FAQ E28 Transmissions, an overview

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
Mike W.
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FAQ E28 Transmissions, an overview

Post by Mike W. »

E28 Transmissions, an overview

Manual
  • G260/5
    • Used on 5/6/733s from '83-'84. Non removable bell housing, waffle pattern for case casting. Considered weak and cannot accommodate a M5 clutch. Sheet metal shifter support. Overdrive 5th.
  • G260/5
    • Used on '83-'88 528es, and E30 6 cylinder cars. Same model number as above, but different bell housing bolt pattern and shape, so it’s not interchangeable. Some or most or all of the internal parts may be, but with the cost of used transmissions, it’s irrelevant. Used sheet metal support thru about 86, then used the cast support. Waffle case pattern. Overdrive 5th.
  • G260/6
    • Used on '86-'88 535’s and E34 535s, but they may not have the flywheel sensor holes drilled out. Identify it by the fins on the bottom of the transmission and non-removable case. Overdrive 5th.
  • G265/6
    • Used on '82 528e and '85 535i. Also on '85 6/735, '80-'81 E12, '81-'82 6/733s and E30 M3s. Considered the strongest transmission available for E28’s. Is easily identified by a removable bell housing which allows use on M10, M20 and M30 engines, as long as the correct bell housing is used or reused. All except M3s have a sheet metal shifter support. It’s use in '85 M30 powered cars was reportedly dictated by the short life of the 260/5 in those cars. Overdrive 5th.
  • G280
    • Used on M5/M6s. Close ratio, but overdrive 5th gear.
  • G265/5
    • Never available on US spec cars, it's a close ratio 5 speed similar to the 265/6 overdrive transmission. 5th gear is 1:1. Often incorrectly called a 262 close ratio or dogleg, but a 262 is a 4 speed transmission. All 265’s I’ve seen have the front case casting with a 262xxx casting number, but they are 265s if they are 5 speeds. Removable bell housing and it does have an unusual shift pattern with 1st being off by itself and 4th/5th across from each other instead of 5th being up by itself.
    Other notes: Most or all of the linkage parts seem to be model specific, the sheet metal shifter supports while they look the same, aren’t, even if from the same transmission and for the same chassis, i.e. one from a G265 from a 528e won’t work on a G265 in a 535i. I assume this is also the case for the later cast aluminum shifter supports, but I haven’t verified it myself.
Automatics
  • 3HP22
    • 3 speed automatic used on all US spec BMW automatic cars from '77-'83. A very reliable and long lasting transmission, but only a 1:1 high gear. Bell housing specific, as I mentioned, they were used on many different models, with different bell housings. And Motronic cars need one with holes for the Motronic flywheel sensors. It requires a 3HP22 Motronic flywheel for Motronic cars, one off a 4HP22 will not work, it won’t bolt up to the torque converter.
  • 4HP22
    • 4 speed automatic. Again, used across the entire model line from '84 until at least the late '80’s. Has a quirk about burning out the “A” clutch pack if revved in neutral or park after it has been in any gear. Many feel it is a poor transmission, but I disagree, it seems to last longer than most automatic transmissions of it’s era, especially if taken care of, but it doesn’t tend to hold up as well as a manual. Outside of the aforementioned quirk, it seems to hold up well, especially in M20 powered cars. Like it’s predecessor, the 3HP22, it seems to respond well to regular fluid changes. While most are intimidated, it’s not a difficult transmission to work on, and if the somewhat infamous “A” clutch pack is the only repair required, it’s no more difficult than doing a clutch in a manual car. Like the 3 speed 3HP22, while it was used across the line, you need the correct one for the engine/bell housing if you are replacing one. Some have reported using a M20 transmission with a M30 bell housing and torque converter, and I have a good reference that says it works, but I haven’t verified it myself. Many of the “soft parts” meaning clutches and friction materials are the same as in the 3HP22. Not similar, but the same. It requires a 4HP22 flywheel for Motronic cars, one off a 3HP22 will not work, it won’t bolt up to the torque converter.
  • 4HP22-EH
    • 4 speed automatic, electronically controlled. Very similar mechanically to the 4HP22, but with solenoids making the shifts instead of hydraulics. Optional on M30 cars starting in '86, it has a choice of 3 different shift patterns, economy, normal and sport. Some feel it is better than the base 4HP22, some feel it is worse, my opinion is mostly it is just different. It does have a 3rd gear only “limp home” mode it can go into if there is a problem with the wiring or the ECU. It was used later E23 745i's, and 3HP22's on the early ones, so BMW had some confidence in it’s capability. It requires a 4HP22 flywheel for Motronic cars, one off a 3HP22 will not work, it won’t bolt up to the torque converter.
    Both the 3HP22 and 4HP22 can have the shift points adjusted somewhat by adjusting the cable on the throttle body going down to the transmission. Spec is something like .080” between the ferrule and the cable housing, but tightening it raises shift points, loosening it lowers shift points. Be gentle and make minor changes, but a minor adjustment can make a distinct improvement in how the car drives if it is shifting up too early.

