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 > Technical Articles: / BMW E36 3-Series (1992-1999) >
3-Series Clutch Replacement

Pelican Technical Article:

3-Series Clutch Replacement


8 hours8 hrs






Floor jack, two jack stands, 13mm socket, torque wrench, external Torx sockets sized E6 through E16, 3/8 Torx socket, 3/8 1-ft extension, 3/8 extension u-joint, 3/8 3-ft extension, 3/8 to 1/2 adapter, 3-ft 1/2 breaker bar, penetrating oil, helper (two-person job), Dremmel tool with cutoff wheel, white lithium grease,

Applicable Models:

BMW 318i Convertible (1992-99)
BMW 318i Sedan (1992-99)
BMW 318is Coupe (1992-99)
BMW 318ti Hatchback (1992-99)
BMW 323i Convertible (1998-99)
BMW 323is Coupe (1998-99)
BMW 325i Convertible (1992-95)
BMW 325i Sedan (1992-95)
BMW 325is Coupe (1992-95)
BMW 328i Convertible (1996-99)
BMW 328i Sedan (1996-99)
BMW 328is Coupe (1996-99)

Parts Required:

Pelican Parts Super Clutch Kit

Performance Gain:

A BMW that shifts properly once again

Complementary Modification:

Shifter ball and shift boot
101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series

This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.

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One of the most difficult and complex jobs you can perform on your BMW 3-Series is a clutch replacement. For that matter, replacing the clutch is difficult on just about any car. Fortunately, you're in the right place here, as I will guide you through the process step-by-step.

The first thing to do is to make sure that you need to replace your clutch. On my E36 318is, I found that the clutch was slipping and couldn't move the car at all. At first I thought that there might have been a problem with the clutch master or slave cylinders, but upon further inspection, I couldn't find anything wrong. I looked underneath the car as a friend of mine repeatedly pushed in the clutch pedal. The slave cylinder and arm was appearing to work perfectly. That's the strange thing with clutches - I have replaced quite a few over the years, and almost every time I take apart the old one, I have a difficult time figuring out what caused it to fail. Clutch components don't reveal their secrets too easily.

Anyways, there are a bunch of steps that you need to perform prior to replacing your clutch:

With all of these tasks completed your transmission should resemble Figure 1.

Now, move to the side of the transmission and unbolt the slave cylinder (Figure 2). Also, disconnect the backup lamp switch (Figure 3) and detach its corresponding harness (Figure 4). Support the transmission with your floor jack and remove the lower transmission support bar (Figure 5). More details on this can be found in the Pelican Technical Article: Replacing Transmission Mounts. Then, move your floor jack under your transmission and support it. We will now undo the bolts that hold the transmission to the engine.

This is where the going gets tough. First off, the bolts are special Torx head bolts which require special sockets in order to remove them. You need to apply a phenomenal amount of force to remove these bolts from the transmission - if you don't have the right tools, then you will not succeed. Get an external Torx socket set with sizes from E6 through E16, and you will be covered for all of the bolts on the car (see Figure 6). These Torx bolts are used in applications where a good grip is required, and a lot of torque needs to be applied. The inset in Figure 7 shows two of the Torx bolts that you need to remove.

These bolts will be a huge pain to remove. See Figure 7 for details on the bolt locations. The ones on the side and bottom of the transmission will be relatively easy to remove - those aren't the ones that you need to be concerned about. The two bolts at the top of the engine near the cylinder head are very difficult remove - especially the one at the very top. The reason is that there is no room to easily reach these and apply any significant amount of force. In order to remove this top bolt, I used the following tool combination: 3/8 Torx socket, 3/8 1-ft extension, 3/8 extension u-joint, 3/8 3-ft extension, 3/8 to 1/2 adapter, 3-ft 1/2 breaker bar. This combination of tools was the only way I could reach the topmost bolt and remove it. I found that I could place a smaller tool on the bolt, but then I had no leverage to remove it. With this combination of tools, you basically need to hold the socket in place with your fingers and have an assistant pull on the breaker bar. Somehow I was able to use my feet to push on the breaker bar, but I really wouldn't recommend trying that.

If that top bolt wasn't enough, the starter bolts are even more difficult. Depending upon your year car, you may or may not have what is known as a threaded starter. If the starter housing is threaded, then all you need to do is remove the bolts from underneath the car. If your starter has non-threaded holes, then you need to place a wrench on the nuts that are on the opposite side of the bolts. This can be a near impossible task on the six cylinder cars. In order to reach these nuts, you will need to remove the six-cylinder intake manifold, which is a huge project in itself. I will be writing an article on this in the near future, so never fear. If you have a 318, the good news is that it is possible to squeeze your hand down into the engine compartment and reach those nuts. A photo of the nuts that you need to remove is shown in Figure 8.

With the difficult nuts removed, it's time to pull the transmission away from the rest of the engine. Make sure you didn't forget any more bolts on the back side of the transmission - there's at least one that holds on a metal shield (Figure 9). With the transmission supported on the jack, simply pull it away from the engine. If all of the bolts, hardware and accessories are properly disconnected, it should simply pull away. If you forgot something (very common), go back and double check everything. It should pull away quite easily - don't use the grip-of-death to pull it out - you could damage something. Work slowly and carefully at this point. Also make sure that the transmission is well balanced on the jack - you don't want it to accidentally fall on you. Be sure that the transmission is well supported - don't let it hand on the center input shaft as that could cause it to bend. Figure 10 shows the transmission pulling out of the car. Figure 11 shows the transmission removed from the car.

Now, you will want to remove the pressure plate (Figure 12). On this particular car, I found that some of the pressure plates bolts (Figure 13) had problems with rounding out when I went to remove them. If this happens, then dig out your trusty Dremmel tool and cut them off in about 1 minute (Figure 14). Don't waste your time trying vice-grips or other foolish methods - you can cut them off, and you don't need to worry about damaging the pressure plate because you're going to be replacing it anyways. When you're ready to remove the last bolt, grab the pressure plate with one hand - it's easy for it to fall off when the last bolt is removed. The disc should also pop out when you remove the pressure plate.

With the pressure plate removed, you should be able to see the flywheel (Figure 15). This particular flywheel was used on a E36 318is with air conditioning. For some reason, the AC 318s used a dual-mass flywheel (probably to reduce vibrations from the high compression 4-cylinder engine). Unfortunately, this flywheel can be expensive to replace - more on this later. The next step here is to remove the flywheel bolts. You can use a socket and breaker bar, or simply zap them off with an impact wrench. I used a handy electric one here (Figure 16). With the bolts removed, your flywheel should be able to be tugged off of the crankshaft (Figure 17). Figure 18 shows the flywheel removed from the engine.

Let's talk for a moment about clutch kits. Figure 19 shows one of the Pelican Parts Super Clutch Kits. With the exception of the flywheel, these kits contain everything that you need for your clutch job:

  • Pressure Plate
  • Clutch Disc
  • Throw out bearing
  • Flywheel bolts
  • Flywheel seal
  • Pilot bearing
  • Throw-out arm pivot & clip
  • Clutch alignment tool

The dual mass flywheel is shown up close in Figure 20. This flywheel is two-piece and bonded together. This changes the natural frequency of the flywheel and reduces vibrations in the engine. For this particular car, I probably could have substituted a non-dual-mass flywheel, as I don't use the air conditioning system very often. Figure 21 shows the pressure plate up close along with some new pressure plate bolts. If you damaged yours removing the pressure plate, you will want to replace them with new factory ones.

Now, let's turn our attention to the transmission which we removed from the car (Figure 22). Begin by removing the throw-out fork. The fork is attached at one end with a small metal clip (Figure 23). Remove the fork from the transmission by disconnecting the small plastic pivot from the hole in the transmission (Figure 24). The fork, new throw-out bearing, clip, and new pivot piece are shown in Figure 25. Assemble the clip onto the pivot as shown in Figure 26. Lubricate the whole pivot piece well with some white lithium grease (Figure 27).

