Getrag 280 to 265 in an M5

Specific conversations and info for the BMW E28 M5 and M535i.
Devinder
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Getrag 280 to 265 in an M5

Post by Devinder »

This is for future reference for anyone working on an M5 clutch or transmission. I went into my M5 to do a clutch job and it turned into a transmission swap. I was going to change the clutch and install a JB Racing flywheel, but getting the Getrag 280 out was such a bitch that I decided to put in a Getrag 265 instead of the 280.

The M5 has a specific issue with the headers. The headers go all the way under the car to the middle of the transmission so it's impossible to use a transmission jack on the 280. I had to modify my transmission jack and still couldn't strap the transmission to it tightly. In addition to this, I'm sure everyone knows about the crazy Torx bolts. I have 2 lifts and a full telescoping, tilting, swiveling transmission jack, but even with those tools, it was such a pain that I decided right there the Getrag 280 is not going back in.

Here is a picture of the JB Racing flywheel and new clutch.

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The bell housing has to come from a 1985 535i. These are available new from BMW for about $250 if you can't find a used one. I use an input shaft to align the clutch because the plastic tool has too much play in it. The separate bell housing makes it more difficult to reposition the clutch if the transmission doesn't go it. So, I made sure the alignment was perfect using the input shaft -- it fits much better than the plastic tool. You have to install the slave cylinder to hold the throwout bearing in-place. After the transmission is in there, you have to remove the slave cylinder to tighten the upper nut. One last check on the alignment:

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The sensors fit but they are "clocked" differently than on the Getrag 280. Because of this, the heat shield installs with different holes. The heat shield has three holes in it and you have to use a different set of holes to install on the Getrag 265.

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There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the compatibility of a Getrag 265 and a Getrag 280. I measured both and the 265 is about 6mm longer at the output flange and about 10mm longer at the selector shaft. The standard E28 M5 driveshaft will work with the 265. The center bearing has room to move because the mounting bolts are in slots.

The aluminum shift arm will not fit on a stock 265 because that transmission is designed to work with the sheet metal shift arm. One option is to install all the shifting parts from a 1985 535i. I like the aluminum shift arm so I decided to adapt the transmission to work with it. The E30 M3 has adapter parts (25 11 2 225 369, about $10) for installing the aluminum shift arm to a Getrag 265. The problem with this part on an E28 M5 is that it uses a special length shift arm. I wanted to keep all the E28 M5 shifting parts, so I moved the mount point to the correct location. If you cut 27mm off the "ears" on a Getrag 265, it puts the shift arm in the correct location relative to the selector shaft:

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The easy way to do this is by drilling the holes deeper before cutting off the ears, that way, you just need to tap it for M8x1.25 and everything lines up.

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With the "bow" installed, the aluminum shift arm will fit in there and the pin (25 11 2 225 344, about $10) with an M8 nut will hold it in place. It's best to install the bow with pin and nut on the end of the shift arm and then bolt the bow to the ears after the transmission is installed.

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Here is a shot of the shifter. One other minor change is the location of the reverse switch. The switch is on the other side of the transmission so you have to re-route the reverse light wires.

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I tried several different transmission mounts including the M3 mount, and it looks like you have to use the 1985 535i crossmember and specific (angled) rubber mounts that go with it.

I'll have driving impressions later.
Last edited by Devinder on Mar 28, 2010 6:29 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Kyle in NO
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Post by Kyle in NO »

The M3 mount you have there is nice, but your idea of cutting the ears down to install it is great! If I ever swap to a G265, this is the route I will take. Thanks for doing the writeup! This should be a sticky.
Last edited by Kyle in NO on Feb 20, 2009 11:36 PM, edited 1 time in total.
Tucker
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Post by Tucker »

Good writeup!
wkohler
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Post by wkohler »

Kyle in NO wrote:The M3 mount you have there is great, but your idea of cutting the ears down to install it is great! If I ever swap to a G265, this is the route I will take. Thanks for doing the writeup! This should be a sticky.
Mos Def. What? Is that not cool?

The quality of the writeup is amazing. I never in a million years would have thought about cutting those ears. Obviously, Shawn D. didn't either. At least if he did, he didn't mention it.