    5 speed conversions: Many here have converted autos to 5 speeds, and maybe a couple have even done the reverse. It's pretty straightforward, but you need all the bits, from the flywheel and flywheel bolts, all the way to the end of the driveshaft. And the pedals, and pedal bracket, and shift linkage and support. Ideally you will be getting everything from a single donor car so you can grab everything, but that isn't always possible.
Last edited by Mike W. on May 13, 2009 7:23 PM, edited 1 time in total.
go4carter
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Re: FAQ E28 Transmissions, an overview

Post by go4carter »

Thanks for this great FAQ. Very handy.
Mike W. wrote: 4HP22EH 4 speed automatic, electronically controlled. Optional on M30 cars starting in 86, it has a choice of 3 different shift patterns, economy, normal and sport.
Not quite true. The three modes are:
Economy (normal shifts)
Sport (higher shift points are selected depending on the level of throttle input)
1-2-3 (manumatic mode - You are able to bump-shift through gears without depressing the lock button - OD/4th is not accessible)
Justin_FL
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Post by Justin_FL »

I took the liberty to add some BBCode formatting to increase readability and made some minor styling consistent throughout the writeup. Hope you don't mind.
nightmare_v2
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Post by nightmare_v2 »

STICKY!
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Post by ElGuappo »

Great post Mike, thanks for taking the time.
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Post by Murfinator »

It was used on E23 745i's, so BMW had some confidence in it’s capability.
I believe they were offered with the 4HP-22EH.
From BMW M Registry: "Most examples of the South African-spec 745i were equipped with a computer-controlled ZF four-speed automatic transmission with Sport, Economy and Manual shift point modes mated to a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio and limited slip differential. Unlike the German-built 745i, the South African version was also offered with a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox with a "dogleg" shift pattern and the following ratios: 3.72 (1), 2.40 (2), 1.77 (3), 1.24 (4), 1.00 (5). These were equipped with a 3.45:1 rear end with limited slip."
http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=4#3

The dogleg version would be sweet. The ones I've driven all had the electronically controlled 4spd auto.
BRRV
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Post by BRRV »

With regards your note concerning the G260/6 and the flywheel sensor 'holes' - does your note say that the E34-sourced transmissions don't have them, or, am I misreading this? I would assume that all E28's with this transmission would indeed have the sensor fittings in the case - otherwise, it's a transmission from an E34, right?

Excellent write-up. Thanks!
derrith
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Post by derrith »

Murfinator wrote:
It was used on E23 745i's, so BMW had some confidence in it’s capability.
I believe they were offered with the 4HP-22EH.
From BMW M Registry: "Most examples of the South African-spec 745i were equipped with a computer-controlled ZF four-speed automatic transmission with Sport, Economy and Manual shift point modes mated to a 3.73:1 rear axle ratio and limited slip differential. Unlike the German-built 745i, the South African version was also offered with a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox with a "dogleg" shift pattern and the following ratios: 3.72 (1), 2.40 (2), 1.77 (3), 1.24 (4), 1.00 (5). These were equipped with a 3.45:1 rear end with limited slip."
http://www.bmwmregistry.com/model_faq.php?id=4#3