Now, we'll work on the throw-out bearing guide tube. This is the small tube that the throw-bearing rides on when the clutch is disengaged. As the throw-out bearing slides back and forth on the tube, the have a tendency to wear out. A new guide tube and transmission mainshaft seal are shown in Figure 28. Figure 29 shows the old guide tube installed on the transmission. Remove the bolts that hold the guide tube to the transmission (Figure 30). Remove the guide tube, and underneath you will find the mainshaft seal. Using a small screwdriver, punch a small hole in one of the indents in the surface of the seal, and pick out the old seal (Figure 31) and remove it (Figure 32). Clean out the inside of the bore where the seal fits (Figure 33), and install the new one. Tap it in lightly with the end of an extension, taking care to make sure it doesn't go in cocked (Figure 34). Figure 35 shows the new seal installed, flush with the flange. Now install the new throw-out bearing guide tube (Figure 36), and apply a liberal coat of white lithium grease (Figure 37). Now, take the new throw-out bearing (Figure 38), place it on the throw-out arm, and attach the arm to the transmission (Figure 39). Your throw-out arm is now ready for assembly back into the car. You might also want to clean up the input spline with a wire brush at this time.

If your back-up lamp switch is giving you trouble, now is the perfect time to replace it. Figure 40 shows the hole in the transmission where the switch goes. Figure 41 shows the new switch. Figure 42 shows the new switch installed in the side of the transmission. Pretty easy. Use a new sealing ring on the switch when you install it.

Now would also be an excellent time to replace your starter, if you've been having problems with it. Access is very easy at this point - the removal process is somewhat difficult later on. The starter is easily accessed, as shown in Figure 43. The only difficulty is disconnecting the wires from the opposite end. Before you even go near the starter, verify that the battery is disconnected - the starter has live voltage from the battery going to it at all times!

Now, it's time to turn our attention back to the flywheel end of the engine (Figure 44). We'll now replace the flywheel pilot bearing and the flywheel seal (Figure 45). The pilot bearing holds the transmission input shaft in place and aligns the transmission up with the crankshaft. To remove the flywheel pilot bearing, you may need a bearing puller (Figure 46). Place the puller inside the bearing and use a socket on the puller tool to slowly remove the bearing out of the crankshaft (Figure 47). On my 318is, I used the bearing puller, only to find out that I could have reached in there with my pinky finger and pulled the bearing out. Try pulling it out by hand before you resort to using the puller. The new bearing should fit easily inside the hole in the crankshaft. Use a deep socket to evenly tap in the bearing (Figure 48).

Now, using a screwdriver, puncture and remove the flywheel seal (Figure 49 and Figure 50). Be careful not to damage any of the side surfaces where the seal mates to the engine case. Take your new seal and coat it with a light touch of Curil-T (Figure 51). Then install it onto the engine, taping lightly around the edge with the end of a 3/8 extension (Figure 52). Tap lightly and carefully - make sure that the seal doesn't become cocked in its bore. The installed seal is shown in Figure 53. Clean up the left over sealant as shown in Figure 54.

Now we're ready to reinstall the flywheel onto the engine (Figure 55). Always use new flywheel bolts, and have your flywheel resurfaced at a machine shop if you are planning on reusing it. Install the new flywheel onto the engine (Figure 56). Install the new flywheel bolts and torque them down (Figure 57). You must use a torque wrench and a flywheel lock to tighten the flywheel. I use a simple flywheel lock that is basically a strip of metal with two large slots in it. This allows you to attach the lock to a bolt affixed to the engine case, and one affixed to the flywheel, where the pressure plate bolts normally mount. This inexpensive lock works great on almost any car (Figure 58). With the lock in place, torque the bolts (Figure 59). Figure 60 shows the flywheel installed with all the bolts properly tightened to the proper torque.

With the flywheel mounted, now take your clutch alignment tool and place it in the center of the pilot bearing. Install the clutch disc (Figure 61). Then install the pressure plate onto the flywheel, compressing the clutch disc (Figure 62). Use new pressure plate bolts if you damaged them when you removed the old pressure plate. When the pressure plate is tightened down to its proper torque, remove the alignment tool. The disc, pilot bearing and pressure plate should all be aligned, as shown in Figure 63.

Balancing the transmission on your jack, mate it back up with the engine. Be careful not to let the transmission mainshaft support any of the weight of the transmission - keep it balanced well on your floor jack. You may have to play around with the height and rotation of the transmission to get it to line up well with the engine (Figure 64). Once you have everything aligned, reattach all of the Torx bolts that you removed (Figure 65 and Figure 66). Remember to use a wrench on the nuts in the engine compartment if your starter isn't threaded through (Figure 67).

Reattach your slave cylinder, the backup lamp switch, the driveshaft, and the exhaust. At this time, I also recommend that you bleed your clutch system (Figure 68 and Figure 69). See the Pelican Technical Article on Bleeding Brakes for more details.

Hmm, I wish I could say this was an easy job, but it's not. It's not impossible, but there's a lot of stuff to remove and a lot of tricky spots. However, with the 70+ photos provided here, you should have a good chance of success! If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog andhelp support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles likethis one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Matt McCabe adds:

There are two pieces of information I learned from this adventure that may be worthy of inclusion in your article:

On my car, there is an alignment pin at the top of the starter housing.  This may be a feature of the non-threaded variety to ensure proper alignment.  This was slightly corroded and did not fit nicely back into the corresponding hole in the bell housing without a fair amount of polishing of the pin & hole to remove the corrosion.  This is something that deserves attention since it has to fit nicely or you will bend your starter mounting bracket and ruin your afternoon.

Praise be to the BMW engineers, because there is a hole in the 6 cylinder intake manifold that allows access to the top nut on the starter housing.  It is actually a hole in the plastic webbing between the tubes for cylinders 5 & 6 (or 1 & 2?).  With a carefully placed box wrench, you can get to the top nut on the back of the starter housing.  I only discovered this & realized what it was while cleaning my manifold before re-installation.  I found the attached photo online that clearly illustrates the hole I'm describing:

Anyway, I hope this information is helpful to other DIYers out there, and I truly appreciate you sharing your vast knowledge via the Pelican Parts site!



