M-Series (M1, M3, M5, M6)General M-Series Discussion - If it does not fit into a more specific M Category above, please place it in here. In addition, previously archived M-Series discussion is located in this section.
I just bought a 98 estoril blue m3, and immediately took it to my mechanic to get new shifter bushings as I believed that the be the cause of my problem...
It turns out that was not it. The problem is that my shifter will sometimes fall all the way to the right, and stay there, only to "pop" back up into the center after a couple of minutes. The best way to describe this is imagine that there is no resistance to move the sift knob under 5th, and that it lays right under 5th as if its its neutral spot. This requires pulling it to the left to go into gears like 3rd and 4th.
So my mechanic thinks it might be a spring or pin inside the transmission itself that is causing this. Apparently that pin is what holds the shifter in its proper neutral spot, and mine is probably broken, however I won't know for sure unless I take it to a transmission specialist and have them open it up to examine the problem
Worse yet, my mechanic says hes never seen a BMW transmission do this before.
Have any of you ever experienced or heard of such a thing? This is scarring me a lot as I don't want this to progress into more serious transmission issues, I am almost considering selling this car, even though I only bought it 1 month ago. Any help/thoughts appreciated!!
I actually registered on this forum just to give you an answer.
Mine does too. '98 E36 M3. I've had the problem for more than a year now. Incompetent mechanics at the dealer weren't able to fix it under warranty, but it really seems like a benign problem that doesn't affect much.
The specialist I'm doing business with is currently checking to see if he can fix the problem without opening up the transmission. He told me NOT to have the tranny opened, as he's never seen a BMW transmission that had been opened work properly. If the problem isn't fixable from the outside, he recommends doing nothing, as it really isn't a problem that can either get worse or cause other problems.
Things would be different if the shifter had a tendency to stick to the left, as that could potentially cause you to shift into a much lower gear and damage your engine by over-revving it.
My advice is to leave it at that, or try to find someone who can fix the problem without opening the tranny up. Hope this helps!
What year are both of your M3's? 98-99? edit: whoops just realized you both do have 98's. This problem is only for 98/99 M3's.
The problem is VERY common amongst the ZF S5D 320Z transmission. The only way to fix it is to replace it with a new transmission. Be careful in your shifting. I know there were some claims lawsuits trying ot be filed but I don't recall any of them actually following through. I believe some of the tranny's that started to do this were replaced by BMW under warranty, but now i'm sure theres no warranty's left.
Also, the problem will last longer and longer and longer and never fix itself until it turns permanent.
1995 BMW M3 Turbo - Dakar/Black
Last edited by ///M Power; 04-19-2007 at 12:29 PM.
Bimmerforums has been discussing it alot aswell as m3forum for a few years now. I too was wondering why the entire tranny was needed to be changed. Apparently this was jsut the fix from BMW under warranty. They also said the defect was related to that specific model of transmission. My intuition tells me it's just a shifter gate. Not knowing enough about transmissions all I can do is blindly follow the precedent.
The problem of it getting worse is in the sense that it lasts longer and longer over time. I defintely do rememebr reading these posts. that sometimes it eventuaally takes longer and longer before it just stays in the 5th spot.
The major potential problem I see out of this situation is if the shifter rests in two different spots, the driver may inadvertently money shift the vehicle.
edit: I took a QUICK scan of the article as im pretty busy right now but right off the bat i'm unsure of the article. I don't ever recall e36 M3's having Getrag transmissions. I didn't think 328's had them either. It might just be a typo by Bimmer as they got the model correc.
Maybe I am wrong. Anyone know if e36 M3's had Gerag tranny's?
1995 BMW M3 Turbo - Dakar/Black
Last edited by ///M Power; 04-23-2007 at 06:17 PM.
Eric, you know what i think non M cars came with a getrag, and M cars came with ZF, i was looking briefly in the bently book but im not really sure im not at home so i cant check.I just did the whole inspection II service at home and i also remember reading about the issues with the late model M's and i also read that they were being replaced and not fixed. But i thought there was a related issue aside from the oem issue, with those with aftermarket shift knobs that were too heavy , i thought it was bushing related. I know someone out there can repair M3 ZF's, its not rocket science, heck there's only 2 places that i know in the states that repair and replace individual parts from the Getrag 6 speeds from the Supra, and they are reputable dealers that deal with after market support and are sponsors for some toyota teams. And those that had them repaired , (syncros,gears,seals,bushings) never ever had issues. It can be done, just have to find somone whose done it.
I don't see why this ZF is so "special". I bet you someone out there has cracked open the tranny and had it fixed.
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1994 Supra TT 6SPD (Gone)
1994 Supra TT a few goodies
2003 Infiniti FX
You dont need class to go fast, you need balls
To refer back to this old issue I believe I found out that when this first became a problem BMW used to replace the entire transmission. Later (idiots) it was found that it was simply a bushing that allowed the lever to slide further than it should. It shouldn't be as an expensive fix as I first explained.
And as boostinsixtwinturbo also mentioned, i'm pretty sure M3's still only came with ZF tranny's.
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