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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Driving the car last week I thought I could feel a slight vibration under certain circumstances. I discovered by switching to 5th gear and accelerating hard below 2000 rpm I sometimes got a slight grinding/vibrating feel that seemed to be coming from the transmission/engine. Seemed to me to be rather like a clutch slipping (although the revs didn't rise particularly) so I suspected the torque converter. Took it along to local BMW dealer who sent out their test driver, he couldn't get the symptoms to manifest, so I drove it to demonstrate. He agreed there was a strange noise, checked with HQ and next day said they would replace the torque converter (under guarantee I am relieved to say).

Car was booked in for two days, due out today, got a call to say it is all stripped down but, alas, they don't have a new torque converter to drop in as they are on "worldwide back order" and there are none in Germany. Amazing. Anyway, point of my post is they claim that there is a worldwide shortage as a problem has been found so they are presumably reworking the design. Is anyone aware of anything like this? I am also concerned that any ALPINA specific parts might be overlooked, does anyone know if there are any required when replacing the torque converter? I have urged the dealer to contact ALPINA for advice but not convinced they have done so. All thoughts/advice welcome.

I am currently driving around in a loan 318i, doesn't seem to have quite the poke of the V8 somehow. Was more than a little amused to see it has traction control, now there is a superfluous bit of kit............
 

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Jez,

Can not give you any advice re your torque converter,but looking at the photo of your car was interested to see that your front spoiler is totally different to mine.
My car is also a 2000 B10-V8.

As I live in Surrey also, perhaps we can compare notes?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
igneousb said:
Jez,

Can not give you any advice re your torque converter,but looking at the photo of your car was interested to see that your front spoiler is totally different to mine.
My car is also a 2000 B10-V8.

As I live in Surrey also, perhaps we can compare notes?
Yes, would certainly be good to meet up once I get my car back. Are you Brian with the blue LHD B10 whom I spoke to shortly before getting my car early this year?
 

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Just replacing the torque converter is not possible with genuine parts as the ZF gearboxes specially made for Alpina are sealed . So I suppose you mean replacing the entire gearbox . It happened to me just one month ago.
I was feeling a slight slip when driving smoothly (strangly, there was no such slip when pushing full throttle). I.e the tacho stayed idle whereas the rpm jumped from 2800 to 3200 .
I went to the BMW Alpina dealer, they plugged the electronic thing and received the message "torque converter slip". They called alpina in Buchloe who proposed to replace the gearbox ... and the flywheel. Strange as this piece had been broken on my car 4 months ago and had already been replaced. But they said these were standard BMW pieces and it needed a newly developed flywheel otherwise it would break again.
I have been there under the car when the mecanician changed the gearbox. Have inspected the part: it's a ZF with a green "alpina" sitcker, and yes it's sealed, you can't do anything on this piece. Have seen the flywheel (old one and new one). Huge difference: the new one is much more thicker but with three big holes in it, to keep the weight low.
I only paid for the manwork on the gearbox, not for the pieces. So around 300 € .
The same story happened to Dosilet (another member here). He has a B3 3.3 and had his gearbox replaced after it showed strange signals and suddendly shut down (engine in safe mode).
A friend of mine has a B10 V8 and had his gearbox replaced already.
I have now a new gearbox which does not slip at all (seems quicker than old one) BUT since it was replaced, it have a noise (vibration) from under the car at certain rpm. It went back again to the dearler (!) who diagnosed a broken catalysor. Again Buchloe was involved and accepted to change the piece under warranty (my car is 3 years old) .
Repair is now fixed for next tuesday. Unfortunately the exhaust will need to be cut and re-fitted, whereas it's now a one piece from the engine to the tail. Apparently Alpina does not provide the full exhaust in one piece in after-sale service. At least I hope the noise/vibration will stop with this. Thanks god it does not come from the new gearbox. They tell me it's impossible, but I feel strange the noise started just when I took the car back last month...

So on the one hand I'm very satisfied with the ALpina flexibility on the warranty , but on the other hand I find my car is too often in repair these weeks ... I think the engine is somewhat too strong for some components. They can't on earth test each of them as in normal driving conditions.

Great car though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sherlock thanks for the detailed reply, this fits in with what I have heard. I spoke to Sytner this morning (UK ALPINA importer) as I wasn't comfortable with what my local dealer had told me. Sytner also said the torque converter is not available as a separate part, have to get the whole gearbox. The local dealer had definitely said they would replace just the torque converter, so I went back to them and asked them to confirm 100% that they would be replacing the torque converter with an ALPINA part and not BMW. They said they were pretty certain this was the case but they went off to double check and I haven't heard back, so will have to start chasing again on Monday. I will also ask for confirmation that they have checked the flywheel situation with ALPINA as this seems to be a common replacement part when the gearbox is changed as well.

My car has the extended warranty so I expect all of the work- parts and labour- to be carried out free of charge. On what basis did they charge you for labour if you car is still under warranty?
 

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Jez, they charged me the labour as the car is actually not in warranty anymore. It was not an extended one, just the legal one (2 years). So it's a good deal ...

I hope your problems will be fixed as well. Let me know if I can further help.
 

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Jez

My advice would be to check everything you are told with Alpina direct in Germany. All BMW and Alpina parts are brought in by BMW GB to their parts dept, consequently BMW dealerswill check with them and not with Synter or Alpina for any info including availability and fitment. This is where the mis-information can arise. Hope this helps.

Joni P
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@jonip - sounds like good advice, what is the best contact you have found for ALPINA in Germany? The one I have is Axel Rimpler, cust services manager.
 

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Jez,

Talk to Kris Odwarka Alpina's Sales Operations Manager he is always very
helpful and speaks perfect English.
If he is unable to help you he will tell you who can.
You can contact him on 0049 82415005-220 or mobile 0049 1708166661 or
Email [email protected]


Brian
 

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I found this thread interesting since just the other day I received a "Trans. Failsafe prog" message just for a second. I have also noticed a slight "jolt" when coming on the throttle.. wonder if mine is next.....
 
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