BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      11-15-2013, 06:14 PM   #1
J-Rod
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6AT to 6MT swap?

Hey guys, just want to ask of you not to flame me for this question please! I've never been very mechanically inclined until I got this incredible car!



So the thing is, I got my car exactly how I wanted it, BSM / Coral every package except CA. BUT with the huge exception of MT. I come from a Coyote 6MT which I enjoyed very much to drive. And I am definitely feeling a little down driving an Auto. But because these cars are not easily found, much less optioned how I wanted it, I couldn't let this one go waiting for the exact car with a Manual.

Question is: how difficult would it be to swap out the Auto for a MT?!?

Thanks guys!
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      11-15-2013, 06:32 PM   #2
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No one can really say how easy or much it will cost. It is possible though. I would first do research and find out how much the E46 SMG to 6speed swaps cost in labor and then do research on how much transmissions for n54's cost and what other parts you will need. You will also need the rear diff, pedals, shifter, knob, boot, wiring, coding etc.

If you get this done, please post your findings. You will be one of the first, if not the first to do it, and your project could contribute a lot of helpful information to others.

good luck
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      11-15-2013, 10:55 PM   #3
alexmtl_135i
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My guess would be that it will be much easier and less expensive for you to sell the car and find another one in MT. DCT is also not bad, a good in-between
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      11-15-2013, 11:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikebmxbikes View Post
No one can really say how easy or much it will cost. It is possible though. I would first do research and find out how much the E46 SMG to 6speed swaps cost in labor and then do research on how much transmissions for n54's cost and what other parts you will need. You will also need the rear diff, pedals, shifter, knob, boot, wiring, coding etc.

If you get this done, please post your findings. You will be one of the first, if not the first to do it, and your project could contribute a lot of helpful information to others.

good luck
That's not really a relevant metric. The E46 M3 SMG unit is just a 6MT with an automated clutch. You can pretty easily change the SMG trans into a manual trans with just a few tweaks for under $1k.

Autotragic to manual will require a new trans and a whole load of wiring and mechanicals. Look up the E46 regular 3 series to see what an awful process you are in for.
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      11-16-2013, 12:50 AM   #5
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Sell it and buy a 6MT. There are plenty of them out there in the 135 trim. For some reason I don't see many 128s available, much less with a 6MT.

I lucked out; I was test driving a 328 with paddles when the sales guy mentioned 'if you REALLY want a manual, we have a 1-series...'

It had JUST been traded in; in fact, the prior owner was picking up the 335 he traded it in on while I was there to see the 328!

So the cars are out there...I've seen examples from every year 2008 - 2013. There are even new ones on eBay!

I think if you're going to try and change an AT to MT you're asking for a lot of trouble and a huge lack of help from BMW.

Just my
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      11-16-2013, 07:18 AM   #6
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Conventional wisdom in this situation is to sell the auto and buy a manual - it's cheaper, you have a factory car & warranty rather than a Frankenbimmer, and you save yourself a lot of time & aggravation. Good luck with your decision.
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      11-16-2013, 07:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm135is View Post
Conventional wisdom in this situation is to sell the auto and buy a manual - it's cheaper, you have a factory car & warranty rather than a Frankenbimmer, and you save yourself a lot of time & aggravation. Good luck with your decision.
100% agree
mods on a 135i aren't like swapping parts on a fox body stang
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      11-16-2013, 08:58 AM   #8
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Sell and buy the car you want. Just the cost alone for swap AND the huge hit in resale value (VIN says auto, you have a MT) isn't worth it in my books. The next buyer would not appreciate the swap and it's cost because the next person could just easily find a MT -- which is why you should do the same.
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      11-16-2013, 09:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dm135is View Post
Conventional wisdom in this situation is to sell the auto and buy a manual - it's cheaper, you have a factory car & warranty rather than a Frankenbimmer, and you save yourself a lot of time & aggravation. Good luck with your decision.
Couldn't agree more....+1
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      11-16-2013, 05:42 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, it was just a thought, being in Puerto Rico limits the supply way more. Later down the line ill just look for another one with the same specs and manual.

Thanks again!
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      11-16-2013, 07:46 PM   #11
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The hardware portion of is isn't particularly complicated, but getting the DME to understand what is going on is going to be extremely challenging. I know of zero successful AT to MT ZF box swaps on N54 platforms.
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      11-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #12
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it's been done by a few (3-5) not on 1addicts. Check n54tech and e90post.com. Not documented very well.
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      11-17-2013, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterfan1230 View Post
it's been done by a few (3-5) not on 1addicts. Check n54tech and e90post.com. Not documented very well.
There is a successful complete swap on e90 and Terry's forum? I know a bunch of people have tried, and a small number have "begun" the swap. But i've never seen one actually drive off the lift with a full swap. The electronics would be brutal.
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      11-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #14
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Save yourself a lot of money and get the Alpina B3 flash for $100

Check out the down shifts at 53 seconds in




Warning: annoying music and commentary



Last edited by Adam135; 11-17-2013 at 07:38 PM..
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      11-17-2013, 10:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 135Pats
The hardware portion of is isn't particularly complicated, but getting the DME to understand what is going on is going to be extremely challenging. I know of zero successful AT to MT ZF box swaps on N54 platforms.
No, the DME part is probably the easiest.. You pretty much change the 'transmission' part to 'manual' and even if you dont it should still work

~$750-1k for the trans.. Then Pedal box, linkages, new trim, shifter

It's literally no more difficult than an AT>MT swap for any other car

You're not adding ANY electronic stuff with the MT, you're taking it all away

Going MT to AT or. DCT would be a different story (someone on another forum has done the DCT swap successfully though)

BMW's aren't some fancy magical vehicle.. 9/10 times remember 'it's just another car'
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      11-18-2013, 09:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flinchy View Post
No, the DME part is probably the easiest.. You pretty much change the 'transmission' part to 'manual' and even if you dont it should still work

~$750-1k for the trans.. Then Pedal box, linkages, new trim, shifter

It's literally no more difficult than an AT>MT swap for any other car

You're not adding ANY electronic stuff with the MT, you're taking it all away

Going MT to AT or. DCT would be a different story (someone on another forum has done the DCT swap successfully though)

BMW's aren't some fancy magical vehicle.. 9/10 times remember 'it's just another car'
Hm. All valid points, hadn’t really thought it through in the sense that you’re for the most part removing the MCM etc etc that causes all sorts of issues. The actual transmission swap wouldn’t be all that challenging, just time consuming.

Regardless, there’s no sense in doing it. If you have any dream of selling the car down the road, just buy a 6MT car and avoid the swap.


$750 would be quite a nice deal for 6MT. Though they're always cheaper than I expect them to be when I look around.
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      11-18-2013, 11:44 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the info guys! This is just something I might consider if further down the road I can't shake the need for that third pedal. I did think it was kind of "simplifying" in terms of electronics, going from auto to manual, but since I want to learn as much as possible about the car I ask the fellas who know!

By the way, I know lots of people love their DCTs but its just something about the clutch pedal and rowing through the gears...

I have NO timeframe or intention of selling this car for now, so thats the other reason for this question...the only way I would consider it is if I find a deal too sweet to pass on just the same car but 6MT or a 1M down the road!
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      11-18-2013, 12:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dorkdog View Post
Sell it and buy a 6MT. There are plenty of them out there in the 135 trim. For some reason I don't see many 128s available, much less with a 6MT.
Ive got a manual 128i and its absolutely FANTASTIC…!
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