That's the main reason I didn't stick a G265 in my car when my 260 bit the dust. I do not like that sheetmetal console.
Mark in Toronto
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Post by Mark in Toronto »

Excellent write-up! Thanks for taking the time to document the swap.
johnnye23
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Post by johnnye23 »

Great writeup and pictures.Thanks ;)
bmwcarl
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Post by bmwcarl »

what are you going to do with your old 280?
Matt
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Location: Fargo

Post by Matt »

You replaced a 280 with a 265 because the exhaust was in the way?

I've R&R'd the M5 headers a bunch. It's way easier than dropping a transmission.

I figure BMW used the 280 for a reason. Seems weird to throw in a 265 unless you can't afford not to..

Good info for those that want to take this route though.
Shawn D.
Beamter
Beamter
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Post by Shawn D. »

Excellent write-up, Devinder!
wkohler wrote:I never in a million years would have thought about cutting those ears. Obviously, Shawn D. didn't either. At least if he did, he didn't mention it.
Note that I had to cut about 2-3/4" out of the console. Thus, shortening the bosses 27mm would have still required shortening the console by 1-3/4".
alpinacsi
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Post by alpinacsi »

Ok, just so I can get this straight:

1) you need the e30 mount adapter piece so it can mount to the 27mm shortened tranny mount ears.

2) the e24/e28 M5/M6 specific shifter arm (about $35 and different than the std e24/e28 alum arm or the e30's).

3) the straight selector rod from the M5/M6 which is the same as the e12, e23, e24 and e28 with the sheetmetal console. (the e28 with the alum console uses the longer bent rod)

I think I am going to change my sheet metal console before I get it all installed.
Devinder
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Post by Devinder »

Thanks guys!
I never in a million years would have thought about cutting those ears. Obviously, Shawn D. didn't either. At least if he did, he didn't mention it.
This thought comes easier after looking at many 265s with ears already broken off. Note, that my write-up is for going from a 280 to a 265. If you're starting with a 260, then all bets are off. There are two separate dimensions to match. The location of the selector shaft and location of the shift arm. In the case of the 280, the selector shaft is in the same location (approximately) as a 265, so I can use the stock shift rod. All I had to do was put the shift arm in the correct location relative to the selector shaft. Taking 27mm of the ears will do that. I have no idea what the any of these dimensions are on a 260.
You replaced a 280 with a 265 because the exhaust was in the way?
I've R&R'd the M5 headers a bunch. It's way easier than dropping a transmission.
I figure BMW used the 280 for a reason. Seems weird to throw in a 265 unless you can't afford not to..
Good info for those that want to take this route though.
The exhaust was one reason. I plan on going back in there when I change my engine so I didn't want to deal with a one-piece transmission again. The 265 is a much better transmission. No question about it. I cant speak to why BMW didn't use the 265 in every car since 1980.

It is quiter and the shifting is tighter. In this last week, I've been surprised by how much quieter this tranmission is. The 280 had 150k miles on it and it didn't have any problems but now it's obvious that the 280 was much louder. I've had a 265 in my CS for years and I used Carl Nelson's advice and put in 1qt of Redline MTL and 0.7qt of 80wt gear oil.

I know people will talk a lot about gear ratios. The only difference is in 1st and 2nd. I don't plan on using 1st gear at the track. Next time I go I'll see how much the difference in the 2nd gear ratio matters.
Ok, just so I can get this straight:

1) you need the e30 mount adapter piece so it can mount to the 27mm shortened tranny mount ears.

2) the e24/e28 M5/M6 specific shifter arm (about $35 and different than the std e24/e28 alum arm or the e30's).

3) the straight selector rod from the M5/M6 which is the same as the e12, e23, e24 and e28 with the sheetmetal console. (the e28 with the alum console uses the longer bent rod)

I think I am going to change my sheet metal console before I get it all installed.
Are you talking about a non-M5 now? If so, then you need the proper dirveshaft too.

Devinder
Last edited by Devinder on Feb 20, 2009 8:19 PM, edited 1 time in total.
alpinacsi
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Post by alpinacsi »

Devinder wrote: Are you talking about a non-M5 now? If so, then you need the proper dirveshaft too.

Devinder
Just talking about converting a 265 equiped e24/e28 with sheet metal console to the better alum style.

