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Old 01-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #1
kuleinc
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Default Auto to Manual Swap?

Hi,
I can get a Ti for $1900 in excellent shape, only problem is it is an auto car. I can also get a manual tranny for near free. Can anyone point me in the direction of a swap how to and parts list? I manage a machanic and autobody shop and have built motors, as long as there aren't too many computer or electrical things that need to be changed and its a clean swap this should be no problem!

If its too big a hassle I will pass on this Ti as I really want a manual.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:34 PM   #2
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Here is one;

http://e36-tech.com/DIY/5speedswap.htm

Here is another;

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=25795

Definitely in the doable realm for a decent DIY'er...
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:24 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat bud im planning on doing the swap asap ha
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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I didn't find it very difficult at all. I'd never pulled a transmission before either.

If you can do it on your shop's lift, that's a huge bonus as I did mine on jackstands in a cold/wet garage in Minnesota. That second link is my swap.

As for electrical, there are only two little things to wire. Very simple. One is "jumpering" two wires together in the park/neutral safety switch to make the car think it's in park or neutral so it will start. The other is to take the two reverse light switch wires in the park/neutral safety switch and extending them to the reverse light switch on the side of the manual transmission.

I have an OBD II car, so I do have the transmission warning light and check engine light on. There are four transmission related CEL codes that come up now since the transmission is gone. I don't have inspections in my state so it doesn't matter. If you do in your state, you will need to do more computer work that requires the big dealer / independant BMW shop computer. That's from what I've read at least from the OBD II people on bimmerforums that have done it. I think OBD I cars don't matter as the transmission computer and CEL system are not integrated like OBD II cars. From what I understand transmission faults will not show up in the CEL/OBD system in OBD I cars. So if you pull the trasnmission fault light bulbs, the inspector would never know anything is "wrong" with the car.

I had a little bad luck with my swap because I got a faulty pressure plate that took me forever to figure out.

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Old 01-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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I would suggest bringing the neutral safety switch leads to the clutch pedal switch. This way, like the later cars, you don't accidentally start the car in gear and look like a jackass at the local car show...

Not a bad idea in general.
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