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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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  #1  
Old 10-29-2012, 09:14 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Question E39 clutch replacement.

Dear Bimmerfest members.
my clutch on my 97 E39 528I is going. it slips mostly in 3rd, 4th, and 5th . i have read threads over and over but i have come to these three for clutch kits for replacements. If you guys know a Diy about replacing the clutch, i would love to learn how to do it. it almost winter here in canada and im scared to drive in the winter and mess up the car. so here they are:

First one up is from AutohausAZ for $249.17
http://www.autohausaz.com/search/pro...3@Clutch%20Kit

Second is from Tuner motosport at $269.95
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-41...-28-97-98.aspx

and last but not least is from EAC Euro parts (when i searched my car up two results came) at $304.10 for Sach's and $310 for luk's
http://www.eaceuroparts.com/parts/pa...ge/31/1997/356

i would like to know if people have used these clutch and were you guys satisfied. if you guys did replace your clutch , which brand did you go with.


while my dad was driving yesterday, the abs and ASC light came on . I browsed around and came to the conclusion that if my module is bad then i should send it to module master. This does not worry me as much as the clutch.
http://www.modulemaster.com/en/index.php


I have seen members to an proper introduction on the forum but im not sure how to. How do you guys upload pictures. I am sorry if i made an extra thread regarding a common E39 issue.

just putting it out there, if there is anyone who knows a good mechanic shop in Windsor CANADA that could do a clutch replacement or even in Michigan around (Dearborn, Detroit and so on) i don't mind driving it out to go to a shop. im just scared to take it on a long drive. thank you very much everyone in advance.
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  #2  
Old 10-30-2012, 02:44 AM
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moots moots is offline
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sorry can't help on the clutch issues as i have a sludhbox.

for the ABS light,plug in a diagnostic reader to see the faulty component.i had the same light previously and it turned out to be the wheel speed sensor.there are sensors on each wheel.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:33 AM
john@eac john@eac is offline
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The clutch kits that you have listed from EAC are different. There is a split as per manufacture date. Both the Sachs and the LUK kits are very good. The abs module is something that we have a special on so you really should take a look at that as well. Make sure that you pull codes and check that you don't have a speed sensor issue first .
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  #4  
Old 10-30-2012, 08:49 AM
fortunateson fortunateson is offline
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What about replacing the flywheel at the same time. A few have commented that this would be a wise move. There is apparently a regular flywheel availbe vs OEM dual mass one. Anyone try it? Comments?
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  #5  
Old 10-30-2012, 09:26 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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I think that the fact that your clutch has been slipping means you may want to consider replacing the flywheel. If you have the luxury of opening it up first, you could examine it for scoring/glazing. I replaced my clutch at 154k mi. The disc was almost worn out, but the flywheel was fine. FWIW, I used the LUK kit and was very pleased.
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  #6  
Old 10-30-2012, 11:21 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortunateson View Post
What about replacing the flywheel at the same time.
From what I've gathered, unless the clutch was abused, the flywheel can last up to the 2nd clutch change. The OEM clutch on mine lasted until 135K and the flywheel was still usable even though I replaced it.
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  #7  
Old 10-30-2012, 05:21 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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i dont know much about cars other than regular maintenance. im still in high school and it's 3 degrees Celsius outside and i dont know what to look for once the car is raised. thank you very much for your answers so far.

Last edited by ibz150; 10-30-2012 at 06:07 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-31-2012, 10:18 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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While this isn't the most complicated job on an E39, it certainly isn't the easiest. It does involve removing the exhaust, propeller shaft and transmission just to get to the clutch. My best advice is to read through the procedure and decide if you are at all comfortable with it. The ideal scenario would be finding someone who knows what they are doing to help you.
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2012, 10:19 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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I have performed several clutch replacements on my bimmers over the years. This is not a job for most beginners unless you are motivated, have some good manual skills, and are willing to take your time and be meticulous until you have it all figured out. The procedure is 90% the same as for the 328i E36 and there should be many threads and write ups on the internet for that car. The Pelican Parts web site should also have a good write up for an E36 clutch job. I am guessing that because of your age and where you live, your only option is to take this to a shop for the work. Doing this job on a cold driveway in winter is not much fun. If you have access to a garage and a lift, this becomes much easier.

You don't say how many miles are on your car. I do not recommend re-using the flywheel on any car over 100K miles especially if it has been slipping a lot. When the clutch slips, it messes up the friction surface on the flywheel. You may get away with reusing the flywheel but if it fails after 5-10 thousand miles, you will have to pay for all of that labor again to replace it. That happened to me the one time I reused a dual mass flywheel with high mileage on it. I just purchased an 03 530i with a manual from an owner who did the same thing. He replaced the clutch at 110K miles but kept the flywheel. Guess what is failing a year later at 124K miles?

