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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 07-18-2014, 02:04 PM   #1
E46Whitaker
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Transmission Swap on my E46?

I have an 2001 E46 sedan with the standard 5 speed transmission i have heard that this transmission and gearbox isnt the best around so i was wondering whether or not its a good idea to do a transmission and gearbox swap?

Should i just keep the transmission the same or swap it out for a 6 speed?
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Old 07-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #2
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From what I've read, the 5-speed is actually more robust than the 6-speed in the later cars.
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Old 07-18-2014, 05:57 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by seattle330 View Post
From what I've read, the 5-speed is actually more robust than the 6-speed in the later cars.
thanks for the info ive heard many different things but i will probably keep it 5 speed for now.
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Old 07-18-2014, 10:53 PM   #4
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The fact that you're concerned about it suggests that you don't drive hard, it should last you a long time.
However, should the tranny need replacement, the 5 speed is very affordable compared with the 6.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:47 PM   #5
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The fact that you're concerned about it suggests that you don't drive hard, it should last you a long time.
However, should the tranny need replacement, the 5 speed is very affordable compared with the 6.
no im concerned because many people have told me that the 5 speed transmission isnt a good tranny for the E46 and that most people have them swapped for a 6 speed but thanks for the input.
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Old 07-21-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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Post stripped, lets keep this on topic. I've only heard of a few instances of people swapping the 5 for 6 speed. You'd be better off selling it for a 6 speed variant then swapping the tranny if you really want a 6 speed.

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Old 07-21-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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i would just keep the manual five speed transmission. you don't need the extra sixth gear for all the work and cost involved, not to mention the five speed is fine and not a bad transmission.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:12 PM   #8
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no im concerned because many people have told me that the 5 speed transmission isnt a good tranny for the E46 and that most people have them swapped for a 6 speed but thanks for the input.
completely false unless you're talking about the 5 speed auto. "Most" people never do anything with their transmissions. And "most" people who do conversions are going from auto to manual. Most of those people go with the 5 speed because a 6 speed is 3 times the cost easily.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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completely false unless you're talking about the 5 speed auto. "Most" people never do anything with their transmissions. And "most" people who do conversions are going from auto to manual. Most of those people go with the 5 speed because a 6 speed is 3 times the cost easily.

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This 323 would most likely handle and drive better than a stock e46 m3.
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Old 07-21-2014, 02:27 PM   #10
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310s and 320s (your 5-speed which is a 320) are the strongest in the league. not sure who told you what they told you but it's completely false. your weak leak will be your clutch and pressure plate if at all. but most likely you don't have a supercharger so it won't matter. See the links in my sig for things to think about. GL!

By the way I have two 320s with close to 400k miles on both! Still perfect!

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