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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 Thu, Jun-21-2018, 05:45:30 PM   #31
aa240sx
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Thanks - mrgizmo04. yeah I plan to code the GPS out.

Quick update on the build - I think most guys recommend using a 3" hole saw bi-metal to cut out the hole for the shifter in the trans tunnel, but I would strongly urge you to use a 3 1/4" hole saw. The metal plate that is there is surrounded by a hole already and if you plan to use the rubber gasket that seals the inside of the car from outside the 3" hole won't be large enough to accommodate it.

Given all the complaints about NVH, I'm doing everything I can to isolate the noise and the 3 1/4" hole saw leaves a perfect hole behind that fits the factory gasket to a T.
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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 Wed, Jun-27-2018, 06:19:59 PM   #32
aa240sx
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Update - So just wanted to let anyone here know that you absolutely cannot use the stock rubber gasket with this shifter. While you can still use the gasket portion, the rubber boot part will easily interfere with the shifter mechanism as it sits within the shifter's steel mount. I opted to cut out the boot portion, but keep the rubber gasket. However, the steel mount will sit on top of this gasket, so there could be an issue with the installation not being a clean fit, metal to metal. No big deal and I can resolve this later by just simply removing the rubber gasket and not using one at all.

I imagine that's what most people are doing anyway, but like I said in the previous post, I was hoping to minimize NVH. Anyone out there with any solutions to block out the hole for the shifter?

Over the last day, I started tackling the clutch and hydraulic lines. This is a pretty straightforward affair, but I will add that it's a lot easier to do if you remove the driver seat. Also, don't make my mistake and install the clutch pedal and the hard clutch line and then realize you didn't install the rubber clutch line that goes to the reservoir. It's impossible to get the rubber clutch line to insert fully into the clutch master cylinder once it's mounted.

Also, the rubber clutch line is a super simple to setup. If you go through the premarked X on the interior of the car, simply push the line through and it will poke out right next to the resevoir. I plan to drain out the hydraulic fluid before cutting the plastic end of the resevoir and inserting the rubber line, unless there's a better way?

The parts for my transmission came in yesterday. Namely clutch, clutch fork, pivot pin, spring and throwout bearing. I'll get those installed and should have the transmission back in place by this weekend? We'll see. I still have to run wires too so I doubt this will be on the ground again before Mid July.

Also, I'm now calling this the detentless shifter manual conversion job. No I definitely didn't coin the term, but I think it's the most appropriate way to describe the job.
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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, Jun-27-2018 at 06:25:01 PM.
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Old Wed, Jun-27-2018, 10:38:10 PM   #33
volkswackin
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Having done this for a customer...if you pulled the trans you should have just had the bellhousing done. The lack of an extra detent for reverse sucks. Take that for what it is but having done a few of these now I will only suggest people do it the proper way from here on out. Also-gear position sensor or not-make sure you wire from the clutch sensor to the DME or the car will have stalling issues when pushing the clutch in at higher RPMs-the idle valve does engage earlier to ensure smooth idle.
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Old Thu, Jun-28-2018, 03:40:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkswackin View Post
Having done this for a customer...if you pulled the trans you should have just had the bellhousing done. The lack of an extra detent for reverse sucks. Take that for what it is but having done a few of these now I will only suggest people do it the proper way from here on out. Also-gear position sensor or not-make sure you wire from the clutch sensor to the DME or the car will have stalling issues when pushing the clutch in at higher RPMs-the idle valve does engage earlier to ensure smooth idle.
I'm actually at the wiring portion of this job now and definitely plan to wire in the clutch sensor to the DME as well as all the other wiring requirements except for the GPS, which I understand is mainly if I want cruise (which I do, so will plan to handle this through software coding).

I appreciate your opinion about machining the bell housing, but it's not a daily (as evidenced by being on jacks for nearly 3 months...) and if it ends up being an issue, back on the jacks it'll go for another 3 months so I can do the bellhousing machining. I'm a turtle not a hare and I enjoy the work as masochistic as that sounds (ever see The Accountant?) and I'm probably going to be just fine without the detents just as many others on this forum are.
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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 Wed, Jul-11-2018, 08:43:33 PM   #35
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Update - failed reinstalling the transmission last night. Likely because I was using a regular car jack with a wooden base to support the transmission. This worked for me when I removed the transmission, but sadly doesn't work for installation. Ran to HF today and picked up a low lift scissor transmission jack and should have the transmission installed tonight.

I know that I should put the transmission in gear prior to install so that I can turn the external pilot rod and that will also turn the internal splined rod to line up with the input/clutch on the engine side.

