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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 04:59:31 AM   #1
aznniche
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Default Transmission Replacement Difficulty (SMG)

So I plan to buy a used SMG transmission and do the swap myself. I can't find a good mechanic around here nor will I pay 14K from the dealer. They wanted to replace my struts for a measly $1800 also.

I believe I had a slow transmission leak for quite some time. I've always noticed black oil on my garage floors. Always attributed that to motor oil since the dipstick level always went down.

When changing fluids from my transmission on the last two occasions, little came out and it was black and watery.

This leads me to believe it had a leak which cause my transmission to start making noises. I think its the input shaft bearing that is the culprit.

I put two bottles of the OE BMW tranny oil in there, but the wierd thing is it didn't spill out to let you know its full. Should I be putting more than two? Maybe I should try adding more as a last resort?

So my question is, how difficult is it to replace transmissions on jack stands? I've done rod bearings, driveshafts, cv joints, valve adjustments, vanos stuff, alternator, radiators before so that's my experience level.

Am I leaving anything out?

1. Remove fan clutch.
2. Install engine support.
3. Remove skid plate, x cross bar, etc.
4. Drop exhaust from headers back.
5. Remove heat shield.
6. Remove drive shaft.
7. Support tranny and remove transmission mounts.
8. Tilt engine and remove transmission bolts.
9. Remove connectors & hydraulic lines from the SMG actuator.
10. Pull transmission out.
11. Reinstall.

Not sure if I need to remove the intake manifold like some suggests. I see most sellers only shit to business and ship to home address for additional fees. Anyone know what that is?

Do I have to perform any form of bleeding/clutch teach in procedure? I won't be changing the clutch since is fairly new.

Thanks.
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Last edited by aznniche; Fri, Nov-02-2018 at 05:29:02 AM.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 09:41:42 AM   #2
gc86
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

can't speak for the majority of the procedure but if you're disconnecting hydraulic lines you'll need to bleed the SMG system afterward using INPA or another equivalent
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 12:44:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

I pulled my transmission on jack stands. Its do-able but it fking sucks. It's worse that any of the things you have listed. You'll need about 3' of 1/2" drive extensions.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 12:47:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

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Originally Posted by idntknow2005 View Post
I pulled my transmission on jack stands. Its do-able but it fking sucks. It's worse that any of the things you have listed. You'll need about 3' of 1/2" drive extensions.
Like this?



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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 12:55:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

I do it on jack stands all the time (well, I did. Somehow it has already been 2 years since the last). As long as it's high enough for you to get under there with a breaker bar to get it started, it's fine. I found that it was very helpful to change the angle using an engine brace up top.

Definitely want the impact rated extensions though. That piece Dennis just linked to sure looks nice...
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 02:32:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

I wouldnt use that extension. I needed to use a swivel after 2' and then another foot long extension.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 04:27:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

You'll definitely want a friend to help you. I wrote up a DIY many years ago about how to do this - took about a week over the the christmas/ny break:

http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=305341

Lift the car as high as you can and pick up one of those harbor freight transmission jacks.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 05:49:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

You will want the extensions to be impact rated as standard ones will have a huge degree of flex over that distance which will greatly reduce your applied torque.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 05:57:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

Thanks for the advice. There’s a Transmission place that told me it will be 1200 for labor if I buy a used transmission. However, I think this will be a fun project, where I can learn about transmissions. Also I can replace whatever’s needed during the process.

I have a second car so I ca take my time on this project. Found this Tran on eBay. Look good? No warranty though.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F142988753481
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2018, 06:49:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by aznniche View Post
Thanks for the advice. There’s a Transmission place that told me it will be 1200 for labor if I buy a used transmission. However, I think this will be a fun project, where I can learn about transmissions. Also I can replace whatever’s needed during the process.

I have a second car so I ca take my time on this project. Found this Tran on eBay. Look good? No warranty though.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F142988753481
mpartsworldwide. If I'm not mistaken the guys that own/work there are forum members. forum member names: lagunasec and galvezj11
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Discussing Transmission Swap Difficulty (SMG) in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)