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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Clutch Slave
Cylinder Replacement

Difficulty Level: 3
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

  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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[click to enlarge]

Figure
Figure 1

Figure
Figure 2

Figure
Figure 3

Figure
Figure 4

     The BMW 3-Series cars have a hydraulic clutch engagement system - there are no cables involved with the actuation of the clutch.  Although this actually creates a more reliable clutch system over time, there can be a failure or break-down of the system if the slave or master cylinder get old and begin to leak or fail.  A spongy feel to the clutch pedal, grinding of gears when shifting, long pedal travel, and hydraulic leaks under the car are all signs that one or more components of the system have failed.  The first place I like to start is the clutch slave cylinder, as it is easy and inexpensive to replace.

     Replacement of the slave cylinder is a snap.  Its location is easy to get to from underneath the car.  The slave cylinder is located on the left side of the transmission (Figure 1).  Two nuts fasten it to the transmission.  First, disconnect the hydraulic line from the cylinder.  Make sure you use a flare-nut wrench to remove the hose.  These hydraulic fittings have a tendency to strip if you don't use the proper tool.  Also, inspect the clutch slave line - you might want to replace it if it's bulging, or shows signs of cracking in the rubber.  Before you disconnect the line, make sure that you have a drip pan to catch the fluid that will leak out.

     Now, remove the two nuts that hold the cylinder to the transmission.  The slave cylinder should remove easily.  Install the new one and reattach the clutch fluid line.

     The system now needs to be bled.  I like to use the Motive Products Power Bleeder for this task (Figure 2).  For more information on using the Power Bleeder, see the Pelican Technical Article on Bleeding BMW Brakes.  Attach the power bleeder to the top of the master cylinder reservoir (Figure 3) and pump up the pressure in the bleeder.  Move to underneath the car and attach your bleeder hose to the bleed nipple on the slave cylinder (Figure 4).  Let the system bleed out until no more bubbles appear.

     When finished, remove the bleeder system, lower the car, and try the clutch again.  The pedal should have a good feel to it, and the clutch should engage normally.  If you are still having problems, you should try replacing your clutch master cylinder next (tech article coming soon).

     Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all.  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 and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this 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.

   
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Comments and Suggestions:
Zitronesaurus Comments: I bled the system the old fashion way by pumping the clutch pedal ... leaving it depressed and the releasing the bleeder valve on the slave. I would pump it about 20 times then bleed it. The pedal would not return on its own so I had to use my hands to pull and press. If the pressure was too high... why would I not feel that and why would the pedal not return on its own.
December 12, 2014
Zitronesaurus Comments: I just replaced my clutch slave cylinder with a Febi part on my E36 M3. While bleeding the system, the clutch pedal would NOT return on its own like it did before. While continuing to bleed to system the slave cylinder failed catastrophically. What gives? Is the master cylinder bad as well or is there something else all together wrong?
December 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the master was bad or the bleeding method damaged them. How are you bleeding the system? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
vais Comments: Installed new pressure plate and clutch disk. Changed the slave cylinder and still having issues with the clutch not disengaging. The car would not go in gear while running. Bleed the system out as much as I could. I do not loose pressure with the clutch at all. Need help please
November 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is the slave cylinder moving the clutch fork the full throw? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
skyb3r Comments: Hi there
I recently rebuilt me entire motor and also replaced the clutch plate and thrust & pilot bearings.
Now my car doesn't get any gears while running? And the clutch pedal is really stiff!
It seems like the clutch is permanently engaged? Any solutions please? 94 318i M43B18
October 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the trans grind when you try to put it in gear or does it go into gear and not move? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
330 ci Comments: hi,i have a 02 330ci clubsport 98,000 miles,its been parked for over a year, clutch worked fine a year ago. it works fine if i drive legal. but if i grab 2nd and give it the beans it slips then when i select 3rd it slips too, the bite point does seem to be higher than i remember,if i rest my size 12s on the pedal and push slightly it slip,
September 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the clutch is worn out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jake Comments: Hey I have a 91 318is and I know something g is wrong with the clutch somewhere in the system. The car goes the first 2000 rpm or so and then it fails the accelerate after that but the Roma still climb, I then need to shift to second extremely fast to keep gaining momentum. I feel like my clutch goes to the floor a lot easier then it had been. Could this be from one of the cylinders got g bad or is it my pressure plate?
September 30, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the clutch disc or pressure plate is worn. If it were a hydraulic issue, the clutch would not disengage, making it difficult to get into gear. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matt Comments: Hi! Thanks for the great writeup. I'm in the process of replacing a slave cylinder in a 1989 535i and the metal line connected to the rubber clutch line has snapped in half. Is there a way to bypass this?
September 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, you will have to replace it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: I have a 99 M3. When I got in it I pushed in the clutch, as one does before starting, and the pedal slammed hard into the floor. It wouldn't retract back into the up position without being pulled back up. Any ideas what could be causing this?
September 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be a faulty master or slave cylinder, or a faulty pressure plate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ben Comments: While driving around a corner, i go to shift into second and it just revs up, so I replace the slave cylinder thinking that would fix it, no dice. would the clutch engage,disengage at all even if it wasnt bled right? even thought the master still moves the slave could that be the problem? what if neither works, any other guesses. shifter was rebuilt recently and it still feels like it goes into the gearnot loosebut the clutch does grab it. any help is appreciated.
August 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the clutch only slip in second? If so, it could be a shift linkage issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Keith Freeman Comments: I failed to mention that after toeing the clutch up, it might fail to return by about 1 inch or so, everything works fine. I have had this happen twice in about 2000 miles, the clutch has been replaced and I inspected the parts so I was thinking it was an internal leak with the master or slave piston as there is no evidence of leakage on the garage floor. Again thank you for your great articles and assistance.
August 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks. I will comment in your earlier question. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Keith Freeman Comments: Hello, first I have to say that I have had great success with the Pelican articles and tips, thank you!! So, in rush hour occasionally the clutch pedal does not return to the original height, and I have to toe it up or risk grinding the gears, I am assuming this is a slave cylinder issue. This doesnt happen very often, only when the clutch is used heavily in stop and go traffic. I have a 93 325is. Thank you.
August 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the pedal is not returning, it could be the master or slave, especially if the clutch has already been replaced. I prefer to replace them as a pair.

If you suspect a leak, check the fluid level. If it is OK, I don't see how there can be a leak. This may require monitoring the level over a day or so.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
biotic93 Comments: Just changed the tranny nd slave cylinder but no fluids comes outwen i try bleeding it . What could be the problem
July 21, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Plugged line? CLosed bleeder? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frickster Comments: I have a ’95 325is. While driving it at low speed and when shifting from 1st to 2nd, the clutch engaged fine but I immediately felt the clutch pedal soften and there was a decent shutter in the clutch pedal not car itself. I was able to continue shifting successfully to get the car home but the soft pedal and shutter remained. There was no grinding, no smell of burnt clutch and no unwelcome sounds—except while stopped if I hold the clutch in all the way it's a sort of hollow mechanical sound, if that makes sense. Definitely not how it normally sounded. Also no fluid leakage under car and reservoir looks full. I read a suggestion to put the car in 5th and without giving any gas let the clutch out slowly. If it dies the clutch is fine but if it rolls slightly its worn out. Sure enough, it eased forward and didn’t die. Only recently I had experienced some slight sluggishness and was looking to replace spark plugs, then this issue occurred.

