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I am a 21 year old owner of a 2000 M5. I learned driving stick from my dad's 1989 beat up Toyota 4 Runner (his work car). When I began to drive the beast I thought I was ready. But unfortunately, I was wrong :sad2:. Although first gear picks up easier than my dad's jeep, I find the car coughing a little when I switch gears. The transaction is not as smooth as I was hoping for it to be. After comparing my driving experience with M5 stats (doing 0-60 in 4.7 sec), I was wondering how the heck I can ever even come close to that if it takes me forever just to get into 3rd gear. Don't get me wrong, I love driving the beast but I would love it more if I knew how to drive it properly. It kinda sucks when you have a some dodge neon in front of you (or whatever) picking up at first and second gear quicker than I can with my M5.

Anyway, if any one can help me master the art of driving this vehicle it would be greatly appreciated. My beast would also appreciate it! :flag:
 

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Do a search for Greg's shifting videos. I don't have the link handy, but they are several videos which are highly useful.
 

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Here is the link.

Good question. I've driven the Ferrari F50, F40, 550, McLaren F1 etc. very hard indeed with a greater feeling of ease. I was saying to a friend yesterday that I need to find a quiet road and practise hard 1-2 and 3-4 changes. I hate not driving smoothly and after 1,000 miles I cannot accelerate hard with a smooth change, particularly as it seems I need to learn a new babying technique to avoid slipping the clutch.

Greg's videos are good for theory but it is a pity the camera was not on his feet with an inset camera on the gearlever. With that, and the soundtrack, you would be able to work out what he does on a hard upshift. If I don't work this out for myself, I'll be looking for someone to train me.

How about a UK M5 oldies-and-newbies meet where the oldies tutor the newbies? I'd then write it up for the BMW Car Club magazine.

Tim
 

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Keeps the revs down. Also, when pulling away, shift straight from 1st into 3rd. You will find that the car has plenty of torque so 2nd is redundant most of the time. This should help "smoothen" your driving - try it!
 

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Hi, Ashok. Yes, I already change from 1-3 when the gearbox oil is cold (just like an older Ferrari), and smooth 1-2 changes when the oil is warm are not a problem. It's harder upshifts, using full throttle but changing early at 5,000-5,500rpm while trying not to slip the clutch, that I cannot get smooth yet.

Generally I drive for smoothness (I'm getting 24mpg, equivalent to 20mpg US), but I want to be able to use the performance, too.
 

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You have driven the McLaren F1? Tell us please!

Timray said:
Here is the link.

Good question. I've driven the Ferrari F50, F40, 550, McLaren F1 etc. very hard indeed with a greater feeling of ease. I was saying to a friend yesterday that I need to find a quiet road and practise hard 1-2 and 3-4 changes. I hate not driving smoothly and after 1,000 miles I cannot accelerate hard with a smooth change, particularly as it seems I need to learn a new babying technique to avoid slipping the clutch.

Greg's videos are good for theory but it is a pity the camera was not on his feet with an inset camera on the gearlever. With that, and the soundtrack, you would be able to work out what he does on a hard upshift. If I don't work this out for myself, I'll be looking for someone to train me.

How about a UK M5 oldies-and-newbies meet where the oldies tutor the newbies? I'd then write it up for the BMW Car Club magazine.

Tim
 

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Gustav said:
You have driven the McLaren F1? Tell us please!
Yes, I tested the Ferrari F50 at Fiorano for The Sunday Times in 1995 and I drove the McLaren at a British test track in the same week for comparison. I thought the gearbox of the F1 was quite difficult, to be honest (notchy, quite hard to get the changes perfectly smooth), but McLaren then told me the car had a fault and that the way the gearbox felt was not typical. I have only driven one F1, so I do not know if this was true. The F50, by contrast, is a ridiculously easy car to drive at any speed. The E39 M5 is more of a challenge. Either that, or my clutch is on the way out. The dealer does not think so, so I must adapt my technique.
 

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Timray, would be good to have you at a UK meet. :thumbsup:

Im glad this thread has been raised, as i think >75% of speed in a car is down to the driver. (i have had 325i's overtaking me at the track before!!)

The M5 gearchange could be slicker, which is possibly why UUC are having trouble with the huge demand for their EVO 3 S/shifter. It really transforms the car and the change. One thing that is a common complaint with the m5 is the clutch.

