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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:10 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
'94 530i manual stuck in 2nd gear

Here's what's up, the shifter is definitely in exactly the third gear position and will just not budge. I am not going to bend it but I have given it some solid tugs. It is stuck up there. 5-speed manual.

However, the car is definitely in second gear as far as the transmission is concerned. It is driving like it is in second gear, accelerates and red lines just as it would in second gear.

How this happened was just all of a sudden, I was driving at about 40 mph in second gear, I think and I was about to make a left-hand turn. I noticed a cop in my rear-view which got my attention a little cause I was about 15 mph above the speed limit.

So I can't remember exactly what maneuver I made but I wasn't paying the closest attention cause I was distracted by the cop but I think that I was in second gear and that I upshifted to third gear but that when I shifted from second to third gear, the shifter got stuck in the third gear (up) position but the car remained in second gear.

There was no warning, no lights went off, no problem with the trans or clutch at all before this.

It was plenty drivable, as long as I didn't need to go on the freeway or reverse so I got it into the garage of a mechanic I trust who specializes in German and Scan transmissions, transmission guru in general.

He's known for his quality work and his low price and for taking his time. Another reason I like this guy is because he put the car up on the hydraulic lift for free and let me look all up under at the externals and he undid the major external components so I could manually inspect myself for a broken linkage, etc., anything on the outside.

No such luck. The outside parts look good. Taking off the shifter boot and getting more into the externals, still looked good except for being stuck in third gear position.

Mechanic says he's never met a tranny he couldn't fix and I'd rather do that than find a used one and so that's what we're doing. The suspicion is a broken shifter rail or something broken in the mechanism that allows the shifter to move along the shifter rail. It sounds as plausible as anything to me. I'd rather take a look at it than just order a new trans. It's got to come out anyway so if I'm paying for the labor to come out, it's not that much more to look inside the tranny. So we're pulling the tranny, after we research the necessary labor to drop the exhaust and pull tranny (6 hours about, this is not an easy car to get the tranny out)

But still I'm happy because it's not at the Dealership aka "the parts' changers" and I like working with this mechanic because he is cool with me and lets me walk around and ask questions while he is working with the car on the lift and shows me what he is doing, which is the most rare and awesome quality in a mechanic ever.

There's an earlier post on this where I was looking for a tip to pull the transmission and got one. There is a way to pull it without having to undo the motor mounts and slightly raise the engine, decreasing the labor cost.

There's not really a question in here. Comments are welcome but what I plan to do is update this with exactly what is going on in the internals of this tranny, because I am obsessed with the maintenance of this vehicle and this is relatively advance for DIY but I think that pulling the tranny on one of these things is an interesting subject. So also if you're interested in exactly how he dropped the exhaust, pictures of the trans., how long it took, etc., I'm taking pictures and hope to be posting them.

This guy's specialty is transmissions and even though he had never done a '94 530i aknd was thrown off by how close the V-8 was to the trans. housing and the extra labor to remove it in this model, he's been honest about that and not charging me extra to learn how to drop the exhaust properly, he's been careful about it to do it right when he does it and his specialty is the internals anyway, so it is understandable that dropping the exhaust and having to manipulate the trans. crossmember in a way to get the trans. out is quite understandable. When he gets inside the trans finally, it should get even more interesting and I'll update.

Don't judge me because I have an irrational emotional attachment to this vehicle. If you do, you shouldn't be here.
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:56 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 PM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Six hours to pull a manual trans is absurd. I could EASILY have it out in about an hour, especially with a lift and chest of air tools. Six hours for removal, inspection and re-installation of a replacement maybe, still pretty steep.

Sounds to me like the trans has a broken shift fork. That explains the shifter being in one place and the trans in another gear. Getting parts may be the biggest obstacle, parts for the 540's six speed are no longer availible. Might have your guy check on parts before planning a disassembly.
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  #4  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:49 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 530i, 1977 320i
That's pretty awesome, snowsled, that you can pull your transmission so fast. Do you have a V-6 or a V-8? If you don't have a V-8, have you ever pulled one from a '94 530i, because if you haven't your input is not very valuable though I do appreciate your effort.

