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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:09 PM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 bmw 525i
Box full of neutral

PROBLEM SOLVED!

This evening on the way home from work, going around the beltway at rush hour, I was upshifting from 4th to 5th. I heard a not extremely loud thunk and was left with 5 forward and 1 reverse neutral. Of course this would be at rush hour on the coldest day of the year!

After my flatbed trip home, I jacked up the car and everything looks ok. The transmission doesn't make any bad noises & I pulled off the slave cylinder & could see the pressure plate turning.

I replaced the clutch & pressure plate this past spring but did not replace the dual mass flywheel. It looked to be in ok condition and up to this point, I have had zero problems.

I went ahead & ordered a new clutch kit, but haven't yet gone for the flywheel.

Is it conceivable that the dual mass flywheel somehow broke?

Last edited by timarnold; 01-25-2013 at 04:33 AM. Reason: Problem Solved
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:37 PM
nsogiba nsogiba is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i/6
I removed my dual mass flywheel a few months ago to swap the engine. it looks like an extremely beefy unit, i don't see what could be the issue. perhaps a tooth broke off the flywheel somehow, or the trans has a broken piece internally?

If you need a flywheel, clutch, or pressure plate, let me know, i could sell you mine.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:56 PM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Thanks - No matter what the issue is, I am gong to gave to pull the tranny this weekend. Always something!
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2013, 08:05 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Could your shifter shaft linkage have come undone? I've never trusted those clips much...

I think a flywheel failure would have been much more dramatic.

When you saw the PP spinning, did it by any chance have a throw-out bearing lodged in its fingers?
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:28 PM
Kovy123 Kovy123 is offline
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Mein Auto: '01 540i/6 Sport
This doesn't sound anything clutch/flywheel related OP. If the RPMs dip when the clutch is engaged you're ok and if you step on it and there's no slip you're ok there too. Finding gears is not clutch related... Could be something as simple as the shifter linkage itself. If that's not it, since you're already taking off the tranny housing, check for bad synchros, etc. I'm assuming you know what to look for.

GL

EDIT: in fact, you can actually shift without using a clutch. This just proves my point in that the clutch, theoretically speaking, has nothing to do with shifting gears... It's either the shifting linkage or somethings up with the tranny itself.

Last edited by Kovy123; 01-22-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:30 PM
Kovy123 Kovy123 is offline
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EDIT: in fact, you can actually shift without using a clutch. This just proves my point in that the clutch, theoretically speaking, has nothing to do with shifting gears... It's either the shifting linkage or somethings up with the tranny itself.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:25 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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I crawled under the car last night and it's definitely between the clutch & flywheel. If I turn the driveshaft with the transmission in gear, I can see the pressure plate turning, but the engine isn't. It is strange. I would expect to hear something rattling around in a broken sort of way when I run the engine with the car in gear or turn the driveshaft with the transmission in gear, but I don't.
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:09 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Can the front and rear halves of the DMF separate cleanly without major trauma to the rest of the car in that area? I'd expect significantly more drama from that....

It sounds like your pressure plate thinks you're still pressing the clutch pedal....

Just thought of something, probably irrelevant but, the front (engine side) half of the DMF is visible from those lower bolt holes at the front bottom of the bell housing. Did/does it spin together with everything else as it should?

------

Never mind my brain-fart comments about the front half the flywheel. If you see the pressure plate assembly rotating when you turn the DS, the flywheel surely has to be rotating with it because it's bolted to the DMF.... question for me is, is the PP engaging the clutch disc? Doesn't sound like it...

Last edited by pleiades; 01-23-2013 at 03:06 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2013, 04:39 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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I resolved my problem, and feel a little foolish about it, but there is a lesson learned that is worth sharing. While I was removing my exhaust to pull the transmission, I noticed that one of my Half Shafts came out of my differential. What bothered me about this was how could this possibly happen?

I think the answer is just after Christmas, I replaced my Rear Ball Joints. While pushing, pulling and fighting to reassemble the wishbone into the spindle, I must have inadvertenly pulled the halfshaft part of the way out of the differential. Over the next few weeks, the Half Shaft walked the rest of the way out of the Differential. This was evidenced by the Differential being covered with oil.

Lesson Learned. When working on the rear suspension, make sure to check that the halfshafts are properly engaged.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:23 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Interesting, I learn something new.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2013, 08:17 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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So, basically the lockring holding your (right side?) output flange in the diff came unhooked from its groove? And here I was asking myself how the front and rear sections of your flywheel had separated .....

Thanks for sharing, this is not the first time I've read of an e39 losing all traction because of a half-shaft that became dislodged during a rear suspension DIY. Can you explain how you were able to turn the DS with the car in gear, and see the pressure plate turning, but not the crankshaft?

I replaced the rear carrier BJs on my car quite some time ago, following the Beisan procedure. Is that the way you did yours? Definitely had to wrestle and not a DIY I want to deal with again. I am inclined to believe it might be a good idea to unbolt the rear shocks from the carriers to ease re-assembly and unbolt the half-shafts from the output flanges to avoid putting undue stress on the flanges. I suspect that stress can damage the diff seals or other internals.

Kudos on finding the cause before you had your trans out on the garage floor....
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  #12  
Old 01-25-2013, 09:42 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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It is kind of weird that I was able to rotate the wheel & turn the driveshaft and that's why I was looking further forward for the cause, but I think I know why. In order to turn the driveshaft with the wheel, I had to keep the passenger wheel on the ground so it wouldn't turn. This was the side that had not engaged. When I had the driveshaft detached from the differential hub, I noticed that if you jact the tire up, the driveshaft is actually pulled away from the flange. Conversely, when the wheel is fully down, enough of the driveshaft slid into the differential to engage, so I turned the wheel and the driveshaft turned. In hindsight, I had the transmission in 5th gear and I must have been turning over the engine.

Certainly one of my strangest set of automotive circumstances!
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