Is a Manual Transmission Swap Worth It?
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So far we’ve beat the absolute crap out of our new e36 BUT the automatic transmission is kinda ruining the party for us. So today we are turning our family automatic sedan into... well still a family sedan with a cooler shift stick. Was it all worth it???

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  • Ursa warrior
    Ursa warrior

    Manual is good actually cheaper

  • Gilbert Sanchez
    Gilbert Sanchez

    16:08 how did that razor blade stick to your hand???

  • Tree Funk Jones
    Tree Funk Jones

    Wait did he have a magnet installed in his hand to catch that razor?

  • Chris Johnson
    Chris Johnson

    22:35 gotta love the guy with the fez in the background lol

  • jason Lucas
    jason Lucas

    You guys need to build a type r in that same yellow and run it down the track

  • Logan Hauck
    Logan Hauck

    You really should be wearing nitrile gloves when handling transmission fluid.

  • MrJwc1234

    I once swapped a auto to manual trans in Ford probe GT when I was 16 in my buddies drive way with minimal tools. Worth all the time and $$ we lived near a junk yard and I think we did it for $100. Was back in 2002.

  • yeet skeet
    yeet skeet

    Am I trippin or did he never say how much it costed or how much time was spent on the switch?

  • croaton07

    Far cheaper to buy a manual and fix it up than to do a transy swap.

    • Hexoson

      Not for these kind of cars. You can resell the auto trans anyhow for some money back, not to mention that this BMW was apparently much cheaper than those with manuals. I'd say it's absolutely worth it. Not to mention, you learn a lot about transmissions and can swap transmissions more easily with the experience. Even if it costs more, it's still well worth the experience of taking out a transmission for the future and can lead to potential money-making opportunities where you can swap other people's transmissions.

  • kyle higgins
    kyle higgins

    What about wiring the reverse lights?

  • Wooopsy Daisy
    Wooopsy Daisy

    BucketGuy at 22:37 😮

  • Piotrus3223 Nazwiskowy
    Piotrus3223 Nazwiskowy

    In my country manual transmission is Ladies trans, because they ussually use manuals in small, underpowered cars. Guy most often drive automatic.

  • Burt Macklin
    Burt Macklin

    Proud of you Zach, not too many people use the term hacking so aptly

  • C

    Hint: it’s not

  • Erik s
    Erik s

    Bro u skipped all the shit on the peddle...

  • Fox Gaming
    Fox Gaming

    Boy we have the gear box in iraq for 75$ and its like a new one its in very good condition and the clutch and fly wheel both for 100$ and its sport clutch (metal) i dont know what u name it 😂

  • Killian

    Not enough comments on how entertaining that merch sale animation was


    did this get done in the same day from the swap porition? also, would love to see you do a swap with a FWD vehicle

  • John Sulsenti
    John Sulsenti

    Had a E36, my Chevy costs less the BMW on maintenance, let alone repair parts. Some reason the rt. front brake calibre would freeze up every 5 to 7 years & the electronics worked when it wanted to. (had the car for 20yrs). My 2010 Chevy HHR needed brake pads & oil change, That's it!

  • Kotey McCall
    Kotey McCall

    Take a shot every time he smacks his hands together!

  • Glados Ai
    Glados Ai

    Considering I can rip apart an engine and put it back together without a manual... I’d honestly be a good person to have around due to my mechanical insanity

  • James will
    James will


  • Randy Slater
    Randy Slater

    22:36 that's a sick fez

  • Dá Fallì
    Dá Fallì

    I picked up my e36 droptop 2 years ago for 400 been working on my e92 lately But now i wanna convert auto to manual So im grateful that u guys dropped an updated video

  • Colin Donoghue
    Colin Donoghue

    Just saw an article saying how you shouldn't manual swap your car because of all the fab work required. It made up a lot of bull about how ever part of the process is too hard and you shouldn't attempt. The dumbest part is they referenced this video at the end as proof. Even though this video pretty much negates every thing the article said. Granted it's not easy but its definitely not impossible

  • IamHeadShotNL

    Laughs in european...

  • Irontale

    if life doesn't kill me I AM certain Alzheimer's will ._.

  • ThePentosin

    Where is the new time on the track????

  • cminagil

    Manual swaps are ALWAYS worth it. Sadly you have a $hitty bimmer, but that's your problem and not mine

  • Tim

    Lol at the dude popping out at 22:35 XD

  • Tim

    He plays it down like its doable, but this shit looks so crazy fucking hard!!

  • The Littlest Walker
    The Littlest Walker

    I missing something, did he just stick a razor blade to his hand?

