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Ian9

Should i convert to manual

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I've got another post about trying to find an auto box for an old 530d and can't, somebody i know said yesterday just convert it to manual, i said that's the reason i got it as i wanted an auto diesel est. But also don't want to scrap it  if i can help it as in it's in bloody good nick otherwise. 

 

Should i convert

 

Would it drive ok

Edited by Ian9

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@Tims - can you help source a replacement auto box?

 

As I said over on PH @Ian9 - if it’s in such good nick, don’t scrap it, keep searching & get it fettled. But do give the guys at Auto Transmissions a call, here in Preston and see what their thoughts are 

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Thanks I'll phone them but can't get it there easy unless it's lifted and if doing that be aswell getting it to cal trans in Glasgow if getting it rebuilt. Obviously converting's the cheapest.

Edited by Ian9

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Depends what you want out of the car

 

Easy driving a to b; a waft-bus etc... Its got to be an auto

 

If you want a car that’s but of a hoon and a more focussed car, maybe; then a pudding stick, sorry, manual :lol: 

 

For me, a big touring like this is best off being an auto, but that’s personal preference 

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2 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

I've tried, I really have but couldn't bring myself to go auto on a keeper unless a proper luxo barge. 

 

I hear exactly what your saying. I've considered a manual conversion on my E34 540iA/T but the ££££ needed to convert it would be better spent elsewhere on the car I think...... I feel as if it has that luxo barge feel and appeal to it and as such in no hurry to convert it to a 6 speed. I never thought I could put up with an auto but the 540i feels so relaxed and refined with the 5hp30 box that it doesn't really surprise me that 90% of them came out of the factory with Automatic transmission...

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For me, not so long ago it would be manual all day long. However with the years going by I'm drawing more and more towards fully automatic transmission for a daily runner.

 

I was seriously keen on that manual e60 545 touring that was on here a few weeks back, but for the first time the diy gear option whilst still appealing kinda did not feel the correct choice at that time for that particular motor. I've still got two other manual keeper BMW's, so a third one to my mind again whilst desirable was not really necessary for my needs.

 

In regards to the OP's original question, if the car is in good overall condition and the intention is to keep it, I would just have the gearbox rebuilt or obtain a rebuilt replacement. I would expect a full manual conversion to work out to at least 2/3rds or more of the cost of a decent auto box rebuild. I don't think there would be that much in it unless your doing the work yourself.

 

Good luck with it either way going forward.

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I had exactly this quandary earlier this year; spent a small fortune getting the bodywork sorted then the auto box shat itself (an interesting experience when it started letting go in the outside lane of the M40 on a Friday evening).

It's down to what you want ultimately. I can't say manual is better for you than auto. I can say what I found.

Auto replacement was 1.5k for a recon box from a reputable expert, sans labour, seemed to be the going rate. The box would have been solid for years, given regular servicing. If the car was a daily, and I had to spend a lot of time in traffic - Auto all the way. However, I prefer manual for the sort driving I do. 

Standard 5 speed manual conversion costs roughly 1k total for parts, less if you can find a good donor. If you are handy with a spanner it is not such a hard job, ~2 days assuming you have all the parts and space to work.

I went 6 speed, because of the extra torque rating and I like a challenge. This was about 1.5k for parts, and a few days of faff to figure out exactly what was needed (lots of misinformation online...). If you are not winding up performance, 5 speed is a whole lot easier.

I've tried to document everything here: http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/topic/131077-restart-e39-530d-sport-touring/

If you do decide to go manual, I am happy to give you some advice.  Either way, good luck 

Edited by sinner

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Bollocks to replacing the transmission manual or automatic.

Why not sell it, and buy a manual e39, that was manufactured  that way, rather than doing  a conversion. E39's are still plentiful, and cheap, so you should be able to get a bloody good one for not much money, especially  if you are prepared to wait for the right one to turn up.

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Hi,

 

Differing opinions for sure and pro's and con's for either route.

 

My car was at 150K miles when I purchased it in 2006 and at 172K miles about a year later, the gearbox gave up. Did all the research at the time and found that 'generally', the Auto boxes would have a life of around 150K miles so I got a little extra usage time ! £1500 later, I had a reconditioned unit and it lasted perhaps 100K miles before giving up again in 2015, so around 7'ish years. In it went again to the same specialist who did the work previously and another £1500 or so, and then almost a years worth of grief with the unit failing with a few miles and going back perhaps 9 times to be looked at. Eventually went the route of trying to claim back via credit card company, but they asked for an independent report to see if proof of bad workmanship was the cause. That would've been another £600+ for another specialist to remove, inspect and replace the gearbox and no guarantee of finding anything. So a nice 5 spd manual conversion kit was found (thanks Jimmy!) and swapped in. Time was a factor and if I'd been able to, I'd have most likely have found the later E46 330d manual 6spd engine and box and swapped it in. PArt of the reason for that is the later E46 330d engines were rated at 204 HP out of the factory and respond better to a stage 1 conversion giving around 290HP (can't remember the Torque figure). The 5Spd is still fine though for me overall and as I do wish to keep the car as long as possible, I didn't fancy having to keep the autobox going,

 

Vanhool - finding a good condition and spec manual E39 is difficult even when the cars were much newer and more chances of finding a clean one. Now that a lot of E39's are unloved, the clean manuals are even rarer and thus, much harder to find. 

 

Lots of owners do mention a 6 spd conversion, but like above, hardly any 6 spd boxes around for sale and there's quite a lot of work involved given reading the 6spd conversion thread in a build thread in the projects section,. That all means more and extra expense as well especially if its beyond the skills of the owner (like myself! I don't know what a screwdriver is!) I'll take a look at Sinner's link, maybe things are more widely known and thus a bit cheaper nowadays for a 6spd conversion?

 

I'm more than happy with the change and with a few more tweaks to the engine/map etc, should be even better overall for me and my use requirements. I'll be taking off my E46 SMG CSL steering wheel soon as it's no longer needed!

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Fair and valid points Dennis, as always, I will say however, that there are currently 7 manual e39's for sale on Ebay, discounting the M5's, I'm not alluding to their condition though, but probably a few more for sale on other online for sale sites.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

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5 hours ago, DennisCooper said:

 ...I'll be taking off my E46 SMG CSL steering wheel soon as it's no longer needed!

 

Cheers, Dennis!

 

Let me know when you've taken it off mate, I'd be very interested in that. ;):)

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