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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #1
can anyone tell me with 100% certainty, what 6 speed transmission will go into a 2002 330 ci vert with NO modifications? is there one that just bolts in?

thanks
 

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Any e46 6 speed should work. I wanted to do a 6 speed when I converted from an automatic to manual but the prices at the time were to high. I will be converting eventually from a 5 speed to a 6 speed eventually and all the research I did back then showed I could use anything in the e46 line trans wise if I had of gone 6 speed.
 

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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #3
thanks,
i have been seeing a lot of differing info on this question in the forums. overall length, flywheel and clutch size, slave mount, so on. in 2003 the 330ci came with a 6 speed. but no one can seem to tell me if it just bolts in to an 02 without changing a bunch of other stuff. thus the question. i would really like to hear from someone who has actually done this. (if any have) i do a lot of highway driving and this car really NEEDS a 6th gear. i'm turning 3k @70 mph. that's just too high.
 

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You will also need a new flywheel, clutch and driveshaft
I looked into this a few years ago, but concluded it wasn't worth the effort for the 6th gear.

You need the mounting brackets in addition to the above hardware. What I didn't want to tackle is a new driveshaft and any balancing issues.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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43,187 Posts
I looked into this a few years ago, but concluded it wasn't worth the effort for the 6th gear.

You need the mounting brackets in addition to the above hardware. What I didn't want to tackle is a new driveshaft and any balancing issues.
The only thing you`re getting is a 15% overdrive in 6th gear....a costly "improvement"....
 

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Actually the 6 speed combined with a 3.07 rear end will render a nice low rpm at 70 mph like he is wanting.

It depends on what he has for a rear end now as to what he will get out of it.
 

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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #8
the rear end is stock for the year. i don't know the ratio. but id like it to run around 21-2500 at 70.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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Actually the 6 speed combined with a 3.07 rear end will render a nice low rpm at 70 mph like he is wanting.

It depends on what he has for a rear end now as to what he will get out of it.
the rear end is stock for the year. i don't know the ratio. but id like it to run around 21-2500 at 70.
Crowz, he`s already got a 2.90 rear in it....you ain`t gonna do any better than that for relaxed cruising, which I assume is what he`s after.....
 

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The swap over will lower your current rpm if you have a 3.07 rear end by 400 rpm in 6th gear over what you have now in 5th gear at 70 mph.
 

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Crowz, he`s already got a 2.90 rear in it....you ain`t gonna do any better than that for relaxed cruising, which I assume is what he`s after.....
Still will lower it another 400 rpm or so if that is what he wants.

What I would love to have is the automatics overdrive ratio as a 6th gear. That would rock.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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I'm turning 3k @70 mph. That's just too high.
... I'd like it to run around 21-2500 at 70.
Why?

The engine will happily run all day long at 3000 rpm for a quarter-million miles without breaking a sweat. The exhaust doesn't drone. At a conservative estimate, you won't save enough on fuel to recover the cost of the swap in less than 10-15 years. Finally, 3k is right in the sweet spot of the power band so you'll find yourself needing to shift in many situations where you presently don't.

I have the six-speed in my 335xi and love it, but the 335 is a wholly different beast. Although I admit that at first, I sometimes missed that top gear, after a while I stopped caring; the 330Ci works beautifully with five.

Don't get me wrong, I'd have loved another 6-speed--IF the car had been built with it. I wouldn't contemplate a swap for a millisecond. I just can't see enough benefit from it, in any way, to justify the huge expense.
 

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I looked into this a few years ago, but concluded it wasn't worth the effort for the 6th gear.
When I bought my 330Ci and it came with six speeds, I thought it was cool.
After owning it for 12 years, long ago I decided that I'd be equally happy with the 5.
It's not that big a deal.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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You guys got me thinking...did the cabrio have a shorter final drive than the coupe? At 70mph in 5th, I'm running at 2750rpm not 3000rpm.

BMW has always been keen on tailoring the final drive ratio to suit the particular chassis & powertrain variant. The E46 sedans used six different ratios among the eight powertrains (RWD/AWD, 2.5L/3.0L, MT/AT). I'd expect the cabrio to have a slightly shorter rear to offset its extra poundage.

OP, if you're more concerned with highway RPM than 0-60 times, you might consider swapping in a differential with a taller (numerically lower) ratio. You'd trade a few tenths 0-60 for a few hundred RPM on the highway, but it's a lot simpler & cheaper than a tranny swap.
 

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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #15
actually, there is a reason
i just had my clutch changed with a valeo smf. it went horribley wrong. the car was pristine and 100% when it went in, but after 100 some miles, there was massive vibration and clunking from the mid sec of the car.
the clutch has no peddle now and is real grabby and engages right at the top. the vibration got so bad in under 200 miles that it tor the rear cv apart. i think the clutch plate may have delaminated, but the bastards that put it in just fixed the cv and wouldn't pull the clutch to look into it. at any rate, its not shifting right now and the vibration, though lessened, is still there. and on top of this, im now getting a p1085 flag. dunno if they broke the o2 sensor, or hooked it up wrong.
aside from all that, running at 3k DOES drone. and for the driving i do, which is mainly long trip thru-way, it will indeed save gas. my feeling is the 330 isnt a sport car, but a touring car. i drive it like a touring car. very long periods of open road.
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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When you installed the single-mass flywheel, did you also install a spring-damped clutch disk to replace the original solid-hub design? How many miles on the car?
 

