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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 06-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
gingerstig
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330 auto box help

first off hello just joined the site some nice motors on here

my 330ci needs a new box as the current one had decided to die
will any tiptronic auto box from a 330 fit mine its just that im miles away from the car and cant double check the gearbox type thats on it
as mine is an early model im worried that the car im getting the new box off (2004) might be different in some way bolt pattern, starter , torque converter so and on
i have the chassis number and that if anyone can help
oh its and x reg which is the year 2000

any help will be great thanx

Last edited by gingerstig; 06-05-2009 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:15 PM   #2
gingerstig
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bump

anyway i could find this out myself
as i need to know before the morning as im going to hopefully get the box then

anyone please im begging lol
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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I don't know if this will be much help. However... BMW used two auto trannies in the E46 - a General Motors (GM) A5S360R / A5S390R and a ZF A5S325Z. Replacing your tranny with the same make should be fine regardless of the year I think. What I don't know is if you can replace a GM with a ZF (or vice-versa) without worrying about what else might need to be replaced. Since both of these trannies are used in the 330Ci, more than likely you should be able use either, but you may need to replace other bits - a good transmission shop should be able to help you out with that. Hope that helps. Good luck.
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Old 06-05-2009, 02:34 PM   #4
wasp9166
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dont replace a gm with a zf...............stay gm, better tranny , or go manual
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Old 06-05-2009, 03:00 PM   #5
gingerstig
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id love to go Manual mate but to much
id love a six speed lol
ive phoned up the garage and left a message asking for help but there closed for the weekend
raddadict thanks mate
you to wasp
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:06 AM   #6
gingerstig
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sorry to bump

but will an m-sport box fit my ci?
there both auto
any ideas please
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Old 06-11-2009, 05:19 AM   #7
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All 330 trim levels (I think thats what its called outside of the US) will use the same gearbox. However, I don't know what one your 330 came with stock. Best way to check is to give the dealer your VIN and ask them. Replace it with that one and only that one.

Auto's don't just go bad. I doubt you have more then 200k miles on it, living in the UK. What exactly is the problem with the gearbox? Just because a shop told you it was broken does not necessarily mean its gone.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:44 AM   #8
gingerstig
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gear monitoring 3/4
gear monitoring glue

the fault will clear but after a couple of mins goes back into limp home mode

been told its either a recon or box its done 96K
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:50 AM   #9
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I'm not really familiar with those terms, what are they? Do you have any fault codes? Or what did the mech. actually specifically say?

Sounds like a problem with the transmission control module...

96k is not nearly long enough for any sort of failure, especially in a later model one, let alone complete failure.
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:53 AM   #10
gingerstig
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thats what has came up on his software
the only other thing it does is chuck the transmission warning light on
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:54 AM   #11
gingerstig
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the mech who is a bmw specialist says its common with the 330 auto box
something to do with the gearbox oil pump getting clogged with fillings due to the high miles
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:02 AM   #12
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i would get a second opinion.
96k seems pretty low, get a 2nd opinion, could save you 5k lol
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:03 AM   #13
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The thing is though thats a very low mileage for anything to fail in the transmission, and i'm guessing his explanation is that metal shavings clogged the.. pump? Hell even the stock fluid should last 100k miles with no problems anyway. Just because he is a BMW specialist doesn't mean he knows whats going on in the transmission. If you have a broken MAF thats pulling a CEL then replacing the entire engine will turn off the light and your problem will be fixed. It doesn't mean that the fix technically "worked". BMW updated the automatic transmission software about 20 times from when your car left the factory, or at the very least reflashing the transmission control module could fix your problem. Or even just going to a proper transmission shop and getting an inspection/fluid change?
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:06 AM   #14
gingerstig
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he said a new tranny is needed
i told a tranny specialist and he said a recon is needed

both storys were the same

when the fault happened
it just happened after putting it in D on my way to work hadnt been started 1 min
no noise or vibrations just straight into limp home mode
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:19 AM   #15
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Gear monitoring sounds like its done by the TCM, and I have no idea what that glue thing is.. Are you sure you didn't just happen to get any water in the engine bay or anything? Have you ever overheated your car or anything? It seems like a pretty unique problem, i've never heard of an automatic gearbox actually fail completely like this (or at all) in the 4 years i've been around BMW's. I'm not trying to give you false hope or anything but just.. it seems so unlikely. Did you tell the transmission shop what your mechanic said before or after he corroborated your mechanics work and diagnostic.. I'd hate to see you get jipped out of ~5 grand, thats all.

Before you go swapping the transmissions, at least go to the dealer, update your software, get them to read the codes for us, and do a fluid change at another shop without telling them what you think is wrong. This fixes a huge chunk of most errors in the transmission and isn't really going to set you back much.

And remember, your mileage is low. You do not have a high mileage car in the overall scheme of things.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:25 AM   #16
gingerstig
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i told the tranny place the gear monitoring faults and he gave the exact same reason to the word almost lol

im just gonna get it home and drain the oil like you said
i am a diesel mechanic but ive never worked on an auto box before so thats why i got a garage to check it out
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:37 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gingerstig View Post
i told the tranny place the gear monitoring faults and he gave the exact same reason to the word almost lol

im just gonna get it home and drain the oil like you said
i am a diesel mechanic but ive never worked on an auto box before so thats why i got a garage to check it out
Our cars don't have transmission dipsticks and as such you need to know the exact capacity of the fluid tank (differs between GM/ZF and all independent models) and the temperature of both the fluid and the transmission to accurately gauge how much is in there. It's not a DIY sort of job unless your confident/stupid, i'd recommend taking it to a shop (preferably not one that you've already dealt with during your recent fault).
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:40 AM   #18
gingerstig
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tah ill take it to a new shop then mate
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