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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 12-02-2013, 12:57 AM
Andx25 Andx25 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 bmw 325i
Automatic conversion to manual

Hey i got a 1994 bmw 325i and its a great car, but its an automatic and i was looking into manual conversions, i was just wondering how much it would cost and what i would need


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  #2  
Old 12-02-2013, 08:07 AM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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Mein Auto: 128i M, M3, 325is M-Tech
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Originally Posted by Andx25 View Post
Hey i got a 1994 bmw 325i and its a great car, but its an automatic and i was looking into manual conversions, i was just wondering how much it would cost and what i would need


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Hooo boy. It is a daunting task to say the least, especially with the re-wiring you will need to do.

Make sure the car is in neutral before pulling the battery's negative terminal.

As far as parts:

Pedal Cluster from a manual car
rear main bearing
rear main seal
rear main gasket
flywheel (these are very pricey) - needs to be 240mm for a 2.5 litre engine
new friction disk and pressure plate
GETRAG/ZF manual transmission
Driveshaft for a manual car (Automatic driveshaft is shorter, and usually used on 6 speed transmissions like the ZHP one)
new center support bearing
new Giubo/Flex Disk disk
shifter assembly (usually comes as a package with manual transmissions)
new shifter boot
new slave cylinder
new master cylinder
new clutch lines
You will need to weld a tab on your chassis in the engine bay to support the master cylinder line to the slave cylinder line. The tab will prevent the line from bouncing around.
Possibly a new output flange if your driveshaft is 6 point as opposed to 4 point. At this point people usually just install a limited slip differential.
Exhaust support bracket
manual transmission crossmember
new transmission mounts

The rest will be re-wiring. I hope you have a big budget, because you'll might as well do any other maintenance on the engine while it is out of the car.
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2013, 12:04 PM
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bliger7gz bliger7gz is online now
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That makes two of us, but no time or money
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:00 PM
Andx25 Andx25 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 bmw 325i
Automatic conversion to manual

Wow that is alot would take alot of time, now just to figure out if its worth it or not


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  #5  
Old 12-02-2013, 09:30 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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And unless I missed it, one thing which should also be on that list is a differential from a manual trans car. The diff that came in the automatic equipped cars is too high of a ratio to be used with a manual transmission.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2013, 12:06 PM
Andx25 Andx25 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 bmw 325i
Automatic conversion to manual

Will an m3 manual transmission fit on a four dour 325i, i might have a donor car but its an m3


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  #7  
Old 12-05-2013, 12:42 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yes, all transmissions are interchangeable on the E36, but if you are swapping from an automatic to a manual, you will have to swap all the other items mentioned above.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2013, 12:57 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
still learnin'
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Originally Posted by Andx25 View Post
Wow that is alot would take alot of time, now just to figure out if its worth it or not


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  #9  
Old 12-05-2013, 03:04 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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I am in the process of collecting all the parts and I figure it will cost me $2,000 for just the parts.. ZF trans, UUC short shifter kit and DSSR, Valeo single mass flywheel and clutch kit, driveshaft, pedals, trans cross memeber and a 3.38 LSD out of an early, E36 automatic M3. Plus misc stuff like shift boot, shifter, giubo, switches. And, I'm doing all new shift pins before I install the trans, new input/out put seals on trans & diff. It is quite extensive and I am excited to do it. As far as the wiring, that is the easiest part. Getting a dealer to reflash your computer is another. There is software available for pretty cheap ($30) but seems like a PIA to do. I just noticed that you are in NJ so if you get to the point of completion, PM me and I can connect you with someone at a NJ dealership who will do your reflash for about $100. Good luck! Definitely worth it from what I hear. Financially, it definitely doesn't pay because you will never see your money back, but, the seat of the pants factor is priceless.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2013, 04:19 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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seems to be a rash of this thought going around... We just had a guy ask about it.. But evedently He didnt like hearing that it will cost more then the car is worth..

IF you were building a track car ID say go for it.. But other wise.. Its just stupid ... Sell the car buy a manual ..


and Nicky3 before you go giving advice... why dont you get your car switched and running first?

This hole idea is unrelistic


the reality of this situation is.. your going to start the car and then its going to go to a shop on a roll back half done... your going to pay crazy amounts of money to try to figure it out.. Then THen!... when its all said and done..

your motor is going to go .. because every swap ive seen that went from auto to manual .. the engine fails 50-75k after the swap.
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2013, 04:47 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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But evidently, you and the clown you tried to send me to for the install, have not seen too many because that guy had not a clue what he was talking about. Nice guy, but didn't sound like the sharpest tool in the shed. But some people just can't express themselves well, it happens. He gave me an estimate with a $1,000 spread! I have never been given a $1,000 spread on anything, including a complete drive train rebuild on my 67 Shelby. If he had done any successfully, you would think he would have an idea of the labor hours or have it down to a science. And, that's with me supplying every part including every nut & bolt. As far as the engine blowing, oh well, I'll have it replaced. No problem with that. As for why I don't just go buy a manual? Just love the car and it has sentimental value to me as it was a good friend of mine's that was killed in Iraq while serving this great country. I'm funny that way.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2013, 05:52 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Yep... because you appoched with the "This is what im going to pay" you sounded like every other person who thinks they can do it them selfs... ... lol

what ever man.. Ive got 3 bmw's in my garage and we have a bunch at the shop.. so put your money where your mouth is.. and do the swap and make it work..

The spread was because we didnt want to work on your car.. and you were told.. that it would cost more then It was worth...



