1991 329i Gear-changing problems - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 01:58 AM
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Hi,

I've just bought my first BMW, a 1991 320i. Its just been roadworthied, but its got a brand new clutch which I suspect might be contributing to the problem I'm having.

I seem to have difficulty consistently changing gears smoothly. The problem seems to manifest itself more often when I'm changing down than up.

I'll suddenly find that I can't get into gear. Or, when changing down to first, drop into gear, but with a grinding sound. I find that if I really 'punch' the clutch I'm more likely to change into gear smoothly, but its not consistent.

I'm also not sure that I'm actually driving the car correctly. I've driven nothing but scrapheap cars my whole life so maybe I've developed bad driving habits. Is there anything I should be aware of in terms of gear-changing in a BMW or with a new clutch ?

Any help would be appreciated
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 12:46 PM
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Welcome Grey2000,

bmw clutches are hydraulic so theres no clutch cable. any dead zones or weak areas could just be air in the hydraulic system, but if you just got your clutch replaced, i doubt that would be your problem. my car has never wanted to go back into 1st gear unless i was almost completely stopped, but ive never forced it. any other gear should slide into position, with the clutch in, without alot of effort.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 01:00 PM
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Could it be the syncros?
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 03:14 PM
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as Rice as it may sound, but if your syncros arent good, you might need to double clutch, so you get the teeth to match and not just strip them.

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#5 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 05:49 PM
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Sounds like the pilot bearing is hanging up and not letting the transmition gears slow down inside the case making it hard for you to get it into the next gear. We had a car come into our shop last week with this similar problem and a new pilot bearing solved it. The thing that sucks is you have to take the trani back out to change it. The part should be arround $10USD.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 12:56 AM
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Hmm,

Thanks for the advice guys. I think I've found the answer though. I'm a crap driver. Or at least, I've been carrying around some crap driving habits, especially in traffic, riding the clutch, not lifting my foot off the clutch pedal properly, and generally being sloppy.

Yesterday, in the middle of my second day of ownership I 'found the groove' by being consistent in my gear-changing technique(particularly ensuring that I lift my foot fully off the clutch between changes), and using proper 'form' the problem has eliminated itself, and I haven't had the problem again.

I also found that I had a tendency to grasp the gear-lever, holding it in its new position after the shift, and not release it.

For the first time I'm actually enjoying the driving, and I'm not terrified that I've bought a lemon Now I actually find that changing gears is quite a smooth and sweet action that requires a bit of feel, but is very satisfying.

When I tell you that my last manual transmission vehicle was a 1981 Datsun 120y pickup, you'll understand that the difference in the driving experience is marked. Never having had a RWD 'luxury' sedan before I'm amazed at the road-holding and driveability in my 320i.

I'm looking forward to some great BMW motoring in the future.
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