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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:04 AM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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SMG in a sedan?

Is it possible to fit an SMG transmission into a sedan?

Also, I've noticed that the later e46 coupes were equipped with SMG transmissions.

Are they true SMG transmission?
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:14 AM
philippek philippek is offline
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Anything's possible with enough time and money, and you would need plenty of both if you attempted this project.

Some non-M E46s did get a simplified version of an SMG, as did some E60s, E63/64s and E85s. It was also known as an SSG, do a search here and you'll find plenty of information.

Personally I felt it was a horrible compromise--not much more performance than the contemporary steptronic box, not nearly as much involvement as a 6-speed manual, and not as smooth as either in manual or automatic modes. Throw in a little added quirkiness, non-existent marketing and the development of a superior DSG by VAG, and you can see why the technology was orphaned so quickly.

Last edited by philippek; 11-06-2008 at 10:00 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2008, 10:54 AM
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Philippek is correct....the "SMG"/SSG is pretty much a problem looking for a place to happen....you`d be (much) better off avoiding it, and just staying with a manual trans.

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  #4  
Old 11-01-2008, 04:22 PM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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Good to know guys, thanks for the heads up!
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2008, 05:04 PM
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F1 car technology is best left in the F1 cars.....
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:04 PM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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Need for speed man.

Besides, I still think it would be cool.
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:23 PM
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Besides, I still think it would be cool.
Yeah, until the actuator dies (and it will).....Then say bye bye to $1500......And the non ///M SSG is not any faster than a good driver with a manual.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:47 PM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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Is it really that faulty of a transmission?

You guys make it seems like its the worst transmission ever made.

Personally I loved it when I drove it for the first time. But that's just me.
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- Eagle Eye LED Tails
- Smoked Corner and Clear Side Indicators w/ Invisibulbs
- Aurora 60 LED Angel Eyes
- Xenon Matched Fog Lights

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  #9  
Old 11-01-2008, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stb5151 View Post
Is it really that faulty of a transmission?

You guys make it seems like its the worst transmission ever made.

Personally I loved it when I drove it for the first time. But that's just me.
The actual gearbox is fine, it's all the hydraulic and electrical CRAP they have to glue onto it in order to make it work. There is a reason the non ///M cars only got them for part of the 04 year makes.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2008, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stb5151 View Post
Is it really that faulty of a transmission?

You guys make it seems like its the worst transmission ever made.
Not ever made, just the worst transmission available in the E46. It's even more failure prone than the automatics.
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2008, 12:00 PM
B33MER B33MER is offline
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SSG (later was changed to SMG to avoid confusion which ironically confuses ppl even more) is the best of both world actually while it's not smooth as an auto it is much faster simply cos it's a manual tranny only w/o a clutch paddle. As for the jerkiness if put on auto or 'C' mode you can minimise by doing what is known as SMG adaptation or clutch adaptation whereby the mechanic will readjust the hydraulic actuator pressure based on the clutch thickness. Like driving a manual you need to let go the gas pedal a bit when cluthching to selct a higher gear ... you will find the SMG is quite smooth. Another advantage by having an SMG or SSG is left foot braking ... It's even more fun on the track It's not for everyone ... it's more for performance enthusiast who appreciates and willing to invest d time to learn the transmission capability and it's quirkiness .

But having said that if you have a manual tranny on your car then it's not worth the money or the hassle to convert it into SMG ... you might as well save up and do a performance mods like S/C which is worth it IMHO

As a refeference:
SMG1 = Euro E36 M3 (Not sure )
SMG2 = E46 M3 (Siemen and BMW)
SMG/SSG = non ///M cars (Magneti Marelli)
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Last edited by B33MER; 11-04-2008 at 12:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:24 PM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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I didn't mean to mislead you guys but I have ZF 5-speed Auto. The car still boogies, especially with the Dinan Mods that I have.

But if I had the money and the time, do you think it would be worth it to change out the transmission, or simply upgrade the Automatic's software?
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2004 330i Sedan ZHP
- Dinan Cat Back Free Flow Exhaust
- Dinan Throttle Body
- Dinan Stage 3 Engine Software
- Dinan Cold Air Intake

- Eagle Eye LED Tails
- Smoked Corner and Clear Side Indicators w/ Invisibulbs
- Aurora 60 LED Angel Eyes
- Xenon Matched Fog Lights

-M3 Front Seats

More to come...

