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E90/E92/E93 M3 (2008 - 2014)
4th generation E90 M3 sedan, E92 M3 coupe and E93 M3 convertible. The last of the naturally aspirated M3s, powered by a 4.0 liter V8 making 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

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  #1  
Old 12-01-2012, 06:42 PM
FlyingLow78 FlyingLow78 is offline
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M3 owners, tell me about your 6MT shift quality

I've got a 2011 E92 with the 6MT (yes, yes, I should have gotten the DCT). Problem is, my 2nd gear is very notchy and will grind (but still go into gear every time) when attempting a high-rev (say, over 4000 RPM) 1-2 shift. I baby it as much as I can and rev match all downshifts, but compared to all the other gears it's terrible. The same is true for the 3-2 downshift...very notchy and noticeably worse than the other gears. In all cases, 2nd gear requires more force than the rest unless the revs are perfectly matched.

I've owned the car since it had 43 miles on the odometer (it now has 5800), and it's always been this way. I didn't have an issue on the test drive, but the car didn't get fully warmed up, and it was absolutely pouring rain outside, so I drove very carefully.

After the 1200-mile service nothing changed. It felt exactly the same. I don't have much confidence in my local BMW dealer, either. They installed the wrong headlight switch when I had my US-spec car converted to the mandatory UK taillights, and the service advisor wouldn't return my calls to get the problem corrected.

I've read some threads that suggest it may be a normal BMW thing, and I have read the service bulletin, but that was primarily for 08-09s, right?

So, tell me....how does the shift quality of your 2nd gear compare with the rest? Do they all feel the same? Can you perform the 1-2 shift easily at high RPM without worrying you're damaging the transmission? Anyone here had their transmission looked at for something similar?

I'm anticipating lots of pain related to getting this resolved and would like to go in well informed. Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2012, 04:54 PM
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enigma enigma is offline
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I heard about some people complaining about the notchy 1-2 shift on the older models ('08/'09), but I personally have no experience.

My M3 shifts just fine in all gears. Compared to my previous BMWs, it's one of the easiest to shift. The clutch engagement point is a little too high for my taste, but I got used to it pretty quickly. The clutch also got lighter compared to the older BMWs.

I have no regrets about choosing the MT over the DCT. It really suits the character of the car well IMHO.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:09 AM
babikes babikes is offline
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M3 mt

No issues with my 2011 e93 mt....it shifts very smoothly from 1st to 2nd at high revs. While the dct is quicker on the shifts, the mt is way more fun!!!
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  #4  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:22 PM
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Can't say I'm a fan of the M's stick shift, unfortunately.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2012, 07:16 PM
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enigma enigma is offline
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Originally Posted by -=Hot|Ice=- View Post
Can't say I'm a fan of the M's stick shift, unfortunately.
And care to enlighten us with your insights and reference points?

Besides the a little rubbery feel of the shifter and long-throw clutch (hallmark of all BMW MTs), it's pretty much spot on and perfectly executed (e.g. gas/brake pedals are positioned perfectly for h&t).
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Last edited by enigma; 12-05-2012 at 03:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-14-2012, 12:05 AM
808Grown 808Grown is offline
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Shifting seems a little more 'notchy' than my old 335, but overall it's really easy to drive and going in and out of gears has a nice positive feel.

Clutch take-up is a little high like others have said. Otherwise I love it!
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  #7  
Old 12-14-2012, 08:05 AM
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I sometimes used to feel some notchy shifting when driving my son's 2011 M3, but now I do what I used to do with my '09 Corvette ZO6 before starting out on my drive, and it works for the M3 as well. While waiting for the engine to warm up a bit from a cold start, I push the clutch pedal in and row through the gears a couple of times. You will feel it loosen up as you go through the gears. The notchiness will be eliminated or nearly so when you start driving.
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  #8  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:37 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is offline
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The getrag transmissions have always been a bit notchy and my E90M3 is no exception. I picked up an '08 with 19k miles, it is notchy. The 1->2 shift is smooth, but I think most complain about the inability to shift fast from 1->2 and this may be because the ratios are spread out much farther from 1st to 2nd. The other gears are more closely matches so maybe their synchronizers are designed differently for that purpose of use, especially on a track where 1st may not be used nearly as much as 2->5? Just guessing here.