Comments and Suggestions:
Kcote Comments: Followed the directions and replaced clutch, flywheel, throw out bearing, pressure plate, fork and pilot bearing with SACHS kit. Car starts with clutch depressed and in gear. As I release the clutch it feels like it wants to start to engage but I can’t pull it out of gear. If I start the car in neutral then I can’t get the car into gear once it’s running. I can shift through all the gears with the engine off. Please help. Thanks!!!!
November 22, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check if the hydraulic master / slave units are working. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
tomtorque Comments: The upper trans to block bolts e6 x16 or something can be removed by fabricating a "box " wrench by welding the torx socket into a 18mm box wrench - and cutoff the open end part so you can slide a pipe over .
I could not access it from under as I was told by my Guru so I created the torx hybred and it works well.
March 11, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Mike Comments: Tools list calls for 2 jack stands only ? I currently have just two to work with. Is this job possible with only 2? Or is 4 a must?
January 17, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can do it with two with the front off the ground. Slide the trans forward on the ground when removing. If it were me, I would use four, it will make moving around under the vehicle much easier. Not so cramped. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Burgerlord Comments: A quick note about the flywheel lock in fig. 58. I called the parts department and they could not find it, so I made one myself. I cut a 6 inch piece of punched flat bar $5 per yard from Home Depot and expanded one of the holes on the end using a 1/2 inch drill bit. Worked perfectly see image
November 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your tool, process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Burgerlord Comments: Is the flywheel lock from figure 58 something that I can purchase? Is there a part number?
November 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure of the part number, it will vary depending on what brand is available. I am sure Pelican h=can get you one. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joao paulo olivato Comments: good afternoon,
I need a replacement kit AFM is defective and passing a misreading for ingeçao.
apreçearia aid the board manufacturer is Sfernice 8405 cod 1288310056
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Pelican Parts can get it. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-310-626-8765 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nickpaz Comments: One big tip for people who's tranny only comes out an inch or so, and then stops starter is stuck on the guide pin... if you have the newer, threaded starter type, just put one of the starter bolts back in, thread it hand tight, then put on your socket and extensions,and then hit the end of it with a hammer. This puts all the force in the right direction to get the starter off of the pin.
December 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Hulk Comments: So I got a '96 E36 328is manual. Replaced the clutch disc but having trouble getting the bell housing back in place. I can't Jack it up anymore because the top front is hitting the chassis and it needs to come forward a little bit more to get past so it doesn't the chassis but I can't move it forward anymore because the spindle isn't aligned with the going into the clutch disc it's a little bit below it. So I can't go up or forward what do I do?
October 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Tilt the front of the engine up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
farhaad Comments: hi iv logged in to commend nick from pelican upon
his tremendous advice given regard to my e46 a while back clutch issue which has been resolved thanks a million pal u have a great one till
next time cheers
October 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Bobbi Comments: 96 Z3 1.9L there's two bolts that have acces holes from the bottom of the manual transmission bell housing. I'm planning on removing the transmission for a clutch job, all looks straightforward except the two holes at bottom of bell housing that have what looks like 12mm bolts? My question is do I need to remove them to remove transmission?
September 20, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would need to see a photo to comment. They may be oil pan bolts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KennyR Comments: Our BMW Maint manual shows needing to support the engine from the top. I don't see that here. Is it required? If so, where do we connect to. In the shop manual it looks like it is right on top of the engine
August 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You didn't mention what vehicle you have. Look for a hook at the front of the cylinder head. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frenchy Comments: ..Been smelling slght burning and getting lite-headed
- no exhaust leaks..
- took to shop ...they said clutch is burning
- will need replcmnt
- shifts drives/fine...
- ...i never heard that before! ... ?
July 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: burning smell could be a worn clutch (slipping). - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rylend Comments: I got my new clutch installed I'm having trouble pushing my transmission on the mounts , it's lined up on the inside but it will not go all the way on about maybe an inch and a half from being on any tips ?
July 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The trans input shaft may not be aligned with the friction disc. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rylend Comments: What's this part behind the throw out bearing ? Does it come with most clutch kits ? I'm taking about the ring with 4 things sticking out
July 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It does usually come with a kit.

I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
farhaad Comments: 1nc again thnx a mil for ur reply nick. Ive found the problem its unreal the kit supplied was identical numbers the works but wen we measured again to be precise used a feeler gage on each item we found a rare difference with the pressure plate height was like 2mil out more like factory error put it that way wil keep in touch cheers buddy
April 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: AHH! Great news, bummer you had to job multiple times. But am glad you got it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
farhaad Comments: thanks for ur response nick much appreciated yes we've used the sacs star shaped tool it came with the kit but still no joy selects beautiful no noises nothing just not moving any other ideas or checks perhaps?
April 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the clutch fork is disengaged and it isn't moving, the clutch may be misadjusted. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
farhaad Comments: hi there hope u guys are all well need urgent guidance have a e46 318i manual replaced the clutch brand is a sachs got frm my local spareshop everything matches fitted in selection is like a dream but car doesn't move even half meter open it 3 times an put back even diagnosis with auto boss still not winning please help
March 30, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Maybe the self-adjusting clutch needs to be reset. Did you use the SAC tool? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
vartan Comments: i need help answering this question, would a e36 318 clutch, pressure plate, flywheel and clutch disc work for a e36 328i? also if a getrag transmission would work as well as an zf? getrag transmission from 94 318i, does the bell housing even align up with the 1997 328i engine block? i need help
March 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the part numbers are the same, then yes. You will have to do some research on the part numbers of the two vehicles.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts
December 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If a manual trans, yes, the clutch could be broken. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BJ Comments: Hello.

For BMW 325i which replacement Clutch gives the smoothest feel? is Luk good or is Sachs smoother?
December 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I have never noticed a difference between the two. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
boulderick Comments: This is the second time we've had to get to the @#$%^$ starter bolts on our 96 328i, and we finally figured it out. Ours is a manual transmission and the starter bolts are EASY to get at, if you just know the exact way to get your hand up to them. Here's what we finally worked out: Once you have the exhaust, drive shaft, and transmission cross member removed, Put a block between a floor jack and the underside of the front of the engine. G e n t l y lift the front of the engine to tilt the transmission down. All you need is around an inch. Now for the special position - we were working with the car on jack stands, so we started by lying across the car on the ground, head toward the driver's side, feet under the passenger front door. Stick your left hand up through the big opening next to the engine. Keep moving your hand up toward the starter, rotating your hand so the palm is facing the front of the car. That lets you bend your elbow around the engine. You have to get your elbow up high enough to be past the end of the lower control arm - this is the trick that lets you bend your elbow and snake your arm around the back of the engine and over the transmission. I was shocked at how much space there was on top of the engine once I got my arm adjusted so so I could get my hand to the second starter bolt. You'll be twisted with your left shoulder up against the control arm, but can easily touch both bolts and I a have average length arms. You can't see the bolts, and there isn't enough room to get a socket wrench on them, so you need a partner to help at this point. Have your partner put the correct torx socket on a long 3 ft + extension, and slide it along the very top center of the tunnel above the transmission to where you can guide the socket onto the starter bolts. It's a straight shot for both the bolts, so no universal is needed. Took 5 minutes to put the bolts in and torque them to the right setting! Wish we'd known how to do this when we were taking them off.
November 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Barack O. Comments: Hi I have a 1996 E36 328is manual transmission. To my knowledge, the transmission has +170k mi on it w/ everything Factory original. I've think it's time for a replacement. I like to keep my car as close to factory as possible which means replacing as many parts with genuine bmws parts but upgrading those parts when necessary. I've read a lot of forums and websites recommend upgrading from its original DM flywheel to a single aluminum flywheel when replacing the clutchex. Bavauto recommends doing so. I've heard that the DMFW is too complicated and Alum FW is a huge upgrade with just slightly higher vibrations not big deal as long as performance goes up. I do like higher performance whenever possible. What do you recommend? Should I reuse/resurface the original DMFW buy a new DMFW or replace altogether with a Single aluminum FW? I'm leaning towards geeing the Alum FW, however I'm also not going balls out and installing organic/kevlar clutches etc. because it's not a track car. Just want to revitalize transmission back to factory/ or a bit better. I've noticed the trans slipping and want to make sure I replace clutch/ other parts before I ruin the flywheel/ other internals. This is the final frontier in my car because I've overhauled/ replace all worn cooling/vanos/suspension parts. My apologies for such long winded question.
November 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you want to revitalize to factory, stick with the dual-mass clutch. The engine will run smoother and the clutch will be more predictable, as far as what you are used to. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jonas, Sweden Comments: Yeah, 3/8 u-joint also ofcourse :

Now I got it all out, but I´ve realised I need a clutch alignment tool. Damn Sachs not providing it with the kit! Have to wait till next weekend to get it all together. But I guess total time will be 6-8 hours in-and-out. Not bad for jack stands on a garage floor...

By the way, the reason for the replacement was a growing noice when deprecing the clutch over 6 months. Last week it made terrible scratchy noices with clutch in either position, but Í realised why when pulling it apart. The throw-out-bearing was dissformed. Like crushed from the side and the smooth ring had moved out of Place somewhat...
September 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ahh, the alignment tool. I was in a bind a few times, aligned a few using an extension wrapped in electrical tape. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jonas, Sweden Comments: Thank´s for the much needed info. But I must say, with the 318 there´s no hastle. I´ve got all the tranny bolts out within 30 min. Just 3/8 ratchet, set of E6-16 star/torx and a couple of extensions, and 3 ft of pipe to brake with.

A small tip, start with the hardest to reach ones on top, then you got to use less Power than if you take all the bottom one´s out first.