Indeed, your diagnosis of a broken shift fork is a pretty good one. You stated that getting parts for a 6-speed manual 540i would be difficult and yet I have made it clear a number of times that I am working with a 530i 5-speed, V-8. Please try to fully read the post before offering your expert opinion.

I'm pretty sure I can find a '94 shift fork although I appreciate your input.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:59 PM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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Here's some more input.

Pulling this is taking a lot less labor and requiring less time than Bentley's and other manuals have estimated and some steps from Bentley's have been eliminated. Namely, the entire exhaust does not need to be dropped. Also, the alternator does not need to be removed. The right side of the exhaust needs to come off but much of the left side can be suspended. The trans. crossmember and anti-sway bar can be lowered in the fashion seen in the pictures in order to get this trans out.

With the side pipes out of the very front of the exhaust right next to that transmission, it will come out sideways. I have tried to capture it with some pictures that the mechanic was gracious enough to let me take. He is at less than two hours, to address Snowsled's concern that I am being overcharged. Any suggestion that I am being overcharged by this mechanic who is explaining this stuff to me and letting me take these picture is pretty obnoxious though, seriously.
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Last edited by manuelwindows; 03-17-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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  #6  
Old 03-18-2013, 04:48 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manuelwindows View Post
That's pretty awesome, snowsled, that you can pull your transmission so fast. Do you have a V-6 or a V-8? If you don't have a V-8, have you ever pulled one from a '94 530i, because if you haven't your input is not very valuable though I do appreciate your effort.
Doesn't matter which engine it is, the job is the same. Telling someone who has removed dozens of transmissions from dozens of cars while yours it at some mechanics shop while you watch him do the work is beyond insulting young man. What is really ironic is that it seems I was right, six hours is waaaaaaaay to much time to charge for this job. If you trust this guy so much, why bother asking questions here?

Quote:
Indeed, your diagnosis of a broken shift fork is a pretty good one. You stated that getting parts for a 6-speed manual 540i would be difficult and yet I have made it clear a number of times that I am working with a 530i 5-speed, V-8. Please try to fully read the post before offering your expert opinion.

I'm pretty sure I can find a '94 shift fork although I appreciate your input.
I was using the similar model as an example. You do understand the concept of "for example" ? These cars are getting old, not all of the parts are still availible. I was simply suggesting that maybe checking parts availibility might be a good idea if your plan is to repair the trans. I do not know either way but the possibility exists that you wont be able to get parts.

I did read your post fully, but before you get all condescending with me, maybe wait and see how it plays out? You were already way off with the time estimate, have you tried to source a shift fork yet or are you still just guessing at all this?

You and the expert looting your wallet just continue on with your learning experience. I wont bother you anymore with my useless ramblings. CLEARLY, you know exactly what you are doing
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  #7  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:17 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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indeed, I'll continue on with my fool's errand and I don't need to waste my time posting pictures of it here because you already know everything you need to know.

good look with your cars.
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  #8  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:22 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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course we haven't gotten open that gearbox yet to see what the problem is. could be the fork, could be the shifter rail.

we'll never know cause I'm not going to follow this up
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  #9  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:44 AM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowsled7 View Post
Six hours to pull a manual trans is absurd. I could EASILY have it out in about an hour, especially with a lift and chest of air tools. Six hours for removal, inspection and re-installation of a replacement maybe, still pretty steep.

Sounds to me like the trans has a broken shift fork. That explains the shifter being in one place and the trans in another gear. Getting parts may be the biggest obstacle, parts for the 540's six speed are no longer availible. Might have your guy check on parts before planning a disassembly.
An hour? really?
I'll pay to see that.
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  #10  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:44 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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shifter fork for e34 530i, 1994

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...311282585.html

$70

anything else I should figure out if I can find, snowsled?
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  #11  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:44 AM
txrealtor txrealtor is offline
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You're not going to follow it up?! Oh no, what ever will we do?!
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  #12  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:45 AM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
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Wow. I bet that EXTREMELY knowledgeable member will remember this when you run out of cash for experimenting & need to turn to the guys who evidently eat sleep & breathe bimmers. Although you're pics would be helpful, since we wont be getting anymore, i suppose we'll just have to make do with all the other tranny rebuild threads. Hope you get you're e34 up & running soon.

