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Old 03-14-2018, 10:54 AM   #1
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BMW Transmissions on SR20's

Been doing some research lately as to what gearbox I want to run once I finish my P12 head swap/full build on my sr. My goal is 500-700hp (still in early planning stages, running turbo numbers/figuring out what I really want from this) which has got me thinking about what to replace my sr 5 speed with. Obviously there are plenty of options. Lets run through them quickly.

Z32 TT gearbox- 5spd, requires adapter plate, can use sr clutch/flywheel, similar gear ratios to sr box, weight ~140lbs

Z33 gearbox (cd009)-6spd, requires adapter plate/custom bellhousing, can use sr clutch/flywheel, shorter gears, weight ~115lbs

*I didnt include s15 6 speeds or rb25 boxes in this comparison because theyre hard to find in the states and most likely couldnt hold this much power/torque. Obviously they are still options in the real world, but didnt make sense here.
*Needless to say any option is going to require a custom driveshaft and a custom transmission xmember.
*Im not including any comparison/info on speedo correction because I dont know much about it, and its been covered many times before.

Now heres the kicker, doing this research I discovered a couple shops (overseas) that make adapter kits for BMW transmissions. Both 5 and 6 speed zf/getrag boxes are known for holding very high power/torque, theyre pretty plentiful in the states, shift very nicely and quickly, and weigh fairly little. Ill compare the getrag 420g (E46 M3 gearbox) here.

Getrag 420g- 6spd, requires adapter plate, cut and shut bellhousing to relocate starter motor, must use conversion clutch/flywheel, shorter gears than the cd009, weighs ~102lbs.

This was enough to get me interested, one shop in particular has a few solutions to this. http://www.pmcmotorsport.com/swap-so...arbox-bmw.html
Heres another option: http://www.abc-clutch.com/portfolio/...ox-adapter-kit
and there are a few others that dont include clutches or flywheels.

These kits seem to be fairly similar in terms of cost to a full cd009 conversion, and carry the same benefits as well as a bit of weight savings. 5 speeds weigh about mid 70lbs, so pretty significant if you sacrifice the 6th gear. Couple things Id like people to weigh in on since I dont know if it would work, but say I wanted to use my os giken twin plate clutch/flywheel setup on the bmw box, since both utilize 240mm clutches could I swap the clutch disks to 240mm disks with the correct bmw input shaft splines and be able to use that setup?
Another maybe stupid thought, would it in theory be possible to use the SMG II gearbox from an e46 m3? It would bolt up to the adapter plate, and there are some standalone ecu's that should be able to control it alongside the SMG's TCU might be a relatively inexpensive route to a sequential gearbox?

Another benefit I can see to using a bmw box is this https://cae-racing.de/CAE-Ultra-Shifter_49
If youve ever had the pleasure of shifting one of these, youll understand the allure. One of the best feeling things in a car hands down.

Its worth noting that Collins has an adapter for these BMW boxes to 1j's and 2j's so those of you running those engine swaps feel free to weigh in also.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:11 AM   #2
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Subscribed. I've been researching the Getrag/LS combo lately. Good sources here.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:19 AM   #3
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look at the asin solstice/colorado trans and the t56
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:28 AM   #4
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Hypotetically you should be able to run the bmw clutch discs in the OsGiken clutch IF the diameter/thickness of the discs are the same, as well as the distance that the shaft splines protrude from each side of the discs.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:33 AM   #5
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I would email them to find out

BUt I would be worried about the proper shift linkage (location). From what I saw, the BMW gearbox is also smaller than the 350Z, so you would need to determine where those adapter plates place the shifting mechanism

What you have listed is the shifter itself (at an ungodly price), but I am not seeing the actual linkage.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:39 AM   #6
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I would email them to find out

BUt I would be worried about the proper shift linkage (location). From what I saw, the BMW gearbox is also smaller than the 350Z, so you would need to determine where those adapter plates place the shifting mechanism

What you have listed is the shifter itself (at an ungodly price), but I am not seeing the actual linkage.
Its stupid money for the shifter, yes, but theyre stupid nice and the shifter feel is unparalleled. Theres a few other companies that make a similar shifter, IRP being one but I cant vouch for any other than the CAE
https://cae-racing.de/CAE-Gearshift-Rod Theyve got the linkage covered in a few different sizes.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:11 PM   #7
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d9m, In that case, then you pretty much have all the hard parts covered. Driveshaft is easy.

As far as clutch dics are concerned, outside of input spline count and overall diameter, you will also have to determine the individual disc thicknesses, puck placement, etc. to determine if they can indeed be swapped. Chances are not on my first hunch.