I have the following questions:
1. Is this 100% a worn out clutch? ~70,000 miles on it
2. Despite lack of visible leak, could it be clutch slave cylinder or master cylinder?
July 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds worn. The pressure plate or friction disc may have failed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
drewjd Comments: It is in such a tight place and I was concentrating on the connection from the master and the plastic insert. Online I saw a bit of a different setup and they released it by twisting the master and the insert popped out. On my setup you just need to remove the blue reservoir line from the plastic insert. There is no pressure this line does not have a clamp. No pressure until you try to bleed it
July 12, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up and additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
drewjd Comments: Ok, I figured it out. Guess I was being to easy on it. It just comes off the blue hose and then you have to remove the plastic connector from the cylinder or buy a new one.
July 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
drewjd Comments: Photo 4: - This is a shot of the fluid reservoir hose connecting to the top of the Master Cylinder.
July 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
drewjd Comments: Photo 3, This the connection I do not have an issue with. I posted it for reference to the type of Master I have.
July 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
drewjd Comments: Photo 2
July 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ok, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
drewjd Comments: Hello: I have a BMW 325-IC 1994, production date 10/93. The replacement Clutch Master Cylinder Part # 21-52-6-758-830-M36. I opted for the Febi Metal housing over The FTE Plastic. The Master has the hose connection coming from the reservoir. I have viewed some videos that have that connection with a plastic ring type connector. Mine does not have this type of connector. Not sure how to describe it. The connection to the Clutch Pipe leading to the Slave is also different with a screw type connection with a flange pipe. My question is how do you release/unhook the hose coming from the reservoir on the Master with this type of connector? Thanks! Drew
July 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I see you figured it out. Puling it out should work.

Ok, I figured it out. Guess I was being to easy on it. It just comes off the blue hose and then you have to remove the plastic connector from the cylinder or buy a new one. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Morgion Comments: I have a 1994 325i and got a clutch failure.
During shifting, pedal got stuck to floor, clutch disengaged.
Tried lifting the pedal back up, it required some force, and after I got the pedal up I got grinding noise and the car died. Tried again, no power to rear wheels despite the clutch allegedly having engaged at least partially hence noise.
Disengaged the clutch, which required some force because the clutch pedal was rock hard and it got stuck to the floor again.
Went out of car, noticed puddle of hydraulic fluid below transmission slave cylinder or hose failure.
Now cannot get clutch to engage any way, pedal stays to floor and stays up and has no resistance.

Loss of hydraulic pressure due to a rupture either in the slave cylinder or the hose would explain the clutch sticking to the floor. However, it doesn't explain why the clutch got stuck DISengaged. No pressure = clutch engaged, right? Was the grinding noise me grenading the clutch? Did I somehow manage to destroy the pressure plate?

Or worst possible scenario did the pressure plate fail first and the rupture was caused by me forcibly pressing the pedal down?

Clutch has been 100% silent and otherwise nonproblematic until it failed.

If it's the slave or master cylinder, no problem, that'll take a weekend.
If it's the pressure plate I'm selling the car to the wreckers.
Not worth it on a $2500 E36.
July 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The grinding may have beeen the pressure plate failing. If the vehicle will not drive and the hydraulic components are OK, you will have to inspect the clutch. It likely needs replacing. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lotti Comments: Hi iv got bmw 328 clutch was goin so took it to a garage they changed duel mass to single mass an put rest bk an now its not running rite it was when it went in but was sat there over 6 weeks . Can a dual mass to single mass make it not tick over seems to go ok when rag it but not fully I gess is bit werd
June 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would confirm the part is made for your vehicle, if not, put in the correct past.

When the vehicle hesitates, do RPMs go up with no real acceleration, or do they stay low with the lack of acceleration? - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
RobertoM3 Comments: Oh, and when engaging reverse gear, I feel strong resistance on the gear knob and I have to force the gear in, which makes a big clunky noise....
June 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If all gears work except reverse, it could be a linkage issue. I would have him inspect the shift rod and bushings. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RobertoM3 Comments: Hi, I have a European M3 E36 3.2l. My mechanic recently changed clutch kit and flywheel both LUK, new OEM clutch hose and new ATE Super Blue brake fluid the clutch system shares fluid with the brake system. I got the car back, and 1st and reverse are very tough to engage when the car is at full stop even other gears, just that I never start in 2nd or 3rd. When driving, gears change smooth enough, even 1st gear downshifting from 2nd gear. So my mechanic also changed the slave cylinder, but the problem persists. Tomorrow he will also be changing the master cylinder and hopefully this will resolve the problem...but I have doubts about this. Could it be that he didn't properly bleed the system? He is also thinking the new clutch kit could be defective....I doubt this possibility, have a feeling it's more about not improper bleeding. What is your opinion?
June 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If all gears work except reverse, it could be a linkage issue. I would have him inspect the shift rod and bushings. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DanTheM3Man Comments: My 99 E36 M3 is not grabbing all the way when slipping the clutch in reverse it grabs on an off in a sort of vibration, but it is not making noise. The strange thing is it is grabbing normally when slipping the clutch in 1st.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
May 19, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch may be glazed. Has it been fine up until now? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Comments: 540i Six Speed car-

