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-   -   Every problem I've had, everything that has gone wrong, has built up to this moment.. (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=647279)

neil1138 02-09-2009 05:07 PM

Every problem I've had, everything that has gone wrong, has built up to this moment..
This is a semi-long read so... just read it please :)

I have searched the forums day after day searching for the solutions to many of my car's problems and I have yet to find the answers. My car started out with the dreaded VANOS seals then built up to the Subframe tear. I have been through many common problems, even some bizzare problems nobody knows the answer to. But this last problem has beaten me and I'm tired of it.


I also have this problem when i am coming to a stop, my RPMs dip almost to 500 RPMs and come back up to idle. Also between shifting into drive from park or from park into reverse, my idle drops... again, i think its transmission related. I have a low idle and its beyond me on how to fix it. I've cleaned the adjuster unit, replaced the intake elbow, cleaned the ICV, replaced the VANOS seals, cleaned the MAF, had the entire car vacuum leak tested... no signs of any possible solutions.

One of my bmw guru friends thinks it might be torque converter related but I have no codes for it. I dont have any SES codes or anything. But i have come to the conclusion that my 50 mph hesitation and this annoying problem are caused by the failure automatic transmission that my car bestowed to me. Also, you guys are familiar with the no reverse problem?? well my car does that sometimes but i just push it out and drive it around and it fixes itself. Its been happening on and off for years. Its not the reverse drum breaking but its something else rather, a solenoid of sorts.

I just am tired of all the problems caused by my autotragic and I have decided to make the switch to a manual. :) I have found this thread, what else do i need?


I am not sure if I can undertake this. I might have my close indy mechanic do it for me. He's a family friend and has my back so the labor will be reasonable. I also might ask a friend if he wants to help me, im not sure yet...

One question, is there any advantage to the 6 speed? I'm thinking just the 5 speed will do, cause I dont need an overdrive gear. What else should I have done on the car while I'm at it? I think I'm going to have all the O2 and cam sensors replaced. We will see. Another question, in order to do the swap, the engine has to come out right? Or can it be done while in the car? thanks guys, ill keep you posted.

btw, please don't tell me to sell the car and just buy a manual or something. This car is my baby and i have put a lot of money into restoring it. I'm not selling it because after this potential fix, the car will be virtually brand new other than the major engine components.

TxTorqueMade 02-09-2009 05:15 PM

:woot: 1st!!

Good luck with it. Id go 6speed, just cause, but its all good. We all with slushboxes ought to follow you for sure.

mav909 02-09-2009 05:22 PM

No idea with the rev drops, i remember i had a similar problem with my dirt bike after i replaced the top end, it was because of the new carb not letting enough fuel in at idle. All i did was fiddle with some screws to fix it i wish our cars were as simple.

also wise move with making the swap to manual.

TxTorqueMade 02-09-2009 05:36 PM

I assume you put the Turner kit in already for the subframe tear?

Did you replace the ATF and filter already? How did this end up being a tranny problem? Not sure Im feeling that. I would expect that throwing a MT swap at the problem cant have any effect but a benefit overall, but ... IS it necessary? Man, kinda having similar 500 rpms idle issues, but a trans???

Hit me back.. with why/how ok

neil1138 02-09-2009 06:04 PM

Well, the rpm dip is related because when the car is at a stop, the RPMs are low but as i let off the brake and the car starts to move, the RPMs start to rise. Also if I come to a stop really fast, my RPMs dip so much it feels like the car is about to die. I think its related to the torque converter partially locked up when its not supposed to be.

And changing the fluid is not really an option for me because I'm at 135,000 miles and that's just asking for trouble. I picked up the car at 115,000 and I don't know if the previous owner ever changed the fluid...

