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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, Jun-25-2012, 04:47:40 AM   #1
00 XE7EN
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Default infamous 3rd gear grind

this past friday i had my AP v2 headers installed. i had a friend install them for me and afterwards i went for a spin with a friend. ripped it 1st-4th, no problems, car felt great! drove normally to a bank to pick up some money. on the way back to my friend's shop, my friend who was with me wanted to record a video. but this time i missed 3rd....or so i thought. every time after that, the tranny would grind going into 3rd, but only if i tried to shift quickly into 3rd, no grind if i shifted slowly into 3rd. didn't get to check if it grinds when downshifting into 3rd.

so in doing some research i learned that it can be one of a few things: bad synchro [most likely according to what i've read], bad slave/master clutch cylinder, bad tranny mounts, "bad" tranny fluid. the only real fix, if in fact it is the 3rd gear synchro that's bad, is a new tranny....no rebuilds exist. so before i go ahead and give up and get a new tranny, the obvious thing would be to try the less expensive options first.

so here's my question...in terms of doing a transmission fluid flush, should i use OEM fluids, or use something else like royal purple, redline, motul, pentosin etc? i saw that some sponsors sell one of these non-oem fluids that are specially formulated for situations where your gears are grinding.

for now, i can get by if i avoid 3rd gear...but that blows in general.

thanks.

edit: pentosin=OEM, correct?
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Last edited by 00 XE7EN; Mon, Jun-25-2012 at 04:51:21 AM.
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Old Mon, Jun-25-2012, 05:19:41 AM   #2
Jtrem
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

I get the 3rd gear grind once in awhile. In general most of the M3's I have driven can be a little tough to get into 3rd gear.

Pentosin is OEM spec. Stick with OEM spec in the gearbox.

What really helped my car was getting a short shifter. To me the stock shifter can be notchy into 3rd and that can complicate things. I think the reason taht so many others have 3rd gear synco problems is from repeated misshifts into 3rd over a period of time.

Flush the fluid. Add a SS kit maybe. See if that helps.
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Old Mon, Jun-25-2012, 06:55:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

I would stick with oem trans fluid I just replaced mine a few months ago and it shifts much smoother. Also, check you shifter bushings and linkage it seems kind of strange that it just started to grind after you missed a gear.
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Old Mon, Jun-25-2012, 11:43:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

the car came with a ssk so that takes care of that problem, but next time i take the car to the shop i'll have them take a look at the shifter linkages and bushings also, that's a good thought.

who knows, maybe all it took was one more mishift for the tranny to start acting up.

i thought the smg guys were the ones with the transmission woes, but apparently this is a pretty common issue...rude awakening
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Old Mon, Jun-25-2012, 12:19:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

Quote:
Originally Posted by 00 XE7EN View Post

i thought the smg guys were the ones with the transmission woes, but apparently this is a pretty common issue...rude awakening
I have been noticed one thing, these problems are usually at 2002 model SMG/manual trannys. But quite many guys in model 2002 has this problem...
Or is only a coincidence??

Here´s my thread, keep me posted if you find something interesting from tranny.
http://m3forum.net/m3forum/showthrea...=368315&page=2
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Old Mon, Jun-25-2012, 09:30:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

In my 2003 MT, I've noticed my 2-3 upshift will "grind" slightly if I DON'T rev the engine high. I have a Dinan SSK and Turner carrier bushing, and I'm at 56k miles with Royal Purple in the trans at 30k.

If I were you I'd do a trans fluid change and see how that helps. A SSK will also take slop out of shifting and give you more positive shifts.
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Old Tue, Jun-26-2012, 01:17:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

im gonna try the simple stuff first like the fluid flush, check the mounts and replace if they're worn, or even go so far as to checking the slave/master cylinder. if none of these measures work then i may have to take some drastic measures...like maybe going in a completely different direction and adding two more cylinders
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2012, 04:22:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

I've had this same issue since day one. I've flushed the fluid and it seems like ssk isn't working out for you guys.

I remember there was a vendor once that was going to make synchros since we can't buy them separately. Anyone know what happened with that?
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2012, 05:14:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtrem View Post
I get the 3rd gear grind once in awhile. In general most of the M3's I have driven can be a little tough to get into 3rd gear.

Pentosin is OEM spec. Stick with OEM spec in the gearbox.

What really helped my car was getting a short shifter. To me the stock shifter can be notchy into 3rd and that can complicate things. I think the reason taht so many others have 3rd gear synco problems is from repeated misshifts into 3rd over a period of time.

Flush the fluid. Add a SS kit maybe. See if that helps.
Pentosin MTF2 may or may not meet the OE spec, but it is NOT the OE fluid. This has been going around ever since they started selling it.
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Old Fri, Nov-02-2012, 05:21:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: infamous 3rd gear grind

As noted above, I found the higher the rpms before shifting, the easier it is to shift in one motion without feeling the gears meshing. When driving around town, shifting at around 3K, I either double clutch to get a smooth shift or apply light pressure at the gate till it pops in. Paused shifting at lower rpms. 2002 M3 here.

Last edited by Dermit; Fri, Nov-02-2012 at 05:27:13 PM.
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Discussing infamous 3rd gear grind 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)