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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > N54 6speed transmission swap into N52



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      04-27-2016, 02:24 AM   #1
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N54 6speed transmission swap into N52

Ok finally completed this swap about two weeks ago and am very happy with the results. So far everything is working flawless.

I converted an already Manual N52 to Manual N54. This should work the same for an Automatic N52 but will need additional parts which I have not listed like pedal assembly and clutch master and slave and possibly programming or vehicle order coding.

The two top bolt holes on the transmission need to be enlarged and or offset as they are a couple mm off from the N52 Block, and a custom driveshaft will need to be made using either a front N54 driveshaft or Lexus GS300 front driveshaft. All other parts are OEM BMW. The N54 transmission is about 3" longer than the N52 transmission which made it impossible to reuse most of the N52 parts including the shifter mechanism and mounting parts.





I listed the parts that you should use and noted what I actually did with an *.

1. 23 00 7 571 423 Used One N54 Manual Transmission
*Purchased from LKQ/salvage yard
2. 21 20 7 590 942 New/Used One Flywheel
6 bolt N54 Flywheel, 01/2009 and up N54 Flywheel (MFactory single mass)
*Found two used one locally and one from ebay
*ended up using stock N52 Flywheel modified
3. 11 22 7 520 706 New Six Flywheel bolts
4. 21 20 7 536 792 New One Pilot Bearing
5. 21 20 7 603 248 New One Clutch Kit over 500hp stiffer pedal (335is/550i 6speed)
or
21 20 7 567 623 New One Clutch Kit under 500hp softer pedal (all other N54 6speed)
both kits include throwout bearing, disc, pressure plate, fork
*reused current E36 Pressure plate and made custom 6pad ceramic clutch disc
6. 21 20 7 548 047 New Six Pressure Plate Bolts
7. 22 31 6 796 993 New/Used One Transmission Support Bracket
Bolts to back of transmission, may come with a used transmission
8. 22 31 6 774 293 New/Used Four Bolts for Transmission Support Bracket
9. 22 31 6 799 331 New Two Transmission Bearing/Transmission Mount
* New E46 M3 Mounts reused stock N52 fastners/nuts
10. 22 31 6 778 059 New/Used One Transmission Crossmember
Moved further back on Chassis. Bolt holes ready.
*Reused stock N52 fastners/bolts
11. 26 11 7 610 061 New One Driveshaft Flex Joint/ U-joint/ guibo
*need longer Bolts N52 fastners too short
12. 26 11 7 527 475 New/Used Six Flex Joint Bolts
13. 26 12 7 536 563 New/Used Six Flex Joint Locking Nuts
*Can reuse stock N52 locking nuts
14. 26 11 7 526 611 New One Driveshaft Centering Sleeve
*inserted in front of Lexus GS300 Driveshaft after I removed Lexus Sleeve. It fits..
*front driveshaft is Lexus GS300 2JZGE driveshaft, center bearing and rear is stock N52
15. 25 11 7 524 720 New/Used One Shifting Arm
16. 25 11 7 507 695 New Two Bush Bearing Oval
*can reuse N52 bushing same if you can get it out without damage
17. 25 11 7 529 078 New Two Bolt/Clip for shifting arm to transmission
*can reuse N52 bolt/clips same
18. 25 11 7 524 722 New/used One Selector Rod
19. 25 11 7 571 899 New Two Selector Rod Clips
*Reused stock N52 clips same
20. 25 11 7 555 911 New/Used Shift Lever
*reused stock shift lever, modified lengthened and bent to fit
21. 25 11 7 539 193 New/Used Shifting Arm Bracket
*Small part and overlooked, can't drive without it
*Special order from Germany
22. 07 11 9 905 949 New/Used Two Locking Nuts for Shifting Arm Bracket
23. 25 11 1 220 600 New Shift Lever Bearing
24. 25 11 1 222 015 New Shifting Arm Bearing/bushing
*reused stock N52 Bearing same.


I ended up using the stock N52 Flywheel only because it was lighter than the N54 Flywheels. I modified it to be able to use the N54 flywheel centering pin.






I welded the two driveshafts together, front portion is the Lexus GS300 shaft welded to rear section N52 shaft.









