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      04-12-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
NJ | 330
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Auto to Manual?

i have a auto 330xi, really wish it was stick. i asked my friend to ask his boss "who's a mechanic" and he said it would cost around 15-20k to change it. Does anyone know anyone who has done it before?
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      04-12-2012, 10:34 PM   #2
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      04-12-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Trade the Car

Its the only cost effective way to do it unless you own a BMW wrecking yard
and are a Master Mechanic with tons of modding experience.
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      04-12-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
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yeah thats what i figured, from that price i could buy the same car thats stick, but i love my car way too much
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      04-12-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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I do think the 15 to 20k is high but its not a simple car .

In the days when the electronics weren't so integrated into the nervous
system of the car this would be more feasible.
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      04-12-2012, 10:59 PM   #6
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well thats apparently what bmw told him
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      04-12-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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also, say if you were to do it, id need a new engine right?
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      04-12-2012, 11:30 PM   #8
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I don't think so they tend to make things like that the same.

You find that same Engine in a lot of models with just small variations
in the way its tuned. It's a pretty standard practice.

But a list of all the things you would need beside a transmission would
be considerable.
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      04-12-2012, 11:35 PM   #9
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http://www.trademotion.com/parts/200...20TRANSMISSION

besides the transmission, what else would there need to be?
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      04-12-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newboi112 View Post
http://www.trademotion.com/parts/200...20TRANSMISSION

besides the transmission, what else would there need to be?
for starters... labor... a sh!t load of that.
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      04-12-2012, 11:58 PM   #11
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well yeah, but aside labor, any other parts?
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      04-13-2012, 12:03 AM   #12
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The only reasonable thing to do is to sell the car and buy another car that is manual, other than just keeping the car and deal with it.
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      04-13-2012, 01:55 AM   #13
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It's pretty simple and quite commonly done on the E36. I did it on mine in 2 days on jackstands in my garage. Plenty of people are doing it with the E46 now too.

I'd bet mechanically the E90 would be just as easy as the E36 and E46. From the looks of the diagrams the E90 is basically the same in regard to shifter linkage, clutch mechanics, clutch hydraulics and others. Same basic design, just different parts. As people have mentioned, the E90 could be a tougher with electronics, but essentially there are the same issue that need to be addressed. It's just a matter of HOW.

On the E36 when you pull the auto transmission you get a transmission warning light. Simple fix - just remove the bulb. You also get a CEL for three or four transmission related codes. Simple fix - just remove the bulb. Once you pull the two bulbs it's IMPOSSIBLE to tell the car was not a manual from the factory from a driver's standpoint.

The other electronics issue are.
#1. The Park/Neutral Saftey switch (PNSS) in the auto shifter (part of the "PRNDL" switch). An auto car has to be in park or neutral to start. It's another simple fix, just connect and solder two wires together from the PNSS. You just simulate a closed switch, tricking the car to think it's in park or neutral at all times, allowing it to start. Or it gets connected to the clutch saftey switch which requires the clutch to be pressed to start the car. My older E36 build date did not have this feature on the factory manuals so I just left it out.

#2. The reverse lights. The PRNDL switch also closes a switch when the shifter is in reverse, illuminating the reverse lights. Another easy fix. Take the two wires from the reverse switch and connect them to the reverse switch on the side of the manual.

#3. On cars with cruise control, you need to do another thing with the wiring of the clutch switch to disconnect the cruise upon depressignt he clutch. I dont have cruise control installed.

So now comes the E90. I'd bet the PNSS and reverse lights are fixed in the same way. One thing I'm not sure of is the cluster lights in the E90. Are there seperate bulbs for the CEL and transmission warning? I thought those are displayed on a little LCD screen. If so, there's no way to just pull a bulb on those. There certainly may be other E90 issues that come up not seen on the E36 or E46.

The car may work just fine though, just with displayed error codes.

In states where people have emission testing and cannot have active CELs, E36 and E46 people take their car to a independant mechanic and basically have their DMEs reflashed with the softare of a similar manual transmission car. Therefore the car is no longer looking for the auto transmission computer. This might be possible on the E90, but who knows....

By the way, I did mine for about $1,200 which included everything. All plastic and rubber items were bought brand new, As was the clutch kit, center bearing, pliot bearing and others. It could be done for close to $500 now on an E36 using all used parts.

A general parts list:
• Manual flywheel
• Clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc, throwout bearing)
• Pilot bearing
• Release fork, pivot and associated clip (fork is integrated with pilot bearing on E90)
• Clutch pedal
• Narrow brake pedal
• Pedal hanger
• CLutch hydraulics (master, slave, and associated hoses and pipes)
• Manual transmission
• transmission mount
• driveshaft
• Differential
• Shifter linkage (multiple parts)

Sounds like a lot, but if you source from a salvage yard you can buy a lot of this stuff in assemblies. For example you can usually pull the pedals and hydraulics together. Same with the shifter linkage, just take the entire assembly. Of course finding salvage yard E90s wil be a little harder than E36/E46s, but certainly not impossible.

