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      09-05-2019, 12:13 AM   #1
///Mcoupe
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Angry M coupe with e46 M3 transmission swap.

Hello everyone,

I have owned my M coupe for about 3 years now , put about 35,000km of summer-only driving. I simply can't get enough of this car. Having previously owned z3M,e46 M3 and an e39 M5...the Z4 M is definitely the most challenging M to drive .

The infamous 1st-2nd gear shift grind .Those who drive their ZM hard know exactly what im talking about , the issue was apparent on New cars, so its not a matter of the 'box condition.It comes with a flaw that I still can't believe the M division accepted during R&D.

Ive read many posts about engine and tranny mounts that could help a little but ultimately there is no fix. Some say to pull the lever to the left while pulling down, some say to wait half second to let the revs drop a bit before shifting ..kills all the fun and im not driving a Jeep Wrangler..its an M !

All the other M cars I owned never had this issue..actually all the BMWs i have owned( e28,e30,e36,e46,e39) never had this dumb problem.

So the simply solution is either to swap in 5 speed ZF but I loose the 6th gear which i appreciate on road trips or find a way to swap in an e46 M3 6 Speed tranny. BMW says it doesnt fit ..im willing to hammer my tunnel so I can enjoy a proper rip in that machine.

I hate this issue so much that i always feel like im driving a "broken" car , like i have tip toe around the 1-2 gear shift to avoid a grind and damage the tranny .

I have searched everywhere, can't find anything about such swap...Anyone has a clue or know someone or company who has done it?

Here some pics of my Z after a detail and Ceramic coating





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      09-05-2019, 09:59 AM   #2
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Before you do anything else, have you tried a different transmission fluid? I have great success, as do many others, with RP Synchromax. It doesn't totally eliminate the grind, but mine had disappeared 90% - 95% of the time now. It's such an improvement that I won't use anything else now.
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      09-05-2019, 01:51 PM   #3
Michael9218
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Agreed. Also worth a try is Redline Shockproof lightweight gear oil. Fixed a grind I had in my ZF 5 speed in my E36 M3.
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      09-09-2019, 06:05 AM   #4
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I was one of the lucky ones, in that mine didn't stick or grind into 1st/2nd...until 140,000 miles when I had a new clutch & flywheel fitted.

Sometimes it goes in fine, other times it takes 2 or 3 attempts.

Took it back to the indy who did the clutch & flywheel and they said 'they all do that sir'. But mine didn't, and they wouldn't believe me. All they could offer was to take the box out again and try to realign everything...at my cost.
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      09-09-2019, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmm-five View Post
when I had a new clutch & flywheel fitted.
all parts stock?
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      09-10-2019, 10:17 AM   #6
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Not that I expect the OP to do this but after adding Turner solid Motor and Trans mounts along with a Bimmerworld Solid Mount shifter, the problem went away for me.
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      09-10-2019, 01:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azeka1 View Post
Not that I expect the OP to do this but after adding Turner solid Motor and Trans mounts along with a Bimmerworld Solid Mount shifter, the problem went away for me.
I replaced my mounts with Turner poly (engine) and UUC red (tranny) hopping to improve it. But no luck at all
I like how the car feels now overall though

Next step is replacing slave / master.

Then the autosolution's SSK.
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      09-10-2019, 02:10 PM   #8
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I feel your pain brother, I have the same problem as well, even after installing Vibra-Technics engine mounts and Rogue engineering transmission mounts. Luckily I have no problem shifting into 2nd gear at wide open throttle, it usually occurs at lower rpms, under 3k rpms.

I read on here to pull the shift lever to the left while shifting down into 2nd, and that DOES work, but I fergot sometimes as this is not my only car. My next try is to swap tranny fluid, and I'll be trying the GM Syncromesh fluid.
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      09-10-2019, 02:13 PM   #9
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Autosolutions SSK helped a lot and made the other gears feel like they were getting sucked into place. Amazing!
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      09-10-2019, 02:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbosock View Post
Autosolutions SSK helped a lot and made the other gears feel like they were getting sucked into place. Amazing!

