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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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  #26  
Old 03-18-2013, 10:01 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
You obviously did not read the entire post. What I can buy for $550 (or you can too) they did not want to mark up 35%-they wanted $2200 just for a flywheel which is about $300 direct from the oem manufacturer. If the clutch job was bad after being done, I would pay the shops labor to prove to me the parts I supplied were bad. In other words, I would be standing there while they took it apart. You obviously feel differently about this than I do. I think it is up to the OP to decide what to do for himself. He know has the ammo he needs to know that whoever was going to charge him $2200 just for the part was way greedy. He know knows what the job can be done for and the shop still make money which is their hourly rate. $2200 for just a flywheel (even in Canada) is highway robbery and has no relation to 35%. Let's not hijack the OPs thread.
OP, a shop owner that wants to mark up a flywheel to $2200 is not someone you want working on your bimmer. I used to work as a mechanic and service writer for an owner like this. If he could not screw you on the parts mark-up, he would look for other ways to screw the customers such as selling them work they did not really need if they weren't smart enough to see through the BS. He used to instruct me to call around for parts prices from at least 3 suppliers and buy the lowest cost one. He would then charge the customer the dealer price for same part even if it was not an OEM quality part. I learned a lot about how crooked this business can be while working there. Fortunately, he is no longer in business. Screwed a few too many customers and law suits drove him under.

OP, the bad part of owning these older bimmers is finding an honest shop that charges fair prices for parts and labor. I would say that 80% of the shops I tried to use in NJ tried to overcharge me before I decided to go back to DIY repairs even though I am getting old for this now. 540iman is right. You have the knowledge of what the parts will cost a shop owner and you know what the labor hours should be. Look for an honest shop with this information in mind.

Here is another thing to keep in mind. A dishonest shop owner will fear the repercussions of screwing you less if he knows you are broke or operating on a small budget. He knows that you probably will not be able to pay a lawyer to come after him. Don't let a shop owner or service writer know your financial situation if you try to negotiate on price. That should never be a reason you use to ask for a better quote. Simply tell them what you think the fair estimate for parts and labor should be.
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  #27  
Old 03-18-2013, 09:51 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Location: Windsor Ontario Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Mein Auto: Bmw E39 528i
please don't think that you're high jacking my post, i love to read and learn about the reality in this world and your experiences. like you guys pointed about the mark up, i went to four shops two of the shops quoted me in the 300's just for labour (i supply the parts) but the other two went close the thousands and said it would take the entire day. thank you soo much for informing me about how long it normally takes and the mark up prices. i plan on going to the states to the following shops, http://www.stansgarage.net/ in dearborn and http://www.eurotecmotors.com/ in Ann Arbor. have you guys heard or know anyone in the michgan area that went to these shops or can recommend me to a shop. As for parts i have gathered these so far http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-528..._Tube/ES42238/ http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...9%20528i%20%20 http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...926565&vxp=mtr and for the clutch and flywheel i browsed around on bmw forums and some people said you could go OEM or search on grip force. while searching i found this for my car
http://gripforce.com/gripforce-oe-cl...3-e34-e36-e39/ (but im thinking because the flywheel is soo light it will cause chatter )
and for $4 more this stage 1
http://gripforce.com/f1-racing-stage...3-e34-e36-e39/
please chime in on this please and thank you
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  #28  
Old 03-19-2013, 05:23 PM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Clutch chatter is not related to flywheel weight. It is related to the type of pressure plate and the friction material of the clutch disc. If you do not want chatter, stay away from most high performance clutch designs. You want something that has nice, progressive engagement as you let up on the clutch pedal. Most high performance clutches grab quickly and are prone to chatter in street applications. On a race track, quick engagement is desirable and chatter is not an issue.

Gear rattle is another thing completely and BMW inline 6 engines with single mass flywheels are known to have this. It is a vibration excited by the engine that causes the gears in a manual box to 'rattle' at low speed when lugging the car in a higher gear such as third or fourth. It is not harmful to the gearbox unless you drive like that a lot and even then, there is no proof of harm. It can be annoying. I drove an E34 with lightened flywheel for many miles and was never bothered by the rattle. I accelerated through that rpm range too quickly for it to matter. I have since learned that I can mix two different viscosity gear oils to dampen out the rattle and found it works well.