As far as the SMg box is concerned, there is whole lot more to the SMg gearbox than paddle shifters, some mounts, etc. You need an ECU for SMG logic control. Most standalone ECUs being used by the Zilvia community do not support such an endeavor. And that's only the beginning of the extensive electronics that are involved with integrating a SMG into any chassis. EG. (not necessarily the SMG but similar transmission). They need wheel angle, TPS, brake pressure and Engine temp to determine shift parameters (timing of shift or to not shift at all, shift lockout, aggressiveness, etc). Its a fairly complex system.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:29 PM   #8
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As far as the SMg box is concerned, there is whole lot more to the SMg gearbox than paddle shifters, some mounts, etc. You need an ECU for SMG logic control. Most standalone ECUs being used by the Zilvia community do not support such an endeavor. And that's only the beginning of the extensive electronics that are involved with integrating a SMG into any chassis. EG. (not necessarily the SMG but similar transmission). They need wheel angle, TPS, brake pressure and Engine temp to determine shift parameters (timing of shift or to not shift at all, shift lockout, aggressiveness, etc). Its a fairly complex system.
Theres definitely a lot to it, https://www.bimmerscan.com/bmw-e46-smg/ This site actually outlines every single aspect of the electronics the box needs to function. However, the only reason I even deem it a possibility is the fact that theres a shop in the UK that successfully runs the later e90 series DCT box on 2jzs in supras. http://www.garagewhifbitz.co.uk/news...on-conversion/
While this im sure has a ton of propriety programming (not to mention the $4k ecu) it should in theory be simpler with the SMG. Computer tomfoolery to set parameters not dependent on sensors/can communications to only use the most basic shifting and manual control possible? Just spitballing here, but it seems with the right ecu and computer wizardry it wouldnt be so far fetched...
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:41 PM   #9
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The CD009 is more like 130+ lbs without the shifter assembly. The 5 speed ZF is 82lbs with the shifter. Just about a 50lbs weight savings. It's not insignificant and the ZF doesn't have synchros issues to boot.

I've weighed both with a very accurate load cell, but only have a pic of the CD009 being weighed

CD009


Keep in mind that those ZF transmissions were generally paired with taller final drive ratios compared to Nissan's so don't forget to take that into account.

As for everything else, measure twice, cut once so to speak.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:03 PM   #10
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If you have the money anything is possible. Call up OsGiken and have them build you a clutch with the shaft splines you want.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:25 PM   #11
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sub'd, this is gna be some good info here!
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:05 AM   #12
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as has been said the BMW gearboxes have much different ratios to the Nissan boxes, so can often ruin your gearing.

the bmw diesel boxes are the most common ones, with the larger shafts. so 330d/530d.

some people say the e46 m3 box is the same as the r34gtr and the v160 supra box.

the rb25 box is the same as the z32 box and some truck things you guys get.
the early 350z box has loads of issues, the later cd09's have better syncros but are real expensive over here as the 350z guys all want them too.
s15 asin 6 speed is made of chocolate and wont like big power for long.its the same as in is200 and mx5.

I went rb25 box as it ws the simplest route but id expect it to blow 3rd at decent power levels.
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Old 03-16-2018, 11:20 AM   #13
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as has been said the BMW gearboxes have much different ratios to the Nissan boxes, so can often ruin your gearing.

the bmw diesel boxes are the most common ones, with the larger shafts. so 330d/530d.

some people say the e46 m3 box is the same as the r34gtr and the v160 supra box.

the rb25 box is the same as the z32 box and some truck things you guys get.
the early 350z box has loads of issues, the later cd09's have better syncros but are real expensive over here as the 350z guys all want them too.
s15 asin 6 speed is made of chocolate and wont like big power for long.its the same as in is200 and mx5.

I went rb25 box as it ws the simplest route but id expect it to blow 3rd at decent power levels.
Interesting, if the getrag boxes are all the same that opens up some interesting bellhousing swap options. The diesel boxes arent as accessible over here in the US so those are pretty much out for us.

