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Bmw M20 Swap Transmission Advice

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hello all


just picked up my m20b25 from a 89 the other day and went through all the loops to get the e21 5spd.. to eventually get the right bell housing(323 bell) and shortening the drive shaft.


i just stumbled on some forums and blogs rumoring that the getrag 5spd "260" or "265" cant remember which one it comes with but the stock tranny for the e30 is hard to fit in the tranny tunnel but you are able to use the stock e30 drive shaft with no mods and you just kinda gotta beat out the tranny tunnel and cut some stuff off the tranny for it to fit....


i have a chance to take back the tranny i got and exchange it for the stock tranny w/ bellhouseing (so i dont have to look for the 323 bell housing) and i dont have to cut the stock e30 shaft(when i get one from picknpull). Or should i just keep the e21 getrag and continue searching for the missing parts..?


also when i get the stock tranny from the e30 i will get the flywheel and clutch that came with it. one thing i worry about is mounting the newer getrag and placing it.



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It all depends on how much fab work you are willing to do. If you are comfortable welding a whole new transmission tunnel, then by all means go with the 265. It's stronger, cheaper, and more readily available. Be aware though, that I don't think it's a "hard to fit" issue. It's a "does not fit" issue. I don't believe you can get it to fit even with major hammering. Most of the photo's I've seen look like it's at least 1"-2" taller in the tunnel area. That leads to the second problem. Aesthetics. 


I prefer the stock look on the inside, so I stuck with the 323 transmission (245 with 323 bell housing). I'd say if you already sourced yours, keep it. 

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ok maybe your right




  • Getrag 260 from an E30 325i or 325e
  • E30 325i or 325e shift linkage
  • Slave cylinder for Getrag 260
  • 88-91 E30 325i “singlemass” flywheel
  • 88-91 E30 325i Clutch kit
  • Manual transmission driveshaft from 88-91 E30 325i
  • 22” clutch cable with 2 male M10x1.0 fittings
  • 325i or 325e transmission mounts (2)


One super neat thing to note which was recently discovered by a 2002faq member is the E30 325 driveshaft fit perfectly in the ’02. I’ve tested this and I’m using the E30 driveshaft in my two conversions.


I chose the Getrag 260 because it’s widely available, inexpensive, and can handle more power than you should have in an ’02. It is physically larger than the other two transmissions which will work, the dogleg E21 323i transmission and 90-91 E30 318i Getrag 240. The E21 is the easiest transmission to use, but expect to pay $600-1000 if you can find one. The M42 powered 318i transmission will work too, but it sits cocked about 10 degrees so the shifter will be leaning to the side. On top of this, you won’t be able to use the 325 driveshaft which saves a lot of money and time.

The transmission has a few tabs which need to be cut off before installing it. This side bulge is from two sensors used in the 325e, it needs to be trimmed to clear the throttle linkage. These ears are good to cut off just to save some room."




found this and it threw me off... i was just wondering if it was to good to be true?? or what?

i still have to get the flywheel that came with the engine and the clutch that came with the tranny but i also hear it is easier to mount the e21 tranny... I.E. sell a mount made for it i think.. hmmm.

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