I do not like the Grip Force clutches. I bought one about a year ago and returned it when I saw how lightweight the pressure plate and friction disc construction was. It did not look like something that would give a long service life under aggressive street driven conditions. My recommendation would be to use a stock clutch or get the UUC aluminum flywheel kit with M5 pressure plate and friction disc. I have the UUC setup on my E34 wagon with an S52 engine swap. (S52 is M3 engine from 96-99. Your 2.8 engine is a close relative.) I like the UUC kit a lot. It is very smooth to drive on the street unlike a lot of other performance clutches. It is a single mass aluminum flywheel with a replaceable steel friction surface. It is not so light that it compromises driveability on the street. This kit uses an OEM BMW E34 M5 clutch and the construction of this pressure plate is very robust. If youcatch UUC on one of their 15% off sales, the price is very reasonable for what you get. It will still be around $800-900 but you get what you pay for when it comes to parts like this. The extra money will get you a good performing clutch that should last a very long time in street use. If you can't afford this, stick with a stock flywheel and clutch. It will still be better than GF in my opinion.

Here is a comparison of GF and UUC clutch that fits your car (and mine) that I posted on another forum:

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...lemished-items

Last edited by mda185; 03-19-2013 at 05:28 PM.
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  #29  
Old 03-19-2013, 08:47 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw E39 528i
thank you for answering. i was doing some more reading and found two things; this valeo kit:http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/199...lutch_kit.html (last one at the bottom of the page) and this from http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...cking-a-clutch "Another path to consider is using the single mass flywheel used on the earlier E34 with M20 engine. I believe the E28 M5 clutch will bolt up to this flywheel and it is sprung hub. I am pretty sure some forum members have gone this route and saved some money. Search the forum and you should find more info. You will also need to get a different starter to mate up with that flywheel. More work for you to find the parts but probably a better solution than Gripforce for the money."
and i was also thing should i get a ssk from understeeer.com. the z3 ssk, i believe alot of 528i owners did this but just want your opinions on it. as for the clutch i plan on keeping the car till it's last breath or i buy an E39 M5, so other than chatter noises i've read some decent reviews about them but i dont plan on FI or Turbo, so i just want something that will last a good six years or so.

Last edited by ibz150; 03-19-2013 at 08:50 PM.
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  #30  
Old 03-20-2013, 06:53 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My best friend in college owns a repair shop in Toronto. Good, honest guy. However it is 2h from Windsor.

I have a very very detailed DIY on clutch job for 6-cylinder, including every single little parts, tricks if you are interested.
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  #31  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:14 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibz150 View Post
thank you for answering. i was doing some more reading and found two things; this valeo kit:http://www.partsgeek.com/catalog/199...lutch_kit.html (last one at the bottom of the page) and this from http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...cking-a-clutch "Another path to consider is using the single mass flywheel used on the earlier E34 with M20 engine. I believe the E28 M5 clutch will bolt up to this flywheel and it is sprung hub. I am pretty sure some forum members have gone this route and saved some money. Search the forum and you should find more info. You will also need to get a different starter to mate up with that flywheel. More work for you to find the parts but probably a better solution than Gripforce for the money."
and i was also thing should i get a ssk from understeeer.com. the z3 ssk, i believe alot of 528i owners did this but just want your opinions on it. as for the clutch i plan on keeping the car till it's last breath or i buy an E39 M5, so other than chatter noises i've read some decent reviews about them but i dont plan on FI or Turbo, so i just want something that will last a good six years or so.
The Valeo kit is decent for the money. I would do that before GF. Single mass flywheel from M20 does work but you have to get the back side machined down to clear parts of the block on your engine. There is a thread on bimmerforums that describes this in some detail but you will have to search for it. I don't have the URL. E28 M5 clutch is very good in this application. That is what I ran on my E34 535i. Very smooth progressive engagement and it took a lot of abuse. Downside to this approach is you have to buy an M20 starter and pay for the machining and that can offset the cost savings unless you find a known good used one. That setup cost me $800 from Metric Mechanic 7 years ago. I am sure it can be done cheaper but I just wanted to buy everything in one place from an expert that knew what he was doing.

Both the E28 and E34 M5 clutches are great street performance clutches but you will have to pay more to get a setup with either one compared to the Valeo single mass or Luk dual mass options.

I have the understeer ssk for my E36 vert but have not installed it yet. As you said, this is just an OEM BMW Z3 shift lever that gives shorter travel and I am not sure it is good value for the money without installing it yet. I have UUC ssk on my E34 with S52 swap and really like it but it is a lot more money. Biggest bang for the buck is to replace the plastic cup bushing that your shift lever presses into and all other clips and bushings. That will tighten up your shifter nicely without dropping a ton of money.