Maybe the reason the clutch comes under so much criticism is that people get on the gas before the gear is engaged, therefore slipping it in, maybe again due to the poor stock shifter.

Invest in a UUC EVO3 and your M5 will be transformed.

cheers
foxy kinggf
 

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Welcome to the club!!! Here are some rambling thoughts:

Greg's videos are very helpful. I would also suggest for a good launch to try engaging around 1000-1500RPM and make the shift to 2nd about 500 RPM below redline- or some place lower. In day to day driving I think Ill shift around 4500 or so.

Once the clutch is fully engaged, then as smoothly as possible, push the throttle to full throttle. Instead of "stabbing" it, think of it as applying throttle, or like spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread. There is a lot of power with this car, so any stabbing or jerky behavior is usually not a good idea. That said, yes, I am guilty of having the light go green, getting the clutch fully engaged and then its ~10% throttle -> 100% in 0.5 seconds- and..... DOH lots of DSC! Also keep in mind the condition of the car and the environmen

Now that I think more about it, you might be being a little too abrupt in your shifting/ clutch work as to cause the DSC to come on and that will make the car feel even more jerky and it will actually cause the car to slow down a little bit.

You might see a little yellow light on the dash flasing. That is the Dynamic Stability Control. When it senses a loss of traction it will apply the brakes or cut engine power or both. You can turn off the DSC by pressing the button marked as such, there will be a yellow light on the dash that now stays illuminated. The upside is you can probably put down more power in situations without full traction (the DSC is farily over protective). The downside is the DSC will save your butt and I suggest you really keep it on at all times until you've really learned the car. You might also find the sport mode feels more fun to drive, but the car is easier to manage with it off since the throttle will be less sensitive and therefore the power delivery easier to modulate (the sport button only controls the throttle sensitivity (does not give you more power) and also level of power steering assist).

If its very cold out the tires need a lot of time to warm up and be sure the engine is nice and warm (not just the engine temp in the middle, look for the oil temp to be somewhere near the middle- this way you are safe). Another thing to check on your car is the oil itself. Be sure to get it changed about twice a year (its really the filter you want changed, but it doesnt hurt anything but your pocketbook to have the oil changed too). On a new car, I usually check the oil once every 2 gas fill ups. Now I do it maybe once every 3-4. There are instructions printed in yellow font in the engine bay, you cannot miss them.

Beyond this, let me suggest a driving school to really learn how to drive that beast. Some schools might help with shifting too. Youd be surprised how amazing a car you have there. If you want to drive a M5 in a track/ school environment, but dont want to put hard wear on yours- check out the M school and then Advanced M School run by BMW NA:

http://www.bmwusa.com/bmwexperience/PerformanceCenter/school.htm

They can be fairly expensive- I think it might be ~$3,500 for the program (2-3 days)- but consider you get food + lodging and first class treatment. Not to mention you get to flog BMW's M5s and M3s around. So think of the cost if you fried your clutch + brakes & wore down your own tires. Its not so bad! I've done a few and they have been a blast.

I think I need to do more! :D
 

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I believe that paranoia over burning up the poorly designed clutch keeps a lot of drivers from reaching the potential this beast has to offer. I know I shifted mine a bit more conservatively than I did with previous cars just for that reason. making sure the clutch is engaged before putting power to the ground will keep you from making those advertised times.

I wonder?

For those of you that have upgraded to an aftermarket clutch, has any other weak links been discovered, i.e. rear end, stock shifter, etc. ?

regards,

al
 

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I too struggle with getting smooth 1-2 shifts. Here are a few suggestions.
For light throttle and in traffic:
1. In traffic, shift as early as possible like 2000 rpms or so, even if this means 1/2 way across the intersection.
2. Practice smooth firm shifts and quicker clutch releases with only a small amount of throttle as the clutch takes hold.
3. Try a 2nd gear start. Only do this down hill or on a level. Add a tiny bit of throttle and slip the clutch for a fraction of a second but only to get the car off the line. Then you'll be amazed how well the car pulls all the way thru the RPM range.
For times that you can have fun with the car:
1. In all cases do NOT go full throttle until you are fully off the clutch.
2. Learn how the take hold point on the clutch at higher RPMs is higher in the travel. This requires the smooth quick clutch releases and a bit more throttle to better match revs. Too slow of a release causes the clutch to slip at higher throttle and higher RPMs causing big problems.
3. Practice the hard launches and high RPM shifts so that once you are in a race, you are used to it.
 

