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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 Fri, Nov-30-2018, 05:43:44 AM   #1
RichBusta2
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Default Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Hello y'all!
I'm in the Los Angeles area and I have a dilemma that I'm facing. Picked a 2004 M3 with SMG and suddenly it threw a cog light and getting error 86 and 59. I tried changing the PLCD/Slave cylinder a couple times but it keeps dropping out of gear and then, wont start. I'm thinking it's a bad clutch and I dont want to touch the car anymore. My dilemma is do I spend $2200 for parts and labor changing my clutch and flywheel or should I spend the $3550 for Kaiv's manual swap? I'm not great at driving standard though. I've owned a C6 Corvette, DCT 2008 M3, and Z28 and you've guess it, all automatic. Is it really beneficial to go to a true manual for investment and track purposes? The car has 79k miles. All your opinions will help a lot. Thank you!
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 05:49:37 AM   #2
rich-lol
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Unpopular opinion alert:

It should be whatever give you the most enjoyment out of the car. And in your case seems like to keep it smg.

As far as driving manual goes, you get used to it if you drive it everyday pretty quickly


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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 07:21:23 AM   #3
Karter16
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Yup my opinion is probably unpopular as well. I think the SMG transmission is one of the best things about my car. It's a pretty special part of the E46, it was one of the first transmissions of its kind in a non-supercar.

If it was me I'd be repairing my SMG. I don't live in the USA, but in the context of my local market (New Zealand) I can't see a manual swap being more valuable than the original spec over the long term.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 07:35:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

I would repair the SMG.
I think SMG gets alot of trash talked about it but its a good system with simple fixes for its few issues.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 08:01:02 AM   #5
Dr M3an M3
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Agreed with everyone else in this thread's recommendation. I love my SMG.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 01:50:54 PM   #6
Andrew 06M3Cab
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

I loved my SMG. It made daily driving, especially in rush hour, so much more enjoyable (my previous e36 328i was a manual). The shift changes were faster than manual, and the car rev matches on the downshift. All so nice. But then, in 2012 at about 120k km, the pump motor and accumulator failed. I spent the (then) $4500 CDN on the parts to replace it.

It ran great until about a year ago (180k km), and, you guessed it, same issue. I tried replacing the SMG pump motor only (500 Euros), which didn't do the trick. New SMG pump and accumulator - almost $9,000 CDN for the parts! So over $11,000 to get it fixed! I considered getting a rebuilt one, or one from a salvaged car, but then kept thinking it might only get 60k km out of it. Not a pleasant thought.

So at that point, I decided to spend about $3500 and did the swap to 6MT. I don't drive to work in rush hour anymore, so the manual is not as big a deal as it once was. And I have to say I really enjoy it now. Especially the peace of mind that I won't have to face that issue again. That has really been the only unreliable part of my car.

Just my perspective.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 03:26:50 PM   #7
MrVond
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

keep it SMG. it might be a little costly tho
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 03:33:47 PM   #8
TheSt|G
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Only way to get good at manual is to regularly drive it.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 03:40:16 PM   #9
Goose81
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew 06M3Cab View Post
I loved my SMG. It made daily driving, especially in rush hour, so much more enjoyable (my previous e36 328i was a manual). The shift changes were faster than manual, and the car rev matches on the downshift. All so nice. But then, in 2012 at about 120k km, the pump motor and accumulator failed. I spent the (then) $4500 CDN on the parts to replace it.

It ran great until about a year ago (180k km), and, you guessed it, same issue. I tried replacing the SMG pump motor only (500 Euros), which didn't do the trick. New SMG pump and accumulator - almost $9,000 CDN for the parts! So over $11,000 to get it fixed! I considered getting a rebuilt one, or one from a salvaged car, but then kept thinking it might only get 60k km out of it. Not a pleasant thought.

So at that point, I decided to spend about $3500 and did the swap to 6MT. I don't drive to work in rush hour anymore, so the manual is not as big a deal as it once was. And I have to say I really enjoy it now. Especially the peace of mind that I won't have to face that issue again. That has really been the only unreliable part of my car.

Just my perspective.
You should have purchased the pump from FCP euro. Lifetime warranty. That is what I am likely about to do since the one I bought off here used is faulty.
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Old Fri, Nov-30-2018, 05:57:36 PM   #10
///M Dream
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Swap dat shit
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Discussing Fix SMG or Swap to Manual 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)