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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 Mon, Aug-17-2009, 05:32:52 PM   #1
sevenfold
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Default SMG Replacing Just the Accumulator

I have a feeling the accumulator is about to go or is weak on my 03 E46 M3.

Here is my question.

Im assuming that I can just replace the accumulator without having to take out the entire pump from the car. But will I still need the autogenety tool to program the pump once I have removed the accumulator and put in a new one?

Thanks.
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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 07:41:12 PM   #2
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Default Based on a HCU removal DIY I saw you can

get the accumulator off. This person could not get the lines to the cylinders off without heating the aluminum block they were in, so he took off the accumulator and front/fluid part of the assembly to do so.
I highly expect you have to bleed the system.

Personally, I think you could do that with the SMG relay removed and key on by going to gear 1,2,R, but I cannot recommend doing so as risk is unkown.

I also don't recommend torch heat around hydraulic lines or deep in an engine bay, that seems like a prescription for disaster.

So obviously all this stuff is at your own risk.

Why do you think the accum is going? You can't POSSIBLY know this w/o getting codes read, and the parts are expensive to go shotgunning the problem.
In simple terms, if the pump never gets to full pressure, about 85bar/1200 psi, the pump is bad barring a leak or serious wear of the cylinders allowing blowby. If the pump runs too frequently, it could be the accumulator, but depending on how they route things, it could simply be, for example, a worn cylinder o-ring passing fluid back to exhaust (wasting pressure). I have no idea how to know what normal duty cycles of the pump should be nor have I seen them published, and they would vary with ... shifts per minute; there's some description in the full SMG manual about with every x actions or regardless if y happens, but again, don't see how one would be able to say pump is running too often. If you have a leak at the accumulator, well, ok, maybe take a shot. Otherwise, it is a total shot in the dark, we're left either to: 1. get the codes to hopefully direct it towards a position, temp, or pressure sensor, accumulator, or pump, or 2. take it out and rebuild all cylinders, the pump, accumulator, and seals in the valve body, and inspect the position sensors and test or replace the temp/pressure sensors.

Now if you know all this and more, please educate me!

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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 10:14:30 PM   #3
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Well there are a few things I've been messing around with. Firstly, I was able to get a used pump off ebay for $500 everything included and the car only had 32,000 kms.

Here are the symptoms: Im getting rough shifts, already replaced the relay. So this may tell me the accumulator isn't holding enough pressure to make a smooth shift.

The car shutters when I start from a dead stop. You know when you drive a real 6 spd, and you either don't give it enough gas or let out the clutch to fast and it sputters, that's what mine does about 70% of the time. This also leads me to believe that the accumulator isn't holding good pressure because it almost seems like it can't hold 1st gear to well.

Also, I've had the transmission light go off and It's also dropped gears on me before.

Here's the thing, Down in the States it seems like your dealers are fairly reasonable. If i took my car into the dealer I would probably end up paying $500 cnd in diagnostics, and Im not going to do that.

Im not 100% sure if it is the accumulator, but I thought if I could swap them out without reprogramming the gears I would try it out as an experiment.
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Old Mon, Aug-17-2009, 11:59:48 PM   #4
.333 snubnose
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenfold View Post
Here are the symptoms: Im getting rough shifts, already replaced the relay. So this may tell me the accumulator isn't holding enough pressure to make a smooth shift..
I assume you've already checked the smg fluid level?
I don't see how you've narrowed it down to the accumulator

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Originally Posted by sevenfold View Post
The car shutters when I start from a dead stop. You know when you drive a real 6 spd, and you either don't give it enough gas or let out the clutch to fast and it sputters, that's what mine does about 70% of the time. This also leads me to believe that the accumulator isn't holding good pressure because it almost seems like it can't hold 1st gear to well. .
How old is your clutch? Could it be a worn/slipping clutch disk? Pressure plate? Doesn't sound like a hydraulic pressure issue to me.
The accumulator maintains the pressure used to drive the slave cylinder and two cylinders in the actuator (for gear selection). If it holds enough pressure to disengage the clutch (slave) and to move the gear selector shaft from the 5/6 position over and up to 1st gear, I don't think I would be worried about the accumulator. That's just my thoughts and I may be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenfold View Post
Also, I've had the transmission light go off and It's also dropped gears on me before. .
May be worth swapping the gear position sensors before swapping the entire pump or accumulator.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenfold View Post
Im not 100% sure if it is the accumulator, but I thought if I could swap them out without reprogramming the gears I would try it out as an experiment.
Well if you're game for an experiment...please do, we could all learn something new from this.
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 04:09:31 AM   #5
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You will need to bleed the system for sure. It does seem like you could pull the relay and select the gears if you are in a pinch(not verified). I agree with redM3/4 and.333 on the diagnostics. Make sure you can return the accumulator if you go this route because if you end up needing a pump it'll have an accumulator as well and you'll end up paying for 2. I wouldn't recommend a used pump as there is no way to test it and they certainly do go out with low miles.
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 03:07:29 PM   #6
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FYI, there is new SMG software, you may want to update if you haven't already done so and see if that helps anything...
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 04:11:44 PM   #7
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Where is the gear position sensor?
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 04:30:53 PM   #8
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sevenfold...

