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      11-12-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
PhillyNate
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I do hate something about my M3.

Yesterday while taking an immensely enjoyable drive from Philadelphia to Cranford New Jersey I noticed a couple things. REALLY noticed. As I stated in another thread this car is biblically fast as the temperatures drop. Almost scary. This I like.

What I don't like is and really noticed yesterday is the lack of linear clutch engagement/feel. I've noticed this before but on longish trips where everything else is spot on this becomes a slight detractor. I don't care as much about clutch feel in gears 2 through 6 but getting the car rolling in 1st gear can be tedious. Maybe it's my choice of footwear but I feel absolutely nothing in 1st gear. What's worse is this was NOT the case in my 328i which was almost half the price. As a side note I have been driving manuals for over 20 years and this car MAY have the worst 1st gear engagement feel. So that is my rant but here's the good news, I DON'T CARE. It's not a deal breaker at all. I just needed to talk about it amongst friends. Thanks for listening. My flamesuit is fully on.
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      11-12-2011, 12:38 PM   #2
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The 6MT in the M3 is less than wonderful in a variety of ways. Not just the clutch engagement but also notchiness and grinding in 1st to 2nd shifts. For everything that the car does so damn well, it always surprised me how BMW implemented the 6MT. Just drive a Porsche for 15 minutes and you will know exactly how a manual tranny should be implemented. One of my few complaints about the car as well.

This isn't to say the 6MT is a "bad" 6MT as much as it is me saying it is NOT up to the same standard as the rest of the car and therefore takes away some of the enjoyment of it Like I said, not necessarily a "bad" tranny but far from a stellar one on a car that is otherwise pretty damn stellar. For me, the only real negative of the M3 is the weight, the notchiness and feel of the 6MT and... well, that was about it.

IMO, if BMW is going to offer a 6MT they should offer one that performs like you find in a Porsche... now that is a 6MT to enjoy.
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      11-12-2011, 12:43 PM   #3
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I can totally relate to you since my previous car before the M3 was an '09 6mt 328i coupe. The moment I drove off the lot with the M3, I was shocked at the clutch engagement and feel. It wasn't necessarily a bad feeling, just weird. Over the past few months I've owned the car, the 1st gear roll has been difficult to do smoothly and I have been driving manuals for about 10 years now. I drove my friends e46 m3 and the clutch feel is noticeably easier to modulate and has more feel, however, it did feel significantly heavier. I almost rather have the feel of the e46 m3 clutch for more spirited driving, but in traffic, the lighter e9X m3 clutch is a better.

Like you said, the clutch is not a big enough problem to not love this car. But I would like more feel and linear engagement from the clutch. Perhaps an aftermarket clutch could solve this.
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      11-12-2011, 12:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
The 6MT in the M3 is less than wonderful in a variety of ways. Not just the clutch engagement but also notchiness and grinding in 1st to 2nd shifts. For everything that the car does so damn well, it always surprised me how BMW implemented the 6MT. Just drive a Porsche for 15 minutes and you will know exactly how a manual tranny should be implemented. One of my few complaints about the car as well.

This isn't to say the 6MT is a "bad" 6MT as much as it is me saying it is NOT up to the same standard as the rest of the car

IMO, if BMW is going to offer a 6MT they should offer one that performs like you find in a Porsche... now that is a 6MT to enjoy.
I actually like NOT LOVE the sticks movement through the gates. I know I'm in the minority on that but the clutch feel is almost unforgiveable.
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      11-12-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjw2331 View Post
I can totally relate to you since my previous car before the M3 was an '09 6mt 328i coupe. The moment I drove off the lot with the M3, I was shocked at the clutch engagement and feel. It wasn't necessarily a bad feeling, just weird. Over the past few months I've owned the car, the 1st gear roll has been difficult to do smoothly and I have been driving manuals for about 10 years now. I drove my friends e46 m3 and the clutch feel is noticeably easier to modulate and has more feel, however, it did feel significantly heavier. I almost rather have the feel of the e46 m3 clutch for more spirited driving, but in traffic, the lighter e9X m3 clutch is a better.

