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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 02-06-2011, 02:25 AM   #221
covertaxn
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I have a 1999 323i, March 99 build date. It has a GM transmisssion that the previous owners has replaced under CPO warranty about 5 years ago. It had about 50K miles on it. It now has 75K on it now, no tranny issues but I wonder if it was replaced with the original model transmission or a later unit that perhaps would not have this issue. i took the sets of numbers off the tag, but they don't sem to correlate with the model numbers listed. Anyone have a decoder for tranny numbers?
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:00 PM   #222
Toad21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by covertaxn View Post
I have a 1999 323i, March 99 build date. It has a GM transmisssion that the previous owners has replaced under CPO warranty about 5 years ago. It had about 50K miles on it. It now has 75K on it now, no tranny issues but I wonder if it was replaced with the original model transmission or a later unit that perhaps would not have this issue. i took the sets of numbers off the tag, but they don't sem to correlate with the model numbers listed. Anyone have a decoder for tranny numbers?
Page 1 of this thread.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:06 PM   #223
arrow1065
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Looking at my first BMW and just want to verify, 2001 330i has the questionable ZF transmission right? Thanks
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Old 02-15-2011, 05:56 AM   #224
toshiba2005
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For those who live in so cal, chino hills transmission fixes gm trans for less than $1000. They replaced defective parts with better ones.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:37 PM   #225
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toshiba2005 View Post
For those who live in so cal, chino hills transmission fixes gm trans for less than $1000. They replaced defective parts with better ones.
Mine was fixed for the price of a flush plus the TCC solenoid. The part was 80-ish dollars, and the flush was whatever the going rate was for a flush with filters and gaskets.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #226
yukonrich
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Los Angeles/Thousand Oaks Transmission?

I had the Solenoid replaced and the oil changed. Had both types of solenoid, the factory replacement and then Borg Warner solenoid. The no reverse problem still happens once a month or so. Does anyone know a Los Angeles, I am in Thousand Oaks, based transmission place that has done this work on the valve body. The problem with the local guy is he has not done them and doesn't have the tool you need to buy. I would buy it for him but he can't guarantee it since he has not done it before.
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Old 02-22-2011, 09:20 PM   #227
Starless
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Originally Posted by yukonrich View Post
I had the Solenoid replaced and the oil changed. Had both types of solenoid, the factory replacement and then Borg Warner solenoid. The no reverse problem still happens once a month or so. Does anyone know a Los Angeles, I am in Thousand Oaks, based transmission place that has done this work on the valve body. The problem with the local guy is he has not done them and doesn't have the tool you need to buy. I would buy it for him but he can't guarantee it since he has not done it before.
You need your valve body rebuilt with Sonnax kits OR you can buy a rebuilt valve body with Sonnax kits.

Contact Sonnax for a shop that uses their tools and most likely they will know how to handle your valve body.

See the link "GM no reverse info" in my signature for a more expanded answer
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Old 02-25-2011, 12:42 AM   #228
yukonrich
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I called Sonnax They don't know who has tools!

I live in Thousand/Oaks CA north of LA Anyone know a transmission place that has tool to replace valve body?

You need your valve body rebuilt with Sonnax kits OR you can buy a rebuilt valve body with Sonnax kits.

Contact Sonnax for a shop that uses their tools and most likely they will know how to handle your valve body.

See the link "GM no reverse info" in my signature for a more expanded answer
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Old 02-25-2011, 01:59 PM   #229
yukonrich
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I called Sonnax They don't know

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukonrich View Post
I live in Thousand/Oaks CA north of LA Anyone know a transmission place that has tool to replace valve body?

You need your valve body rebuilt with Sonnax kits OR you can buy a rebuilt valve body with Sonnax kits.

Contact Sonnax for a shop that uses their tools and most likely they will know how to handle your valve body.

See the link "GM no reverse info" in my signature for a more expanded answer
I called Sonnax and talked to several people there and believe it or not they don't sell to the final person AND they don't keep a record of who it finally goes to.
SO DOES ANYONE KNOW A SHOP OUT HERE?
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:07 PM   #230
classic_cars
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Hello,

I'm a new owner of an 04 330 CI. 107K miles. Local car. (Charlotte, NC) Two owners. I didn't purchase the car from a BMW dealer but I did have them perform a PPI. (Pre Purchase Inspection) They also were kind enough to print out the entire service history on the car. Found a few minor issues but not what I'm about to describe below.

