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I'm thinking about buying a ti. Ask all your questions about the possible purchase of a ti. Keep in mind, we are biased.

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Old 12-27-2017, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on the Auto Tranny?

Hey folks,

I'm still entertaining the idea of picking up a 318ti as my daily but pretty much all the 318's in my area have auto transmissions.

I've read generally negative things about the auto transmission in the E36 series and I'm wondering what you guys think of it. I personally don't mind automatic trannys, assuming it doesn't totally rob the motor of power.

I had a pair of Foresters years ago and the difference between the manual and auto was night and day. Hopefully the 318 isn't like that!
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
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I drove a 4 cylinder Z3 automatic as a loaner back in the day. It was pretty anemic.
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1995 BMW 318ti Club Sport ē 1996 BMW 328ti ē 2003 MINI Cooper S
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:41 PM   #3
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I have both. 5 speeds rule for the 4 cyls. Just ensure the trans mounts and Engine mounts are intact to keep the shifting crisp.

I also have a 540it. No worry about power loss there but I have also driven the 540i 6 speed and it is night and day.

1998 318ti Sport - "Cali" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, Cali top
1998 318ti Sport - "Max" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior, S52
1997 318ti Sport - "Tiny" Schwartz II/Schwartz sport interior
1995 318ti Active - "Blanca" Alpineweib III/Schwartz leather interior

Other Current Bimmers: 2000 2.3L Z3 / 1997 1.9L Z3 / 1991 318ic / 1999 540it

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Old 12-28-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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It's far from great, but you learn to live with it. In my several year search for the perfect ti (still looking), I've learned to look at the whole picture, not just the transmission. A couple years ago I found the most amazing ti, completely flawless inside and out. Not a single blemish. It was even the uncommon color I want. But it was an automatic, so I passed on it. I wish I could go back and buy it, because I've never seen another ti like it since, automatic or manual. The transmission can always be swapped later if you're willing to make the effort.

But if you're able to find a good car already with a manual, that's still the best choice!
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:21 AM   #5
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Depends on your driving style but Iíve driven it in auto and it was bearable. Itís not as fast and enjoyable as a manual but thatís expected. I would at least test drive one before you right it off. Plus a trans swap is pretty straightforward.

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