Found some pricing for the abc clutch adapter kit which is the best quality/most capable kit it seems. Just the flywheel for the tilton 7.25" clutch and the adapter plate+hardware, as well as the release bearing is about $1700. Depending on clutch options from tilton youre looking at 600-700. Plus the cost of the transmission itself youre in pretty deep. The pmc motorsport setup all in is about $1700 with the twin plate clutch option, significantly cheaper if you go single disk. Looks like the best deal there although im not sure about the durability/reputation of Sachs clutches if anyone can shine some light on that.
Looks like this is the route im going to be taking in the near future, although the deciding factor is going to be the adapter setup. Does anyone have any ideas on how I could get away with using the abc clutch setup but save a few dollars? Seems like theyre drastically overpricing their flywheel and adapter plate but ideally I would like to run the tilton 7.25" clutch as my build is a bit more track oriented.
Any info or speculation is welcome, Im all for some spitballing ideas here!
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:32 PM   #14
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def an interesting subject, worth investigation.

if I hadn't already sunk a ton of $$$ into cd009, I'd be keen to go this route, if for weight savings and ground clearance alone.
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:44 PM   #15
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Ground clearance is actually something I havenít thought of yet. Does it become an issue with the cd gearboxes?
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Old 03-16-2018, 01:13 PM   #16
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Does it become an issue with the cd gearboxes?
Its the biggest downfall to that transmission swap. If you don't like being banger-low, then you don't need to worry much,
That's why some people still opt for the Z32 swap with SR motor sets.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:05 PM   #17
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Its the biggest downfall to that transmission swap. If you don't like being banger-low, then you don't need to worry much,
That's why some people still opt for the Z32 swap with SR motor sets.


Anybody have pictures of this to demonstrate? My zf 5 speed on my m3 doesnít seem like it would pose the same issue but the 6 speeds look like they may
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:38 PM   #18
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Anybody have pictures of this to demonstrate? My zf 5 speed on my m3 doesnít seem like it would pose the same issue but the 6 speeds look like they may
stole this from the "everything cd009" thread

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For people wondering, here's a shot of the cd009 mated to a 1j with collins kit, in a s13



It's a little big.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:43 PM   #19
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Thatís lower than the frame rails, no?
This is the 420g 6 speed, still stays low after the bellhousing but doesnít have the same bulge at the bottom rear like the cd does. Hopefully that means a little bit more clearance but still not amazing. Will have to do some more research
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Old 03-16-2018, 04:05 PM   #20
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yes. approx. 2 inches. we discussed it in the thread yesterday.


I find it amazing we have all these options for trans (w/ appropriate adapters), yet they all seem to have their +/- quirks about them. cant have your cake and eat it too I suppose...?
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:53 PM   #21
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Z32 transmission has got the be the best bang for the buck option. Its also probably the easiest to do/fit.

Key points to consider would be:
-Cheap
-Easy to find
-Have been proven to hold 800+hp
-Retains entire SR clutch/flywheel setup
-Retains factory SR starter
-Z32 transmission/alternator harness is easily adaptable
-Doesn't hang below the frame rails
-Adapter plate and shifter re-location are cheap

A little machine work, the right trans cross member and a new driveshaft get you a transmission that is much stronger than the factory one without any real downsides


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Old 03-16-2018, 09:54 PM   #22
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Z32 transmission has got the be the best bang for the buck option. Its also probably the easiest to do/fit.



Key points to consider would be:

-Cheap

-Easy to find

-Have been proven to hold 800+hp

-Retains entire SR clutch/flywheel setup

-Retains factory SR starter

-Z32 transmission/alternator harness is easily adaptable

-Doesn't hang below the frame rails

-Adapter plate and shifter re-location are cheap



A little machine work, the right trans cross member and a new driveshaft get you a transmission that is much stronger than the factory one without any real downsides







Iíve never shifted one, Iíll have to drive a z to find out but shifter feel is big for me. The speed and feel of the bmw boxes is the reason why Iíve gotten so interested. No doubt the z32 Trans is best bang for the buck but are there readily available rebuild kits/aftermarket gearsets for them? These are old transmissions with lots of miles and Iím sure the internals on quite a few are tired. Just like 350zs are becoming better options than 240s in drifting due to low cost/better all around capability and generally lower mileage, maybe itís time to pass the torch?
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #23
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Iíve never shifted one, Iíll have to drive a z to find out but shifter feel is big for me. The speed and feel of the bmw boxes is the reason why Iíve gotten so interested. No doubt the z32 Trans is best bang for the buck but are there readily available rebuild kits/aftermarket gearsets for them? These are old transmissions with lots of miles and Iím sure the internals on quite a few are tired. Just like 350zs are becoming better options than 240s in drifting due to low cost/better all around capability and generally lower mileage, maybe itís time to pass the torch?
With fresh fluid and new shifter bushings they are incredible, very smooth and direct. I agree that the Z33 is a better option mechanically speaking due to it being newer, but they just don't fit in an Schassis all that well.

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Old 03-16-2018, 10:04 PM   #24
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look at the asin solstice/colorado trans...
This.

The Aisin AR5 swap has grown popularity in the IS300 community. It's like the newer version of the R154.

