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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 02-13-2012, 02:49 PM
Bugsie Bugsie is offline
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Hard engaging gears while cold with spongy clutch pedal

Hi all. I have a 5sp 525 with an M50.

It happen once and now again.

With a cold morning and car I find very difficult to engage gears. A few miles later and the shifting improves a lot.
The pedal in every situation, hot or cold, travels half way before starting to de-clutch.

Any ideas on this??? Appreciate in advance.

Best regards
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:52 PM
paperplane94 paperplane94 is offline
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Hmmmm

Air in the clutch slave cylinder i.e. a leak?
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2012, 07:55 PM
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goosefoot33 goosefoot33 is offline
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Hard shifting is normal when the car is cold. The transmission fluid is cold and thick, but after a few miles of movement, it begins to warm and thin (same theory when you change your engine oil- it must be warm to flow easily out of the engine).
As for the pedal situation, I'm not sure. Are you saying your clutch is slipping? I don't really pay attention to when mine engages so I can't be of any help there.

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  #4  
Old 02-13-2012, 08:33 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Check you fluid levels. The clutch slave cylinders wears out after 20 years, and start leaking the fluid leak can shorten the life of the clucth by allowing it to slip more. slave cylenders are inexpensive to repar in a kit or replace whole. must take caution not to loose push rod in bell housing opening when removing and installing. Research the repair well.
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  #5  
Old 02-14-2012, 01:14 PM
Bugsie Bugsie is offline
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Hi all. The gears are REALLY hard to engage, especially of course, 1st, 2nd and reverse.
About the pedal, I'm not quite sure how to explain. It appears to move freely until half course then starts the normal clutch resistance.
I thought tranny oil change.
Other wise the clutch appears to be in normal condition.
Regards
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2012, 01:39 AM
Bugsie Bugsie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paperplane94 View Post
Hmmmm

Air in the clutch slave cylinder i.e. a leak?
Its very hard to engage firsr and reverse. I opted to switch off,engage and restart.
While cold this happens,when in gear the car starts moving with clutch on the ground and fterwards the pedal remains half course.
Slave? Ill bleed it with time. Best regards
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2012, 05:26 PM
TommyD525i TommyD525i is offline
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It sounds to me like it could be one of a few things or a combination.

Low fluids or non
Bad slave
Bad throw out bearing
Loose or broken linkage
Or sorry to say bad clutch and/or your 1st and reverse gear syncro is failing inside the tranny.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2012, 07:50 PM
down19992000 down19992000 is offline
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I know on some 5 speed manual transmission the manufacturers call for automatic transmission fluid to be used. Sometimes people would change it out and mistakenly put gear oil in the tranny. (Like old manual transmission used to call for) My brother had a newer mustang that someone had done this to and it was a bear to put in gear on cold mornings but would be fine when the car warmed up. He put the proper weight trans fluid in it and the problem went away. I don't remember what bmw recommends to put in the manual transmissions on these cars but if it is atf check to make sure someone didn't put gear oil in it when doing maintenance to the car.
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  #9  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:05 AM
Bugsie Bugsie is offline
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Hi all. I really what of fluid is in but Ive checked it and its ATF for sure. I'm thinking to start with a bleed and moving on totranny fluid and then the secondary. I'll keep updates on this.
Best regards
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  #10  
Old 03-03-2012, 12:37 PM
Bugsie Bugsie is offline
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Hi all. UPDATE on this one.

SYMPTOMS:
-ENGINE OFF
- The shifting was butter-like.
-ENGINE ON, COLD
- Pretty difficult to engage any gear, specially 1st or reverse. Opted for shut off, engage and restart.
- Even with the pedal down the car moved forward or reverse.
- Easy to engage without using the clutch.
- The clutch pedal stopped half way and had to be pushed up by foot.
- The pedal also feel like dead until half way.
-ENGINE ON, WARM
- Everything worked close to good, but each shifting had to be done with caution for no grinding.
DISCUSSION:
I discarded the tranny fluid because with the engine off the shifting was OK. The clutch was not spinning; if I engage 2nd the engine will stall right away.
My attention turned to secondary pump but for money matter I had to try something first: bleed.
RESULTS:
The fluid reservoir is "divided" in two partitions with a window on top for fluid to flow. When I opened up the reservoir saw that the previous owner had for some reason increased the window. I believe this in turn allow the fluid to compensate to lower quantities and allow air to enter the clutch circuit.
I really topped up the reservoir as advised in several threads on this forum and start pumping. 5/6 is the right number of pumps. More will deplete the fluid and allow air. 5/6 is the number. After this bleeding everything is working just fine.
I think in the near future this problem will continue because as brake pads go away the fluid will get lower and at some point will air in the clutch circuit even with the fluid indication between MAX and MIN.

Thanks to all on this forum for the sound advices on this and on everything.