In reality... I am just coming up with reasons to switch to a 5 speed. I'm getting bored of my auto and i can tell that it's getting worn. The shifts aren't as smooth as they used to be and the no reverse problem is really getting to be a hassle. I just need to be rid of these problems and make the switch.

wwjbd24 02-09-2009 06:16 PM

i dont even have a manual, but like TxTorqueMade said, why not 6?

neil1138 02-09-2009 06:34 PM

why not 6? Because I don't do that much highway driving to where I would need an overdrive gear. And to my understanding, it costs a lot more to obtain a 6 speed vs a 5 speed transmission.

neil1138 02-12-2009 10:57 PM

Well I have the parts list and a firm grasp on how the electronics side of the swap goes. I'm off to the BMW salvage yard tomorrow to find a manual E46 to grab some parts from. I'll take some pictures and let you guys know how it goes. Expect this entire swap to be done within 3 weeks. I will make a wicked DIY after I'm done and it will compliment some of the other fantastic DIYs already on the board. Special thanks to all the members who got me started on the journey, you guys know who you are. Will update tomorrow.

This is going to be a fun one....

tradingflare 02-12-2009 11:02 PM

are you the dude with the F'd up cluster from a while back?

//TRD power 02-12-2009 11:03 PM

^ :rofl:

Goodluck with the swap, hope all goes well!

neil1138 02-12-2009 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by tradingflare (Post 9399903)
are you the dude with the F'd up cluster from a while back?



Originally Posted by skittl3s (Post 9399913)
^ :rofl:

Goodluck with the swap, hope all goes well!

Hey, that cluster thing was freaking awesome. Now im chillin at 6250 miles thanks to that freak accident. Its a good thing, cause wayyy down the line when I even think about selling my car, it will only have like 50k miles for a car thats 20 years old. :shhh:

And it will be perfect mechanically! And if I ever do decide that i want to go back to 621,372 miles, all I have to do is reset the cluster... then sell my car to some nerd on roundel! haha

neil1138 02-16-2009 07:19 PM

I just bought the manual transmission today and all of you guys better be prepared for one wicked DIY thread to be paired with Ivegotissues666's DIY.


tradingflare 02-16-2009 07:37 PM

^ Good luck man...I seriously hope this is all worth it. If it was me, I would've dumped the car at 621,000 miles...well, the cluster issue, that is. I'm cheering for ya bro!

i0kr1sol 02-16-2009 08:38 PM

Good luck on the swap bro ! Ive just done this swap 3 weeks ago, and it feels like a new car, period.

One advantage of 6speed is when you drive on the highways, your rpm's will be lower. But like you said, you don't drive in the highways much so 5speed would be okay.

You should think about upgrading the parts if you will do so down the road anyways. Like lightweight flywheel, shortshift kit, stainless steel clutch line, etc.

TxTorqueMade 02-16-2009 08:55 PM

Dayum...sorry to be so late getting back. Been working on my pool not the Bimmer last few days.

Looks like a nice tranny! SS line for sure and why NOT go on and do a short shifter now?!!

Good for you Neil. We will be lookin for the DIY No doubt.

neil1138 02-16-2009 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by TxTorqueMade (Post 9418107)
Dayum...sorry to be so late getting back. Been working on my pool not the Bimmer last few days.

Looks like a nice tranny! SS line for sure and why NOT go on and do a short shifter now?!!

Good for you Neil. We will be lookin for the DIY No doubt.

Yeah I'm getting the UUC SS Clutch line and the UUC EVO3 short shift. I have written most of the DIY already, I just need to take some more pictures... Well a lot of pictures.

jott5555 02-17-2009 01:20 AM

ya know i know its off topic.. but what your describing really really sounds like a vacuum leak.. ya know i was thinking.. most of the e46's have the shut off flap in the tail pipe at the very back of the car.. there could be somewhere along the line that has a leak.. considering you have checked all the rest of the vac lines. but if you pressure tested the engine and didn't hear any leaking.. that is at the back of the car where you wouldn't hear with your head in the engine bay

just an idea..

neil1138 02-19-2009 01:50 PM

Haha yeah, my car doesn't have an exhaust flap. I think that came on newer 330s and such.

n2Bimmer 02-19-2009 02:13 PM

dam, good luck bro, your DIYing it?

dreamdrivedrift 02-19-2009 03:29 PM

have fun! :)

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