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Old 11-27-2009, 01:06 AM   #61
neil1138
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^ I'm so glad! That is awesome news, well kinda lol. Let us know how it turns out!
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Old 11-27-2009, 12:20 PM   #62
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Hi,

My ZF bit the reverse dust day before thanksgiving. Put it in reverse to parallel park and it shook and "grr'd" ever so slightly and whalla, no more reverse.

With the transmission cold, on first start in the morning, I can feel it grab a little, not enough to move the car or hold any kind of throttle without revving, but it does bog the idle speed a bit and nudge the car back. That's about it.

With a build date of 4/2000, I just missed having a GM tranny and verifed with an undercar looksee. the ZF's, are for one, lacking the green tag, but have a small "ZF" cast into the shift linkage plate. Never thought I'd "want" a GM autobox

Are these transmissions interchangeable? I imagine they carry independent computers/ calibrations.

At any rate, I'll likely be replacing the reverse drum myself. We'll see how that goes. I've rebuilt the Tremec T56 M6 a couple times, but this will be a whole new test!

-paul
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:16 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnhness View Post
Hi,

My ZF bit the reverse dust day before thanksgiving. Put it in reverse to parallel park and it shook and "grr'd" ever so slightly and whalla, no more reverse.

With the transmission cold, on first start in the morning, I can feel it grab a little, not enough to move the car or hold any kind of throttle without revving, but it does bog the idle speed a bit and nudge the car back. That's about it.

With a build date of 4/2000, I just missed having a GM tranny and verifed with an undercar looksee. the ZF's, are for one, lacking the green tag, but have a small "ZF" cast into the shift linkage plate. Never thought I'd "want" a GM autobox

Are these transmissions interchangeable? I imagine they carry independent computers/ calibrations.

At any rate, I'll likely be replacing the reverse drum myself. We'll see how that goes. I've rebuilt the Tremec T56 M6 a couple times, but this will be a whole new test!

-paul
Someone asked me this question a couple of days ago, here is what I told them:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1348307

Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post
Did some searches, didn't find the answer. Given the bad reverse in 323 automatics, has anyone ever swapped the GM tranny for the weak ZF unit? Now that a few years have passed, will any trannys from later/other models fit? Looking for bolt in here, not a lot of mods to make it fit, etc. Also, has to be an auto.
Thx.
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Originally Posted by neil1138 View Post
You should consider a manual swap, both GM and ZF transmissions have no reverse problems of their own. I have made a plethora of threads for your reading enjoyment. Sig links
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Originally Posted by locknload View Post
Yah Neil, I read all your stuff yesterday. It's a great help. Manual is out of the question, wifey won't have it. Car is a 100 miles away & for sale with no reverse, assuming it's a ZF, don't know for sure. My preference would be to swap the tranny with a used later model unit that didn't have the noreverse problem. Second choice would be to get a used GM trans as I can fix the solenoid problem myself using your posts. Don't think I'd be willing to take on a ZF reverse drum. Would a 325/328/330 ZF fit without major mods?
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Originally Posted by neil1138 View Post
All the trannies will bolt up no problem. But I don't really know about the electronics. As GM transmissions are electronically controlled, there might be problems swapping the computers. Or maybe they are the same between GM and ZF, I'm not really sure.

But let's say the electronics are the same, you will need a different driveshaft to compensate for the larger GM transmission. You will also need different shift linkage I'm pretty sure. I dunno, I'm at hooters posting from my phone, lol. I will look into it later

EDIT: So I looked into it and in fact the GM and ZF transmissions use different control modules. It looks like the plugs are the same so you could just swap the transmission dme when you swap the transmission but who knows if the engine dme is going to like that. As the DSC runs through the transmission, I'm not sure if that would work after the swap either. I mean I have a program where we can go in and make your car think it had a GM transmission all along but unless you are up for learning a thing or two about e46 hex level coding, it's not going to happen. Also, as GM transmissions are steptronic in newer e46s, does your 323 have a steptronic shifter or a regular shifter? This way I can tell if you already have a GM of ZF, as some 323s do come with a GM, surprise surprise
Short answer is not possible without a lot of time. If you plan to rebuild the ZF yourself, my thread on taking apart a GM transmission might be of help to you. They are fairly similar and rebuilding an auto is not as hard as people make it out to be. Looks like you already have some experience under your belt so it should be a walk in the park, haha. Let us know how it turns out, and be sure to take pictures! GL my friend

Last edited by neil1138; 11-27-2009 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 06:23 AM   #64
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Hey neil i have 99 328i and i have the gm tranny but i have the old style shifter no step and was wonderin if there's a way to addapt one of the newer gm's step's shifter on it, i like the fact that the newer ones u could put it on s mode plus the shiftin, thanx
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Old 12-05-2009, 04:40 PM   #65
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ok. my reverse goes in and out
but why is it when i roll the car 10ft at 2mph,
throw it in reverse, it engages?
does this sound like a reverse drum, or silonoid?
its a 2000 323ci. had the problem since the first week i had it.
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Old 12-24-2009, 01:04 AM   #66
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I have this transmission, and will revisit this thread if it ever becomes a problem. Good work.
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Old 12-26-2009, 09:06 PM   #67
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pls come to vegas and fix every thing wrong with my car!
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Old 12-26-2009, 10:51 PM   #68
fourholer
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Reverse failure..

