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The robotic manual transmission has a single plate clutch and its use is controlled by the computer. It does well in every way except speed shifting from first to second. I wonder about a couple of idiot-sinkresees I have.

The first: Is it advantageous to put it into neutral when stopped at a light? I have always done this with my automatics and have never had to have any work on them even with 200,000++ miles plus. I never liked the creep-me-forward they all seem to do. This M40 doesn't creep but I find myself putting it into neutral anyway. Will this help? Hurt? Is the clutch held in anyway?

Second: I have been putting it into reverse when I am parking and can hear the clutch (de)activate when I turn it off. The manual says D or R. The advantage to R is you can see the lever is moved and it must be in N to start. Any thoughts? I once had a friend argue a manual should not be in reverse parked as the engine would be forced to turn backward if the car was facing down hill or was bumped forward. I ignored him. Thoughts?

Third: I have tried to get the 1 to 2 shift to speed up by more or less accelerator or by manual shifting. Some here have said they are getting it to happen but I don't. Is there something to be done to make it faster?

Don't get me wrong I think this is a great shifting and wonderful transmission I just don't really understand some things about it, and want the clutch to last forever or nearly so.
 

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Cant comment on the m40, but parking in reverse has been SOP for 100 years. Reverse is the lowest gear you have, and that gives you the most braking from engine compression. Think about it - for every rev of tires in overdrive is less than one engine revolution. In reverse, its something like 20 or 40 engine revs.
 

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At stop lights I always shift to neutral while waiting. Once, I was in heavy traffic completely stopped due to an accident ahead and not moving for over 10 minutes. I had the gear box in gear while sitting not moving. At approximately 5 minute mark a chime and message in the EVIC stated "Shift to neutral". Ever since I got into the habit of staying in neutral while stopped.

1 to 2 shift - I often start in 2nd gear on flat level ground and lightly feather the throttle until I feel the clutch completely engaged to avoid clutch slippage. It's really nice having the ability to start in 2nd gear. Otherwise if I am starting in first what I do is as I'm ready to shift to 2nd I lift off the throttle same time as I shift and reapply throttle. That seems to make 1 to 2 shift somewhat quicker.

I rarely leave it in gear while parked unless on a definite incline or decline and than I leave it in manual 1st gear. I never use the D drive mode. I'm sure you can leave it in R while parked as the manual allows without any issues.
 

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I've played with the manual shifting a bit, but for the most part have been leaving it in 'D'. Works fine for me.


So with that, I have been leaving it in 'D' nearly all the time when stopped. If I'm going to idle for a bit, or I know its going to be a long light, I'll tap it over to 'N'. Similar to Adrian's comment, I had read in the manual that it will pop a warning to shift to Neutral after idling in 'D' for five minutes.


Parking it, I've usually been leaving it in 'D' as well. Our driveway slopes up a fair bit, so I like the assistance of leaving it in gear in addition to the parking brake. On the flats I'll often park it in Neutral. I do like the idea of leaving it Reverse, maybe the visual will help. There's many times that I go to start, but its still in Drive. Still working on the habit to tap it to Neutral before trying to start.


The 1-2 shift... yeah, its odd. Honestly, I think that's the shift that is most likely to turn folks away from the diesel. After that, its fine. I've gotten used to it though. And I've learned that if you come to a 'rolling' stop, it stays in 2nd. Even if you just fully stop for a wee moment, it still used 2nd to start off.
 

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More information about C546 / M40 automated manual gearbox (known also as Confort Matic) can be found in this 2007 training document. Are explained, for example, the self calibrating strategies that allow to compensates clutch wear.
 

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First and reverse are essentially the same, resulting in a total ratio of roughly 19:1. Top overdrive gear is roughly 2.5:1 making engine spin more than tires.
 

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I was addressing this:


.....cut.... Think about it - for every rev of tires in overdrive is less than one engine revolution. ....cut.....
For every tire revolution the engine spins about 2-1/2 revolutions, not less than one.

I think he probably only thought of the overdrive ratio being less than 1:1 and forgot that the final drive ratio also has to be included in calculation.
 

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You are correct, i neglected to take the final drive into account.

A smarter fella than me should be able to figure this out, but reverse is usually a lower ratio than 1st gear in most trannys. As such, best as a parking gear.
 

