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      10-03-2011, 04:37 PM   #1
WallieX5
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DCT vs MT on tracks

To those that regularly track their DCTs especially the heavily track-modded ones, would you buy a DCT equipped M3 again as your track toy? Do the pros of a DCT outweigh the potential headaches that one might encounter in the long run when compared to a manual transmission?

Iíve seen a few posts that points to the fact that DCTs overheat on the track on hot sunny days. Although, Iíve not seen posts about DCTs that fully crap out but having driven an SMG equipped M5 at the BMW performance school that crapped out on the track, sequential-type transmissions are instilling fear in my mind.

My goal is to eventually modify the M3 that I buy into a track vehicle and Iím wondering whether a DCT equipped M3 will be the right platform to start with.

Note that Iím not concerned with DCTs on the street as theyíre designed for that but their longevity on tracks.
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      10-03-2011, 04:50 PM   #2
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computer can shift faster than ANY human

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      10-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #3
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I have a MT and rode in Richard's (M-World) modded M3 with DCT and frankly I was blown away by it. I test drove the DCT and didn't find it very engaging.

But on the track with the DCT: the seamless power delivery up through the gears, and the perfect rev-matched downshifts, plus the shorter gearing... just made it a beast.

I love the 6MT for the street but for the track, I wish I would have gone DCT.
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      10-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #4
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I have done 13 days this year with my DCT and I would never go back to a 6 speed manual in a M3.I have had no issues so far and it is a fair bit quicker on the tracks that I have run thanks to the better ratios thanks to having an extra mid gear compared to the 6 speed.I find that I am shifting mid corner to get better launches out of corners and to keep the engine in the upper ranges where it makes better power.
On the 3/4 mile uphill straight at Mosport I was able to pull about 6 lengths over a 6 speed E92 after entering the straight 2 lengths behind him.We were both quite suprised at the difference that my new car has over my previous 6 speed car.At both WGI & Mosport I am touching the limiter in 5th gear at the end of the longest straights so the gearing quite good for both these tracks.
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      10-03-2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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I track my Supercharged DCT M3 once a month or so and I've had no issues.
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      10-03-2011, 06:46 PM   #6
WallieX5
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I do know that DCTs are faster than manual although not by how much but my only concern is longevity. I’m guessing that replacing a DCT will be much more expensive than replacing a MT clutch or automatic even though DCTs are computer controlled dual clutches. Is there anybody tracking a high mileage DCT?

So far it seems that DCT is the way to go.

Thanks!
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      10-03-2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WallieX5 View Post
I do know that DCTs are faster than manual although not by how much but my only concern is longevity. Iím guessing that replacing a DCT will be much more expensive than replacing a MT clutch or automatic even though DCTs are computer controlled dual clutches. Is there anybody tracking a high mileage DCT?

So far it seems that DCT is the way to go.

Thanks!
I don't think you will find any significant different in longevity. But yes, the cost of replacement will be significantly higher with DCT. IMO, if you are going to do a lot of track events with a street car, you are better off either staying under warranty, or, going with an older and less expensive car to maintain.

I don't do much track stuff anymore, but I have enjoyed the few I've done with the DCT car. The biggest advantage for me is the total freedom for left foot braking, regardless of gear changing demands. You can really keep the car in smooth transitions with no delay in getting back on throttle.
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      10-04-2011, 01:08 AM   #8
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I've got over 24k miles and and over 25 track days and it's holding up like a champ. Never gone into limp mode (multiple days over 95 and a few 40+ minute sessions) and it's pretty clear I am trying Own the car outright and plan on keeping her for a while so fingers crossed but am optimistic she's going to last. Oh.... and it's THE shit on track, fantastic application for that arena
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      10-04-2011, 04:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klammer View Post
I've got over 24k miles and and over 25 track days and it's holding up like a champ. Never gone into limp mode (multiple days over 95 and a few 40+ minute sessions) and it's pretty clear I am trying Own the car outright and plan on keeping her for a while so fingers crossed but am optimistic she's going to last. Oh.... and it's THE shit on track, fantastic application for that arena
Pretty much the same experience here. ~24K miles, 25+ track days. I live in Arizona, so many of my track days have been 90+ degrees. No issues with the DCT - it's brilliant on the track. Would not want to go back to a MT for a track car.
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      04-02-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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The DCT is absolutely amazing on the track... when it is working. I've got an '08 e92 DCT, about 40k miles, and I had virtually no problems with it until this year. Last 2 events my transmission overheated. The first time at buttonwillow at the end of my 3rd session, car went into limp mode and wouldn't let me out of first gear. Second time at streets of willow, car wouldn't let me shift into even gear numbers. Now I go into track events thinking my car is limited, and I've got to get off the track after 7-8 laps for fear my transmission may overheat again. I hear you can get a transmission cooler for dual clutch, but so far I've only seen that for the GTR and EvoX.