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  #13  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:47 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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thank you Ross. all you have to do is look at the parts and the bolts in those pictures and if you can do that in an hour, it is impossible on this model because the exhaust needs to be removed.

the post I have included with the pictures shows a way to do it that does not require removing the left-side exhaust, the alternator, or undoing the motor mounts and lifting the engine slightly, all things that Bentley's says you need to do.

this guy has already saved me a significant amount of labor and maybe some other people too who are looking for a short cut here.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-2013, 08:49 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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I am too darn curious myself not to post what is wrong now once I get that gearbox open, despite my idle threats. Plus, now I want to see just cause when it's not the shifter fork, then snowsled will be publicly shamed :o)
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  #15  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:10 AM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
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Yes because its shameful to not be able to guess what breaks when some dingbat shifts in apparently random order

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  #16  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:18 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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was there a suggestion there that the way I shifted "broke" the transmission? I was not aware that there was a correct "order" in which to shift? What rule did I break there with my shifting pattern? Help me out, so I can avoid shifting the wrong way again?

but seriously, these cars are built to withstand some pretty serious shifting and even the occasional mis-shift. (even if there was a mis-shift in my example, which there was not) Could you please point out the part in my original post where the way I shifted could have caused the problem?
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  #17  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:22 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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I've been driving one 5 series or another, always manual, for the last 23 years. Took my drivers' test in a 1980 528i manual, in the snow. No part of my shifting prior to the problem was any different from anything I've done on any of the 5 or 6 other e34s I have driven.

But this is my favorite e34, this 1994, so that is why I am emotional here.
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  #18  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:34 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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also, you know, I'm having to drive my back-up car right now, my 1977 320i

if you are going to accuse of throwing away my money, you can start with the fact that I paid more to paint the car than I paid for the car. but I needed it to be factory Jade Green.
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  #19  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:32 AM
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gmnmsclM540i gmnmsclM540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manuelwindows View Post
was there a suggestion there that the way I shifted "broke" the transmission? I was not aware that there was a correct "order" in which to shift? What rule did I break there with my shifting pattern? Help me out, so I can avoid shifting the wrong way again?

but seriously, these cars are built to withstand some pretty serious shifting and even the occasional mis-shift. (even if there was a mis-shift in my example, which there was not) Could you please point out the part in my original post where the way I shifted could have caused the problem?
You are absolutely right. You specifically said you couldn't remember what you did at that moment. I made an assumption. There couldnt possibly be ANY correlation between what you cant remember not doing & the fact that your e34 is jacked up. As far as manual bimmers - had a few myself congratulations, you're point? you jack those up as well?

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  #20  
Old 03-18-2013, 11:09 AM
manuelwindows manuelwindows is offline
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ok, so OK negative Nancies, I broke my tranny by shifting from second to third gear while turning, OK, and yeah, now I'm getting totally ripped off by my mechanic and will be unable to find the replacement part when I do identify the problem in the transmission. thanks for that input guys.

Nevertheless, I will continue to document this foolish endeavor and post the pictures for whomever might be interested. Keep guessing what might be in that tranny!

I know BMWlvr is still sitting there with his popcorn cause you people have got some serious nerve. :o)

Last edited by manuelwindows; 03-18-2013 at 11:11 AM.
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2013, 12:06 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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on the situation regarding finding out what the problem is.

on the drama.
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #22  
Old 03-18-2013, 02:31 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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I did my clutch in just under 6 hours, i have a 95 540i/ 6 though.. it was a bit of a pain and i work hard..!

how ever, i do all my work on the ground in a garage with 2 jacks. and hand tools.. no air tools/lift/trans jack..ect

I have worked on several cars, BMW and otherwise, as a tech i learned doing something right involved taking the time to learn,preplan and prepare.. It is about not rushing anything and following all the steps.. rather than the high pace unbolt what you can see, and try to pull it out.. till you can tell where its still connected.. approach..

