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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, Dec-05-2018, 05:30:45 PM   #21
Texaz3
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

The clutch, flywheel, TB, pressure plate, etc, are all the SAME for both SMG and 6MT.
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Old Wed, Dec-05-2018, 05:39:55 PM   #22
Kenny167
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

I got an SMG M3, and within a month I already had it torn apart with the SMG system off the car. I couldn't handle the extreme clunkiness, which was likely due to worn components, but I can't afford to replace all of the SMG hardware.

I never did do the CSL shifting software, which likely would've made it a lot better (actually having the car downshift), but still. In my experience, it stalled enough times to make it obnoxious, and the shifts were exceptionally slow. Sometimes 1st to 2nd would take 3-5 seconds, and I would just be stuck coasting. I get that this probably isn't normal, but spending the time and money to diagnose and fix these issues just wasn't worth it to me.

I've done the manual swap, and it wasn't hard at all. If you choose the RTD shifter, you don't even have to take the trans off the car to make the swap. I've spend under $1000 total, and the most difficult part thus far has been the programming (which I plan to make a very thorough DIY on).

All in all, it's obviously personal preference, but my choice would be to swap it.
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Old Wed, Dec-05-2018, 06:10:10 PM   #23
RichBusta2
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Kenny, I'm sending you a PM for more insight.
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Old Wed, Dec-05-2018, 06:10:48 PM   #24
Obioban
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

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Originally Posted by RichBusta2 View Post
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!
The only way to get good at manual is to DD it. If you go that route, you won't be thinking about it within a month.

A properly done swap will be worth more than an SMG car for the foreseeable future. If we reach a point where very few SMGs are left, that could change-- but that's decades out (and once parts are NLA, I'd imagine, so you can't keep it going, making them rarer).

On track, SMG is probably better, at least if it's not overheated...
... which has happened 75% of the time I've tracked an SMG car

Relocation bracket should solve that, though.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 12:29:04 AM   #25
Dr M3an M3
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny167 View Post
I got an SMG M3, and within a month I already had it torn apart with the SMG system off the car. I couldn't handle the extreme clunkiness, which was likely due to worn components, but I can't afford to replace all of the SMG hardware.

I never did do the CSL shifting software, which likely would've made it a lot better (actually having the car downshift), but still. In my experience, it stalled enough times to make it obnoxious, and the shifts were exceptionally slow. Sometimes 1st to 2nd would take 3-5 seconds, and I would just be stuck coasting. I get that this probably isn't normal, but spending the time and money to diagnose and fix these issues just wasn't worth it to me.

I've done the manual swap, and it wasn't hard at all. If you choose the RTD shifter, you don't even have to take the trans off the car to make the swap. I've spend under $1000 total, and the most difficult part thus far has been the programming (which I plan to make a very thorough DIY on).

All in all, it's obviously personal preference, but my choice would be to swap it.
While I can appreciate the position you were in, I do want to emphasize that your system was not healthy in any way by your description and thus not an accurate representation of of driving an SMG other than what driving a broken one must feel like.

- An SMG car should NOT be clunky. My car is as smooth as any other traditional manual car that is driven smoothly. You can absolutely drive a traditional manual transmission "clunky" based on how you actuate your foot. SMG is the same way. Both style transmissions depend on your feet and personal competence, unlike an automatic (assuming your car isn't broken or components warn. Warn components in a traditional manual would be no different).
- The SMG should NEVER stall on you. If it was stalling, something about your car isn't/wasn't right.
- Shifts should never be excessively slow, even in the lowest of settings. In the lowest of settings, it shifts at the same pace that one would shift a traditional manual at, when lazily puttering around town. The SMG adapts to how the car is being driven, just like your left foot and right arm adapts to how you are driving the car with a traditional manual. When aggressive on the throttle, it should shift faster than what you are capable of doing manually. At its highest setting, it is just as fast as the E92 M3's DCT.
- "Sometimes 1st to 2nd would take 3-5 seconds, and I would just be stuck coasting" -- Yea, that isn't normal. Period. As you indicated, something in your system was "broken".

"but spending the time and money to diagnose and fix these issues just wasn't worth it to me." I can totally appreciate this. That being said, If this is your only experience with SMG, I'd argue that you never really experienced one (and no doubt what you did experience left a bad taste in your mouth). If all I ever experienced was a broken VANOS system, I'd likely be jaded against VANOS too in the same way. If I only drove a car with blown turbos, I probably wouldn't be too fond of boost, and if I only drove a traditional manual transmission with limited experience using a clutch pedal and with warn synchros and other components, I'd probably hate the manual transmission experience too.

I only say all this because what you experienced is not at all normal or typical. Glad you got it sorted though as that sounds absolutely miserable.

The only two faults I can find with SMG compared to traditional manual (both being in healthy condition); the stock SMG pump location overheats on extreme hot summer days when not moving/moving slow and it can be expensive to fix.

SMGs are now rebuildable. The system is surprisingly simple with few moving parts and typically only 2 parts of the actual pump ever fail (electric brush motor or accumulator). Both of those are now independently replaceable and affordable. SMG Relocation bracket solves the headache of labor/installation and makes it so all the components that would ever need servicing are as simple to change as the oil filter is on our car. As for overheating in extreme conditions, the relocation bracket fully addresses that.
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Last edited by Dr M3an M3; Thu, Dec-06-2018 at 12:33:59 AM.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 12:52:46 AM   #26
LemonOne
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual



Great info.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 01:16:33 AM   #27
hbalzanya69
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Dry, single clutch automated transmissions have proved to be an inherently flawed concept. Ask Ford about how that system worked out with the Focus. Same company that made the E46 M3 SMG and the same fundamentally flawed concept which ended up costing them significant sums of money in the long run.

My input, do the manual swap and stop worrying about transmission issues. If you don't want to drive a manual, buy a used SMG unit, fix the car, and get rid of it. If you put an SMG in the car it's a matter of time before it fails or has some sort of issue.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 02:58:56 AM   #28
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Shameless plug: Iíve got a bunch of smg components for sale from when I did my swap.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 03:08:49 AM   #29
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbalzanya69 View Post
Dry, single clutch automated transmissions have proved to be an inherently flawed concept. Ask Ford about how that system worked out with the Focus. Same company that made the E46 M3 SMG and the same fundamentally flawed concept which ended up costing them significant sums of money in the long run.

My input, do the manual swap and stop worrying about transmission issues. If you don't want to drive a manual, buy a used SMG unit, fix the car, and get rid of it. If you put an SMG in the car it's a matter of time before it fails or has some sort of issue.
The first sentence in that article mentions dual-clutch not single.
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Old Thu, Dec-06-2018, 03:47:20 AM   #30
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Default Re: Fix SMG or Swap to Manual

I swapped my SMG when it broke. The problem with 'fixing' SMG is that it's never really fixed. You are going to have to keep pouring money in in the long run.
If you are OK with that, then fix it.
If you want a lower maintenance future, convert it.
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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)