Thank´s, Jonas, Sweden. BMW E30 318i '88
September 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
John Comments: My leather shift boot inside my 96 e36 328is manual is in pretty bad shape and I want to replace it. The problem is I don't know how to get the leather boot out. I know how to take the shift knob out which is simply pulling straight up but how do I take the actual boot out? Do I have to remove the entire center console? Any advice is appreciated
September 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Once the knob is off, press the sides of the boot in toward the shifter and pull it up and away from the center console. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frank Comments: flywheel, shim, flex plate or shim
August 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what you are asking.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
hamdy Comments: hi .i m swapping a manual transmission in automatic bmw 325i and the manual gear box that i have doesn't have place for any sensor and my car has tow sensor ,now i don't know what can i do to fix this problem car is e30 325i automatic originally
July 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Tow sensor? I am not familiar with this sensor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ian Comments: I installed an eBay combination F1 lightweight flywheel and Sachs clutch in my '97 528i last spring and over time it has started to a rattling noise after it has been thoroughly warmed up. I only notice it when sitting in neutral with my foot off the clutch. Would this be the extra gear noise they tell you to expect?
June 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't think so. It could be an issue with the clutch disc, pressure plate or a bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lotti Comments: Hi is it possible that if you replace clutch it stil don't work its the deul mass an if a deul mass brakes can it stop you from gettin the gear box off again ?
June 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the clutch was a self-adjusting model and installed incorrectly, a new one may not work. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Obie Comments: Thanks Nick, it was a great help to me on removing parts like the bellhousing, hope I didn't come across as a know-it-all,you can edit it so it sounds better, LOL! it's a great article.
December 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. We really enjoy when you guys chime in. It adds a ton of useful info to the articles. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Obie Comments: I see several things I thing needs correcting. On FIG 35 and in the text it says to push the front transmission seal in till it's flush. It has to be pushed down BELOW the surface in order for the front lip of the seal to contact the shaft, if you look carefully at the photo fig 35 you will see the front edge of the seal not touching the shaft I made note of the depth before removing the old seal and the front surface was even with the 45 deg cut into the transmission case, it's about .065-.070" from the surface to the transmission to the flat on the seal.
One other thing, the main rear crankshaft seal should not be put in the way shown here, it is yanked out, slathered with sealer and driven back in. The proper way is to remove the retainer along with the old seal and clean the flange, install the new seal and only then remove the plastic protector that is shipped with the seal.
One last thing, the throwout bearing 'tube' needs just a little lube not 1/2 pint as shown in Fig 37 and 38.
Not trying to be a jerk but I think these things should be corrected especially the depth of the transmission seal as the lip is clearly not on the shaft.
December 9, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Dkbmxer002 Comments: Is the metal shield necessary? Mine has caused quite a headache during reinstall in the past...
October 3, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It shield the area from heat. No a problem while at cruising speed but stuck in traffic heat can melt seals, brake fluid, etc. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: I have a e39 540i that runs fine until it warms up. then the clutch will slip at anything much past half throttle. It doesn't slip at all when cold. What could be causing that?
September 23, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Manual transmission? Sounds like the clutch is worn out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
4knfast Comments: Oh, and another thing: Have a slide hammer at the ready to remove the pilot bearing. Mine was so stuck that it took significant effort to free. "Stick you pinky in and pull it out." Yeah, right :
August 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
4knfast Comments: I did the job on a 97 M3 with 160,000 mi. In general, almost everything that I was cautioned would “just fall out” required a crowbar, mini sledge, or what have you to get free. Two things about removing the transmission: 1 If the dowel to the starter is stuck like mine was, you will need to remove the intake manifold. I was able to get a pry bar on the starter from below, but no amount of force would free it. Maybe if I had known exactly where that dowel was, I could have hit it with some PB Blaster. With the manifold out, I was able to rock it back and forth until it came unstuck. I lost *many* hours on this step. 2 With the transmission freed, it still took effort to free its input shaft from the clutch. Thankfully, it went back in much easier.
August 26, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.

I find knocking the dowel out from the bottom using a small pnuch works great. That is the first step for me when unbolting the starter. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Chris Comments: IMO, the top transmission bolt was harder than the starter bolts. the starter bolts weren't actually that bad with some long extrnsions, a universal and an assistant. :
August 13, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I agree, the top bolts can be hard.

Thanks for the Info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Jack Comments: Make sure you replace the trans input shaft guide tube, like they do in the article. Learned that the hard way.

Also, a good way to DIY get the pilot bearing out is to pack the inside with grease and the get a bolt close the inner diameter of the bearing and then wrap the threads in tape till its a snug fit, then hit it with a hammer then remove it, pack more grease, and repeat, until the bearing comes out.
July 31, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KC Comments: Wayne, Great article, one qwestion, how much harder would it be to just pull the motor and work on the clutch at eye leval, sounds like alot of work under the car to me. Been ponderin this chore for 5 years...............
July 11, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure, but pulling the motor is pretty difficult in itself and there's a lot to put back together. The motor comes out of the top of the car - I think on most models, I would recommend removing the transmission anyway to get the engine out of the car. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
jc Comments: Hi Greg, Hows Aneasa?

Casey bought a BMW a 2001 model 32 series 3254D. He bought an extended warrantee and his transmission went out. I think I told you. They put in a rebuilt for $3500. Well it been a little over one year and the last few months its been making a raddling noise behind the engine. I thought it was the tranny, he had it looked at but they kept saying it was something else. Well it finally broke, he was stuck in a parking lot, and it would not drive anywhere. Before that, it shifted just fine. Well it was towed to the same place that fixed it AAmco transmission but now it’s owned by the corporation because that last owner went out of business.
AAMCO® of Puyallup WAý 1 877 426 4741
The Trusted Transmission Experts. Free Inspection. $100 Off Rebuild.ý
Map of 10212 122nd St. E, Puyallup,
So now, they say it’s the flex plate that went bad. And then they say the bolts through the flex plate into the Tork converter are stripped out and they can visually see this before they even take it apart. They say he now needs a tork convertor and three BMW bolts another $600 of work. What do you think? They say they see a lot of flex plat bolts stripped.

July 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If they removed the lower transmission oil pan cover then they have access to the torque converter bolts you are talking about. Not a very common problem though. I think the bolts might have been over-tightened but without being there it is just a guess - Nick at Pelican Parts  
dale Comments: Will this process work for an e36 318ti compact or do I have to do it differently?
June 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it will be similar and should get things done for you. However, if in doubt, grab a repair manual for your vehicle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: I did all of this witth with my left arm because. I'm my right hand I was holding a beer bcuz I love beer!
June 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is an achievement, kudos. Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
melloh Comments: Where does one buy the guide tube? What is the p/n for a 1991 318is? I cannot find it on your website and realoem appears to have the wrong part number? [see #6] Says the P/N is 23111224420 and calls it a "Housing Cover".
June 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rover Comments: I do not know what the talk is about the control arm bushings on this topic. This is clearly a clutch job article!
April 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure what you are referring to. The article and info supplied all refer to clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
alf Comments: The top-most starter bolt is very, very difficult to access or see, even with the intake manifold removed. Count the bolts and stop pulling if the transmission becomes hung-you probably missed this one.

