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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 07-26-2005, 03:05 PM
tagheuer tagheuer is offline
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Ok to start in second?

after 10k miles in my first bmw, i want to know whether it is ok to start in second gear.
(I have a 2004 325i zsp 5sp and its my first manual car).

I can start in second pretty smooth. First gear on this car is so short (or small) its useless. I get smoked from a stoplight by Yugos.

Is it ok to start in second gear on a routine basis?
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2005, 03:22 PM
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It's too tall from a stand still in my 330i without some serious slippage.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2005, 03:32 PM
BMW_Brand BMW_Brand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh1850
It's too tall from a stand still in my 330i without some serious slippage.
I agree. I don't understand why you would want to start in second, you would have very little torque.
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2005, 03:41 PM
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You should only start in second if the car is already pointed downhill....(or under slippery conditions where reduced torque would be desirable).

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  #5  
Old 07-26-2005, 03:50 PM
BMW_Brand BMW_Brand is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
I get smoked from a stoplight by Yugos.
My 325 is also my first BMW and what I came to realize after a short while is that to get the most power out of the engine, you need to keep it in the high rpms. Don't shift out of 1st so soon.
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2005, 03:54 PM
alpinewhite325i alpinewhite325i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob
You should only start in second if the car is already pointed downhill....(or under slippery conditions where reduced torque would be desirable).

Regards,
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I agree, you should only start in 2nd if you're going downhill.

Any other time is too tough on the clutch and makes the engine lug.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2005, 06:15 PM
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IMHO, BMW really missed the boat on this one....they gave us a six-speed manual, but the ratios suck....first-to-second is a *whopping* 42% drop in RPMs !!! (The rest of the ratios are acceptable, if not ideal) A more satisfying solution would be to have first & second closer together, and make up for the taller first gear with a 3.46 LSD rear diff ratio....now you`re talking a *real* Performance Package!

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  #8  
Old 07-26-2005, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob
IMHO, BMW really missed the boat on this one....they gave us a six-speed manual, but the ratios suck....first-to-second is a *whopping* 42% drop in RPMs !!! (The rest of the ratios are acceptable, if not ideal)
Well, I think we all feel that BMW doesn't put drag-start as their top priority for most of their line. Like you said, all the other ratios are pretty good, and I find each gear to be useful every day. (Though yes, a hard start out of first is hard to get into second without a jerk if you don't hesitate long enough.)

Back to the original question, don't start in second!
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...91#post1260391
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2005, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
after 10k miles in my first bmw, i want to know whether it is ok to start in second gear.
(I have a 2004 325i zsp 5sp and its my first manual car).

I can start in second pretty smooth. First gear on this car is so short (or small) its useless. I get smoked from a stoplight by Yugos.

Is it ok to start in second gear on a routine basis?
I'm doing this regularly now in normal traffic. Makes for a much easier driving style, IMO. The immediate launch is not as powerful, of course, but overall acceleration is just the same as with a normal 1st gear launch.

As far as clutch abuse: I don't think there is any. Time will tell, of course. But even if it does lead to a slightly shorter clutch life, I'm willing to live with that trade off.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2005, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
I can start in second pretty smooth. First gear on this car is so short (or small) its useless. I get smoked from a stoplight by Yugos.
Step one to out-running Yugos: press down on the right-most pedal. commonly referred to as an accelerator or gas pedal.
Step two: don't shift out of first until at least 4k rpms. I do this even when driving slowly, as I know what rpms I can release the clutch at in second gear for a perfectly smooth shift, even with CDV.
Step three: go to step one and repeat for third, fourth and fifth gears.

If at redline in fifth, you still haven't outrun the Yugo, one of two things have occured
1. You are stuck on snow or ice. Go home carefully and change to winter tires.
2. The Yugo has a transplated Chevy V-8 by some crazy redneck. Give up.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2005, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
I get smoked from a stoplight by Yugos.
You wasted your money... you should have bought a late 80's Mustang 5.0 if you wanted to smoke cars from a stoplight.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2005, 11:59 PM
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I love 1st gear on the start, unless I am pointed downhill and am in a relaxed mood. At that point, I use 2nd.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2005, 12:21 AM
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My 6spd 330 ZHP starts easily in second. If I want an auto I can do third with a lot of slippage....ouch!
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2005, 04:27 AM
Passenger Passenger is offline
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I get it !
Buy a six speed car.. and only use five of the gears

Makes sense to me [ not]
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2005, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmr
As far as clutch abuse: I don't think there is any. Time will tell, of course. But even if it does lead to a slightly shorter clutch life, I'm willing to live with that trade off.

I think you'll find out that you are wrong...
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2005, 09:18 AM
tagheuer tagheuer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SergioK
You wasted your money... you should have bought a late 80's Mustang 5.0 if you wanted to smoke cars from a stoplight.

thanks guys, the general consensus seems to be that starting from second is not a good idea.

SergioK, I never stated I wanted to beat cars from a stoplight. I want *decent* acceleration, but starting in first gear while its 90 degrees out with the A/C on does even let me keep up with the Honda Odyssey in front of me....

they are building SUV's now with so much power...
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2005, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
thanks guys, the general consensus seems to be that starting from second is not a good idea.

SergioK, I never stated I wanted to beat cars from a stoplight. I want *decent* acceleration, but starting in first gear while its 90 degrees out with the A/C on does even let me keep up with the Honda Odyssey in front of me....

they are building SUV's now with so much power...
In all my cars, starting out in 2nd made for reduced acceleration. Why is your car bahaving differently?
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2005, 01:06 PM
Lanc3r Lanc3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Clevenger
In all my cars, starting out in 2nd made for reduced acceleration. Why is your car bahaving differently?

