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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Apr-25-2018, 07:42:46 PM   #11
Kwakjoe
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

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Originally Posted by Turb02 View Post
Im one of those guys that didnt machine the housing for detents and I use the RTD shifter.

I DO recommend it.
How long did it take you?
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Old Wed, Apr-25-2018, 07:49:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

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Originally Posted by Kwakjoe View Post
How long did it take you?
I took my time since my car was in my dad's garage on his lift, 45 minutes from my house. Missed a few parts that I had to order and wait for...

All in all, it can easily be done on a weekend. Hell even a day. If I had to do it again, I bet I could do it in about 7 hours, if nothing went wrong and I had all the parts.

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Old Thu, Apr-26-2018, 05:36:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

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Originally Posted by NY98M3 View Post
Can you please measure the DSSR from end to end?
The RTD DSSR is 6 1/2" end to end and 5 3/4" from center to center.
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- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine White - 6 speed - RTD Short Shifter, Enkei RPF1's on Hankook V12 staggered, Macht Schnell Intake, Eisenmann Exhaust, Koni's on Vogtland springs, Status Gruppe front lip.
- 2008 Mercedes Benz R350 - stock
- 2002 330i - Gray Metallic - 5 speed sport package - stock
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Old Thu, Apr-26-2018, 02:47:49 PM   #14
Steve M3
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Interested in seeing how this goes for you, keep us updated!
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Old Thu, Apr-26-2018, 10:02:59 PM   #15
tr4ck_m3
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

let me know how you like ur RTD Shifter.. thinking about selling my AutoSolutions kit
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Old Wed, May-16-2018, 05:54:01 PM   #16
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Progress Update!

Sorry no pics yet, but did complete the intake manifold removal last night. Took my time and it was interesting to see what bolts were actually missing when I went in there. Obviously the previous mech/owner wasn't too diligent about installation since there was actually zero 10mm bolts (2) that were holding the intake manifold down. I also used needle nose pliers to remove the intake hose clamps. That will probably be much harder to reinstall. I did remove the salmon relay as well and put the car in neutral before removing the power cable to the battery.

With the intake manifold removed, I know I won't be using the smg reservoir or it's tubing, so what is everyone doing to plug the hole under the reservoir? It's drained and useless so I assume most do nothing about it, but just curious.

Also, I'm planning to completely remove any SMG related parts including the ECU. I understand some people keep it installed. Why? Does it make programming easier? Or, is it best to remove all SMG components?

Tonight, I hope to remove the 4 hydraulic lines to the SMG pump and remove it from the topside. Doubt I'll get to the underside of the car to remove the exhaust and driveshaft, but we'll see.

I have decided that I will go ahead and remove the transmission from the engine. I really thought I wouldn't have to do this part, but seeing other guys have some serious issues with removing the smg actuator insitu, I just don't think it's worth the headache.

So, will be ordering clutch fork, pivot pin, retaining spring and throwout bearing as well.

I know there's also going to be some work underneath the dash, so I plan to remove the driver's seat to make that job less of a PIA!

I am taking my time on this job, so don't hold your breath for too many updates!
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- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine White - 6 speed - RTD Short Shifter, Enkei RPF1's on Hankook V12 staggered, Macht Schnell Intake, Eisenmann Exhaust, Koni's on Vogtland springs, Status Gruppe front lip.
- 2008 Mercedes Benz R350 - stock
- 2002 330i - Gray Metallic - 5 speed sport package - stock

Last edited by aa240sx; Wed, May-16-2018 at 05:59:11 PM.
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Old Wed, May-16-2018, 07:24:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Great job on attempting to tackle this project yourself!

I’ll keep an eye on this thread to track your progress and pointers! Can you please keep the first post updated with any additional parts that you needed?

Best of luck!
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Old Wed, May-16-2018, 07:40:04 PM   #18
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

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Originally Posted by tr4ck_m3 View Post
let me know how you like ur RTD Shifter.. thinking about selling my AutoSolutions kit
The RTD shifter is a 'means to an end' solution for me. CAE, Samsonas, etc any one selling a self centering shifter simply provides us with an alternative to machining the bell housing for this conversion.

Granted, I'm sure I'll love it, but as far as a review goes that might be awhile...
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- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine White - 6 speed - RTD Short Shifter, Enkei RPF1's on Hankook V12 staggered, Macht Schnell Intake, Eisenmann Exhaust, Koni's on Vogtland springs, Status Gruppe front lip.
- 2008 Mercedes Benz R350 - stock
- 2002 330i - Gray Metallic - 5 speed sport package - stock

Last edited by aa240sx; Thu, May-17-2018 at 02:53:23 AM.
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Old Thu, May-17-2018, 01:31:24 AM   #19
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

I really appreciate this thread, thank you for documenting it and thanks to MercedesC63 for the link to the e46 fanatics thread.

Will the interior look and function like OEM stock when finished? I've been debating doing the SMG to Manual swap since I bought my car. It has always been the bellhousing and coding that have prevented me from starting it. Generally I enjoy a good DIY project and I have a lift. My car only has 7800 miles (not 78,000, but 7800) from new and it's condition is nearly perfect so I'm a little hesitant to do anything that isn't totally OEM BMW.

Best of luck, looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Last edited by patriot dude; Thu, May-17-2018 at 11:03:47 AM.
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Old Thu, May-17-2018, 02:59:03 AM   #20
aa240sx
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

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Originally Posted by patriot dude View Post
I really appreciate this thread, thank you for documenting it and thanks to MercedesC63 for the link to the e46 fanatics thread.

Will the interior look and function like OEM stock when finished? I've been debating doing the SMG to Manual swap since I bought my car. It has always been the bellhousing and coding that have prevented me from starting it. Generally I enjoy a good DIY project and I have a lift. My car only has 7800 miles from new and it's condition is nearly perfect so I'm a little hesitant to do anything that isn't totally OEM BMW.

Best of luck, looking forward to seeing how it goes.
Thanks - I'll do my best to document the coding portion when I get there. It's the one area of this job that isn't well documented on these forums (or I couldn't find a good enough thread that discusses it).

Unless you meant to say 78000 and not 7800, your ride may not be a good candidate for this conversion. I understand that doing this can actually de-value a car, but for my over 100K ride, all bets are off.

The fact that you have a lift though will make this job easier for you.

Anyway, to answer your question about the interior, the RTD shifter (non locking) is the ONLY centering shifter on the market that does not require you to hack up your center console at all! It also doesn't even require you to drill new mounting holes or to weld a support for the shifter arm, because it doesn't use one.
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- 2003 M3 Coupe - Alpine White - 6 speed - RTD Short Shifter, Enkei RPF1's on Hankook V12 staggered, Macht Schnell Intake, Eisenmann Exhaust, Koni's on Vogtland springs, Status Gruppe front lip.
- 2008 Mercedes Benz R350 - stock
- 2002 330i - Gray Metallic - 5 speed sport package - stock

Last edited by aa240sx; Fri, May-18-2018 at 05:42:38 PM.
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Discussing Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)