IF YOU’RE anything like us, you secretly know all the lyrics to Independent Woman – a song brought to us by a group of 3 young ladies who captured our hearts as well as encompassed everything that was good about the early part of the millennium. Just take a moment and watch the music video again.
If you’re even considering denying that your head began to nod as soon as the beat started up, you are either lying, or were not blessed to come of age at a time when an entire music video could be produced using a green screen and some funky outfits. This song spoke to a generation.
Yeah, try and get that one refrain out of your head for the rest of the day.
HOWEVER, THE overall theme of the song is relevant to everyone, child of destiny, or adult. Doing things for yourself is a mark of maturity, experience, and for some…a “real” driver. The debate is one that has raged for nearly a decade now: will the mind of a computer ever properly replicate the instinct and feel of a human being using both of their feet to operate 3 pedals while they attack the asphalt? Many would argue that the machines are getting close. Many others maintain that you can pry their shift levers from their cold, dead fingers. All we know is that at some point in life, we’re sure about 98% of you have shifted their automatic into neutral on a slight incline to simulate a manual transmission. It’s cool, we’ve all been 16 before.
Our friend Edin grew tired the Sequential Manual Gearbox that was present in his E46 M3, and decided he wanted the real-deal 6-speed transmission mated to his Gen 7 Stage 2 supercharged S54. The fact that the SMG was blowing through pumps left and right made the decision all that easier.
As a quick aside, when we refer to Edin as a friend of Active Autowerke, we truly mean it. His restaurant was offered up as the venue for our Hilary’s Helpers rally last December, and he and his fiance Sanda really went above and beyond to accommodate all participants. We could not have had such a successful event without them!
COMPLETING THE conversion required a bit of custom fabrication and know-how, but thanks to BMW’s semi-manual gearbox design, it was easier to perform than some might imagine. A new spring was fabricated to house a detent shifter, support brackets were welded up, and modifications to the shifting software were made. Finally, the brand new 3rd pedal assembly and new lever and knob were installed.
And just like that, Edin had an M3 that relied on his left foot’s input to control it’s input shaft. The days of limping into the shop with a malfunctioning transmission that may have been too smart for its own good were over. As he continues to upgrade his BMW, the only issue he should run into is finding a clutch that will handle the torque!
Like a 20-something college graduate moving out of their mother’s basement, Edin is infinitely glad he made the switch, even if it comes with a little more responsibility. Destiny’s Child knew independence is generally a plus, and can lead to an even bigger and brighter future.
Just ask Beyonce.