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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 09-18-2005, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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ZF vs Getrag gearbox

My old Getrag manual tranny dropped a bolt off the linkage, which led to popping out of 3rd gear, then grinding into 3rd and reverse, which finally led to it's unfortunate demise by bleeding to death in my driveway.

I bought a transmission off eBay and it's a ZF unit (installed it today BTW). What's the difference between the two brands? The Getrag one looks larger and weighs more than the new ZF transmission. And the ZF unit has a "notchy" feel to it.

I've heard that the Getrag boxes have sturdier synchros, but it's all from stuff that i've read about the 6cyl models.

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Old 09-18-2005, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If i am not mistaken ZF is a company that remanufactures transmissions and differentials. I could be wrong though.
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Old 09-18-2005, 08:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ZF is more than a remanufacturing company, that much I know... If I recall, that is the company that supplies the 6 spd manual tranny's for Dodge Vipers. www.zf.com for info!
Both companies are top notch in the industry, so either one is excellent, but as for which is "better" I think we could start a multi-page flame war if we started that thread! Everyone is gonna have their own opinion!

Hope that give you SOME guidance.

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Old 09-18-2005, 09:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. I did some research and apparantly, almost all top notch Porsches in the 80's used ZF transmissions. And the synchros in the box are a little better because ZF has a little better R&R.

And, Don Hertzfeldt is the great.

Last edited by Hypnogaja; 09-24-2005 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 09-19-2005, 06:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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DING DING DING DING! We have a winner! What do we have for him Johnny?!
LOL!

There ya go, glad your bimmer is up an running! Can you tell us if there were any minor (or major) issues you had to deal with by converting from one box to the other.

Thanks!

Josh W.
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Old 09-24-2005, 08:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My woes continue...

I have to shift very slowly into 1st with the new transmission because it will grind, and reverse always grinds (just like the old Getrag box).

Could the linkage be shot, or does the used ZF box that I got have a dead/dying 1st gear? :

BTW, I didn't have to mod anything. It was an even swap. I did remove that little bracket that holds the exhaust to the transmission. I got a new cat. and it would have been a pain in the ass to try to modify that little bracket.

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Old 09-29-2005, 01:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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first thing i would check is the linkage...are you running redline tranny fluid? always cures those sticky synchros
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