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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After reading numerous threads on this issue, what would you guys say is the proper way to shift the E39 M5?

I was always taught to do clutch in, gear in, little gas, clutch out, off gas, clutch in, gear out, gear in, little gas, clutch out.

But then, I've also read on here of the clutch in, gear in, clutch out, gas, off gas, clutch in, gear out, gear in, clutch out, gas.

Lather, rinse, repeat. So it seems like the difference is whether to apply a little gas before letting the clutch out. Given the torque of our engines, what do you guys think?

Also, as a side note, do you coast in 1st or 2nd in parking lots? I used to always coast in 1st in my 996 Turbo, but I feel like this car has a far torquier (if that's a word) 1st gear.

Thanks!
 

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i DONT apply throttle before engaging the clutch (letting the pedal out) because I don't know how much to gas the engine to get the engine / flywheel RPMs to match up with the speed the transmission wants to turn.

I think throttle when you down-shift may be ok but NOT when up-shifting since the clutch wants to spin faster when you switch to a lower gear. I usually ease out the clutch when down-shifting so it lets the engine rev-up smoothly. This probably is destroying my clutch.

When accelerating to higher gears, let the clutch out then give full throttle, anything less would be a misuse of the beasts' powers.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i DONT apply throttle before engaging the clutch (letting the pedal out) because I don't know how much to gas the engine to get the engine / flywheel RPMs to match up with the speed the transmission wants to turn.

I think throttle when you down-shift may be ok but NOT when up-shifting since the clutch wants to spin faster when you switch to a lower gear. I usually ease out the clutch when down-shifting so it lets the engine rev-up smoothly. This probably is destroying my clutch.

When accelerating to higher gears, let the clutch out then give full throttle, anything less would be a misuse of the beasts' powers.
Yeah, I have no idea anymore what is destroying my clutch and what isn't :eek:.
 

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I know what you mean.

The first to second gearshift is the trickiest on our cars. I find my self easing it with: clutch in, gear change, foot lightly on gas pedal, ease clutch out, and then full on gas when foot is off the clutch.

all the other gears are pretty simple to clutch in and out with the revs lining up. but the first to second sometimes throws me when I'm not paying attention.

And sometimes in traffic, going slow, or want it super smooth with my Mom in the car or something, I keep it in second. I don't know if this is good or bad. But I do think that the motor feels like it has enough torque and does not bog down. In the past when I have put bigger motors in small cars, it made first gear pretty much useless or too short. That's the way it feels with the M5 sometimes.
 

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I find myself in the same situation as cheerIO. If I am not diligent, I usualy tend to send the beast into convulsions from 1st to 2nd.

I am not sure if leaving in second is a good thing either, but I do that sometimes too.
 

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Go the the FAQ section and look under driving school or something like that. At the very end of the link from the FAQ page, there's a link to a Quicktime video. Shows you all you need to know how to shift an M5.
 

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I find myself in the same situation as cheerIO. If I am not diligent, I usualy tend to send the beast into convulsions from 1st to 2nd.

I am not sure if leaving in second is a good thing either, but I do that sometimes too.

I generally start from a stop on a flat or downhill surface in 2nd gear. My first clutch lasted 90k miles and I had it replaced with OEM a few weeks ago. I generally only use 1st when starting uphill, or when trying to force myself to drive 25 mph in my neighborhood. :)

I really don't think there is some magic technique for shifting the M5; my two Porsches are much fussier. The M5 clutch is more than adequate - just never slip it. The synchros are great, the effort is small. I used to race a Shelby GT350 with a four speed Toploader transmission, and there was a lot of technique and brute force involved in that; the M5 is a no-brainer, in my book.

Steve
00 M5
 

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I generally start from a stop on a flat or downhill surface in 2nd gear. My first clutch lasted 90k miles and I had it replaced with OEM a few weeks ago. I generally only use 1st when starting uphill, or when trying to force myself to drive 25 mph in my neighborhood. :)

I really don't think there is some magic technique for shifting the M5; my two Porsches are much fussier. The M5 clutch is more than adequate - just never slip it. The synchros are great, the effort is small. I used to race a Shelby GT350 with a four speed Toploader transmission, and there was a lot of technique and brute force involved in that; the M5 is a no-brainer, in my book.

Steve
00 M5
I do the same, and I have taller gearing. Downhills are almost always in second and if I get a rolling start on a medium hill, I can start in third! I couldn't do it before I added headers, however, the car didn't feel nearly as strong and flexible.

As long as you let the clutch out smoothly, you hardly need to add revs from a standstill. From a stop I only add about 100-200 rpm to get the car going and get clutch out. This is also true starting in 2nd on the flat. If I am starting uphill, or I am in a hurry, I do start in 1st.

Once the car is moving, 2nd works just fine at low speeds. At least on my car.