Here is my issue. 1st thing in the morning the transmission slips in 1st gear. Reverse is fine. If I manually put the car in 2nd gear and pull away- everything is fine for the rest of the drive. Park the car for a a few hours and the cycle repeats.

The car has a GM transmission. A5S390R from best I can tell. Here is what I've done so far to try and resolve the issue:

I drained the fluid, dropped the pan, replaced the filter, cleaned things up, refilled with BMW fluid to the proper level, and still have the same problem.

The old fluid (lifetime fill) looked like motor oil that had a couple thousand miles on it. Not very dark. No major metal on the magnet. Normal gray mud.

From everything I've read on here (and I've read a bunch) it's just like the no-reverse issue except that it happens in 1st gear...

Suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:08 PM   #231
monsterhobby
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Which tranny should i have?

Hi guy's just read twice all 12 pages trying to decifer which tranny should i have in my 2000 323I Sport Wagon, it's at 155k miles and reverse is gone overnight,
I'll be taking it to shop to look at tag tomorrow are you saying that if my wagon has A5S325Z or A5S360R it could be a possible faulty reverse solenoid? or does that mean those are the ones I should avoid. sorry guys just a bit confused and worried here, anyway thanks to all for your time and effort...

Update: took the car to shop and found out its a ZF does that mean it's a shredded reverse drum?

Last edited by monsterhobby; 03-24-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:23 AM   #232
RuS-uk
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i searched realoem with my VIN and it came up with these 3 options (330ci 2001 cab)

AUTOMATIC GEARBOX A5S325Z
AUTOMATIC GEARBOX A5S360R / A5S390R

is this the ZM box?

i have this no reverse issue, when i put it in Reverse the revs drop a little but the car goes nowhere, and when in D it works but makes like a thump when it engages the gear.

Also the car is in Limp mode with the cog in the dash! this happened when i fitted HIDs! lol i just wanted to know if the transmission ecu is locked to each individual car or if second hands ones can be fitted plug n play!

I actually have complete gearbox fail, wtf!!! please help!
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:36 AM   #233
monsterhobby
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the best way to find out is to look under the car and read the tag but I think you have a ZF trans.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #234
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RuS-uk View Post
i searched realoem with my VIN and it came up with these 3 options (330ci 2001 cab)

AUTOMATIC GEARBOX A5S325Z
AUTOMATIC GEARBOX A5S360R / A5S390R

is this the ZM box?

i have this no reverse issue, when i put it in Reverse the revs drop a little but the car goes nowhere, and when in D it works but makes like a thump when it engages the gear.

Also the car is in Limp mode with the cog in the dash! this happened when i fitted HIDs! lol i just wanted to know if the transmission ecu is locked to each individual car or if second hands ones can be fitted plug n play!

I actually have complete gearbox fail, wtf!!! please help!
The 325Z is the ZF, the 360R and 390R are the GM. Part of the confusion here is that 325Z, 360R, and 390R are the BMW designations for the various transmissions used on their cars. The actual transmission model is more commonly used in the discussions of the problems that each of them has.

The 390R is not supposed to have the No Reverse problem that the 360R has.

You should have the ZF gearbox in your 330.
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Old 05-06-2011, 08:59 PM   #235
M//teche46er
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Ive read alot here, forward gears are fine. I think i might have the same reverse prob. Gear engages fine, but when i accelerate in reverse the engine over revs. The trans. One time i tried reversing up a hill and the vehicle stalled. I checked for (egs) for faults in trans. No faults. Similar probs. Can be solve by programming, i programmed my car anyway, didnt hurt to try. Still feels the same. I might try a tranny flush but idk if thatll make things worst so i am iffy to do it. Everything ove experienced brings me back to the pressure regulator in the vale body for reverse. I really dnt wanna get a tranny rebuild for x amount of money and thats not the case.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #236
JKOGREY
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Exclamation is my tranny guy full of crap??

okay guys, i am new to this forum and actually a member at another site but this forum had the most information regarding the no reverse issue. i read this thread thoroughly and this is what i have gathered:

1)my tranny is a GM bc my production date is 2/2000

2) it could be a simple fix as the TCC-PWM solenoid but prolly more in depth like a valve body problem

Here is my problem, my reverse goes out (only twice so far) and will come back after driving. I took my vehicle to a tranny shop and he stated that my solenoid checked out correctly and it is more like an internal problem like a reverse drum clutch. BUT when i read this thread along with other linked threads, the reverse drum clutch is only a problem for the ZF trannies.

