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Old 11-15-2010, 08:18 PM   #210
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Murrieta, CA
Posts: 9,255
My Ride: '94 325iC & '00 323i
Originally Posted by shakiller View Post
I seem to have the same problem on my 2000 323ci. When I put it into Reverse and give it some gas, the car rolls but does not accelerate while the engine rolls. I am fairly sure it is a ZF transmission, but what is the best way to know if its ZF or GM in order to be sure? Also if it is a ZF transmission and the drum is shredded; what is the best way to go about fixing this problem (considering that I am not a mechanic and will have to go to the shop no matter what). Any insight would be greatly appreciated!! Its a beautiful car that I don't want to lose without a fight =)
Your 00 323 will have the GM5 transmission IF the car was built before MAR. 2000, otherwise it will have the ZF transmission. Look on the driver side door jamb, there is a sticker that will give the production date of the car. YOU CANNOT DETERMINE THE LOGICAL COURSE OF ACTION UNTIL YOU KNOW THE PRODUCTION DATE.

Assuming the car is built before 03/00, you should be able to fix the No Reverse problem on your car by flushing the fluid and replacing the TCC solenoid. The symptom set is that the car will randomly refuse to go into Reverse when selected.

I bought a 323 built in 09/99 that had the No Reverse problem. I scored a very good price on the car because the seller was told that it needed a transmission. I gambled on the solenoid as the problem, and so far the gamble has paid off. I didn't feel like dealinig with the transmission fluid -- I haven't got the proper facilities and didn't want to lay on the floor in my garage -- so I took the car to a BMW mechanic in my town. He flushed the fluid and that helped for a few weeks, but before long the car was up to its old tricks again. I confronted him with the fact that I really wanted him to replace the solenoid when he was replacing the fluid, and since he didn't do the primary job I wanted, then he should repeat the task but not charge me labor for the second time he flushed. He finally agreed that he should have done the job I SPECIFICALLY asked for, and now he will do it for free -- no labor costs. I paid for the solenoid and some more fluid, and the car works perfectly now. It's been more time and miles on the second attempt than it was on the first, but I admit that the jury is still out on the fix. So far it's looking good.

If you car is from 03/00 or later, then you have the ZF transmission, and it should not ever go into reverse again until the transmission is rebuilt/replaced. When the reverse drum fails, this is generally a fatal condition.

In addition to the Production Date printed on the sticker in the door jamb, there is a tag on the transmission that gives the make and model. You can open the door and look at the sticker, or you can crawl under your car and read a greasy metal tag. The tag should be the definitive information, but odds are very good that the transmission is still original and the door jamb will suffice to figure out what you have.

If you elect to flush the fluid yourself, BE SURE TO SELECT THE PROPER FLUID. There are far too many fluid options for my tastes, so read the chart carefully and get the right fluid.
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