I am a big fan of the UUC single mass flywheel kit that includes an M5 Sachs clutch and pressure plate. It is much better than our stock set up while still being very easy to drive with on the street. By that, I mean it has very progressive clutch action and easy to engage unlike most high performance clutches. It costs a little more than OEM dual mass flywheel and Sachs clutch or the LUK alternative.

Last edited by mda185; 10-31-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-01-2012, 09:11 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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my car has 246 000 km which is 152 000 miles. and i would to increase my knowledge about cars but i don't drive hard or go to a track, just commuting to school and around town. i will go shop around for around how much it will cost. thank you all very much for all your input so far
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2012, 05:18 AM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Don't forget that while doing a clutch job, there is also parts you can replace that would normally be a PITA to get to unless the trans was dropped, like the rear main seal and starter. And along with the clutch, consider replacing the input shaft seal, gear selector seal, guibo, exhaust seals, maybe an E60 545i shifter, CDV delete, trans mount and carrier bushing.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2012, 08:54 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Do the rear seal replacement while you are there-maybe $50 more. Also, other responder was correct. I recommend stock clutch AND FLYWHEEL but I would never go that far and not replace pilot bearing, fork and spring and last but LEAST (~$2) GET THE PLASTIC PIVOT PIN!!!!! whole clutch depends on a $2 plastic part that if it fails you get to do it all over again. Lots of nay-sayers will come out about type of clutch, but don't resurface flywheel....replace it and the clutch and I recommend Sachs (OEM).

Shop prices, they vary a lot on web. G/L AQlso, spray all exhaust bolts about 2 days in advance to loosen up as exhaust needs to come off. Loosen anything that even looks like it might be seized on you and let it do its work at least a day opr two.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:18 AM
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I forgot I also replaced the throwout bearing guide tube while I was in there.
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  #14  
Old 03-10-2013, 11:13 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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thank you very much for all your answers, i had actually parked it for the winter in a garage and used my dds van for the mean time, i was just thinking, would it be worth it to change the headers while im down there, some say it is very hard
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:04 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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My recommendation would be to skip the headers. Very expensive for these cars and remember what is it we are really after. If anther 15HP was worth probably $1500, then you should have bought something else. Don't let your money burn a whole in your pocket. Can almost guarantee you are not done with needed, major repairs yet. Why did you buy a 528 then?
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:03 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Quote:
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My recommendation would be to skip the headers. Very expensive for these cars and remember what is it we are really after. If anther 15HP was worth probably $1500, then you should have bought something else. Don't let your money burn a whole in your pocket. Can almost guarantee you are not done with needed, major repairs yet. Why did you buy a 528 then?
Very good advice above. BMW factory exhaust systems already flow very well compared to most other manufacturers' production exhaust. There is not a lot of HP to be gained from changing it. I also agree you are not done with major needed repairs. Expect to have to work on shocks, struts, suspension bushings, and maybe driveshaft couplings in the next year if you want to bring this car back to what it should drive like. Save your money for those things right now.

Once you get through all the needed repairs, if you want to look into a mod that will gain significant HP, look into swapping an OBD I intake manifold from an M50 engine. That will be worth 20-30 HP at higher rpm and you can proactively replace all the old vacuum and coolant hoses that are hiding under your intake manifold while you are doing it. Don't pull the intake manifold without replacing all those rubber parts. They typically start to fail around 120-150K miles and this is a job that only needs to be done once in the lifetime of most cars. This is a challenging job for someone new to BMW's but not impossible. You just have to take your time and mark all wires as you disconnect them. There are numerous threads on E36 forums about this OBD I manifold swap and you can buy kits of parts that make this much easier to do. (E36 328i uses same engine as your car.) I can guarantee you will understand how to work on your engine a lot better after successfully completing this job.
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:05 PM
ibz150 ibz150 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Do the rear seal replacement while you are there-maybe $50 more. Also, other responder was correct. I recommend stock clutch AND FLYWHEEL but I would never go that far and not replace pilot bearing, fork and spring and last but LEAST (~$2) GET THE PLASTIC PIVOT PIN!!!!! whole clutch depends on a $2 plastic part that if it fails you get to do it all over again. Lots of nay-sayers will come out about type of clutch, but don't resurface flywheel....replace it and the clutch and I recommend Sachs (OEM).