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  #13  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:44 PM
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My '95 Saab came in three flavors. What I had: 5-spd manual and the lesser varieties, 4 speed auto, and 5 speed "sensonic". The only person I ever knew back on my Saab forum regretted getting it with a fiery passion, and I think eventually came over to the light side and swapped for a true manual. I don't think very many non-ultra-sports-cars that try to employ that type of transmission fail miserably.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2008, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stb5151 View Post
I didn't mean to mislead you guys but I have ZF 5-speed Auto. The car still boogies, especially with the Dinan Mods that I have.

But if I had the money and the time, do you think it would be worth it to change out the transmission, or simply upgrade the Automatic's software?
I say leave it as is....any change would be prohibitively expensive and kill whatever resale value the car has. If you MUST have an SMG, sell your car, buy an M3 and get a *real* SMG....

Regards,
Bob
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2008, 02:44 AM
B33MER B33MER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stb5151 View Post
I didn't mean to mislead you guys but I have ZF 5-speed Auto. The car still boogies, especially with the Dinan Mods that I have.

But if I had the money and the time, do you think it would be worth it to change out the transmission, or simply upgrade the Automatic's software?
If you have the budget for it wouldn't it be more cost effective to sell your car and get a car with SMG wether it's an ///M or non ///M? YOu've got to reflash your clusters, your DME ... electrical nightmare IMHO.

It may not be popular in teh US ... but it sure is in Europe and all over the world best of both world and on sports mode 1st to 2nd gear 150ms, subsequent gearchange 300-400ms (for non ///M) ... plus we have a burnout mode and launch mode not to mention that with Autologic probe we could actually vary the speed and the pressure values of the actuator to change a bit more faster ... i know cos a friend of mine did that ....
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2008, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by B33MER View Post
If you have the budget for it wouldn't it be more cost effective to sell your car and get a car with SMG wether it's an ///M or non ///M? YOu've got to reflash your clusters, your DME ... electrical nightmare IMHO.

It may not be popular in teh US ... but it sure is in Europe and all over the world best of both world and on sports mode 1st to 2nd gear 150ms, subsequent gearchange 300-400ms (for non ///M) ... plus we have a burnout mode and launch mode not to mention that with Autologic probe we could actually vary the speed and the pressure values of the actuator to change a bit more faster ... i know cos a friend of mine did that ....
You guys must have gotten a different (better) version of the SSG trans....the one sold in the US had no launch/burnout mode (AFAIK), that feature was reserved for the SMG II in M cars. Believe me, we`ve read enough horror stories from SSG owners to have a pretty good idea of it`s reliability issues....BMWNA saw fit to pull it from production after a very short run....what does *that* tell you ?

Regards,
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2008, 09:41 AM
B33MER B33MER is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
You guys must have gotten a different (better) version of the SSG trans....the one sold in the US had no launch/burnout mode (AFAIK), that feature was reserved for the SMG II in M cars. Believe me, we`ve read enough horror stories from SSG owners to have a pretty good idea of it`s reliability issues....BMWNA saw fit to pull it from production after a very short run....what does *that* tell you ?

Regards,
Bob
tells me that you guys in USA prefer manual than an auto no matter how good the auto is Anyways the main problem is the actuator pump which usually cause by the rubber seal to expand and shrink due to heat ... BMW doesnt sell the rubber seal instead they expect us to pay like USD1000+ to replace the whole thing plus as usual BMW doesnt want to address the issue (Vanos seal, weak subframe and etc remember that?).... luckily someone from our community took the initiative as he was having problem with the pump ... what he does he fabricate a better rubber seal and replaced the bad seal in the actuator pump ... since then no problemo And the rubber seal been selling like hot cakes lol ... fyi in Malaysia 98% of BMW's in Malaysia is an auto the rest is SMG (for e46 that is) . It is a reliable unit just that like the Vanos seal issue ... it's not the unit itself but the small little details that cause d problem.

