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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 04-19-2014, 05:03 PM   #1
KNGJN
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Looking at an E46 with a blown tranny...

New here by the way! Never owned a BMW before, but looking at the E46's has gotten me all fuzzy inside and I really want to get into one.

i looked over an E46 330i with a blown tranny and 107k on the motor. They called and want me to come pick it up later today. It was an automatic, but I want to swap a 5 speed in it regardless.

If I buy the car for $2500 what can I expect to spend regarding the 5 speed swap? Will the swap be worth the buy?
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:37 PM   #2
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Seems like a lot to me, unless the body is impeccably clean and you know for a solid fact that the engine is good, and that it's had all of its other maintenance done on it. Of course, if an automatic trans is "blown" it might be because people failed to do the proper maintenance on it, and that might not be a good sign.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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That's what I'm afraid of. I don't know how else to get that car for that kind of deal at 107k. The body has very minor damage. I know cars in general, I just don't know much about BMW's or E46's. The motor runs solid, we stressed it a bit, and it works, I just don't want to go over the value of the car in the end.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:47 PM   #4
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That's pretty cheap assuming that's the only thing wrong with the car. I mean worst case with this seems to be a part-out and you'll get the money back easily.

A transmission swap will cost you about $1000-2000 depending on parts sourcing, and you may or may not want to swap in the lower ratio diff from the manual as well.

Transmission $500-700
Clutch and Flywheel $600
Driveshaft $150-200
Guibo $70
CSB $70
Hardware $30-50
Clutch/Brake Pedal set $150-200
Slave cylinder ???
Trans mounts
rear main seal (should do it when the tranny is off!)
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:50 PM   #5
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Okay awesome, that was what I was hoping to hear, any other thoughts?
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KNGJN View Post
That's what I'm afraid of. I don't know how else to get that car for that kind of deal at 107k. The body has very minor damage. I know cars in general, I just don't know much about BMW's or E46's. The motor runs solid, we stressed it a bit, and it works, I just don't want to go over the value of the car in the end.
With a neglected E46, and there's a lot of them out there, it's very easy to exceed the value of the vehicle when getting it up-to-date. By the time you've replaced the motor on that one you're looking at, your spending has just begun.

Look for something else.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:56 PM   #7
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I'm not looking to replace the motor, just the tranny
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:56 PM   #8
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Besides your swap, there will be a lot of other necessary maintenance. Look around the forums for that. Another $1000-2000 should cover the essentials.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:57 PM   #9
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With a neglected E46, and there's a lot of them out there, it's very easy to exceed the value of the vehicle when getting it up-to-date. By the time you've replaced the motor on that one you're looking at, your spending has just begun.

Look for something else.
Who said it needs a new motor?
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:12 PM   #10
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So whats the verdict?
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:15 PM   #11
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Can you post some pictures of it if you can? What color is it? You said 330i so it's a 4 door right?
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:19 PM   #12
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yeah its a 4 door, black on black, here it is -> ( http://newyork.craigslist.org/que/cto/4424162990.html )
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:24 PM   #13
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If stick shift are hard to find in your area, your budget is at least $6000 and you don't mind working on it for a couple of months until it's sorted, go for it!
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:26 PM   #14
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So whats the verdict?

I'm not gonna tell you to buy it or not. I haven't seen it in person or heard it run, etc. I'm just here to tell you what I know about tranny swap prices and a way out if it goes wrong (part out).


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Old 04-19-2014, 06:28 PM   #15
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That's pretty cheap assuming that's the only thing wrong with the car. I mean worst case with this seems to be a part-out and you'll get the money back easily.

A transmission swap will cost you about $1000-2000 depending on parts sourcing, and you may or may not want to swap in the lower ratio diff from the manual as well.

Transmission $500-700
Clutch and Flywheel $600
Driveshaft $150-200
Guibo $70
CSB $70
Hardware $30-50
Clutch/Brake Pedal set $150-200
Slave cylinder ???
Trans mounts
rear main seal (should do it when the tranny is off!)
What BMW diff would be lower ratio than a 2.93??? Why would he want to swap the diff already in his automatic equipped 330 (which is a 3.38?) just curious
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:28 PM   #16
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I looked at the pics. It looks fairly clean but keep in mind it has the DSC light on. That may indicate other problems besides the transmission. Also it doesn't have the sports package.

If you could get someone with a BMW Scanner 1.4.0 to read the error codes, you could make a better decision.


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Old 04-19-2014, 06:37 PM   #17
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The DSC light to my knowledge is a brake problem? Right? I'm incredibly conflicted... "To buy or not to buy"

My goal here is to build myself a 330i to take to local autocross events, and have a little fun sliding around in, nothing crazy. My budget is approx $6000 and I'm more than happy to DIY this build.

I really just don't want to buy a car that I'd be in over my budget with.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:44 PM   #18
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What BMW diff would be lower ratio than a 2.93??? Why would he want to swap the diff already in his automatic equipped 330 (which is a 3.38?) just curious
When did I say there was a lower ratio than 2.93? I was saying he could opt to swap the lower ratio diff found in manual cars. Lower as in lower relative to the diff that is currently in the car. And he might consider that if he wants to replicate a stock manual E46.

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The DSC light to my knowledge is a brake problem? Right? I'm incredibly conflicted... "To buy or not to buy"

My goal here is to build myself a 330i to take to local autocross events, and have a little fun sliding around in, nothing crazy. My budget is approx $6000 and I'm more than happy to DIY this build.

I really just don't want to buy a car that I'd be in over my budget with.
DSC light can be many, many things.

You can probably do it just fine with that budget.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:45 PM   #19
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Is you budget about $6000 after hypothetically you buy the car or before? Cause if you have $6000 left over after you buy the car then yeah buy it and make it in to a cool project. It is in decent shape just proberly the previous owner beat the crap out of it cause 107k is a little low for a transmission of that year to go.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:47 PM   #20
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6k not including the price of the car, and I had a similar fear about the tranny dying at 107k.
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