Shop prices, they vary a lot on web. G/L AQlso, spray all exhaust bolts about 2 days in advance to loosen up as exhaust needs to come off. Loosen anything that even looks like it might be seized on you and let it do its work at least a day opr two.
thank you so much to all you who have answered
540iman i searched on ecs tuning and found two of the four parts named; rear main and pilot bearing found but the fork and spring and the plastic pivot pin
but at pelican i found this http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...00-03%29%20%20
do you think the silicone on is worth the extra money and piece of mind, i dont mine cause it i'd rather be safe than sorry but i didnt find the fork and spring this what came up when i searched up fork and spring
http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...FILTER_TOOL=ON
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  #18  
Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM
kingbled kingbled is offline
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Let us know how you go and if it is hard for you
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:14 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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The bronze pivot pin is over-kill IMO unless you are truly going to keep the car for another 10 years. You will likely need another clutch before then and so go with the plastic piece which was just a few bucks-maybe $5. The fork and spring you found on Pelican are the pieces I referred to, but unless yours has been abused and is bent, skip it. Just tell whomever does the job that you want everything looked at and want all old parts back. look at www.realoem.com for the actual parts that went into your car. All you will need for access are the last 2 letters and 5 numbers of your vin number and it will tell you what was actually used in your exact car and what wasn't right down to your individual options. Use realoem.com to get part numbers-IGNORING what they show for price as they are using BMW LIST price. I swear to God that I got my M5 clutch done for under $1200 total parts and labor including pin, rear main seal, pilot bearing, fork, fork return spring, et al. All I did was that I paid for and provided the OEM clutch disc and dual mass flywheel. I called LUK and Sachs directly as they both provide the same exact part and believe I paid right around $500 for both. I let BMW certified indy repair shop suggest and source pilot bushing, rear main, fork, spring, and anything else. Canada may be expensive, but I has an ASE certified BMW & Mercedes repair shop inn Chicago area that charges $65/hour (today's price) for labor which is unheard of and they let you bring your own parts. They are just so experienced that they waste not a minute doing the work. If they run into something unexpected, your car stops and sits until they get issue resolved with owner/parts/ etc. and they move on to another car. With 6 lifts and generally at least $2-3 million worth of vehicles at all times awaiting repair in their small lot, that tells you how good this immigrant family from Palestine is at repair! 24 years in same spot and all family members work there. They must get ASE certified if they want to work on cars. Otherwise, they order parts, answer phone, etc. The main owner-quote guy is a master and remembers every car and name. I drive from Indiana to Illinois to get work done. I would never let anyone else work on my car. I told them to check my car out top to bottom and give me a list of anything it needed and I wanted valley pan, water pump, and a few other things. They thought alternator was fine and it went out coincidentally a week later...they bought a 140 amp water-cooled alt. and paid labor to install because they had it out and in their hands and didn't replace it. Who could know?! They replaced and would not take any money, even for the part. Point is search for someone to do the job for certainly under $1800. It is a 5 hour job for anyone who really knows their poop. Rear main seal is virtually no labor as they are right there and just charged me for the seal. Mine was NOT leaking, but they all do-it is just when.
Hope I addressed all your concerns. Get whoever you use to quote to commit to time and cost per hour. If they try to tell you it is over 7 hours even at $100 an hour they are screwing you. Insist on providing your own flywheel and clutch new in box. If they tell you they can't guarantee any job where owner provides part, stick to your guns that pieces you bring will be exactly as per OEM spec and oem brand! Good luck. Money talks or they can walk. Find a foreign car expert and make him convinced you know the job, but just don't have anyplace to do yourself. Guys have done in their driveway. I have done many clutch jobs in my driveway, but never to a BMW. Biggest hassle is getting car up high enough and trans will have to come out on your chest and exhaust system dropped. G/L
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:36 AM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540iman View Post
Insist on providing your own flywheel and clutch new in box. If they tell you they can't guarantee any job where owner provides part, stick to your guns that pieces you bring will be exactly as per OEM spec and oem brand! Good luck. Money talks or they can walk.
So what happens if the parts you brought in was defective from the get go and didn't work?
You ready to pay THEM to tear it all down again and put in YOUR NEW PARTS ALL OVER AGAIN?