Get your hands on an autoenginuity tool... or something that can read the SMG. The SMG light rarely came on.. and after clearing codes, I continually was pulling code 056 from the smg with the scanner attached during driving.

I replaced my accumulator after the stealership recommended a full tranny/pump replacement at the cost of $9,000+.

The accumulator replacement fixed my symptoms... jerky 1-2-3 shifts... going to neutral from 3rd... among other quirky hiccups.

By the way... my symptoms showed up 1 day after the SMG software "update."

Good Luck!
M

p.s. The gear position sensor is on the back of the tranny I believe.
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 04:37:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterEm View Post
sevenfold...

Get your hands on an autoenginuity tool... or something that can read the SMG. The SMG light rarely came on.. and after clearing codes, I continually was pulling code 056 from the smg with the scanner attached during driving.

I replaced my accumulator after the stealership recommended a full tranny/pump replacement at the cost of $9,000+.

The accumulator replacement fixed my symptoms... jerky 1-2-3 shifts... going to neutral from 3rd... among other quirky hiccups.

By the way... my symptoms showed up 1 day after the SMG software "update."

Good Luck!
M

p.s. The gear position sensor is on the back of the tranny I believe.
Man, I've heard more and more nightmares of people having issues after this "update." What a bummer...

I'm currently having SMG issues as well, and the indy shop I went to used the Gt1(or whatever it is) to scan my code. 056, he is saying it's just the accumulator, but how can I trust that entirely?

Sorry to thread jack, OP, but this is relevant.

As for my issues, I'm getting the gear light when I drive "aggressively" IOW higher revs, and quicker shifts... On a few occasions, the SMG has dropped all gears, and the car won't move. A few seconds later, I am good to go again, and sometimes have recurring issues, loss of all gears for a short period of time, for the remainder of that drive. Turning the car off, and letting it sit for a little, often makes the gear indicator dissapear. I'd love to accurately pinpoint my SMG issue so I don't do the "wrong" repair...

Thanks for the help, if any of your issues can relate to mine...
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Old Tue, Aug-18-2009, 05:09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostM3JP View Post
Man, I've heard more and more nightmares of people having issues after this "update." What a bummer...

I'm currently having SMG issues as well, and the indy shop I went to used the Gt1(or whatever it is) to scan my code. 056, he is saying it's just the accumulator, but how can I trust that entirely?

Sorry to thread jack, OP, but this is relevant.

As for my issues, I'm getting the gear light when I drive "aggressively" IOW higher revs, and quicker shifts... On a few occasions, the SMG has dropped all gears, and the car won't move. A few seconds later, I am good to go again, and sometimes have recurring issues, loss of all gears for a short period of time, for the remainder of that drive. Turning the car off, and letting it sit for a little, often makes the gear indicator dissapear. I'd love to accurately pinpoint my SMG issue so I don't do the "wrong" repair...

Thanks for the help, if any of your issues can relate to mine...
My symptoms are just about identical. The fact that you pulled the same code 056, makes me believe the accumulator puked after the update. Secondarily, the fact that your independent shop actually took the time to diagnose your problem is testament to their reputability. A lot of shops will tell you to replace the whole SMG pump (including accumulator). Sounds like your pump is priming to specs but the accumulator can't maintain the pressure during spirited driving.

I am working with BMW NA for a reimbursement check regarding the failure after the recommended SMG software "update."

If you speak to the correct representatives, they are aware of the suspicious failures following the update.

Good Luck!!
M

p.s. I had the accumulator replaced 2,000 miles ago. My SMG hiccups have disappeared and the gear light has not come on since
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Discussing SMG Replacing Just the Accumulator 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)