  • Dominic Beck
    Dominic Beck

    Just curious as to if you had to do any wiring or anything like that? Is it just put out the auto ecu brain and all set???

  • Imma Unicorn
    Imma Unicorn

    2:40 I think I saw the one African prince that went to queens or something in the background when he stopped at the stop sign.

  • firemonkey zodiac
    firemonkey zodiac

    The only reason I would choose automatic transmission would be if I lived in a city, A 5 speed manual transmission is much better on icy mountain roads.

  • Say Hi To My Chopper
    Say Hi To My Chopper

    18:05 what shift knob /shaft is that


    If I paid yall to upgrade my truck would yall?

  • killercivic2001

    "traction control... what a loser" man... I felt that one hahaha

  • John Lumapas
    John Lumapas

    are you guys getting hydraulic lifts soon?

  • Leonardo Lovo
    Leonardo Lovo

    Almost 100% of the cars here in Brazil are manual transmission.

  • Greg Benwell
    Greg Benwell

    This is all well and good but what do you do if you want a stick shift in a car that never came with one???? For example I loved my 1999 Pontiac GTP Grand Prix two door.........BUT GM never built a stick shift/ manual transmission, for any of its front wheel drive V6 cars EVER!! In fact they only built a manual transmission for the 4 cylinder cars in the 1980s and 1990s but the bell housings are totally different on those!! So you can't even "retro fit" one!!! And lets be honest here not everybody has a BMW just laying around either......and I certainly DO NOT own a garage or my own property to just have a stack of parts cars kicking around also as well!! And GM did make a manual transmission that fit behind their "S" series pickup trucks in the 1980s and 1990s, but those are rear wheel drive and you can't put them in a front wheel drive car!! They just don't fit!!

  • The_Gamer_947

    Not all clutches like oil yeah

  • Lance

    Up to Speed on Halo

  • Joseph Stofflet
    Joseph Stofflet


  • Dripzz

    in australia, manual cars are way cheaper then automatics, so we are lucky👍

  • monty walton
    monty walton

    Hes just bow listing stuff im calling it hes missing trans fluid

  • Zane Carson
    Zane Carson

    22:38 WTF

  • Matt Evans
    Matt Evans

    Is it worth it... NO, is it possible yes... Compromise... buy the maual in the first place.

  • William Traylor
    William Traylor

    22:35 The random guy in the background wtf is he wearing😂😂😂?

  • Tthomas Ssmith
    Tthomas Ssmith

    The hesitant plot electronmicroscopically continue because step-aunt regionally sigh across a overrated male. ahead, legal cord

  • Christian Lopez
    Christian Lopez

    Can u do a manual swap for a base lancer?

  • Zart

    man really paid ebay prices for the manual swap lol

  • Thomas Byrne
    Thomas Byrne

    move to new york damnit

  • Kozi

    That's a clean underside of the car, you guys are so lucky. You should see what cars look like after just a decade of road salt.

  • Jack Snyder
    Jack Snyder

    22:40 Aladdin????

  • CDsDontBurn

    Question @Donut, @Zachjobe: Being in California, are there any issues relating a manual swap and emissions regulations? I'm at the point where I've finished parts gathering for my manual swap, but am concerned about possible CA emissions BS. I know the transmission doesn't have anything to do with emissions, but this being CA we're in, I wouldn't be surprised if they said something...

  • Tenebras

    6:05 Heart attack moment.

  • Erik F
    Erik F

    I wish I could work for donut but I’m not a camera friendly looking person like most of your hosts. But I would love to work behind the scenes.

  • Goonfieldmafia

    16:07 that pro razor catch

  • Pink Jay101
    Pink Jay101

    Bo offense the the first season fans (I live the miata too don't worrh) but this is the coolest episode of money so far

  • John Williams
    John Williams

    not to ask a silly question, but that conversion to Manual Trans is great and all, but what is the impact to value? I mean, the VIN is pointing to an Automatic which would be invalid. I bought a used 2013 Camaro 2SS with a few minor mods and would LOVE to convert it to Manual, but don't want the hassle later (if I choose to sell it at some point) due to the VIN Lookups being different. Or is that even a concern?

  • Stewart Anderson
    Stewart Anderson

    My Volvo never came with a manual option 😔

  • Ryno’s Raceroom
    Ryno’s Raceroom

    I think this swap was awesome🤘🏻🏁

  • Wzrd

    When all the manuals are beat up and abused so you buy an automatic but throw it around in the sand first so it becomes beat up and abused.

