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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Transmission Hardware Differences Between Alpina B3 and 335i?



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      11-21-2013, 04:13 AM   #1
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Transmission Hardware Differences Between Alpina B3 and 335i?

I am highly interested in doing a Alpina B3 Transmission Control Unit Flash.. but had a few questions.

Before I ask the very open ended question of... "Is the TCU Flash Safe?", let me try to narrow it down...

Is the transmission hardware on a Alpina B3 the same as the hardware you would find on a stock N54? or has anything been "beefed up" to handle the faster/harder shifts?

Also:
While in D mode (which I will be in 99% of the time), does it shift smoother than stock?
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      11-21-2013, 05:07 AM   #2
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I think the Alpina B3 trasmission have 2 differences :
1)software
2)increased Torque limits and resistance of "clutch pack"
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      11-21-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franzzz View Post
2)increased Torque limits and resistance of "clutch pack"
Clutch pack? Software is easily flashed and have been done by many. Driven a couple of flashed 335s myself and they shift fast and hold well! My MT needs a lot of extra power to keep up once I shift out of 3rd.
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      11-21-2013, 05:52 AM   #4
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yes clutch pack

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      11-21-2013, 05:58 AM   #5
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Sure, but I did not know Alpina made any HW changes to the transmission. So there are actual HW difference you say. Know any EU shop that perform clutch pack upgrades similar to the one Alpina made?
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      11-21-2013, 06:12 AM   #6
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i think you need to talk with ZF dealer and assistance.

Tomorrow i try to find others info with my italy dealer
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      11-21-2013, 06:25 AM   #7
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As I said, I have a manual but still interesting to know. I know a few locally with Alpina flashed transmissions. Only one has modified the transmission and it was long before this flash came out.

Regarding the smoothness I think it is just as smooth as OEM, maybe even smoother as it is faster shifting. If you are tuned it will be a good improvement as it is made to handle a much steeper and taller torque curve than stock n54. If it will reduce the life of your transmission I have no idea, but the tune will. ;-)
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      11-21-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johmei View Post
Sure, but I did not know Alpina made any HW changes to the transmission. So there are actual HW difference you say. Know any EU shop that perform clutch pack upgrades similar to the one Alpina made?
Lot of people were wondering this. Somebody who should know (BMW tech I think) here or another forum looked it up. The official replacement part listed for an Alpina B3 tranny is an ordinary 6HP21 found in non Alpina cars. Meaning no internal differences. The only difference is the flash IOW.

If you go an carefully read the Alpina marketing literature, there is no mention of hardware changes. However everywhere else on the car that hardware changes are made, they are extensively market-weaseled.
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      11-21-2013, 09:22 AM   #9
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There is differences! I got the B3S biturbo and I've had the Alpina B5S and it had 725NM stock. Alpina only displays the same trans as the 550i, but that NM would tear it apart. If you know an alpina dealer, they have a PDF where one can see whatever changes have been done from BMW to alpina
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      11-21-2013, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lfelunden View Post
There is differences! I got the B3S biturbo and I've had the Alpina B5S and it had 725NM stock. Alpina only displays the same trans as the 550i, but that NM would tear it apart. If you know an alpina dealer, they have a PDF where one can see whatever changes have been done from BMW to alpina
I'd sure like to see evidence of that because I don't think it is true. At least not on the B3. It is just software that instructs the 6HP21 to utilize higher TQ settings and different shift parameters.
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      11-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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I never drive my car in D mode anymore since the flash.. I mostly drive in S mode because D mode is in 6th gear by the time you hit 40mph, it shifts smooth but don't plan on accelerating that quickly in D.. S mode on the other hand is extremely fun to drive in
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      11-21-2013, 10:36 AM   #12
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OP, it's a 4 min flash and you don't have to write the UIF in WinKFP so you can't tell that the flash was done. You can write your stock ZUSB number back if you don't like it. It's that simple. If you need help, email me WedgePerformance at Gmail.

