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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!

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Old 09-12-2011, 07:58 PM   #1
325inthe510
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How long did it take you to learn stick?

So, I'm learning to drive a manual in my new bmw and it is definitely harder than I thought it would be. I've been practicing for about 2 hours total in an empty parking lot just going from a stop to 1st (the other gear changes are pretty easy) but I am having a hard time going into 1st smoothly.....

How long did it take before you guys were comfortable going on the street?

And if anyone has some wisdom they like to share I would greatly appreciate it

Oh one more thing, I have been looking at the CDV delete that seems to be popular, should I try to remove it asap or get good at driving with the cdv?
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
aphhpa
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Honestly, the very first time i tried I stalled once.. never again after that, I literally had it mastered after 15 minutes. And it was also an e46 I learned on
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
zander271
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Ummm the cdv is for people who are not so good at using a manual. I would leave it on to save your clutch.

Last edited by zander271; 09-12-2011 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:06 PM   #4
MercForHire
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2 weeks to drive without stalling and pissing scared.
Downshifting rev matching is hardest, i still don't do it right after 4 month. I think it will take at least 1 year to master.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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Bout 20 min. Then took it down town

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Old 09-12-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
MercForHire
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For smooth to 1st, rev to 1500 rpm and keep right foot steady while releasing clutch, do not add more has until clutch is completely off. Then rev to 3500 - 4000 before going to second to get a smoother shift.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
MercForHire
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Try starting on a slight uphill,
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:37 PM   #8
Geo31
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Originally Posted by MercForHire View Post
For smooth to 1st, rev to 1500 rpm and keep right foot steady while releasing clutch, do not add more has until clutch is completely off. Then rev to 3500 - 4000 before going to second to get a smoother shift.
Much as I hate to agree with MFH, he's pretty close to correct. The only change I'd make is rev to 3k.

Seriously, I've taught several people to drive stick within 30 minutes. Practice holding revs to 3k while the clutch is in. At 3k, all you have to do is let the clutch out. Harder on a hill, but that takes a little more practice.

Don't be afraid to rev the engine and slip the clutch. Both are far better for the engine than letting the revs get too low and getting vibration all through the drivetrain.

Good luck.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #9
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try starting on a slight uphill,
lol
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
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Try starting on a slight uphill,
good stuff. it werks too.
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
Andy2108
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took probably one 30 min session. After I had a feel for the clutch, I was golden.

just remember to let the clutch out slowly
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Old 09-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #12
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About a day. Had to pick up my dad one day and the only car that was in the garage was a chevy pickup. He made me use it to pick him up and to take him back home, pretty much had it figured out by the time I got back home. Fell in love with them when I got my mustang, to bad I had such a sort time to get a new car, could NOT find a manual in time.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:29 PM   #13
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:50 PM   #14
bartola
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A year after I got my car, I moved to SF. It's tricky there, you will learn to use the e-brake when starting uphill (inevitable). Practice in flat areas first than try your luck in dolores and some of the 20th streets before venturing into the real steep. On the other hand, you have some of the best driving roads to look forward and have a blast. We had BMWCCA events (golden gate chapter) cruising to the beaches and oh once you master your car you gotta try calaveras road (starting in silicon valley). I miss CA only sometimes.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:01 PM   #15
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I learned it within a day when i was 12, in Pakistan and was able to drive it perfectly after 2 or 3 weeks. But unfortunately I have an auto E46.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:14 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by 325inthe510 View Post
I've been practicing for about 2 hours total in an empty parking lot just going from a stop to 1st (the other gear changes are pretty easy) but I am having a hard time going into 1st smoothly.....

How long did it take before you guys were comfortable going on the street?
To be honest I'd be surprised if anyone actually learned to change gears *well* in under a couple of weeks driving, and even then you'll get sloppy and either stall or grind the gears on the odd occasion..

As for how long it will take you? give it a couple of weeks and you'll be wondering why it was causing you so much trouble now..

I'm not sure I could make a car "bunny hop" now if I wanted too..
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:37 PM   #17
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Depends what you mean by learn, I drove mine downtown the first day. It wasn't smooth and certainly not relaxing, but I managed.

First off, if this is your first manual, you should remove the CDV so you learn the proper feel of a M/T car. Be warned this does expose your drivetrain to more damage should you choose to drive like an asshat. Don't dump the clutch, don't get so excited between gears that you money shift, and don't come back on the forums to tell us your HG is blown along with 16 bent valves.

After about a season, driving stick should come as second nature.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:42 PM   #18
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i was ready to go within 30 mins. i was 14

God i miss Stick
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:44 PM   #19
antonmn
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I came out of the womb knowing how to drive a stick.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:55 PM   #20
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Took me about an hour, but I was 16, and I learned on a 1966 350 small block corvette with a high perfromance racing clutch. Th hill is what will determine if you really know how to drive a stick.

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