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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been reading up on all the bad press on the SMG transmission and I'm wondering what M5 owners would suggest to me collectively with regards to transmission choice.

I see tons of great deals on '06 SMGs but is it worth the extra cash to grab an '07 with 6spd? I have not seen too posts on problems with the manual transmission so it would lead me to believe it has less problems and potential for failure.
 

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Well You Will Get a lot of SMG loyalists here who will scream that SMG is the only way to go and the 6 speed sucks. But I love my 6 speed. I have never liked the idea of a computer modulating a clutch. If you have ever driven a manual car you know how through the shifter and clutch pedal you can feel if there is any grinding or anything that is not normal. With the SMG you can have those same conditions but not know anything is wrong until you get a failure. I think it is great when it all works right. But I just think it has too many things that can go wrong with it. I love the reliability of the 6speed and I find it a blast to drive. I still feel I can modulate and save the longevity of my clutch and transmission much better than any computer could .
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well You Will Get a lot of SMG loyalists here who will scream that SMG is the only way to go and the 6 speed sucks. But I love my 6 speed. I have never liked the idea of a computer modulating a clutch. If you have ever driven a manual car you know how through the shifter and clutch pedal you can feel if there is any grinding or anything that is not normal. With the SMG you can have those same conditions but not know anything is wrong until you get a failure. I think it is great when it all works right. But I just think it has too many things that can go wrong with it. I love the reliability of the 6speed and I find it a blast to drive. I still feel I can modulate and save the longevity of my clutch and transmission much better than any computer could .

I've driven a SMG before and thought that even on the fastest shift setting it seemed like an eternity...especially at WOT...I'm just wondering if a SMG transmission replacement is more costly than an extra 5-7 grand for a '07 6spd.

Has anyone had to replace a 6spd clutch? How much does BMW charge and how common is it?
 

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This is not which is technically better... for me it is about feel and involvement.. I waited for a M5 6speed and I am very happy. For me any SMG or DCT is closer to automatic and I like manuals..I can see the attraction of a SMg or DCT type transmission if you do track regularly... for a daily driver I choose 6speed.
 

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People like different things which is great! Theres loads on here that will say 6sp is the way and go on about reliabilty but t be honest I love my SMG, its not perfect but its the box the car was designed for (The 6sp manual is only avalible in the states which says a lot!!).

You mention slow changes? something was wrong or more likely the setting were not on the quickest, you simiply can't change gear as fast with a manual as the SMG does, they are fast and brutal in S6 in M mode DSC off. At WOT the gear changes are the fastest?! were you in manual and missed your gear change point (over rev slightly) as this will slow the change down a bit to save the engine and transmition.

10 mins in an SMG fitted car will no prove anythnig either way, you need months to learn, tweak the settings and get the best from it.

A part from a couple of out an out sports cars (Fezzers and lambos) what other car gives you the option to go auto when lazy or manual when the mood suits?

There have been a few with SMG problems but its a small number. Doen't take the number of SMG posts on the board to mean we all suffer, we don't, the problem cars are a small number compared to the 1000's that give no problem at all and go on to cover massive miles problem free.

getBMWparts.com list a SMG box for aprox $7k and a full clutch for $2k so that should answer your question on the price differnce.

try both and see what you like just bare in mind what I said about 'learning' the SMG.

Regards

Jay
 

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Not off the line he won't. Also since now the 6 speed can fully disable the DSC those old comparo numbers that were done in a magazine don't hold true anymore. I have run with a couple SMG's and I am stock 6 speed. They did not know I had a 6 speed until we stopped and got out of the car to chat. Don't take every car magazine article you read as gospel. :)
 

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I've driven a SMG before and thought that even on the fastest shift setting it seemed like an eternity...especially at WOT...I'm just wondering if a SMG transmission replacement is more costly than an extra 5-7 grand for a '07 6spd.

Has anyone had to replace a 6spd clutch? How much does BMW charge and how common is it?
Considering a WOT S6 shift at redline is completed in less than 100 milliseconds, either you're the best stick-shift driver in the world or you weren't in S6 or weren't at WOT.
 

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^this.

