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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday I was coasting in neutral at about 20 mph, when the traffic cleared and I had some room to accelerate. I shifted into 3rd and let out the clutch.....WHAM! Guess it was 1st. :yikes: As a relatively new (one month!) owner, you can imagine what went through my head. I almost crapped my pants. Thankfully, after the rather jerky downshift and subsequent cursing, it seemed like everything was okay. The car is fine today, as far as I can tell. If it had been a bit faster, though, I would be one sad M3 ex-driver.

I am almost 100% sure that it was driver error. I was sure I'd put it into 3rd, but maybe I had somehow pulled on the stick before entering the gate. Or maybe I just did it without even thinking. Either way, that short shift kit and TME set are now very high on the mod list....even though I know it wasn't the car's fault. That, and practice, will hopefully prevent me from pulling a stunt like that again. Zoiks!
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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11,262 Posts
Jetfire said:
I am almost 100% sure that it was driver error. I was sure I'd put it into 3rd, but maybe I had somehow pulled on the stick before entering the gate.
I'm much more likely to put in third when I want first. Mechanically safer, but still no fun.
 

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From what I can tell, you're probably OK up to 8K for a very brief period of time. Active Autowerke set the limiter to 7400 or 7500 in some turbo cars, I believe.

Edit: I regularly shift into first at 15-20MPH. :) Rev matching helps, though. :)
 

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A sudden sense of liberty
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Jetfire said:
Yesterday I was coasting in neutral at about 20 mph, when the traffic cleared and I had some room to accelerate. I shifted into 3rd and let out the clutch.....WHAM! Guess it was 1st. :yikes: As a relatively new (one month!) owner, you can imagine what went through my head. I almost crapped my pants. Thankfully, after the rather jerky downshift and subsequent cursing, it seemed like everything was okay. The car is fine today, as far as I can tell. If it had been a bit faster, though, I would be one sad M3 ex-driver.

I am almost 100% sure that it was driver error. I was sure I'd put it into 3rd, but maybe I had somehow pulled on the stick before entering the gate. Or maybe I just did it without even thinking. Either way, that short shift kit and TME set are now very high on the mod list....even though I know it wasn't the car's fault. That, and practice, will hopefully prevent me from pulling a stunt like that again. Zoiks!
Ah, the money shift. Fortunately, I haven't had it happen to me yet, but the tales of other M3 owners are enough to put quite a scare into me.

Oddly, the VW's shift gates are a heck of a lot closer than those on the M3, especially 1st and 3rd, which are almost on top of each other. Not sure why the money shift is so prevalent among BMW owners and not among GTI owners, but I suppose it could have something to do with tranny flex.
 

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oh.......it's an e36m3!

yeah, those cars overrev and bend valves like you wouldn't believe. i have seen three cases now where you can see clearly the overrev driver error-induced engine damage. the valves are bent and they pistons are scored from where the valves smash into them or vice versa.

did you think about putting in the uucmotorwerks stiff tranny bushings? the transmisison tunnel on the e36s move around quite a bit.

just a thought.

glad your engine is all right. you'd know for sure if it wasn't.

no worries. better at 20mph than on an offramp or something doing a 5-2 shift instead of the 5 to 4 shift.

and the woman, (i saw her M3 engine), still swears it's the car's fault.
 

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Jetfire said:
Yesterday I was coasting in neutral at about 20 mph, when the traffic cleared and I had some room to accelerate. I shifted into 3rd and let out the clutch.....WHAM! Guess it was 1st. :yikes: As a relatively new (one month!) owner, you can imagine what went through my head. I almost crapped my pants.
I did a similar thing the first time I took my boss out for a ride in my car when it was new. ( he owns an S4, and I had just gotten rid of my A6) right away he starts in with "how this wouldn't have happened with tiptronic" crap.....felt like tossing him out of the car:D
 

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•••••••
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in_d_haus said:
May seem silly but the shifting technique posted on UUCs site does help to somewhat avoid an inadvertant downshift.

Shift Technique
Same technique was taught at the BMWCCA drivers school I just attended... I paid some attention to my own habits, only to find that I had been instinctively using the same technique all along! No wonder I've never missed a downshift that way. :D
 

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Car Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, I came across that UUC shifting article too. I'm going to start using it from now on.

I'm definitely going to get the trans mount enforcers to reduce transmission flex, and a short shifter to improve my feel for the gates. Still, this was totally a driver error. Coasting at 20 mph is certainly not putting any stress on the drivetrain. :D It's good to know that I'm safe at those revs, though. If I'd attempted to at least match revs, I would've felt less like a dolt.

For future reference, would it be smarter to push the clutch back in after making a mistake like that? This is assuming that I haven't yet completely released the pedal, at which point I believe all hope is lost.
 

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Jetfire said:
For future reference, would it be smarter to push the clutch back in after making a mistake like that? This is assuming that I haven't yet completely released the pedal, at which point I believe all hope is lost.
It would always be smarter to push the clutch back in as soon as you realize. All hope is not lost until the engine actually blows. Hence...

Edit: That said, I doubt you'll have time to realize your mistake...
 

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Pretty common error in the M3 though I think it was more so on the earlier models since many drivers were doing this . . .

This is alos a known mistake on the Celica GTS 6 speed becasue the gears are so close together ... I'm gonna go and check out that link that doug gave . . .
 

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You should be able to recover from a bad downshift.

Best thing to do is learn to double clutch and rev match when you downshift. Apart from being much nicer to your engine and transmission for an .. er.. non-botched downshift, you will discover that a mistake becomes apparent much more quickly and gives you time to react.

That is, when you get used to downshifting with rev matching (and to a lesser extent double clutching) you should always have perfectly smooth downshifts. So, any jerking or engine reaction at all as you are releasing the clutch lets you know you're in the wrong gear... and you can push the clutch right back in while you figure out what happened.

I've gone into the wrong gear a couple times and have always been able to recover.
 
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