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Thread: What's the proper sequence to downshift a manual BMW car?

  1. #1

    What's the proper sequence to downshift a manual BMW car?

    Hi Guys:

    I'm learning to downshift on my BMW E46 SMG and manual. I've been watching some youtube videos and reading message boards for BMW, they are not consistent in advice. Whether I'm going from 4th to 3rd, of 3rd to 2nd, and this is for cruising and not to come to a stop .

    What is the proper sequence to rev-matching on downshift ?
    Method #1
    1. Blip{quickly step on the gas pedal to increase rpm and then let go} and then
    2. use the stickshift to change to the lower gear.

    Method #2
    1. Change to lower gear first and then
    2. Blip

    Method #3
    1. Blip simultaneously while changing gear, (within 1 seconds)

    or other recommendation?

    (I did it wrong the other night while just downshift and the rpm just jump violently , because I did not step on gas petal.)

    Jack

  2. #2
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    What's the proper sequence to downshift a manual BMW car?

    Itís a learning thing! Never down shift to first, unless you are at a complete stop. If you are rolling, second should be fine. Third is the animal gear with a redline in the mid 90ís. If youíre on the highway, youíll need to revmatch, if you want to drop. That gear has a lot of pull at 50-60 mph. Fourth and fifth, you can drop at most legal speeds without rev matching and it will slow you down.

    Hope that helps!


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  3. #3
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    I'm going to modify Guy's statement about only having to rev match certain gears and say you should rev match every gear to ease the stress on your clutch and drivetrain, especially the lower ones. The lower gears are most likely to see synchro wear. I'm not really too sure how much single-clutch rev matching is going to help because I don't believe true synchro matching is happening without a double clutch downshift (not sure, someone correct me if I'm wrong), but at the very least you're saving on clutch wear and drivetrain shock.

    With rev matching every single gear change (up and downshifts), I can happily report an original clutch that lasted 299k miles including lots of track time and have zero synchro issues at 326k miles.

    Personally I blip as the gear selector is passing through neutral and before it reaches the gate for the next gear. I find blipping at this juncture doesn't allow the revs to fall much as you're doing the manuever and minimizes the amount of revs you have to raise it in order to get a good match. If you blip after it's already in gear, you're defeating the purpose, as well as having to raise the revs a lot more than if you did it sooner. Blipping before taking out of gear doesn't work out nearly as often for me personally as if I just wait 'till neutral. I find it harder to find the right amount of revs this way, usually overshooting by a lot and having the revs fall too much by the time I get into gear.

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  4. #4
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    Ditto
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