The shop owner wants to do the job right the first time, just like you, but how can he promise you that IF YOU BRING YOUR OWN PARTS? Who's dime is it going to be if they have to redo the work? A
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:32 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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You either let the installer mark-up the parts through the roof to get his warranty on a clutch which I doubt is very long to start with, or you bring correct parts, do not let him mark-up your parts and then if it proves to be a defective disc or flywheel you are stuck with the labor and must deal with Sachs or LUK under the parts warrantee. These parts are made to very strict specs for BMW. I don't worry about them failing a whole lot, but you can't have your cake and eat it too. Risk/reward. I feel risk is worth it. YMMV
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:52 PM
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DHoang DHoang is offline
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I agree. So to reiterate what you just said,
If you bring your own parts to have the shop install it, then you forego
whatever warranty exists on said repair.

Seeing that most repair shops will stand behind their work and give 90 days labor & parts warranty, by you bringing your own parts to be installed, the assumption of risk therefore shifts away from the shop and falls entirely on you, labor included.

I"ve had a clutch disc installed the wrong way before, and even though the pedal would push in and out just fine, you couldn't get the trans in gear. The only way to know that this was installed backwards was to take out the whole tranny, tear down the pressure plate, and then find this out for yourself. Let's say that indeed did happen to your car after the shop did an install, and the parts came from you. How do you think a shop is going to handle this? Is the shop going to say "we think the pressure plate was installed backwards"? or do you think the shop will say, "hey, we installed it, but looks like the parts you gave us is defective". What incentive could you possibly provide to the shop to go back into the trans on his dime to rotate the improperly installed clutch disc back to proper orientation if you brought your own parts in? He has none, and ultimately, you will wind up paying double for the rework. That's ALOT OF RISK to assume just to save on a 35% markup on parts, don't you think?
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Last edited by DHoang; 03-17-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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  #23  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:30 PM
mda185 mda185 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHoang View Post
I agree. So to reiterate what you just said,
If you bring your own parts to have the shop install it, then you forego
whatever warranty exists on said repair.

Seeing that most repair shops will stand behind their work and give 90 days labor & parts warranty, by you bringing your own parts to be installed, the assumption of risk therefore shifts away from the shop and falls entirely on you, labor included.

I"ve had a clutch disc installed the wrong way before, and even though the pedal would push in and out just fine, you couldn't get the trans in gear. The only way to know that this was installed backwards was to take out the whole tranny, tear down the pressure plate, and then find this out for yourself. Let's say that indeed did happen to your car after the shop did an install, and the parts came from you. How do you think a shop is going to handle this? Is the shop going to say "we think the pressure plate was installed backwards"? or do you think the shop will say, "hey, we installed it, but looks like the parts you gave us is defective". What incentive could you possibly provide to the shop to go back into the trans on his dime to rotate the improperly installed clutch disc back to proper orientation if you brought your own parts in? He has none, and ultimately, you will wind up paying double for the rework. That's ALOT OF RISK to assume just to save on a 35% markup on parts, don't you think?
I agree with this line of reasoning. If I can't do the work myself, I don't buy the parts. A competent shop owner is entitled to his mark up on the parts if he stands behind his work. That is, as long as he is not marking parts up 100%. I have seen that practice too and I will not recommend folks like that or give them my business.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:03 PM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHoang View Post
I agree. So to reiterate what you just said,
If you bring your own parts to have the shop install it, then you forego
whatever warranty exists on said repair.

Seeing that most repair shops will stand behind their work and give 90 days labor & parts warranty, by you bringing your own parts to be installed, the assumption of risk therefore shifts away from the shop and falls entirely on you, labor included.

I"ve had a clutch disc installed the wrong way before, and even though the pedal would push in and out just fine, you couldn't get the trans in gear. The only way to know that this was installed backwards was to take out the whole tranny, tear down the pressure plate, and then find this out for yourself. Let's say that indeed did happen to your car after the shop did an install, and the parts came from you. How do you think a shop is going to handle this? Is the shop going to say "we think the pressure plate was installed backwards"? or do you think the shop will say, "hey, we installed it, but looks like the parts you gave us is defective". What incentive could you possibly provide to the shop to go back into the trans on his dime to rotate the improperly installed clutch disc back to proper orientation if you brought your own parts in? He has none, and ultimately, you will wind up paying double for the rework. That's ALOT OF RISK to assume just to save on a 35% markup on parts, don't you think?
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.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:00 AM
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540iman 540iman is offline
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I think just the savings in the flywheel price alone would cover a re-do in the tiny chance something is wrong with brand new, in the box, oem pieces. If the person doing your clutch puts something in wrong, you likely would have had bigger problems with their workmanship besides the ripoff price. Why not see if their is a BMW owner within say a 100 mile radius who is willing to help you do the job for a few hundred bucks and a 12-pak?
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