Install: Automatic to 5speed Swap

Sick of that slush box in your e36? Well one of our members has graciously provided us with an AMAZING DIY on how to ditch that clunky and sad excuse for a transmission and get something a little more fun for your e36. enjoy!

1993 325i

Good idea would be to bag and label or screw on the bolts you remove to keep them from getting lost.

Step 1: Jacking Car, Removing Muffler. Disconnect battery

A. Get the Car Lifted and in the air. I used wheel ramps in the front and reversed them so I can take advantage of the bump so my car won’t roll.And I Left the jack on the Diff just so I can turn the diff to remove the bolts more on this later.

B. Now that the Car is up now it’s time to remove the Exhaust and Catalytic Converter. For Most Cat-backs it’s mainly 2 Bolts by the bumper and the 4 Bolts and nuts for the center pipe where it connects to the Cats. Now put it out of the way you won’t need this for a while.

C. Next oil up them old Rusty Exhaust Manifold bolts and let them marinate for a while since they may be a bit tough to break free without Oil. You should have a total of 6 lug nuts.

D. Onto the removal on the Cats there should be a Center bracket with (4) 13mm bolts. Be Careful it’s a bit heavy. Now remove the Oxygen Sensor not from the cat but from where it’s mounted to the trans. Put this away with the Cat Back you won’t need it until where done putting t in your new Trans.

Step 2: Intake Manifold Removal

A. Remove the 2 plastic covers should be (2) 10mm bolts for the fuel rail and 2 for the coil pack cover. (Again make sure you don’t lose them!)

B. Remove your Air box, MAF and Rubber elbow & hose to Brake booster pull it out from the intake manifold. Now loosen the 4 Bolts for the Throttle body and simply let it hang.

C. Now onto removing the Fuel Rail and Injectors. You should see 1 Clamp in Front of the Engine and one in the back so total of (2) Loosen them. And get a container to soak up the Gas that will spew from the front. Pull on the fuel rail to pop the injectors out from the manifold and move them aside.

D. Now start taking off the rubber to get to the ecu so u can loosen that rubber hose of wire near the engine. Also remove the vent looking thing. You’ll need to do this to get to the last manifold Bolt unless you’re that good to not remove it.

E. Begin loosening the (6) 10mm bolts from the intake manifold and put the bolt in a safe place. Once you’ve got it loose begin to pull it free and be careful to remove the connectors and vacuum hoses I taped mine so they don’t get lost in that spaghetti. Also be sure to squeeze the metal on those connectors and pull them out.

F. Now cover up those intake holes so nothing gets in them.

Step 3: Driveshaft/Transmission Removal Leave it In Park Its ok.

First off Lets move the car around to make sure it won’t Fall give it a push side to side just.

A. Once its Solid You will need an 18mm Wrench and an 18mm Socket with Breaker Bar to remove the 6 nuts & bolts. Try to do 3 at a Time then lift the rear end to spin the driveshaft to get the last 3. Now will the guibo out while you pull on the smaller section of this driveshaft and pull it out. Now would also be a good time to Drain the Trans fluid & saw off those steel tranny fluid lines. And remove the clamps (2) rear of engine and fwd.

NOTE: If you have a Transmission jack great use it if not Used some 4×4s and a flat piece of wood so it don’t come crashing all the way down.

B. Go ahead support the engine (I used a bottle jack with and a 4×4 I also drilled a hole to the jack and 4×4 would not separate) Now disconnect the O2 harness & connector for the reverse lights as well as that round connector. Now remove the Shift selector Cable.

C. Now you will need to remove the (3) 16mm torque Converter Bolts. If you’re facing the engine from the front it will be on the left side. Remove the rubber plug and with a breaker bar and a socket turn the engine over till you see the bolts through the hole.

D. Begin removing the transmission cross member bolts (4) 13mm, and let the Trans down nice and easy. Now remove the 2 bolts where the mounts connect to the Trans and remove the cross member and throw it in your auto Trans crap pile. This will def add up?.

E. You will need a long socket Extension and E –Torx sockets #14, #12, and #10. Now check the engine compartment and you will see the starter locate those 2 bolts that have a nut on the end (2) 16mm.

Also be sure to watch out for a small 10mm type screw that will be on the opposite side of the Trans be sure to remove this (it’s on the passenger side in the middle area of the bell housing).

F. Now with great patience remove the Trans by pulling back and down you may have to jack up and lower the Trans since the bell housing sometimes catches on the firewall.

