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So let's say you want to keep your amazing M5 for a long time ... like 10 or more years. At some time you will be long out of warranty and may face a SMG transmission failure. At that point do you think you might consider swapping out the SMG for a 6-speed manual? Considering that parts for the 6-speed cost something like $4,500 versus $8,900 for the SMG?

I enjoy reading about the classic BMWs from 20 to 25 years ago such as the E24 6 series and the E28 5 series ... and to keep those machines on the road they are always swapping out for parts from other BMWs, especially converting from automatic transmissions to manuals.

So I started to wonder ... what steps are we going to need to take to keep these beasts on the road long-term? Your thoughts?
 

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Ditto. I bought a 6 speed for this very reason. Plan to keep it 10 or so years. Loved the SMG but worried about it holding up long term. Lots of folks will tell you SMG is the only way to go but for me durability was a consideration as I don't turn over cars ever 2-5 yrs like a lot of people do.

-Brian
 

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6speed in an M5..is embarrassing the worst idea BMW ever had...imagine such a heavy car with a stick?? it reminds me of a Chrysler New Yorker with a 392 Hemi and a four speed, it's exciting as getting a kiss from your grandmother and she slips you the tongue !!!!!
 

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Since there are many exotic and sports cars with single clutch sequential gearboxes (similar to the M5's SMG), I think that down the line there will always be mechanics that will know how to maintain/fix/replace them. While it may be harder to find people to do so, and while the SMG may not be completely reliable in the long term, I would say it is still safe to keep an SMG M5 around for many years. Plus, with most performance cars going the dual clutch route, owning a car with SMG may be very rare/desired in the future.

Regarding the 6 speed transmission, while it is easier to maintain manual transmissions in the long term in most cases, I don't necessarily think this will be true with the M5. The M5's manual transmission was not designed for this engine, and that is evident with transmission and clutch heat issues when driven enthusiastically. Who knows if the M5's 6MT is really designed for the long run, and if it does break many years from now, parts may be hard to come by.


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well isnt the e39 m5 six speed gear box the one used for the e60 M5 manual 6 ?
I believe so. I think the clutch was slightly modified to take the extra 100 horsepower, but very little was done.



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Isn't the SMG just a manual transmission with a hydraulically activated clutch? So the only essential difference in basic components is the hydraulic system which surely doesn't necessitate a completely new tranny when it fails? How much does an SMG hydraulic pump cost?
 

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That's is one of the questions I've asked myself a few times, and I think the only way to solve this problem is to buy a 6 speed MT M5 in the states and ship it to Europe. That's defintitely the easiest and cheapest way, and the prices will drop pretty soon:D

It would be nice to see a video of the M5 with SMG vs. a M5 with the manual transmission, it's clear that the SMG is faster, but it would be nice to see if it really makes such a difference.:byebye:
 

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Interesting subject.. I always wanted to do the swap.

To answer some question in this thread, the e60 m5 uses the 545 manual trans with some different components like a different face where it attaches to the engine and a different clutch.

Dealerships are known to just replace the whole SMG unit which costs a lot. Famous problems in the E60 m5 and the m6 are:

- clutch release bearing which is not an SMG problem at all. It's purley a clutch bearing going bad some say due to the bearing not being greased properly!

- failure to fire the engine up due to the car being in gear = the car can't engage 1st gear due to:

1) not enough hydraulic fluid in the sys. There might be a leak. Must find where the leak is coming from.
2) SMG bump might not be working. It's not that hard to replace and part costs around $400!
3) relay goes bad that activates the bump. Never came across it! Known problem in the E46 m3 though, $20 dollar fix!
4) sensors like: clutch position sensor (reads the position of the clutch), pressure sensor (reads the pressure of the SMG fluid).

One good thing about SMG III is that you can buy almost everything separately unlike SMG II $ I. I read that someone had a leak coming from the pressure sensor that goes in the hydraulic unit and had to replace the whole unit cuz it's not available that was an E46 m3! Thank god BMW did something about it.

In short, the smg is not rocket science! It just needs someone who understands it and has the right tools to work on it.
 