The bottem line is your not going to do this.. your going to end up paying someone else.. Good luck..

shakes head... been down this street b4 kido.. your barking up the wrong tree
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

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  #13  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:00 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
reality check... your talking 5grand to make this work correctly... on a 1300$ car...

your not going to do it...
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

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  #14  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:14 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Ok boss if you say so. You seem so angry. Where you weened properly as a child? Anyway, please don't recommend incompetent, oil change jockey's to the fine folks on this forum. They deserve better. An unsuspecting person may have gave the dude the job and got taken for a ride or a non ride, I should say. That dude was clueless and IMHO, mildly retarded. Sounded a little like Bevis from Bevis & Butthead No offense though to the fine, mentally challenged people of the world. Peace & love to them all! BTW, what was you're cut of the deal if I gave him the job? I'm done. Happy Holidays!
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  #15  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:16 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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lol i rest my case...

says the guy who isnt a mechanic for a living

lol so glad we didnt work on your car..
and for the record... there dude.. i was standing there listening to the conversation.. so dont twist words... i know what was said
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

15486372<-----
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  #16  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:17 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Sorry OP, back on track. This swap has been done thousands of times successfully. Don't be intimidated. This link is an excellent write up with all the details and parts required.


http://mye36project5spdswap.weebly.com/
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  #17  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:21 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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my cut of the deal.. is i work there.. i was going to be doing the swap...
My best friend and partner, I dont get paid from that shop.. I work there to help him..

my cut of the deal..


THis

This


lol here ya go.. This is it.. In a nut shell



This is that type of person..

anyway b4 we get in a name calling event.. why dont we just say.. you have some work to do.. and until your car has a 5 speed in it... your throwing wind ...
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

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Last edited by Burning2nd; 12-05-2013 at 06:22 PM.
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  #18  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:29 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Mechanic? I am an aerospace engineer my friend with a PhD from MIT. No offense to the fine mechanics of the world but it isn't rocket science, pardon the pun. If you can read, you can fix cars. The thing is that I'm not sure that dude can read. However, the fact that you understood him proves that you understand retards. That's a good thing. Lot's of job opportunities if the "mechanic" thing doesn't work out.

I'm sorry, I will stop now. Happy Holidays! Sorry again OP. Keep this thread alive. Keep asking questions.
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  #19  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:32 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Yep... typical engineer... still counting the little lines on the tap messure? Oh this is classic... MIT..

So you can read.... but you cant fix your car?


Dont do it man... THis isnt the class room
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

15486372<-----
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  #20  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:37 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Learn to spell bro. You spell like you and you're buddy talk! Your'e education level is showing. How much them there mee can ics make in rural Pa? You are an angry little boy. It's all about frame of reference. Obviously you grew up in a small world but that's ok, be happy! Peace & Love!
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:39 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Yep, this thread's going to get the lock.....
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  #22  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:46 PM
Nicky3 Nicky3 is offline
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Sorry guys, this boy tried to beat a fellow forum member with a bogus referral that he was getting a cut from. Not nice. Beware! I'm done. Once again OP, I truly apologize. As a fellow New Jersey-an, I would love to see you're progress if you decide to do this swap. The gentlemen here are very knowledgeable and informative. My bad, I got bated.
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  #23  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:53 PM
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Keepittrill Keepittrill is offline
My avatar is a selfie LOL
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Mein Auto: 2011 M3 DCT
Automatic conversion to manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicky3 View Post
Learn to spell bro. You spell like you and you're buddy talk! Your'e education level is showing. How much them there mee can ics make in rural Pa? You are an angry little boy. It's all about frame of reference. Obviously you grew up in a small world but that's ok, be happy! Peace & Love!
I found several grammatical errors and misspellings in your posts...


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  #24  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:55 PM
hnaz hnaz is offline
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That's a nice Targa there! My dad had a 73.5 911 sportomatic targa.

OP, it can be done, but unless you're technically savvy, it is a daunting task. I'm trying to assist a guy do a manual swap on his autotragic 325i, and he too is one of those types that just won't listen. So I just sit in the background and make sure he doesn't kill himself. But the main reason why the engines don't last that long is either proper care is not taken when doing the maintenance before buttoning everything up, or the process was not done right with the wiring, the clutch wasn't installed properly, proper torque wasn't used, or basically, not paying attention to detail. It's why most swap jobs end up in the mechanic's shop. I don't blame the mechanics denying the work because having to work back and see what went wrong is not only taking up shop space, but money is lost because of that. Worse yet, the negotiating back and forth is too much of a headache. I wouldn't mind if I am helping someone that they pay attention to detail, but if they keep going on forums back and forth, can't remove a driveshaft, then using speculation from keyboard mechanics, it's time to sit back and enjoy the show. Hopefully when "Help" is pleaded, I can step in before it is too late.

But in all seriousness, don't rush anything and make sure you understand what you're doing. It is VERY important. Make sure you replace all your hoses while the engine is out of the car, as well as any other seals and gaskets that need replacing or due for replacing before you put everything back together. AND DO NOT USE AIR TOOLS TO TIGHTEN EVERYTHING!!
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  #25  
Old 12-05-2013, 06:56 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
Under the lift arms
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Mein Auto: E39 540, E36 328is, E83x3
See the difference is these guys have 3000 post of my bad spelling, Most of them have learned the hard way... as you will.. it has no effect on skill...
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"Burning 2nd is a lot like vitamin tonic. Overly harsh, tastes like crap, but somewhere in all that there's good intent......just have to learn to read between the lines, actually you have to squint really hard to see the good, but its there somewhere"

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