Thanks. All that you have said sounds good and as you have mentioned, the ears are prone to damage anyway.
Devinder
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Post by Devinder »

Just talking about converting a 265 equiped e24/e28 with sheet metal console to the better alum style.

Thanks. All that you have said sounds good and as you have mentioned, the ears are prone to damage anyway.
In that case, you still need to get the pin and nut to go with the E30 M3 bow piece. The "pin" is a special bolt with a 10mm diameter shank and 8mm thread. I also don't think the E12 and E28 shift rods are the same. I'm not sure about this.
Rich Euro M5
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Post by Rich Euro M5 »

alpinacsi wrote:Ok, just so I can get this straight:

3) the straight selector rod from the M5/M6 which is the same as the e12, e23, e24 and e28 with the sheetmetal console. (the e28 with the alum console uses the longer bent rod)
This statement isn't 100% accurate as it pertains to the E28 chassis. There are two different M30 engined E28s which utilize a sheet metal shift console, the 533i with the G260/5 and the '85 535i with the G265. The shift consoles and shift rods are different lengths between these two transmission types.

The '85 535i w/G265 and the M5 w/G280 use the same shift rod. I can't speak for the older BMWs that Paul has mentioned.

Rich
sher judge
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M5 - E28 Propshaft Coupling

Post by sher judge »

Hello everyone,

I'm new here, also just want to say Cheers to all of you, this is a wonderful website.

The question I have is for an M5 E28 1987 South African build.

Does the propshaft coupling differ from any of the other E-28 models?

Thank you,

Sher
thrty8street
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Location: Maryland

Post by thrty8street »

other than the noise, whats the difference with the 265 trans?
Manny D.
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Post by Manny D. »

thrty8street wrote:other than the noise, whats the difference with the 265 trans?
Gear ratios..
Krister
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Location: Copenhagen (Danmark)

Post by Krister »

I can only give you right, a 265 is much better gearbox than 280, I've even changed my to CR265 with a 3.07 final drive and it works, but it's of course depends on what you need. If you need you car to drive fast 230 kmh (mph?) is probably better with a 280 gearbox, but cant you ever run so fast in the U.S. :laugh: :laugh:
Javier Caillahuz
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Post by Javier Caillahuz »

Hi, what is the part number of bell housing? I cant find them..
Devinder
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Post by Devinder »

bell housing with sensor mounts is 21 11 1 225 493. I think the E12 part is also superceeded with this one.
wjtesquire
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Location: Charleston, SC

Post by wjtesquire »

I just finished putting a Getrag 265 into my '85 M635. I followed these instructions regarding the shifter and the bow. It worked perfectly. Thanks for posting the pics of your conversion. I am thrilled with how the gearbox feels and how quiet it is.
dave533i
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Location: Denver, CO

Post by dave533i »

Excellent writeup with good clear pictures. I am doing a manual transmission conversion to a Getrag 265 on my 85 528e. Your clutch slave cylinder and hydraulic line looks just like mine.
UUC offers a stainless steel clutch line for the M5 but not the 528e. Do you think it would fit? Your pic shows 2x 90 degree bends in the little steel fitting going into the slave, just like mine (I think). UUC customer service told me that although the threaded fittings match, there is only a 45 deg. bend in the little steel end which goes into the slave.
Also, do you think it's possible to turn the slave upside down and still have it work?
wjtesquire
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clutch slave and hose

Post by wjtesquire »

I installed the UUC clutch slave line on my M635 before I converted to the G265. It works, but just as you asked, I did turn the slave upside down after the conversion to take some tension off the line. Everything fits fine with this setup.

Bill
jc72
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Post by jc72 »

Ireland engineering makes a SS clutch slave line for the 535i that has the correct bend in it.
gazm3
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Post by gazm3 »

Nice write up.
I've just aquired the dogleg 265, and I'm going to use it on my m635 as the 280 gearbox I find big gaps especially from 1st to 2nd. Yes with the 3.73 gears it will be revving at 3000 at 60mph but it well be lots if fun.
I've also got a couple of flywheels to consider. My existing one is the 1 piece 16lb. I have a few alternatives. Have a uuc 8.5 lb. also have the old 4spd flywheel.
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