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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 10-24-2006, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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hard shifting

Hey guys, I have an 86 325 and its recently started to get colder out and i notice that when my engine is cold the transmission is very hard to shift, i have a 5 speed manual. It grinds going into second and is especially hard to shift back into first. But after i warm up the car it shifts fine, any ideas?
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like your trans fluid needs changing or topped off, you first need to ID what type of fluid you need by looking at the color of the tag on the passenger side of the bell houseing.
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Old 10-24-2006, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's perfectly normal. Even new cars tend to do that.

You could try changing the fluid in the tranny and the diff to something that will suit the cold better, but don't expect it to help 100 percent.
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check the bushings as well. I had it with an ole american muscle monster, could be a bind somewhere or low on grease. Just an option anyway...
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Old 10-24-2006, 10:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 10-25-2006, 10:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Redline MTL rules it rules!!!

Redline MTL baby !!!
turned my cold hard shifting into like new shifting!!!

Redlinie is the nectar from the Gods for these trannys
particularly the old syncros!!!

I couldnt friggin believe simly using a good synthetic would make such a huge difference. but it did

I thinkI bought two quarts and used 1.75 or something.
9 bucks a quart $$$ +-

They havea thicker one too but Id try the MTL first.

Two BMW shops here say they make there own mix to go in these trannys.

I just bought Redline fro the race shop and bought a hand oil pump at Autozone and its like night and day.

OK I got lazy and had a shop do the drain and fill. LOL

Good Luck
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've got MTL that I need to put in as well. But E30's are typically hard shifting in the cold until things get warmed up.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Do not put MTL into the gearboxs with the green tag. That trans takes special mobile SHC 630 fluid.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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OK you say dont use it if you have a green tag but what if you dont have any tag? I have a 1992 325IC ?
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Old 10-27-2006, 09:09 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Redline ATF or Redline MTL, for the summer Redline MT90


Redline for the win
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Old 10-28-2006, 09:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Starman

What does yellow paint on the fill bolt mean?

I cant find a tag either but the MTL seems to work great.
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Old 10-29-2006, 12:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
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No tag takes regular ATF, redline is ok, but any name brand dexron/mercon III will do the job better than orginal 100,000+ mile old fluid. The yellow on the fill bolt is just there to signal that the fluid hasn't been messed with, also put there to signal that the plug is tight. 86 was the year the green tag was mostly found on, but I have found 86 transmissions in other year cars.
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Old 10-29-2006, 05:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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So is it better to use ATF or MTL?
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Old 10-29-2006, 02:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ATF, gear lube is a little too thick and in the winter it'll strain your bearings, lowering your transmission life.
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Old 10-29-2006, 06:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey thanks for the INFO!!!!!
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