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View Poll Results: I drive my E46 5-spd manual with the center armrest...
Up 15 10.95%
Down 100 72.99%
I have a steptronic / I have no center armrest 22 16.06%
Voters: 137. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:41 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
 
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Mein Auto: 2010 S4, 2004 X3 2.5i
E46 armrest: up or down?

With a manual transmission the center armrest stops me from using a natural action to shift. I need to keep my elbow elevated to avoid hitting the armrest, especially on shifts from 1st to 2nd and from 3rd to 4th.

I'm trying to learn to shift this way so that I can keep the armrest down, since I appreciate it on the highway. It's not coming easy to me, though, and I wonder how many here have altered their shifting style to keep the armrest down.
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  #2  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:44 AM
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dog dog is offline
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Location: MD
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
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Mein Auto: 330i
can't stand shifting/driving with the armrest up
  #3  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:45 AM
·clyde·'s Avatar
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Mein Auto:
The armrest has not interfered with shifting for me.
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  #4  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:45 AM
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Mr. The Edge Mr. The Edge is offline
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I've had no problems driving/shifting with the armrest down.

I also do not like driving with it up.
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  #5  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:45 AM
TD
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Mein Auto:
I've heard other people complain ablout the armrest but it never bothered me in my E46 (which was a manual).

Just a guess, but perhaps this annoyance correlates to the driver's size.
  #6  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:47 AM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 325iT, 88 M6
Crap, I think I clicked the wrong button...

I drive with it down. With the UUC SSK in the fully up (stock) position, the armrest is at the perfect height for me to flick the shifter into the gates. I've had it up in the past for various reasons and its very uncomfortable.

I noted this (with the stock shifter) before I ordered the car so I special-ordered the armrest specifically (not standard w/o PP).
  #7  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD

Just a guess, but perhaps this annoyance correlates to the driver's size.
I'm 10" - what does that have to do with anything?
  #8  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TD
Just a guess, but perhaps this annoyance correlates to the driver's size.
And/or seat adjustments.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:50 AM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clyde@work
And/or seat adjustments.
I'm about 5'8" and the manual seat is one click from all the way down.
  #10  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kaz
I'm about 5'8" and the manual seat is one click from all the way down.
I'm 6'0" and the power seat is near the middle of its height range. FWIW, with my right arm/hand in "shifting alignment," it's about 415mm from the palm side of my fingers to my elbow (unscientifically measured).
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:58 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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I had to totally change the way I shifted when I had my '95 Probe GT. That thing had an even higher center armrest. I had to bring my elbow straight in so that it would hit my ribs on shifts from 1st to 2nd and 3rd to 4th. With the E46, I can't even do that because my elbow hits the sport seat's side bolster.

Quote:
Just a guess, but perhaps this annoyance correlates to the driver's size.
I'm 6', and have long arms (wear a 34/35 shirt).

I guess I'm going to keep working at it with it down. It annoys me most when I'm trying to shift quickly. When just cruising, it's not much of a problem.
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Last edited by PhilH; 01-30-2003 at 11:02 AM.
  #12  
Old 01-30-2003, 10:59 AM
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Zaphod Zaphod is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 325i
I'm 6'4" ~225 lbs and drive with it down. I genverally keep my arm up and move the lever gently so my arm doesn't touch the rest whjen shifting.

Yesterday, for the first time actually, I drove with it up because my passenger and I had a beverage so I needed to get at both cupholders. Didn't like it.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:01 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clyde@work
FWIW, with my right arm/hand in "shifting alignment," it's about 415mm from the palm side of my fingers to my elbow (unscientifically measured).
450 here
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  #14  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:03 AM
rwg rwg is offline
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Mein Auto: '08 Z4
6', seat is all the way down and I never noticed a problem. I hate it up. Don't know why.
  #15  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:05 AM
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Kaz Kaz is offline
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Location: OC, CA
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Clyde@work
I'm 6'0" and the power seat is near the middle of its height range. FWIW, with my right arm/hand in "shifting alignment," it's about 415mm from the palm side of my fingers to my elbow (unscientifically measured).
I discovered that I sit a lot higher in the power seat. It feels really odd.
  #16  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:07 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 S4, 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally posted by Clyde@work
And/or seat adjustments.
The seat adjustment might also be something that's hurting me. I usually sit with the seat adjusted pretty far down out of habit, since my head normally brushes the headliner (...short legs).

However, without a sunroof this time around, I might be able to adjust the seat up a little higher which would put my elbow a little bit farther above the armest when shifting. I'll have to try that out.
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:09 AM
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Spiderm0n Spiderm0n is offline
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Location: outskirts of Gotham
 
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Mein Auto: 2011 MDX, 2001 330xi
6' 1" - no problems with the armrest down. never even thought about it!
  #18  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by PhilH
450 here
I feel stupid. That measurement would make a difference when shfting with the armrest up becuase the shifter and armrest are at fixed points. With the armrest down, shoulder to elbow distance would matter more, but you also have to factor in seat height, ass to shoulder distance (taking posture into account), etc.

Hmm...
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  #19  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:22 AM
3C 3C is offline
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  #20  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:32 AM
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ERK ERK is offline
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Location: New York, NY
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 330xi
When I first got the car (this is the first manual I've owned) having the armrest down got in my way esp. in around town driving. A few months ago I put it down durring a stretch of highway driving and I got comfortable that way and it's been down eversince.
  #21  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:40 AM
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car_for_mom car_for_mom is offline
...worked on the railroad
Location: Chino Hills, CA
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
I'm 6'1", and I really like the armrest, it's position and location.

The Camry had no armrest, and I really could have used one!

One of the reasons why I preferred the Bimmer to the Audi A4 is that the Audi's armrest really gets in the way; I took 3 test drives, and each time I had to put the thing up just to shift!
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:44 AM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
Location: San Diego
 
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Mein Auto: 08 E90 M3 sold->M2 comp
You need to modify your choices, I got a 5-speed manual with no armrest.
  #23  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:48 AM
PhilH PhilH is offline
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Mein Auto: 2010 S4, 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally posted by Jeff_DML
You need to modify your choices, I got a 5-speed manual with no armrest.
That would fall under "I have a steptronic / I have no center armrest". I almost wrote "I have a steptronic or I have no center armrest", but I didn't like the way it looked.

...and I don't want to hear from someone with an early E46 that has an automatic without a steptronic.
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  #24  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:49 AM
Jeff_DML Jeff_DML is offline
doh!!!
Location: San Diego
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,185
Mein Auto: 08 E90 M3 sold->M2 comp
Quote:
Originally posted by PhilH
That would fall under "I have a steptronic / I have no center armrest". I almost wrote "I have a steptronic or I have no center armrest", but I didn't like the way it looked.
Yea sorry I misread that, I can vote now
  #25  
Old 01-30-2003, 11:49 AM
Michael330 Michael330 is offline
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Mein Auto: 330i
Re: E46 armrest: up or down?

Quote:
Originally posted by PhilH
With a manual transmission the center armrest stops me from using a natural action to shift. I need to keep my elbow elevated to avoid hitting the armrest, especially on shifts from 1st to 2nd and from 3rd to 4th.

I'm trying to learn to shift this way so that I can keep the armrest down, since I appreciate it on the highway. It's not coming easy to me, though, and I wonder how many here have altered their shifting style to keep the armrest down.
I had exact same problem when I got my 330i. It is completely gone when you properly adjust your seat and steering wheel column to match your body size. You have to find the sweet spot.
 

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