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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 01-31-2005, 04:40 PM
trikerider trikerider is offline
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Trying to be smooth in 1st and 2nd

I'm not trying to do anything fancy. I'm just playing around with being a smooth as I possibly can. I don't really want to do the CDVectomy. I'm guessing with time - I'll get the feel of this but it's very tough to be smooth without feeling like I'm letting the clutch slip too much in 1st. 1st to 2nd is getting better but I have to be very conscious of what I'm doing. Definitely not 2nd nature yet.

Strange as I've never had to *work* at being smooth with a manual tranny before.

#750
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  #2  
Old 01-31-2005, 05:32 PM
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Trike, I'm really wondering if I've got the CDV in my new 330i (non-ZHP). As I told some people before, after all the talk here about it, I expected to really notice shifting issues when I got my car last month. For me, it's not the case. This trans/clutch is so much better then my C240 was, it's back to "normal" for me -- like my Passat before the MB. I have had no issue with unintended clutch slippage (except once in a while due to operator error) and my shifts are pretty smooth without much work or thought. I'm wondering if there could be a difference with the ZHP setup -- shizat63 (ZHP) also says he notices the CDV and I think he's still planning to take it out.

As far as shifting at 3000-3200, that's a bit high isn't it for normal takeoffs? I shift around 2K for normal acceleration, sometimes less. Maybe your clutch is just different from your last one and you're still getting used to where the engagement point is -- good luck...

Edit (the next day!) OK, I feel stupid . I woke up realizing I had misread that post about shift points -- somehow I was thinking he was saying rev up to 3200 before letting out the clutch, hence my comment. Yes, I too shift around 3200-3500 from 1st to 2nd during "normal" acceleration. Sheesh
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Last edited by markl53; 02-01-2005 at 06:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 01-31-2005, 05:42 PM
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Jim H Jim H is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53
Trike, I'm really wondering if I've got the CDV in my new 330i (non-ZHP). As I told some people before, after all the talk here about it, I expected to really notice shifting issues when I got my car last month. For me, it's not the case. This trans/clutch is so much better then my C240 was, it's back to "normal" for me -- like my Passat before the MB. I have had no issue with unintended clutch slippage (except once in a while due to operator error) and my shifts are pretty smooth without much work or thought. I'm wondering if there could be a difference with the ZHP setup -- shizat63 (ZHP) also says he notices the CDV and I think he's still planning to take it out.

As far as shifting at 3000-3200, that's a bit high isn't it for normal takeoffs? I shift around 2K for normal acceleration, sometimes less. Maybe your clutch is just different from your last one and you're still getting used to where the engagement point is -- good luck...
This is somewhat subjective, but 2k is extremely low for a normal shift. For me, a slow start would be a shift around 3500 from 1st to 2nd, and I'm not pushing the car at all. 2k is almost a crime. Of course, it's your car...
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2005, 05:43 PM
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I've had my 330 for a week as of today, and I'm still getting used to the clutch. It's kind of unpredictable. High-speed, high-rpm shifts are fine, but letting it out at lower speeds has me lurching all over the place.
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2005, 05:55 PM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim H
This is somewhat subjective, but 2k is extremely low for a normal shift. For me, a slow start would be a shift around 3500 from 1st to 2nd, and I'm not pushing the car at all. 2k is almost a crime. Of course, it's your car...
Well, I'm still in break-in mode for a few hundred more miles. Yes, I wind it out as far as I can (~4300) many times, especially in 2nd and 3rd, but I was just saying, for a "leisurely" start in first, 3200 seemed high as a norm. Actually, I've often felt that compared to other manual drivers I've been with, I tend to hold gears longer. Once I get to 1250 I won't be paying as much attention and will find the "natural rhythm"
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  #6  
Old 01-31-2005, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious Joel
I've had my 330 for a week as of today, and I'm still getting used to the clutch. It's kind of unpredictable. High-speed, high-rpm shifts are fine, but letting it out at lower speeds has me lurching all over the place.
I was the same way when I got my E46 (after a decade of E36 M3's)...