Like you said, the clutch is not a big enough problem to not love this car. But I would like more feel and linear engagement from the clutch. Perhaps an aftermarket clutch could solve this.

+1, when I test drove the car, the salesman asked me if I knew how to drive a manual. I was like, yes, it's just very different from my last car.
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      11-12-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Try the ZCP
Makes a world of difference
Serious
I feel I have a short shift kit
Shifts are quicker and more accurate
And for $60 it's a fantastic deal
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      11-12-2011, 01:18 PM   #7
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I like this 6MT transmission a lot more compared to a previous C6 Z06
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      11-12-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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The manual tranny likes to be driven hard.The harder it's pushed the better it feels.The feeling you get from pulling off from a cold start,or putting around town is not a true representation of how the 6mt ''really'' feels and was designed to be used.It's a beast of a transmission,gotta use it as such.Driving it in sport mode helps quite a bit too.
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      11-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #9
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2011 M3  [3.37]
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM505SX View Post
The manual tranny likes to be driven hard.The harder it's pushed the better it feels.The feeling you get from pulling off from a cold start,or putting around town is not a true representation of how the 6mt ''really'' feels and was designed to be used.It's a beast of a transmission,gotta use it as such.Driving it in sport mode helps quite a bit too.
That's an excuse... it shouldn't need to be "driven hard" to enjoy it. Bottom line is your comment may be true but it should not need to be... as I said, drive a Porsche... it's 6MT feels great around town, on the track, whenever.

P.S. Why is pulling away from a cold start or putting around town not a true representation? It is how you drive 80% of the time. If it isn't a true representation the real issue is that it SHOULD be!! Again, I'm not saying the 6MT isn't a decent transmission... clearly it is... but it is a weak spot for the M3 compared to the rest of the car. The mere fact that it only feels good when being pushed is proof.
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      11-12-2011, 01:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmarei View Post
Try the ZCP
Makes a world of difference
Serious
I feel I have a short shift kit
Shifts are quicker and more accurate
And for $60 it's a fantastic deal


the 6MT doesn't change for the ZCP
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      11-12-2011, 02:04 PM   #11
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Don't get me wrong this is a good transmission but in this car it should be GREAT. In all facets. Nothing against the DCT guys out here but with its faults I still wouldn't take a DCT over this manual. And I know the DCT is great. Clutch engagement is my only yet important issue.
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      11-12-2011, 02:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benn. View Post
the 6MT doesn't change for the ZCP
He's talking about the ZCP shift knob from a regular 3-series. You will need to cut your shift boot however, and rebuild the knob if you wanted the lighted shift pattern of the stock shifter
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      11-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
That's an excuse... it shouldn't need to be "driven hard" to enjoy it. Bottom line is your comment may be true but it should not need to be... as I said, drive a Porsche... it's 6MT feels great around town, on the track, whenever.

P.S. Why is pulling away from a cold start or putting around town not a true representation? It is how you drive 80% of the time. If it isn't a true representation the real issue is that it SHOULD be!! Again, I'm not saying the 6MT isn't a decent transmission... clearly it is... but it is a weak spot for the M3 compared to the rest of the car. The mere fact that it only feels good when being pushed is proof.
Not an excuse,I'm just telling it like it is.That's the way it was designed apparently.You gotta complain to the engineering team about that.I drive the car like it likes to be driven,with a bit of urgency.And enjoy it for what it is,no complaints here.

I used to own a 997 gt3,I'm well aware of the good and bad attributes of both transmissions.The M3's transmission has it's own character,and as a driver you gotta adapt and learn to use the system to your liking.

No car out there is perfect and neither is DCT.
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      11-12-2011, 02:33 PM   #14
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2011 M3  [3.37]
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM505SX View Post
Not an excuse,I'm just telling it like it is.That's the way it was designed apparently.You gotta complain to the engineering team about that.I drive the car like it likes to be driven,with a bit of urgency.And enjoy it for what it is,no complaints here.

I used to own a 997 gt3,I'm well aware of the good and bad attributes of both transmissions.The M3's transmission has it's own character,and as a driver you gotta adapt and learn to use the system to your liking.