this entire procedure was easier with the intake manifold removed.
March 25, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
abdelraouf libya Comments: thank you so much
March 1, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: no problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
reaganw Comments: I replaced my clutch, pressure plate and throw-out bearing a couple of months ago. I did not buy a kit but ordered the parts only. Wow! Now my clutch is making a noise. If I press on the pedal it subsides somewhat. I am tearing it apart right now. Wonder what it is....
November 21, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the noise goes away when you press the clutch pedal, it could be the throwout bearing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Beam318is Comments: Hey wayne i have a question i was able to do the clutch but after i had reassembled it it cranks but wont turn over and backfires. i have spark fuel and air but it just wont start and sometimes it sounds like the starter just spins out and i can crank it for a min any ideas?
October 22, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check that the crankshaft sensor wasn't damaged during the process. It may be misaligned, creating an electrical timing problem when you try to start the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mr. T Comments: When removing the pilot bearing I used what I thought was a odd idea but worked like a charm. pack bread in behind the bearing, keep backing bread in with a large bolt and hammer. As you pack in the breadkeep adding more in the hole the bearing will come out. then you can simply remove the bread out from hole when the bearings out. It sounds odd but really works if you dont have the right tool.
August 24, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That's anew one for me. Thanks for the tip and feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SpeedDemon Comments: I had done pretty much everything you said to do no this. Its a great detail write up. But for some reason my clutch wants to engauge way to low. I have to put the clutch pedel all the way to the floor. I have the UUC Lightweight 8.5 lbs flywheel and the SACH e34 M5 clutch setup. I had it on my car before but clutch need to be replaced. So i got a new fiction disc for the flywheel and a new SACH clutch. My old clutch i could use the UUC clutch stop now i have to push it down really really far. Any Ideas on what i did wrong? I have also replace the Slave Cyclinder. My car is a e36 4 door M3, 1997 model.
August 20, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Knowing that you replaced the slave cylinder, I would start by bleeding the clutch hydraulic system again. Air trapped in the system can cause your symptom. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Christian Comments: Will this guide also work for an e46? Is there anything different I might need to know?
July 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are similarities, however the torque specs and some portions of the procedure will vary. I would grab a repair manual for your vehicle. It will be covered there: - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David J. Comments: Great article and pics. Took me a lot longer than some others that posted here. I had my laptop handy and referenced every step and pic along the way. Two things that need to be included in the kit that were not: The guide tube for the throw out bearing was very worn. It needed to be replaced but I wasn't able to order one and wait, so I reversed it so that the wear was on the opposite side. Also, the clutch alignment tool could have saved me hours. Rented a transmission floor jack for a day and got the pilot bearing puller from the loaner tools at advanced auto.
June 5, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback, glad it worked out.

I wouldn't suggest flipping the guide tube. if it is worn, it could fail. - Nick at Pelican Parts
vistablue Comments: Tip for the bad ass starter nut:
..simply put it on the starter with 2 small welding points and you are out of trouble.
March 31, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. You could also hold it in place with a less destructive method, for example by using an adhesive. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greg Comments: Great write up! Saved me plenty of grief. I would add only two tips that helped me with the re-install on my '99 M3. First, I inserted all the hard to reach top and starter bolts into the bell housing and ran a strip of electric tape around them on the inside, to hold them until the tranny could be started then the tape could be broken and pulled out, though it wouldn't hurt anything to forget it. It's a heck of a lot easier to feed a socket and long extension up onto the bolt than to have to try to start a bolt that way. The other thing is my motor mounts were new enough I found when the tranny was off, it actually balanced fairly level on them-too level to get a proper angle to start the tranny. It became a breeze when I loosened the motor mounts and used a lift to actually carefully lift the front of the engine enough to get a proper angle.
March 11, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and additonal information. Glad it worked out.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Robert P. Comments: @t3dragon, That's exactly what happened to my 318ti. It's no more work than a reg clutch replace would be. just try to clean up as much of the metal shards and leftovers as you can.
carb+throttle body cleaner works wonders.
February 3, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the info. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
t3dragon Comments: My throw-out bearing has gone out and the clutch pedal stays on the floor. Are their any separate procedures to fixing this other than doing the full clutch replacement and TO bearing replace. I have heard stories of the things shredding and all the little pieces going all over. If that happened how much more work am I looking at?
February 3, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You'll have to remove the transmission. At that point you should replace all the clutch parts. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Robert P. Comments: I would just like to Thank for this awesome DIY. If a 17 year old like myself can do this task solely ALONE in 13-14 hours, anyone with motivation and devotion can accomplish this timely task.

HINT: People with the problem of the trans only coming out an inch or so, check the top of the starter, THREADED AND NON THREADED BOTH. There will be a little pin that corrodes quite a bit. What i did was take WD40 or penetrating oil and spray pin generously let it soak for a bit maybe 5-10 mins. Take a LONG flat head and tap it between the bell housing and starter, then wiggle flat head back and forth till starter comes loose. Make sure not to force to hard you may damage bell housing or starter beyond repair.

Best regards and luck, Robert
February 3, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Will Comments: I have a BMW 318i, 3 series 1999, Chassis:WBAAL32-08CFH62466. Engine: 194e-00379115. I have done all oil service. However I have a problem on a cold start up. Starting up is fine apart from a very brief, 2-3 secs of slight chain rattle but as soon as I put it in gear there is a really bad vibration. As soon as it starts moving the vibration decreases but as almost always get caught at traffic lights, the vibration comes back . Always I stop or I initiate to march at lower gears there is the vibration and the speed does not match the acceleration, is slower. After I have driven it for about 0.5-1 mile and the engine has warmed up the car runs as good as gold and the acceleration is perfect. Does anyone have any ideas of what is happening and what are the parts that I need to order? Thanks
January 27, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Inspect your engine and transmission mounts. It's tough to give advice on such a broad problem as a vibration. But starting with the mounting system may get you there. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jason Comments: I am replacing a clutch on a 85' 325e and these instructions are great. A few differences, but not much at all. I did find the torq specs on the suggested site and appreciate that. One last thing, the vehicle owner is unable to find the "correct" TOB guide tube. His is just like what is pictured here in pic 28 with the 4 bolt holes, but when you go on realoem and look it up, it shows a 6 bolt part listed. When you look in the transmission where the tube goes, there is another part that is 6 bolt. It is almost like realoem is showing a revised part with the guide tube and base together as 1 piece now. The seal appears to be pressed into this 6-bolt piece that is still on the trans. Does anyone know if there is a revised part or if realoem is wrong and maybe their pictures are not accurately displaying what this trans really has? Does this make sense? Do you have the correct part here at Pelican Parts? Have a part number and picture I can pass on so my friend can order it? thank you

PS. What the hell was BMW thinking with the starter location design that requires you to remove the intake manifold. What a waste of time.
January 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The online etk is an unofficial parts look up, so treat it that way. The images may be wrong or substitute.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help you find the right part. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Rick Comments: When replacing throw out bearing guide tube and mainshaft seal, do you need to drain the transmission fluid?
January 1, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you shouldn't have to drain the transmission, however, I would be sure to angle it with the seal upwards in the air to minimize any fluid leaks. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: Follow up: I can confirm that on a 1998 328i there are 9 bell housing bolts. 4 have the E14 Torx head, 2 for the starter are E12 and 3 are E10. there is also the small hex bolt for the plate making 10 altogether. My starter was the threaded type so I was able to get the starter off without taking the intake manifold off. I used a long extension, universal etc as described by others here so well. I found the bell housing bolts very tight an soaked them with penetrating oil and still snapped one universal and broke one of the lower bolts. As mentioned by others, the starter alignment pin was very stubborn to let go. I soaked it good and VERY carefully applied some force here and there until it wiggled free. Also, I made some room to get my hand in from the top by removing the brake booster/vacuum line, the oil dipstick and a mount coming off the brake booster that held some cables etc. I found all the comments added by others VERY helpful and hope mine help someone else. Great site guys! Could not have done it without you!
December 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. This was very helpful. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Comments: Doing a clutch on my 98 328i. Can anyone tell me how many bolts in the bell housing? I took out 9 plus the little one holding the plate for a total of ten. I can move the trans back about an inch then it gets hooked up on something. Some Jake, Ivan have suggested it might be the starter alignment pin? I don't want to break anything. Any help greatly appreciated.
December 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad you got it worked out. I am suing your reply to answer the question:

4 E14 Torx head, 2 for the starter are E12 and 3 are E10. there is also the small hex bolt for the plate making 10 altogether.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
R@j Comments: A**** The Best possible support provided, with this a beginner can act a pro!!!!! People should donate to whom provided all these detailed pictures and text I would like to !!

Quick suggestion,, To open the top torx bolts on the gearbox, remove a few pipes from the engine compartment near the slave cylinder and you will find you can fit your arm hand - into towards the bolts, easy = use a small spanner a torx or an star shape 10 - small rachet.
Hope this helps !
Any questions about BMW or MERCEDES - German cars welcome ??
December 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the kudos and the tip! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Jason Comments: Only thing I see missing are torq specs. Anyone have them?