The car was designed around the SMG. Buy the SMG. The 6 speed is a relic left over from e39's shoehorned into the e60 because some American's demanded "feel" over technology, precision and performance. The lack of a 7th gear on the manual should be enough to make anyone's decision. Take this car to the upper limits and you'll quickly understand why that last shift is there. Obviously I'm biased because I have the SMG. I replaced the entire transmission including clutch at 35k under warranty and I would get the SMG again in a heartbeat even after going through that catastrophe.
 

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Go with 6 speed.
 
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As you can see, answers (which are opinions) vary. You need to drive both. If you are looking at cars w/o a warranty this may/should affect your decision. I have had both......6sp first now SMG. Both are great, but different.
 

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I had the opportunity to test drive both before we got the SMG. I admit, I like the SMG, but I'm kicking myself for not getting stick. Less worry in the long run, and even if it's not as fast, the involvement argument wins in my book.
 

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If you look at the acceleration data (not the old car mag DSC inhibited data), you'll see that against a typical fast manual driver, the SMG will gain ~0.1 second/shift. Now judge how important it is to you to get to 100mph in about 0.2 to 0.3 seconds sooner. Balance that versus the fun and control of shifting yourself (and being able to control the clutch yourself). The answer will lie within. Up to legal limit speeds here in the USA, assuming identical conditions, etc, at most the SMG car will be ahead by 2/10ths of a second (assuming the SMG driver is capable of an S6 mode punch and modulate launch to net a good 60' time -- something many who've driven a manual for decades can quickly achieve with the 6spd).

Then ask yourself how often you're going to be doing WOT runs to illegal speeds. How often are you going to go to an HPDE event where you can really enjoy the SMG?

In any event, if you choose the SMG, price in a new clutch/pressure plate/throwout bearing/guide bush, and consider using All German Auto's pivot pin design. The t/o bearing on the SMG sees a really high duty cycle, so many owners have experienced early t/o bearing to guide bush galling/wear (i.e. see the threads on the board covering the issue). Just assume any SMG car needs a nice new parts, bite the bullet, do the work, and enjoy a butter smooth SMG experience right from the start of owning the car.
 

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Coming from years of stick to SMG, reliability wasn’t really a big issue. I did choose the SMG for the fact it is clutchless (pedal wise), not sure if you have any type of commute during the day but I have a 30km traffic jam to negotiate each morning and evening leaving it in D rocks.
I also track my cars and I never mastered heel and toe…the SMG blip is another live saver. Ultimately I chose the SMG for its technology.
 

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I would take the newer 07 car just based off of the lower mileage + warranty. Transmission choice is a personal preference. I ended up with a 6 speed mainly because I had a Benz before the M5 and just needed a change. No doubt SMG is superior but it's also more complex and has more points of failure.
 

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Holdout for 6 spd

Hold out for the six speed! You can't put a price tag on peace of mind. Not withstanding, both the six-speed and SMG will get you to triple digits in a heart beat. It doesn't matter at that point whether you get to 100 mph 0.2 sec ahead of a six speed with an SMG! The police officer could care less. I love the experience of my six-speed with the capability of being able to disable the DSC. Still others perfer the SMG. It really boils down to what floats your boat but the M-5 with a six-speed is not an inferior machine. I specifically looked for a six-speed because of my experiences with manual transmissions, information gleaned from this board and speaking to M-technicians. Good luck.:1:
 

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If you enjoy driving a manual transmission, the E60 with 6pd is extremely enjoyable. Shifting, steering, brake and clutch seems to light up all my synapses at once.
 

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The assumption by some that the SMG is less fun than the 6-speed is nonsense. For some that is true, but it is a grossly incorrect generalization. I like manuals as more than most (I race a 5-speed e36 M3). But the SMG is not only wonderfully fast and precise, it is the only part of the car (with the possible exception of the motor) that gives it a semi-exotic feel. Unquestionably a SMG replacement would cost more than a 6-speed replacement, and if that is what is most important to you, then by all means get the 6-speed. But if you find a '06 SMG that had the SMG pump replacement done, you should be reasonably confident in a solid transmission.
 

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I've driven a SMG before and thought that even on the fastest shift setting it seemed like an eternity...especially at WOT...
you obviously drove it wrong. no human can shift that fast. its like a freaking gunshot. either that or the car you drove was a piece and something was wrong with it. i have a 6 speed and owned an SMG for about a year. i like both. i definitely miss the SMG
 
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