Barring any unforeseen issues the next few days will be spent

connecting the dual shear selector rod to the tranny and rtd shifter, reinstalling the driveshaft, exhaust, starter motor, intake manifold, reinstalling remaining bits, dropping the car and adjusting the 3/4 shifter on the RTD and then starting it up.

freaking out about all the dummy lights after startup and then..

programming and i'll be finished.

any advice on the steps I'll be following to reinstall would be greatly appreciated!

also wanted to share


Granted, it's an E90, but definitely motivates me to finish up!
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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, Jul-11-2018 at 10:04:39 PM.
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 06:08:58 PM   #36
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Update - Progress Pictures

With the help of my son, clutch is bled! This particular job though simple was quite satisfying. I basically did the 2 person job with my son pressing the clutch about 5-7 times and on the 7th attempt holding the clutch in, while I released the slave cyl bleed screw to release the hydraulic fluid and air.

This took about 5 times for me, but now the clutch is ultra stiff. I'm considering doing this to my 330i 5 speed manual, though it feels similar now.

The first picture you see below is that of the ECU wiring - The white heat shrinked wire is the wire I used for the electrical connection required here.

Second and third picture speak for themselves. By the way, the floormat with the excessive wear near the clutch is very misleading. I bought the floormats used...

4th picture is just to show where I placed my remaining unused wire. This included the round smg plug and three other plugs. I plan to tape up/cover those wires. I did plug the reverse wiring in as well as the two plugs that are near the clutch slave cylinder though I believe they're useless at this point.

5th picture is the trans mount. Do you guys continue to use the black heavy piece? I know it's used to minimize NVH and I'm including it, but just curious. I'm also using semi-solid mounts as I believe that's the recommendation for this setup.

Setting a goal for myself to finish this up by next weekend.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg IMG_2926.jpeg (200.2 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpeg IMG_2927.jpeg (238.6 KB, 32 views)
File Type: jpeg IMG_2928.jpeg (220.3 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpeg IMG_2932.jpeg (257.7 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpeg IMG_2933.jpeg (352.5 KB, 29 views)
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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; Sat, Jul-14-2018 at 06:17:53 PM.
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Old Sat, Jul-14-2018, 06:15:40 PM   #37
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Another picture - this is the DSSR rod that I also purchased from RTD.
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File Type: jpeg IMG_2934.jpeg (233.9 KB, 36 views)
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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 Tue, Jul-17-2018, 08:59:59 PM   #38
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Quick question on the plugs found on the transmission. Other than the plug for the reverse light (which I know is used), are the other plugs used?

Putting the intake manifold on tonight and firing it up for the first time in 3 months and just want to be sure I've got the right things installed/removed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1IhyfF.jpg (164.6 KB, 21 views)
__________________
- 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 Tue, Jul-17-2018, 10:18:15 PM   #39
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by aa240sx View Post
Quick question on the plugs found on the transmission. Other than the plug for the reverse light (which I know is used), are the other plugs used?

Putting the intake manifold on tonight and firing it up for the first time in 3 months and just want to be sure I've got the right things installed/removed.
I think those are smg-specific temp sensor and rotation speed sensor.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
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'85 528e 164k miles (sold)
'05 M3 6MT coupe

All DIY: 330 ZHP steering rack, diffsonline 4.1 diff with rem polish, E60 short shifter lever, AKG black diff bushings/subframe bushings, Rogue rtab, WPC rod bearings, Beyer driveshaft, full SS (SS stepped V1, catted S1, resonated S2, SS sport), Sachs clutch/flywheel, rear main, VANOS bullet proofing with anti-rattle, valve adjustment, cooling refresh, Ohlins R&T/Swift 448f 672r/GC street tops and camber plates, AFD E85 Proflex kit.
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Old Wed, Jul-18-2018, 06:35:22 AM   #40
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Default Re: Build Journal - RTD shifter - SMG to 6sp conversion

Success! Literally 5 minutes before writing this, I buttoned everything back up, crossed my fingers and she roared back to life!!

smooth idle and something that came as a complete shock to me..

NO ERROR LIGHTS! NONE!

This is all before programming/coding. I have no idea if she's down on power as I fired her up while she was on jackstands, but she started up just fine. I even risked putting it in reverse (reverse lights work) and first gear. I also don't know if I will get error lights down the road after several days and several more starts if I decide to drive it like this without coding for a few days...

So far so good - odd observation - I can start it without depressing the clutch or the brake pedal. No I haven't tried starting it while in gear and not putting my foot on the brake or pedal, but if I had to guess I think it would start.

Man - this is by far the most complex thing I've ever done to a car, but I know my journey isn't over yet...

Thanks Mrgizmo04 - I opted to unplug everything on the transmission except the reverse plug to get this result.
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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, Jul-18-2018 at 04:34:38 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)