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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, Oct-04-2019, 12:16:00 AM   #1
herwawan
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Question SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Hi!

For my first question on this forum, I wanted to avoid starting with SMG-related topics, so I searched for quite a lot of old threads about the SMG tranny. By the way, this is the best post ever about it: http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=231113. Now, despite reading everything I can I'm confused as to where to start so I'd like to pick your brains.

Here is the story: I just bought a 2004 M3 SMG with 111k miles. The pump and gearbox seem to be working well (no lights or codes related to the system,the pump gets pressurized every time I unlock the car - initialization noise for about 8 seconds, no shifting to neutral when driving, no skipping gears, always go back to 1 when coming to a stop).

My problem is: I have very slow gear changes from 1 to 2. Above shifting also sometimes, but the worst really is 1 to 2.

The first step would be to try a reset, yes. BUT. The paddles on my wheel don't work unfortunately (only intermittently so I can't rely on it to know if the process goes through) which means I can't try and see for any improvement. I have on my list replacing those switches so I can move forward with that, but I haven't read anywhere that slow shifting can be fixed in the long-term with the software reset.

With that in mind, my readings tend to make me think my compression springs might be broken.

Now, a malfunctioning gear position sensor seems to also show that kind of symptoms before getting worse - but would it throw a code? I have the full list of codes on the car and none are related to that. The SMG display doesn't show anything erratic at this point (sometimes flashing when shifting but I guess that indicates the shifting? I let you guys confirm).

My question is: where would you start to approach that problem. Would you fix the paddle switches first and see if a system reset would fix anything? Would you just go with new springs because it's a cheaper fix (except for labor) and the symptoms do match what I read here and there? Or would you also change the GPS as I'm on the springs because why paying labor twice for almost the same job?

I hope I gave enough detail and I'm looking forward to your feedback!
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Old Fri, Oct-04-2019, 12:31:56 AM   #2
asianvenom
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

I was having slow, very slow shifting in all gears, I also thought it was the compression spring, because it's the cheapest. But try to even pop out that cap for the compression was impossible for me with the engine in the car. I said I'm almost half way there to drop the tranny. Turns out it was bad clutch disc, basically falled apart, which what caused my slow shifting/grinding. I proceed and comverted to manual, oh yeah I replaced the compression spring as well, eventhough it wasnt broken. Car had 124k miles.

I'm not suggesting you have bad clutch, but it is another possibility to think about as well.

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Old Fri, Oct-04-2019, 12:45:15 AM   #3
herwawan
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

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Originally Posted by asianvenom View Post
I was having slow, very slow shifting in all gears, I also thought it was the compression spring, because it's the cheapest. But try to even pop out that cap for the compression was impossible for me with the engine in the car. I said I'm almost half way there to drop the tranny. Turns out it was bad clutch disc, basically falled apart, which what caused my slow shifting/grinding. I proceed and comverted to manual, oh yeah I replaced the compression spring as well, eventhough it wasnt broken. Car had 124k miles.

I'm not suggesting you have bad clutch, but it is another possibility to think about as well.
That is very interesting. I have some vibration/shacking when starting from a redlight once the car is warm. I haven’t found any maintenance history regarding the clutch so I assumed that could be a tired clutch/flywheel. Then I read SMGs tend to have some weirdness in city so I kinda disregarded. But that could also be a lead.

Thanks for the input! Let’s see what other people think about that.
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ex: BMW 735i e23 '81

Last edited by herwawan; Fri, Oct-04-2019 at 02:26:48 AM.
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Old Fri, Oct-04-2019, 02:59:58 AM   #4
oceansize
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

  1. Scan for error codes
  2. Clear/Reset SMG Adaptations

You will need DIS (software), older version of INPA (software), Autoenginuity (commercial software), or a dedicated device like the schwaben bmw scanner for the above.
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Old Fri, Oct-04-2019, 03:55:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oceansize View Post
  1. Scan for error codes
  2. Clear/Reset SMG Adaptations

You will need DIS (software), older version of INPA (software), Autoenginuity (commercial software), or a dedicated device like the schwaben bmw scanner for the above.
Attached is the list of codes that were stored when I did the PPI - but no light on the dash, all old codes I guess. None seem related to the SMG.

