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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 01-18-2013, 10:47 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
Checking clutch wear using "snake camera"

Has anyone here uses the "Snake Camera" ($100 on Amazon) to inspect the clutch wear to see how much "meat" you have left?

Example of "Snake Camera":

http://www.amazon.com/ProVision-PV10...721889-3704245
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:56 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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I'd like to have one of those but I don't see how it will help determine how much "meat" or friction material is left on the clutch disc because the disc is completely sandwiched and enclosed by the pressure plate and flywheel. There's no way to view the edge of that disc without removing it, at which point you'll want to replace everything anyway.
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Old 01-18-2013, 03:05 PM
Jim Rolando Jim Rolando is offline
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I've thought about buying one because I think it might come in handy for a lot of things. But, I never thought about using it for that application. With that said, I have an automatic but, with regards to pleidades comment; isn't there a flywheel cover on the bottom of the bell housing with an opening in it like most cars? I really don't know because I've never looked at one.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:21 PM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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There are 3 or 4 plugs that you can take out however I'm pretty sure they are on the front side of the flywheel. There is no removable plate.
I have this one that is good for many applications, it records too and can plug into your computer for a bigger display.

http://www.harborfreight.com/high-re...der-67980.html
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:29 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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I have actually used a snake camera to look inside the clutch area and as Pleiades said you just can't get the snake to turn enough to do an edge on inspection of the clutch disc.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:08 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
I have actually used a snake camera to look inside the clutch area and as Pleiades said you just can't get the snake to turn enough to do an edge on inspection of the clutch disc.
Did you try having someone step on the clutch to move the pressure plate away from the clutch disc? Wonder if that would give you a better view.
The one I have comes with a small mirror that is at a 45 degree angle that slips on to the image sensor at the end of the flexible shaft.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2013, 07:18 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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I actually thought of that as I was composing my last post. I had snaked the camera in through the slave cylinder hole, so I didn't get to move the pressure plate
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:21 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 528i, M52TU w/stick
I need to retract something I said. On my car the dual-mass flywheel *almost* completely hides the edge of the friction disc from a side view, but looking at my old one today I noticed it has three equally spaced cutout areas along its circumference that allow one to see the edge of the clutch disc and at least visually assess thickness.

I just don't think the bell housing has any openings other than the two rearmost oil pan bolt holes to allow a scope up in there for this purpose. The slave cylinder hole might be fine for this, but lacking the tool I have no idea whether it can be finagled into the tight space between the bell housing and flywheel/pressure plate assembly, let alone angled sharply enough to peek where need be.
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