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Interesting topic...but I might be more interested in swapping the SMG for the M-DCT being used in the current M3 models...not even sure if it is possible, but if that transmission is the future of M model cars, at least you know parts and the ability to work on it will be around.
 

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So let's say you want to keep your amazing M5 for a long time ... like 10 or more years. At some time you will be long out of warranty and may face a SMG transmission failure. At that point do you think you might consider swapping out the SMG for a 6-speed manual? Considering that parts for the 6-speed cost something like $4,500 versus $8,900 for the SMG?

I enjoy reading about the classic BMWs from 20 to 25 years ago such as the E24 6 series and the E28 5 series ... and to keep those machines on the road they are always swapping out for parts from other BMWs, especially converting from automatic transmissions to manuals.

So I started to wonder ... what steps are we going to need to take to keep these beasts on the road long-term? Your thoughts?
you are safe for at least 10 years, by law BMW is required to make parts avaliable for all vehicles for at least 10 years. since the e60 was in production through 2010 and relatively unchanged, that gives us until 2020. if similar vehicles are any indictor of parts avability , and considering the e60 was the most successful m5 ever, we'll probally have another 5-10 years of good aftermarket replacement parts after that. also as stated, the smg III really isn't too much different than a regular stick, infact it's much less a headache than other dual clutch smgs that are available today. if I were to be afraid of anything failing and being unable to locate a part, it would be with any of the cars electrically operated components.
 

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Interesting topic...but I might be more interested in swapping the SMG for the M-DCT being used in the current M3 models...not even sure if it is possible, but if that transmission is the future of M model cars, at least you know parts and the ability to work on it will be around.
I don't know if that is possible, but if you want a 500 horsepower NA M car with DCT, you could always pick up an E90 M3 and put the Dinan 4.6 liter stroker in it!



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I wouldn't put the slower manual which wasn't even meant for the M5 in the first place, into my car, period. I'm sure there's more to a tranny swap than just parts. ECU will have to get reprogramed, and who knows what else.
 

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6speed in an M5..is embarrassing the worst idea BMW ever had...imagine such a heavy car with a stick?? it reminds me of a Chrysler New Yorker with a 392 Hemi and a four speed, it's exciting as getting a kiss from your grandmother and she slips you the tongue !!!!!
Spoken from personal experience? :p
 

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I disagree on two counts.
1) I love it that I own a full size sedan with a 6 speed. My Viper is no smaller and has a 6 speed.
2) What difference is it that the manual was not made for the care. There are plenty of car companies (porsche) that swap components. This is called economies of scale and makes cares more affordable to produce. I understand that the v10 was incredibly expenive to produce.
 

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I disagree on two counts.
1) I love it that I own a full size sedan with a 6 speed. My Viper is no smaller and has a 6 speed.
2) What difference is it that the manual was not made for the care. There are plenty of car companies (porsche) that swap components. This is called economies of scale and makes cares more affordable to produce. I understand that the v10 was incredibly expenive to produce.
I disagree on you disagreeing. :D

1) hmmm Your viper is no smaller? ?????? The BMW weighs 600lbs more and is 17 inches longer! Might want to check your math on that.
2) The difference is that the gear ratios are improperly spaced for the M5's engine, so when you shift it drops you too low in the rpm range and out of your powerband, and this is why the SMG car is quite a bit faster than the 6 speed car in a straight line.
 

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I can't stand SMG for daily driving! I have a 6 speed and I love it. I'm a REAL driver and actually race motorcycles for a living. With SMG I didn't feel attached to the car, I felt distant. I prefer a 6 speed because then I am truly in control of everything. It may be slightly slower but I can assure I would beat 99% of you with same setups. I did notice the rpms dropping a little low but that's nothing a flash with raised revlimit can't fix!
 

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6speed in an M5..is embarrassing the worst idea BMW ever had...imagine such a heavy car with a stick?? it reminds me of a Chrysler New Yorker with a 392 Hemi and a four speed, it's exciting as getting a kiss from your grandmother and she slips you the tongue !!!!!
I bet you drive horrible and slow so you must need this transmission. BMW wanted to sell more cars to people like me who would not have purchased otherwise; smart on their part! I love my manual M5 and think your truly a simple person if you think it's "embarrassing".
 
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