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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #1
Jesda
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Which transmission do I have? GM or ZF?

I punched my VIN into realoem.com and it claims I have a GM unit. There is no dipstick to check the fluid, and I don't have a safe place to jack it up and check the manufacturer plate.

If its a GM 5-speed auto, the maintenance costs should be lower as well as replacement costs when it fails. Build date is 02/2004, but I heard this year E46 could be equipped with either GM or ZF?
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:20 PM   #2
venzon
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According to the chart I'm reading, you have a GM trans A5S390R. Unfortunately, I cannot attached the document due to size limitations. I copied and pasted the relevant section below for you.

Table a. Automatic transmission applications
Model Year Transmission
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

ATF fluid type labels
Orange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dexron III
Yellow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Texaco ETL 7045E
(BMW p/n 83 22 0 026 922)
Green . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Texaco ETL 8072B
(BMW p/n 83 22 0 024 359)
Blue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Esso 71141 LT
(BMW p/n 83 2 29 407 807)
CAUTION
Only re-fill or top off using ATF fluid specified for the transmission.
Mixing or adding incorrect ATF fluids will lead to transmission
damage.
ATF specifications are subject to change and fluids are constantly
being improved and updated. Always check with an authorized
BMW dealer parts department for the latest
transmission operating fluids information.
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Old 03-17-2008, 04:51 PM   #3
Timbo126
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check your window sticker if you still have it. It says right on there.
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Old 03-17-2008, 05:16 PM   #4
MightyY
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I've got the same car (build date 10-2003) and I've got the GM A5S390R.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:24 PM   #5
venzon
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Below is the thread that has the chart I was talking about***********:
http://tech.bentleypublishers.com/se...4/B305_240.pdf
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #6
GWU_Greek
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I think you have a BMW tranny. Isn't the tranny brand suppose to be BMW since it is a BMW car???
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWU_Greek View Post
I think you have a BMW tranny. Isn't the tranny brand suppose to be BMW since it is a BMW car???
If only life were that simple...
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NorCal Einstein View Post
If only life were that simple...
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
mechanic_101
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I would take the GM trans over ZF trans any day and the data shows it. Lexus and BMW used GM trans in their cars since early 1980. GM has the best auto trans on the planet.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by mechanic_101 View Post
I would take the GM trans over ZF trans any day and the data shows it. Lexus and BMW used GM trans in their cars since early 1980. GM has the best auto trans on the planet.
I guess you never heard the "no-reverse syndrome". Check this out: http://www.noreverse.org/
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Last edited by SeanC; 03-19-2008 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-19-2008, 01:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cngzsn View Post
I guess you never heard the "no-reverse syndrome". Check this out: http://www.noreverse.org/
Upon further research...

http://www.noreverse.org/article_no_...oe_sirugo.html

It seems that the GM trannys are exempt from this problem.....


Read the article. Apparently the ZFs are affected...
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:40 PM   #12
tradingflare
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can somebody clarify what transmission is on my 2005 325xi and for that matter, clarify what GM stands for? Thank you!

(I know there is debate that GM is General Motors, but I don't see that being possible...)
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Old 03-19-2008, 03:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tradingflare View Post
can somebody clarify what transmission is on my 2005 325xi and for that matter, clarify what GM stands for? Thank you!

(I know there is debate that GM is General Motors, but I don't see that being possible...)
General Motors. Yes... some of our Bimmers have GM Trannys in them....
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Old 03-19-2008, 04:35 PM   #14
SeanC
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Originally Posted by xeux View Post
Upon further research...

http://www.noreverse.org/article_no_...oe_sirugo.html

It seems that the GM trannys are exempt from this problem.....


Read the article. Apparently the ZFs are affected...
could be.. but it also says that the "GM transmissions have their own lineup of problems that are beyond the scope of this article", which simply means that it cannot be the "best auto transmission in the planet" as was claimed by the person whom I quoted originally.

As far as I am concerned, I got a 6-speed manual baby, I don't have no problems
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Old 03-19-2008, 07:34 PM   #15
mechanic_101
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Name a manufacture makes better auto trans than GM. GM vehicles may have quality issues, but their trans always last. Why did BMW & Lexus decide to put GM trans in their luxury vehicles?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cngzsn View Post
could be.. but it also says that the "GM transmissions have their own lineup of problems that are beyond the scope of this article", which simply means that it cannot be the "best auto transmission in the planet" as was claimed by the person whom I quoted originally.

As far as I am concerned, I got a 6-speed manual baby, I don't have no problems
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:06 PM   #16
whoami
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waiting for my tranny to go lol, ima buy a 08 c300... " hurry up and get no reverse hurry up damnit"

jk... i like my bimmer .. and i dont want the no reverse thingy.. but i still want an 08 c300 in silver... droools droools
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:39 AM   #17
SeanC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechanic_101 View Post
Name a manufacture makes better auto trans than GM. GM vehicles may have quality issues, but their trans always last. Why did BMW & Lexus decide to put GM trans in their luxury vehicles?
I thought you might want to check this thread out:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=262130

and oh it is stickied as well
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Old 03-26-2008, 12:11 PM   #18
Jesda
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I'm relieved to learn that I have a GM 5-speed. The GM transmission's maintenance and replacement/rebuild costs are lower, which makes me more inclined to care for it. I've had excellent luck and solid performance from GM transmissions so far in various GM products, though that doesn't necessarily mean the same will be true for this car.

We'll see.

I'm not aware of any Lexus products with GM transmissions.
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Old 03-26-2008, 09:45 PM   #19
curious_george
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechanic_101 View Post
Name a manufacture makes better auto trans than GM. GM vehicles may have quality issues, but their trans always last. Why did BMW & Lexus decide to put GM trans in their luxury vehicles?
Rolls Royce used them for decades (not sure if they currently do under the stewardship of BMW). GM is no joke for automatic transmissions.
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Old 07-08-2008, 08:05 AM   #20
968turboS
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Originally Posted by mechanic_101 View Post
I would take the GM trans over ZF trans any day and the data shows it. Lexus and BMW used GM trans in their cars since early 1980. GM has the best auto trans on the planet.
Huh, Lexus did not start producing cars until 1989, how could they be using GM transmissions since early 1980??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexus#The_Origins_of_Lexus
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