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Discussion Starter #1
I used to have an Acura Integra (second generation). As some of your know, my commute involves a stretch of I-80 from Berkeley to Oakland CA. That is one of the heaviest/densest pack of cars in the country. I remember getting so tired after using the crutch n-times. And the Acura's crutch is one of the best in terms of engagement, imho.

Anyway, when I decided to go for a new Bimmer as a commute car, I was deadset in not getting a stick shift. Shifting through the twisties is one thing, shifting through a commute trip is another.

On reading the latest issue of Bimmer magazine, I think my decision was a good one after all. See page 56 in which the editor was testing a 530: "In humdrum normal traffic back in LA, I found the clutch take-up over-boosted, too light - I dare say, numb."

I actually have a couple of question for guys with stick shift transmission. Is this statement correct for all current Bimmers or is it related only to the 5 series. Another question is whether this light over boosted feeling is related to the infamous clutch delay valve?

Thanks
 

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I test drove a 325 with stick, and my current car with step... I like sticks as my nature, but I am very impressed with the step... Like hack said, nothing too impressive about the e46 clutch, but I would still take it over the step.... but I had no choice... wife inputs :dunno:
 

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Hack, have you driven an E46 "xi"? It's very easy to feel the clutch engagement point.
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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DaveN323i said:
"In humdrum normal traffic back in LA, I found the clutch take-up over-boosted, too light - I dare say, numb."

I actually have a couple of question for guys with stick shift transmission. Is this statement correct for all current Bimmers or is it related only to the 5 series. Another question is whether this light over boosted feeling is related to the infamous clutch delay valve?
He could have been talking about the clutch in my xiT. I'm not sure about the CDV. I think I feel it. CD-55 drove my car a couple weeks ago and he didn't feel it. When I drove his a little later, it felt pretty much the same as what's in my car. Now I'm not sure there's a CDV in my xiT, and if so, that it makes a real difference in feel or observable effect on function. Nick says he excised the CDV in his xiT, and around that time the general conclusion was that the xi models had a CDV and the non-xi models did not. Nick's is a 2001 and mine is a 2002, so...:dunno:

Muscle memory has taught me where the engagement point is which has obviated the need for a clutch stop. Since the action is very light, it's not a pain in traffic (as opposed to the 5.0 mustangs and 69 Vette I used to have). It kind of suprises me when some people say that they prefer autos in traffic. When you're actually stopped, in most cars you need to apply significantly more pressure to the brake to keep the car from creeping forward. In really ugly traffic, I find that to be much more fatiguing and irritating than rowing my own.
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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pps-325xit said:
Hack, have you driven an E46 "xi"? It's very easy to feel the clutch engagement point.
in LA? I doubt it :D

Are you sure that you're not the only one in all of CA with an xi? :dunno: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Re: Re: Stick shift and bumper to bumper traffic



It kind of suprises me when some people say that they prefer autos in traffic. When you're actually stopped, in most cars you need to apply significantly more pressure to the brake to keep the car from creeping forward. In really ugly traffic, I find that to be much more fatiguing and irritating than rowing my own.
Well, we differ on this issue. I wasn't a happy camper when I was exercising the clutch of the Integra. I am not happy hitting the brake of the Bimmer either, but somehow I feel more relaxed.

Btw, I finally noticed your sig. Very funny :lmao:
 

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Actually, no I have only driven other E46s. But I have driven both RWD and AWD (sedans and wagons), and my AWD definitely provides a lot of feedback as the clutch engages. The clutch doesn't feel any different than my former car (1988 Mazda 626 LX touring sedan), which also had a high engagement point. I also don't experience any delay that others have described here:)dunno: )
 

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I don't agree with the 'stick is better in traffic' argument either. Luckily I don't find myself in bumper-to-bumper traffic much, but when I do, having to deal with the brake and the AT crawl in my old car was far less annoying than doing the pedal dance in my current one.
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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The HACK said:


Oh you'd be VERY surprised how many Xi's I see in L.A.
Wow, I actually am surprised to hear that. I left there in February 2001, which probably didn't allow for enough time for the population explosion. Now that I think about it, though...I shouldn't be surprised, should I?
 