Last edited by mda185; 03-20-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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  #32  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:13 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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thank you i browsed the valeo site and found this but no price http://www.valeoclutches.com/product..._-_Includes_FW, any suggestions out there my budget is 500 max for the clutch and flywheel plus i have all the other parts to buy. also found this while browsing forums today
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...e!!-(-55-00)**
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  #33  
Old 03-21-2013, 09:08 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibz150 View Post
thank you i browsed the valeo site and found this but no price http://www.valeoclutches.com/product..._-_Includes_FW, any suggestions out there my budget is 500 max for the clutch and flywheel plus i have all the other parts to buy. also found this while browsing forums today
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...e!!-(-55-00)**
The ZHP shift knob is nice - I have one; If you are cash strapped, I think you should save this money for better clutch kit. I don't think you are going to find the Valeo kit for less than $580. I really don't recommend the GF kit that is in your price range. The LUK clutch kit will be a dual mass flywheel and I think the Valeo single mass flywheel kit is preferable. Here is one link I found for Valeo kit. I know nothing about this vendor - it is just the lowest price I saw.

http://www.automotivepart.com/index....011&Itemid=101
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  #34  
Old 03-21-2013, 09:21 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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i found three happy customers that purchased clutch & flywheel fromGF.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...wheel-*REVIEW*
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...lywheel-set-up
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...eel-Clutch-Kit
Also do you guys think a southbends 328 clutch will fit a 528.
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  #35  
Old 03-22-2013, 10:34 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibz150 View Post
i found three happy customers that purchased clutch & flywheel fromGF.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...wheel-*REVIEW*
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...lywheel-set-up
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...eel-Clutch-Kit
Also do you guys think a southbends 328 clutch will fit a 528.
You are not digesting all the info in those threads. First one is about a 6 puck racing type clutch that most definitely will be a PITA to drive on the street - especially in an urban setting. He even admits that it is a bit grabby but he can deal with it. On the other threads, there are posts that talk about problems with the pressure plate and clutch disc. One post says that reports he heard on GF are hit or miss. Some are reliable and some are not. This suggests a quality control problem to me. None of the threads talk about getting 50K or more in life out of their GF clutch. I doubt anyone does. An OEM clutch will give you at least 100K miles of life and probably much more unless you abuse it in the extreme.

Take this for what its worth. I am 55 years old. I have been wrenching on my own cars for 40 years. I have my own lift and a professional set of tools. I am an engineer and I do reliability and maintenance analysis for the US Navy aircraft carrier catapults and arresting gear. I am very well versed in how mechanical parts fail and how to predict life of components. I would not run a GF clutch kit on a car I intend to keep for a while and drive for 40K miles or more. I would put one on a car I intend to sell if I did not care about what the next owner would experience. I bought one of their clutches and returned it - losing ~$100 in the process. I was willing to lose that money for the peace of mind I got from installing what I know to be a much stronger clutch. I don't want to perform this labor again for a long time.

I think the GF flywheel is fine. I don't trust the construction quality of their pressure plates and friction disc. I have installed cheap clutches on previous cars in my life and always ended up regretting it. Try to find 3 reviews of owners that have racked up serious miles on a GF clutch kit. I don't think you will. I looked when I was shopping around.
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  #36  
Old 03-24-2013, 08:54 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
My best friend in college owns a repair shop in Toronto. Good, honest guy. However it is 2h from Windsor.

I have a very very detailed DIY on clutch job for 6-cylinder, including every single little parts, tricks if you are interested.
please do send me that detailed DIY as the weather is tarting to pick up, currently at 0C (32F). I've seen a couple of vids where people just lift the cars and get right to it and save hundreds just by doing so.
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  #37  
Old 10-03-2013, 09:15 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mda185 View Post
You are not digesting all the info in those threads. First one is about a 6 puck racing type clutch that most definitely will be a PITA to drive on the street - especially in an urban setting. He even admits that it is a bit grabby but he can deal with it. On the other threads, there are posts that talk about problems with the pressure plate and clutch disc. One post says that reports he heard on GF are hit or miss. Some are reliable and some are not. This suggests a quality control problem to me. None of the threads talk about getting 50K or more in life out of their GF clutch. I doubt anyone does. An OEM clutch will give you at least 100K miles of life and probably much more unless you abuse it in the extreme. I think the GF flywheel is fine. I don't trust the construction quality of their pressure plates and friction disc. I have installed cheap clutches on previous cars in my life and always ended up regretting it. Try to find 3 reviews of owners that have racked up serious miles on a GF clutch kit. I don't think you will. I looked when I was shopping around.
thank you very much. i read more and more reviews and it was true on the rx8, subaru, and other forums, they were trouble. surprisingly my clutch stop slipping, my theory is summer came along and with the heat the clutch expanded and it stop slipping. my dad's friend is a mechanic who works for bmw. i asked him to test drive the car and he said it was time to change it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I have a very very detailed DIY on clutch job for 6-cylinder, including every single little parts, tricks if you are interested.
could i please have that diy. i plan on doing it next weekend. it's a long weekend. I'm giving myself three days to do it. so hopefully that will be enough
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  #38  
Old 10-04-2013, 04:27 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Try the link below, it is very detailed!!!

