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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 07-07-2014, 05:29 PM   #1
samibmw
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 13
Smg transmission

Hello everyone,

I
About to buy a 2003 M3, a lot of people scared me about the SMG trani. Any ideas or personal experience. Thank you so much.


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Old 07-07-2014, 06:26 PM   #2
SKR7
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My Ride: E46 MY04.5 SMG M3
I've got a 2004 M3 with SMG. Some hate them, some love them. From my experience its not the best transmission around but then it was designed quite some years before the current tech. when you are on it, it is awesome. At low speed (in traffic) its not all that. If you can find a manual go for that. But the SMG is a very decent alternative. It was put into the CSL exclusively, for good reason.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:04 PM   #3
Cbaty08
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My Ride: '06 M3 SMG ZCP
If you live anywhere it gets hot, I'd suggest going with the manual; I say that as right now I am having to order the SMG tranny temp sensor, as the tranny likes to pop into neutral when it sits at stop lights on hot days...

But, if it is cooler where you live, I'd say go for it! They are very fun once you get them 'down'.
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:13 PM   #4
samibmw
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Thank you so much for your insight. That was really helpful


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Old 07-07-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
SKR7
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I'm in Sydney. Never ever had an issue with heat and the SMG. Combined with the crap traffic you'd imagine there would be a problem. But no.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:04 PM   #6
IE/M3
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Location: Fontana California
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Hello- I've had my E46 M3 vert for about 6 months....I had 1 issue with my SMG, It wad 108 degrees here in the inland empire and was playing around in sport mode. Got the dreaded cog light, cleared up after letting it cool of with no issues moving forward. Today was 103 and with normal driving it was fine, I have to say I like the SMG...we have tons of traffic and 6spd is more fun and engaged but the SMG helps me tolerate traffic and can have some fun.


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Old 07-07-2014, 10:10 PM   #7
wrig42
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Location: Walled Lake MI
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My Ride: 03 M3 E46 SMG
I just bought an 03 m3 with an smg. I had a sensor issue was cheap to fix and since then no issues. Takes some getting used to I'll admit but def is great if you sit in traffic a lot.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:16 AM   #8
Mddicted
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Just don't spend your last penny buying the car, plan for a reserve fund. Do not purchase any used car without a warranty or a PPI. The best $200 i spent before I bought my car.
SMG was built to drive hard and that is when it performs best. Never downshift into first, let the car do it. You will get the bucking bronco a couple of times until you learn how to start from a stop. Just stomp on the gas or click up a gear. Get out on a track and experience what the car was built for.
Good Luck!
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
Teslazerok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cbaty08 View Post
If you live anywhere it gets hot, I'd suggest going with the manual; I say that as right now I am having to order the SMG tranny temp sensor, as the tranny likes to pop into neutral when it sits at stop lights on hot days...

But, if it is cooler where you live, I'd say go for it! They are very fun once you get them 'down'.
There's a known fix for the heat issue. It only requires wiring in a resistor. Super easy fix.

It's still a manual transmission, so don't expect it to drive like an automatic, you still need to rev match, etc, for it to be smooth.

It is dated in terms of technology so it isn't perfect, but you can update it with CSL software and this will majorly improve the shifting at all rpms. There's info on this on the m3f coding section.

I think the bad reliability of the transmission is over exaggerated. Mostly due to a lot of people/shops not knowing how to fix/diagnose it.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #10
Cbaty08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teslazerok View Post
There's a known fix for the heat issue. It only requires wiring in a resistor. Super easy fix.

It's still a manual transmission, so don't expect it to drive like an automatic, you still need to rev match, etc, for it to be smooth.

It is dated in terms of technology so it isn't perfect, but you can update it with CSL software and this will majorly improve the shifting at all rpms. There's info on this on the m3f coding section.

I think the bad reliability of the transmission is over exaggerated. Mostly due to a lot of people/shops not knowing how to fix/diagnose it.
I've read about that 'band-aid', but am going to see if fixing it the proper way works; I'm going to have her opened up to replace my starter anyways.

I agree that the SMG can be a very good tranny; that is the reason it is the ONLY option for the CSL.

Thanks for the tips though!
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:31 PM   #11
jeffrey262
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Ive owned my m3 since 2006. I have 60,000 on the car. I purchased it with 7500 miles. I have never had a heat issue but the bucking Bronco yes. Once you get use to driving the SMG, you will love it. I prefer to shift myself and allow the tranny to downshift on its own. The automatic shifting stinks. There always seems to be a slight hesitation. I use the dial down controller to increase / decrease the shifting. I have never had a problem with my m3. No parts replaced only recalls. Good luck selecting SMG or manual


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Old 07-08-2014, 11:51 PM   #12
Cbaty08
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Originally Posted by jeffrey262 View Post
Ive owned my m3 since 2006. I have 60,000 on the car. I purchased it with 7500 miles. I have never had a heat issue but the bucking Bronco yes. Once you get use to driving the SMG, you will love it. I prefer to shift myself and allow the tranny to downshift on its own. The automatic shifting stinks. There always seems to be a slight hesitation. I use the dial down controller to increase / decrease the shifting. I have never had a problem with my m3. No parts replaced only recalls. Good luck selecting SMG or manual


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SMG that's never had the heat issue that makes it pop into neutral? GO BUY A LOTTO TICKET!
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:08 PM   #13
jeffrey262
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I did not know there was a issue.
After I posted how I have never had a problem, I need new front calibers, rotors, and brakes on the front after I brought my car in for a bad vibration problem. Front left caliper stuck half closed. Left wheel would not spin while it was on the lift. $2,000 to repair.


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