Was traveling down the road the other day shifted from 2nd to 3rd and the clutch pedal went to floor. Put the car in neutral got it stopped off of the road and was able to manually get the pedal to come back but then it would not go all the way down and cannot get the car in gear. I tow it back home and now the pedal does go all the way down and operates as it should, I can get it in gear but when releasing it will grind and then engage. Pressure plate?? The clutch was making no noises before this happened. When not in gear I can press and release the clutch pedal and there are no noises..ie in neutral... Checked the hydraulics they are good no leaks, removed the slave it look ok as well.
April 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This does sound like a fault pressure plate. If you have access, try peaking into the transmission with a boroscope to inspect it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rob Comments: i was recently purched at an aution i was told the clutch may have been replaced but there is no clutch pressurre
April 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure what vehicle you have. Check the clutch cable or hydraulics. if they are OK, the clutch itself may be worn. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Gary Manders Comments: Afternoon. I have a 2005 320 msport and last few weeks have found clutch pedal but low sometimes but seems to rectify after driving a while. At weekend could not disengage clutch at all so could not start and found fluid under the car.
Managed to turn vehicle other way as was sloping down and it worked and we were able to change gears.
Today when driving pedal went to floor and now can't get any gear at all.
Please help!!!!
April 22, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds to me like a faulty slave or master cylinder. I would check them for leaks, if one is leaking, replace both. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rob Comments: I have been having issues bleeding my clutch in an e90 m3. i have been trying to bleed my clutch and got minimal pressure feel.After a bleeding seesion, In feeling the pedal i heard a crunch sound and it when straight to the floor? what can this be?
April 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Why were you bleeding it? Did you replace parts or are you trying to remedy a problem? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
hartlylad Comments: every time i pull away in first my revs drop very low and nearly stalls the engine, i have to rev it more than normal.... please help as my 320i drives lovely apart from the pull away in first gear
April 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You did not mention the year of your vehicle. I would check engine timing, if it jumped, the engine would hesitate at low RPMs. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Rozza M3 GermanSpec Comments: Hi Nick.
Issue 1I have a huge problem and need your help please. I have replaced my clutch but had to scheme the flywheel as well. The clutch kit was replaced perfectly but my car would not start. What could be the issue? Issue 2My machanic want to remove the gearbox not to check if the starter is alighned after they got the engine swinging a few times but the gearbox does not want to release. what could be the cause of this? Your help would be highly appreciated.
April 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Does the starter motor not engage or does it not turn on at all? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ryan Comments: I just did a stage 3 clutch and lightweight flywheel in my 1994 bmw 325i. drove it 2 or 3 miles a day for 3 days with no issues at all. clutch felt great, pedal was a little hard as expected from a stage clutch. the next day my buddy moved it while i wasnt there and when i got there i went to put a few more miles on it and when i got inthe clutch pedal was basically to the floor. could only move about 1 inch and felt spngy. i pulled the pedal p by hand and it felt pretty normal, but after a few pushes it did it again. i pushed the clutch and tried to start the car and it moved while cranking and kept getting stuck in gear. pulled the pedal up again and went for a drive and it felt normal. went home and parked it, and when i pushed the clutch it sprung right to the floor with no resistance. pulled it back a little and it springs right back up again. now it will not go in or out of gear without rocking the car to take the load off. A couple people have told me it could be the throwout bearing return spring disconnected, or the throwout bearing itself is shot. any help would be greatly appreciated! gonna pull the trans in a few days and would like to order parts first to cut down on wait time
April 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would inspect the hydraulic components before digging too deep. The new, heavier clutch may have accelerated an already failing clutch master or slave cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
damo Comments: Hi, Iv have had a little read through the past comments and have kind of simular issues. Basically I was driving fairly hard and found it was hard to get the car into gear. I would either have to pump the clucth numerous times to get a gear or start the car in gear of which it would then just drive on its own and after a little while it would be like normal, with the odd time of finding it hard to change. specially after a long motor way drive. It was like the clutch wasnt dis-engaging from the gear. I continued with this problem for a further 600 miles, untill today when the pedal was very lose with no resistance up or down and stuck in what ever gear i left it. i crawled home for a 1/4 mile home in 1st. If i stopped the car would stall. So i had to re-start the car when the traffic lights went green. I took it to a garage and they told me its the clutch, but the clutch doesnt slip and before today i would have ocasions where the gear changes were perfect. i've opted out of using them. Help Please
March 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch may be worn. If the hydraulic fluid is full and the system is working normally, the clutch components are the only items remaining to fail. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: I just got my truck back from the shop they replaced the slave master and the clutch. Went to come home and pushed the pedal it went straight to the floor with no resistance. I took it back in and they re-bled the master. After an hour they took it out for another test drive came back and it was shift okay, little rough going into first and reverse. But I still have no resistance in the pedal. What can I do so that I don't have spend another 500 to keep my truck going. It a v-6 96 for ranger 3.1 I think any help would be good at this point
February 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If they replaced the hydraulic components and there isn't a mechanical fault, there is still air in the system. These vehicles are touch to bleed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marc Comments: Tried everything to bleed clutch on my 84 325e, including gravity, and pressure bleed through the side of master cylinder, and still pedal goes to floor. Master and slave dont appear worn, just cant get the thing to bleed fully. Any tricks or suggestions?
February 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try bleeding up from the bleeder screw on the slave cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
FuzzyNations Comments: I own a 95 325I manual 5 spd. A few times now I have run low on clutch fluid with the pedal going to the floor. I see no leaks on the driveway over the past few months since it did this last. Now the sump is empty, I fill it with Dot4 fluid and it disappears as fast as I pour it in ! Where is it going? I didn't see any huge puddle under the car, only some small leaks from probably not filling it as accurately as I could have with the proper funnel. Then I stupidly tried to back the car up to check out the fluid puddle under the car prior to securing the Master Cylinder lid and what lil fluid was in the system all came out like a Volcano all over the top of the motor - Very Frustrating! I was able to clutch it a few blocks home from the parts store and park it. Now I am reading this Forum and deciding what to do next. Where is all that fluid I installed going to? I haven't checked my floorboard yet for interior leakage and which part has gone defective ? Thanks for your help !!!
February 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be a leaky slave or master. if it isn't holding any fluid, it has to be a large leak. I would inspect each component on the system for leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Billy Bill Billster the First Comments: Oh and sorry, I know you aren't Hyudai people, but it's all the same basic principles and I need a solution. So thanks again
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Billy Bill Billster the First Comments: So,I have a 2008 Hyundai accent and I was driving and pushed the clutch in and I heard a kind of popping noise and from then on the clutch was really loose and slipped whenever I tried to accelerate. I checked all of the hydraulic lines and there are no leaks that I could see. What could have gone wrong to make this happen? Thanks!
February 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch disc or pressure plate may have failed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sims Comments: GOOD DAY GUYS
I got a problem with knocking noise fro hydraulic lifters from 1992 316i, is my guess right or it is something else?
February 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Without hearing the noise I cannot really comment for sure. I would try to isolate the area, make sure engine oil level and pressure is correct before digging too deep. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
kendrick Comments: I changed my clutch and master cylinder and it runs but want drive i can put it in every gear and will not go any where it s 87 325e help me plz
February 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the clutch is stuck engaged. Try disconnecting the slave cylinder from the transmission. If the problem remains, there is an issue with the clutch mechanical components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sibusiso Simon Comments: bled the clutch line and checked the slave,found no leak but the pedal is still soft.What's suprising is thatI can engage gears without depressing the clutch pedal and they engageon idling.I am lost ,what is the problem,clutch or what?
February 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like the clutch has is stuck disengaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sbusiso Simon Comments: thanks,very useful I will try it now hope my clutch problem will go away
February 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
MarMar Comments: Noticed a day ago when I drove my 95 m3 that the clutch felt a little odd it would feel normal at times then a little soft so I didn't mind much to it. Well today I drove it again and noticed the brake fluid light flickering on the cluster, I was 5 mins away from home and as I was getting closer to home I noticed my clutch was getting weaker to the point that I couldn't put it into any gear. So I parked the car and looked under the car, noticed it was leaking brake fluid by the sway bar? By the tranny. It drove fine days before so how could this happen out of no where? Please help thanks..
January 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is how leaks develop. The seal may have failed, causing a slow leak, then a rapid drop in sustainable pressure. I would repair the leaking hydraulic components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MrWareWolf Comments: Luv this DIY! I have an e36 325ic. My clutch seems to be failing to disengage completely at times. The reason I say this is not related to the pedal, the resistance seems fine, and the point of engagement seems normal. However, when I have the clutch to the floor, and pull it out of gear I sometimes can barely hear a thud noise. Now I know that I need to review the fluid in the brake/clutch master cyl. first, but what would be the next to check? Cracked or worn lines? Also, if I rev it up, and pop the clutch it slips and slips and slips but it does also move the car forward, just not with the tire-screetching you would expect from releasing the clutch at say 4k rpm. I appreciate the help! You guys rock!
January 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the fluid level is fine and the clutch hydraulics are operating normally, your clutch maybe worn. Especially with the slipping, I would assume the problem is with the clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Cinco Comments: Hello, have a high clutch pedal. Grabs up high. Clutch disc, pressure plate and tid bits are new. Master , slave and flywheel is still original. 87 E30 325e. Bled successfully. Clutch will disengage and shifts fine but it feels like I have the minimal of movements up high to engage the clutch. No grinding or noises.
January 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If it is high, it could be due to a wrong or worn part. I would double check all the part numbers you installed. Since it is a hydraulic system, there isn't a true pedal adjustment. I believe there is a pedal height adjustment, but I have never seen this remedy a pedal height issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Velek Comments: Mat, one of the things I do is just sit in my car with my foot on the brake. If the brake pedal sinks you could very likely have a bad master cylinder. It might take a few moments, though. I've caught one that way. Pedal went right to the floor after a few seconds.
December 18, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Mick Comments: 1985 318i, manual trans, can't find clutch reservior to check fluid level. Manuals say it's next to brake reservior. Not so on my car!! Clutch travels all the way to floor board with very little resistance, can not shift gears! How do I check clutch fluid level?? Thanks!!
December 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if there is a hose going to the brake master cylinder. If so, the clutch master shares the reservoir with the brake master. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nick Comments: I bled my clutch again for two hours and got the feel back. There was lots of air in the line. The clutch now catches a lot sooner than before when I purchaed the car.
December 9, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nick Comments: I recently changed the brake and clutch fluid on my 1995 318ti. I used the MityVac to change the fluid. After I finished, the clutch pedal has no resistance and figured air was in the line. I rebled the clutch until it was a constant flow but the clutch still feels the same. Has my slave cylinder gone out? With the engine off, I can get into 3 and 4 easily but the other gears are hard to shift.