Worth looking into in my opinion.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:23 PM   #25
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The weight of the BMW gearbox has me hooked. Hate every moment of hoisting the Z33 without a hoist and a floor gearbox jack
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:42 PM   #26
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The cd009 isn't the lowest point on my s14. Maybe because it's on a VQ instead of an sr? And with shifter kits that do away with the OEM universal linkage you can get away with not, or just barely cutting the tunnel opening.

Also keep in mind that there's a new revision for the cd00x family of transmissions from Nissan called the cd00A which allegedly has further synchronization improvements relative to 009. They can be had for $1700, which is a song for a bnib OEM transmission IMO vs buying a used one for close to a $1000 without really knowing any history. I got one since my 009 6th and 5th synchro are shot. If this 00a doesn't last, I'm making a ZF work on the VQ.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:48 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by gills View Post
The cd009 isn't the lowest point on my s14. Maybe because it's on a VQ instead of an sr? And with shifter kits that do away with the OEM universal linkage you can get away with not, or just barely cutting the tunnel opening.

Also keep in mind that there's a new revision for the cd00x family of transmissions from Nissan called the cd00A which allegedly has further synchronization improvements relative to 009. They can be had for $1700, which is a song for a bnib OEM transmission IMO vs buying a used one for close to a $1000 without really knowing any history. I got one since my 009 6th and 5th synchro are shot. If this 00a doesn't last, I'm making a ZF work on the VQ.
Definitely keep us updated on how the 00a goes. Track abuse info is pretty valuable at least to me. Interesting how those are the synchros that went on your trans, im sure theyre not seeing a ton of use on the track compared to the first four gears. Are they the weakest of the bunch or something? Not very versed on the cd synchro issues besides knowing they exist lol. S13 vs S14 ground clearance might also be an interesting topic of discussion, definitely warrants some digging.
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:36 PM   #28
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Definitely keep us updated on how the 00a goes. Track abuse info is pretty valuable at least to me. Interesting how those are the synchros that went on your trans, im sure theyre not seeing a ton of use on the track compared to the first four gears. Are they the weakest of the bunch or something? Not very versed on the cd synchro issues besides knowing they exist lol. S13 vs S14 ground clearance might also be an interesting topic of discussion, definitely warrants some digging.
Will definitely update. The racing I do is as good a test as any. 9 hours each day of racing on Saturday and Sunday, with a full day of practice/qualifying on Friday before. I tend to post more on www.nissanroadracing.com and have a build thread there, but it's a little dead there nowadays. I intend to post more here.

As for the gears, it's highly dependent on the track, final drive and what your motor can spin up to. For instance at Watkins Glen International, which is a high speed/HP track, a 4.08 final with a 7000 RPM fuel cut VQ I was using only 4-5-6, mostly 5th. Not surprisingly, that's where the 6th gear synchro toasted. Those top gears aren't intended to be shifted into fast and at high rpm. They are cruising gears for the highway like the factory intended.

I put in a 3.69 final to utilize more of the lower gears and avoid 6th and 5th gear synchro took a dump. Can still shift into them, but you either have to double clutch and/or pause for an eternity. Can't have that when I'm trying to drag race E46 M3's up the esses of Watkins.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:01 PM   #29
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Lets continue on the topic. I have found some stuff below.

1. https://www.drive2.ru/l/1127495/
Summary:
transmission from 2004 330 diesel with 135kW
cuts to fit bolt heads on adapter plate.
thickness of adapter plate 13mm.
flywheel and pressure plate from SR but clutch disk from BMW.
driveshaft front piece BMW welded to Nissan back piece

2.https://www.drive2.ru/l/5275482/
Extra photos of process: https://www.drive2.ru/l/478968431731802907/
https://www.drive2.ru/l/4918979/
https://www.drive2.ru/l/486195796539080715/
Summary:
ZF trans from BMW M50B25
single mass flywheel and pressure plate from SR but clutch disk for BMW M50 engines.
to compensate distance between flywheel and trans installed spacer for center support bearing.(trans was cut open to get those measurements)
driveshaft has front piese from bmw with retaining center support bearing because of length (this is not s-chassis though)


what im interested in:

which transmissions available at US junk yards preferably 6 speed. what gear ratios? because if 5 speed than simply z32 trans can be used.

is vehicle speed sensor present on bmw trans or signal comes from abs module?
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:19 PM   #30
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Okay. I want to revive this thread as I've decided to go ahead with doing this on my own build. Im adding some fresh information and will update with my own progress when I can.