Edit: Launch mode is documented in the manual ... Burn-out however is not in the manual but it works ... DSC off, push sport button, in 1st gear you .... the trick is to keep pushing either one of the paddle shift forward while stomping on the gas Just remember every time you do a launch or burn-out mode it will put a massive strain on your gearbox, clutch and most importantly your subframe
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Last edited by B33MER; 11-05-2008 at 09:55 AM.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2008, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by B33MER View Post
luckily someone from our community took the initiative as he was having problem with the pump ... what he does he fabricate a better rubber seal and replaced the bad seal in the actuator pump ... since then no problemo


This is good information... would you happen to have a link to the guy that fabricates a better rubber seal? Maybe I can point others who have SMG problems to him.

Thanks!
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2008, 10:06 AM
stb5151 stb5151 is offline
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This stuff is great guys, thanks!
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2004 330i Sedan ZHP
- Dinan Cat Back Free Flow Exhaust
- Dinan Throttle Body
- Dinan Stage 3 Engine Software
- Dinan Cold Air Intake

- Eagle Eye LED Tails
- Smoked Corner and Clear Side Indicators w/ Invisibulbs
- Aurora 60 LED Angel Eyes
- Xenon Matched Fog Lights

-M3 Front Seats

More to come...

www.europeanautosource.com
www.dinanbmw.com
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  #20  
Old 11-05-2008, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by SlimKlim View Post
I don't think very many non-ultra-sports-cars that try to employ that type of transmission fail miserably.
Seems in Europe most of the companies are offering similar setups. Last week I saw flappy paddles in a white commerical van. AM radios are still options in that market

It's only the very lowest end of the lineups that don't get at least the options. But those are very low cost cars often costing 6K Euros or so.
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  #21  
Old 11-05-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicola View Post
Seems in Europe most of the companies are offering similar setups. Last week I saw flappy paddles in a white commerical van. AM radios are still options in that market

It's only the very lowest end of the lineups that don't get at least the options. But those are very low cost cars often costing 6K Euros or so.
80% of vehicles offering "flappy paddles" are fully automatic transmissions... so the paddles are nothing more than additional switches hooked to the steptronic's gear selector...

SMG/SSG/DCT/DSG/F1 transmissions are different - they're a true manual gearbox with a hydraulically actuated clutch.
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  #22  
Old 11-05-2008, 10:26 AM
B33MER B33MER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
This is good information... would you happen to have a link to the guy that fabricates a better rubber seal? Maybe I can point others who have SMG problems to him.

Thanks!
Well the guy let his workshop sells d rubber seal which is in Malaysia hence no link ... cost about RM250~USD 75 (dependant on the current exchange) for the rubber seal. If anyone wants em just pm me and i will sort out sumthing ... Anyways here a pic of the bad seal



here's the improved rubber seal

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330i SMG M-Sport2 Euro Spec


Mods: BMC CDA, DIY heatshield, Alutech front & rear struts, black grills, 7000K Angel Eyes, 6300K HID fog lights, CF Roundels, Hamman lip reps, ACS roof spoiler reps, Pro RS brake hose braided kit, ///M steel billet oil cap, ///M mats, ///M pedals set

Last edited by B33MER; 11-05-2008 at 03:49 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-06-2008, 09:55 AM
B33MER B33MER is offline
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Since there is no link to the shop that sells it .... here's a link from the forum (www.udmowners.com) for UDM owners in Malaysia which I belong to that have the info and discussion regarding the new improved rubber seal ... Please drop by and say hello

http://www.udmowners.com/viewtopic.php?t=2266
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330i SMG M-Sport2 Euro Spec


Mods: BMC CDA, DIY heatshield, Alutech front & rear struts, black grills, 7000K Angel Eyes, 6300K HID fog lights, CF Roundels, Hamman lip reps, ACS roof spoiler reps, Pro RS brake hose braided kit, ///M steel billet oil cap, ///M mats, ///M pedals set
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  #24  
Old 11-06-2008, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B33MER View Post
Since there is no link to the shop that sells it .... here's a link from the forum (www.udmowners.com) for UDM owners in Malaysia which I belong to that have the info and discussion regarding the new improved rubber seal ... Please drop by and say hello

http://www.udmowners.com/viewtopic.php?t=2266
Thanks! I'll add this thread to the wiki.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2008, 05:24 PM
shag shag is offline
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Out of curiosity, is this defective seal the leading cause of SSG failures, or are there other weak points? For example, if one were to purchase a low-mileage SSG car, could they replace the actuator seal with the part mentioned above and have a more reliable tranny?
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