I had also changed the transmission fluid the same time.
December 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can remove the slave cylinder from the side of the transmission without disconnecting the fluid line and watch if it activates when the clutch pedal is depressed. The fact that gears are hard to shift when the engine is off is worrisome and not likely to be related to the clutch or its hydraulics. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RichyRich Comments: Well I just recently replaced clutch master & Slave cylinder & I still had bad gear changes. So now the problem got worse. I was in a stop with my foot on the clutch when suddenly I heard this snap & it disingaged the car accelerated by itself so then I braked & this whining, screaching noise came up but it will only make it when I would start to accelerate.... Could it be my throw out bearing or the fork?
December 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like something in the clutch itself is broken. In any case, the transmission will have to come out so the problems can be repaired. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JollyGQ Comments: Thank you for the write-up. It helped me to locate and identify the parts. Question: Is there a way to tell if it's the Master or the Slave that is bad? Or does everyone just replace both Slave first and Master if that doesn't fix it? The pedal easily pops all the way back...there is no pressure at all, so at first, I'm inclined to think it's the master since that is the drive piston. The fluid hose from the Master to the Slave is most wet on the slave side so I'm thinking the Slave is defective. I miss my old clutch cable car...lol. I guess I could pull the slave and have someone depress the pedal and see if I can hold the piston in by hand using something hard to block it, not just my hand? I'd appreciate your input on this. I'm tight on funds and would hate to replace the wrong part.
December 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Most clutch hydraulic failures show up as a leak in either of the two cylinders (or both). If there is no pressure, it's possible the system ran low on fluid and sucked in air. Fill up the brake reservoir and try bleeding. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
nana Comments: Hi I own a 1997 540i and I have a question my Car was running good no problem but I let my brother borrow it and all of the sudden the car left him stranded on yhe hwy . He said the clutch all of the sudden became stiff and ithe car wont start. The car was towed to my house but I noticed a leakeage iunder my car... can it be the slave cylinder ? Or the clutch? The pressure plate ?? The car wont start because of the clutch ! What can be my problem? Please help !
December 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It sounds like the clutch pressure plate failed but that is an odd failure mode. Make sure there is nothing stuck under the clutch pedal! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RichyRich240sx Comments: I have a 91 240sx I have recently replaced my slave cylinder & clutch master cylinder. My pedal feels stiff, from what I know, I know that the pedal needs to have like an inch of free play. Ok so when I feel the pedal it feels stiff then I press it down & I have like 3 inches of nothing till I feel it when it engages. Ok and the other problem is that after I replaced all that & bled it when change gears it feels like it grinds it doesn't feel like a smooth gear change. Can the problem be my synchronizers?
November 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You need to bleed the clutch hydraulics really well. One inch of free play at the top, no more, or you can damage your transmission. If bleeding is does not fix the problem you most likely have a defective clutch.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jon Comments: Hi, I've just replaced the clutch in a 94 318is and I know the clutch needs to be bled still but what does it mean when I put it in any gear without clutch and nothing happens? I'm so lost.
November 14, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: engine running, you put it in gear and the engine doesn't move? Sounds like the pressure plate isn't clamping. You may have an issue with the mechanical components.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kenzo Comments: hi, l hve a 2006 bmw 320d e90, the car has no power at all especially when pulling out of my basement parking, its like u hve to ride the clutch cause the car feels its gonna stall anytime u let go of the clutch pedal. on reverse the clutch smells like its burning is that normal? on the road the car has no boost from the 1st, 2nd gear and only becomes better on 3rd gear,
November 12, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you smell the clutch, I would start there. Under load uphill, perceived power will decrease if the clutch is slipping. The clutch cannot hold the engine, resulting in the loss. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
loraine Comments: Good day, i have a BMW e36 318i 1994 i need to replace the black pipe that goes from the back of the intake to the idle controller please, can someone tell me how to do this with instructions or pictures please
October 29, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If we get the chance to perform that repair, we will be sure to document it. In the mean time, see if this tech article can you get you part way there:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/101-Projects-12-Intake-Manifold/101-Projects-12-Intake-Manifold.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Shades Comments: Many thanks for your feedback, much appreciated.
Your understanding is absolutely correct. Car is a 2001 BMW320 Ci.
I disassembled the unit twice to check and all seemed to fit okay.
Fork and thrust bearing moved freely, also checked with clutch slave cylinder removed. Really bizarre as pressure plate new and seated correctly. On second re~assembly, the gearbox offered to engine with complete support and connecting with ease. Clutch kit I bought had a thrust bearing and I bought one separate, maybe I mixed but I am confident both same! Parts selected on car registration number!
Really puzzled. Guess will have to strip and check against original parts.
Almost felt like the thrust bearing could not interface with springs on pressure plate.
October 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's possible the bearing is the issue. I think your best bet is to compare the parts with what came out. I always do that when installing new stuff, just to be sure. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Shades Comments: Hi,

Just installed a clutch assy friction-plate, pressure plate and thrust bearing.
Afte completion,, clutch operation is almost solid without any feel that clutch is being operated.
Stripped it and re-assembled, but exactly same outcome.
With the clutch slve cylinder removed, checked the thrust bearing operating but no clutch operation.

could you kindly comment ?

Regards
October 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what kind of vehicle you have, so I'll have to comment generically.

