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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 06-20-2017, 10:12 PM
tobykeith tobykeith is offline
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Clutch issue

I have a 525i. Clutch is relatively in good shape before this mishap. Never had a clutch go out on me so not sure if it's just broke and that's what I need clarified but basically I was driving shifting from 3rd to 4th gear and I felt the clutch stick and stop pressing in and the shifter wouldn't go into 4th. Pulled up to a light and the car stalled. Now the clutch is stuck and the car won't start, just had it towed home.
So would anyone happen to have this happen or have some knowledge on what might've happened. Now I've got to take it apart tomorrow and see what I can find. Just trying to find something useful out beforehand. Thanks guys

Last edited by tobykeith; 06-20-2017 at 10:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2017, 02:57 AM
Barracuz Barracuz is offline
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So you weren't able to press the pedal in?
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2017, 06:43 AM
tobykeith tobykeith is offline
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Originally Posted by Barracuz View Post
So you weren't able to press the pedal in?


Yes


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  #4  
Old 06-21-2017, 06:46 AM
romek12 romek12 is offline
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By stuck do you mean the pedal is to the floor?
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  #5  
Old 06-21-2017, 08:31 AM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is offline
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if the clutch activation switch cant be closed by the pedal travel, the starter wont be enabled.
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2017, 08:34 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tobykeith View Post
Yes


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Sounds like a mechanical issue with the pedal. A bad bushing on the clutch pedal shaft may have caused the pedal to jam up.
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:22 AM
tobykeith tobykeith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romek12 View Post
By stuck do you mean the pedal is to the floor?


No it's hard to press in


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  #8  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:23 AM
tobykeith tobykeith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Sounds like a mechanical issue with the pedal. A bad bushing on the clutch pedal shaft may have caused the pedal to jam up.


Could that happen suddenly or is that something that could gradually go bad?


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  #9  
Old 06-21-2017, 11:14 AM
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38Fitter 38Fitter is offline
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Need to get under the dash and inspect the linkage you can see. Push the petal in and see what's binding. If you're lucky you can see it, otherwise it's in the engine bay. You know how to powershift at least right?


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  #10  
Old 06-21-2017, 11:15 AM
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38Fitter 38Fitter is offline
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So I understand that you CAN press it in, but it's tough? Does it disengage the clutch when depressed?


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  #11  
Old 06-21-2017, 11:38 AM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Sounds like throw out bearing seized on you. Just remove the slave from the tranny and if you can press the clutch down, it's in the tranny.
If you're in there you might as well replace the clutch.
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2017, 01:55 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
Sounds like throw out bearing seized on you. Just remove the slave from the tranny and if you can press the clutch down, it's in the tranny.
If you're in there you might as well replace the clutch.
God, no! That will blow out the guts of the slave cylinder!
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2017, 02:20 PM
tobykeith tobykeith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 38Fitter View Post
So I understand that you CAN press it in, but it's tough? Does it disengage the clutch when depressed?


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Tough yes, and I can't really tell if it disengages or not.


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  #14  
Old 06-21-2017, 04:34 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
God, no! That will blow out the guts of the slave cylinder!
That's one way to find out right!
But, honestly people are smarter than that, if you have the know how to drop a tranny, that little mess is a POC.
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2017, 04:38 PM
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16valex 16valex is offline
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Originally Posted by tobykeith View Post
Tough yes, and I can't really tell if it disengages or not.


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By pass the clutch switch circuit, put the tranny in neutral, start the car and you will find out.
Make sure no one in front or back of the car just be safe.
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2017, 06:26 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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"...wouldn't go into 4th...": from reading this, I think you have problem with the hydraulic circuit. Either the Slave fails (internal seal failure, so internal leak ---> piston does not protrude), or Master fails, or both. Or the hose swells with the time/brake fluid ---> acting as "one-way valve".

Since you have no clutch slipping, the cheapest way is to replace both the Master + Slave + the hose. At this age, they are close to their end of life (admittedly, my 1998 528i 5sp MT with 165K miles still has the original clutch and Master/Slave).

If you decide to replace these items, stick to FTE (search rmeuropean dot com).

If this solves, the problem, great. If not, then I guess you can look into the clutch job, which is a BIG job.
So, again start with the small (and cheap) job first: replace both the Master ($50) + Slave ($46) + the hose. When filling the reservoir, fill it past the MAX line a bit to make sure the clutch partition is filled.

PS: You may simply have air in the system, so check your brake reservoir. I posted info on how to "bleed" the clutch hydraulic system, basically press on the clutch pedal and hold it there for a while.
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