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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 04-07-2010, 02:24 AM   #1
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Transmission swap? auto to manual

Hey guys, I am pretty new to the forum, been doing a lot of reading, something I do anytime I buy a car, is go online and spend a few weeks reading about said car on the forums. One thing I havent been able to find much on, is switching from and automatic transmission, to manual, and how possible/expensive this would be.
Before any flamers jump on me, I know the basics, about the clutch and brake pedals, the master cylinder, the clutch, flywheel, and transmission.

My question is as follows:
I hear that the driveshaft is different sized for every variation on transmission, something I have never heard of from any other car I have driven. So would this also be on the list of parts I would need?
Also, about the computer. I assume I would need to get a different engine management, since everything seems to be run through it including the transmission control?
What is the best transmission to use? 5 speed seems most common on the 3 series, is there a 6 speed option? How much more expensive is it?

I apologize in advance about all the qs, yes I did do alot of searching, and alot of reading. Seems either noone has bothered with this, or noone publicized it.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:03 AM   #2
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lol there have been several threads on this... but i'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you missed them

here is neil1138's diy

here is ivegotissues666's diy

as far as transmissions...

5 speeds were found on the 99-2000 323i/ci and 328i/ci as well as the 2001-2006 325i/ci/xi...and the 2001-2003 330i/ci/xi... the 6 speeds are found on the 2004-2005 (2006 for coupes) 330ci/xi/i as well as all the m3's. all have different variations. you will have to find out which transmission you end up getting to figure out which driveshaft to pair with it. driveshaft lengths can be found here:

just enter the year/type of car your donor transmission came out of... navigate through and click driveshaft... and you will find the length..

in this case, this is the driveshaft for a 2005 330 with a 6 speed transmission

the 6 speeds tend to be more expensive than the 5 speeds by a few hundred dollars...sometimes even more than that. you will also have to keep in mind that going to a 330 or m3 driveshaft means that your differential input flange will need to be a 6 bolt one...vs the 4 bolt one found on the rest of the 5 speed transmission vehicles (this includes automatic non 330's). ways around this would be to either switch your diff over to a 330 diff, or you could use a driveshaft of similar length and 'make it fit'. there is some play in the driveshaft and it can expand or lengthen close to an inch pretty safely.

i hope this helps
-Azlan *I want to be like CD330*

Last edited by azzy989; 04-07-2010 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:42 AM   #3
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actually yeah, thats great thanks.
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