No car out there is perfect and neither is DCT.
True...

When I owned my 6MT M3 (2010 model) the transmission was far from "bad" but was a disappointment relative to the car overall. That is what bugged me because it was the only part of the car I didn't love ALL of the time. I didn't notice it when I was at the track (like you said relative to pushing the car) but I did notice it around town. If the engineers designed it to only perform when pushed hard, IMO that is still a design flaw because it did NOT need to be designed that way. But, like I said, it isn't really "bad" per se just not great like the rest of the car.

Let's not make this into a DCT vs. 6MT thread but there is little to nothing wrong with the DCT today (other than personal preference for a 6MT). It is pretty flawless in operation and function in my experience. Not for everyone because some love the 6MT, perceived greater involvement, etc, but for what it is intended to do it is pretty close to perfect IMO. You don't hear many people ever complain about the DCT or its operation whereas many complain about the 6MT's notchiness, grinding into 2nd and clutch engagement. Again this is NOT a DCT vs 6MT comment but, if you look at them in complete isolation the DCT functions near perfectly today (minor if any complaints from users) whereas the 6MT has a lot of complaints relative to its operation. The DCT use to have issues as we all know but they have all be rectified for years now.
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Last edited by gthal; 11-12-2011 at 02:42 PM.
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      11-12-2011, 02:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
True... When I owned my 6MT it was far from "bad" but was a disappointment relative to the car overall. That is what bugged me. If the engineers designed it to only perform when pushed hard, that is still a flaw because it did NOT need to be designed that way. But like I said, it isn't really "bad" per se.

Let's not make this into a DCT vs. 6MT thread but there is little to nothing wrong with the DCT today (other than personal preference for a 6MT). It is pretty flawless in operation and function in my experience. Not for everyone because some love the 6MT, perceived greater involvement, etc, but for what it is intended to do it is pretty close to perfect IMO. You don't hear many people ever complain about the DCT or its operation whereas many complain about the 6MT's notchiness, grinding into 2nd and clutch engagement.



I agree lets not make this into a 6mt vs DCT thread
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      11-12-2011, 02:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM505SX View Post
[/b]

I agree lets not make this into a 6mt vs DCT thread
I was just responding to your "DCT isn't perfect either" comment but I was ONLY referring to the actual implementation in the car... NOT which is a better transmission.
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      11-12-2011, 02:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KTM505SX View Post
[/b]

I agree lets not make this into a 6mt vs DCT thread
But it's OK for the 6MT guys to jump in on and DCT thread and crap all over it??? I'm just say'in.
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      11-12-2011, 02:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by aus View Post
But it's OK for the 6MT guys to jump in on and DCT thread and crap all over it??? I'm just say'in.
So sir,I do not condone that either.
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      11-12-2011, 06:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gthal View Post
If the engineers designed it to only perform when pushed hard, IMO that is still a design flaw because it did NOT need to be designed that way. But, like I said, it isn't really "bad" per se just not great like the rest of the car.
You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you design something to take the abuse track driving will throw at it, there are going to be drawbacks somewhere. Parts running hotter will require looser clearances to accommodate thermal expansion, which contributes to less than ideal performance at lower temperatures. Not much the engineers can do about that.
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      11-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by apecush View Post
You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you design something to take the abuse track driving will throw at it, there are going to be drawbacks somewhere. Parts running hotter will require looser clearances to accommodate thermal expansion, which contributes to less than ideal performance at lower temperatures. Not much the engineers can do about that.
Maybe the engineers at Porsche are more talented as they seem to have managed to do it
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      11-13-2011, 05:22 AM   #21
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I have read in another thread about removing a spring from the clutch that improves clutch feel?

I think someone also said that it only applied for earlier build cars.

Has anyone done it that can make a comment on it?
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      11-13-2011, 09:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarddenso View Post
I have read in another thread about removing a spring from the clutch that improves clutch feel?

I think someone also said that it only applied for earlier build cars.

Has anyone done it that can make a comment on it?
I have a 2011. No dice.
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