clicking clutch and squeaky belt - 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 04-12-2009, 03:59 PM
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clicking clutch and squeaky belt

I have two issues that I would like some advice on.
1. I just had my clutch replaced and whenever I depress the clutch it makes a "clicking" sound, usually 1/4 of the way down. Is this just breaking in the new clutch or is it something I should look at?
2. I have a squeaky belt when I start my car up cold, squeaks for a little bit (30 sec) then stops, and sometimes if I turn the car off right away and start it back up again its gone. Any thoughts?

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#2 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 01:06 AM
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Post Some thoughts

1. Just had my clutch replaced (91 318i) and haven't noticed anything peculiar. Is the sound present at all times, or confined to when engine is running or off? On a flat surface with the transmission in neutral and parking brake set, you could try to work the clutch pedal by hand to hear if the click is coming from the clutch pedal linkage. That's about all I can do for you on this item.

2. With the engine off, pop the hood and take a look at your belts for condition, contamination, and tightness. Usually if I hear belt squeal, I tend to look at the one on the power steering pump first. The second culprit would be the AC belt, especially if I hear the squeal when the compressor is cycling. The last one would be the alternator/coolant pump, where I more interested in seeing the pulleys turning freely with the engine running (a seized coolant pump is no fun). I suspect when the belt is loose, it slips more than it should in the pulley. As the belt heats up from the friction, it gets a better grip in the pulley and the noise goes away.

With newer cars, the tendency is to replace two or three separate V-belts with one multi-ribbed serpentine belt and include an automatic belt tensioner mechanism.

In any case, it's wise to pick the time and place of your breakdown. Changing belts in my garage is much easier on the nerves than in the proverbial middle of nowhere.

Good luck tracking it down.
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-13-2009, 11:01 AM
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The clutch only clicks sometimes and it doesnt matter where the car is, or if its on or off. I have worked the clutch when i was off pushing it in and out many times and it just clicks. It sounds like its close to the petal and I can usually feel it when it clicks. It seems to not be doing any harm and the clutch works fine through all gears, it just clicks.

I will double check on the belts today. In any case, if I need to replace them how much would that cost? A DYI project or garage project? Thanks for the feed back!

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#4 (permalink) Old 04-14-2009, 12:04 AM
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Arrow It all depends

I'm using a 1990 325i convertible as a reference point, because that's closest to your car. In the back of your owner's manual, they might specify the belt sizes for you (I know they do on the 90 and 91 E30s)

You're guaranteed to have at least two belts (alternator/coolant pump) and power steering, while AC is a popular option. Figure $20-30 total from autozone or similar auto parts store.

Next on board are tools. Socket and regular wrenches in 10 mm, 13mm, and 19mm (for the alternator) are mandatory. A drop light, jack stands, safety goggles, latex/rubber gloves and a functional floor jack are highly useful. Reason being is I have to work from above and below the engine, and getting dirt and grease specks in an unprotected eye is frankly not a lot of fun.

Then it depends on your sense of adventure and tolerance for working in tight, dirty, and greasy spots. Finally, if you employ a jack and stands, you have to pick your lift and support points correctly, or you can do a world of mechanical hurt to your car. If that hasn't discouraged you, read on....

1. Get a good manual with plenty of pictures and explanations.
2. If you have a digital camera, take pictures and notes as you go along.

My approach in my garage:

1. Get and confirm I have the right belts and tools.
2. Set the parking brake, and chock the rear wheels.
3. Break loose the front wheel bolts to the minimum extent. Prayerfully the tire shop or brake mechanic did not go beserk with an air impact wrench and you will be able to do this.
4. With the floor jack, I put it under the cross-member immediately behind the oil pan, and raise the car.
5. I set the jack stands on the support rails behind the wheel wells and inboard from the doors, and lower the car onto them.
6. To make it easier to remove the splash guard, I remove the front tires. There's a side benefit of being able to check the disc brake pads.
7. I undo the splash guard (it's all one piece) from both wheel wells and set it and the retaining nuts and screws aside.
8. If you're certain you have the right belts, you can use a pair of diagonal cut pliers to cut the belts off. If you're unsure, find the nut/bolt combo that has a toothed gear, and loosen it only enough so you can take the tension off the pulley and ease the belt off.
9. On the 90, the order of removal is from the front of the engine toward the back, or power steering, AC, alternator.
10. Once all the belts are off, you can take a moment to look for fluid leaks, tears in the rubber boots on your steering rack, and the like.
11. Starting with the alternator belt, thread it over and behind the engine fan and set it on the innermost pulley. Once it's on correctly (as in seated in pulley and not twisted, turn the toothed bolt until you take out the slack and then some, then tighten the nut behind the support bracket to hold everything in place. A reasonable rule of thumb is a half-inch of deflection at the midpoint between the alternator and coolant pump pulley.
12. Repeat step 11 for the AC and power steering pump belts.
13. If you think you nailed it, you could start the car and check by sight and sound that your belts are on the right pulleys, not flopping around, and that they're running quietly. If all is OK...
14. Stop the engine, replace the splash guard, and put the front tires back on. Snug up the wheel bolts so you won't have much tightening left to do.
15. Jack up the car to get clearance to pull the jack stands, then gently lower the car until the tires have reasonably firm contact with the ground. Tighten up the wheel bolts in a staggered pattern to specs with a torque wrench, or good and tight if you're doing it by feel.
16. Go for a test drive after you're reasonably cleaned up to check your handiwork.

It took my son and I four hours the first time, because of unfamiliarity and the extra caution and trial-and-error. I'd be quite a bit faster now.

Advantages of this DIY:

You get that much smarter with the basic workings of your auto.
You take the opportunity to get quality tools you can use for other jobs.
You catch things before they become major breakdown issues.
Your car isn't tied up in a garage for an extended period of time.
Satisfaction of a job well done and money saved.

Disadvantages

Initial growing pains of acquiring tools, sourcing parts, and doing the deeds.
Potential to screw things up big-time if you're careless with the floor jack.
On the excitement meter, this is up there with pulling weeds from the lawn.

Hope this helps at least somewhat.
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#5 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 10:58 AM
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Hey, Thank you for the huge help!!! I will do that. I am sure the underbodies of E30s are very close. Thanks again for the help!

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#6 (permalink) Old 04-16-2009, 09:52 PM
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I've got the same year / model as you, and all of romeomike's instructions are spot-on. I just finished replacing my belts -- pretty easy as long as you pay attention.
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#7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2009, 10:45 AM
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Yea I will be working on the belts here very soon and I will use your tips!! I am still having a problem with my clutch "clicking" right when I depress the clutch pedal where the it opens the clutch plates so I can shift. Its brand new so maybe I will call the place the just changed it. Any input would be nice!!

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