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      06-19-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
HEY32G
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Anyone Tracking/Road Racing Their SMG E46 M3?

Looking for a good track/racecar. Anyone actively using their SMG E46 M3 to do that? If I did it, it would be strictly a track car. Okay, probably street legal though.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks.
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      08-14-2009, 04:10 AM   #2
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Bump. Wondering myself
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      08-14-2009, 11:00 AM   #3
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SMGII absolutely shines at the track, S6 on a road course was always where I appreciated it the most (on the street it was always a bit clunky). I never had problems myself, but do keep in mind that it's expensive to fix -- not the clutch itself, which is the same as the 6MT, but the hydraulics that operate it. Also, the e46 M3 in general is quite pricey to maintain if you track it regularly. It's heavy (although not as heavy as the new car), and you'll eat through pads/rotors/fluids/tires etc. Have you considered an e36? Or is there a specific reason you want SMGII?

BTW there are a bunch of peeps over on m3forum who track their SMGII, maybe ask in the track section over there. In particular, member Antroiny has a properly track-prepped car (cage, seats, harnesses, reinforced) SMGII car that is still street legal, I don't think he has pics of his build up but you can PM him.
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      08-19-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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SMG track rat here. Everyone has different opinions regarding the SMG, but I think once you learn how to drive it, taking into consideration shift timing and all that, it is truly amazing! I love the SMG around the track! The shifts are very responsive at high speeds allowing you to set up the car right at the last second before you brake and dive into a turn.

AckM3 is right, it is a little "clunky" in the city and repair costs can be astonishing, but that really goes without saying for any track car. You should expect to burn through brake pads faster than the spread of wildfire and tires, depending on how often you plan to track the car will cut holes in your pocket as well. I would suggest upgraded brakes and suspension for the e46M. That is all it really needs as far as I am concerned, but as for the transmission, it's a big win in my book. Let me know if you have any direct questions and I may be of more help.
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      08-19-2009, 06:47 PM   #5
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^If one cannot properly heal toe in a 6MT than a comparable SMG will most definitely be faster.
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      08-31-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC919 View Post
^If one cannot properly heal toe in a 6MT than a comparable SMG will most definitely be faster.
I've tracked my dad's E46 M3 and I can say that on the track, most MT drivers would have trouble shifting faster than SMG at higher (track speed) rpms.
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      09-01-2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skierman64 View Post
I've tracked my dad's E46 M3 and I can say that on the track, most MT drivers would have trouble shifting faster than SMG at higher (track speed) rpms.
agreed.

The newer DCT is a different story though, IMO. It seems too slow to respond at lower RPMs and through corners. Personally, I think BMW really dropped the ball on that one. The shifts are smoother with the dual clutch, sure, but the quick shift is just not there like it was in the raw e46.
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      09-01-2009, 12:57 AM   #8
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and just for shits OP, the SMG e46M at the track with my buddy's e92M a couple months back...little too much fun at the end

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbp4ZGW2qn0
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      09-01-2009, 05:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicoli024 View Post
agreed.

The newer DCT is a different story though, IMO. It seems too slow to respond at lower RPMs and through corners. Personally, I think BMW really dropped the ball on that one. The shifts are smoother with the dual clutch, sure, but the quick shift is just not there like it was in the raw e46.
I'm going to have to disagree with you there. I find DCT spectacular in nearly every situation. Perhaps you drove a DCT before the most recent software update (6 months ago??), but DCT is certainly a quick shift at high or low rpms with the most current software.
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      09-01-2009, 03:29 PM   #10
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I drove both the '09 DCT and manual last week and found the DCT dull compared to both the manual and the older SMG. The SMG was more clunky but at least it shifted when you asked it to. I found a rather long shift time between 2nd and 3rd gear in the DCT even when set on the most agressive settings. It just felt boring compared to my SMG. Having said that, I am glad to hear you hold a different opinion because it seems as though you track the DCT and, although I have not tracked a DCT, if it is anything like the SMG I would assume it performs better on the track than on the streets, which is really the selling point for me. Nonetheless, to keep this thread on topic, the SMG e46 M3 is a fantastic track car. I thoroughly enjoy its responsiveness at high speeds and would highly recommend it; however, as I mentioned earlier it would need upgraded brakes and suspension IMO.
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