Transmission Rebuild/replacement? - BMW Forum -

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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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-31-2005, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all.

I have an 87 325 that just turned 180K. I can hear the needle bearings heading south in the manual transmission (when I am on a creeper under the car with the engine running and in gear), so I suspect that a rebuild or replacement is in the not-too-distant future. Has anyone done a replacement or rebuild? If so, what did it run you? Is replacing a manual transmission, provided I can find a rebuild, an in-the-driveway, flat-back matter; or should I just take it into the shop?

I also get a pretty gnarly rumbling/vibration under acceleration; the more vigorous the acceleration, the more intense the vibration. I suspect a drive shaft joint issue, but cannot tell. Any clues?

And finally, I recently relocated to Burlington, VT. There are loads and loads of E21 and E30 around here, but I have yet to be able to pin down one of the drivers and ask where they go for service. So, any of you in the Northen Vermont area? And if so, got a reliable shop that you like to go to?

Thank you for any info you can provide.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-01-2005, 01:25 PM
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Hi Slide!
Well, I am not exactly a fan of digging into transmissions (it is about the only thing that I would have professionally worked on) but replacing a tranny in our rear wheel drive cars should be fairly easy!
I have not done so to my Bimmer mind you, so take this advice with a grain of salt, but having collected RX7's for a few years, I did a LOT of transmisison swapping. Replacing a manual tranny will be fairly simple. You will have bolts on the bell housing of the tranny that bolt into the engine block. There will be a crossmember that supports the mid/tail section of the transmission, and then the driveshaft. Actually, the only REAL challenge might be the bolt location of a couple of the bell housing bolts... well, that... and getting the car high enough on your driveway to take the transmission out and supporting it as you remove the last couple bolts.

If you have a tranny jack (or a spare floor jack with a secured wood block or similar, to support the length of the transmission) it can be done single handedly in the driveway, but I would recommend having your most highly skilled mechanically minded friend there just in case, if for nothing else, at least to help jack the tranny down and such. and some fairly tall Jack Stands would be handy as well.

If you have some good tools, and are moderatly mechanically skilled, this can be done in well under 3 hours. I used to swap out transmissions in my RX7's in under 2 hours, but they were EXCEEDINGLY SIMPLE to work on!

Hope this at least gives you the information to decide weather to do it yourself, or have it done professionaly!

Josh W.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-04-2005, 05:12 AM
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I agree to replace the box is easy the biggest challenge normally getting the exhaust off which you need to do (remove the full exhaust) then heat shields, prop shaft from the box and centre mount leave it on the axle. Drop the back of the box and remove the complete mount then the gear linkages unbolt the clutch slave cylinder from the box but leave it on its pipe so you donít have to bleed it. All the bell housing bolts are easy to see except for one 10mm from the engine side under the exhaust manifold.
When it comes to re-building a manual box then you really need to know what youíre doing and special tools.
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