The dogleg version would be sweet. The ones I've driven all had the electronically controlled 4spd auto.
Yes, but the SA 745i was not m102 or m106 powered. It was equipped with the engine from the m5 and m6.
Last edited by derrith on Mar 31, 2009 2:14 AM, edited 1 time in total.
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

Still, the regular 745s had the EH tranny.
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Post by wkohler »

I say we sticky this.
pldlnr
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Post by pldlnr »

I say we sticky this.
+1
Mike W.
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Post by Mike W. »

Justin_FL wrote:I took the liberty to add some BBCode formatting to increase readability and made some minor styling consistent throughout the writeup. Hope you don't mind.
Mind? No, not at all, it looks much better. Thank you!

Edit; I made some changes on the 745i references.
Brad D.
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Post by Brad D. »

I think this is worthy of putting in the Tech FAQ instead of making it a sticky.
Jeremy
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Re: FAQ E28 Transmissions, an overview

Post by Jeremy »

Mike W. wrote:Often incorrectly called a 262 close ratio or dogleg
Calling the close ratio 265 a dogleg isn't incorrect at all as it has a dogleg first gear.
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Post by GermanlookT3 »

AWESOME POST! 8)
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Post by 1st 5er »

:up: :up:

I'd expect nothing less from Mike W.
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Post by wkohler »

Why isn't this a sticky?
mooseheadm5
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Post by mooseheadm5 »

It should be noted that there are 2 bell housing depths on the 260/5 used on the M20 engines. If you get one that does not match your clutch/flywheel thickness, you could have problems.
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Post by Jean »

Great post, thank you
Brad D.
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Post by Brad D. »

Stickied.
I thought I would add the visual ID as well as the gear ratio charts courtesy of Metric Mechanic's website.

Getrag 265/6
Image

Getrag 260/5&6
Image

Getrag 265/5
Image
MadMaverick
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Post by MadMaverick »

Is there any difference between the 4HP22-EH between the e28 and e34? Specifically a later e28 4HP22-EH into a '90 535. The old trans is there for sensors/harness, etc.
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Post by alijonny »

another question, I have a known good spare 260/6 that I want to swap into my 745i. I have all the parts to do the swap, the 745 already has a 260/5 with a nasty whine in 1st and a bad synchro in third. I realize there is a different shifter support, is this possible to swap over from a different shifter support without too much work involved? I suppose I would have to do driveshaft customizing too, huh?
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Post by Canuck YYC »

There's something fishy about those Metric Mechanic gear ratios. You could get a 3.83 1st gear with a 12 / 46 tooth gear pair which is pretty normal for a transmission. To get a 3.822 ratio, you start heading into the realm of the sureal - even at a 28 / 107 gear pairing, you're not at 3.822 yet. Similar things for .810 and .813, 1.400 and 1.398 - differences that small just aren't possible within the confines of economic production and a given package space.

Edit - Beautiful post by the way.
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Post by draztik »

I have a Getrag 260/5 from my 533i production 4/84. According to the Bentley, beginning in March 1984 the Getrag 260 0105 090 was replaced with a 260 0105 091 transmission on 533i models. The 091 used a longer release bearing than the 090. The 091 also used the same clutch as the 265 and 260/6. I know this as a fact because I just replaced mine last year when I did my engine swap. My question is since the 091 uses the same clutch as the 265 and 260/6 would this mean that the M5 clutch will work?[/list]
kohlmetoba
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Post by kohlmetoba »

Hi there knowledgable people of mye28. I have a warped 3rd gear in my 1984 533i and was planning to replace it. I learnt from various sources that I needed a Getrag 260/5, so i decided to get one off craigslist, I got a decent one from some guy on CL but upon telling my mechanic to fit it in? he says its the wrong tranny that the bell housing is wrong and he keeps saying the tranny is too long Idk exactly what is wrong cos i thought this tranny was fairly universal, if anyone needs it in the LA area u can come check it out and pick it up for 200.
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