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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-21-2006, 09:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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New Poster -- QUICK HELP! E36 Clutch slave cylinder question

New to the forum - I've checked FAQ's and searched in several areas to no avial. I'm performing 'routine' maintenance on my wife's 97 318ti. My service writer at the dealer told me that the hydraulic slave cylinder which operates the clutch uses the brake master cylinder resevoir for it's fluid supply. Acting on that, as part of replacing brake fluid/bleeding brakes, I crawled underneath to draw a little new fluid into the clutch circuit as well. After hooking up the vacuum pump and pulling fluid 'through' slave cyl's bleed valve I buttoned everything up. This morning - continuing with other maintenance items (hoses, t'stat, coolant, O2 sensors, etc.) I thought I better just test the clutch pedal.

Of course, it is pretty lifeless now. But for the spring -- it would just collapse to the floor. Upon tracing the hydraulic line (which I SHOULD have done before attempting to bleed it), it appears to have no connection whatsoever to brake resevoir -- instead just heading straight to the clutch master cylinder on the other side of the firewall.

How do I 're-power' this clutch circuit? Does fluid have to be pumped in through bleed valve from the bottom? If so, where/how do I let the air out the other end? Am I missing a hidden resevoir somewhere?

HELP! Thanks in advance -- Michael
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Well - never mind guys. It's amazing how much you can see once your head is out of your a s s. I assumed the resevoir connection would be at the bottom -- of course, it's near the top right by the booster. There was the problem -- I had the fluid too low in the resevoir from bleeding the brakes -- when I thought I was pulling new fluid into the clutch cylinder, I was pulling air. Think I've got it fixed....
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Old 01-21-2006, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In case it isn't fixed. If you go to the "test forum" section of the forum, you will a thread called "clutch bleeding". There are two pages on how to bleed the clutch. If you haven't already, purchasing a "bentley" manual is a good thing.
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Tom -- I'll take a look at the Bentley. Any chance you can tell me the trick for getting the serpentine off? Finally figured out the a/c belt tensioner, but the serpentine has me stumped. I'm off to the 'test forum'.....
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Old 01-21-2006, 08:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Test forum under "belts".
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Old 01-22-2006, 08:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for your help Tom -- finally figured out the belts. I've got to buy a Bentley manual....

Off to attempt the mircrofilters - found directions/pics in the FAQ.
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks again Tom -- all maintenance successfully completed in no small part to your help. And the 318ti has a totally different microfilter replacement procedure than the other E36 cars -- you get at them from under the hood....
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You're welcome. And the microfilter thing is good to know if I decide to buy a 318TI.
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