E9xM3:

(1st) 4.06
(2nd) 2.4
(3rd) 1.58
(4th) 1.19
(5th) 1.00
(6th) 0.87
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2012, 07:52 PM
beermeisterkink beermeisterkink is offline
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My 1st to 2nd is notchy in my 600 mile 2013 e93. The clutch is much easier to depress and release than my e46 m3. Sometimes it is tough going into first but it does not grind. But give it time, it's early yet :-)
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  #10  
Old 12-28-2012, 07:58 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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I find it shifts smoothly enough, well maybe not rifle bolt smooth but ok. A bit notchy, but nothing dramatic.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2012, 04:40 PM
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Besides the a little rubbery feel of the shifter and long-throw clutch (hallmark of all BMW MTs), it's pretty much spot on and perfectly executed (e.g. gas/brake pedals are positioned perfectly for h&t).[/QUOTE]

Exactly why I don't like it. I test drove a Cayman and 911 in stick form, I feel that Porsche has it down. BMW has been known for the way BMW's MT's feel. That changed for 2013. I am not sure what changed, but, they finally did it right.
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Last edited by -=Hot|Ice=-; 12-29-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2012, 09:22 AM
GregW in Oregon GregW in Oregon is offline
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Shift quality

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingLow78 View Post
I've got a 2011 E92 with the 6MT (yes, yes, I should have gotten the DCT). Problem is, my 2nd gear is very notchy and will grind (but still go into gear every time) when attempting a high-rev (say, over 4000 RPM) 1-2 shift. I baby it as much as I can and rev match all downshifts, but compared to all the other gears it's terrible. The same is true for the 3-2 downshift...very notchy and noticeably worse than the other gears. In all cases, 2nd gear requires more force than the rest unless the revs are perfectly matched.
Had same issue on my early '08. All I can tell you is it will likely get better with more miles (10k+). It's never going to be perfect. Still, prefer the driving experience to the DCT.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:05 AM
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NASA43 NASA43 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beden1 View Post
I sometimes used to feel some notchy shifting when driving my son's 2011 M3, but now I do what I used to do with my '09 Corvette ZO6 before starting out on my drive, and it works for the M3 as well. While waiting for the engine to warm up a bit from a cold start, I push the clutch pedal in and row through the gears a couple of times. You will feel it loosen up as you go through the gears. The notchiness will be eliminated or nearly so when you start driving.
This is a very good suggestion. Every evening I pull into my garage and put it in neutral when I shut it off. The next morning, when I try to shift into reverse, it doesnt want to go there. What I do now is go through 1-2-3-4 while it is warming up then it goes right into reverse with no problem.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2013, 12:40 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is online now
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One option is the ZHP shift knob: ECS has one for $74:

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Zhp_Knob/ES47397/
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“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

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Last edited by MMME30W; 01-04-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-04-2013, 10:58 PM
DCC DCC is offline
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Maybe a different fluid in the gearbox might help
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  #16  
Old 01-23-2013, 11:42 AM
wynnws7 wynnws7 is offline
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In my opinion this gear box is a lot smoother than my previous manual BMW's. My E92 335 was a bit notchy going into second gear whereas the current M3 is very accurate and smooth.
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  #17  
Old 02-23-2013, 08:21 AM
Dave IV Dave IV is offline
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Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
One option is the ZHP shift knob: ECS has one for $74:

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Zhp_Knob/ES47397/
+1. This is the best price/performance mod that can be made to improve shifting performance. The ZHP knob is ~3/4" shorter than the stock knob, which results in a shortened throw. It is also much heavier than the stock knob helping to smooth the throw.


