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BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier

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  • I have a 2001 330ci 5-speed with the works. I enjoy the car...it's rocket fast and handles well. I think the car is more than I need, though, and I've yet to be able to shift smoothly. My passenger's heads are always bobbing around, especially when I'm shifting in the lower gears. I'm contemplating trading to a 325i automatic. Can anyone offer an insight (financial or ortherwise) into this potential decision? Thanks.
  • I apologize for prolonging the snow discussion; I should have left it at my original response to an honest question on the topic.

    I hope I don't get kicked off the board :-)

    -murray
  • locke2clocke2c Posts: 5,038
    trent-- don't hit refresh you will repost your last comments.

    subscribe and hit "read subscriptions" instead.

    ;-)

    -Colin
  • I have a 2001 330ci 5-speed with the works. I enjoy the car...it's rocket fast and handles well. I think the car is more than I need, though, and I've yet to be able to shift smoothly. My passenger's heads are always bobbing around, especially when I'm shifting in the lower gears. I'm contemplating trading to a 325i automatic. Can anyone offer an insight (financial or ortherwise) into this potential decision? Thanks.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    It's very tough not to post a reply especially when you think you are right :)
  • If you sell your 330Ci yourself, (of course depending on condition, mileage etc) you shouldn't take too big a hit because your car is one of the premier autos on the road.

    You'll notice a pretty big difference in power and torque when you go to a 325 automatic, and you may not be as satisfied. If you like shifting yourself and don't need the power, get a 325 manual, go to a good driving school and practice that shifting. You'll be amply rewarded in your driving experience if you learn to drive a manual transmission well, in fact I would go so far as to say you'll probably love it in your BMW!

    I'm with Colin, think about it carefully before you do it. After all you got that 330 5 spd for a reason.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I can understand your reasons to switch from the manual to the automatic but going from a 330 manual to a 325 auto would a much bigger move into the slow lane than you might be ready for.
  • I certainly understand the point about driving the 5 speed smoothly. I've been driving stick for over 30 years and the BMW has been the hardest (by far) to shift smoothly every time (except for a '66 Chevelle SS396 my brother owned). I share my driving between my 3 series and a 5 speed pickup, so the back and forth issue makes it even more difficult. My most difficult time is in first gear as the clutch is almost all the way out, sometimes the engine just seems to bog down. If I give it more throttle early, it revs too much. It doesn't do it all the time, so I can't tell if it's me or the car. Anybody notice this? Maybe my little 323i just doesn't have enough power!

    Even with that said, don't trade down from a 330 to a 325 auto - I'm looking to go the other way (except with a stick of course).
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    as much as some people may be tired of hearing about it, snow tires are far more important than many other things that get beaten to a pulp in this thread...

    re: shifting. practice, practice, practice.

    -Chris
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Knock it off- we've got MUCH more important things to talk about; best wax, best tire dressing, etc.... It's all in the LOOK dude!
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    darn, how could i forget that "looking good" is better than "being safe and keeping it in one piece"????? what is wrong with me????

    -Chris
  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Just remember- "It is better to look fast than to be fast..."
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    y'know, i must have a hard head, because that just never has sunk in... :)

    -Chris
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Chris: I'm impressed that it took you so long to chime in:)

    Brave1heart: I agree with you that I like the 2001 headlights better than the 2002s. OT Question for you: Can you tell me the name of those Dunlops you reccomended to me for my friend's A4? If he's got 18,000 miles on his stock Conti's and had a blowout, does Quattro require him to get 4 new tires? Thanks.

    If any of you read Road & Track, there is a section of it called People. Places, & Things where I think the genius who crashed his IS300 in the rain after putting armor all on the entire tire and driving with the TRAC off belongs. Either there or Car & Driver's 10 Stupidest things you can do to a car secion in its 10 best issue.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    i TRIED to stay out of it... :)

    -Chris
  • Why would you want to do something so silly? Who cares if your passengers head bobble right now. You will get better. It'll take time and practice, but you will. There must have been a reason why you got the 330i 5-sp in the first place. Don't give up on it so easily.
  • Brave1heart: ... Can you tell me the name of those Dunlops you reccomended to me for my friend's A4?

