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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, Jul-12-2018, 06:44:39 PM   #1
Bmwpower603
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Default 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

The m3 I just purchased definitely needs shifter bushings due to the slop in the shifter knob. I was on the highway yesterday and almost shifted from 4th back into 3rd gear because the gears are so hard idenifty. I eventually found 5th gear, but wasn’t easy.

Will shifter bushings help?

Or am I going to need 5th gear detents for this ?

Last edited by Bmwpower603; Thu, Jul-12-2018 at 09:50:24 PM.
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Old Thu, Jul-12-2018, 10:05:59 PM   #2
Bimmerman325i
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

Realistically, yes, all E36s with any ZF 5 speed need the detent and bushing work at some point.

I'd replace the shifter bushings first since it's orders of magnitude easier. If you still have troubles, then you're going to need to do the fun detent stuff.
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Old Fri, Jul-13-2018, 05:06:05 AM   #3
Bmwpower603
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman325i View Post
Realistically, yes, all E36s with any ZF 5 speed need the detent and bushing work at some point.

I'd replace the shifter bushings first since it's orders of magnitude easier. If you still have troubles, then you're going to need to do the fun detent stuff.
Thank you for the reply. (And a polite one at that)

I know it痴 a bit of a noob question. But my previous e36 had 117k and had a slight 5th gear lean. But it was easy to determine gear selection.. and this one I purchased has less miles at 94k, and gear selection is terrible.

-1 for liking old car
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Old Fri, Jul-13-2018, 08:30:08 PM   #4
abcurran
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

If it were me, I'd drop the gear box and do the detent pins, linkage, clutch, flywheel, rear main/input/output/selector rod seals, guibo, and center support bearing all in the same go.

Big job, but you only want to have drop the transmission once.
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Old Fri, Jul-13-2018, 09:33:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

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Originally Posted by abcurran View Post
If it were me, I'd drop the gear box and do the detent pins, linkage, clutch, flywheel, rear main/input/output/selector rod seals, guibo, and center support bearing all in the same go.

Big job, but you only want to have drop the transmission once.
agreed 100% do it right once. If you just do the shifter bushings you'll be kicking yourself when it doesn't fix it and you have to get back under to pull it all apart again.
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 03:05:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

This sounds like a nightmare.

Might was well remove the intake manifold, and do the starter as well when I知 in there.. Since I知 pretty sure the starter bolts need to come off to remove the Tran?
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 03:16:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

Yes, the starter is unbolted. It’s a bit more than doing the clutch. You also need special tools to do the detents, or at least the tools make it easier to install the sleeves. If 603 refers to NH, I am in NH and have the drift tools.
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 03:24:29 AM   #8
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

Yes I知 in Londonderry NH

I need to look at the Tran bolts , and see what I知 up against. As well as sourcing, clutch flywheel, OEM starter, and all other parts needed.

(Since I知 sure they have surface rust, and won稚 be easy to remove)

Maybe hit hem with pb and let them sit for a week.
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 11:35:35 PM   #9
j0rdan J
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

I screwed up the detent job on my 98 M3 and ended up sourcing a sub 100k mileage ZF310 gearbox from a 95 M3. From what I have seen, heard and experienced, the 310 doesn't seem to suffer from the dreaded fifth gear lean. But the majority of the cars came with Zf320 box which tends to develop the 5th gear lean.

Changing the bushings and fluid will help finding gears, but it's still annoying when the gearbox is cold. When it warmed up the issue would totally go away. I had this issue with a 2003 530i/5 years ago (same trans as the E36 M3).

Last edited by j0rdan J; Mon, Jul-16-2018 at 02:53:50 AM.
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Old Sun, Jul-15-2018, 04:21:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter

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Originally Posted by j0rdan J View Post
I screwed up the detent job on my 98 M3 and ended up sourcing a sub 100k mileage ZF310 gearbox from a 95 M3. From what I have seen, heard and experienced, the 310 doesn't seem to suffer from the dreaded fifth gear lean. But the majority of the cars came with Zf320 box which tends to develop the 5th gear lean.

Changing the bushings and fluid will help finding gears, but it's still annoying when the gearbox is cold. When it warmed up the issue was totally go away. I had this issue with a 2003 530i/5 years ago (same trans as the E36 M3).
No, the ZF310 does still suffer from it-- mine did, and the detent and shift pin fix for the ZF320 fixed mine. The issue may be more infrequent but it still can occur on the 310s.

OP-- the shifter bushings can be replaced without dropping the transmission. Unless it's a PITA to jack up the car, I'd rather do that twice than transmission R&R unnecessarily.
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Discussing 5th gear lean/ slop in shifter in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)