When you apply the clutch, it does not disengage, this sounds like what you are describing. If the hydraulic components are operating normally and in good condition, it is possible that the wrong parts were installed, resulting in a rock hard pedal when the clutch is pedal is depressed. If the fork is jammed into the throwout bearing and pressure plate, you will not have any movement.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dj Comments: Hello, I just purchased a 2001 325ci and I've noticed that the clutch gets a lot stiffer after a 15 mile drive to work and will go back to normal on my way home when the car has had had time to cool down. 90k on the odometer. Only the cooling system has been replaced. What could be the issue here?
October 8, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a throw out bearing that is sticking or a faulty pressure plate. You will have to remove the trans to check them.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ryan Comments: Hello, I just replaced my clutch slave on my 2001 330ci. I ran into problems when bleeding. I was doing the traditional 2 people pump and bleed, and I wasnt building pressure in the clutch pedal. Then, as 30 minutes went by of continuous pumping and bleeding, I start getting pressure a little bit, but lose it because my new brake fluid started leaking and dripping off the right side of my transmission. I dont know what to do next. Thanks for your help, looking forward to finishing this, because I can't move my car out of my driveway now.
October 6, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: When bleeding a clutch hydraulic system, I suggest pressing the pedal down once, then opening bleeder. The throw of the master is very small and pumping it more than once isn't helpful. If you are having trouble bleeding it, try opening the bleeder and pumping fluid up through the slave to the master.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
djmdesign Comments: Brendan 325IS. you can adjust your clutch height via the master cyl . when you replace the master cyl. you have a adjustment you want the center of the clutch pedal at a 90% angle to the floor at. meaning the bar that curves down and hadls the pedal on it. where the pedal is welded to the bar should be 90%.
July 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
djmdesign Comments: this is how I cleaned and bleed my clutch. your break fluid should be changed frequently. it simple enough to every year or 2. depending on how many miles you drive. every 25-30k is good. remove the screen in your master cyl. once you remove the cap you should see it. I used needle nose players. some turn a bit some don't. then take a turkey baster and suck up the brown fluid and squirt it back in. keep doing this to break up all the sludge... suck up all the oil refill and repeat this . make sure you don't leave any slugde or chunks of sludge in there as it can and probably will clog one of your lines. mainly the clutch. also don't press the breaks or clutch at all!!! once you have clear fluid use a air hose from a fish tank. they are cheap. heat the end of it up and slip it on and off the clutch slave cyl a few times to stretch the hose so its easy to remove and get back on... OK now don't use the whole 4feet of hose. you want enough to go from the bleed screw to the ground into a container. fill a small container I used a plastic party cup.. fill this with about a inch of break fluid. then suck the fluid up through the hose as close to your mouth as you can get it and quickly pinch the hose and slip it on the bleed screw.... don't let the end in the cup come out of the fluid or you will get air in the hose.... we are doing this so no air can go back through the hose into the slave.
OK now put the cap on your master cyl which is full of clear fluid... put pressure on the clutch while a friend opens the bleed screw with the hose on it. once your foot hits the floor have him tighten the screw. you don't need a lot of pressure. do it slowly!
OK now lift the clutch with your foot. if it doesn't stay up gently pump it until it gets hard a solid pedal. repeat these steps until you can't see ANY bubbles moving through the hose. my car took about 15 times to do this my friends took 5 times. keep an eye on your fluid level in the master cyl. don't let it get to low. you may have to come back after a couple thousand miles and do it again.
that's it.

if you have problems grinding etc try replacing the rubber hose from the slave cyl to the master. you can remove this hose and inspect it. but just because it looks good doesn't mean it isn't corroded inside. replace it
July 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Sol Comments: Hi, my Bmw 2006 232i clutch is stiffy,what can be the problem?
July 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Stiff? It is a hydraulic clutch, if it feels stiff, something mechanical must be binding. Inpsect the mechanical clutch components. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ken Comments: I have a 1992 BMW 325is that I am replacing the slave cylinder , I purchased the Motive Power Bleeder from Pelican . My question is , how much pressure to I build up before I turn the bleeder screw ?
June 7, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Here are the instructions from them manufacturer. They state you should not exceed 20 psi:

http://motiveproducts.3dcartstores.com/Power-Bleeder-Instructions_ep_50.html - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Brendan 325IS Comments: Hi.. I have a 325is... I replaced the Clutch with a Sachs Kit 15000km ago... and recently found my Clutch is very high.. So i replaced the Slave... The clutch is still very High.. Its like u have to almost leave the clutch Fully before it engages.. BUT.. its not riding at all... How can i bring my Clutch to Half or even Below halfClose to the Floor.. Thank You
June 4, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the slave and master are cylinder are the correct ones for the car, the only other option for a high clutch is a worn component. ie: clutch disc, pressure plate or flywheel. As the clutch componenets wear, the pressure plate travel increases, decreasing pedal feel. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jesse Comments: the clutch goes up and down just fine, feels softer or easier than it did before but the actual pedal moves and I'm able to shift and drove on the highway, it just seems to be delayed and not releasing all the way
April 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. See my reply to your other comment. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jesse Comments: so my car is being really wierd, after I let off the clutch it takes about 30 seconds or more to actually disengage, then it seems like when I'm driving it will engage itself, like I'll just be driving along and all of a sudden the RPM's go up and then down as if I had put the clutch in....
April 30, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a worn clutch. Inspect the condition of your clutch disc and pressure plate. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Trace Comments: Hey, E, about your hydraulic line facing upward, I found it a lot easier to disconnect the line on the other end, where it mounts at the chassis. You just need an 11mm line wrench and a 14mm open end.
April 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the tip, this is a great help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
E Comments: the hydraulic line is facing upward and it seems impossible to get to, help...
January 21, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you referring to the line on the slave cylinder? It is on the upper side of slave cylinder, but not impossible to get to. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mitch Comments: one day i was driving around and parked my 97 E36 and came back a couple hours later and my clutch would not work. i would press down the clutch but could not get my car in gear and when i tried to put it in reverse, it would grind. so i pulled out the old clutch and pressure plate and they were pretty much fused together. so i replaced the clutch, pressure plate, throw-out bearing and the slave cylinder. i put it all back together and am having the exact same problem. when i press the pedal down, it dose not disengage the clutch. could this be because i may have put the pressure plate in the opposite way? someone told me about some sort of slave cylinder adjustment. is there such a thing? I need help. this is driving me crazy.
November 13, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if the clutch is new and not releasing, inspect the clutch hydraulic system. Check that the slave cylinder is pressing on the clutch fork when the clutch pedal is depressed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rick Comments: hi i have a 92 325i . clutch pedal goes straight to the floor and dosent come back up i can pull it back up but nohting just up and down id it that the slave is just out? or they both should be bled?
September 4, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the clutch pedal goes tot he floor, inspect the clutch hydraulic system. Check that the slave cylinder is pressing on the clutch fork when the clutch pedal is depressed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Kirk Comments: I'm going to replace the slave cylider on my 96 318ti. I wanted to know if I have to use a power bleeder or can I just do it the old fashion way and use a friend to pump the pedal? Thanks.
May 15, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The power bleeder will help, but I have been bleeding these systems manually for years with no problems. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
brook Comments: Hi Pelican parts/Wayne-hey it looks like you dedicate a lot of time to helping poeple out, can you help me. This is the background.I have replaced the engine in my 1990 325is instead using a US 1997 M3 motor and transmission. The clutch slave cylinder that I have installed is from a 1992 325. The clutch/pressure plate and throw out bearing are form a 94 M5. I am not getting clutch disengagement ie the clutch is not allowing me to change gears and feels as though it is always engaged. Are the slave cylinder internal dimensions vastly different hence causing my issue? or is there another likely cause. its a long Question and i thank you in advance for your time.
May 2, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This a hard quesrtion to answer. My advice is to measure the throw of the pressure plate / fork, then use the slave cylinder with the correct travel. You can start by using the slave cylinder that matches the clutch components on you vehicle - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Ibdrftn Comments: have a 1992 325i which the slave cylinder went out on me while I was sitting at a red light. I ended up replacing the master and slave but keep blowing out slave cylinders when I start getting pressure from bleeding the system. I checked my clutch fork and that thing isn't giving at all. I'm wondering if I have a throwout bearing problem and need to get a new clutch kit or did I cause damage to my clutch fork while trying to limp my car home? Any info would help me out greatly!
January 19, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try moving the clutch fork with a prybar. If it won't move, it could be seized. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Albert Comments: Woke this morning to 30 degrees outside, got into my 87 325ic and the clutch pedal went to the floor no pressure at all. checked the resevoir it was low but not much. started the car, lifted the peddal off the floor and pumped it a few times. it got enough pressure to drive to the store but the clutch barely grabes. the pedal is way low to the floor. How can you tell if its the clutch master or the slave cyclender?
January 14, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can check for fluid leaking from either one. This would be an indicator of pressure loss. Another way would be to press themaster cylinder while holding the slave cylinder still. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jonski Comments: my 92 318i,106 460 km,clutch works ok when driving but if stop at light or stop and go queue cant get any gear,pump pedal a few times and ok till stop again,had system pressure bled and no difference,clutch or slave cylinder ?
January 7, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You can check for fluid leaking from either one. This would be an indicator of pressure loss. Another way would be to press themaster cylinder while holding the slave cylinder still. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
mario mutz morello Comments: newbie here 84 318i my carpet is wet with brake fluid i removed underdash cover and turned the rubber end dust cover small factory hole slowly pushed pedal and fluid squirted out does this mean my master cylinder is done? thankx just a new guy
December 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you have fluid on the floor, it will likely be the clutch master or brake master cylinder. Inspect then both, look for signs of fresh fluid dripping. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rjracin240 Comments: Neighbor has a Z3, he has asked me to help him repair the clutch. Pedal goes straight to floor, looked underneath hood and did not see a resevoir for the master cylinder. Observed a hose go through firewall into area under dash. Owners manual had no instruction for servicing clutch. I spoke to a part salesman this afternoon for Pelican and he said the brake master cylinder resevoir feeds the clutch, he seemed very sketch y at first unfortunately and am not sure if this is correct.

