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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 09-03-2009, 10:19 PM
ermed ermed is offline
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Angry SMG buyer beware

I am a original owner of a 2002 M3 with 60k miles.The car was never pushed hard or taken on the track.Last week the transmission failed to engage.The dealership first said it was a $1600 control module.When that did not work,they said the entire transmission had to be replaced for $12k.I told them that the max trade in value was $18k.The service manager was silent,then said it's up to you.My advice,stay clear of SMG unless the car is still under full warranty.
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2009, 07:40 AM
gmillion1 gmillion1 is offline
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that's exactly why i looked for a 6 MT when i was searching for my M3,
and waited until i found one (which are surprisingly uncommon considering
this car is epitome of the sports coupe)

i hadn't seen any repairs that expensive, but i was scared of the $4500 hydraulic
pump repair i was hearing about.

do you have an indy shop you can take it to for a second opinion?
that just seems quite excessive, even for an M3 transmission,
and it would have to be a serious catastrophic failure to require the
whole tranny to be replaced.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2009, 08:13 AM
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Jakked Jakked is offline
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sorry to hear that. i was shopping around for an M3 a while ago; i noticed a lot of the SMG-equipped cars seemed to be priced lower than equivalent spec-ed 6MT cars.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2009, 10:34 AM
gmillion1 gmillion1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakked View Post
sorry to hear that. i was shopping around for an M3 a while ago; i noticed a lot of the SMG-equipped cars seemed to be priced lower than equivalent spec-ed 6MT cars.
i came to that conclusion as well.
while i was shopping for my M3 (previous car was Z3 BTW)
i found it very hard to find a manual with decent mileage, and
non ho-hum color combos(found a silver with grey interior)
when putting my name in at car lots to search for me,
on numerous occasions when i said i wanted a manual, they would say
"now you are making it more difficult" or something to that effect.

BTW, JAKKED. are those CSL wheels, reps, or the real deal? i am thinking of trying
a set of reps, but am looking for opinions. if reps which ones are they?
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2009, 12:11 PM
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Jakked Jakked is offline
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they are reps. real csl wheels are 19", but I wanted to stick with the stock 18" size due to bad roads around here, so I got 18" csl reps. They are Velocity Motoring (VMR). I'm very happy with the fit/finish/quality.
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2009, 06:24 PM
gmillion1 gmillion1 is offline
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thanks for the info! those are actually the ones i am drooling over now!
i was just curious about the quality.

good Xmas present idea for the wife!
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2009, 09:12 AM
3beemers 3beemers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermed View Post
I am a original owner of a 2002 M3 with 60k miles.The car was never pushed hard or taken on the track.Last week the transmission failed to engage.The dealership first said it was a $1600 control module.When that did not work,they said the entire transmission had to be replaced for $12k.I told them that the max trade in value was $18k.The service manager was silent,then said it's up to you.My advice,stay clear of SMG unless the car is still under full warranty.
Thank you. I've been searching for items like this. Going manual would eliminate a lot of problem plus the full advantage of DIY on transmission change fluid when necessary.
In your case, I don't think it is the transmission. I can only suggest doing more research and getting more professional opinions including indys. Good luck to you.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2009, 06:34 PM
Kevin_G Kevin_G is offline
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In my opinion, the E46 M3 is best enjoyed in manual, WITH a good SSK! Personally I see no driving thrill with SMG, but the stock shifter is honestly sub par for this vehicle. Throws are long, shifter is too high, etc.
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2009, 06:02 PM
g37musings g37musings is offline
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I looked long and hard at the SMG and really like it. However, I think the technology still needs to be proven long term.

I would still go 6 speed manual if I were buying one. Still my favorite M3 next to the original...............
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  #10  
Old 09-15-2009, 12:25 PM
Emtri Emtri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_G View Post
In my opinion, the E46 M3 is best enjoyed in manual, WITH a good SSK! Personally I see no driving thrill with SMG, but the stock shifter is honestly sub par for this vehicle. Throws are long, shifter is too high, etc.
Clearly you have not driven an SMG before.
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  #11  
Old 09-15-2009, 12:42 PM
Kevin_G Kevin_G is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtri View Post
Clearly you have not driven an SMG before.
Sorry; but I've driven it several times on several different cars. You're telling me that tapping the SMG lever is more satisfying than clutch pedal and shifter engagement?
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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Corey Milne Corey Milne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emtri View Post
Clearly you have not driven an SMG before.
SMG=boring. Not to mention it feels like your getting hit in the back with a freight train everytime it shifts because there is such a long shift period in between shifts.... That and if they are not driven hard (which is what they were designed for, but not what most streets were designed for) they start to fail.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2009, 08:58 PM
e86_Coupe e86_Coupe is offline
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12 grand? That sounds a little steep personally. I've heard the pump being replaced for 3-5grand though. (Which is insanely expensive but I could see myself biting the bullet in a bad situation...12k is another story) What is included for the $12 000 service?
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2009, 10:59 AM
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Grentz Grentz is offline
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The SMGs had a HUGE bad rap when I was buying the M3 (2003/2004).

I was lucky in that our dealer had the 6MT version I ended up with.