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You guys got me thinking...did the cabrio have a shorter final drive than the coupe? At 70mph in 5th, I'm running at 2750rpm not 3000rpm.

BMW has always been keen on tailoring the final drive ratio to suit the particular chassis & powertrain variant. The E46 sedans used six different ratios among the eight powertrains (RWD/AWD, 2.5L/3.0L, MT/AT). I'd expect the cabrio to have a slightly shorter rear to offset its extra poundage.

OP, if you're more concerned with highway RPM than 0-60 times, you might consider swapping in a differential with a taller (numerically lower) ratio. You'd trade a few tenths 0-60 for a few hundred RPM on the highway, but it's a lot simpler & cheaper than a tranny swap.
http://www.bokchoys.com/differential/GearRatios.htm

Yes, it looks like your coupe has 2.93 and the cabrio got 3.07, probably to help acceleration with the extra weight. Our 325it came with 3.46 (I don't know what the BMW engineers thought we might be hauling; bricks?), so I can empathize with the OP about cruising at 3K RPM. I swapped the 3.46 to a 3.07. Got the more comfortable cruising I wanted, but a bit surprisingly no difference in MPG. Hard to image the difference between 3.07 and 2.93 would be worth it to the OP.
 

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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
When you installed the single-mass flywheel, did you also install a spring-damped clutch disk to replace the original solid-hub design? How many miles on the car?
113260 miles.
yes of coarse; it comes as a kit. flywheel, sprung disc, non-adjusting plate, throw, pilot, rear main and input seals.
(a SERIOUS deal btw from FCP euro @600 bucks with shipping)
a solid disc would chatter and grumble like a bee in a bottle. 'specally since the flywheel went from 32 to 24 lbs.

Zeichen311 said:
did the cabrio have a shorter final drive than the coupe?
mine is a convertible if it makes a difference. and by the way, i even have a clutch stop installed.
there is most definitely something wrong. even the old worn clutch worked better than it does now.

jkrit said:
but a bit surprisingly no difference in MPG.
how could you possibly not get better mpg by lowering the rpm by almost 1k?
you can achieve the same better mileage just by leaving it in 5th and cursing at 50; which is about 2400 rpm on mine.
but since the new clutch and or fly is shot, buying a new one wouldn't matter much.
lemmie put a question out there. if when disassembled, the drive-train was not marked, and not put back in in the same position;
(guibo, shaft, cv) would that cause enough vibration to cause all this havoc? destroy the clutch and cv?
in my opinion, it would. am i wrong?

i just looked at the chart. mine is a 3.07 and is the same as the 03 330 cic ZHP 6 speed. would that drop in?
 

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Lost but making good time
'11 335xi; '03 330Ci
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113260 miles.
yes of course; it comes as a kit. ... a solid disc would chatter and grumble like a bee in a bottle.
Sure, I had to ask...you never know. :thumbup:

mine is a convertible if it makes a difference.
I noticed: Cabrio = cabriolet = convertible. ;) It does make a difference in the final-drive ratio, which is why your cruising RPM is higher than mine. Unrelated to your vibration problem though.

I asked about mileage and the disk because there is also the possibility that the driveshaft's center support bearing has failed. This produces a nasty vibration that will definitely shake apart other components if ignored. 113K seems a little young for that but it's not out of the question, especially if the shop botched anything when installing the clutch kit. However, that wouldn't produce the symptoms of a grabby clutch and/or high clutch pedal. You might still have more than one problem in play at this point.

I see where you're going now with the 6-speed idea, since you have to tear into it again anyway to fix this mess. However, right now you have at least some leverage on the shop that screwed up your car, to get them to make it right. Make them honor the terms of the warranty they provide on their work.

Also, to state the obvious, if you do go for the 6-speed, don't even think about bringing it to the same shop. Find a competent BMW specialist who stands behind his work.
 

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old gearhead
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
right now you have at least some leverage on the shop that screwed up your car, to get them to make it right. Make them honor the terms of the warranty they provide on their work.
man i wish it were that easy. right now the shop wont even speak to me. i went off on them big time when i brought the car back. i have a very bad habit of saying what i mean, especially when i know i am right and have been lied to and taken. all they would do was to replace the broken cv. then they told me to get out and not come back. they would not fix the cause, just the effect. and that's where i blew a gasket again. i don't even know why they removed the whole drive-shaft to begin with. once the giubo is out, the shaft can be slid and turned down to get it out of the way. the centering bearing was taken off too. no damage there that i can see while it's in place though. warranty, no, im afraid to get this fixed, i am going have to sue. but i can't do that till i have it really fixed and get in writing what they screwed up. so now the problem is cost. my local BMW dealer wants 6-800 bucks i don't have to drop the tranny troubleshoot and document it. plus, i'll probably have to buy another valeo kit for 600. basically start all over again, but more to fix this time. that's why im thinking put the 6 speed in now.
 
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