PP bolts
Trans to engine
Intake to head

December 18, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: These vary from car to car. I didn't put them in the book / article, as they are contained in the Bentley Workshop Manuals. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
dan Comments: how about unhooking and reinstalling the clutch return spring assembly. i have been fighting it all day. is there and accepted way to remove and replace? I know it should not be this hard but I am really struggling. thanks for any help
November 13, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you referring to the clutch pedal return spring? You can remove it by grabbing with needle nose pliers and rotating until spring ends comes out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
October 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: My gut says no. Use the right part for your vehicle to avoid installation problems. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Edward Comments: Many Many thanks for putting in the effort in writing this comprehensive article!! I´ve just finished replacing the clutch on my old E36 318Tds, but never could have done this without the help and fotos from the article! Cheers from Edward living in The Netherlands.
October 20, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Glad we could help. Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ogustus1 Comments: i have a 97 328i, just change out the clutch, pressure plate, and bearing. blead the system and im still having problems getting it in gear. I replaced the slave already, any ideas? thinking maybe clutch master cylinder..
October 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check that when you press the clutch pedal the salve cylinder depresses the clutch fork all thwe way. If not, bleed the hydraulic system. If it is still not working correctly, the master cylinder may be at fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bill Comments: I have just fired up my wife's E30 Baur Cabriolet that's been standing for some time. The clutch doesn't want to disengage making getting into gear a little difficult. Any suggestions as to how to free the clutch would be much appreciated.
September 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check that when you press the clutch pedal the salve cylinder depresses the clutch fork all thwe way. If not, bleed the hydraulic system. If it is still not working correctly, the master or slave cylinder may be at fault. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Brandon Comments: hey every1. i stay in Capetown. i own a BMW 318IS CHANGING GEAR IS A MISSION. I want to find out where i can get my clutch sorted out cheap. all the shops i have been to are asking R3500. its a bit to heavy at the moment.
September 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not familiar with your area. I opened up a post in our forums. Someone in the Pelican community may be able to help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
B.D.B Comments: hi there, I've got a 323i, my previous gearbox gave me problems, so i bought a new one, everything fits carefully, accept for the gear leaver inside the car. it does not want to go into reverse, 1st, 3rd or 5th....... it is like the gearbox is shorter and the gear leaver keeps on pressing in front wich makes it not go any further.... should i space it or what? thanks for your article, helped me allot....
August 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The best bet would be to figure out the length the shift linkage has to be, then either find the correct one modifiy yours. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
AndThenClydeSaid Comments: Thank your for all the useful information, I do have one question. One of my pressure plate Bolts did in fact round out like you explained in Figures 13 and 14. What are they attached to? I want to cut it off but it looks like it's attached to something I don't plan on replacing. Mr car is a 1993 325i, Inline 6 DOHC
August 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The pressure plate bolts attach to the flywheel. If you cannot extract it, you'll have to replace the flywheel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
marc Comments: hi, i have a 1994 318ic and im having trouble separating my transmission from the engine. The transmission moves back a little bit but it feels like it gets caught on something. I also cant get the starter to separate from the transmission there are no bolts in but it just wont come apart, im stuck and need help thanks
August 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The dowel may be siezed in the starter.

From the transmission side of the engine, use a small punch and drive out the starter dowel. This should free the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts
Crossie Comments: I have replaced my clutch and flywheel and have gone to start the car but it will not turn over.
Have checked and starter is turning over but seem that flywheel will not move - is there anything that would stop it turning over?
July 11, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The starter may not be engaging. This could be due to a faulty starter motor. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Coder Comments: I'm halfway through this, and have this to add:
The transmission needs to slide back 4 to 6 inches to clear the clutch. Do not allow the transmission to rotate clockwise; it is top heavy and will wedge itself against the tunnel. It can rotate slightly counter-clockwise when it comes off.
May 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nate Comments: Just used this article to change my clutch '95 318i and it was a lifesaver! Thanks! This was by far the hardest auto job I have EVER attempted and it was a first time go thanks to this article.

The only real issue I had was my pilot bearing, it would NOT come out. Eventually, I read online about packing behind the bearing and using a wooden dowel or your clutch alignment tool and a hammer to "push" the bearing out hydraulicly sp but even that didn't work. What worked for me was taking the inner ring and bearings out; I used a screwdriver to blow through the plastic housing with the bearings. Then I had to use my dremel and cut the outer ring out taking great care to not cut into the housing that the bearing sits in.

Also, getting to the top bolts was not a problem for me. I did the same as another who has commented here. When you remove the support bracket for the transmission the engine and tranny assembly naturally leans back keep a jack under there so it doesn't lean too far back. With it at an angle like that the bolts weren't terrible to get to. With the drive shaft and exhaust removed, a 24" extension will get you to the back of the transmission where you can freely swing a ratchet, piece of cake kinda.