Best regards
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  #11  
Old 01-08-2014, 05:50 PM
NotARealPony NotARealPony is offline
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hey guys,

sorry to revive an old thread, however, I am having the EXACT same symptoms on my 540i/6 since we're experienceing -30 degrees Celsuis up here in toronto, and across the united states as well.

respect to bugsie for the detailed update to his solution -- I will try to add more to this thread when I solve this problem

cheers
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2014, 06:17 PM
Blue540 Blue540 is offline
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Hiya

Whats it like after the car has done a few miles, say at least 20?? And when did it start giving ya problems......???
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2014, 06:19 PM
3star 3star is offline
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dirty brake fluid. Change it also could be a slave cylinder or master on its last leg.

Fortunately those parts are very cheap and easy to replace
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  #14  
Old 01-08-2014, 06:43 PM
Blue540 Blue540 is offline
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I'm confident 3Star means the brake fluid that's used in the hydraulic clutch system.......and yea, ditto what he's saying......

Can't help but wonder if its only just started doing it, if its related to the extreme cold though - you'll know by if it gets better once the car itself warms up a bit.....???

If you're in the snow / ice that we're seeing USA as getting on our TV's here, it does strange things to normal lubricants ae. Even just getting your thrust bearing assembly to 'slide' to get the clutch to disengage at first start off, will be a big thing.......

I'd like to know more..........
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2014, 11:01 AM
Ken@BavAuto Ken@BavAuto is online now
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Brake fluid does absorb water over time and it seems to be pretty common for people to not bleed the clutch when they are bleeding the brakes. So properly bleeding it could help. But chances are you're in for a new clutch master or slave cylinder soon. Also keep in mind the clutch slave bleeder faces down so it's often difficult to get all the air out of the system. We sell a tool that you can clamp the slave cylinder into so you can flip it over and bleed it properly. If you're using a good suction bleeder this isn't an issue. But pumping the pedal or using something like our pressure bleeder it is.
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  #16  
Old 01-11-2014, 09:34 AM
NotARealPony NotARealPony is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue540 View Post
I'm confident 3Star means the brake fluid that's used in the hydraulic clutch system.......and yea, ditto what he's saying......

Can't help but wonder if its only just started doing it, if its related to the extreme cold though - you'll know by if it gets better once the car itself warms up a bit.....???

If you're in the snow / ice that we're seeing USA as getting on our TV's here, it does strange things to normal lubricants ae. Even just getting your thrust bearing assembly to 'slide' to get the clutch to disengage at first start off, will be a big thing.......

I'd like to know more..........
Yep, it definitely gets better as the system warms up as i drive around.

One of these colder days we had, it was bad enough that I couldn't engage 1st and 2nd altogether, and had to start the car off in 3rd gear, and drive in the higher gears until the 1st and 2nd became available, i.e., not grinding.

At the same time, the clutch pedal also goes in, but does not come out all the way -- its got a limp feel to it as well, for the lack of a better word. So, I have to stick my toe under the pedal and retrieve it from the halfway point everytime i used the clutch.

Anyway, this limp/stuck clutch pedal problem also disappears after about 5 minutes of cautious driving.

This weekend we have good weather again, just above the freezing mark. The clutch/tranny in a LOT more cooperative.

Hopefully this is a temporal problem, not chronic!

Like 3star mentioned, i suspect a slave cylinder problem, but haven't looked into it yet.

how's the weather treating you guys in newzealand?
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  #17  
Old 01-11-2014, 09:38 AM
NotARealPony NotARealPony is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken@BavAuto View Post
Brake fluid does absorb water over time and it seems to be pretty common for people to not bleed the clutch when they are bleeding the brakes. So properly bleeding it could help. But chances are you're in for a new clutch master or slave cylinder soon. Also keep in mind the clutch slave bleeder faces down so it's often difficult to get all the air out of the system. We sell a tool that you can clamp the slave cylinder into so you can flip it over and bleed it properly. If you're using a good suction bleeder this isn't an issue. But pumping the pedal or using something like our pressure bleeder it is.
i've done some reading about bleeding and reverse bleeding, and it seems like a nightmare.

i am going to attempt it using basic tools and the help of a friend, but it will more than likely end badly lol

at that point, i'm just gonna let my mechanic handle it.
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  #18  
Old 01-11-2014, 09:48 AM
NotARealPony NotARealPony is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i/6
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3star View Post
dirty brake fluid. Change it also could be a slave cylinder or master on its last leg.

Fortunately those parts are very cheap and easy to replace
hey,

by changing the dirty brake fluid, do you mean i should flush the entire system, or should i simply bleed it?

thanks
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  #19  
Old 01-11-2014, 04:24 PM
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_Ethrty-Andy_ _Ethrty-Andy_ is offline
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flush it out, start again.

why would you want to leave dirty old stuff in there??
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