It'll get better over time (both you and the car will adapt to each other).
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  #7  
Old 01-31-2005, 06:32 PM
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2005, 10:06 AM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrp
I was the same way when I got my E46 (after a decade of E36 M3's)...

It'll get better over time (both you and the car will adapt to each other).
No problems here, though I'm not a huge fan of the high clutch engagement or the DBW throttle response.

Nothing a bank of REALLY BIG Keihin flatslides couldn't fix...
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2005, 10:15 AM
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I felt sorry for the salesman when I test drove a ZHP. After driving my 75 Formula Firebird for so many years with a competition clutch, and given the fact I was in my Flight Suit and boots, it was really difficult to be gracful with such a light clutch pedal.

I thought I was going to put my foot through the floorboard when I push the clutch in. Then release was a bit quick also.

It's something that will take time for me to get used to once I get mine.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2005, 10:31 AM
philippek philippek is offline
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I've found that my 1-2 shifts are much smoother after a couple of Grey Goose Martinis.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2005, 12:15 PM
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shizat63 shizat63 is offline
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Dont even hesitate, pull the CDV and you'll see how much smoother 1st to 2nd upshifts become.

Or if you dont want to risk the dealer saying anything, just put in a Zeckhousen modified CDV.
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norihaga
No problems here, though I'm not a huge fan of the high clutch engagement or the DBW throttle response.

Nothing a bank of REALLY BIG Keihin flatslides couldn't fix...
Heh...heh...I noticed the high clutch engagement right away when I first test drove an E46 M3. I did not believe the salesman when he said, "They all do that."
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:23 PM
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LA525iT LA525iT is offline
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My suggestion: Just WAIT!!!

I havent change my shifting style AT ALL but at around 18,000 miles everything totally smoothed out. I think your clutch/tranny needs a long time to break in and my 1-2 shifts (and for that matter, my stopped starts) are now as smooth as silk. I can now shift as smootly in my BMW as I can in my Integra (which has just about the most communicative clutch I've ever experienced).
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:29 PM
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shizat63 shizat63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA525iT
My suggestion: Just WAIT!!!

I havent change my shifting style AT ALL but at around 18,000 miles everything totally smoothed out. I think your clutch/tranny needs a long time to break in and my 1-2 shifts (and for that matter, my stopped starts) are now as smooth as silk. I can now shift as smootly in my BMW as I can in my Integra (which has just about the most communicative clutch I've ever experienced).
I respectfully disagree. It sounds like you finally learned to work around the CDV

I took out the CDV in my 325 at 17K. I noticed the difference immediately; the CDVectomy is not placebo-mod. I just wish I did it at 17 miles instead of 17K.
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  #15  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:30 PM
MysticBlue MysticBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
Dont even hesitate, pull the CDV and you'll see how much smoother 1st to 2nd upshifts become.

Or if you dont want to risk the dealer saying anything, just put in a Zeckhousen modified CDV.
Couldn't agree more. It's cheap. It's easy. It's effective. And there's no downside. What possible reason could there be not to do it.
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  #16  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
I respectfully disagree. It sounds like you finally learned to work around the CDV
I respectfully disagree with you because my wife's shifts suddenly became much smoother at about the same time...and she barely puts any miles on the car.
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  #17  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:46 PM
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shizat63 shizat63 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA525iT
I respectfully disagree with you because my wife's shifts suddenly became much smoother at about the same time...and she barely puts any miles on the car.
That's cool. But it begs the Q- why does it take 18K to fully break in a clutch?
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  #18  
Old 02-01-2005, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
That's cool. But it begs the Q- why does it take 18K to fully break in a clutch?
Beats me. But that's just one of a hundred things about my BMW that I dont understand.
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  #19  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:14 PM
richard richard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA525iT
My suggestion: Just WAIT!!!