Thanks again, just wanted to pass on my notes in hopes that it will make the next guy's job go a little easier than mine was. So thankful for this site and the many others that offer us BMW rookies advice, insight, and technical assistance.
April 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback, glad it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jez Comments: Hey I have just had the clutch replaced on my E36 323i sport tourer and the clutch pedal now sits a lot higher than it did before to the extent that it hurts my leg when I drive in rush hour traffic. Took it back and they replaced the slave cylinder but this made no difference and my mechanic friend said he knew it wasn't the slave cylinder that would do that. Garage now talking about replacing the pedal plate? but my friend says it definitely isn't that.
Do you have any ideas as to what has been done wrong to get the pedal to sit up so high above the brake? I really need this sorting out and want some sort of 2nd opinion as to why its happening.
April 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the clutch wears, the pedal has a tendency to sink to the floor. So, putting in a new clutch tends to make it sit higher. I'm not sure if what you are experiencing is the normal height of the pedal. It may be possible to shim the slave cylinder so that it extends out a bit more from the transmission. I have heard of other people doing this on other cars, but I'm not sure it would work on your BMW. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
gatazzo Comments: I swaped the dual mass flywheel for a steel one last weekend, I had inquired about what parts i would need to diffent part housed including Pelican and nobody really knew what it took so i compared part #s until i was satisfied that I had compiled the correct parts that I would need. It turned out that I just needed a flywheel from an E30 that had a steel flywheel and buy the clutch kit for it. you would also need to buy shorter flywheel bolts, 8 12 by 28mm bolts . Really the only parts that different are the clutch disc and the pressure plate,all the other parts are the same, in my E30 the long end of the clutch disc was marked trans side. I also lowered the crossmember 3 inches which made a huge difference in getting to the hated upper torx bolts, I hope this article answers questions somebody might have. The cars seems to acellerate quicker now I think the assembly is a lot lighter now. happy wrenching!
February 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the information. Great stuff. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
J Comments: Hey I just wanted to say, I'd read this DIY a bunch of times, and when I finally did my clutch it took about 3 and a half hours. Thanks for pointing out all the small things, made the job very smooth
January 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the kind feedback! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
gi joe Comments: My 97 328i is apparently locked in gear, its manual. Just wondering how hard is it to get it out of that gear and back on the road? So far my plans for tomorrow include jacking the back wheels up on stands. Draining the fluid out, putting cheap as hell fluid in it, cycle through the gears and let it spin until I can release the clutch without it dying on me. Draining cheap fluid, putting B&M trick shift fluid in. And drive away... how's that sound?
January 10, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I'm not sure I share your plan here. If you push in the clutch, and just roll the car, I would think you would accomplish roughly the same thing - which may or may not allow you to remove it from gear. It may be a linkage problem - check the shift linkage article in this section here, and take a look at that first. That would be my suggestion... - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
gi joe Comments: Awesome thanks so much for your help. heres additional info on this job in case you have something to throw in.. i was thinking of pushing on the starter internally, to see if it would reset it, and maby that'd be the end of the the problem. other than that the complete clutch assembly plus flywheel are from F1 RacingGripforce, I didn't have the brain to remember about my slave cylinder.. oh well its external so I'l replace it later.. other than that.. umm well theres always push start, YAY.. hahaha
January 9, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the starter isn't engaging, I think this is what you're syaing, I suggest replacing it so you don't end up stranded. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gi joe Comments: hmm my buddy here just told me that he never saw the guy torque the new flywheel... that gets me heated.. can that affect it??? for example can it be to tight or something like that?
January 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not too tight, but it may not be seated properly. There should be a pin that it mates with on the back. But it's pretty difficult to get the whole thing back together unless the flywheel is mounted properly. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
gi joe Comments: my 97 328i wont start now, after i replaced flywheel and clutch assembly.. my starter makes a fd-up noise man.. this sucks i need to back on base by tomorrow help me someone
January 8, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm guessing that you may not have the correct flywheel in there, and the starter gear is just spinning and not making contact with the ring gear on the outside. Either that, or the flywheel is not fully / properly mounted onto the crankshaft? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Diver Joe Comments: Sorry, I'm going to ask a 5-series '99 540i clutch question. My throwout bearing was squealing like a pig so, I replaced everything but the dual mass flywheel. In fact, the old clutch plate had almost as much thickness as the new one. I put it all back together, the noise stopped for a day or two, and both pedal & shifting had less resistance. However, now it squeals until the car warms up. Is there any reason the bearing would make noise until the car warms up? And it doesn't make the noise until a few seconds after the car is running. I greased the spline and did not grease the guide tube, just as the manual directed. New parts; 3-piece kit, pilot bearing, guide tube, slave cylinder, fork, and pivot pin.
January 6, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the squeal is still there after the replacement of the bearing, then unfortunately, the bearing probably wasn't the cause of the noise. The throw-out bearing noise can usually be detected by pushing in the clutch pedal - it should stop or change noise when you do this. It may be that the noise is coming from the transmission, or the driveshaft bearing (see the article on replacing this). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
patrick Comments: Where woulld you get the torque settings for the bolts on the fly wheel?
November 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They are different for each car. I typically check the Bentley manuals for these. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Stephen Comments: I just replaced my clutch flyweel, and all my tranmission bushings and washers using your diy. I put the car back together, and my asc light is on, and I have a code for the crankshaft postition sensor. COuld this be becuse I was turning the dirveshaft to get to the bolts? DId I damage the engine any or will the sensor fix the issue? THanks. I have not tried to bleed the system, and I thnk that may be the problem with the asc.
October 12, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The sensor does mount in the crankcase and read the tone ring on the flywheel. It may have been damaged. I would remove and inspect it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zach Comments: I have never done anything more intense on my '98 M3 than the water pump before attempting this. It really is not that bad for a non-mechanic if you have a friend to help. I broke off 4 exhaust studs 2 front, 2 rear that I was able to drill out. The top two bolts we only possible by lowing the transmission about 2 inches from the mount. Threaded starter is a dream. There are only 9 transmission bolts + 1 that bolts the sheet metal piece to the transmission, not 10 on this car. Separating the transmission from the engine was extremely difficult because I did not JACK UP THE FRONT OF THE ENGINE. That is necessary to relieve the preload. I borrowed a pilot bearing puller from Pep Boys for free sorry Pelican. Packing it with grease and using a socket did not work for me because it was too tight. Assembly was a breeze once I jacked up the front of the engine and tilted the transmission up so until the input shaft was within the pressure plate. I did it by myself and a floor jack.
September 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and tip. Glad it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
gerald Comments: typically on a 1992 E30 318ic how long should a clutch job take,
September 18, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, it depends upon whether you've done clutch jobs before. But I usually tell people it takes about 8 hours or so if you've worked on cars, or 16 hours if you're a beginner. You also often find that you need more parts once you drop the transmission, so that always adds some time to the equation. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
sapienti Comments: I've used this write-up twice, and love my '101 Performance Projects' book. Top bolts were not to bad for me, with the engine leaned back a ways, nearly resting on the firewall, my wife and I were able to whip these out in no time. I broke them while she held the socket on I think we switched for re-assembly. This was about 4ft of extension, one universal, and breaker bar. The breaker bar was around the guibo, maybe a little behind it. The extension ran right along the top of the tranny, "practically" a straight shot with the engine leaning back. I believe we had the intake off at the time, this greatly improves access to all the driver-side bolts. We did not have to remove the radiator, fan or cooling hoses to get the engine lean back. Good luck to all.

- Dan
September 16, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and tip. Glad it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
xanthamn Comments: I had my clutch replaced by a local BMW shop. I thought they knew what they were doing, but when they were finished, the shifter had changed positions. The entire shifting pattern moved to the upper right of the shift box. To put the car in 1st, 3rd, and 5th, the shifter has to be jammed up against the edge of the center console hole. The shop said that "the shifter position is not adjustable." I'm thinking they did something wrong. Could this be a problem with the linkage? I am planning on taking the tranny down myself and putting it back together correctly, but I wanted to see if anyone knew more info about this problem. thanks in advance.
September 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They messed this up, absolutely 100%. Check out the article on installing the short shift kit for an explanation of how the shifter works, and how to fix it. and Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Liquid sunshine Comments: Yikes! on my '98 328 with traction control, the throttle body hit the brake master cyl as I lowered the tranny. You could seriously ruin your day as well as a few expensive parts if you don't make sure you are safe here! By the way, this is an excellent article!!
July 30, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and tip. You should always pay attention to the engine components and wiring when lowering the engine. Many items can snag, creating a bad situation like you mentioned.

Glad it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts
bashleys Comments: Thank you...It's on an E30, and I have felt, PB cover plate, and pilot bearing seal cage...sighh.. Would nice to have a isometric drawing showing correct order!
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When disassembling, take note of the order you remove things. I find it helps to bag and label parts to keep track of them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bashleys Comments: Great article! I'm installing my new clutch now, but have run into a prob. The pilot bearing was completely disintegrated, and I have no idea what order the felt, PB Cover Plate and PB Seal Cage go in...can't seem to find a break down for a 89 325ic?
July 24, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I'm not sure if this is on an E36, but the plate, then the felt, and then the bearing is usually how it goes. The felt is typically there to maintain some lubrication. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Richard Comments: Hello,

Thank you very much for the guide. It's very helpful.

However, in a BMW service manual I have it states "CAUTION: Do not grease guide sleeve. If guide sleeve is greased, release bearing may stick to it."

Have you encountered this issue before?

May 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Nope, I haven't heard that. I guess if you use a really poor quality grease that gums up then that might be the case? - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
alani Comments: bob print it in landscape mode it and it will come out fine
April 10, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Florida Mike Comments: Great article! Will be doing this on my 97 ti soon.

Is there a way to print the entire article with pics to have under the car with me? Don't want to take th laptop under there!
April 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just print the article from your internet browser. If you need large photos, you may have to print them separately. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BenzIsBest Comments: Tom/Mike - I used 4 smaller jack stands that fully extended to 17". I laid directly on cardboard not my creeper when I lowered the trany onto my chest and then I just slid it off of me and out from under the car - had to lay it over just a bit to slide the bell houseing out from under the frame rail

CmCon98 - I used S&K fine-tooth gear box end wrenches for all the bell housing bolts and never even got a swivel out of my toolbox. Had to double up the wrenches 2x as long used a regular box end wrench for a few to break them loose.
April 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. Appreciate your help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jloc707 Comments: FYI not sure if anyone said this yet.
But if you have an older e30 with an UN-THREADED STARTER, DO NOT GO THROUGH THE TROUBLE OF TAKING THE INTAKE MANIFOLD OFF...i was all worried about this until i thought like a German, Jump on on top of the car and startle the engine and look down, you can see and hold the nut from a slit only visible through the top near the back on the intake manifold..
March 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cmcon98 Comments: I did my '88 325iC top bellhousing bolt by using an impact torx socket, impact universal, and a very long extension that reached back and down under the car.

I noticed after the job was done, however, that it looked like one could get to the top bolt from the top of the engine using a torx ratcheting box wrench, such as the ones made by Gearwrench and Craftsman. You'd probably have to increase leverage by slipping a pipe over the wrench, and I wonder if such a wrench could take the torque necessary to break the bolt loose. But it sure would be easier, safer, and faster than 4 feet of extensions and universals with 6 zillion lb.ft. of torque applied by a guy laying under the car!

