thankyoubasedjosh
thankyoubasedjosh New Reader
5/18/20 11:03 p.m.

I thought I would start documenting my "build" here. I picked up an 89 325i sedan for pretty cheap, I am going to keep the auto for the time being until I can source all the parts for a manual swap. The man who sold me the car offered me a parts car e28 with a manual trans, only problem is I have no space for the the car right now. Car is decent on the inside but the outside needs work. 


Right now the auto trans slips in 4th, drove it home keeping it around 40 for an hour and it went well. There seems to be battery drain as well, not sure if I need a new battery, alternator or find the drain. Need interior trim pieces including a sunroof crank. 

Paint is busted, will clay bar soon. 

 

My cluster is not working, the only functioning gauge is the tach. It's an old motometer, I am looking for a replacement since I don't want to pay for a bavrest resto quite yet. Also needs exhaust, won't bother with a picture since it's pretty terrible but at least it doesn't sound too bad. Also looking for motor mount suggestions as well. 

 

For this weekend I plan to swap the auto trans for a newer one, I have never done anything like this before so I hope I can do well, and I hope I can find a windshield as well. If anyone have any tips to put in a new trans please let me know or link threads, I see a ton of stuff for manual swaps but I want to make sure I am not missing anything. 

bgkast (Forum Supporter)
bgkast (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/18/20 11:33 p.m.

If you have to replace the auto box, and have access to a transmission that fits, I would bite the bullet and do the swap. I've done a similar swap in a Mercedes of that era and it's not that much more work. I would do it side by side with the parts car if that is an option.

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
5/19/20 8:37 a.m.

For used parts such as your cluster and 5 speed swap stuff I'd check r3vlimited.com and if the old e30tech site is still up. I use to sell and buy quite a bit of parts there but sadly sold off my stash when I sold my last e30. 

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
5/19/20 8:39 a.m.

And if I remember right, the bmw auto trans was a decent unit for its day but suffers issue with age. Something to due with a seal/o-ring shrinking and giving it issues in park. 

thankyoubasedjosh
thankyoubasedjosh New Reader
5/20/20 3:02 p.m.

In reply to bgkast (Forum Supporter) :

I think the swap is the best option as well but I just don't have the space right now, the auto trans is pretty cheap so I'm not too stressed and It'll give me an opportunity to learn. 

thankyoubasedjosh
thankyoubasedjosh New Reader
5/23/20 11:46 p.m.

No big updates, manual swap should be done by fall, will probably put in trans additive to see if that helps the old auto. Biggest thing is trying to clay bar the trunk after washing. I still suck at this and I am in desperate need of a respray on the entire body but the car was cheap enough for me not to care too much at the time. Will probably upload a checklist of all fixes needed. Also not sure if something is always drawing power, my alternator is bad or I just need a new battery since it needs a jump every time to start and now starting the car is a little rough as well. Will eventually clean up the bay and locate any leaks. 

thankyoubasedjosh
thankyoubasedjosh New Reader
7/14/20 7:23 p.m.

Still nothing huge, slammed with work but I bought another auto trans, oil change, and new front brakes and rotors. Still need to install control arm bushings and the trans. Also had a problem with rough idle but I have been driving it about 1-2 miles a day and it's gone so I hope that's a good sign, I have to rewire the electric fan installed by the previous owner since it has never kicked on and I can't figure it out so any advice would be great. 

 

I found a guy local looking for an auto swap ( I didn't ask why, says he hates traffic) in exchange for his manual, I am very tempted to try to swap them out over the weekend but I am doubting myself and swapping out a trans into another car. Should I do it anyways? 

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