Where you purchase this from? I went to their website but don't see one offered for the z4M. Are you using a kit from another chassis? Like E46?
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      09-10-2019, 05:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vt100 View Post
all parts stock?
Yes. Didn't see the need for anything uprated.
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      09-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1stw0rldpr0blems View Post
Where you purchase this from? I went to their website but don't see one offered for the z4M. Are you using a kit from another chassis? Like E46?
He only makes them in batches. I believe he is currently making some. See this thread.

https://www.zpost.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1639968
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      09-21-2019, 09:41 PM   #13
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Since OP already has trans/engine mounts, I suggest changing to fluid to RP synchromax. Also the ZHP shift knob helped with gear changing feel. I'm on my 2nd m roadster and the 1-2 shift is just the same, it's how these cars are. Trans fluid helped a lot. Many e46 M3 M3 owners put redline ATF in there and said it helps even more than RP, but unless you're flat foot shifting 1-2 like I do just wait a second before hitting 2nd gear and don't worry about it, most of the fun is in 2nd gear with our cars
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      10-03-2019, 01:03 AM   #14
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I read some time ago that the reason that the M3 transmission wasn't used in the Z4M was packaging - it was simply too big. So the standard Z4 non-M tranny was employed. Can the bigger gearbox be retrofitted? I dunno, maybe? But that implies that there would be some fitting involved.

As for the infamous 1-2 grind and/or balkiness, the solution has always been to not rush the 1-2 shift, then all is well. Not an ideal solution of course.
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      10-26-2019, 06:40 AM   #15
///Mcoupe
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I guess no one has done it yet . I have a serious hate towards this issue haha . Since my clutch is due soon , I will take measurements next my car is up on the lift and see if the M3 box fits .
I hope bmw lied about the fitment excuse as they probably didn’t want to produce more m3 boxs just for the Z4m production or it actually does not fit . I will report back .
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      10-26-2019, 12:59 PM   #16
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I've adjusted my shifting such that I haven't had the 1st to 2nd grind in the last 5 years or so. Guess it just takes some getting used to but I do agree small mods/maintenance makes a big difference. At min, trans flush + mounts + cups will help smooth things out. On my previous car, I had the AS kit + Mason pedal + OE weighted (taller) knob and it felt perfect.
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      10-30-2019, 09:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vt100 View Post
all parts stock?
Yes, everything stock BMW parts.

They said they could try to ‘realign’ it as that has helped other customers, but that all the labour would be at my cost, so I decided to live with it, and as I’m not in 1st/2nd gear a lot of the time I thought I’d leave it.
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      10-30-2019, 09:32 AM   #18
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Has nobody mentioned trying out a CDV (clutch delay valve) delete kit? Fairly common modification on BMW cars especially the Z4M to smooth shifting.

My car came with a UUC short shifter kit installed as well that I used for roughly 1.5 years - definitely made shifting on the track easier but more bolt action like on the street. It ended up breaking (small connector) piece and I swapped by to stock with a ZHP knob. Hard to beat unless you are going full track spec in my opinion.
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      10-30-2019, 10:47 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mcoupe View Post
I hope bmw lied about the fitment excuse as they probably didn’t want to produce more m3 boxs just for the Z4m production or it actually does not fit . I will report back .
hope they lied as well. this is also what they said about the z3m coupes/roadsters as well-the s54 models.

they came with a 5-speed and was told that the 6mt from the e46 did not fit. there are quite a few swaps out there for the z3m's running a 6 speed out of a e46 m3 now.
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      10-30-2019, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Zed View Post
Has nobody mentioned trying out a CDV (clutch delay valve) delete kit? Fairly common modification on BMW cars especially the Z4M to smooth shifting.
I feel zero difference in 1st-2nd-3rd shifts with CDV deleted and stock shifter during normal street driving. During aggressive shifting - yes there is noticeable improvement.

PS: waiting for my autosolution SSK to come
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