will stay as part of the wiring assembly.
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  #11  
Old 07-03-2015, 11:03 PM
r4ndi22Le36 r4ndi22Le36 is offline
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Convert auto to manual

I talked to a guy on Craigslist that said he'd sell me his m3 tranny and driveline for $500. Is that a good deal? He also had all the necessary parts like the crossmember, pedals etc for sale as well. Does it really matter if it's an m3 tranny or just a regular 328 tranny? What is the difference between the two? Oh and it's a manual tranny. I'd be doing the swap.

Last edited by r4ndi22Le36; 07-03-2015 at 11:05 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2015, 05:56 AM
66 6 66 6 is offline
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Originally Posted by r4ndi22Le36 View Post
I talked to a guy on Craigslist that said he'd sell me his m3 tranny and driveline for $500. Is that a good deal? He also had all the necessary parts like the crossmember, pedals etc for sale as well. Does it really matter if it's an m3 tranny or just a regular 328 tranny? What is the difference between the two? Oh and it's a manual tranny. I'd be doing the swap.
Depending on what is included

An M3 tranny is the same as a 328.
You will need the rear dif due to your current gearing.

I usually sell just the M3/328 tranny for $300 but then you need to add in all the other parts.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2015, 11:18 AM
r4ndi22Le36 r4ndi22Le36 is offline
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Fudge! I was told that it's not that complicated to do. Is this true? I'm pretty sure I can figure it out either way. I did just rebuild the vanos. I can't imagine it being more difficult then that.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2015, 11:42 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Heavier parts, more of them, nastier job, and yes, more complex than the VANOS, but you can probably do it.
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2015, 12:13 PM
r4ndi22Le36 r4ndi22Le36 is offline
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Fudge again! I hope my tranny can last the rest of the summer.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2015, 03:15 PM
Culprit83 Culprit83 is offline
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I am just curious on what the point is on a conversion. I know people do it often and can be easier to do for some than for others. But what is the payoff rather than finding another E36 that is already manual? From what I have read on these conversions, I think for me it would be easier just to get another and swap the engine and interior if necessary.
Not bashing anyone, just asking why.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2015, 09:50 AM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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For one, on my car, I knew what I had. My interior, body/paint and engine were in excellent condition. Plus many parts were already replaced. It's a weekend job with the right skills and tools. The hardest part for me was fishing the hard clutch line through the firewall and fiddling with the clutch master in tight quarters. Other than that it was pretty straight forward. I did it myself with a tranny jack.
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  #18  
Old 07-09-2015, 06:19 PM
Culprit83 Culprit83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
For one, on my car, I knew what I had. My interior, body/paint and engine were in excellent condition. Plus many parts were already replaced. It's a weekend job with the right skills and tools. The hardest part for me was fishing the hard clutch line through the firewall and fiddling with the clutch master in tight quarters. Other than that it was pretty straight forward. I did it myself with a tranny jack.
That is pretty much what I guessed why someone would. It just sounds like it would be a lot of work. I guess not Thanks for the reply!
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2015, 12:54 PM
rochleeg rochleeg is offline
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Yeah I just did this swap back in June makes the car a hell of a lot better to drive. I have been looking for a dif with a 3.40 or 3.15. All those the 3.91 is a fun gear around town not so much on the highway
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  #20  
Old 07-27-2015, 06:31 PM
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amancuso amancuso is offline
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Too bad you're so far away. I've got a 4spd automatic in mint condition with 30K miles on it. Pulled out of my Z3 roadster for an auto to manual swap.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2015, 06:35 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murdered_e36 View Post
Hey guys, I recently bought a 1992 e36 325i, that I knew needed so TLC, but ended up being a little more than expected. A few days ago I started to have tranny problems. If I end up having to drop in a new one I would really rather put in a 5 speed. My question is how hard and how expensive is it to do a conversion.
About $500-$1K if you buy a donor car, strip the parts you need and then part out the rest. $2K-$3K if you by the parts outright.
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