Step 4: Brake Pedal removal, install Clutch hard-line, Manual Pedal Set.

A. Remove the under Dash to give yourself some room. Disconnect any electrical connectors (you should see 1). Remove the (4) 13mm nuts on the firewall and (1) 13mm Bolt up top holding the pedal in place. One those are out remove the Clip that connects to the brake booster with some needle nose pliers, now remove the old pedal.

B. Remove the brake fluid from the master cylinder ( I used a turkey baser) Now it’s time to get your Clutch hose and feed it through the firewall through the top Hole the bottom hole will be for the master cylinder on the clutch pedal to sit into. Nip off the end of the Master cylinder nipple and connect your hose I also threw on a clamp. Trim some hose if you need to but not too much, I did and connect to the clutch cylinder bearing careful not to break the plastic nipple. And use a clamp.

C. Next Step can get Frustrating but be patient it will be easier than u think. A good idea would be to have someone help guide the Hard-Line in the engine compartment fish it through under the steering column under the brake booster, but be careful not to bend it too much once you got it in the area have someone grab the line from inside the brake pedal area.

Now Snap on the hard line and position the pedals bolt holes onto the brake booster being careful for the plastic nipple and hose and bolt down the pedal set and slide in the small pole into the pedal and brake booster and slide on the clip. Replace the electrical connector and you’re done.

Photo of hard-Line

Step 5: Center Console removal, Reverse lights, Cruise Control Wiring

A. Remove the Auto shifter handle with a small Allen Wrench or equivalent then pop off the PRND321 Cover. Remove the Ashtrays and remove the screws these are holding the armrest in place. Remove the E-brake BOOT and lift the armrest and begin pulling out the plastic (Again Remember to save those screws!)

B. Go ahead and grab this connector which was disconnected from the AT Shifter. Look closely at the back and as shown you will see numbers. #7 brown will need to be snipped and routed to the black/yellow ignition wire

Below is the black /yellow ignition wire leading to Pin 7 on the connector.

Pin 7 Brown leading to blk/yellow ignition wire.

C. Next for the Reverse Lights you will need to snip pins #2 green/white and #3 blue/yellow from the connector. Solder on some 16 or so gauge wire (I used a computer power supply cable and snipped off the end but kept the rubber shield on for protection) Solder on about 2 feet of your PSU cable to #2  wires from connector. Now go back and locate the old reverse connector and snip it off you can re-use this for your new Trans since they both use the same connector.

D. Solder on the Connector to your Wire and bandage it up nicely.

Step 6: Flywheel, pressure plate, Pilot bearing and clutch install

A. Remove you’re old Manual AT Flywheel You will want to bust out your Impact Wrench for this and remove the old crap and toss into AT Junk pile.

Now would be a good time to replace your rear main seal.

B. First things First Get your Pilot Bearing Tool and check the fit of the inner bearing to make sure they fit. Mine was a bit smaller so I used some Electric tape to fatten up the end.

C. Clean out the crankshaft hole and make sure it’s free from debris. You will need to lightly tap the bearing in place and make sure its strait it should go in until it hits a lip about a 1/2 inch or so. So finish off with a Socket that will fit around the outer metal edge of the bearing and a Small extension 24mm worked fine the.

D. Now it’s Time to Prep the Flywheel and pressure plate. I used CRC Brake Kleen to get rid of all the crud since it was used. But if new no problem. Notice the ring on the crank you will see a Notch in back of the flywheel make sure you mark up the hole and get it back in there. I put some masking tape on the clean area so I don’t have to clean it again but I guess you can clean it again under the car it up to you.

NOTE before you put on the Flywheel get that metal gasket and put it on first.

E. Now it’s time for the mounting you will need to get your NEW flywheel Bolts since you’re AT FW Bolts are much too short and they recommend getting new ones. Now if you have the tool they cool all I used was some sheet metal I bent up to keep the flywheel from turning. Torque the bolts in a Star Formation to 77.4 Ft Lbs. I numbered them with a marker so I don’t lose my place.

F. Now grab your Clutch and tool. The Disc only goes in one way Long side to the motor as shown most clutch plates will have it printed on it. Slid it into the pilot bearing it will hang a bit but don’t worry it will straighten up one the pressure plate goes on so do that now. Good idea would be to buy these new. Hand Tighten these down holding the clutch disc as centered as possible. Now torque to 18.5 ft-lbs in a star rotation .

Step: 7 Transmission, Shifter/Linkage installs.