I have driven lots of manual transmissions cars, the toughest being a Formula Ford, with no synchros!! These cars are a breeze, even with the dopey SAC!:thumbsup:
Regards,
Jerry
 

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Slighty OT, but recently on Top Gear they started a new Corvette from a standing stop in 5th gear and then accelerated to 150 mph, at which point they ran out of runway.

Steve
00 M5
 

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I

I have driven lots of manual transmissions cars, the toughest being a Formula Ford, with no synchros!! These cars are a breeze, even with the dopey SAC!:thumbsup:
Regards,
Jerry
I agree. The Hewland in my old Reynard FF forgave nothing.

Steve
00 M5
 

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Slighty OT, but recently on Top Gear they started a new Corvette from a standing stop in 5th gear and then accelerated to 150 mph, at which point they ran out of runway.

Steve
00 M5
I suppose if you were VERY gentle on the clutch you can get the car rolling, but it is nothing I would want to try in the M5 absent some dire emergency!
Regards,
Jerrry
 

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Either one of those is fine - it depends on how fast you shift.

Upshifting
If you shift gears very quickly, then the engine will not have spooled down below the rpm level for the new gear. In this case there should be no reason to give the car gas to perform a smooth shift.

If you shift gears slowly, the engine will spool down below the new gear rpm level. In this case, you'll want to give the engine a bit of gas to bring the rpms back up (this is commonly known as rpm matching - properly done you don't need a clutch at all, but that is very hard on the gears if you miss).

Downshifting

Again, if you shift quickly, there is no need for gas as the clutch will help the engine find the right rpm's without much trouble.

If you shift slowly, you'll need to provide some gas in order to match the rpms and prevent whiplash.

The important things to remember in all of this is that you never get heavy into the gas until the clutch is fully engaged. And further, your foot should not be on or near the clutch unless you are shifting.

Smooth shifting requires a little bit of clutch feathering regardless of vehicle - always has, always will. The key to limit that feathering by getting the rpms matched between engine and tranny as soon as possible so you can get your fully engage the clutch.

d-
 

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This is called compression braking, and is very bad for both your clutch, and your engine. You should never (barring emergency) actually let the engine scrub off speed.. you have the brakes for that. Of course, staying in a lower gear going down a hill, using the engine to keep you at a constant speed, is fine.

Easing up on the clutch into a lower gear to slow down the car = very bad.

Always rev-match it.


I usually ease out the clutch when down-shifting so it lets the engine rev-up smoothly. This probably is destroying my clutch.
 

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The Quick Time video is helpful, but unfortunately, you can't teach proper clutch technique by writing it down.

You need the following (in my humble opinion):

Decent hearing (to hear the engine speeds)
A built-in butt meter (to feel what is happening)
An excellent memory (to REMEMBER WHAT YOU DID when you have it right)
Practice, practice, practice (NOTHING beats practice).

After all these years and miles of driving manual transmissions, I still (but seldom) miss a shift. (For you old timers, I suppose Fangio and Sterling Moss ocassionally missed a shift now and then.)

The most important thing to preserve your clutch is to NOT PRESS (any more than necessary to get a smooth shift) TOO SOON ON THE LOUD PEDAL. Your foot should be OFF the clutch before you do.
 
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You mean Randy Moss, right? He's drops passes sometimes ;)

d-

ps. Sorry - I'm a little giggly today :byee55amg
Oh, and I forgot to mention my personal hero, who probably never missed a shift ... Ken Miles ... RIP
 

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+1 Also here's a link to some more tips on proper shifting from someone's perspective. I might be re-stating the obvious but no matter what technique one uses, matching rpm's always yields the smoothest and most efficient result while making sure to be off the clutch before mashing the pedal.

http://www.bmwm5.com/greg/school/

Either one of those is fine - it depends on how fast you shift.

Upshifting
If you shift gears very quickly, then the engine will not have spooled down below the rpm level for the new gear. In this case there should be no reason to give the car gas to perform a smooth shift.

If you shift gears slowly, the engine will spool down below the new gear rpm level. In this case, you'll want to give the engine a bit of gas to bring the rpms back up (this is commonly known as rpm matching - properly done you don't need a clutch at all, but that is very hard on the gears if you miss).

Downshifting

Again, if you shift quickly, there is no need for gas as the clutch will help the engine find the right rpm's without much trouble.

If you shift slowly, you'll need to provide some gas in order to match the rpms and prevent whiplash.

The important things to remember in all of this is that you never get heavy into the gas until the clutch is fully engaged. And further, your foot should not be on or near the clutch unless you are shifting.

Smooth shifting requires a little bit of clutch feathering regardless of vehicle - always has, always will. The key to limit that feathering by getting the rpms matched between engine and tranny as soon as possible so you can get your fully engage the clutch.

d-
 

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