Anyone tried this?
March 25, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I prefer using a long extension and universal also. You lose some torque, but it sure beats working in tight spaces. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
si323is Comments: JJ: The long side of the spline neck center of the clutch plate goes toward the engine.
March 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BenzIsBest Comments: Great write up! Last night I used this to do my E39 525 TDS Euro diesel, I am in France with 450,000km. I couldn't find the pelican PNs for this diesel, so I overpaid the dealer here about $700USD equivelent - clearly an market oportunity for Pelican. I din't have any of the special tools I don't even have my air tools here in france, and did it in about 7 hrs going slowly becuase I was having my 7 yr old take the bolts out after I broke them loose. I used my S&K close-ratio ratcheting wrenches for the bell houseing star-bolts - you cant see them but you can easy sneak an arm up and put the wrench on and double up with another box end wrench for the stuck ones. I left the exhaust on - just slide the rear heat sheild forward enough to loosen the drive shaft center bearing and then I was able to deflect the driveshaft rearward enough to only take loose the front flex joint and leave the driveshaft/exhaust in place took a little prying to push the driveshaft back far enough but worked OK. I didn't even bother to use a jack to hold the trany up - laying on the floor on my back, I was able to jiggle it backward on the dowels, slide it back, and lower it no problem onto my chest... I didn't have an alignment tool, so I just sighted the new disk at the OD to be about 1 mm inboard of the flywheel all around as I snugged the pressure plate bolts - no problem. The clutch will self bleed by gravity if you just leave the bleeder open for a few minutes put the hose up by the engine so it doesn't drip while you have it apart. When I put my tools away, all I had out was a few sockets/allens/extensions, a few wrenches, a screw driver, my telescoping mirror, a flashlight and a bottle of brake fluid. Amazingly easy job considering this is a BMW - designed much better than the rear window regulators!!!!
March 7, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate the it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jake Comments: Sometimes the alignment dowling on the starter gets caught and lodged, do not be discouraged. Shake like a mofo.
March 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When the dowel for the starter gets stuck, I drive it out using a small punch. This way you aren't left struggling trying to free it up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tom Comments: Can anyone tell me how high the car needs to be, on jack stands, in order to remove the transmission? Thanks
It would stink to get there and not have the car high enough!!!
February 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See the reply below from BenzIsBest

Tom/Mike - I used 4 smaller jack stands that fully extended to 17". I laid directly on cardboard not my creeper when I lowered the trany onto my chest and then I just slid it off of me and out from under the car - had to lay it over just a bit to slide the bell houseing out from under the frame rail

- Nick at Pelican Parts
Don6666 Comments: Attempting at a 96 BMW 328I clutch.
would like to hear more or get a pic or sumthing
about the comment drop the front subframe an inch or so. Just swap out the bolts for longer ones and you can easily get to even the top bolt with only a wobble bar.
this does not comput? to me, a little help?
February 12, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The concept of that method is installing a longer subframe bolt. This allows the subframe to be lowered, yet supported atthe same time. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: Im doing this at the moment but my question is can you take the engine out to do this instead of unbolting the trans? All the manuals say to remove trans first before removing engine, unfortuantely I dont have the space and as im doing the headgasket as well, itd just be easier to take the engine out
January 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can leave the transmission inplace and pull the engine if you so desire. Just follow repair instruction for engine replacement. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Hi - Planning on tackling the clutch soon on my e30. This article covers everything it seems. One question, how high does the car need to be jacked up to drop the transmission? I am using jack stands.
January 27, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See the reply below from BenzIsBest

Tom/Mike - I used 4 smaller jack stands that fully extended to 17". I laid directly on cardboard not my creeper when I lowered the trany onto my chest and then I just slid it off of me and out from under the car - had to lay it over just a bit to slide the bell houseing out from under the frame rail

- Nick at Pelican Parts
Dustin Comments: Did this clutch job on my 1996 318ti over the weekend. Most went pretty well. I am glad Ivan made the post about the starter alignment pin I ran into the same thing. For those out there that don't own a pressure bleeder. Make sure the resivoir is full, then remove the slave cylinder. Point the bleeder up crack the bleeder and push the plunger in. Close the bleeder and release the plunger. Do this untill the plunger becomes very hard to press by hand. Your clutch is bled!!
January 25, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate the it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Stevo Comments: I just pulled the tranny from a 1989 325i. To get the impossible torx bolt on top I used: 3/8" torx socket, 3/8 to 1/2 converter, 1/2" universal, and 24" of straight 1/2" extension, with an 18" breaker bar, and was able to do it from underneath the car by myself, but it wasn't fun. I broke a 3/8" universal and extension on previous trys.
January 10, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate the it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rbrandst Comments: What a great article! The only question I have now that I am doing this job is that my throw out bearing was not attached to the release arm as it normally is on other clutches that I have done. Am i missing a part or is this the way it is?
January 9, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It should be attached. See this photo from the article: - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nrubenstein Comments: Just as an FYI, the top bolts are actually very easy to get to if you can drop the front subframe an inch or so. Just swap out the bolts for longer ones and you can easily get to even the top bolt with only a wobble bar.

The last time I did a clutch with the engine in the car, subframe in place, and sound deadening as well, I needed a double u-joint to get the top bolt. That was terrible. Dropping the subframe takes only a few minutes and makes everything else so much easier, it's just not funny.
January 6, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate the it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jj Comments: trying to figure out which way the clutch disc goes on, one side is longer than the other.
December 25, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It can only go on one way, otherwise it would hit the flywheek bolts. The end with the protrusion orientate toward the pressure plate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
330i Guy Comments: Hi. I'm looking to replace my clutch on a 2003 BMW 330i. Is there anything I should be concerned about in regards to working on the fairly new car? And might you be able to provide a list of tools required for the job? Just want to make sure I'm 100 percent ready. Also is there a list of things I should buy and replace other than what's in the kit? kind of like "you mind as well replace while trannys out parts"?
December 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would grab a repair manual. It will list the special tools and each step of the procedure. Give our parts specialists a call: 1-888-280-7799 They will help you find what you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
LazyBum Comments: I'm having one hell of a time getting the top drivers side bolt near the head. I just can't get anything on it! Everything else was gravy, and this guide was a HUGE help. Thanks to who wrote it!
December 16, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, I wrote it! I can tell you that the top bolt is the most difficult part of the job. You really need about 3 feet of extensions and then you need to hold the socket on with your hand while you use your foot to turn the breaker bar all the way down at the end. That is how I ended up doing it. If you have two people it can work much easier. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Ivan Comments: RE: the alignment pin on the starter. My 1998 323is has the pin instead of the bolt in the center of the three starter attachment holes. It was stuck so tightly due to corrosion that I had to heat the starter casting in order to pry it loose. The picture shows the pin in the bell-housing.
In addition, I was able to remove the two bolts in the center of the picture-the top two bolts-using a 3/8 drive Torx socket, a u-joint, and very long extensions, reaching over the transmission from the rear while guiding the socket onto the bolts with the other hand. I got the one on the right side left in the picture guiding with my right hand and the one on the left sideright in the picture using my left hand to guide. This was no picnic. Then I had to heat the starter casting in order to separate the starter from the bell-housing.
I hope this helps somebody.
Good luck

Ivan Engle
October 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it.

When the pin is stuck, you can drive it out using a small punch. This has helped me many times over the years.- Nick at Pelican Parts
Linda Comments: I am about to tackle replacing the clutch on my 1984 325E. please tell me the engine to housing bolts will be easier on that model or I may have to send it to the shop. The rest of the job sounds simple enough
October 11, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It was a huge pain for me - you need to have just the right number and length of extensions in order to get them out. Really, it is a two-person job for those top ones. Two people would probably make it go pretty easily. I would try it yourself first. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Dinny Comments: I found this article extremely helpful...
My first attempt at a BMW 318I clutch replacement and thanks to this article for the help, i succeeded first time :D Cheers..
July 31, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sweat, glad it worked out well for you! - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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