1) If my vehicle was produced before 3/2000, is it GUARANTEED that my tranny is a GM??

If so, then is this tranny guy just blowing my lid so he can charge me more?? I really need your help guys because he is wanting to charge me $2100 for a complete tranny overhaul plus the HARD parts. I know compared to dealership and other tranny shops his price is a steal but if i don't really need to replace the reverse drum clutch, then why do it, right???

What do y'all think??
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:37 PM   #237
BrutaL
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The consensus in this thread is that intermittent no-reverse condition is caused by bad valve body.
If you're like me, I'd get 2nd and maybe even a 3rd opinion outside of this forum.
If you're a tinkerer, you're probably thinking of checking the ATF fluid level or want to do an ATF drain and fill. It's up to you. I'd just check the ATF level. Not saying low level ATF is absolute root cause of no reverse but must be topped up after ensuring there's no leak.

Caution: Learn the proper procedure for checking and drain/fill before you tackle them.

TRANNY CHART
323i/Ci 1999 - 2000 A5S360R (up to 03/00). A5S325Z (from 03/00)
325i (M54) 2001 - 2005 A5S325Z (up to 03/02). A5S390R (from 03/02)
325i (M56) 2003 - 2005 A5S325Z
325Ci 2001 - 2005 A5S325Z (up to 03/03). A5S390R (from 03/03)
328i/Ci 1999 - 2000 A5S360R
330i/Ci 2001 - 2005 A5S325Z (up to 03/03). A5S390R (from 03/03)
325xi 330xi 2001 - 2005 A5S390R

Number ending in 25Z is ZF. Tranny ending in 60R & 90R are GM.
You have a GM Tranny A5S360R.
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Last edited by BrutaL; 05-11-2011 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:29 PM   #238
M//teche46er
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http://www.reliabletransmissionsltd....smissions.html check em out
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Old 06-22-2011, 01:12 PM   #239
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKOGREY View Post
okay guys, i am new to this forum and actually a member at another site but this forum had the most information regarding the no reverse issue. i read this thread thoroughly and this is what i have gathered:

1)my tranny is a GM bc my production date is 2/2000

2) it could be a simple fix as the TCC-PWM solenoid but prolly more in depth like a valve body problem

Here is my problem, my reverse goes out (only twice so far) and will come back after driving. I took my vehicle to a tranny shop and he stated that my solenoid checked out correctly and it is more like an internal problem like a reverse drum clutch. BUT when i read this thread along with other linked threads, the reverse drum clutch is only a problem for the ZF trannies.

1) If my vehicle was produced before 3/2000, is it GUARANTEED that my tranny is a GM??

If so, then is this tranny guy just blowing my lid so he can charge me more?? I really need your help guys because he is wanting to charge me $2100 for a complete tranny overhaul plus the HARD parts. I know compared to dealership and other tranny shops his price is a steal but if i don't really need to replace the reverse drum clutch, then why do it, right???

What do y'all think??
The Reverse Drum is not the problem in your car, it is only for the ZF, you have the GM5. Well, your car came from the factory with the GM, and odds are strong that this is what it has, but there are no guarantees unless you are the original owner and you did not to a transmission swap.

The Reverse Drum is a fatal condition, when the car stops going in Reverse, it will never go in Reverse. The solenoid will allow the car to selectively go into Reverse, or not, depending on conditions that only the car knows. Sometimes it will not go into Reverse at the start of a drive cycle, other times it will not go at the end of the drive cycle. Sometimes it will go into R at the beginning and end of the drive cycle, but not in the middle. The only thing that is always true is that the problem becomes more and more unpredictable, and the car always goes forward.

You have the bad TCC solenoid. You need a complete flush to include the torque converter, and the new solenoid.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:43 PM   #240
rlevalle
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I'm starting to have an intermittent no-reverse problem on my 1999 323i (195,000 miles). I can't see whether or not the tranny has a GM tag on it. Can I figure it out from the VIN number?
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