$63 at GetBMWParts.com

http://www.getbmwparts.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462
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  #18  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:58 AM
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^^^ I'm always surprised to recall how weedy the stock M3 shift knob looks compared to the ZHP knob. Definitely one on the best things I changed on the car, up there with the Lux H8 AE's I think.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:06 PM
Dave IV Dave IV is offline
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Another aesthetic mod I made is the removal of the airbag warning labels. It's free and takes only about an hour.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:50 PM
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^^^ Nice. How did you do that if I may ask?
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:12 PM
Dave IV Dave IV is offline
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My sun visors are the vinyl type and removing the warning labels was very easy.

1)Remove the visors from the car
2) Using a cotton ball, saturate the label with acetone (fingernail polish remover). Within a few minutes the label will begin the wrinkle. You can now pull the label from the visor. Rub any difficult areas of the label with the acetone soaked cotton ball.
3) After the acetone dries there will be a faint image of the label adhesive in the shape of the label. Apply Goof Off to the glue and scrub with a tooth brush using moderate pressure.
4) Wash with soap and water.

When finished there was no indication that a label was ever present.

I performed this procedure on a second car with the same results.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:59 PM
peterjna peterjna is offline
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My 1st to second is a bit notchy at times, but I love my manual tranny. Wouldnt have it no other way.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:02 PM
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My sun visors are the vinyl type and removing the warning labels was very easy.
...
I performed this procedure on a second car with the same results.
Excellent, thanks...
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:05 PM
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^^^ I'm always surprised to recall how weedy the stock M3 shift knob looks compared to the ZHP knob. Definitely one on the best things I changed on the car, up there with the Lux H8 AE's I think.
Aha I forgot that another mod I did was the Euro light switch replacement; easy DIY and now I have factory look rear fogs enabled.

Oh and one more, the Ultimate Pedals Heel Toe extension plate, my feet are smallish so it helps to enable me to blip the throttle on downshifts...

Ok that's it.
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“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.”

- J.C. Watts Jr.
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  #25  
Old 02-25-2013, 09:23 AM
edge9 edge9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingLow78 View Post
I've got a 2011 E92 with the 6MT (yes, yes, I should have gotten the DCT). Problem is, my 2nd gear is very notchy and will grind (but still go into gear every time) when attempting a high-rev (say, over 4000 RPM) 1-2 shift. I baby it as much as I can and rev match all downshifts, but compared to all the other gears it's terrible. The same is true for the 3-2 downshift...very notchy and noticeably worse than the other gears. In all cases, 2nd gear requires more force than the rest unless the revs are perfectly matched.

I've owned the car since it had 43 miles on the odometer (it now has 5800), and it's always been this way. I didn't have an issue on the test drive, but the car didn't get fully warmed up, and it was absolutely pouring rain outside, so I drove very carefully.

After the 1200-mile service nothing changed. It felt exactly the same. I don't have much confidence in my local BMW dealer, either. They installed the wrong headlight switch when I had my US-spec car converted to the mandatory UK taillights, and the service advisor wouldn't return my calls to get the problem corrected.

I've read some threads that suggest it may be a normal BMW thing, and I have read the service bulletin, but that was primarily for 08-09s, right?

So, tell me....how does the shift quality of your 2nd gear compare with the rest? Do they all feel the same? Can you perform the 1-2 shift easily at high RPM without worrying you're damaging the transmission? Anyone here had their transmission looked at for something similar?

I'm anticipating lots of pain related to getting this resolved and would like to go in well informed. Cheers!
Im not sure if you go this resolved, but if it is actually grinding on 1->2 shift or even the 3->2 shift (unless it is perfectly rev matched) then maybe the issue is a bad dog clutch. Have you had service test this?
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Last edited by edge9; 02-25-2013 at 09:27 AM.
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