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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

View Poll Results: Manual 325i or auto ZHP?
Manual 325i 56 56.00%
Auto ZHP 44 44.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2017, 09:05 AM   #1
Spannerhead
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Would you rather have a manual 325i or an auto ZHP?

Alternate thread title: How much do you value a stickshift in your E46?

Everything else being equal, naturally (condition of the car, etc etc).
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:06 AM   #2
JJR4884
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3 pedals all day long
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:11 AM   #3
Spannerhead
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I think maybe I should have put 323 instead of 325. That would have really put a fine point on it.

Ah well.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:14 AM   #4
VTRweasel
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330?

Since I decided on a 4 door (for my dawg) I went with the auto. I'm not doing track days and I've had sticks for 30+ years. My commute's much nicer now.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:28 AM   #5
Geo31
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If it doesn't have 3 pedals, my name is not on the title.

The only possible exception would be if I were to buy a truck or SUV. And I have no interest in buying a truck or SUV.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:40 AM   #6
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^I DD'd an F150 for a couple of years not too long ago. There's something to be said for just throwing it in Drive and parking your arm on the seatback...

Like you said, though, for a BMW, it's 3 pedals or bust. My only possible exception would be a facelift E38 740i Sport.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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ill take the auto ZHP and swap it afterwards..
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:49 AM   #8
wallaby13
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Haven't driven a 325i but I know I'd miss a 3rd pedal more than the ~50hp
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:51 AM   #9
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The auto in my parents' E46 is wonderful.

Occasionally when I fix it / wash it / fill it up with gas, I'll take it for a longer drive and its really enjoyable.
No gear hunting, feels very responsive, and the gears shifts right at redline (unlike almost all other autos I've driven).

I love my 3 pedals, but if the right car came up in the right condition and it was auto, I wouldn't cross it off my list.
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:54 AM   #10
cvx5832
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I didn't drive my first auto until I was 27 and I've been driving since I was 15. Programmed as nicely as the ZF's I have, or the PDK's of the world today I would gladly take an auto.

If my next car were perfect save for the manual I'd take it. I don't hate it by any stretch, I just don't need to have it.

But I don't go on a track or have an affinity for rowing gears (not anymore, anyway) so it's good we have a choice.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:38 AM   #11
iron_swan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spannerhead View Post
I think maybe I should have put 323 instead of 325. That would have really put a fine point on it.

Ah well.
Well I have a 5sp 323i, and I would not even think of trading it for an auto anything. Also, the 323 and 325 have similar specs. Both have a 2.5l i6. The 325 makes ~20 more hp, but less torque.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:44 AM   #12
SSchwab
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I enjoyed manual driving when I was younger, but now find automatics more satisfying when driving aggressively so I can hold on with both hands.
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Old 05-10-2017, 10:45 AM   #13
orb
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Let's be honest, the automatic gets way more hate than it deserves here. The ZF auto is an excellent transmission. I used to say when it breaks, I'd manual swap, but honestly I think I'll fix it instead.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:35 AM   #14
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I'm a minority here. I shift with no third pedal, but yesterday I was driving around town in drive/auto and a coffee in my right hand. Kinda nice not having to think about shift points. I'd still lean towards a true manual.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
The auto in my parents' E46 is wonderful.

Occasionally when I fix it / wash it / fill it up with gas, I'll take it for a longer drive and its really enjoyable.
No gear hunting, feels very responsive, and the gears shifts right at redline (unlike almost all other autos I've driven).

I love my 3 pedals, but if the right car came up in the right condition and it was auto, I wouldn't cross it off my list.
Even better with a Dinan Stage 1 ECU and TCU flash. I love my automatic and I retrofitted a M3 SMG paddle shift wheel if I ever wanna go manual shift.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:48 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Overboost View Post
Even better with a Dinan Stage 1 ECU and TCU flash. I love my automatic and I retrofitted a M3 SMG paddle shift wheel if I ever wanna go manual shift.
I flashed the latest software to the TCM, it made a world of difference.
Namely, no more lurching forward when downshifting to 1st gear in stop / go traffic.

How did you get the paddles to work with the tiptronic?
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
I flashed the latest software to the TCM, it made a world of difference.
Namely, no more lurching forward when downshifting to 1st gear in stop / go traffic.

How did you get the paddles to work with the tiptronic?
Ultimately it is only 2 ground signals from the wheel for up/down. I just wired them directly to the shifter up/down signals from the shifter sport mode in the console. Both work, paddles and shifter sport mode. You just have to replace the clockspring when you do the wheel conversion so all multifuction switches and paddles function.
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:19 PM   #18
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Old 05-10-2017, 12:22 PM   #19
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For a car like this (fun car) manual def. Autos of this era were pretty slow shifting, etc. Not to mention unreliable, expensive to maintain/replace.
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Old 05-10-2017, 01:03 PM   #20
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Auto... it holds gears just fine, it's smooth, and, most importantly when you've messed up your knees and you have to drive LA traffic, manuals suck.
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