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You are correct, i neglected to take the final drive into account.

A smarter fella than me should be able to figure this out, but reverse is usually a lower ratio than 1st gear in most trannys. As such, best as a parking gear.
I looked up the specs on Allpar and as previously stated, 1st gear is slightly lower than Reverse. On a "practical" basis I'd call it even because they are so close.

In general, most transmissions I've seen have lower gearing in 1st than Reverse. I don't know where the "reverse is lower and therefore holds best" comes from. I personally always use 1st gear when driving a stick. Just habit on my part though -- I don't like to leave a vehicle in reverse for other reasons.
 

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Reverse is good if that is the direction you need after starting the vehicle. Also, force of habit from many years driving a Saab where the key was on the floor and interlocked with the shifter. You had to be in reverse to remove the key.
 

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Anyone have the situation of moving the selector into M and it not being recognized? It happens occasionally for me and I just slap it back to N and over and it works fine. Another thing to add to the list to get looked at sometime in the future.
 

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I backed out from my driveway into a gap in traffic and shifted rapidly from reverse to anything forward... and had it remain stuck in neutral.

I came to a complete stop, reset it to neutral then into drive and was allowed to proceed.

It was a scary introduction to the computer overlord's 'N' standing for 'Nanny'...
 

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The 1-2 shift. I don't like starting in 2nd because it is a little more clutch slipping to get going. You can't force it to shift before the 'after shift' rpms are about some limit which seems to be about 1100 rpm. This is true for all of the gears.
Neutral. I'm fairly lazy about putting it in N for a light, but if you're slowly slowing down it will shift down thru the gears, this is unnecessary clutch wear, so sometimes I'll put it in neutral to avoid a few shifts. Brakes are cheaper than clutches, but I only do this when fairly slow and braking lightly.

Good luck.
 

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You can shift early from 1st to 2nd, you just need to shift it twice; the first shift will chime a warning that the rpm's are too low, the second shift will shift the tranny.

The downside is if you try this and the tranny shifts on the first try, then you'll find yourself in 3rd ;)

The 1-2 shift. I don't like starting in 2nd because it is a little more clutch slipping to get going. You can't force it to shift before the 'after shift' rpms are about some limit which seems to be about 1100 rpm. This is true for all of the gears.
Neutral. I'm fairly lazy about putting it in N for a light, but if you're slowly slowing down it will shift down thru the gears, this is unnecessary clutch wear, so sometimes I'll put it in neutral to avoid a few shifts. Brakes are cheaper than clutches, but I only do this when fairly slow and braking lightly.

Good luck.
 

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Its the same basic transmission as the manual version Europe. Just wonder if there are signals from the transmission that would be removed in a conversion - that would throw the ECU into CEL fits...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This transmission has its own computer (or shared one) and it gives all sorts of signals and shift control. I have to believe that getting a clutch pedal and hydraulic lines to shift it is going to drive the computer nuts! Not to mention the complexities of the interconnection with the startup and stop procedure! I too would have picked a clutch pedal but 1500 miles into driving this robot I am convinced if I could turn off the GD beeper (start, brake, put in neutral, seatbelt etc.) I would think it was perfect. As it is getting broken in and I begin to use the diesel pedal I find the shifts get better, quicker and smoother. Its a keeper! Smash the bings and beeper!!
 

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The beeping is certainly annoying, BUT, I have made some mistakes in my shifting, trying to shift up by moving the lever forward; old habits die hard.

If I could choose to give up all the beeping and keep the downshift RPM based "first time" limit, I'd keep that.

The upshift RPM based "first time" limit is not necessary.

The reverse warning beeper is the worst!

This transmission has its own computer (or shared one) and it gives all sorts of signals and shift control. I have to believe that getting a clutch pedal and hydraulic lines to shift it is going to drive the computer nuts! Not to mention the complexities of the interconnection with the startup and stop procedure! I too would have picked a clutch pedal but 1500 miles into driving this robot I am convinced if I could turn off the GD beeper (start, brake, put in neutral, seatbelt etc.) I would think it was perfect. As it is getting broken in and I begin to use the diesel pedal I find the shifts get better, quicker and smoother. Its a keeper! Smash the bings and beeper!!
 
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