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OMGWTFBBQ
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Re: Re: Re: Stick shift and bumper to bumper traffic

DaveN323i said:


Well, we differ on this issue. I wasn't a happy camper when I was exercising the clutch of the Integra. I am not happy hitting the brake of the Bimmer either, but somehow I feel more relaxed.
So we differ...so what? :D

Btw, I finally noticed your sig. Very funny :lmao:
What's so funny about it? :dunno:
 

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The HACK said:


Oh you'd be VERY surprised how many Xi's I see in L.A. Unfortunately I've never spotted a manual Xi in L.A.

For that matter, I've never really spotted ANY manuals in L.A. I think I have personally met ALL manual BMW drivers in L.A. by now.
I've seen 1 xi on a lot or on the road ever (not counting pps's at the Fest). And it didn't even have a xi badge on it (are they supposed to?)

And I come across plenty of manual E46s both on lots and in parking lots. :dunno:
 

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Kaz, my wagon is badged "325xi"...

Hack, on my "xi", there's a solid thunk sensation when the cluth engages. Maybe the additional driveshaft up front is providing this.
 

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Gone Motoring!
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Re: Re: Stick shift and bumper to bumper traffic

The HACK said:


He's pretty much right on. All the new generation cars starting with the E46's introduction had sh*tty clutch...Very light and very numb, impossible to tell where the exact clutch engagement point is.

The 323Ci's clutch compared to the Z3 1.9l's clutch is like light aerobics vs. weight training.

I still wouldn't give up a clutch pedal despite the L.A traffic though.
After flushing the piss-yellow stuff out with ATE SB on Eugene's car last night, the clutch in his car felt really good. he also has a clutch stop so that helped a little. too bad the SSK cannot get here in time...

after my step 330ci, i dont think I would *ever* get an automatic again... i dont care if it's SMG or whatever, i want a clutch pedal. maybe after 10+ years of DEs I would need SMG2, but not any time soon.

--Andrew
 

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stick shift and bumper to bumper traffic

DaveN323i said:


You did put those cones down on purpose, right?
I will direct you here for a very recent thread about just this topic.
 

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DaveN323i said:


I actually have a couple of question for guys with stick shift transmission. Is this statement correct for all current Bimmers or is it related only to the 5 series. Another question is whether this light over boosted feeling is related to the infamous clutch delay valve?

Thanks
I am not the most techinical guy when it comes to clutches but here is my opinion.

First I think the engagement point is high up on the clutch and is pretty abrupt in our 2002 325iT. I find it difficult to drive smoothly at times.

Secondly I think the pressure required to push the clutch in is on the heavy side, not over boosted. In stop and go traffice when I drove from SB to SD last weekend I could definetely notice it. I assume if you drove everyday in stop and go traffic you would get use to though. I am comparing the amount pressure required to my A4 clutch. My A4 is very light and easy to drive in traffic.

Jeff
 

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Re: Re: Stick shift and bumper to bumper traffic

The HACK said:


He's pretty much right on. All the new generation cars starting with the E46's introduction had sh*tty clutch...Very light and very numb, impossible to tell where the exact clutch engagement point is.

The 323Ci's clutch compared to the Z3 1.9l's clutch is like light aerobics vs. weight training.

I still wouldn't give up a clutch pedal despite the L.A traffic though.
I'm with HACK on this one. And I drive my car in heavy traffic daily.
 

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Hey Clyde, want me to take a look under your car sometime?
Taking a look is a near zero effort proposition. (And we DO have a 2002 xi here with an excised CDV, so you probably have it.)
 

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Nick325xiT 5spd said:
Hey Clyde, want me to take a look under your car sometime?
Taking a look is a near zero effort proposition. (And we DO have a 2002 xi here with an excised CDV, so you probably have it.)
Nothing wrong with looking :D
 

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