Modified shifter
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      04-27-2016, 10:51 AM   #2
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Really nice work. Why the swap though?
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      04-27-2016, 11:03 AM   #3
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Because the n52 transmission couldnt handle the 400hp he's laying down with his custom turbo setup.
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      04-28-2016, 04:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigiDon View Post
Ok finally completed this swap about two weeks ago and am very happy with the results. So far everything is working flawless
Amazing write up. Thank you for doing this. Also, how the heck did you come up with a Lexus part? Did you just have it laying around and figured, let me give this a try?
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      05-04-2016, 04:28 AM   #5
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Subscribed Jayson!!! Sooooo inspiring!!! At the end of the day, it's not what your money can buy but what you can build that matters!!!
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      05-27-2016, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W37V View Post
Amazing write up. Thank you for doing this. Also, how the heck did you come up with a Lexus part? Did you just have it laying around and figured, let me give this a try?
Read through his old thread and thought the exact same thing lol.

Guess he got lucky..
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      05-31-2016, 02:56 PM   #7
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Any updates and user feedback on your project post-install? Especially installing new MT SW and integration with the DME?

Weight Loss - In addition to the enjoyment from driving a stick, there ought to be significant weight loss benefits here. The N54 MT is 75# less than the N52 AT, per RealOEM. If one completely ignores the visceral gains of moving from AT to MT, and looks solely at weight, the cost per pound lost is actually equal to or less expensive than typical aftermarket lightweight parts.

I hadn't seriously considered a trans swap due to the economics - until now. The combination of performance gained together with losing a big chunk of mass, especially towards the front, is compelling. From one perspective, this would be like buying 75 lbs of lightweight parts, and getting a N54 MT thrown in the deal as a perk!

I love light and agile. I know - it would be better to have a Miata or Porsche instead. But a 3300# sportwagon with 300+ hp, 6MT, and stock appearance is very very compelling.
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      05-31-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
DigiDon

Any updates and user feedback on your project post-install? Especially installing new MT SW and integration with the DME?

Weight Loss - In addition to the enjoyment from driving a stick, there ought to be significant weight loss benefits here. The N54 MT is 75# less than the N52 AT, per RealOEM. If one completely ignores the visceral gains of moving from AT to MT, and looks solely at weight, the cost per pound lost is actually equal to or less expensive than typical aftermarket lightweight parts.

I hadn't seriously considered a trans swap due to the economics - until now. The combination of performance gained together with losing a big chunk of mass, especially towards the front, is compelling. From one perspective, this would be like buying 75 lbs of lightweight parts, and getting a N54 MT thrown in the deal as a perk!

I love light and agile. I know - it would be better to have a Miata or Porsche instead. But a 3300# sportwagon with 300+ hp, 6MT, and stock appearance is very very compelling.
He was already running a manual. The power was abusing the stock tranny that was bolted up to the n52 so he sought out the n54's.
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      05-31-2016, 06:53 PM   #9
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yeah, I don't think you really need to worry about using the N54 6MT unless you're making a lot more power than what the typical superchargers are putting out. the N52 6mt would be pretty close to bolt on.

removing the VO for automatic is pretty dang easy. I need to verify getting the DME to accept changes to the VO, but I have a pretty good idea of how to do it.
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      06-30-2016, 12:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tetsuo111 View Post
DigiDon

Any updates and user feedback on your project post-install? Especially installing new MT SW and integration with the DME?

Weight Loss - In addition to the enjoyment from driving a stick, there ought to be significant weight loss benefits here. The N54 MT is 75# less than the N52 AT, per RealOEM. If one completely ignores the visceral gains of moving from AT to MT, and looks solely at weight, the cost per pound lost is actually equal to or less expensive than typical aftermarket lightweight parts.

I hadn't seriously considered a trans swap due to the economics - until now. The combination of performance gained together with losing a big chunk of mass, especially towards the front, is compelling. From one perspective, this would be like buying 75 lbs of lightweight parts, and getting a N54 MT thrown in the deal as a perk!

I love light and agile. I know - it would be better to have a Miata or Porsche instead. But a 3300# sportwagon with 300+ hp, 6MT, and stock appearance is very very compelling.
Sorry Been MIA..

Well I went from an N52 manual to an N54 manual just to have a stronger transmission. So far everything works perfectly. Transmission feels great, gearing is slightly different though.

In your case I would try to go with an N52 Manual if your not planning on going over 350hp. The N52 Transmission is lighter than an N54 transmission and would be a direct bolt up to your N52 engine (less modifications needed). On the other hand it is alot easier to get an N54 Manual transmission (more used ones available) and the used N54 transmissions are cheaper than the used N52 Manual transmissions.
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      06-30-2016, 10:50 AM   #11
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Very nice.
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