Basically looking for instruction as to how to service clutch fluid, if there are any known failure points to look at under dash and is it possible for clutch fluid to go all the way down but still leave fluid in brake master cylinder?
December 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch fluid is drawn from the master cylinder reservoir via a rubber braided hose. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bambel Comments: My 93 325i is making a noise when I push the clutch pedal sounds like rings clinging but every gear is engaging like it should, it doesnt even grind my gears. So should I ignore it or should I find out what the problem is and fix it.
September 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should try to find the source of the noise and repair it. You could be hearing a part that is about to fail. Better to repair it than be stranded and stuck with a tow bill. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rod azar Comments: hi thanks for your artical ,i have 2000 Mroadster only 33000 mile . all origenal week end fun local drive .all
service on time . two night ago drive short and try to come back push the clutch click down stay so tow to local delare .they cal next day try to scoro to put new clutch .
i cal back no way , must be herolic .. then soon as i find out i am moveing the car .telling the master cylander has broken in side , who you trust .. you thanks
September 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would ask them to review the faulty component with you. Either part you mentioned could cause the issue. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jason268 Comments: Question...what would happen if I took the slave cylinder off first and then took the hydraulic line off? It seems impossible to get a wrench up there to access the nut holding the hydraulic line to the slave.
September 3, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Other than it being hard to hold the slave cylinder still while loosening the line, nothing. You can do it that way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joe Comments: I ran into a bad problem, i read this DIY and many other stuff i researched on google because today in the morning when i got into my car and started the engine and put it in reverse to get out of my parking spot the the shifter popped back out to neutral and made a loud grinding noise, and i also cant put it into any other gear but these dont even go in. I can shift into every gear and reverse when the cars not on, im assuming its slave cylinder and low brake fluid and i gotta bleed the cylinder? The pedal does feel spongy and however the symptons in this DIY say just a spongy pedal, however my cars isnt even drivable. Is my problems something more severe than just a replacement slave cylinder and bleeding?
August 28, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the fluid level to start. If it is low, you may have a faulty component causing a leak. When you press on the clutch pedal, the slave cylinder should move the clutch fork. That is a quick way to test the function of your clutch hydraulic system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ayam666 Comments: Hi, How long would a slave cylinder last? I have replaced mine twice in 6 years. Driving is really minimum - less than 8,000km a year.
July 2, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It's really hard to say. I would say on a well maintained vehicle you should get 100,000 miles of out one. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
cobus Comments: Hi have bmw 325i 1995 model my clutch go low when I lift the clutch pedal then the clutch is fine for a while.please can you tell what is the problem
June 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: you could have a faulty hydraulic component or a worn clutch. Check the hydraulic system first, as that is easiest.

Check the fluid level to start. If it is low, you may have a faulty component causing a leak. When you press on the clutch pedal, the slave cylinder should move the clutch fork. That is a quick way to test the function of your clutch hydraulic system. - Nick at Pelican Parts - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Joe Comments: follow up few weeks later now. clutch went out again twice, this time the res was way low id fill it up and pump clutch with everything closed and it would come back for a week or so, ive done this 3 times now so theres a leak somewhere but it aint under car i parked on a white board and next day clean as can be. every week its about a pint low any ideas where this fluid is going?
May 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you checked if the clutch master is leaking into the interior of your vehicle? I would inspect the master for leaks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
kino323i Comments: Hi Pelican Staff, I have a 1999 232i. I park my car and when I came back to it the clutch pedal was stiff when pressing down on top of that no gears would engage. Car turn on fine and and the transmission did not showed symptoms of slipping. The only thing that I did notice was that for a while back it started to idle irregular, were there the RPMs would raise and then come down, it felt like a lost of power for a moment. please advise.
April 30, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You could have a mechanical problem with the clutch components. I would check if the clutch fork is moving or if it jammed. you can try to move it manually with a lever.

The engine idle issue may be a separate problem. I would address as if it were. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
joe Comments: I also noticed that on my slave the bleeder valve is pointing down. i have not removed the slave its the way it was when i found it. i read somewhere that it should be pointing up and might be upside down but figure 1 picture in this article shows it pointing down unless the picture is upside down, please clerify. thanks
April 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bleeder should be pointing down and slightly away from the transmission. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
joe Comments: Additional info: asked around a few mechanics i know cause this situation is almost supernatural. answers i got were not helpful. to clear a few things up the bleeder valve is not clogged, infact the whole valve was taken out of the car and then stupid but curious me drove the car around the block without the valve in the slave. shifted fine and no fluid leaked out at all. res is still where it was before trip. Im not understanding how im not getting any fluid discharge at the bleed valve no matter what i do. there has to be a clogged line or something but how will the slave operate properly if theres no fluid going through it or am i totally off here. my understanding is that this is a hydrolic devise no fluid means no operation correct? Im thinking the slave might be clogged up and its as simple as just removing it and replacing it but its working so i dont really want to do that unless its the problem. thanks
April 21, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There could be two things happening; you either have a restriction, or no fluid is reaching the master.