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Richard in NC said:
For times that you can have fun with the car:
1. In all cases do NOT go full throttle until you are fully off the clutch.
Boy is THAT the truth! Make sure that clutch is FULLY enagaged when stepping on the loud pedal hard.

The UUC short shifter made a big difference in getting the shifts completed quickly. That seems to be an issue with the regular shifter - it has a longer travel - is less precise - and you can get impatient to get the shift done - clutch out - and resume acceleration. That impatience can lead to missed shifts or planting the accelerator to the floor without the clutch fully enagaged - which leads to revs climbing without the car accelerating and a nice cooked clutch smell in your ride..

When I saw this thread - I though you meant general driving tips.

I think one of the primary tips on driving the beast well would be:

Get on the throttle as early as possible in corners. The beast wants to understeer and push its nose in corners. You need to get on the throttle early in the corner to balance the chassis. You can counter the understeer with a little power on oversteer - which is great fun once you get used to the power delivery. Don't stab the pedal - ease it on and get the back end light - its addictive - and also allows you to make great friends with your local tire dealer. :hihi:
 

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Richard in NC said:
I too struggle with getting smooth 1-2 shifts. Here are a few suggestions.
For light throttle and in traffic:
1. In traffic, shift as early as possible like 2000 rpms or so, even if this means 1/2 way across the intersection.
I've had some pretty good success with taking the rpm's to somewhere between 2500 and 3000, and then, clutch, then wait, more wait, a tiny bit more waiting..., and then going into second. I saw myself consistently engaging second gear with still too many rpm's yet remaining to drop, which caused lurches.
 

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A few things help. First, get a SSK. It helps the the speed of the gear change. I also noticed a huge difference after adding the Evosport UD pullies. It seems the engine revs easier to it is easier to match up and downshifts. I also agree with using second gear starts, even on level pavement. You don't have to add throttle, just gently ease out the clutch (as if you had an egg under your foot) and the car will be able to use its torque to get itself rolling, then get into the throttle and you have enough room in second gear for all city driving needs. Of course, the Powerchip computer upgrade probably doesn't hurt either!!
Regards,
Jerry
 

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I would say it took me at least 2 months to drive the car smoothly, longer to feel like i'm really good, even though i've driven manuals (mostly hondas) my whole career. The most fun about this car is that driving it well is an art, compared with just stabbing an accelerator in an automatic. I'm usually reminded of how far i've come when someone else takes the wheel and gives it a try for the first time..

Greg's videos are key for any new owner...
 

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petey ... i'll come up and show you some stuff. just wait til the snow clears.
i wanna take my 540 drifting before i get new tires anyway.. :hihi:
i wouldnt qualify me as the authority on driving m5's but i think i can manage for you mmmmmm

ray
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ray540inyc said:
petey ... i'll come up and show you some stuff. just wait til the snow clears.
i wanna take my 540 drifting before i get new tires anyway.. :hihi:
i wouldnt qualify me as the authority on driving m5's but i think i can manage for you mmmmmm

ray
Hahaha... Show me some stuff? You know you just want to take it out for a joy ride. :hihi:

Besides Ray (hehe), thank you every one for your input. This board has awesome members!
 

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Driving school.
 

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Wrightsville Beast said:
Get on the throttle as early as possible in corners. The beast wants to understeer and push its nose in corners. You need to get on the throttle early in the corner to balance the chassis. You can counter the understeer with a little power on oversteer - which is great fun once you get used to the power delivery. Don't stab the pedal - ease it on and get the back end light - its addictive - and also allows you to make great friends with your local tire dealer. :hihi:

I find that this does not work for me. When the car is understeering, I need to get OFF the throttle and plant the nose more in order for it to grab. If it's understeering, and you get on the throttle, you're making the problem worse. And in a severe understeer situation, I can not use throttle oversteer to counter anything, because even if I floor it, the understeer gets worse.

Just my experiences, anyway. :cheers:
 

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Brian,

If you applied heavy throttle in a corner when the car is understeering, wouldn't the tail end come around? And I thought the same was true for letting off the gas? You lef off the gas, effectively shifting the weight of the car off the rear wheels, producing less grip, and making the back end swing?

I know you have tremendous track experience, so I'm asking these questions with the intent to learn, instead of contesting you.

Travis
 
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