I havent change my shifting style AT ALL but at around 18,000 miles everything totally smoothed out. I think your clutch/tranny needs a long time to break in and my 1-2 shifts (and for that matter, my stopped starts) are now as smooth as silk. I can now shift as smootly in my BMW as I can in my Integra (which has just about the most communicative clutch I've ever experienced).
I kind of noticed the same thing. I thought that around 15K the light bulb finally came on and I learned how to shift this thing. That said, I still find my girlfriends' Honda has the easiest clutch I've driven.
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:14 PM
MFG MFG is offline
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Try installing an adjustable clutch stop, which will take up a lot of the excess travel and make the take up point feel "lower". It really helped smooth out the shifts in lower gears on both my 325 and 330. Got mine from UUC (http://www.uucmotorwerks.com/html%5F...clutch%5Fstop/) for $20 plus shipping, and it takes about 60 seconds to install. Note that the car has a safety mechanism requiring the clutch to be depressed before the car will start. Though I've never had to do it, it's possible that you'd need to glue a rubber grommet or two to the pedal shaft in order to engage the switch, depending on where you adjust the stop. Instructions for doing that aren't on UUC's site, but can be found elsewhere on the internet.

Best of luck
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  #21  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:30 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trikerider
I'm not trying to do anything fancy. I'm just playing around with being a smooth as I possibly can. I don't really want to do the CDVectomy. I'm guessing with time - I'll get the feel of this but it's very tough to be smooth without feeling like I'm letting the clutch slip too much in 1st. 1st to 2nd is getting better but I have to be very conscious of what I'm doing. Definitely not 2nd nature yet.

Strange as I've never had to *work* at being smooth with a manual tranny before.

#750
Dunno if I have a CDV, but my shifts are pretty smooth. I had CJ's problem for a while, did quite of bit of jack-rabbitting out of the dealer's lot during some of the test drives.

I took a quick look at where I now shift on the way home tonight: about 3.5 to 4K, traffic permitting, from 1st to second and maybe 3.5K in second to third seems to be average. 2-3 shifts are smoother the higher the RPM for sure. At 6800 they are very smooth.

I find I am smoothest when I let the clutch out in one continuous motion, with a slight slowdown at the takeup point to allow a bit of slip, then releasing until the clutch is home and can step on the gas pedal. My heel is the fulcrum up to this point, then I lift my complet off the floor at the end.

I added a home made clutch stop but it is doing nothing for me; I depress the clutch to just beyond the release point and this is still above the stop, so on shifting I never hit the stop at all (I am short for a guy, 5'7").

Car has 12K on it at the moment...YMMV...good luck...
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2005, 06:53 PM
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CDV removal makes a significant difference in your ability to control clutch engagement. You can adjust to the CDV to a certain extent, but removing it (or modifying it) is the real deal.

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  #23  
Old 02-01-2005, 07:53 PM
nv nv is offline
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Hi,

New member and first postÖ

This is my first BMW and Iím surprised at how long it's taking me to get used to my clutch. Itís been 6 weeks. Standing starts and 1st to 2nd are still not as smooth as they should be and Iíve always driven standards.

One reason I believe is the lack of feedback. Previous cars were all VWs and I had plenty of engine noise and vibration to tell me whatís happening. Never bothered with the tach. Not so in the BMW. The engine is so quite and isolated.

Great forum. Iíve lurked here for a while and think Iíll stay.

-nv
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  #24  
Old 02-01-2005, 08:57 PM
BMW_Brand BMW_Brand is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 325i ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by shizat63
Dont even hesitate, pull the CDV and you'll see how much smoother 1st to 2nd upshifts become.

Or if you dont want to risk the dealer saying anything, just put in a Zeckhousen modified CDV.

Hey shizat63. I was just wondering if you used a pressure bleeder in removing your CDV as recommended by Zeckhausen. I have a 325 and am considering the "mod" but am not sure where to get my hands on that particular tool.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2005, 09:10 PM
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operknockity operknockity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Brand
Hey shizat63. I was just wondering if you used a pressure bleeder in removing your CDV as recommended by Zeckhausen. I have a 325 and am considering the "mod" but am not sure where to get my hands on that particular tool.
Many of the on-line tool and automotive supply vendors carry brake bleeder kits (also used to bleed the clutch lines). Lot's of folks have gotten theirs from Bavarian Autosport:

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