When trying to bleed, loosen the line at the master, check if fluid comes out, then work your way toward the slave.

if you suspect no fluid is getting to the master, check for a plugged hose or reservoir. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
joe Comments: Clutch went to floor easily with no resistance at all, ordered bressure bleeder from you guys and attempted to bleed the slave, when i loosen the bleed valve nothing comes out at all no air or fluid, clutch is now working and pedal is noce and stiff. however still unable to bleed? i can take bleed valve all the way out and nothing comes out with pressure bleeder hooked up and pumped to 15psi or with pressing the clutch??? is it possible something is clogged if so what? slave or lines going to it? thanks
April 20, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I answered your question follow up from 4/21. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
RangerGress Comments: The trick with bleeding the clutch is to get the slave cylinder upside down so the nipple is the highest point in the slave. You can either do this first, or you can go thru a quart of brake fluid, cuss a lot, and come back the next night, remove the slave, invert it and drive on.

When you remove the slave and invert it you have to rig up something to keep the piston shoved in the slave cyl. There's inexpensive tools around for this, a fixture sort of thing, or you can rig up something with a big C clamp or something.
April 19, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. This is a great tip and will surely help someone when dealing with a tricky bleeding situation. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
+CountVladdy+ Comments: QUOTE: Justin Comments: This has to be one of the most USELESS DIYs ever. It literally say's "bleed the clutch until its done." what good is that? how about telling me HOW to bleed the clutch....QUOTE

What a bloody rude thing to say. I've found the Pelican articles to be really helpful time and time again.
It clearly shows the bleed nipple of the slave cylinder in Fig.4. If you've bled brakes before then do the procedure in the same way. What's mysterious about that Justin? If you don't know how to bleed a hydraulic system then either do a search on it, bleeding brakes etc or ask politely. Why get arsey with the OP? Made yourself look like a tit. Politeness and manners will get you everywhere. You forget that others have extended their time & knowledge in putting such articles together. I have aircooled Volkswagens and have always done every type of work on these myself self taughtincluding welding and bodywork resto etc as well, but when it comes to the other half's e36 the info on these pages has been really helpful.
Rant over. Thanks again to Pelican & Wayne etc for the articles.

Dan
March 5, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks Dan. Some people just have limited amounts of patience. There are additional tech articles in this section on how to perform the bleeding process if one just looks there. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Lotek Comments: from the picture, i saw that you were using a tube connected from the bleeder valve into a containerbottle,what's the diamete of the tube?
March 1, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The inside diameter is 7mm. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
twistd6 Comments: In your pics and on my 88 325iC the slave cylinder bleeder valve points down. Is this the proper way to orient it? How do you remove air bubbles sitting in the fluid chamber above the bleeder? Thx!
February 24, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Typically on hydraulic systems the bleeder valve *should* be located on the top of the cylinder. Indeed, this is so that you can bleed the cylinder and remove bubbles from the line. I'm not sure if yours is installed upside down (I'm not even sure if that is possible). I would remove it and see if you can orient it with the bleeder valve on top. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
E30ist Comments: Hey there, So my clutch has been a little sticky feeling coming back up from being depressed, today while buying new tires, the clutch pedal went to the floor and wouldn't come back up on it's own. They got it back up and told me it was something with the throwout arm. do I need a new clutch or could it be the master or slave cylinder? It's working again for now but I'm not sure how long their fix will last....Thanks again for what you do!
February 15, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't think it would be anything with your throw-out arm, that doesn't make sense to me. I would guess that either your master cylinder or slave cylinder are leaking and causing a loss of pressure. You might be able to fix the problem by simply bleeding the system, but if that doesn't work I would start by replacing the slave first, and then the master. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
durty Comments: Does the power brake bleeder do anything different than having someone inside the car pushing the clutch in to build up pressure? I did the 2 man procedure but the bleed nipple is on the bottom of the slave and I think because of this there are still air bubbles in the system.
January 26, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I had someone else ask about this recently. I think the bleed nipple needs to be on the top - it may be installed upside down in your car. I would remove it and check to see if it can be flipped around. As for bleeding, the two-man system is just as good, if not better than the power bleeder. I actually recommend bleeding with the power bleeder first, and then performing the two-man routine afterward. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
without a trace Comments: I just installed a new slave cylinder on my 85 325e. All went well and clutch works however the clutch goes 75% to the floor before engaging. Then the clutch seems to operate. I'm wondering if thete is another issur or could air be trapped in the clutch master cylinder? When bleeding the system without a power bleeder should the clutch be pumped the same way you bleed brakes or should the clitch pedal be left alone and just let fluid drip? Thank you for the tech article. It has been a great help.
December 29, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Indeed, the power bleeder works best, but if you need to perform a manual bleed, then by all means, you should be pumping the pedal to remove the air from the system. This indeed might account for the pedal travel that you're experiencing. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Kahlin Comments: I have changed my slave cylinder twice on my 96 M3 and once I get it installed I fill the reservoir, pump the clutch and then the slave starts leaking. My lines are tight and all, and I know for sure its coming from the slave. Any suggestions?
December 22, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you've changed it twice now, that means that a total of three have been leaking (one original one and two replacements). I would guess that it's leaking from where the line attaches to the cylinder. I would take a close look at this connection and/or wrap it in some teflon tape if you think it might be the culprit. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Squirrel Comments: I have a 1985 325e bought a new slave cylinder and can not get it to bleed. Is fluid suppose to leak from the resevoir
line that attaches to the slave cylinder because nothing is leaking at all from the resevoir line .Think something may be stopped up.
November 13, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure that you have ample fluid in the reservoir. It needs to be filled up all the way to the top. The fluid pickup for the clutch is located above the pickup for the brakes. The reasoning behind this is that you want your clutch to stop working first when you run out of fluid, not your brakes. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
fnitty Comments: my 1995 325is is makes a grinding noise when i push the clutch in can u help? do you have any idea what that is.
November 4, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There's probably something worn with the clutch (probably the throw out bearing), and it most likely needs to be replaced (clutch job). - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Chris Comments: I am frequently refilling the brake fluid with every use, practically. Is the fluid that passes through the slave cylinder brake fluid filled from the chamber right under the hood? I have a 1985 318.
November 1, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes it is. I would check that out right away - the fluid must be leaking out somewhere. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
rob Comments: need some input, i have no pressure what so ever pedal just goes down and comes right back up, no resistance at all .. pulled the slave it was soaked with fluid i depressed the rod on the slave. it moves very easy and makes a air sound like seal inside is blown... think this is the whole problem ,,,, drove fine the night before no problems what so ever
October 30, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yup, I agree - sounds like a bad slave cylinder that needs replacement. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Justin Comments: This has to be one of the most USELESS DIYs ever. It literally say's "bleed the clutch until its done." what good is that? how about telling me HOW to bleed the clutch....
October 30, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: As you can see in the article, the instructions on how to bleed refer to the article on bleeding brakes, which is nearly identical. See this link here for more information: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/Mult-Bleeding_Brakes/Mult-Bleeding_Brakes.htm - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
bm318is Comments: hi guys i have a 318is and i just replaced the clutch i put a whole 3 pice kit in bearing disc and pressure plate the old bearing was makin a lot of noise so i just decided to change the lot while i was at it. it's bk 2gether now and when it's running it's v hard to get gears no prob when car is not running..... didnt have this prob when old clutch was in there! anyone any idea what the problem cud be??????
October 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It could be that your clutch is not releasing all the way. The test for this is to put the car in neutral, press the clutch pedal in, wait 10 seconds and then put it into reverse. If the car grinds gears at this point, then your clutch is not releasing all the way and is "dragging". You might have to bleed the slave cylinder, or there might be something installed incorrectly with the clutch if this grinding happens. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
mike Comments: hey, on my 98 318ti, i have problems shifting into 2nd gear. once i release my clutch, it will grind and pop out of 2nd gear. it happened so fast, but i am pretty sure that it grinds even when your clutch is engaged and you are trying to put it into 2nd gear. its hard to tell, it seems to only have done it because i was stuck in traffic more the last 2 weeks. any ideas? its also only 2nd so far.
October 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like you have a problem with your transmission, second gear is not engaging properly. Drain the fluid and check if there is metal, a sign of internal damage. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
scott Comments: Please help, I've changed out the slave and master cylinders, but when i push the clutch it still goes to the floor with ease and stays there, Ive bled it probably 15 times, removed the master and slave twice, and rebled, cheked the hoses, and put it all back together, Im so frustrated and lost now, cause its doing the same thing. pedel just goes to the floor and stays there. 1991 525i.
any response will be highly appreciated thanks.
September 11, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Well, if you've replaced everything and properly bled everything as well, the only other thing I can think of is that your throw-out arm is broken or damaged. Still, this is unlikely. When you're bleeding, there should be a steady flow of fluid coming out of the bleed nipped on the slave. I would use a pressure bleeder if you haven't done that previously. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
PureBlooD Comments: r.harrsion891: Your Throwout bearing is failing, or I should say it has failed. I would recommend replacing your clutch disc and pressure plate, flywheel, and slave cylinder at the same time. You will soon find it impossible to move the clutch pedal at all.
September 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the help and input on this. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
r.harrsion891 Comments: I have a slightly different problem with my 318is. The clutch pedal is incredibly hard to push down. The bite point is millimeters off the floor, and at times I cannot engage 1st gear unless I cut the engine, engage the gear then start the engine again. Also I have noticed a grinding noise when the car is running and no gear is engaged.

