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      12-27-2019, 06:04 PM   #1
thomsonsss
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Going from an F80 M3 to an E90 M3/E46 M3

Hi,

Not sure if this has been discussed in-depth before, but curious to see if any F8x owners have switched to an E9x/E46 M3?

To provide some background, I am coming from a 2016 F80 M3. Competition, DCT. Black/Black. Bought it a little less than a year ago, and a little bored of it already. (It's for sale here: https://f80.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1669586)

I love the comfort of the F80 as I mainly do a ton of highway driving/cruising. DCT is great for day-to-day commute, however I'm really looking for something more driver-oriented and engaging to drive on the weekends (this is not my daily). An investment opportunity has incentivized me to put my F80 up for sale, though I've decided that I'd still like an M-car in the garage.

I know I'll be sacrificing some power by going to the E46/E9X chassis, but the appeal of a naturally-aspirated engine is just so tempting, and the sound is godsent.

Curious to hear anyone else's thoughts on the matter, and if they considered going back to the E46/E9x generation as well?

In the meantime, some pictures of my F80 M3


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      12-28-2019, 07:48 AM   #2
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Although I truly loved and enjoyed my E46 and E92, I would never go back. The F8X is that much of a better car.

And yes... This has already been debated and discussed at length in many other threads
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      12-28-2019, 07:56 AM   #3
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Plenty of threads on these comparisons.

But since you asked, judging from how much money youíve spent on those mods, along with dct resale values, I donít see how youíre going to come up with any reasonable amount of more money at the end of it all by getting a different car and modding it all over again. Youíll take a pretty big hit whether you sell the car as is or part it out.

If your list of cars is accurate, sell one of your cars and be done with it.
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      12-28-2019, 11:12 AM   #4
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Your profile says you live in hayward. Sonoma is sfo close! Take your f80 there before making any decisions.

If you need to sell something, my $0.02 would be to sell FRS
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      12-28-2019, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntg44 View Post
Plenty of threads on these comparisons.

But since you asked, judging from how much money youíve spent on those mods, along with dct resale values, I donít see how youíre going to come up with any reasonable amount of more money at the end of it all by getting a different car and modding it all over again. Youíll take a pretty big hit whether you sell the car as is or part it out.

If your list of cars is accurate, sell one of your cars and be done with it.
I agree. The mod bug always seems to come out on top, and realistically I can't see myself leaving some of these cars bone stock.

The FRS has been listed for sale, and the plan was actually to use the FRS funds to get into an E46/E9x, but I understand I'd be taking a hit regardless. These cars are just so much fun!
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      12-28-2019, 05:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nicknaz View Post
Your profile says you live in hayward. Sonoma is sfo close! Take your f80 there before making any decisions.

If you need to sell something, my $0.02 would be to sell FRS
A track day may be in the books for this car if it doesn't sell soon! Still driving it every few days
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      12-28-2019, 06:29 PM   #7
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It would definitely ride and sound better

That is all
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      12-28-2019, 06:30 PM   #8
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I'd trade my car in if it had red wheels too.
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      01-07-2020, 01:48 PM   #9
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I had a fully built E46, cams, 3.91 diff, etc, and I wouldnít go back. The car was fast once you got above 4500, but having to wring the engine out all the time to get it to go anywhere due to lack of torque was annoying and a little boring. I also could not find a comfortable position in the stock seats. I actually replaced it with a slower car that is much more fun to drive.

That said, it made an awesome track car. Very easy to control / recover / slide. That also got a little boring because it was like easy mode. 😁
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      01-07-2020, 03:07 PM   #10
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I say do it, a lot more people upgrade from an E46/E92 to an F80 vs. the other way around but still, some F80 owners have gone back to the E92.

The F80 is still depreciating while the E92 has pretty much flatlined, pick one up and enjoy it then if you decide you miss the F80, you could always get back into one a year or two down the line when it's even cheaper.

Personally, for me, if I had to choose only one M3 between my E92 and F80, I would pick the F80 all day every day.
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      01-07-2020, 03:15 PM   #11
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Came from a E92 M3 to a F80. I love the F80 but I would love to go back into to a ZCP E90. Probably will happen if the G80 doesn't tick the boxes. Steering on the E9x is soo much better. I do miss winding the thing to redline which I rarely do on the F80.
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      01-07-2020, 05:45 PM   #12
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a low mile e92 / e90 zcp or limerock is a smarter place to park your money. Especially for a weekend car that won't see a ton of miles.
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      01-07-2020, 10:11 PM   #13
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smarter place to park your money..
997 RS
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      01-07-2020, 10:50 PM   #14
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997 RS
The dream!
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      01-11-2020, 06:53 PM   #15
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Up until recently, I owned both an E46 M3 and F8X(s) at the same time for quite some time. I've also owned an E90 M3 6MT while owning the E46.