First I'd like to make clear that for those of us in the US, our options on transmissions are limited. We really only have access to E46 M3 transmissions. The PMC motorsport and ABC Clutch adapter kits (seem to be the most popular overseas) are compatible with the Getrag 420g (m3 6 speed trans), and the zf s5-39dz (E46/e39 diesel 5 speed gearbox).
The 5 speed gearboxes have very short ratios, making it undesirable for higher hp sr20's as well as street cars (not suited to highway driving). Again, these are geared for low revving, high torque diesel cars. However, they are extremely cheap ($100-$200) and some european sellers will ship to the US.

Lets focus then on the E46 M3 gearbox. It is a 6 speed transmission with gear ratios suited for a low torque, high revving inline 6. That makes it very well suited to the sr20, which shares those attributes. This transmission has 2 versions, manual and SMG. SMG is a semi-automatic, single clutch transmission with hydraulically actuated gear shifting via the use of a sequential style shifter or steering wheel paddles. The SMG gearbox is the same exact Getrag 420g transmission as the traditional 6 speed manual. They key differences are the lack of shift detents and centering spring in the bellhousing of the SMG gearboxes.
This thread illustrates the conversion that specialist shops will be happy to perform for around $500-$600.

I picked up and SMG gearbox for $300, this is an especially low price for these transmissions, but smg boxes are pretty readily available around the 600$ mark. Manual trans' can range anywhere from $1000-$1600. It's not a bad idea to pick up an smg box and have it converted, as there is much less chance it was abused, and the synchros will most likely be in better shape (computer shifting rather than a human banging gears). The synchros in mine are immaculate, even though the previous owner said the mileage on the gearbox is unknown.

Heres the meat and potatoes

This is my transmission on a bathroom scale. 98.8lbs, filled with fluid but minus the slave cylinder.
FOR COMPARISON. The sr20/ka24 5 speed is around 100lbs with fluid.
CD009 is around 130-140.
T56 is around 130-140 as well.



Here are some (poor) photos of a test fit in my s13 trans tunnel. Unfortunately my phone died just as I tried to take a photo from directly underneath. I was incredibly surprised to find almost zero fitment issues. This is a 6 speed gearbox thats been known to hold 1000nm of torque, and it essentially slid right in.
The cd009, which is the closest comparison for our purposes, needs the 'U' mount cut and widened, as well as a good bit of tunnel-bashing to fit properly. Even still, it sits below the frame rails and is a major ground clearance issue for most applications.
The 420g here sits comfortably above the frame rails, with plenty of room on either side even at the tunnels skinniest point.
The only real clearance issue I found is that the trans tunnel might need a bit of massaging to get the transmission to sit a little higher. I do not have my sr20 (currently at the machine shop) to test fit and see where the transmission will sit with the engine/adapter kit in the proper place. I dont foresee much interfering with fitment at all. Im amazed at how simple it seems to be.





Lastly, I want to talk about how simple fitting a shifter should be (in theory). Ill try to get my hands on a stock m3 shifter to see where it would land in relation to the actual shifter opening on the trans tunnel at some point, but for now all I can do is speculate.
There are quite a few options for chassis mounted shifters for the e46 m3. The way bmw transmissions and shift linkages are set up, you can mount the shifter straight to the body, with the only physical connection to the transmission being the selector rod. Heres an image that displays this a bit better. The former is the oem style (selector rod on bottom, connected to the pivot point of the shifter. The top part is what connects to the body and introduces some play or 'slop' into the shifter via the use of bushings) The bottom photo is the chassis mount style, as you can see its hardmounted to the trans tunnel and connected to the transmission by just the rod. This allows very short, as well as direct and precise shift throws. Many of these shifters incorporate their own lockouts and secondary centering springs making them great and safe (via the decreased possibility of money shifting) for track use. This makes a retrofit into another chassis fairly simple.





One company, CAE (known for their incredible chassis mount shifters) offers a lineup of adjustable length selector rods. This makes a swap like this perfect, as it will allow you to set the shifter where you want and still be able to set the linkage to the perfect length. This will allow us to utilize our trans tunnel hole without modification (besides drilling holes to mount the shifter).
If anyone wants to try mounting up the stock BMW shifter that should be fairly simple as well.

Hopefully this helps open up a new possibility to some of us. ABC Clutch adapter kits are used pretty commonly in Europe by drifters/road racers. They make quality parts, as does PMC motorsport. Ill be using an abc clutch kit, however I have yet to source one. Ill be speaking with them directly soon, as I dont think they have any US distributors. Ill also try to see where I can find their kits the cheapest. PMC is definitely more budget oriented, but still utilizes good proven parts. They both make adapters for these gearboxes to mate up to JZ's, RB's, LS's, and lots of other oddball engines.

Lets see where this goes
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