Any ideas?
September 3, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Hmm, I would guess that your clutch is on its way out and needs to be replaced. If you don't want to perform a full clutch job, you might just try bleeding the clutch master/slave system to see if that improves things. But I think you're clutch is probably the issue. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Brandon Comments: Hey barry I am having the same issue where my clutch sticks to the floor. I can pull the pedal up with my hand and it will be ok for a bit. Did you ever resolve the issue and how?
August 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Typically this means that the clutch slave / master need to be bled and that there is air trapped somewhere inside the system. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Si Comments: Bro,need your advice here my M40 E36 1991 4 cylinder which in Indonesia call 318i having sponging problem only once the road is jam..when I need to push and release the clutch pedal in many times..the sponging fells worse..and the engine rpm drop from 2000 to 800 once the clutch engage to the flywheel and engine rpm lazy to speed up..once in the 2nd gear..the car speed condition below 20Kmh..and not from stop position ... if in the high way free from jam the clutch slave feels OK to release the clutch from Flywheel..need your input ..thanks
July 15, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can't really follow what you're saying here, but it sounds like you might want to bleed your hydraulic clutch system. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
My Old Roc Comments: What can you tell us about this "Clutch Delay Valve" I've been hearing about?
Does a 1992 325is have one?
June 19, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The clutch delay valve is a restrictor integrated into the slave cylinder that slows the engagement of the clutch so that you won't damage the clutch linig if you improperly dump the clutch at high rpm. The 1992 325is doesn't have a clutch delay valve as a separately replaceable part. I'm not sure if this model has one, but if it did, it would integral in the slave cylinder for the clutch. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
sparkybp Comments: Title says "feeling spongy". My pedal does feel spongy but regardless it is still just as hard to depress. i do not suspect air in the system, the clutch has been replaced 20,000 km ago and it had the same feel right after replacementoem bmw sachs clutch kit. Also I get a squeak out of bellhousingthrow out bearing sliding on shaft? Is the shaft suposed to be lubricated with a certain grease when throw out bearing is installed? I'm afraid mechanic didn't use the right stuff for the temperatures in there.
April 17, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: BMW does nto specify a grease used on the throughout bearing contact points. However, usign a small amount of high temp grease is not a bad idea. If the nosie was not presetn before the clutch repair, I am sure the shop will look at it for you and help find the problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Barry Comments: My car at time loses all clutch pressure, it is not leaking any fluid what so ever, I have replaced the cylinder at my clutch pedal, I have also installed a braided clutch line down at the gearbox and I have bleed the system over and over still no joy. This is what happens; At times I be driving and my clutch pedal will stick to the floor of the car as if it had no pressure to push its self back up again, I then give it a few seconds and pull the pedal up with my hand and the car is grand again it will drive for maybe 2 mile or 200 mile before it happens again, it seems to happen more when sitting In traffic. Any Help?? I am considering replacing the Slave cylinder at the gearbox to see will this get rid of the problem.
April 12, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The problem could be in your hydraulic system or the clutch could be worn. If the slave cylinder checks out OK, inspect the clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
99m3 Comments: Please get that master cyl guide going, at least for the newest e36s :p
February 26, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lawdog Comments: My 97 bmw 318is clutch lost its resistant what could be the problem? I change the engine and have not atarted it yet.
January 20, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There could be a problem witht he clutch hydraulic system. Check operation of the master and slave cylinder. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Hein Comments: Fantastic info guys, I done the job in 20 minutes flat and I have two left hands :-
No where can I find the same for master Cylider.
Thanks guys
December 29, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
95//M3 Comments: What size wrench removes the hydraulic line? About how much fluid does the clucth system take?

Thanks
December 28, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If I remember correctly, the line is either a 10 or 11 mm. Have 1 pint of fluid on hand for bleeding the system. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
excited e36er Comments: for "325is". i believe the piston is metal, a simple magnet antenna gets it out from the slave cylinder hole. that's how i did it but ended up taking the trans off anyway since the clutch fork was vertical which meant the clutch fork pin broke. got a new clutch fork pin and slave cylinder and everything is back in place. time to bleed the system and try it out. thanks for the article
October 1, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad to help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
aherstkeeper Comments: i put in a new slave but there are still times i have no clutch until peddle is pumped. the clutch will engage allowing me to move but then will slip. other times the clutch will engage perfectly and the car will haul! prior to this problem it was hard to pull the shifter from 1st to 2nd while driving and is still an ongoing problem
September 8, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like it is time to replace you clutch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Patrick Comments: My transmisson's slave cylinder exploded like comment above. After replacing everything, in the bell housing and the slave cylinder, I am having trouble getting the clutch pedal to have any feeling at all... it is either full off or full on. There is no resistance what ever. I tried the process of manual bleeding by pressing in clutch, opening bleeding nipple, closing bleeding nipple, and releasing clutch pedal.
August 22, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like there is still air in the system. I recommend using the Motive Brake Bleeder to bleed the clutch system, it works very well: http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/catalog/shopcart/BE36/POR_BE36_BRKwiz_pg2.htm#item4 - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Lee Gibson Comments: I had some issues when installing my slave cylinder, it was hard to line up the shaft in the cup of the bearing arm!
August 17, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They can be a pain at times. Glad you got it worked out. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
beybE30 Comments: i can't wait for the clutch master cylinder replacement...
July 1, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
325is Comments: I installed the master cylinder and bled the clutch the old fashion way and the piston from the slave cylinder shot in transmission. How do i take out the piston??? please help!!!!
June 24, 2009
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yikes, I think you're stuck taking out the transmission. This doesn't make too much sense regardless because the piston would push up against the throw-out bearing arm. Something else must be wrong in the transmission bell housing. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  

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