So........if you have a GM box....fixable in situ........great..

ZF box = $ome pain involved....................ouch.

So what can affected owners do in the meantime to try to avoid this costly repair on a transmission ? Well, have you noticed how the cold start engine revs hang at about 1100-1200 for a while before settling under 1000 ? How many owners drive off straight away by slamming into reverse to exit garage with 1200 RPM on the tacho ? maybe even holding on the brakes as well for a second or two ? Puts a bit of a shock/strain through the tranny & drivetrain, shocks & strains that this box seems to be under engineered to cope with..

After reading about this on another site, for some time now my garage cold start routine includes a 3-4 minute warmup before engaging reverse, and then ONLY after the engine revs have settled below 1000 RPM (7-800) So, I start the engine, open garage door, go inside to check I haven't forgotten anything before then getting in the car & check the idle speed. I also release the brakes in synch with moving the gear lever into reverse so that the brakes are off when reverse engages & the car starts moving with little or no drivetrain thump at all. I'm also now thinking about reversing into the garage to avoid morning reversing on a cold transmission altogether. Can't be too careful methinks.........over reacting ? maybe........but I'll take it ..
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:27 AM   #69
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Well done.
It's this kind of detailed yet critical info that msakes this site so great,

Not only owners but mechanics can learn from this, saving thousands of dollars, AND PREVENTING MANY BMW HORROR STORIES that
really were not justified, complete tranny rebuilds or swaps that just needed your suggested $250 REPAIR
nice
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Old 12-28-2009, 06:46 AM   #70
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Excellent post!!! Just got for the first time the infamous no reverse on my X5 E53 3.0I and I was seriously considering changing the tranny until I tried you method and got the reverse again!... Thank you so much!
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:05 PM   #71
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I am the poor sap who spent $2880 4 months ago to replace my tranny. I knew my problem was not the drum because the car would be fine most of the time. However since my Fiance at the time was driving the car, I didn't want to leave her stranded anywhere. She was very good at parking in parking lots that didn't need reverse but I eventually gave in. I knew about the solinoid and assumed that it probably cost the same to replace.

When I called around, not many tranny shops around would touch a BMW transmission and wouldn't even think about rebuilding it. If I had seen this back then, I would know exactly what to ask them to do.

Great writeup and I am sure it will save someone tons of money.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #72
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great thread!

the only thing that sucks about this issue is that it took literally thousands of failures for owners to realise that all BMW had to do was require a 50-60K mile fluid change and these transmissions would be outlasting the chassis... I'd like to meet the guy who thought ANY slush box could have a lifetime fill and ***** slap 'em... funny thing is ... these transmissions are used in a few other make/model cars and they say NOTHING about lifetime fills on trans fluid ... interesting ...
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:27 PM   #73
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Awesome thread Neil!! J/W.... I have a early 2000 323i with a GM tranny, and I thankfully don't have the no-reverse problem. The question is: Do NON-steptronic cars have the problem too?? My car has a GM non-steptronic tranny.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:15 AM   #74
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i just got this problem on my 2000 323ci with 173000 miles first trans problem it just happend 2 days ago and keeps happening but looks like its random i check this morning and i have the gm trans, so i was wondering how do you remove the solenoid is it just pull the pin and it will come out or how do you get it removed im planing on doing it myself but dont know how do you remove it
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:21 AM   #75
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You just pull the pin/ring/clip/whatever out with a flathead screwdriver and the solenoid just pops out with a little bit of effort
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:43 AM   #76
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thank you neil this is gona save me lots of money, i will be doing this in about 2 weeks since i have to order all the parts gasket, filter, atf oil.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:18 PM   #77
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it's threads like these that make me love e46fanatics and op's of the thread.

Woke up this morning, tried to back out of my garage and had the no-reverse symptom. Quickly started searching e46fanatics and found this thread. Drove around for 10 minutes, tried reverse again and what do you know it works again.

Thanks OP for creating this thread.



EDIT: FYI, I have 157,*** miles and this is the 1st time this has ever happened to me.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:47 PM   #78
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Aww thanks guys
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:15 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyo View Post
it's threads like these that make me love e46fanatics and op's of the thread.

Woke up this morning, tried to back out of my garage and had the no-reverse symptom. Quickly started searching e46fanatics and found this thread. Drove around for 10 minutes, tried reverse again and what do you know it works again.

Thanks OP for creating this thread.



EDIT: FYI, I have 157,*** miles and this is the 1st time this has ever happened to me.


Damn, it happened again after working all day yesterday. Crossing my fingers that it will come back after some driving, I'm geting tired of pushing my car back and then hopping in before I rolls away from me.
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Old 01-25-2010, 01:39 PM   #80
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Damn, it happened again after working all day yesterday. Crossing my fingers that it will come back after some driving, I'm geting tired of pushing my car back and then hopping in before I rolls away from me.
It will keep happening on and off like that until it gets fixed, unfortunately that's just the nature of it. It's still better than the drum shredding scenario, so be glad
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