Do not get me wrong, i do that too! most simple jobs i have not done (my own cars) if i am not intimidated ill jump in with wrench's and wined up learning" in hind sight" how i should have done it..

FUN for ME! sometimes can end up taking longer if you hit a BIG snag so be careful!

All i want you to understand, Him taking the time with you and being willing to open the trans to poke around for clue's is cool!. Him doing it right and showing you everything step by step is really cool.

And it's on the CLOCK..

Remove and Replace is the standard Now.. Why, because the labor tends to exceed the cost of a replacement..

i do not like it either but if your not after an all original car.. probably the way to go. who says other parts are not on the brink of failing?

& I like the warranty's that come with replacing them..!!!!!!!

If you were like me, doing it yourself. only paying for parts. this would be quite worth the time..

but this doesn't happen to me.. probably cause i downshift when i see cops in my rear view...


PS - Fck Honda & your drama sucks!

Last edited by imae34driver; 03-18-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2013, 03:18 PM
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DanM5 DanM5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imae34driver View Post
I did my clutch in just under 6 hours, i have a 95 540i/ 6 though.. it was a bit of a pain and i work hard..!

how ever, i do all my work on the ground in a garage with 2 jacks. and hand tools.. no air tools/lift/trans jack..ect

I have worked on several cars, BMW and otherwise, as a tech i learned doing something right involved taking the time to learn,preplan and prepare.. It is about not rushing anything and following all the steps.. rather than the high pace unbolt what you can see, and try to pull it out.. till you can tell where its still connected.. approach..

Do not get me wrong, i do that too! most simple jobs i have not done (my own cars) if i am not intimidated ill jump in with wrench's and wined up learning" in hind sight" how i should have done it..

FUN for ME! sometimes can end up taking longer if you hit a BIG snag so be careful!

All i want you to understand, Him taking the time with you and being willing to open the trans to poke around for clue's is cool!. Him doing it right and showing you everything step by step is really cool.

And it's on the CLOCK..

Remove and Replace is the standard Now.. Why, because the labor tends to exceed the cost of a replacement..

i do not like it either but if your not after an all original car.. probably the way to go. who says other parts are not on the brink of failing?

& I like the warranty's that come with replacing them..!!!!!!!

If you were like me, doing it yourself. only paying for parts. this would be quite worth the time..

but this doesn't happen to me.. probably cause i downshift when i see cops in my rear view...


PS - Fck Honda & your drama sucks!
Agreed!! This forum isn't about who knows the most, who's right and who's wrong, the right way and the wrong way etc... We are all on this because of the same thing, our love for our cars. It's great that from different parts of the globe we can offer advice and whatnot, so why get into a squabble over it.. It's Bimmerfest not Bitchfest!!

If 1 man can pull a box out in an hour an it takes another 6 to do it then so what, good him for doin it so fast.. An hour or 6 hours, once it's out that's the main thing!! If you can't find parts for it then maybe one of us has or knows where parts can be gotten an can give you the hook up, THAT'S what it's all about!!

Drama ruins forums, so leave it at that and let us see how you go with your g/box and if we can help in any way I'm sure we will, I will..
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  #24  
Old 03-18-2013, 05:37 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanM5 View Post
.. It's Bimmerfest not Bitchfest!!....
^ This
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #25  
Old 03-19-2013, 04:50 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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I was simply trying to help. Clearly manny, you have it well in hand. You seemed to want to have a measuring contests, so be it... I think this is about my 7th BMW and about my 50th car, coming up on 29 years of driving. Seems you have a couple of years on me. I figured you would be mature about this.

I still think six hours to pull the trans is an overboard estimate. I still think I could get it done MUCH more quickly but, that is pretty much irrelevant. I was honestly trying to make a point that the estimate was high, I would do that for any memeber. You chose to take offense, fine, let the drama ensue....

I do not know or care what is wrong with your trans, I took an educated guess... somehow you think that will lead to my humbling.... ummm, not likely.

Now, if you are here for help, GREAT! Happy to help. If you think you are going to take me to task, I wish you luck
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