  • jere342

    Bro, you should have something to backup those jack stands, atleast keep the jacks underneath it. Always have a fail-safe:

  • YeOldeOgre

    Love eBay motors! I can't imagine the thousands I would have spent on just a handful of parts for my Mercedes R170

  • YeOldeOgre

    Worth it? Yes

  • Raab's Garage
    Raab's Garage

    What you can do if the old parts are nice is list them on eBay or Facebook. It will help offset some of the cost

  • Vynnx A
    Vynnx A

    Im pretty sure the current rim is actually lighter than the tire current tire.

  • Cary Zinke
    Cary Zinke

    Zach is my favorite. Hands down. He was the best investment Donut Media has made, imho. Huge thanks to everyone that has made all this possible so I (we) can enjoy awesome content like this.

  • Ivan Vega
    Ivan Vega

    I think it's worth the switch if you actually have the money and time, but hell yes it is cool

  • Kelsi Dysinger
    Kelsi Dysinger

    Just finished engine and manual swapping my v6 accord. best thing we have done for that car. its so much more fun to drive now

  • Soccer Fan FCA
    Soccer Fan FCA

    Doing the same project on my E36 M3

  • Adam Gray
    Adam Gray

    I’d have just bought a manual car…….

  • CosmoJ3ff

    Just a little info on the whole ebay fitment thing, it's not always accurate I've bought countless things with eBay using part numbers and parts say they fit and don't when installed. Probably because I drive a saab though 😅

  • Steve Essig
    Steve Essig

    6 months ago I didn't even know what a throttle body was after watching a few of ur videos now full confident on tearing down and rebuilding my engine... Good stuff man 🙂

  • Oak Street
    Oak Street

    Wish i can manual swap my nissan Frontier 😔

  • Noah L
    Noah L

    wait a damn minute, does he have a magnet implanted in his hand lmaoo 16:05 for reference

  • AK-DAVE- 47
    AK-DAVE- 47

    um u didnt put the clutch in right.

  • GameNinja169

    Wait how come you were able to start it without the clutch in? (Never really watched it about swapping trans so I just don’t know)

  • Ner Ve
    Ner Ve

    Anyone wants a Manual E36 I got one for $5000.

  • Lunatic Springtrap
    Lunatic Springtrap

    The captions are delayed

  • tofuboye

    Don't forget, that if you do this and the auto trans is still fine (and whatever else you pulled out) you could probably sell them to get some of that cash back too. Depending on the car that could be ez big bucks

  • Tony Guttuso
    Tony Guttuso

    Why did two people say”The poor miata in the background is like “how could you do this to me😭””?

  • Hanniel Jonathan I
    Hanniel Jonathan I

    What about a car that doesn’t have a manual counterpart like a new MK5 or GTR R35

  • Miguel Gomez
    Miguel Gomez

    I’m so happy I just got an ‘97 e36 with only 140k for only $5000. And it looks brand spanking new!

  • SugaryPhoenixxx

    Call me a loser but I really enjoy automatic trans cars.

  • Cpt Link
    Cpt Link

    Isnt it as simple as putting a jumper wire on the ignition bloking konnektors? I thought It would be as easy as in A340 transmission where you just put a paperklip on 2 konnektors to start the kar.

  • cody hickman
    cody hickman

    viewers: His hands: smack smack smack smack

  • Anthony Conlon
    Anthony Conlon

    almost unwatchable because of stupid adverts

  • Thurman Weaver
    Thurman Weaver

    The red vans at 16:00 was a full feeling (we not gon talk abt the razor that sticked to his hand)

  • Chris Langstaff
    Chris Langstaff

    It's a fez, I wear a fez now, fezzes are cool

  • idk

    The transmission dismounting and mounting process looks so scary with his torso right beside the whole thing lol

  • ronald lazar
    ronald lazar

    Great job!!!, and now I'm UP to Speed

  • mmpj twod
    mmpj twod

    The poor miata in the background is like “how could you do this to me😭

    • _Yahir_

      Nice pfp

  • MewShifter

    wonder what is with the atuomatic transition hate

  • Yak Hunt
    Yak Hunt

    Are we ignoring the bloke in a fez?

  • Alexander Ponce
    Alexander Ponce

    This was mesmerizing

  • Tim C
    Tim C

    By my count thats over $3k in parts just to swap it over, seems like buying a manual off the bat might still just be the way to go. Sure you could sell off the automatic parts, but that's a whole other animal.

    • I.C.E.

      But certain cars don’t originally come in a manual transmission

  • auto mech
    auto mech

    13:53 dad jokes