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Thread: Automatic to Manual transmission swap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    50

    Automatic to Manual transmission swap

    i bought my auto zhp last summer and has been a joy to drive, but i am ready for a manual. I drove my friends 323i and i regret not searching harder for a stick. Anyway does anyone have experience doing this swap? cheaper to swap? cheaper to sell and buy a manual? issues with swap?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    Posts
    364
    I would think trading (sell/buy) would be the better choice.

    Having parted out a bunch of e30's this summer and selling parts for people to do a swap on that model, I can't imagine the e46 being any easier and with any fewer dependencies. Just getting the pedal assembly removed from an e30 is a huge PITA even when the engine, tranny dash and carpet have already been removed. The time and energy of sourcing parts and the cost thereof just doesn't sound practical to me. If you aren't going to DIY, I have to believe it's going to cost you a pretty penny to have it done, and if you are going to DIY, do you have a shop and the ability to be without your ZHP during the conversion? Can't imagine it being finished in a weekend.

    If you do it, document it and post pics

    1971 2002 - 1980 528i -
    1986 535is
    2002 M5 - 2006 330ci - 2006 X3 M-Sport 6MT
    Sort of gave my ZHP to my wife, which enabled me to buy an e39 M5. I won, twice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    32.8 N, 117.3 W
    Posts
    7,630
    it's been done, Smolck did it at least on his old car. I would pm him

    Personally, sell current car/buy mt is my recommendation of route that you should look into assuming you have no real tie to this specific car

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    It can be done but like the majority said its easier to sell your current car and source a manual

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Grand Forks, ND
    Posts
    686
    +1 for sell/buy, or put up a trade offer on this site. Someone might be tired of their manual trans.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,079
    If you're willing to go with a 5-speed, you should be able to get parts pretty cheap. Though I wouldn't feel right swapping a 5-speed into a ZHP lol

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Bay Area, Cali
    Posts
    1,529
    If you do the 6 speed swap, slap a 3.46 diff in there out of a 323 5 speed. It will definitely improve the acceleration on the zhp!

    The best route is to sell your car and buy another one. Or do a trade with someone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,079
    Quote Originally Posted by Johal E32 View Post
    If you do the 6 speed swap, slap a 3.46 diff in there out of a 323 5 speed. It will definitely improve the acceleration on the zhp!

    The best route is to sell your car and buy another one. Or do a trade with someone.
    If he has an auto ZHP, he already has a 3.64. Might as well keep that

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