I liked the idea of the SMG, it would be nice at times to have an auto mode for stop and go traffic/etc. But the cost and reliability dont sound good at all.
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  #15  
Old 09-22-2009, 04:50 PM
rruiter rruiter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Milne View Post
SMG=boring. Not to mention it feels like your getting hit in the back with a freight train everytime it shifts because there is such a long shift period in between shifts.... That and if they are not driven hard (which is what they were designed for, but not what most streets were designed for) they start to fail.
Long shift period between shifts ?
SMG has a learning curve to drive. It doesn't just happen. You kind of need to learn what the car does in what situations and then you are able to get the max out of it. Smooth when cruising around and rapidly fast when in a hurry.
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  #16  
Old 10-03-2009, 02:14 PM
Scargo Scargo is offline
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New 2002 SMG owner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey Milne View Post
SMG=boring. Not to mention it feels like your getting hit in the back with a freight train everytime it shifts because there is such a long shift period in between shifts.... That and if they are not driven hard (which is what they were designed for, but not what most streets were designed for) they start to fail.
I just picked up my M3 with 21K on it. I am over 60 and when I was 21 I raced in SCCA for three years. I also drag raced, rode many big bikes and soloed in my early 50's with an RX7 R1 (and won). Just a little background.
Anyone with a fast car that can shift fast will make the car feel like it is being rear-ended when the clutch engages.
I just think that saying driving an SMG tranny hard will make it last longer is crazy.

I love to shift, but I am loving the hands on driving right now. I also like having the left foot poised over the brake pedal when I am driving aggressively. I am looking at it as a skill I have to hone, just like shifting a manual fast and smoothly and learning how to heel-toe.
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2009, 11:52 PM
RKSS RKSS is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW M3
I'm very sorry to hear a about your tranny problem, I think you
Can get a better deal at a private mechanic. I also think that
It might be a lesser issue then you assume. Overall, as a rally
Driver and car maniac, I would always stick to the stick!
Gagets are for robots, the real fun in driving is doing it yourself.
Best of luck to you friend
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:30 PM
n3rd n3rd is offline
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...4&postcount=34


probably this.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2009, 10:56 PM
dubis dubis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermed View Post
I am a original owner of a 2002 M3 with 60k miles.The car was never pushed hard or taken on the track.Last week the transmission failed to engage.The dealership first said it was a $1600 control module.When that did not work,they said the entire transmission had to be replaced for $12k.I told them that the max trade in value was $18k.The service manager was silent,then said it's up to you.My advice,stay clear of SMG unless the car is still under full warranty.
That dealer diagnosis doesn't make any sense. The transmission failing to engage means it's not being shifted, which suggests that one of the hydraulic components is failing (O-rings in the hydraulic cylinders harden up) to actuate the linkage rather than the entire (manual) transmission being shot. Take your car to a good indy that also sponsors race cars, and I'll bet you'll get a very different (and cheaper) diagnosis. Also, I found changing the fluid at 50K miles made a noticeable difference, regardless of what the manual states.
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  #20  
Old 10-18-2009, 12:19 PM
murtic528i murtic528i is offline
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I work at a BMW dealership and I have seen a simular problem with a SMG M5. The car wouldnt move out of gear (wouldnt move into neutral to be exact) so the customer had it towed and it took about 7 of us to get it into the shop. He ended up needing a new tranny but he was under warrenty and we ended up doing a manuel swap in it. I think a couple other guys have had this problem too. Im sorry to hear about it man that must be soul crushing. So basically what most people have said already just stay away from the SMG models get yourself a manual (more fun anyway!)
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  #21  
Old 10-20-2009, 09:11 AM
pdltoys pdltoys is offline
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sorry to hear that. i was shopping around for an M3 a while ago; i noticed a lot of the SMG-equipped cars seemed to be priced lower than equivalent spec-ed 6MT cars.
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  #22  
Old 10-27-2009, 06:32 AM
rowanm rowanm is offline
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guys..dont over-stress about the SMG gearbox...i'm driving mine and enjoying the hell outta it...any vehicle will give u ****..u should have money set aside if u dont have warranty?? besides there's nothing like playing with those paddle shift levers?? hooray!!!!!!!!! bet thatz better than engaging your heavy clutch everytime and missing a gear sometimes when drag racing hey????
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  #23  
Old 11-07-2009, 02:56 AM
RKSS RKSS is offline
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rowanm, yes but paddles are for boats, no? kind of like bottles are for babies haha....regardless to get back on topic what was the outcome of the original post or did i miss something? hopefully it turned out well. Fill us in please.
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2009, 10:23 AM
1love 1love is offline
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The SMG is definitely better in traffic, but i love my 6mt.
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  #25  
Old 11-15-2009, 01:25 PM
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Corey Milne Corey Milne is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scargo View Post
Anyone with a fast car that can shift fast will make the car feel like it is being rear-ended when the clutch engages.
Perhaps you ellude yourself into thinking those clutch dumping "power shifts" are actually making you drive faster, but you are actually suffering a huge loss in power and are only experiencing 'false torque' during this style of shifting (after this false torque there is a large loss of torque called a 'torque dip').
Read this.
http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/flywhee...orque_loss.htm

The most winningest and seasoned racers will tell you it is all about being smooth. It's not about shifting the fastest, its about the most fluid shifts and linear torque curves. SMG II was designed with this major performance flaw, and this is why you see quicker 1/4 mile and 0-60 times with the 6 speed manual.
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