I think the op just thinks it feels faster. Starting in second saves a gear change, and with some good slippage you can drop the clutch at @4000 rpm .

Only time i get frustrated with first is when Im in heavy traffic. I leave enough distance so that I rarely have to come to a complete stop. IMO starting in second from a complete stop(unless pointed downhill) causes too much clutch slippage. First gear only seems usefull to get the car moving.

I have ALWAYS been disappointed with BMW gear ratios - when used in the U.S. . I never get to use the gears the way they were intended. Maybe BMW does that to us on purpose for engine longevity. Possibly to limit their drivetrain warranty claims.
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2005, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
thanks guys, the general consensus seems to be that starting from second is not a good idea.

SergioK, I never stated I wanted to beat cars from a stoplight. I want *decent* acceleration, but starting in first gear while its 90 degrees out with the A/C on does even let me keep up with the Honda Odyssey in front of me....

they are building SUV's now with so much power...
Yeah, I hear ya but these car aren't the fastest off the line. They start to wake up after 3000rpm. This translates to great hwy performance, but sloppy city driving.

MBZ discovered this years ago and changed their slushie gear ratios/functions. In fact, most MBZ automatics used to be 2nd gear starters. Depending on the model, you'd have to their kickdown or give at least 50% throttle in order to get into 1st from a stand still.

I have a feeling that BMW has started following suit. At least that's the impression that I was left with when I test drove the new E90 (325i). Drove like an American car from a standstill. Quite a bit of initial 'go' and none of that hesistation you are referrring to.
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  #20  
Old 07-27-2005, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misterlance
I think the op just thinks it feels faster. Starting in second saves a gear change, and with some good slippage you can drop the clutch at @4000 rpm .
...
Guys, most of you are horrified at the thought of 2nd gear launch. Sure, a 4000 rpm 2nd gear launch will burn up the clutch, no doubt. However, a 1500 rpm launch is what I'm using with what seems as much slippage as in 1st gear. The car gets rolling, the clutch takes up completely, and from then it's sweet acceleration all the way up to 60 if necessary without shifting. To get the car rolling without excessive slippage is the key, and it's possible. You just can't expect a jack rabbit start as in 1st gear, though. And not having the 1-2 shift makes up for that (including the clutch wear that happens in the 1-2 upshift, possibly). I really don't think it's all that bad, and the acceleration can put a smile on my face.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2005, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmr
Guys, most of you are horrified at the thought of 2nd gear launch. Sure, a 4000 rpm 2nd gear launch will burn up the clutch, no doubt. However, a 1500 rpm launch is what I'm using with what seems as much slippage as in 1st gear. The car gets rolling, the clutch takes up completely, and from then it's sweet acceleration all the way up to 60 if necessary without shifting. To get the car rolling without excessive slippage is the key, and it's possible. You just can't expect a jack rabbit start as in 1st gear, though. And not having the 1-2 shift makes up for that (including the clutch wear that happens in the 1-2 upshift, possibly). I really don't think it's all that bad, and the acceleration can put a smile on my face.
I was too lazy to write that but, the original post wanted to know if this was alright, and many interpreted it as he wanted to race a top fuel dragster.
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2005, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmr
The car gets rolling, the clutch takes up completely, and from then
... it's BURN your clutch and reduce it's life expectancy.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2005, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tagheuer
thanks guys, the general consensus seems to be that starting from second is not a good idea.

SergioK, I never stated I wanted to beat cars from a stoplight. I want *decent* acceleration, but starting in first gear while its 90 degrees out with the A/C on does even let me keep up with the Honda Odyssey in front of me....

they are building SUV's now with so much power...
Open your driver`s door....get down on your knees and examine the carpeting under your accelerator pedal....if the fibers are`nt SMASHED FVCKIN` FLAT against the floor, you`re not doing it right!!! (Do you understand, or am I being too subtle? :-)

Regards,
Bob
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2005, 06:53 PM
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IMO, you will be reducing the life of the clutch the more you start on second gear. I would start on second when

There is snow on the road
When the car is in slight motion
Downhill start (car is kinda in motion on this one)
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2005, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmr
Sure, a 4000 rpm 2nd gear launch will burn up the clutch, no doubt. However, a 1500 rpm launch is what I'm using with what seems as much slippage as in 1st gear. The car gets rolling, the clutch takes up completely, and from then it's sweet acceleration all the way up to 60 if necessary without shifting. To get the car rolling without excessive slippage is the key, and it's possible. You just can't expect a jack rabbit start as in 1st gear, though. And not having the 1-2 shift makes up for that (including the clutch wear that happens in the 1-2 upshift, possibly).
A clutch is a friction device. It is designed to mesh a mechanical component that is spinning at one speed to a mechanical component that is spinning at another.

When you are stopped, the transmission and everything behind it is spinning at 0 rpm, whereas your engine is spinning at whatever your launch rpm is. As you engage the clutch, it wears and transfers energy and rotation via friction. The greater the rpm difference, the more the clutch wears. Starting in second reduces the torque multiplication for the engine to get the car up to a speed that doesn't lug the engine in that gear, so you have to slip longer.

All of the above is not ideal. That's why they put in a first gear in the first place, so you don't need to slip much and so the engine can get the car moving out of the lug range. Over 100 years of car evolution can't be wrong.
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