EDIT: I double-checked the report (Autologic Quick Test Report) and transmission was in the “modules that are not fitted or did not communicate” along with a bunch of other stuff.

But you make a good point, I should probably start with a proper reset. Truth be told, I wanted to give a shot at the TTFS software but I figured I should have things fixed rather than masking them with something else.

I have an appointment soon for an Inspection 2, I guess I could ask for that clear/reset at that time and report back afterward. For the software you mentioned above, I guess most require to find them somewhere and have an old computer handy for the old-school ports, right? Autoenginuity seems to be my best bet if I want to go simple and safe way. I'm bookmarking this for the future, thanks!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW M3 e46 - Codes report.pdf (47.5 KB, 11 views)
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Last edited by herwawan; Fri, Oct-04-2019 at 05:04:05 AM.
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Old Sat, Oct-12-2019, 07:40:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Here is an update! Did the Inspection 2 this week and the shop found two leaks - constant pressure valve and timing chain guide. Apart from that, they told me the car is sound.

The SMG sent no codes, and they didn’t find anything weird about it apart from the SMG screen not showing the N/1 if you jump in the car and turn the key right away (I usually wait for the pump to stop the prime noise and it usually then works perfectly).

Now that we know all that, I guess I’m the one who doesn’t understand how to drive that thing �� I put the car on auto on my way back in traffic and I didn’t find any of the slow feeling I have when I manually shift... I guess I’m the problem then!

I think I’m confused with the idea of lifting my foot off the throttle when shifting. Do you guys completely remove the foot or do you just relief slightly? If I do the former, it’s clunky and then when I hit the throttle back it revs up because it’s not done shifting (thus it feels slow shifting). When I do the later, then it feels just fine. What do I do wrong?

Also, I ran into the worst traffic yesterday because of the fires around LA and I encountered the classic COG light (but no CEL or neutral shifting) in the peak bumper to bumper situation, with AC on of course. I hopefully was right next to an exist so I just shut off the ac and drove on the back streets back home with no traffic just so there’s airflow. The COG stayed on until I got home with no symptoms. I turned off the car for 20 min before driving it again going running errands. At startup, the COG was off with no other light or symptom and I haven’t seen it since.

It’s well documented on the forum from all the research I did, seems like a common problem which end up being fixed with a new pump. At this point, temp sensors and all other smaller items feel like a potential money pit. I’ll just keep going with that pump which otherwise works until it stops working then I’ll do the swap with a new clutch
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ex: BMW 735i e23 '81

Last edited by herwawan; Sat, Oct-12-2019 at 07:46:15 PM.
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Old Sat, Oct-12-2019, 09:11:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Donít lift your foot off during manual gear changes. If you donít do it during automatic mode, itís the same mechanical shifting whether you are in automatic or manual mode.

You are in the most aggressive gear changing setting right?
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Old Sat, Oct-12-2019, 09:39:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Distinct70 View Post
Donít lift your foot off during manual gear changes. If you donít do it during automatic mode, itís the same mechanical shifting whether you are in automatic or manual mode.

You are in the most aggressive gear changing setting right?
Interesting, thanks for the direction. Iíll try that!

I was actually wondering - since itís a drive by wire, canít/doesnít the computer automatically shut off/reduce the throttle actuation or cut the off the ignition during the shift? Basically like a quick shifter on a motorcycle.

Iím driving in mode 3
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Old Sat, Oct-12-2019, 10:06:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

Quote:
Originally Posted by herwawan View Post
Interesting, thanks for the direction. Iíll try that!



I was actually wondering - since itís a drive by wire, canít/doesnít the computer automatically shut off/reduce the throttle actuation or cut the off the ignition during the shift? Basically like a quick shifter on a motorcycle.



Iím driving in mode 3

Put in mode 5. Start shifting around 3000+ RPM in regular driving and manual shifting. Donít let off your foot. Just keep it steady. You will see the car is naturally dropping RPM in between shifts and then climbing back up in the next gear. Then manual shift up again.

You can definitely ease off the gas for low speed and dealing with first gear or stop and go traffic but regular, spirited and racing, you donít have to lift off.
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Old Sat, Oct-12-2019, 10:46:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first?

i would put it on the computer and relearn the clutch catching points if no codes pop up
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Discussing SMG - compression springs or Gear Position Sensor first? 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)