RealOEM is your best friend if you attempt it. Print off the pages with the shifter linkage, hydraulics, pedals, etc. Check them off as you go and also compare parts numbers with what is installed on your automatic car. You will find out lots of the various nuts and bolts can be reused.
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Last edited by CirrusSR22; 04-13-2012 at 02:10 AM.
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      04-13-2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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Why driveshaft and diff ? To change ratio's

The OP has and xi so would that mean different diffs and transfer box?
The clutch fluid reservoir is shared with the brake fluid res on a manual also.
What about shifer and linkage. I bet the people from the coding board could
change the software pretty easily .
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      04-13-2012, 04:52 AM   #15
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Not to mention resale of a Frankenstein BMW would be a nightmare.... You are better off getting a different one.
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      04-13-2012, 05:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer84 View Post
Not to mention resale of a Frankenstein BMW would be a nightmare.... You are better off getting a different one.
+1, its not worth it.
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      04-13-2012, 05:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
The OP has and xi so would that mean different diffs and transfer box?
The clutch fluid reservoir is shared with the brake fluid res on a manual also.
What about shifer and linkage. I bet the people from the coding board could
change the software pretty easily .
I didn't even notice he had an xi. That will add a lot more work.
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      04-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #18
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BMWUSA lists a few MT 330xi cars - some even in New Jersey!

http://www.bmwusa.com/standard/conte...delsearch.aspx

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      04-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CirrusSR22 View Post
It's pretty simple and quite commonly done on the E36. I did it on mine in 2 days on jackstands in my garage. Plenty of people are doing it with the E46 now too.

I'd bet mechanically the E90 would be just as easy as the E36 and E46. From the looks of the diagrams the E90 is basically the same in regard to shifter linkage, clutch mechanics, clutch hydraulics and others. Same basic design, just different parts. As people have mentioned, the E90 could be a tougher with electronics, but essentially there are the same issue that need to be addressed. It's just a matter of HOW.

On the E36 when you pull the auto transmission you get a transmission warning light. Simple fix - just remove the bulb. You also get a CEL for three or four transmission related codes. Simple fix - just remove the bulb. Once you pull the two bulbs it's IMPOSSIBLE to tell the car was not a manual from the factory from a driver's standpoint.

The other electronics issue are.
#1. The Park/Neutral Saftey switch (PNSS) in the auto shifter (part of the "PRNDL" switch). An auto car has to be in park or neutral to start. It's another simple fix, just connect and solder two wires together from the PNSS. You just simulate a closed switch, tricking the car to think it's in park or neutral at all times, allowing it to start. Or it gets connected to the clutch saftey switch which requires the clutch to be pressed to start the car. My older E36 build date did not have this feature on the factory manuals so I just left it out.

#2. The reverse lights. The PRNDL switch also closes a switch when the shifter is in reverse, illuminating the reverse lights. Another easy fix. Take the two wires from the reverse switch and connect them to the reverse switch on the side of the manual.

#3. On cars with cruise control, you need to do another thing with the wiring of the clutch switch to disconnect the cruise upon depressignt he clutch. I dont have cruise control installed.

So now comes the E90. I'd bet the PNSS and reverse lights are fixed in the same way. One thing I'm not sure of is the cluster lights in the E90. Are there seperate bulbs for the CEL and transmission warning? I thought those are displayed on a little LCD screen. If so, there's no way to just pull a bulb on those. There certainly may be other E90 issues that come up not seen on the E36 or E46.

The car may work just fine though, just with displayed error codes.

In states where people have emission testing and cannot have active CELs, E36 and E46 people take their car to a independant mechanic and basically have their DMEs reflashed with the softare of a similar manual transmission car. Therefore the car is no longer looking for the auto transmission computer. This might be possible on the E90, but who knows....

By the way, I did mine for about $1,200 which included everything. All plastic and rubber items were bought brand new, As was the clutch kit, center bearing, pliot bearing and others. It could be done for close to $500 now on an E36 using all used parts.

A general parts list:
Manual flywheel
Clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc, throwout bearing)
Pilot bearing
Release fork, pivot and associated clip (fork is integrated with pilot bearing on E90)
Clutch pedal
Narrow brake pedal
Pedal hanger
CLutch hydraulics (master, slave, and associated hoses and pipes)
Manual transmission
transmission mount
driveshaft
Differential
Shifter linkage (multiple parts)

Sounds like a lot, but if you source from a salvage yard you can buy a lot of this stuff in assemblies. For example you can usually pull the pedals and hydraulics together. Same with the shifter linkage, just take the entire assembly. Of course finding salvage yard E90s wil be a little harder than E36/E46s, but certainly not impossible.

RealOEM is your best friend if you attempt it. Print off the pages with the shifter linkage, hydraulics, pedals, etc. Check them off as you go and also compare parts numbers with what is installed on your automatic car. You will find out lots of the various nuts and bolts can be reused.
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