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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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Old 08-27-2004, 02:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The clutch pedal on my 90/325i lost pressure and won't come off the floorboard. I have replaced the clutch slave and master cylinders. All the fittings are snug. The pedal remains on the floorboards. I have tried bleeding the system without success so often that no one in my family is willing to help me bleed the system anymore until I get a second opinion!
HELP!!!
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by 90/325@Aug 27 2004, 02:55 AM
The clutch pedal on my 90/325i lost pressure and won't come off the floorboard. I have replaced the clutch slave and master cylinders. All the fittings are snug. The pedal remains on the floorboards. I have tried bleeding the system without success so often that no one in my family is willing to help me bleed the system anymore until I get a second opinion!
HELP!!!
check to make sure its not something in the pedal assembly
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You must bench bleed the master and slave before you install them.
Trying to bleed them on the car will be a large PIA, as you have found.
Are you getting any fluid at the slave yet?
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You need a pressure bleeder or a hand held vacuum pump to fix your problem. You have air trapped in the clutch system. You can try pulling the clutch pedal back up to where it is soposed to be and tap on it with your foot really quick like a woodpecker putting a whole in a tree. You don't need to press it very far, just a few MM is enough to work the air out, it may take a few min but this should work if you don't have a pressure bleeder or a vacuum pump. After you give it about 10 quick taps press it to the floor and see if it comes back up, if not give it 10 more and press it to the floor again.
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Old 08-28-2004, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I hooked up a hand vacuum pump to the bleeder valve on the slave. I am now getting fluid through the slave (a dribble at a time - about 2 teaspoons after 20 minutes). Will this process take a while to pull out all the air?
I can use the vacuum pump to bench bleed the master and slave cylinders. That master cylinder is such a pain to get to... The prospect of retrieving and re-installing the slave and master cylinders does not excite me but I am willing to do it if thats what I need to do to get back on the road.
I am going to go back for another round with the vacuum pump before I retrieve both units to bench bleed them. I am hoping the system will fart out an air bubble and give me peddle pressure before then!
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What you need to do with the vaccum pump is find a fitting of some sort that will fit over the top of the brake fluid resv. and pull the air out from the top. Make sure the bleeder is closed on the slave cylinder. If you have the Mighty Vac hand pump kit one of suction cup looking adapters will fit the brake fluid resv. When pulling the air out from the top make sure the pedal is up where it is soposed to be otherwise the air won't come out. The way I do this at work is i pump it up to the max vaccum it will pull and let it sit for a few seconds, you should see air bubbles come out into the fluid resv. Once the air bubbles have slowed or stopped comming out release the vaccum and see if the pedal works. If it doesn't pull the pedal back up to where it is soposed to be and apply vaccum to the fluid resv again.
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Old 08-28-2004, 02:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip AJ. All of the manuals I have read approach this issue from the slave cylinder side of the system. Sometimes you have to think outside the box to find your solutions....
I was lucky enough to purchase the "Mighty Vac" unit. The suction cup unit you descride just fits inside the reservoir. After a few pumps the gauge still measures zero. I can't seem to build any pressure? I tried to cover the edges to get a better seal with no luck. After about 6 pumps the whole set up plops into the reservoir.
Any suggestions?
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Old 08-28-2004, 02:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AJ,

I gave the suction cup set up another try. This time I flattened it out like a pancake to cover more surface area (from the top instead of inside the neck where it plops in when the pressure builds up).
I have been able to build the pressure between 10 and 15.
The peddle is still on the floorboards.
I will give this a shot a few more times.
Wish me luck....

Thanks again AJ!
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Old 08-28-2004, 03:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad I could help, and stick with it. 10 to 15 inches of vaccum should be enough to pull the air out. As long as you keep getting air out of the system thats all that matters. Since it sounds like there is a lot of air traped in your system it may take a little longer than normal. Another thing that helps is to fill the brake fluid resv to the max line this will keep physical pressure on the air in the system to help force it out when your apply vaccum. You can also hold onto the suction cup thing with one hand to keep it from falling in, this will allow you to pull more vaccum just make sure you don't get any brake fluid in the hand pump. If for some reason you do get fluid in the pump take the gauge and rubber cap off that is in front of the gauge and give it a few pumps this should clear out the fluid inside.
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Old 08-28-2004, 04:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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AJ,

I filled the reservior to the max line and pressurized the system as you suggested.
The fluid level is now above the level of the blue hose from the clutch master cylinder.

I CAN NOW SEE BUBBLES FLOATING TO THE SURFACE WHEN I PRESSURIZE THE SYSTEM!

I positioned the catch bottle downstream of the pump to catch any fluid.

All this pumping has made my forearms look like POPEYE! I should be able to hold those pints of beer up a little longer(If my bimmer can get me there tonight!)

I think it's just a matter of patience and time now.

I will keep you posted....

Thanks
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Old 08-28-2004, 05:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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MY BIMMER FARTED, I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER!

The giant air bubble surfaced and spilled brake fluid all over the brake master cylinder reserv.

The clutch peddle is off the floorboard!

Peddle modulation feels normal.

I am going for a test drive in a few minutes.

Many thanks for all the help and encouragement.

Without your suggestions I would still be on my back bleeding the slave cylinder...

This is an indispensable tool for those of us who are troubleshooting impaired.

SPECIAL THANKS TO AJ FOR HIS OUT OF BOX SOLUTION...
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Old 08-28-2004, 08:03 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Glad I could help. I've been working on all sorts of different types of cars since i was 14 (I will be 25 in a couple of months) so I've learned a lot of differnt tricks that you won't find in any shop manual.
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