I get where you're at, nastalgia is a real thing. But the reality is that the F80 is vastly more car than either. The E46's chassis, while rigid for it's time, feels quite flexible relative to the I-beam rigid F80. Further, the F80's suspension feels like it's connected to the chassis with rod ends relative to the older cars... it's a big difference. Everything about the F80 is sharper, more explosive and just way more badass.

Now - I think where you went wrong is with the DCT as that, in my opinion, after owning both an F80Z 6MT and now an F82Z DCT, gives the car a distant/disconnected feel. The manual really sets these cars off. The shifter is sublime and provides that drive line connection missing in the DCT car, and the long(er) relaxed ratios of the manual suit the sea of torque extremely well. Conversely, beware the manual E9XM as its gears are too long to keep the peaky S65 on the boil without a TON of effort.

In the end, they are all amazing cars and shine in their own ways. The E46 is the most beautiful and feels small/nimble with a healthy midrange motor and good handling but is getting long in the tooth. The E9X has a screamer V8 and solid chassis but feels bigger/heavier and the motor can be lazy in the real world. It is by far, though, the most refined/best riding M3 to date. The F80 is the most hardcore/competent of the bunch, but lacks character and is harsh riding.

I, too, am considering jumping back into an E9XM, but then a little voice tells me it's a mistake. This is a fun but expensive hobby that can be very frustrating at times
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      01-11-2020, 10:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Up until recently, I owned both an E46 M3 and F8X(s) at the same time for quite some time. I've also owned an E90 M3 6MT while owning the E46.

I get where you're at, nastalgia is a real thing. But the reality is that the F80 is vastly more car than either. The E46's chassis, while rigid for it's time, feels quite flexible relative to the I-beam rigid F80. Further, the F80's suspension feels like it's connected to the chassis with rod ends relative to the older cars... it's a big difference. Everything about the F80 is sharper, more explosive and just way more badass.

Now - I think where you went wrong is with the DCT as that, in my opinion, after owning both an F80Z 6MT and now an F82Z DCT, gives the car a distant/disconnected feel. The manual really sets these cars off. The shifter is sublime and provides that drive line connection missing in the DCT car, and the long(er) relaxed ratios of the manual suit the sea of torque extremely well. Conversely, beware the manual E9XM as its gears are too long to keep the peaky S65 on the boil without a TON of effort.

In the end, they are all amazing cars and shine in their own ways. The E46 is the most beautiful and feels small/nimble with a healthy midrange motor and good handling but is getting long in the tooth. The E9X has a screamer V8 and solid chassis but feels bigger/heavier and the motor can be lazy in the real world. It is by far, though, the most refined/best riding M3 to date. The F80 is the most hardcore/competent of the bunch, but lacks character and is harsh riding.

I, too, am considering jumping back into an E9XM, but then a little voice tells me it's a mistake. This is a fun but expensive hobby that can be very frustrating at times
On the F8X, it's actually the DCT that has the more widely spaced ratios. Which is an oxymoron IMO since it has an extra gear
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      01-11-2020, 11:46 PM   #17
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I literally just made this move 2 months ago

Short and Sweet: (I should do a full write up)
-I had a 2009 E92 M3. Loved it, kept it for 70k miles and 6 years. DCT. Ended up SC'ing it with 50k miles. with the SC the car went from good to great.
-Buy 2015 M3 LOADED with CCB. Black.Red 6MT. Never fully fell in love with the car, but I dont think I could have possibly spec'd the car better. I can't find one spec'd this way for sale.
-Trade 2015 F80 for 2017 ZCP F80 with DCT. Reason: commute got longer. Overall loved the ZCP, but the flip to DCT just upset me.
-2 Months ago I bought an E90 ZCP 6MT and sold my 2017. Reason: a) i saw this as an investment instead of a constantly depreciating asset b) wanted the bespoke M Motor c) wanted to get out of DDing my M and into something larger

I have NOT driven the E90 much. The weather in the NE has not really cooperated minus today hah.
1st impression - E90 is flat out slow vs the F80 but it has the soul I've been longing for since selling my 09 E92
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      01-12-2020, 12:02 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
On the F8X, it's actually the DCT that has the more widely spaced ratios. Which is an oxymoron IMO since it has an extra gear
Spacing, maybe, but the final drive ratios are shorter in the DCT. My DCT car hits about 100mph redlined in third while my manual car hit about 110. I'll calc the speeds manually to be sure but I noticed a significant difference in road speed. Maybe I'm crazy.