A. Now is a good time to install that round bushing for the shifter. First get one side in and push the other all should snap in. Now a bad idea to setup your shifter as well.

B. Prepare your Trans for install. Below is what you will need:
Flywheel, Pressure Plate , Clutch Disc ,Throw out bearing ,Flywheel bolts ,Flywheel seal ,Pilot bearing ,Throw-out arm pivot (get a metal pivot) & clip, Clutch alignment tool.

Now Put it all together and use your choice of grease some use lithium some use regular bearing. Just make sure it’s a light coat since it could splatter while rotating and contact the clutch disc.

Note: Make sure to order a metal Pivot ball since it will last longer.

C. Now is where you will need to have patience and a good amount of strength. Be sure your tranny is in Neutral. Get you manual Trans under the car. You will need to jack up the front of the engine and tilt it as far back as you can. Now get the trans as close and you can top the pressure plate without it touching and jack it up to the point where it looks aligned to the engine snug it in and move the rear shaft for the trans so u can line it up to the splines on the clutch disc and lift and push its should mate with the engine flat.

Now slug fit the lower bolts and now check the top dowel pin by the starter and make sure that’s in ( I had trouble here) now throw in all those bolts please not you will have to buy a few since At bolts are shorter than MT here is what they looks like.(Refer to Real Oem exploded parts view for Pn’s) Now will be a good time to connect the Stainless steel clutch line. ( note the bend goes toward slave)

D. Now that’s the Trans is in and you got the start bolts you can put your intake manifold back together.

E. Now put on the Trans cross member and bushings. (I put the bushings on first and tightened them up then I mated it to the chassis and Trans). And connect your reverse lights connector you made while you’re at it. And just be sure the cable is out of the way of any parts that will be rotating.

F. Once the Trans is up go ahead and install the shift linkage you will need the selector rod, 1 bearing bolt, 4 plastic washers and the 2 locking clips.

Now put it all together I put a tad amount of grease on the pins too.

Now is a good time to put your interior back together. Well I did since I needed a rest from being under the car so much. Also the under dash will need to modify for the new pedal you just added. I zipped through it with a cutting disc and just cut out the insulation with a razor.

Step: 8 Driveshaft Install, Heat shield, & exhaust

A. Mate up the drive shaft be sure to connect the alignments marks if you have them mine actually had a white dot as well as my AT driveshaft so maybe it’s something they do at the factory. Now grab your new flex disc and bolts it on first. I used an 18mm socket & Breaker bar and 18mm wrench to get these tight.

B. Now its time to install this bad boy. Ok whatever’s easiest for you to install this thing works well. For me I inserted the driveshaft onto the diff then maneuvered it up into the Trans end centering it with that pin. Push up on the center bearing (bearing side up).

Now Place the center bearing nut to hold it in place. Now you’re going to need that 18mm wrench, socket and breaker bar again and you will also need to be able to pin the driveshaft so get those wheels slightly off the ground. Now torque those bolts as well as your diff bolts (4) 16mm I used a bit of red loctite on each nut to be sure these won’t come loose.

Note: Be sure the car is solid before you go under there last thing we need is a crushed melon.

C. Now that the driveshaft is tight go ahead and throw the driveshaft support you removed in the beginning (4) 13mm bolts. Ok now put on that heat shield (6) 10mm screws.

D. Now you’re going to need some more strength, you got to lift the cats up. I used a jack for support. Line up your cats to to the exhaust manifold (you will need to jack it almost to the top).

Now is a good time to connect your O2 Sensor and mount it in place. I used a 13mm bolt from the old Trans and it fit nicely into the cross member.

Be sure you’re the exhaust flange on the manifold is flush and you tighten these up in rotation you don’t want exhaust leaks. Now go ahead and tighten up the (2) 13mm bolts that connect to the rubber hangers.

E. Lastly bolt up your Cat back I used the jack once again for support. Don’t forget to Be sure to put in the donuts that are in-between the cat and your muffler. Go ahead and mate up the cat and muffler and snugly tighten the bolts not too tight or you’re muffle will look crooked on the back end and you will have trouble connecting it to the muffler hangers. Tighten it up and you’re done.

Please be sure when letting the down to use your emergency brake or wheel chocks or both I had a slight mishap when I lowered the front end the car rolled back and crushed my front passenger fender.

Now enjoy your newly converted E36. And drive safe

We wanted to give special thanks to Rudy Bernal aka DEFKON99 for doing an amazing job with the pictures and write up. Please refer to this thread if you have any questions, here.