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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)

E36/7 Z3 (1996-2002)
E36/7 Z3 Roadster, Z3 coupe, Z3 M Roadster and Z3 M Coupe talk with our gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2012, 03:12 PM
rbpbfc rbpbfc is offline
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Location: Wellfleet, MA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8L roadster
sudden *clutch failure* on '97 Z3 2.8

my son's 1997 Z3 2.8 w/ 197k miles, we bought last Feb needing head gasket

- recently rebuilt engine (new head);

- only been on the road a couple weeks;

- sudden clutch failure today

according him: morning drive to school normal; changing parking spots at lunch noticed difficult to get into reverse; after school pedal mushy, went almost to the floor on first push, could not get into gear (grinding gears), then pedal totally flat to floor, no fluid pressure, only spring return

I got under there and looked up at the top of the pedal - piston looked normal going into the master cylinder; boot looked fine; couldn't see any leaking from the cylinder, but hard to tell b/c son had sprayed WD up in there when the clutch failed (!)

haven't checked the slave cylinder or hydraulic pipe between them - car is being towed and hasn't arrived yet

does this description sound like a known issue? sounds to me like sudden loss of hydraulic fluid from torn seal, or similar

but we did check the brake fluid reservoir (same res for both, correct?) and fluid looked topped up

weird?

anyway, we'd appreciate any thoughts

thanks! Rolf and Hannu in MA
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  #2  
Old 10-09-2012, 04:48 PM
WestCDA WestCDA is offline
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Location: Calgary, AB
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 183
Mein Auto: 2006 Z4 3.0si
Should actually be a 'relatively' inexpensive repair - from what you describe, you've lost hydraulic pressure for your clutch. That's typically a failed seal in either the slave cylinder or master cylinder that will eventually empty the master of fluid.

Look for fluid under either the master cylinder (firewall) or the slave (transmission end). Either one is a fairly straightforward bolt-on replacement (followed by bleeding the system of air) - no transmission removal necessary. Good luck ...
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2012, 05:49 PM
rbpbfc rbpbfc is offline
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Location: Wellfleet, MA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8L roadster
that's what we think too
will evaluate tomorrow by daylight
thanks!
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  #4  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:30 PM
rbpbfc rbpbfc is offline
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Location: Wellfleet, MA
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8L roadster
solved

slave cylinder

my kid called it - was sure he was right, insisted on driving an hour to buy the part, we crawled around in the dirt, swapped it in, lo and behold, a driving car again

*NOTE* - excellent way to bleed the clutch - local tech gave us the tip - pump fluid UP from the slave cylinder to the reservoir - everything needs to be clean, but really 'burps' the system well - took about 75 little pumps with the antique brake fluid pump he loaned us, but rock-solid feel, no air in the system, and super-simple process - took literally 3 minutes

Last edited by rbpbfc; 10-11-2012 at 06:03 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:27 PM
jafxdwg jafxdwg is offline
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Location: Whitby Ontario Canada
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 46
Mein Auto: 2008 Z4 si
Nice when a plan comes together !
Another father / son memory made.
Well done lads !
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2012, 05:49 AM
kalali kalali is offline
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Location: New Jersey
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 340
Mein Auto: 2003 Z4 2.5
Love happy endings....Thanks for sharing.
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