Gearbox information for 320/6 and 323iHere's some information related to the gearboxes and final drive for the 320/6 and 323i.
About the 320/6
The 320/6 came standard with a 4-speed gearbox, the Getrag 242. A 5-speed gearbox was available as an option but is very rare (unless it has been converted to 5-speed afterwards).
The 320/6 has a 3.64:1 ratio on the differential.
About the 323i
The 323i also came standard with a 4-speed gearbox, however most 323i are equipped with a 5-speed overdrive gearbox. A dogleg close-ratio sport gearbox was available as an option.
The 323i has a 3.45:1 ratio on the differential. If fitted with a sport gearbox, the ratio was 3.25:1.
As you can see below, all gearboxes have direct transmission on 4th gear, except for the sport box which has direct transmission on 5th gear.
Notes about conversions
If you have a 4-speed, you will probably benefit a lot by swapping the gearbox for a 5-speed overdrive model. You will get a more fuel economic car, and when cruising at speed you will have reduced rpms which means less noise and less wear. However, the swap is not completely straightforward, because the 5-speed gearbox is a bit longer and requires a shorter driveshaft. The best to do the conversion is to have a 5-speed gearbox and matched driveshaft before starting work. Here's a picture that compares the two driveshafts.
Notes about E30 M20 gearboxes (By Arne from the late graymarket site)
There is an alternative to those hard to find six cylinder E21 gearboxes: use the five speed from a 528e or E30 325e/i. The ZF transmissions in those cars are easy to find (translate as more affordable), often have lower miles, they will bolt up to our small six engines, and the gear ratios are almost identical to the E21 overdrive box. But there are some issues to deal with, which is the point of this article. Let's look at those issues one at a time.
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