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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 Mon, Dec-03-2018, 01:01:22 AM   #1
BMW>Everything
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Default Cheapest Trans Swap

My manual trans syncrhos have gone bad, and I have to replace the trans.

What would be the cheapest route? Can I buy a SMG trans, and just swap over using my current manual bellhousing or is there a cheaper route?
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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 01:46:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

With a Smg you will have to change a few things on top of the transmission. Thereís access plates for it. I donít remember the exact parts just search smg to 6 speed conversion. The pieces are different in a smg like I think the reverse but itís all pretty easily obtainable and not difficult from what I have read. Good luck


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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 02:17:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

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Originally Posted by rbmwiv View Post
With a Smg you will have to change a few things on top of the transmission. Thereís access plates for it. I donít remember the exact parts just search smg to 6 speed conversion. The pieces are different in a smg like I think the reverse but itís all pretty easily obtainable and not difficult from what I have read. Good luck


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My car is already manual, I just want another trans for cheap, and the smg are cheaper than manual. So can i just swap the bell housings?
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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 02:19:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

If you get a smg trans thereís more to it then the bell housing. The parts inside the trans at the shifter. Thatís why I said check smg to 6 speed conversion so you know what needs to be changed.


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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 02:21:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

Something to do with the detent springs I think. They are not identical until you change the stuff under the plates


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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 02:22:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

And you will want new stuff not the parts from your old one bc the springs break etc and they are available and not expensive


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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 03:36:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

The transmission themselves are identical, the only difference is the bell housing and the gear position sensor, I did this exact thing, my six speed synchros went out, my theory was that an SMG would be in better shape since it wasn't shifted by a human, it also helped that they were an average 500 dollars cheaper that a six speed, I swapped the bell housing and tapped the gear position sensor, the parts with the sensor must be switched over with the sensor from your six speed, the ones in the SMG trans under the plug are a different length, all of these details can be gained in the swap threads.
All the SMG doodads for the shifting are external and easily stripped off. This has worked out perfectly for me, still shifts perfect and 20K miles on the swapped transmission.
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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 12:49:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

Why dont you just replace your syncros?
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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 12:52:01 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

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Originally Posted by ClevoCapri View Post
Why dont you just replace your syncros?
Find a source.
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Old Mon, Dec-03-2018, 12:56:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cheapest Trans Swap

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-3...46-m3/?pdk=AQE

i know sourcing parts has traditionally been an issue for this gearbox, but SOMEBODY out there is providing parts if this is on the market.
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Discussing Cheapest Trans Swap 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)