    I'm not BH, but for a summer tire, I'd say that if he was talking Dunlop tires, the models are probably either the SP-9000 or SP-8000 tires. Both are summer performance tires and I've owned a set of each. The 8000 is the better performing tire (dry), whereas the 9000 takes the edge off, but is also the better wet tire. There's also a new SP-9090, but I know nothing about it.

    If he's got 18,000 miles on his stock Conti's and had a blowout, does Quattro require him to get 4 new tires?

    Probably at least 2, to keep the axle the same composition; check the owner's manual.

    -hh
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Don't worry about the passenger's heads. Just kick em out, save the weight, and have fun! :)

    -Paul
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Thanks for the advice. I've heard of the SP8000s & SP9000s before, I distincly remember Brave1heart telling me about a certain Dunlop Z rated tire that has somewhat of a "following" among A4 enthusiasts. We figured he'd have to change both rear tires. Ah, the owner's manual...:) There's a concept.

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • You had asked for ALL-SEASONS and I recommended the Dunlop SP5000 which are Z-rated and still great in snow. The Quattro requires that all 4 tires be the same size and tread pattern but I don't remember the manual mentioning anything about new vs. older tires. They'd definitely have to be replaced at least in pairs, although in this case I'd replace all 4 of them because they already have 17K miles on them.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,468
    Thanks again for your help!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • No, it's not you - my 325i is a little touchy in first too. You have to coordinate the gas and clutch just right for a quick and smooth start. Too much gas early without releasing the clutch enough and you are >3K RPM's easily (just ask my wife how I know). Release the clutch a tad too early and the engine gets bogged down for a second or two if the RPM's are still too low. But if you time it just right, the starts are very quick and smooth. The 330 has ample torque at low RPM's and that issue didn't exist there - you just can't bog that engine down! Having the A/C on magnifies the problem BTW.
  • I am thinking of downgrading from Pamela Andersen to Roseanne. Do you think that'll be OK? I just can't seem to make Pam happy...
  • twoof1twoof1 Posts: 308
    Rosanne.......My car is the Rosanne of 3 series. My therapist is going to have a field day with this one!!
  • Maybe Sandra Bullock, certainly not Roseanne.
  • mr323mr323 Posts: 30
    I've been driving 5-speeds for 30 years and agree that the BMW is quite challenging to shift smoothly. With advice from others on this board I learned that I had been shifting in the worst possible part of the RPM spectrum--around the mid-2000s. Above 3 and the shifting (for my 325 , anyway) smooths out considerably. Right around 2000 the start is slow and smooth (just right for driving down populated streets).

    I've had the same experience others mention about starts, by the way: get the revs just right and she rockets off the line! Nice to have enough room on the road to do so.

    Oh, at higher speeds I find 70mph in 5th = 3000 rpms.

    Happy motoring!

    Ed
  • lol... I think it's the shrink, not the patient :o) I said that only to make a point that going from a manual 330 coupe to a slushie 325 sedan (esp. one without the SP) is a huge drop in EXCITEMENT... The 325 still looks great but I suspect Sandra Bullock may outrun the slushie in the 0-60 sprint :o) As far as Sandra, she doesn't do anything for me either - not a lot of sex appeal plus she's boring to watch. Not to mention that other than Speed, all the movies she's been in have been mediocre chick flicks at best...Miss Congeniality anyone?
  • "BMW is quite challenging to shift smoothly." - mmmm, I did not mean a blanket statement like that. Just the 323/325 and just off the start in first gear. The overall shifting experience is almost spiritual IMO but you need to pay attention because the gearbox is a lot more precise than most other cars' out there... plus the engine is very responsive and the RPM's are easy to get up and down fast.
  • dl7265dl7265 Posts: 1,381
    evidently Toyota agree's check out the celica ads where the dog chases a parked car.....

    And the old man yells at a parked car...

    DL
  • postoakpostoak Posts: 537
    Yes the first gear takeoff is notoriously difficult to get smooth. There's a fairly lengthy thread on this over at bimmerfest. It took me about 6 weeks of driving to get it right, and I've got about 15 years experience with manuals. I think it may be because of the low mass of the crankshaft and fly wheel -- that's just a guess. The key is to raise the rpms higher than you normally would (about 1500 works for me) and then continue to feed even more in as you let out the clutch -- no "rev matching". In stop-and-go you can also get a smooth start by just letting out the clutch moderatly quickly and with your foot completely off the gas, but that results in a REALLY slow start.
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