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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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#1 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 10:27 PM
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Hmmm... My car feels like it has more power than its putting out...
It feels like the tranny is seriously throwing my power away...
is this only because of my automatic transmission? or is it because of its old age or?

this is my reason for asking... I've had this car for 1.5 years.... I've seen the engine improve and improve but still the same acceleration, etc...

Is there some way i could swap in a racing or sport type manual transmission? or should i wait 1yr for my ///M

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#2 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 10:37 PM
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Although I'm no expert, I do know that with an automatic transmission you not only loose power, but your FEEL less power because the engine and the gears never make an actual connection. There is a always that thin layer of fluid between the 2 parts; it makes the car feel not as powerful.

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#3 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 12:07 AM
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You lose a significant amount of power with an automatic tranny. Aside from that, you also have the disadvantage of having only 4 automatic gears where as the 5 speed has 5 manual gears. The more gears the better. You end up having a much faster accelerating car with a manual.

Age is also a huge factor. No motor with the milage our cars have will have the same power as when it was new. Most likely, even with moderate modifications, you'll still have less power than when the car was new. There's also the factor of mass production. Each engine is mass produced without any individual blue printing. There is also powerloss there.

Anyways, I always tell people the same thing. Instead of guessing how much HP or TRQ you've gained or loss, why not actually find out? Go put your car on a dyno! And no, it's not expensive. For less than the cost of having your rear brake pads replaced you can find out how much power your car actually has.


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#4 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 08:17 AM
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Automatics do have make alot less power
The parasitic loss on an automatic is around 20%
A manual is anywhere form 10-15%
That is saying you have a fresh auto transmition, they lose alot more as time goes on a significant amount more than a manual.
I would say drive it like it is, and save up for your M

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 08:56 AM
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Age is a big factor. Aside from a tune-up, you can try switching to the highest octane gas you can find. That might help a bit,
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