Edit, found actual BMW specifications (6MT ratios are taller 1st through 4th):

1st gear is ~14.5% taller in manual
2nd gear is ~11.5% taller in manual
3rd gear is ~9.5% taller in manual
4th gear is ~7.5% taller in manual
Final drive ratio is 3.46 for both, so non-factor

These are significant differences in the real world, resulting in tangibly different road speeds per gear at any given rpm and aligns with my personal experience owning both. First gear gets you much further down the road before having to shift in the 6MT, for example. This means a more relaxed, less frantic experience. Third gear is especially more flexible with quite a bit of overhead.

Now, for pure acceleration the DCT is hands down quicker as a result of three things:

- shorter gearing
- zero boost cut during shifts (this is the most significant factor, particularly during WOT upshifts... the 6MT falls on its face with a huge boost cut)
- lightening fast shifts

Edit: but you're right, the spacing is actually wider in the DCT as a result of its much shorter first gear starting point, stacking up from there.
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      01-12-2020, 08:17 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Spacing, maybe, but the final drive ratios are shorter in the DCT. My DCT car hits about 100mph redlined in third while my manual car hit about 110. I'll calc the speeds manually to be sure but I noticed a significant difference in road speed. Maybe I'm crazy.

Edit, found actual BMW specifications (6MT ratios are taller 1st through 4th):

1st gear is ~14.5% taller in manual
2nd gear is ~11.5% taller in manual
3rd gear is ~9.5% taller in manual
4th gear is ~7.5% taller in manual
Final drive ratio is 3.46 for both, so non-factor

These are significant differences in the real world, resulting in tangibly different road speeds per gear at any given rpm and aligns with my personal experience owning both. First gear gets you much further down the road before having to shift in the 6MT, for example. This means a more relaxed, less frantic experience. Third gear is especially more flexible with quite a bit of overhead.

Now, for pure acceleration the DCT is hands down quicker as a result of three things:

- shorter gearing
- zero boost cut during shifts (this is the most significant factor, particularly during WOT upshifts... the 6MT falls on its face with a huge boost cut)
- lightening fast shifts

Edit: but you're right, the spacing is actually wider in the DCT as a result of its much shorter first gear starting point, stacking up from there.
We agree on the math of the ratios. Yes, both transmission use the same final drive on the F8X, as opposed to the E9X where the DCT and 6MT had different final drives.

I find the DCT gearing and ratios ill suited to the S55. This engine has a such a broad power plateau that it is pointless to have such tightly spaced ratios in the higher gears. Further, 1st gear is so short that it is practically useless with street tires (i.e. cant put the power down due to too much torque multiplication). I ranted about this in a lengthy thread way back when the F8X was launched and got flamed pretty bad for it, but I have not changed my opinion on this. IMO, this is the result of the F8X getting a “hand me down” transmission from the F1X M5/6. On the the E9X, not only was the S65 bespoke, but so was the DCT. It was specifically designed and optimized for the E9X and the S65 for a fully bespoke powertrain. Further, on the E9X, 7th gear was the direct drive, which IMO makes so much sense to use the better efficiency of the direct drive ratio for the efficient “cruise” gear. While the programming of the F8X DCT might be better, I find that the E9X got the better matched DCT.

The S55 has such a broad power plateau that there’s little to no benefit to having shorter and tighter ratios. That’s not were the advantage lies. IMO the biggest benefit of the DCT acceleration wise resides in the fact that there is no power interruption during each shift. There’s even a surge of acceleration due to the transmission recovering the inertia of the engine RPM drop. In opposition, there’s a period of deceleration when upshifting with a 6MT
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      01-12-2020, 10:46 AM   #20
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We are totally agreeing on every point^^

In summary:

- the DCT gearing not suited well to the S55 (too short for this type of powerband)
- the 6MT gearing is not suited well to the S65 (too long and widely spaced for this type of powerband)

Bizarre.
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      01-12-2020, 06:09 PM   #21
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why bother. G8x will be out in a year and will be better then any of these platforms.
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      01-13-2020, 05:36 AM   #22
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why bother. G8x will be out in a year and will be better then any of these platforms.
I don't want to judge too early, but judging by the leaked photos we have seen so far, I think the G80 will not look as good as the F80.
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