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Thread: 91 525 trans. not shifting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    37

    Default 91 525 trans. not shifting

    Hi all,
    I'm new to BMW's and am buying a 1991 525 made in 10/90 that has an automatic transmission. The transmission will not do anything when pulled into any gear.
    First I would like to know what tranny it has. From my reading it appears to be the GM 4L30E. Is that correct?
    If that is the case is it probable that, from my readings, that the front clutch pack is bad? I read in a post elsewhere that there are seals in the front section of the tranny that leak and cause high fluid pressures in that area and causes problems in this area.
    If that is likely the problem what does the parts cost to fix it, where can I get them, and can an average or better wrench hand fix this problem? (I rebuild engines and have done a couple four and five speeds but never an automatic)
    This car has 209,000 miles on it does it typically have much life left in it? From what I've read it appears they get quite a few engine problems with high miles not to mention the tranny. To the eye it is still in pretty good shape inside and out and I can buy it for $900.

    Thanks,
    87esir

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    811

    Default

    Aside from head gaskets blowing, the 525i is a very solid engine. Not sure where yu heard that it can have quite a few problems, but they where mis informed.

    As for the trans, you best bet would to get a reman or good used low mile trans for it. rebuilding an automatic is qutie a bit different than a manual. $900.00 seems high for a car that can't be driven, since it is essentialy a parts car if you can not test drive it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Well, we fired it up and I'd say the interior is in better than average condition and the exterior also looks good with custom polished alum. wheels and new tires.
    I figured a 525 that basically just needs a tranny would be worth $900. Maybe I'm letting my eyes get ahead of my brain.

    Thanks for your reply,
    87esir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    college station, tx
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I basically bought the same car as you but it's a 92 model with 210,000. It's in excellent condition inside and out and runs well too. I paid $1200. It only needed a good set of tires. Maybe that will put it into perspective a little bit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chicago, Il. U.S.A.
    Posts
    4,243

    Default

    This is a GM (France) trans. A derivative of the TH180 as used in fine domestic autos as the Chevette. The small oil pan in front is for the afterthought overdrive. Other than that it's pretty staightforward. Overhaul kits are available from the trade suppliers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    37

    Default

    thanks for the reply

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    KY
    Posts
    37

    Default

    hmm, I wouldn't have thought even a high milage bmw would sell that low in good shape. I guess maybe I should do some more shopping to see if I can find a better deal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    college station, tx
    Posts
    109

    Default

    I got a fairly good deal but I dont think that it was exceptional. It partially had to do with the fact that Im in TX and the AC fan is out. I would keep looking but that's just my inexperienced opinion. Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Picayune Mississippi
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I just bought the same. 91 525i with a bad automatic tranny. I paid $1,100 for mine. Like yours the interior and exterior is in great shape. Actually, I think it is a beautiful car. I just bought another tranny for parts at a junk dealer ( he just bought a 91 525i with bad engine and tranny for $1,000 just to sell for parts ). The tranny IS the 4L30E ( A4S 310R ) like you said. I ordered a kit from www.germanimportedparts.com for about $160 plus shipping. I just pulled my tranny last week and disassembled it today. I've only rebuilt one other automatic tranny which was in a ford pickup. It's just a lot of parts in there. A repair manual, basic tools and a mechanical mind is all you need ( I think ). If your interested, I'll keep you posted on my results.

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