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  1. #1
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    zag
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    Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    Been living with M-DCT for about couple of months.. while the transmission is fun and lively except for the infamous occassional hesitation at gear 2 in D mode...

    couple of observations:
    - the paddle clicking is hm.. too game console like feel... it felt disconnected between the click and the gear change. The quieter gear selector at the center console actually feels better. Maybe it is just me..

    - now the second observation... the paddle is fixed to steering wheel!. it seems to me during spirited driving and cornering.. darn! i found myself looking for the paddle to up or down shift. maybe i have not learned and mastered the right technique for this set up. I feel if the paddle shift is fixed to the steering column instead like the signal stalk.. that would be more ergonomically position for action.


    On another topic..
    Engine braking- is it healthy for the engine or transmission and what goes along with it?
    i find myself addicted to blipping during down shift and using a lot more engine compression to regulate speed as oppose to 100% using of brakes.. will this wear out clutch pads or drive shafts etc. etc. if this is being used often?

  2. #2
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    - now the second observation... the paddle is fixed to steering wheel!. it seems to me during spirited driving and cornering.. darn! i found myself looking for the paddle to up or down shift. maybe i have not learned and mastered the right technique for this set up. I feel if the paddle shift is fixed to the steering column instead like the signal stalk.. that would be more ergonomically position for action.
    Steering mounted should be the way to go IMO, small turn of steering will still be easy for you to make a shift....

    U shouldnt be looking to find where the up/down paddles when you are turning. Rule of driving ...esp in fast n spirited driving, u dont change gears when you are turning.
    All have to be done when you are on the straight braking into corners.

    Which is then leading to a more discipline set up of paddles as fitted in cars lke Ferrari and Lambos where they are steering column mounted.

    On another topic..
    Engine braking- is it healthy for the engine or transmission and what goes along with it?
    i find myself addicted to blipping during down shift and using a lot more engine compression to regulate speed as oppose to 100% using of brakes.. will this wear out clutch pads or drive shafts etc. etc. if this is being used often?
    Depending on what gears you are downshifting and at what speed. But in general, those cars with electronic/automatic rev blips already reduce engine braking quite substantially. U can always tap your brakes lightly to reduce further the engine braking feel if you wish too...
    IMO, there shouldnt be any worry in this area unless the auto blips are too mellow to match the higher engine speed. For M-cars, i think the blips hv been fine tuned quite well.

    To give you an eg for cars with ZF gearbox as found in 335 and Maser GT ( non S ), both cars hv auto blip but not as aggressive and you can feel a much stronger engine braking.

    In short, when u r downshifting to lower gears when coming from high speed, u should well balance your car with some brake inputs all together with the downshifts and this should pretty much lessen the engine braking load.

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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    zag, if u want a better feel on the blip....u hv to change the exos, junk the cats...free the air flow. ur blip will be more pronounced.

    its an addiction to blip the car....unfortunately it also wears ur clutch. best to let the car auto shift down if nobody near u to hear it....i only blip in orchard road to hao lian. otherwise...better preserve clutch.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    Regarding question: Engine braking- is it healthy for the engine or transmission and what goes along with it?
    i find myself addicted to blipping during down shift and using a lot more engine compression to regulate speed as oppose to 100% using of brakes.. will this wear out clutch pads or drive shafts etc. etc. if this is being used often?


    There are 2 types of engine braking, both working together:

    1) Clutch braking - where engine resistance is strong and the clutch is slipping, but the friction surfaces providing braking at the clutch

    2) Compression braking - the engine resistance itself caused by compression.

    The M-DCT is a moist clutch system and not a wet clutch system like the Porsche PDK. All things being equal it seems that wet clutch systems are more robust. However things are not equal - the clutch material for the moist clutch is reputed to be especially durable. Also, an ENGAGED clutch does not exhibit big wear, as long as the clutch is NOT slipping clutch wear as I understand it does not happen.

    Compression braking does put additional strain on engines not designed for it. Diesel engines are built for compression braking so no problem it can take it. But the V8 engine, with lightened components, is more at risk than the diesel. HOWEVER, unless taken to extremes, I think normal engine braking must have been a design consideration.

    However, I still don't see the wisdom in braking with the engine severely. Why not use the brakes?
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    However, I still don't see the wisdom in braking with the engine severely. Why not use the brakes?
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    he oredy say sound mah....shiok to hear the blip.

    AIYA to summaerise what centurion is saying...if u shift down too fast n hear loud loud blip its not good. if u use engine brake 'slowly', then its fine lor....

    btw i dun really like to use brakes often too..preferring to judge n anticipate the bends...down shift n then glide across it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    downshift then `glide' around it is not really engine braking and is pretty much what should be done. Perhaps TS/OP confuse high rpm with engine braking.

    Remember, one only truly engine brakes if your speed decreases. High rpm is not engine braking.

    Thinking about it, i don't think there's any big potential to engine brake in a DCT car. Manual car, yes, drop 2-3 gears release the clutch then brake. In a DCT the engine blips so hard and aggressive to match revs, really reduce engine braking effect.
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    Damn , my car doesnt have blip...

  9. #9
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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    when i wrote engine braking i meant slowing down after the blipping for matching rev at lower gear but no more throttling the accelerator... i guess can call this gliding per toto.

    say you pulled to 100 kph at 5th gear approaching a sharp bent, click click to 3rd.. typically prodcuces soft blip.. click again 2nd... stronger blip and let it glide.. yes it will slow the car down just like in manual. i used to do this when i was driving manual in the old days...the reason i ask is that someone mentioned that this is not healthy for the transmission.

    toto, me bad me bad!.. i have blipped right next to a couple of convertibles when they have the top down and had insisted on right lane... oops. blip .. rev and .. awayyyyyy!

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    Re: Bimmer M-DCT paddle ergonomics

    OK we know that DCT cannot clutch brake, but can compression brake.

    But truly, if only 0.1 to 0.2g type of braking .... i think you should have no fears, really.

    In my experience of the MDCT, however much you shift down, unless to 2nd gear or below, the engine rev matches and the drag is not at all great. I think the engine timing does change to open up the valves big big during overrun?
    email: caysman@gmail.com

    More power is seldom a bad thing, but it's much more satisfying to stretch an engine than constrain it - Ben Oliver, CAR magazine, 2008


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