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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I am a novice M5 driver. I just bought my 03' E39 m5. I love my car but am still getting used to it.

I have a big problem with launching the car from stand still. I always find that I am among the slowest off the blocks, since I feel I am being overly careful with the shifting.

One of the members on the forum, tonya had pointed out the following as a good way to shift.

(quoting tonya)
1. Assume we are in gear with the clutch out and accelerating with full throttle.
2. Just before the rev-limiter would have kicked in, simultaneously fully depress the clutch and fully release the throttle.
3. Carefully shift into the next gear.
4. Let out the clutch pedal very quickly.
5. As quickly as possible after 4, fully depress the throttle.

However when I try to do this, I find that there is a substantial jerk between steps 4 and 5.

The above tips were anyway new and useful to me, since traditionally I always used to start pressing the accelerator even before my foot was not completely off the clutch. (which I am told is a sure way to damage the clutch)

I use a similar technique while launching the car as well.

Can someone please go over the sequence of how they launch their car from say 0-40 or 50 as would be the case with regard to most traffic signals? In a way that would be sufficiently fast and jerk free. This is not from a racing perspective but from a general driving perspective.
In particular I am very slow in the shift from 1st to 2nd gear and during that time cars behind me get very close to me..which seems like a dangerous driving flaw in my technique.

Some help would be appreciated so that I don't fall behind all the automatics :)

Jon
 

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Jonsid,

The rules are the same for any car - beast included. The fastest drivers are the ones who a re the smoothest with their inputs.

Mashing the throttle then the clutch then the throttle again will be very quick, but it will also eat your clutch. plus the kick in the back might make you back off momentarily

Anyway, who cares about automatics. 0-40 - big deal - by 0-100 they will be nothing but a memory......

TrickyTrev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
>Mashing the throttle then the clutch then the throttle again will be very >quick, but it will also eat your clutch. plus the kick in the back might make >you back off momentarily

Thanks Trickytrev.
But in that case what would you recommend as the most clutch friendly way to shift?

more concretely,
1. Is it ok, to start feathering the throttle as you are releasing the clutch?
(this should stop the jerk I guess)

2. typically at what rpm do you shift from 1st to 2nd.

I apologize for the really basic questions.

jonsid
 

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Jonsid

The other thing I should say is that since I got my M5 I have consistently been raced by everyone. The cogniscenti know you are in a fast car and trying to stay on your bumper will make their day/week.

for me I tend to be smooth, wind it up to around 5k before changing to second, that way you are right in the torque band of the dirty great big V8 lump and that will surge past 40 no problems in 2nd!

Have fun practising! but hit the signal to pull over and let them pass if they are being assholes..

Cheers

TrickyTrev
 

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Dont let up on the gas completely between shifts, and do not press the clutch pedal all the way. Just let up 25-50% on the throttle and let the clutch in just enough to disengage it. After the first 30% of clutch pedal travel, you are just pulling the pressure plate further from the clutch/flywheel. That means the engine has more time to drop below the ideal rpms while you bring the clutch back up to the friction point. This is why some people put the clutch stop in, but this should not be necessary. The only hard part about these cars is the stiff pressure plate. Its easy to tire out your left leg once you start shifting correctly, since you never get to rest your calf muscles in that zone where there is less resistance. Once you've pushed to the point where its not stiff anymore, you should not continue pushing the clutch pedal. Thats the end of the friction zone, meaning the clutch now has space between it and the pressure plate and flywheel. This will also make slow driving more comfortable as there is not that large difference in pressure plate/clutch and flywheel speed during engagement, that bogs the engine a bit. It will also increase your clutch life.

Practice finding that point right beyond the friction zone. As you do, begin letting off less and less on the throttle. Eventually, you will be going to about 75% throttle as a minimum during full acceleration. Much smooth delivery of power and no bog. To get the most speed out of the shifts, never let off on the throttle, but this is not recommended as it is very difficult to do perfectly, and any imprefection on timing will result in a big jolt to the drive train, which can be quite abusive.

Remember the idea is to stay in the power band or as high of rpms as possible. For every rpm you shave off of the top of each gear, that is the lower the rpms you will enter the next gear (and with this engine power curve and long highway gearing) you will end up loosing total acceleration.

Good luck.
 
