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Converting 70' 2002 from automatic to manual


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Good evening fellows,


First off thank you for letting me join this forum! What a great platform!


I'm looking at possibly purchasing a 70' 2002 with an automatic transmission and if purchased I'd like to convert it to a manual transmission.


Here is my most important question. 


If converted would you have to balance the crankshaft with the now new fly wheel for the manual transmission or would you get away without balancing crank and flywheel as an assembly. If indeed you would have to balance them both that would mean the engine has to come apart which I would rather avoid.


Maybe some of you have done this before. All input is much appreciated!!


Perhaps, one should just leave it all alone and enjoy the car as an automatic? What do you guys think?


I'm admitting that I'm very green when it comes to classic BMWs. In the past I have been more of a classic Mercedes nut but about to explore older Bimmers....


Thank you everyone,



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BMW engines are well balanced and you should be OK with adding a flywheel you'll also need to add a pilot bearing to the crank, you'll also need a pedal box for a stick shift.

If everybody in the room is thinking the same thing, then someone is not thinking.


George S Patton 

Planning the Normandy Break out 1944

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If the automatic is functioning properly, at least try driving it as an automatic while accumulating the parts for the transformation.  I drove an automatic (for the first time) several years ago along with a group of stick shift 2002s in the hills of Southern California, and was quite surprised that by manually shifting between 2nd and 3rd I could easily keep up with the stick shift cars.  


And also remember that automatics--especially early ones like a 70--are quite rare, even when new.  And more so now that many have been converted.  



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...but they still suck.  Automatics, that is.


BMW engines are zero balance, so you can change the 

flex plate to a flywheel at will.  It's no 351 Windsor!


I do agree, though, on scrounging parts while driving the auto-

you'll figure out what you like, what you need to fix, and what you want

to change about the car.



drove an automatic to work today.  It was less fun.

"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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Thank you for all the advise fellows!


If I end up buying the car I will follow the suggestions and drive it while gathering all the parts I need to convert.


And  who knows, I might even like the automatic?! My 70' 280sl is an automatic as well and I'm very happy with the way it shifts once everything was properly adjusted!


Stay tuned and thank you everyone!!



Edited by parklandvintage
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