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    • Level 10 Performance Transmissions Building the First High Torque Capacity Automatic/Steptronic Transmission for the N54 (335/135/535)

      As many, probably all of you know, I've been having a slipping transmission since the record setting track day. After a vast search of capable transmission specialists, I decided to go with Level 10 Transmissions, located right here in my own NJ. I have heard their name thrown around in high HP/TQ domestic crowd before, but never knew they were in NJ. From the moment I talked to Pat on the phone, my spider senses kicked in and told me this is the place I need to go to get what I want done, when I want it done, and done right the first time.

      With the help of fellow BB member AKH23456, we made the 2 1/2 hr trip to drop my car off. As AK can confirm, my spider senses were correct. From the moment you spot the large facilities, you know this place means business. We walked in the front door and were greeted by walls and walls of Magaizine featured artciles, write-ups, and pictures of customers and their accomplishements thanking Level 10.

      A warm greeting by the receptionist and few minutes later by Pat himself. Not only did I have more than a few commonalities with Pat, which was nice, but he was genuinely excited about ME bringing my car to him, and my own accomplishements to this point. All of this was confirmed by his energetic fist-bumps when told what my record was, and then again when I told him what AK's AA supercharged M3 had run, ON STREET TIRES.

      So, a few quick photo's of the place as I wanted to get back on the road before traffic picked up, (didnt really save us BTW)

      The walls all the way around are covered with decades worth of accomplishments and pictures of grateful customers


      Small portion of the shop. Not pictured, but to the right is where the real magic happpens and all the transmissions are dissassembled and repaired/rebuilt


      My little sinner in front of its new temporary home


      More to come once the project is complete

      This article was originally published in forum thread: N54 (335/135/535) Level 10 Transmissions Builds the First High Torque Capacity Automatic/Steptronic Transmission started by LostMarine View original post
      Comments 149 Comments
      1. Ryan Mills's Avatar
        Ryan Mills -
        I would probably put whatever fluid level 10 recommends, they've been doing this for awhile.
      1. klipseracer's Avatar
        klipseracer -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by enrita Click here to enlarge
        i wonder if the DCT transmission would fit without any major changes specially on the software side . Sticky how much power and torque was yours withstanding without issues ?

        I wonder which is stronger, the DCT or the step? You're talking about swapping the dct into the n54 cars that didn't support it right? How much does a used dct tranny go for? They only come on the is models or something, right?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by klipseracer Click here to enlarge
        I wonder which is stronger, the DCT or the step? You're talking about swapping the dct into the n54 cars that didn't support it right? How much does a used dct tranny go for? They only come on the is models or something, right?
        Well I think they will actually have similar capabilities. Mine should be able to do 800 wheel torque or so.

        You can't buy a used DCT tranny and they cost $15k+
      1. PEI330Ci's Avatar
        PEI330Ci -
        Has anyone discussed cooling options for the transmission?

        It's one thing to be able to hold the torque, but that type of power creates heat, and that's what kills auto trannies.

        What is Level 10 recommending to help manage the added heat? Are they including an external oil cooler with temperature activated fan?
      1. DefactoM6's Avatar
        DefactoM6 -
        Frankly, if you're going to swap anything, swap the 6hp26 from the 335d/X5/V8 cars...it's stronger out of the box, would fit on the xmember, and you would actually have a fighting chance of coding the TCU to control it.

        I'm with PEI...but I've been saying that from the get go.
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        would love to put without hassel a 26 in my car. you can find those second hand cheap in europe because we have mostly Diesel especially from Germany. 30-40K miles for 1200 USD.
        however the cost to make it fit is probably not worth it. i cannot find anything about how to swap those from different site in Europe .
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DefactoM6 Click here to enlarge
        Frankly, if you're going to swap anything, swap the 6hp26 from the 335d/X5/V8 cars...it's stronger out of the box, would fit on the xmember, and you would actually have a fighting chance of coding the TCU to control it.

        I'm with PEI...but I've been saying that from the get go.
        Did we ever get pics of your M6?
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DefactoM6 Click here to enlarge
        Frankly, if you're going to swap anything, swap the 6hp26 from the 335d/X5/V8 cars
        Definitely an interesting option but seems nobody has done it.
      1. DefactoM6's Avatar
        DefactoM6 -
        I've talked with a few senior Master Techs/teachers about this...I would say worst case scenario, buy the 26 from a 335d along with the crossmember and driveshaft. You will likely have to swap the bellhousing from your 21 to the 26, but from the look of it, it should be a straight swap. From there, using the parts you've acquired, it should all bolt up. Not sure what size the input shaft is for the TQ converter, but my master tech said that he believes it's the same, if not, a spacer could be made...and the TQ converter on the D has got to be the strongest of the lot, seeing how much torque it makes. After that, it's about getting someone who can program the EGS and DME, but you're in Sweden, so you could just talk to ESS about doing that.
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DefactoM6 Click here to enlarge
        I've talked with a few senior Master Techs/teachers about this...I would say worst case scenario, buy the 26 from a 335d along with the crossmember and driveshaft. You will likely have to swap the bellhousing from your 21 to the 26, but from the look of it, it should be a straight swap. From there, using the parts you've acquired, it should all bolt up. Not sure what size the input shaft is for the TQ converter, but my master tech said that he believes it's the same, if not, a spacer could be made...and the TQ converter on the D has got to be the strongest of the lot, seeing how much torque it makes. After that, it's about getting someone who can program the EGS and DME, but you're in Sweden, so you could just talk to ESS about doing that.
        sounds like a great option. ESS is in Norway. little far away but the trip can be made .
      1. DefactoM6's Avatar
        DefactoM6 -
        Well definitely talk to them, and give a few tuners in Germany a ring, I'm sure one of them could do it. Cause frankly, the hardware part just shouldn't be that difficult as long as you have enough parts from the 335d to swap (namely the crossmember, driveshaft).
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        ESS cannot offer that coding service... that might be the most difficult thing to get done. Hope for a nice Level10 kit soon!!!
      1. DefactoM6's Avatar
        DefactoM6 -
        Damn. I bet the big German tuners have the ability...the question is how much $...
      1. mazdaspeed6's Avatar
        mazdaspeed6 -
        Bump!
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        nothin new to report yet. calling on monday Click here to enlarge
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        CAR IS DONE!!

        Now just gotta find a way to get up there as all my friends have work during the day Click here to enlarge
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        CAR IS DONE!!

        Now just gotta find a way to get up there as all my friends have work during the day Click here to enlarge
        great! would be awesome to get already an idea about the cost of a better torque convertor !
      1. LostMarine's Avatar
        LostMarine -
        i just looked on their site and the prices are there, and now it reads that you dont have to send yours in, they can bulld from scratch and ship it. but once i get up there ill have full build details and pics ect..
      1. enrita's Avatar
        enrita -
        is tempting to get the whole transmission... maybe i can send mine in when i get the new one to avoid downtime or just sell mine locally which works well on normal boost levels.
        Looking forward to the pics!
      1. R1000K3's Avatar
        R1000K3 -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
        CAR IS DONE!!

        Now just gotta find a way to get up there as all my friends have work during the day Click here to enlarge
        I haven't read the whole thread so maybe it is already covered. Is the work with the transmission basically a rebuild to stock spec or will the torque handling be increased and how much per gear if so.