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      07-10-2019, 08:27 AM   #1
cficare68
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Installing a Manual N54 Transmission (GS6-53BZ) in a N55

Two years ago I lost first gear on my 2011 135i manual transmission. I searched for a replacement option for a while. Threw two years of searching the cheapest transmission I came across are a 120k mile transmission for $2,000. Since these transmission are non serviceable I started looking into the GS6-53BZ manual transmission as a replacement option. Mainly cause the transmission is cheaper and they are a stronger transmission altogether anyways.

A friend of mine local to me has a 2010 135i that has about 50k miles on it that he is doing an LS Swap on and I was able pickup everything that i needed from him to try to do the swap.

The swap is possible and with the correct parts is a direct bolt on. The only modification that is needed is to extended the wires for the reverse switch about 6 to 8 inchs to allow for the fact that the switch is on the opposite side of the transmission on the N54 manual.

What parts are need:
GS6-53BZ Transmission
N54 6-Bolt Flywheel
N54 Shift Linkage
N54 Shifter Bracket
N54 Drive Shaft

Parts that do not require replacement:
Shifter and Knob
Rear Differential
Clutch Slave Cylinder
Universal Flex Disc



The N54 trans is on the Transmission stand versus the n55 Transmission being held. The N54 trans is actually longer in overall length that the N55 trans.
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11 Alpine White N55 135i M-Sport 6MT

Last edited by cficare68; 07-10-2019 at 07:28 PM..
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      07-10-2019, 08:31 AM   #2
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N54 Flywheel is on the left. N55 flywheel is on the right. Notice that on the N54 flywheel the input shaft is on the flywheel where on the n55 flywheel it has the pilot bearing.
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      07-10-2019, 08:33 AM   #3
cficare68
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N54 Transmisson top. N55 trans bottom. Notice how the on the n54 trans the pilot bearing is located at the end of the input shaft.
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      07-10-2019, 08:36 AM   #4
cficare68
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N54 shifter bracket on the right. N55 bracket on the left. N54 bracket is quite a bit shorter than the N55 one. This is to compensate for the difference in the lengths of the transmission. The correct bracket prefectly centers the shifter in the console.
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      07-10-2019, 08:37 AM   #5
cficare68
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N54 linkage on the left. N55 linkage on the right. Notice that the n54 linkage is quite a bit shorter than the n55 linkage. This is again to compensate for that differences in length on the transmission.
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      07-10-2019, 08:38 AM   #6
cficare68
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As stated previously the reverse switch is located in different locations. The pigtail itself is the same but you will need to extend the wires to get it to reach. The N55 trans has the switch located on the driveside of the trans towards the top while the n54 is on the passenger side towards the bottom.
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      07-10-2019, 08:41 AM   #7
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Lastly is the driveshaft. N55 driveshaft is on top and the N54 on bottom. While the mounting points are the all the same the lengths are different with the N54 driveshaft being a tad bit shorter. Again another compensation for the differences in the transmission lengths
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      07-10-2019, 08:42 AM   #8
cficare68
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The swap itself is pretty easy. Its not much more difficult that doing a clutch job. I have put about 150 miles on the car since doing the swap and thus far everything is good to go. I have had people in the past tell me that the N55 trans is more smooth than the N54 but thus far I honestly can tell no difference at all between the two other than the throw of the N54 trans feels a tad shorter. All in all i was able to gather all the parts to go the swap for around $1000. Granted not everyone may be able to find everything at the same price as I did. But being that the N55 is non serviceable and the trans is about $4,000 from the dealership I feel that its a better alternative.
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      07-10-2019, 03:35 PM   #9
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Thanks for the write up and pictures! One of my backup plans for the future if my car ever has catastrophic failure is to swap the DCT with a manual. Still trying to pick through info to see how hard that might be.

I know on the E46 M3, the swap from SMG to manual is pretty easy since it basically just uses a hydraulic brain to change gears, I imagine the DCT might be a bit more involved than that, but mostly on the electrical side.
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      07-10-2019, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtla1 View Post
Thanks for the write up and pictures! One of my backup plans for the future if my car ever has catastrophic failure is to swap the DCT with a manual. Still trying to pick through info to see how hard that might be.

I know on the E46 M3, the swap from SMG to manual is pretty easy since it basically just uses a hydraulic brain to change gears, I imagine the DCT might be a bit more involved than that, but mostly on the electrical side.
Yeah no problem. When i was searching there was no information on the swap that i could fine and i've seen a few people ask about as well so I figured I share my findings. Not sure on the DCT to manual swap cause i dont know what would be needed on the computer side of things.
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