http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~levine/BMW/

PS: Whatever you do, safety first, the car needs to be lifted rather high, the chassis-ground clearance needs to be around 15" or more, this way you can slide the MT out of the car.
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  #39  
Old 05-12-2014, 07:39 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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hello every one thank you all for your help and advises. i ended up going with valeo clutch kit with one piece billet flywheel, short shifter kit from auto solutions and all the other parts than needed to be changed, pivot pin, fork, pilot bearing. and now my main question is when took out the tranny it was covered in oil. i'm assuming the rear main seal is leaking which it is. but they entire top of the transmission was covered in oil. is there another seal or gasket i should be changing. thank you very much everyone, you guys are awesome
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  #40  
Old 05-12-2014, 08:47 PM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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see.. we would let you bring your own parts in.. but we charge more per hour... and we will warrente OUR labor.. not your parts..

So unless the transmission falls out... its pritty much going to be your problem next time...

Just throwing that out there
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  #41  
Old 05-12-2014, 11:48 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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I priced the LUK clutch kit $275. My indie shop would not guarantee unless they supply the parts. Their quote for parts was only about $25 more than my price, so I let then supply parts. Total price for clutch in my 540, parts and labor $865. And that included a guarantee. To be clear that was a couple years ago.
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  #42  
Old 05-13-2014, 06:13 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibz150 View Post
hello every one thank you all for your help and advises. i ended up going with valeo clutch kit with one piece billet flywheel, short shifter kit from auto solutions and all the other parts than needed to be changed, pivot pin, fork, pilot bearing. and now my main question is when took out the tranny it was covered in oil. i'm assuming the rear main seal is leaking which it is. but they entire top of the transmission was covered in oil. is there another seal or gasket i should be changing. thank you very much everyone, you guys are awesome
If top of tranny is covered in oil, I would be looking at replacing the valve cover gasket. When it leaks, it usually leaks at the front or back. Leaks in the back will drip down on the transmission bellhousing. There is a seal on the input shaft of the transmission that should also be replaced. It is under the tube that the throw out bearing slides on. I replaced the tube and the seal. It wasn't that expensive.
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  #43  
Old 05-13-2014, 06:22 AM
mda185 mda185 is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525iT w/S52, 03 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
I priced the LUK clutch kit $275. My indie shop would not guarantee unless they supply the parts. Their quote for parts was only about $25 more than my price, so I let then supply parts. Total price for clutch in my 540, parts and labor $865. And that included a guarantee. To be clear that was a couple years ago.
That was a great price for a 540i clutch job. Here in New Jersey, that job performed by a good shop that backs its work would be more like $1800-2000. Sadly, here in Jersey, that job performed by a bad shop that doesn't back its work and is prone to cutting corners, would probably also be $1800-2000 and there are more of them than good shops. That is why I now have a 4 post lift in my garage. I own 3 bimmers with 5 speed manual trannies and the lift paid for itself quickly in terms of money I saved.
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  #44  
Old 05-13-2014, 12:47 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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aha that's awesome mda185, i hope one day to open my own shop or work for a dealership
that explains why the oil was dry because i recently changed the vcg, spark plugs. does anyone have the part numbers for the input, output shaft seals
when installing the flywheel is there a special manner to install it
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  #45  
Old 05-13-2014, 01:41 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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so i should be changing #4 and 11
somehow i missed that i never bought the pivot pin (prob from all the excitement) now should i order the pivot pin from the 850 csi which is a metal one or just a regular one. plastic on is about 5 and 850 is $22 at someplaces
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