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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I have just converted my 318is with an M3 3.0L engine. Installed the 5 speed gearbox that came with the engine and it was having synchro issues in the second gear and I had to temporarily use the 318is gearbox. It runs fine with the smaller gearbox but I am feeling that the car feels heavy pulling through gear 3,4 and 5. The gear shift perfectly though.

I know you can't expect the same out of a 318is gearbox that a 5 speed M3 gearbox would do to an M3 engine but would the 318is gearbox make the acceleration abit laboured for the M3 engine? I haven't been able to test the actual engine performance as the M3 gearbox was just no good so I don't have a reference point to compare. I am getting a another gearbox and hopefully it will make the car accelerate better with the M3 gearbox.

What do you think guys? Is the 318is gearbox really making the car feel heavy when accelerating?

Would love to make the car spin the rear wheels.

Alex
 

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the m3 was probably fitted with a close ratio gearbox and the 1.8 probably has a wide ratio gearbox

that is why it would feel sluggish in the higher gears.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. The gearbox mated perfectly to the engine. So no issue there. I am using M3 clutch plate actually.

I am hoping that's the case with the gearing ratio thing. Anyway to confirm this with some spec for both the M3 and 318 gearbox Dave?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This is the info I got off the net search for M3 5 speed gearbox.

All 3.0-liter E36 M3s regardless of engine type have a ZF Type C five-speed manual gearbox with the following ratios: 4.20 (1), 2.49 (2), 1.66 (3), 1.24 (4), 1.00 (5). This is mated to a limited slip differential (25%) with a 3.15:1 final drive.

Model / Platform / Type Transmission / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / reverse / final drive / redline
318is E36 Coupe Manual 4.23 /2.52/1.66/1.22/1.00/ 4.04 3.45 6300

They both look pretty much the same. The 318is is US spec though. Doesn't look so good for me. SIGH!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Its temporary my friend. I am getting another used M3 gearbox to replace the 318is.

And beside that's not the point of this discussion. I am trying to figure out if there is something wrong with the M3 engine as it is. Looking at the gear ratio between the M3 and 318is gearbox, they are very close. But the problem is I am finding that the car doesn't pull as hard as I had hoped from an M3 engine through higher gears. Just wondering if its the gearbox or its my M3 engine that is the 'problem'.

Thanks for your input anyway.
 

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I think because this is very seldomly done, not many people will be able to comment on the performance the the M3 engine with the 318 gearbox. To be fair, I didn't even think they would have fitted.

I think the best thing to do, would to just be replace the gearbox when you can and live with it for now, and if it still feels 'sluggish', we can go from there.
 

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whens the last time the M3 engine oil , filter etc. was changed ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@ Ferret: Fair enough. Thanks for the comments. Will have the gearbox replaced when I get it and see how it goes.

@ w4vy: Oil and filter all changed during conversion which was a month back.
 

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if your running 280 hp through any 3 series gearbox it should be bloody quick, even if the ratios are slightly out the horse power should overcome that!
those ratios will give the 318is good performance in all gears, double the power and it should be fantastic!
sounds like the engine is not making full power or your expecting too much? have you compared it with other cars on the road or does if feel noticably slow?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Steve,

TBH I have not driven an M3 before and this is my first feel of the engine's power. So I don't have a basis for comparison. I am almost embarrassed to say maybe I am expecting too much. Once I get the M3 gearbox will put that in and see if there is a difference. Its just the gear ratios thing that is getting me all worked up. Thanks.

Alex
 

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The box out of a 328i i beleive is exactly the same as an M3 5 speed unit and you´d probably find one a lot cheaper on eBay as people try to command higer prices for M3 boxes in comparrison with a 328i one that can be had for about 80 quid.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yup. You are right. From my research 318is through to 328 gearbox will work on the M3. I may be wrong but I read in another forum someone saying that the 325 and 328 gearbox is the same gearbox as the M3. Anyway, not sure how much a 328 gearbox cost but I got one for 150 pounds sterling so I guess that's fine with me as long as its working properly.

I still have my old M3 gearbox and its got 2nd gear synchro problem. Any idea how much it would cost to fix this? i.e. to replace the parts?
 

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Its a box rebuild and there are specialist tools required so your looking at the wrong side of 500 big ones.
If you read my previuos post i stated that a 328i box is the same as an M3 unit. As steve_nurburgring says the car would be quick regardless so id start I´d have the codes read.
 

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I can't see the ratios making a noticeable difference.
I got my 'box reconditioned while I was swapping engines in my 3.0 (a broken one for a good one!) it cost about 300 for replacing 2nd and 4th synchro's plus a couple of bearings (one of which was about 100 quid alone) I recall being told the most expensive part was the input shaft at about 300 notes. It was about 3 years ago, so inflation......
The 3.0 engine needs to be revved to make the car fly, ie it needs to be kept above 4500 rpm, otherwise it does not feel particularly quick.
 

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I would get the codes read mate, sounds like the engine aint running as well as it could be.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Had the system code read again today. No fault code except ABS codes as per my last check. The ABS light is on on the dash all the time.

Was driving around during lunch time with a friend and saw this 500SL for sale and test drove it cos my friend was in the market for a second daily driver. Had a go in the car and I have to say my M3 accelerate faster than the 500SL. Hmmmm. Maybe its just me asking too much from the M3 engine.
 
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