SMG or not.

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London SW


Coorrr!! I'd love to know if that was said with "authority" or just general knowledge because it doesn't half sound good!
I think I'll just drive the damn thing and enjoy it. But.... the actual, physical gearbox in the M3 is the same irrispective of SMG or not. BMW just got clever and bolted on a "box" to automate the shift.
Quite frankly I don;t care and I'm off on hols driving a "towncar" for a week :-(
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Full of holes, unfortunately.

Which makes it an automatic. ;-) Or do you think the internals of the 'box make a scrap of difference?

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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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That makes no difference. Unless you've got another name for a crash box?

So all epicyclic gearboxes are autos? I've got news for you...

Well thanks for the lecture, but you've missed out the CVT - belt and pulley type. Which is an auto. Many ways to skin a cat.

That's bollox too. They (in this context) all have conventional synchromesh. And all manual gearboxes in recent times are constant mesh - at least for most gears.

Have you ever looked at gearbox design?

That would be servo control. Automation is rather more. Watch my lips. It changes gear by itself, therefore is an auto.

Do you understand the meaning of manual? Or automatic?
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I have owned vehicles with all three, I agree with you. Very well put.
R. Mark Clayton wrote:
> A [fully] manual gearbox as found on most UK cars allows any gear to be

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Keith Kratochvil wrote:

I hesitate to add to this thread, but if what you say is true, why wouldn't anyone make a truly Sequential Manual Transmission with a foot operated clutch, much like a motorcycle's sequential transmission has a hand clutch?
That actually might be quite attractive to the sport drivers... I mean, after all, the weak point of having a 5-speed manual transmission has always been the 2-3 & 4-5 dogleg shifting. That is where all the missed shifts happen with the attendant valve bendage.
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It would be easily done.

Which is why they made SMG autos for those who can't handle a true manual box and clutch. ;-)
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Yes. Shame it has so many technical mistakes. I'm no expert on gearboxes, but I've had enough of them apart to know that much of his detailed explaination is cobblers. How synchro units work for just one example. Mike.

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Aha... there is a Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) but their is also a Sequential M Gearbox (SMG) as fitted to the M3 and CSL, ie. with Drivelogic. There is also an SSG, an Automatic and a traditional Manual.
Tell you what, lets all waste another day debating the merits of each.
LOL!!
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wrote:

Because the term "automatic" has been applied for 50 years to a transmission featuring a fluid link / torque converter that allows arbitrary amounts of slip at low revs. It's a different thing and a different experience than an "automatically" engaged clutch or pair of clutches run by hydraulics and electronics.
So in practice, the school teacher that hops in her husband's SMG eqiupped M3 expecting it to shift and act like her automatic equipped SLK is going to be surprised.
It's "automatic" in the sense that it does stuff automatically for you, but calling an SMG an automatic makes no more sense than saying that a minivan has a manual transmission if you push the button for manual mode and have to shift the gears yourself.
-Russ.
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So where does a CVT fit in? Is that a manual transmission too because it doesn't have a torque convertor?

She'd be much more surprised if she tried to drive a manual...

That's exactly what an SMG does. Tell me, is it possible to stall an SMG? Over-rev it? Start in an unsuitable gear? No? It's an auto.
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London SW

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wrote:

The CVT is different. I wouldn't call it an automatic or a manual, in the popular application of those words. It's something different.

It's an automatically controlled manual transmission.
You could have a manually controlled automatic transmission.
We will never agree on the semantics. I say that the world uses the term "automatic transmission" to mean a gearbox using a hydraulic link to transfer power, whether it's shifted by the user or by electronics. I say that a maual transmission is one that uses a clutch, whether shifted by a computer or by a human. I classify oddities such as CVT's and centrifugal clutches as specialty transmissions and would use specific words such as "sequential manual gearbox" or "continuously variable transmission" to desribe such things in a conversation.
You say that anything that shifts for itself is an automatic and anything that is fully controlled by a human is a manual.
We'll have to agree to disagree.
I would ask you, in your lexicon, how do I specifically tell somebody that the transmission in car A is a hydraulic torque converter fluid link type, that has been referred to as an "automatic transmission" by every car sales person and manufacturer for the last 50 years, rather than an SMG, CVT, robot-actuated manual transmission, etc?
-Russ.
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You mean like the ability to 'force' a gear on an auto box?
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It's a method of providing torque multiplication and starting from rest for an IC engine. Same as any gearbox although different in operation. But in practice most are 'automatics' since they can be left to their own devices.

Seems to me the term 'auto' has been hijacked in the US to mean just one thing. But if you have automatic AC for example does this also include a slush box somewhere? ;-)
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wrote:

Yes, it's been hijacked, and no, it shouldn't be that way. But it has been that way for 50 years, longer than any of us in this discussion have been driving (legally) I bet. 10 years ago, any spec sheet for any car said "automatic" to mean a slushbox. Still does, in fact, when it's a slushbox.
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Funnily, the first auto (IIRC) in the UK was the GM Hydramatic fitted to Rolls Royce cars just after WW2, and used by them for the next 20 years or so, and it didn't have a torque convertor, but fluid flywheel. It was a four speed with rather peculiar ratios - the first three all pretty low with a big gap to top. M-B also made a similar design until changing to a torque convertor in the '70s. And of course some of the latest 6 and 7 speed autos make very little use of the TC - really just to cushion gear changes.
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Hi Dave
Just interested in something you wrote, there - regarding fluid flywheel - what is that / how does it work?
Same for fluid clutches, really. I get how a torque converter works, but am not awful sure of these other variants.
Cheers
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Phew. At last. You've got it in one.

Well, you'll have to re-write dictionaries etc then. Because the difference is pretty fundamental. If a car can go from rest to top speed with no intervention from the driver as regards clutch and gear changing it's an auto. Regardless of any over-ride options.

'Conventional' auto might do? Unless you lived in Holland, where the first locally made autos (DAF) had belt and pulley CVT transmissions?

The man on the Clapham omnibus isn't in the least bit interested in how an auto actually works. He just wants one where you plonk it into drive and it goes.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

All in you HO of course ;-)
Personally I really don't care. What annoys me (and I think a lot of other M3 owners in general) is when someone whinges about "how difficult" the M3 is to drive etc etc. If you want an auto buy one, go get a 330 and you'll be far more comfortable and still have good performance. I also don't like to think of people being mis-sold a car as expensive as an M3 by the sales muppets in most dealers.
But, in answer to your comment. BMW say its manual, DVLA class it as manual and so do insurance companies. Oh, plus its the same gear box and the stick manual. So, whatever you may think is up to you and thats fine.
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Not IMHO - it can change gear on its own, so it's an auto. There were several transmissions round years ago with no manually operated clutch, and these were referred to as semi-autos. But the gears themselves were selected manually and mechanically.

I don't find an SMG M3 - or any other car with a similar gearbox - difficult to drive, just get annoyed that when not in a hurry, the auto function doesn't change gear as smoothly as I can with a true manual. It changes like a learner driver on his first lesson - despite all the processing power of the ECU.

So the stick manual can change gear by itself?
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