BMW's nothing but problems??? Really???

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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:


Also many conventional automatics have a manual mode these days to try to give the driver best of both worlds. I must say though that I rarely use it except the odd occasion when I want to lock the car in gear so that it won't change down. ...or when I'm accelerating in a hurry so I can change up when I want but then put it in auto for regular driving. The conventional manual box on my 3-series is probably the worst I've ever used.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

Which model 3 series? I have heard a lot about how bad the E36 manual transmissions are supposed to be, but I have two of them (95 325i and 97 Z3) and they both shift flawlessly. Compared to many of the other sloppy/floppy manual transmissions I've driven over the years these are actually the best shifters.
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-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

E46 M3 - it's like shifting in a truck
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

I have not driven that model before. What specifically do you not like about the shifting? "Like a truck" is not very descriptive... Is it notchy? Hard to get from 2nd to 3rd in a hurry? Clutch engagement problems? What?
Also, have you done anything yet to try and rectify the problem? Tried using synthetic gear lube (as others have recomended)? Removed the CDV?
--
-Fred W

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On 20 Jan 2006 03:08:24 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

"Try" being the operative word.
IMHFO, anything with a claim to performance, driveability and 'sportiness' that presents a torque converter as part of the package deserves all the contempt that gets heaped upon it. And so do the people who defend them. They are simply not serious drivers.
--
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That would include dragsters? ;-)
--
*Virtual reality is its own reward *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sat, 21 Jan 2006 09:39:25 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"

No. The list of characteristics are ands, not ors. Torque converters are fine in dragsters, monster trucks and land yachts. IMHFO, of course. But I'm sure you knew that...
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Thing is that modern epicyclic autos lock up the TC after every change, so it effects performance and economy far less than of old. Which means the advantage of an 'SMG' type transmission is somewhat eroded for a sporty car with an auto function. I also wonder about the life of what is essentially a synchromesh box having those gearchanges hammered through - since this seems to be the appeal of them.
Now if they made a conventional manual with manual clutch which could also have an auto mode for boring heavy traffic...
--
*Speak softly and carry a cellular phone *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Sat, 21 Jan 2006 12:26:32 +0000 (GMT), "Dave Plowman (News)"

Sure, but locking the TC is a crude and very poor substitute for the variety of ways I can choose for the amount, timing and graduation of torque applied to the drive train with a conventional clutch.
For me, it's about getting pleasure from driving, particularly low cost forms of motor sport. Going further in that direction, the satisfaction of using a dog-engagement, straight-cut gearbox is as different from a synchromesh gearbox as *that* is from a TC/epicyclic combo.
That's not to say that I want to commute around town in a dog 'box car, though.

I think I'd tend to trust the engineering. Sequential gearboxes have been around for donkey's years.

Personally, I always wondered why no-one ever put a friction clutch in front of an epicyclic gearbox.
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Dan.

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Dean Dark wrote:

Driven one of the recent adaptive autos?
...with Steptronic?
...with ALPINA Switchtronic?
Except for drag strip launches and doing donuts there is no advantage in a manual syncro 'box and clutch and lots of disadvantages
Even in fully auto adaptive mode these 'boxes have an almost spookily prescient ability to be in the right gear and never, ever put shifts in potentialy embarrassing places.
Steptronic adds instant and unmuffable sanity checked changes and with Swichtronic your hands don't even have to leave the wheel...
A
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On Sun, 22 Jan 2006 05:19:28 +0000, Alistair J Murray

I wasn't aware that either of those allowed one to control "the amount, timing and graduation of torque applied to the drive train." In other words, complete control of engine speed and timing and the "bite" of the clutch. You live and learn, I guess.
--
Dan.

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Dean Dark wrote:

    [...]
They give you complete control of what arrives at the wheels, which is really all that matters...
A
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Gah - how many times... All this carping of the supposed 'superiority' of manual shifting is a moot point anyway. Already, some BMW models are not available with conventional manuals any more, only with automatics or SMG.
Expect this trend to continue as BMW catches up with VW/Audi (and now Porsche) on double-clutch (so-called "DSG") gearboxes.
As is evident, more and more people prefer some kind of automatic shifting concept over conventional manual (I suppose mainly due to increasing traffic congestion).
Let's not forget - the people who can afford to buy/lease BMW are usually located in/around the world's chocked urban centres, as this is where the high-paying jobs are.
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So you're predicting the imminent demise of the conventional gearbox?
And why is one side of this debate 'carping,' yet your *opinion* is not? :-)
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The 'carping' doesn't refer to this thread in particular, just to the general obsession with proving that only "real" enthusiasts prefer manuals (conveniently ignoring the fact that autos, and especially SMG & DSGs do have advantages over manual shifting in both shift times and guaranteed shift precision).
Anyway, I'm not saying the demise of the conventional gearbox is imminent, but that the trend is heading that way, sure.
I can imagine that, in a decade or so, DSG or SMG will the standard/free, and a 'manual' gearbox will be an optional extra. More than anything else, this will be decided by marketing and production sourcing & efficiency criteria, Gotta keep them shareholders happy. =)
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On Mon, 23 Jan 2006 03:02:57 +0000, Alistair J Murray

We must accept, then, that your definition of 'complete control' is different from mine :-)
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Dean Dark wrote:

Well the "SMG" isn't a sequential box - it's a regular box with a computer controlled change gear on the outside. I would prefer BMWs SMG if there was also a clutch pedal so one could clutch and de-clutch however you wanted (if you wanted) but the actual gearchange was done by computers.
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On 23 Jan 2006 06:01:48 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.co.uk wrote:

That's kind of getting to my point, which is about the manner in which you can operate the clutch. I don't mind a gearbox that automatically changes what gear it's in when I tell it to, it's more that I want to control how and when the clutch gets done.
--
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An automatic in a BMW is pretty much a waste. Buy a Mercedes/Chrysler if that's what you want. BMW shouldn't even MAKE a M3/M5 with a slushbox. Big power + rear wheel drive + transmission shifts in the middle of a curve = problems.
Basically, BMWs will happily run at least 200,000 miles with basic maintenance. When something DOES break, it can get expensive, especially at dealer rates; but things break much less frequently than on other cars.
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sunderland wrote:

Which is why modern BMW's autos know about steering input and lateral acceleration, amongst other things - no surprise shifts at the wrong moment.
An adaptive auto with Steptronic (or better yet ALPINA Switchtronic) manual mode gives the best of both worlds.
A
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