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Hello all,

I am new to the bimmer family. I just purchased an e36 M3, 1998. I am fairly new to the bimmer and my car was used. I don't have an owners manual. Can anyone refer me to any sites other than this one that talk about my model car? Can anyone tell me what the button on the center console that has s^m^e letters does? Also I am curious about racing, can an e36 m3 beat a e46 330. My friend wants to race me. Thank you, all and I look foward to being in the bimmer family.
 

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You can go to bmwusa.com and sign up for the owner's circle and download the owner's manual. Or...you can go to the dealer and order a hardcopy from them.

The "s-e-m" button is for the auto tranny (why an auto tranny- SMG excluded- in an M3 is beyond me- but whatever blows your skirt up :) S =sport (shifts higher, gives more performance), E = economy (shifts sooner, gives better gas mileage) M = manual (pseudo-manual- you pick the up and down gear changes, but if you don't shift the car will shift for you)

As far a racing goes....E36 M3 auto vs an E46 330 stick would be a close call....E36 M3 auto vs E46 M3 auto- nod goes to the M3 by a nose
 

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nate328Ci said:
I agree, the M3 would win :p :lmao:

There is no such thing as an auto E46 M3 anyway :)flipoff: SMG haters)
Ooops...E36 M3 auto vs E46 330 auto...M3 by a nose

Lets no go to the "SMG is an auto" debate :)
 
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Bruce said:
Ooops...E36 M3 auto vs E46 330 auto...M3 by a nose

Lets no go to the "SMG is an auto" debate :)
No third pedal + can shift on it's own = auto

Market positioning as option for badge buyer who can't shift = auto

(Track junkies who can appreciate and utilize the SMG's faster shift speed make up, what, 0.001% of SMG M3 buyers.)

But I will never call SMG a slushie. Just an "auto".
 

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TD said:
No third pedal + can shift on it's own = auto

Market positioning as option for badge buyer who can't shift = auto

(Track junkies who can appreciate and utilize the SMG's faster shift speed make up, what, 0.001% of SMG M3 buyers.)

But I will never call SMG a slushie. Just an "auto".
You forgot another category (which a friend of mine falls into)...tech junkie who wants the latest in neatowhizbanggadgetry.

The faster shift speed isn't as important as lap after lap, never a blown shift (so long as you don't overrev).

I still think that you're needlessly closing door on yourself by dismming the option without taking the time to learn how to use one well (let alone even trying one).
 

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As demonstrated at the karting event last Sunday, turning in consistent lap times, lap after lap, is key to doing well at a track type of event. SMG can help a driver to keep times consistent. Sure, it's not as much fun in terms of physical interaction with the car. But I'm willing to bet that it *is* quite fun when you hit the upshift lever and feel/hear a perfect upshift, and more fun when you hit the downshift level and feel/hear a perfect rev-matched downshift in a fraction of a second. Sweet.

It's just a matter of semantics, but I don't consider the SMG an auto.
 

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TD said:
(Track junkies who can appreciate and utilize the SMG's faster shift speed make up, what, 0.001% of SMG M3 buyers.)

But I will never call SMG a slushie. Just an "auto".
I think there is enough of a market for SMG to be produced, next track event you go to there will likely be one...

And, it really is semantics. SMG is something entirely new, SMG or computer controlled manual is more what I would call it.
 
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I still think that you're needlessly closing door on yourself by dismming the option without taking the time to learn how to use one well (let alone even trying one).
The door isn't closed. It's still cracked. I understand that at some point in the future I might not have a choice. And it'll still be better than a slushie.
 
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nate328Ci said:
I think there is enough of a market for SMG to be produced, next track event you go to there will likely be one...

And, it really is semantics. SMG is something entirely new, SMG or computer controlled manual is more what I would call it.
By definition-

Manual = do it yourself

Automatic = system does it for you

I understand (and appreciate) that SMG has no torque converter (hence, it's not a slushie). But, to my view, it's still an automatic as the stsem is doing a lot of things for you. When you do those things yourself, it's a manual.
 

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TD said:
By definition-

Manual = do it yourself

Automatic = system does it for you

I understand (and appreciate) that SMG has no torque converter (hence, it's not a slushie). But, to my view, it's still an automatic as the stsem is doing a lot of things for you. When you do those things yourself, it's a manual.
You can still control every shift if you want :dunno:

Auto mode = automatic

Sequential mode = manual

That's why I said, it's something different

How would you view Ferrari's system on the Enzo? It has no automatic mode.
 
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nate328Ci said:
You can still control every shift if you want :dunno:

Auto mode = automatic

Sequential mode = manual

That's why I said, it's something different
But you can do that with Steptronic. It may not be as efficient and not offer the same choice of modes, but, overall, the user interaction is basically the same.

So by your definition, Steptronic is manual too?

This is why I insist that SMG is a technologically advanced AUTOMATIC. It's Steptronic only better. But it's not a manual.
 

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No, steptronic does not behave at all like a manual transmission. SMG in manal mode drives exactly like a manual transmisison, except you only have to flick your wrist to shift rather than cluch in. The lack of torque converter and the fact that it's based on a manual transmission make it something else. Steptronic also has horrible lag and does not rev-match, it upshifts for you, downshifts for you in manual mode. SMG does none of this, you can park an SMG car on the rev limit and it will stay there. No delay, everything is immediate. It is something different.

Go drive one, you might actually like it. Besides, our manual are still not a pure interaction with the car, a real manual would have no synchos.
 
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nate328Ci said:
You can still control every shift if you want :dunno:

Auto mode = automatic

Sequential mode = manual

That's why I said, it's something different

How would you view Ferrari's system on the Enzo? It has no automatic mode.
You can control WHEN you shift, but you can't totally control the shift. (i.e., speed of shift, clutch action)

I know different programs use different shift speeds, but you can't, for instance, make a quick 1-2 and quick 2-3 shift, then take it easy on a 3-4 shift.
 

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atyclb said:

I know different programs use different shift speeds, but you can't, for instance, make a quick 1-2 and quick 2-3 shift, then take it easy on a 3-4 shift.
You can change shift programs on the fly
 

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atyclb said:
You can control WHEN you shift, but you can't totally control the shift. (i.e., speed of shift, clutch action)

I know different programs use different shift speeds, but you can't, for instance, make a quick 1-2 and quick 2-3 shift, then take it easy on a 3-4 shift.
Yes you can, I do it all the time. You just shift at a lower RPM, at part throttle all that makes for a very easy shift. A slight lift as you shift also helps.

And while automatic means in general terms doing things without user intervention, in AUTO use it means a torque converter, planetary gear automatically shifting transmission. And an SMG is not of these.

A manual has a clutch pedal and you row the shifter througth the gears. SMG is not this either.

SMG is simply SMG.
 
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Pinecone said:
Yes you can, I do it all the time. You just shift at a lower RPM, at part throttle all that makes for a very easy shift. A slight lift as you shift also helps.

oh--I've had SMG owners tell me that was their biggest gripe though. Guess they haven't learned that stuff yet.

(But what if you want an easier shift to 3rd at 6000K than S5 would give?)
 
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