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I have been driving manual transmission cars for over 55 years. I learned (often the hard way, on MUCH cheaper cars) over time. And, then it is practice, practice, practice ... the same as double clutching ... practice, practice, practice. (My first car, a Model A Ford, had no synchros, so it was necessary to learn ... properly matching engine speed, up or down.)

Remember the key word, "practice," practice, practice ...

However, I would suggest the following:
Everybody has an RPM point where they "usually" shift. Pick a gear, say 3rd (I would choose 2 gears in the same shifting plane at first ... like 3rd and 4th). Drive the car to your chosen RPM (you may need some room) and note the speed. Then pick the next higher gear, in this case, 4th, and drive to the same SPEED. Note the RPMs at that speed.

Now with that information firmly planted in your brain ... drive the car to that SPEED in 3rd, push in the clutch, simultaneously letting off the gas slightly ... do not engage the clutch just yet. See where the RPMs fall to. You should try to release the gas just enough to allow the engine to drop to the CORRECT RPMs for 4th gear at that speed. (The RPMs in other adjacent gears will not have the same difference, but they will be close enough.)

REMEMBER how far you released the gas pedal ... Use the same amount of release on each shift under the same conditions. Then adjust as necessary, as you get better.

Practice, practice, practice ... It will take a long time to get it right. You will get to the point where you could shift WITHOUT using the clutch pedal at all ... just don't ever try it. The shifts will eventually be so smooth, even you won't be able to feel them. (You may actually want to let off the gas so that the RPMs are a little higher than they need to be in the next gear to compensate for the weight you are pulling ...)

Also, NEVER, NEVER mash the gas pedal UNTIL your left foot is OFF the clutch pedal.

The above may just help you ... and, good luck.

P.S. Tonya was over 50% wrong in her directions to you ... You should let the clutch pedal (her # 4, at a normal speed ... i.e., not fast ... that will allow it to slip a LITTLE, which is OK, and helps smooth the transition).

:M5launch:
 

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Regarding steps 4 and 5. Dont let out the gas all the way. Try to rev match. The M5 needs to be driven slightly differently than other manual cars.

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

The above link will help you out. Watch the very informative videos.
 

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a) car is NOT, and NOT designed to be a speed shift dragster - luxury performance road sedan
b) rollling starts if you must
c) refer to a
d) if you don't understand a, b, c, sell car, buy a dragster
 

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Go hire a rental car for a day and practise your full throttle starts and gear changes:7:. Lot cheaper than stuffing up your clutch

Hey !:grrrrr:
Who logged in on my user name with this irresponsible advice:nono:
 

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I can't see anything wrong with your shifting, infact the problem you are having is the exactly the same one I was having when I got my beast.
I am not trying to tell you to suck eggs but forget what you know about changing gears and start learning again form scratch because as I am sure you have realised this is a completely different animal to drive.
You will get the hang of it but it might take a month or two, tops. After that it will feel like cutting through butter, when you get it right, I still make the odd mistake now and then.

Remember it's a BEAST you will never tame fully!!
 

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when engaging in 'spirited driving' i use my left for clutch and braking, and my right foot stays on the gas...

I dont think its great for the brakes or drive train to have your foot on the gas and brake at the same time.
 

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short shifting is also an option is smooth starts are your goal... if I have the girlfriend in the car and am trying to be real smooth (without turning off Sport) I shift at 3500 or so... give it a shot, may help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone. I changed my technique a bit after digesting most of your comments and spent some time watching Greg's videos. At the very least, I feel a bit more confident with my shifting and have changed my style a bit.

Unfortunately, I got hit with the service engine soon light which is staying on now (it used to go out after I started her. she was getting due for service). That might have contributed a bit too towards her being a little sluggish with the acceleration. Or it might be unrelated. Anyway thanks so much for the helpful comments!

jonsid
 

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Go hire a rental car for a day and practise your full throttle starts and gear changes:7:. Lot cheaper than stuffing up your clutch

Hey !:grrrrr:
Who logged in on my user name with this irresponsible advice:nono:
:hihi::hihi::hihi::hihi::M5launch:
 

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skip shift

slightly OT but does anybody skip shift will driving around town to save gas? As in 1 --> 3 or 1 -->4
I had an 04 GTO that made you shift from1 to 4. The corvettes have it as well.
 
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