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Re: Manual gearbox swap (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ 5-series (E28) Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Rob Levinson on May 29, 1999 at 20:06:49:

In Reply to: Manual gearbox swap posted by moots on May 29, 1999 at 08:19:12:

: I drive an '84 520i,yes its powered by a 2 litre engine with fuel injection.I guess mine is not a model normally discussed about in these postings but that's the fact.
: My 5 speed gearbox is shot.A lot of whining and difficult to engage 2nd gear from the 1st.
: I am wondering if anyone has any experience 'bout e34 manual box swap with e28 and weather it fits and if modification to the mountings are required.
: If Guru Rob Levinson could help me out here.
: Tks.
: d.

"Guru in Denim" - that's a great name for a book I should write, isn't it?

Here's the best I can tell ya:

We don't have the 520i in the US, so I've never seen one in person. I know what shifter but I don't know exactly what gearbox you have.

My first thought is: "Why an E34 gearbox?" Any E34 gearbox that would fit would be the same as available from an E28 (some BMW and Getrag parts change surprisingly little through the years).

Many BMW gearboxes are interchangeable; the Getrag 260 and 265 have been used in various E28s with the same "M30" engine, your 520i "baby six" is powered by the "M20" engine which is the same family as the Euro 525e and US 528e, so you've got interchangeability there.

To ensure compatibility (re: crank sensors, etc.) then I would stick with a similar-vintage gearbox... I don;t think you have anything to gain (except higher cost) by going with a box specifically from an E34.

However, I've never swapped a transmission from a different series. You should consult a local professional parts supplier or mechanic who will do your swap (if you're not doing it) and coordinate with what parts are available.

- Rob

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