E46 M3 SMG to Manual Conversion
One of our most popular jobs!
As well regarded BMW M-power specialists who have vast knowledge on the E46 M3 platform, we are able to offer an OEM class of SMG-to-Manual Conversion which is almost undetectable for most people.
A large amount of the vehicle has to be disassembled to allow the Manual Conversion to take place.
As well as the to-be-expected mechanical work with grouped areas like Pedal Box, Shifter, and Gearbox, there are a complex set of electrical alterations and new integrations which have to take place.
When it comes to the behind-the-scenes wiring work - there ARE various different standards applied across the country due to all manner of scenarios like cost, experience, knowledge, care, and speed to name just a few.
Naturally, as one of the longest standing BMW M-Power specialists we have set the bar extremely high with our SMG to Manual Conversions.
For example, the SMG vehicle has to have wiring installed in the cabin, engine bay, and ECU-box locations to name a few.
Now, we've seen our fair share of already-converted M3's from others handy work and have been surprised with the 'that'll do' approach.
We're not saying everyone is like this. There are in fact some good converters out there.
However, when we see cut wiring looms and electrical tape we're always concerned with reliability and that's even before we get into the depths of the colossal Parts Lists.
(We've even seen one car in our workshop where a known specialist installed the Gearshift Tunnel Bracket with self-taping screws straight into the cabin. That not only risks future injury, and wiring damage, but the dangerous potential for the screws to vibrate loose due to single-sheer connection. That's likely a rushed job trying to get it done in 1 day, or the plain and simple 'that'll do' attitude).
With our factory training, dealership experience, and extensive
knowledge of the BMW E46 M3 architecture (remember, 2 of our staff, James &
Darren, worked at a BMW dealership during the entire E46 M3 production) we're
able to offer OEM-class wiring integration using factory BMW terminals & plugs which clip together beautifully.
No need for cutting, splicing, crimping, soldering, or taping.
With a Redish Motorsport conversion - all OEM components are used in the correct manner.
Due our attention to the fine details and our desire to go further than most people would ever consider possible, it means that not only is the process reversible (should you wish), but our conversion is indistinguishable to the masses.
Take this short video example of ours which shows how original the Illuminated Gearknob wiring is during a Redish Motorsport conversion.
Remember, this wiring/plug is not even present on an SMG vehicle. We have added this.
We've seen some 'interesting' attempts on other peoples cars including scotch-locks and even just electrical tape alone holding bare wires together.
Remember, there is no set rule or standard which every converter must follow.
It's a case of everyone having their own approach and doing what they feel is right.
Yes a converted M3 will work and operate as if it's a manual, but not every job is the same!
That age old saying of 'you get what you pay for' rings true on these sorts of jobs as there are SO MANY variables.
Take the parts for example: there are over 90 Genuine BMW Parts we order and carefully install for our Option 2 conversion (listed below).
You can't guarantee another converter will consider or even know about the sheer detail in a list as comprehensive as ours.
There's certainly no requirement for converters to offer the exact same conversion.
Granted, the conversion must work and therefore the M3 can leave said workshop as a working Manual M3, but there are no code of ethics in place to ensure each conversion is the same.
It's not like workshops are ISO9001 accredited.
You must do your own research and satisfy yourself that you are choosing a converter who will be offering you the best possible conversion.
So, sometimes it's worth while trusting your instinct and going with a proven and known quality where you know EXACTLY what you'll be getting for your money.
The goal posts are so wide (and always moving) with this type of work due to the magnitude of parts quantities and if some are new or used for example, and that's even before the skill level is discussed.
We have spent a vast amount of time creating spreadsheets and honing this process to such a fine detail that we're able to present specific detail and description by description of exactly what parts you will get for your money.
There is simply no guess work with our conversions.
No panic sourcing of last minute used parts because suddenly Manual M3's aren't being dismantled so much nowadays.
We understand that an owner may want a basic conversion just to get the M3 working again after an SMG failure so perhaps they can sell it.
The same goes for knowing some owners want the ultimate option with every single conceivable item brand new from BMW as their M3 is a keeper for life.
Then there's the majority of us which want the best of both worlds and will fall into the Option 2 category.
That's why we've spent a great deal of time developing 3 options of SMG-to-Manual Conversion:
(This page is still being updated: 12-07-22
It will also be updated with a detailed conversion video explaining the process.
It will also have a separate video showing the different between Option 1/2/3.
Our conversions use Genuine BMW Parts and include all the mechanical and electrical (including coding) work, and are totally reversible should you one day want to go back to SMG.
In our conversions we even go to the extent of replacing the Instrument Cluster and Inlet Manifold to further enhance the OEM appearance of how a factory E46 M3 manual presents.
This work takes 1 week.
To make a booking with us, we require a £500 deposit.
Whilst this page is being updated please feel free to contact us for any questions you may have.
A side note on general SMG issues:
If you have issues with your SMG Gearbox/Clutch system, you are wise to consider an SMG-to-Manual Conversion from the offset.
This is because the labour costs involved with ongoing and sometimes open-ended diagnosing SMG issues, and then the eye-watering prices of the many different BMW SMG Parts can easily 'run away' and before you know it become an unviable repair.
In very complex cases they require lots of electrical & mechanical diagnosis labour, and then (for example) a new BMW SMG Pump Assembly part cost can easily become more expensive than converting to a Manual transmission in the first place.
We don't aim to discourage SMG owners away from repairing SMG vehicles (James Redish himself has an E46 M3 SMG in his collection), but merely be open and honest to help you make informed decisions.
SMG transmissions can sometimes be very costly to fix and rather than sticking with that mode of transmission, the option of a conversion should be seriously considered.