Project E46 M3: Part 13 – Lightweight clutch and flywheel, and more!


We won’t go into detail on how to remove the exhaust because if you have a hard time doing that, you may not want to attempt a tranny removal. But the exhaust must be removed, and if you’ve got a stock-like setup, we’re just talking Section 2 (mid pipes). Shown here our Section 3 is off as well but that’s because we had removed the entire previous exhaust setup—the Magnaflow system—when we were taking pictures.

As mentioned earlier, you’ll just want to at least remove Section 2, which includes from the headers to the rear muffler, but leaving those two in place. That will give you access to the heat shield, which also needs to be removed to fully access the driveshaft, which we’ll remove next.

With the heat shield removed you’ve got access to the drive shaft. Hopefully you’ve kept the car out of gear and the E-brake disengaged. If not, you’ll want to lower the car to do this in order to be able to access the three bolts connecting the driveshaft to the transmission.

The driveshaft will pull out of the transmission once you lower it by undoing the support bracket. To do this, simply remove these 13-mm bolts. From here you can leave the driveshaft hanging, but if you fear banging your head on the edge you can zip tie it to the chassis (use thick ones). I tried both ways—first hanging, but then I banged my head on it. After the third time, I finally zip-tied it.

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