If I had to do it again, I'd probably go with 6sp Manual to avoid transmission overheat issues and paranoia. However, keep in mind my DCT is a first generation with my 08 e92. BMW may have solved some of these problems since then.
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      04-02-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwoon
The DCT is absolutely amazing on the track... when it is working. I've got an '08 e92 DCT, about 40k miles, and I had virtually no problems with it until this year. Last 2 events my transmission overheated. The first time at buttonwillow at the end of my 3rd session, car went into limp mode and wouldn't let me out of first gear. Second time at streets of willow, car wouldn't let me shift into even gear numbers. Now I go into track events thinking my car is limited, and I've got to get off the track after 7-8 laps for fear my transmission may overheat again. I hear you can get a transmission cooler for dual clutch, but so far I've only seen that for the GTR and EvoX.

If I had to do it again, I'd probably go with 6sp Manual to avoid transmission overheat issues and paranoia. However, keep in mind my DCT is a first generation with my 08 e92. BMW may have solved some of these problems since then.
FYI, believe IND makes a gauge to track DCT temps which might be useful in your case.
Also been looking at the SSP website. Maybe the bigger transmission pan might help temps. I plan on doing these upgrades as preventative measures but probably after this season depending on how things go.
http://www.sspperformance.com/sub-category/bmw-dct/transmission--/
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      04-02-2012, 04:14 PM   #12
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I also have an '08. 39k miles and 40+ track days.

DCT peformed flawlessly throughout. No overheating issues.
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      04-02-2012, 04:17 PM   #13
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No issues with my M-DCT either.Actually I am pretty thrilled with it still!
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      04-02-2012, 04:23 PM   #14
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I have a 6MT, but will go with DCT in the F3X generation M3. I was really leery of the new DCT in 2009 after reading about the E60 M5 tranny (the previous iteration of an SMG flippy-flappy gear box), but three years later, the DCT seems to be holding up well.

However, I do love the "engagement" of a 6MT...
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      04-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwoon View Post
However, keep in mind my DCT is a first generation with my 08 e92. BMW may have solved some of these problems since then.
Would there be much improvement in my 2011 DCT though? Isn't it the same hardware? Maybe software tweaks?
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      04-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IS350 View Post
Would there be much improvement in my 2011 DCT though? Isn't it the same hardware? Maybe software tweaks?
There are no "published" changes to the hardware that I am aware of. As far as software goes, older car do get download software upgrades. So in principle, IMO, all M3 are essentially to the same DCT standard.
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      04-02-2012, 04:40 PM   #17
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Up grades made to my 2009 - no problems and the car is tracked almost regularly.
DCT only way to go.
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      04-02-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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You can't do a money shift with DCT. That's a big plus for me
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      04-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #19
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You can't do a money shift with DCT. That's a big plus for me
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      04-02-2012, 07:56 PM   #20
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Does the DCT clutches need their fluid bled/flushed like 6MT cars?
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      04-02-2012, 08:22 PM   #21
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Definitely DCT unless BMW improves the shifter and clutch pedal.

No overheating issues on the DCT even in 100 degree, humid, Houston summers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
Does the DCT clutches need their fluid bled/flushed like 6MT cars?
BMW claims lifetime fluid. I tested it here: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=658396
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      04-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #22
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Actually there is an active thread with a member who claims he's having over-heating issues with DCT on the track

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthr...&highlight=DCT
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