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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 05:30 AM
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Hi

Am new to the forum, so firstly.. good day to you all and hope to be spending some more time here.

I've got an E36 325i Automatic (1993 model). The auto gearbox is giving me some problems but i haven't got a clue what could be causing the problem.

It is only noticeable in 5th gear. When the gearbox engages 5th, the revs drop from 4th gear to 5th gear. Under light throttle (i.e. not accelerating to increase speed), just after the gear change, the revs hold at one level, BUT THEN IT DROPS almost 300-500 revs.

To summarise, the box changes from 4th into 5th, and revs drop accordingly. Revs hold for 1-3 seconds at that level but then revs drop further 300-500 rpm after that.

Once this happens, the car feels very sluggish (almost like something slipping). After the revs have dropped as described, if i give the car full throttle it doesn't accelerate as it should. In fact, on some uphills the car just refuses to pick up speed and i have to pull it down into 4th first, then when it changes back into 5th it will maintain the acceleration until i ease off the throttle and then the revs drop again.

Car has 160,000kms 0r 100,000 miles. Had it since brand new. The gearbox oil did run low once around 80,000kms / 45,000 Miles. The problem started around 120,000kms or 75,000 miles.

Gutted.

Really have no clue what could be causing this.

Have changed the diff once already with no success.

Anybody have any ideas???

RAS
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 03:23 PM
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This type of auto-box has a lock-up clutch in the torque converter this will engage in 5th at light throttle but should cut out at full throttle get the throttle/kick down setting checked.
Generally very good and reliable box
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-17-2005, 11:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RASonline@May 17 2005, 04:30 AM
Hi

Am new to the forum, so firstly.. good day to you all and hope to be spending some more time here.

I've got an E36 325i Automatic (1993 model). The auto gearbox is giving me some problems but i haven't got a clue what could be causing the problem.

It is only noticeable in 5th gear. When the gearbox engages 5th, the revs drop from 4th gear to 5th gear. Under light throttle (i.e. not accelerating to increase speed), just after the gear change, the revs hold at one level, BUT THEN IT DROPS almost 300-500 revs.

To summarise, the box changes from 4th into 5th, and revs drop accordingly. Revs hold for 1-3 seconds at that level but then revs drop further 300-500 rpm after that.

Once this happens, the car feels very sluggish (almost like something slipping). After the revs have dropped as described, if i give the car full throttle it doesn't accelerate as it should. In fact, on some uphills the car just refuses to pick up speed and i have to pull it down into 4th first, then when it changes back into 5th it will maintain the acceleration until i ease off the throttle and then the revs drop again.

Car has 160,000kms 0r 100,000 miles. Had it since brand new. The gearbox oil did run low once around 80,000kms / 45,000 Miles. The problem started around 120,000kms or 75,000 miles.

Gutted.

Really have no clue what could be causing this.

Have changed the diff once already with no success.

Anybody have any ideas???

RAS
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Is there a difference when you put the sports on in the gearbox?
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#4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2005, 10:37 AM
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It sounds like your higher gear clutch may be going - but the deciding factor - when you give more gas after the revs drop and you say it doesn't seem to have power, do the revs jump real high but you just don't seem to go? If that's the case, it's the higher clutch. It needs to be replaced before you trash the tranny. If you're not experience funky revs, then maybe 02 sensors?


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1998 BMW e36 M3 Sedan
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Is there a difference when you put the sports on in the gearbox?
When i put it in sports, the car stays kicks back into 4th gear and never changes up into 5th.

What i did notice throughout all the gears though (1-5), is when i drive in economy mode, the gearchanges are way too early. If i pull away from a standstill, with about 70% throttle the car will accelerate ok from pull off but it will change gears around 3,500rpm (maybe less).

When i switch to sports mode, then the car revs through a decent rev range. So i constantly drive the car in SPORT mode now, but only switch back to ECONOMY mode if i'm in peak hour traffic, or if i need the cruising 5th gear.

Quote:
when you give more gas after the revs drop and you say it doesn't seem to have power, do the revs jump real high but you just don't seem to go?
Exactly! when i give more throttle after the revs drop, the revs sometimes pick up a little bit (maybe about 200-300 rpm) but the car feels like it is going nowhere.

Yesterday, i tried pushing the gearshift down to "2" and pulling away from a standstill. The car tried to engage first but it refused to engage properly. Something was slipping big time and the car would only move forward at a walking pace. The revs climbed up to about 2,500 rpm but wouldn't go further.

What do you guys reckon? Time for a new gearbox? Or is can this be repaired?

RAS.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-19-2005, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RASonline@May 19 2005, 04:17 AM
When i put it in sports, the car stays kicks back into 4th gear and never changes up into 5th.*
What i did notice throughout all the gears though (1-5), is when i drive in economy mode, the gearchanges are way too early.* If i pull away from a standstill, with about 70% throttle the car will accelerate ok from pull off but it will change gears around 3,500rpm (maybe less).*
What you described was normal sports mode (it won't engage in 5th in sports mode on the older gearboxes, I think).

HOWEVER
That's a wearing clutch (I think)! Stop driving the car! No, seriously. That's the exact problem my 318i had before I found out I had a radiator leak and was driving without tranny fluid. Burnt my tranny, had to drop $2500 (I have my connections, should be $3500) to get a new one installed.
Check your trans fluid to make sure they're at acceptable levels. The auto gearbox has two clutches; one for lower gears and one for higher gears. Usually the lower one goes first as it's constantly shifting from neutral to first, and to second and back.
The only difference (this might be critical) is that your car isn't revving like mine was (Mine would shoot to 5000-6000 revs before giving up trying to shift or redlining and I gave up trying to make it shift). I'd get your tranny looked at. Unfortunately, I don't think they do bmw auto trans in pieces; you might need to get it replaced in it's entirety - I'm not sure about that, but hopefully that's not the case as it could get EXPENSIVE. While you're at it, make sure your trans radiator doesn't have holes in it - a common problem in e36s.


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1998 BMW e36 M3 Sedan
2003 MINI Cooper
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