Clutch needs replacing (I think) - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 12:02 PM
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Hello All

This is my first post so please be gentle!!

I have moved to the other side, seen the light some might say. I have just replaced my Merc 190e with an e34 535i Sport . Its a lovely car and although the Merc was really solid, this one seems even more so and the interior is on par with more modern cars. It is really satisfying to drive as well , or was until..

I have been told that the clutch is slipping and will eventually loose drive all together but I wanted to know if these symptoms sound like this problem:

Problem started when waiting at the lights, pulled away and there was smoke coming out the exhaust and the engine didn't want to pull, the idle was also erratic.
So I stopped and when I restarted it, it appeared to clear itself and drove normally for about 50 miles.

On the way home, it started to splutter again (no smoke this time), the car would jerk like it was loosing drive (felt like it was an electric fault), then it would pick up again, until the next time.

If I rev it from idle, the revs sometimes struggle and the engine runs rough (almost like its using bad fuel) then it picks up normally. Sometimes when I rev it, the revs go up normally but they then drop like I have taken my foot off (which I haven't) and then pick up again. Sometimes it idles and drives smoothly.

Sorry, the symptoms are hard to describe.

I believe the diagnosis of the clutch being faulty as correct but what I don't understand is why is it affecting the idle so much ? Surly a knackered clutch does not affect the idle, does it?? There are some whining noises coming from the clutch area when driving slowly tho and there is a distinct clutch type smell.

If it is the clutch, how big a job is it? I know in an e30, you need to take the engine off two of its mounts and move the gearbox, is it the same in an e34 (1990 m30 3.5i)? If all this needs doing, is it worth replacing anything else whilst it is all open
(such as engine mounts, selector bushes, gearbox synchro, other gearbox parts or any other clutch parts - master/slave cylinder, release bearing etc (car is now on 153k)?? As you can see, I know very little about clutch/gearbox setups.

I have also been told that a quick shift kit from a z3 will fit this car, is it worth fitting one of these now or are they not worth the hassle?? Has anyone got one fitted?

I am also looking for a specialist in the South London area if anyone knows of any. Any help or ideas would be much appreciated as have very little knowledge about BMWs (having only owned the car for a week!) so I am starting a new manufacturer from scratch.

Thanks
Rakesh

1990 G 535i Sport Manual, Gas Guzzler but it puts a smile on yer face ;-)
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 12:06 PM
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well a sticking pressure plate could cause the idle to go irratic but thats the wierdest fuckin thing ive heard of.. sorry wouldnt know how to do the clutch in a bmw never done it.. i woudnt imagine it being to hard tho nothing an experienced dys cant do.

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 07:00 PM
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quote:
Problem started when waiting at the lights, pulled away and there was smoke coming out the exhaust and the engine didn't want to pull, the idle was also erratic.
******************
reply: clutch problems don't create smoke out of the tailpipe, nor does it cause the engine to run bad, unless you can't disengage the clutch, and the engine bogs down.

You may have a smoked clutch. I would get a kit that includes the clutch disc, pressure plate, and throwout bearing. You may want to go ahead and change the pilot bearing, and the rear main seal while you're there.
The transmission comes out relatively easily on BMW's, nothing special.

As for the engine problem, IF it is unrelated to a clutch problem, then if sounds like your catalytic converter may be getting plugged up. Those rear their ugly heads when the cat gets HOT, so your engine may run fine until it warms up, then it'll bog down.

It's hard to figure out your problem without having the car myself.....sorry.
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 07:57 PM
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I had a car that ran like yours and it turned out to be a bad high voltage coil. It was shorting out at times and when it did it would run awful. But it sounds more like a plugged fuel filter to me. Or something to do with the fuel. How much can a filter cost? I'm not a tech. or anything near it.
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck540owner@Jan 16 2004, 08:37 PM
I had a car that ran like yours and it turned out to be a bad high voltage coil. It was shorting out at times and when it did it would run awful. But it sounds more like a plugged fuel filter to me. Or something to do with the fuel. How much can a filter cost? I'm not a tech. or anything near it.
Fuel starvation won't cause smoke.

But maybe his smoke was from the clutch?
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 08:13 PM
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With 153k a fuel filter couldn't hurt and it's cheap.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-19-2004, 08:36 AM
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Thanks for all the replys

I was also curious as to how the clutch caused exhaust smoke and affected the idle.

When the clutch was down, I don't recall the car creeping forward - suggesting that the clutch is disengaging (meaning the rough idle is nothing to do with the clutch).

So either it is pure coincidence that the clutch and the rough idle/smoke problem appeard at the same time on the same journey, or the RAC guy mis-diagnosed and it is not the clutch at all! On the smoke thing, it smoked the first time it started jerking and idling rough but now there doesn't appear to be any smoke - I will check this tho.

I had a similar problem in my old Merc, where it used to jerk but it was a different kind of jerk (if there is such a thing), it felt like it was caused by a different thing but this could just be difference in cars - on the Merc I changed the fuel filter, plugs, oil, dizzy cap and rotor arm and finally diagnosed the problem as the coil. And now it looks like I may have to go down the same route in the BMW (still probably cheaper than a clutch!)

I am taking it into AMC in Tooting (BMW Specialist) on Wednesday for a diagnosis (a run round the block, no computers) and will wait and see what they say. Does anyone know what these guys are like?? They quoted me 365 all in for a new clutch and recommended I change the 'front propshaft drive coupling' at the same time. They also said replacing the gearbox mounts will stiffen up the gear stick and it will be about 420 all together. Does this price and advice sound about right or is it too high (last clutch I bought was for a 214 and that cost 120 fitted!!)

Someone mentioned the CAT . How likely is this? does this mean a new one? Am I looking at 500 for a replacement??

1990 G 535i Sport Manual, Gas Guzzler but it puts a smile on yer face ;-)
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-28-2004, 07:46 AM
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Since my last post, there has been a twist!

When I went to work on the car to determine the problem, there wasn't one! It drove perfectly and idled smoothly - typical! I took the air intake bits appart and these all seemed to be fine (even running the engine with the intake parts placed together and not screwed tightly didn't cause a problem) so I have ruled out the MAS, IDC and any other airflow bits.

I ran some simple tests on the clutch (put it into 5th at about 10mph) and there was no slippage, the car accelerated (slowly!). So I have ruled that out as well.

So I thought I would take it on a run for a couple of hours, it drove fine but now and again would jerk slightly - not enough to really notice if you were not looking for it. When I filled it with petrol (3/4 full), I noticed fuel leaking from the tank area (one drip every few seconds), it was running down the tank supporting brackets from the top area, but still the car drove fine.

I removed the boot carpet and removed the black metal plate from the boot floor, below this were three pipes going into the tank and an electrical connector - all of this was completely dry with no sign of any leaking.

Fuel did not seem to leak all the time either (if left over night, it would be leaking when left but not in the morning).

Has anyone experienced this type of leak before?? Could this have caused the original smoke/rough running problem (low pressure or too much air)??? Am I right in thinking that the tank is plastic and is designed not to split in an accident so its more likely to be a connecting pipe??

Thanks

1990 G 535i Sport Manual, Gas Guzzler but it puts a smile on yer face ;-)
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