BMW ships the 335 to Alpina directly from the factory. They strip the parts they need removed and replace them with some cosmetic parts. But, they don't do anything to the 6HP19TU other than flash it. For those who differ, you really have no clue as to what you're talking about. If you are so certain Alpina pulls the transmission and modifies it to put back into a production car which they would need to provide modified transmissions to the supply line which they use in conjunction with BMW, another transmission part number just for the B3. Really? I don't think so...
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      11-21-2013, 10:57 AM   #13
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Just to confirm what others have said.

http://www.thealpinaregister.com/dow...013-b3-gt3.pdf

Looks like they call their flash 'Alpina Switch-Tronic'.

Gearbox 6-speed Sport-Automatic (ZF 6HP19 T‹)
with SWITCH-TRONIC

No mention of any other upgrades in this brochure.
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      11-21-2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E92 N54
Also:
While in D mode (which I will be in 99% of the time), does it shift smoother than stock?
Yes, the car is MUCH smoother after the flash...drives much more effortlessly as well. No more awkward mid-turn upshifts, no more annoying shift-hang feeling between first/second and second/third, etc.

I drive in "D" mode 99.9% of the time and the flash makes the car shift exactly as I want it. It's not for everybody, but it's perfect for me
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      11-21-2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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The only reference I have ever seen WRT 3 series Alpina and 6HP21 hardware mods is for the D3, here:

http://www.thealpinaregister.com/news/2938

bottom of the page

Quote:
The SWITCH-TRONIC box is straight out of the B3, and loosely based on the 6HP19 TU, with an extra planetary plate and different flywheel for the 100millisec up-shifts in spite of the torque.
FYI D3 is a 4 cylinder and they are dropping the 6 tranny into it. So of course a different flywheel is needed. Zero mention anywhere else of mods to 6HP21 for B3 or B3 variants. And believe me Alpina mentions every little tiny mod endlessly if it exists.
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      11-21-2013, 11:43 AM   #16
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The ZF boxes across the E8x/E9x/E6x N54 powered cars are i-d-e-n-t-i-c-a-l to the ZF boxes in the respective Alpina cars. It is 100% a software change that ups the line pressure at shift. No hardware differences at all.
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      11-21-2013, 01:17 PM   #17
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Only software is the difference.
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      11-21-2013, 01:37 PM   #18
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Uses special Alpina electrons, quantum entangled with neurons of BMW factory race car drivers.
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      11-21-2013, 01:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida View Post
Uses special Alpina electrons, quantum entangled with neurons of BMW factory race car drivers.
Does it have space-age polymers? And will it void my warranty?
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      11-21-2013, 01:51 PM   #20
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Have been in in touch with both Alpina and ZF, look for my old threads...
No HW differences. Only the SW.

In general, heat will burn down the clutch pack, rest of the box will pretty much do its job. So cool the oil and you are having already more potential to keep the box alive.
I did 120000km on my FBO car before opening the AT, the clutches were gone, but no other damage as far as my ZF specialist could find. Replacing the clutch pack is about 2k aound here, cheaper then a build. Do the math and you will get the same conclusion: replace the clutch pack once every 2 years ....
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      11-21-2013, 02:09 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rismo View Post
Have been in in touch with both Alpina and ZF, look for my old threads...
No HW differences. Only the SW.

In general, heat will burn down the clutch pack, rest of the box will pretty much do its job. So cool the oil and you are having already more potential to keep the box alive.
I did 120000km on my FBO car before opening the AT, the clutches were gone, but no other damage as far as my ZF specialist could find. Replacing the clutch pack is about 2k aound here, cheaper then a build. Do the math and you will get the same conclusion: replace the clutch pack once every 2 years ....
$2K in parts? Or $2K total.

How hard did you drive your car? Iím a little surprised you smoked the clutches stock turbo with the alpina flash.
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      11-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #22
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Well in europe we actually run hard ALL gears.
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