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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 06-26-2013, 09:56 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Flushing clutch fluid

Hey, it's me again. I was a bit too intimidated on doing this recently, and decided I was finished with my present round of maintenance. But I can't seem to stop thinking about it. Please review my thoughts on doing this for the next time I change brake fluid.

I have the BavAuto "BMW special" clutch bleeding tool. I'm pretty sure I'm going to return it, I cannot see a single use of it at this subforum, and 2 of 3 search results happen to be my own posts. I think taking off the slave cylinder is more than I am bargaining for.

I think I will do it as in the video below, which is known to not a few of you. The added bonus of having the minimum amount of air introduced by going upwards rather downwards (even with a pressure bleeder) is pretty hard to ignore. (Maybe the 3mm flex line can be found cheaper at some certain store, not having much luck finding a significantly cheaper price through google or ebay.)

So I think I may a couple of items such as the below, which I think are recommended in the video, and oil pistol pump and the aforementioned tubing.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1SV1BYDTUK2Z5
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A3TGC5XRRCX4P2

Where I get confused is this: I thought I had read that one would want to do the clutch fluid last, after all the brakes, due to the proximity of the clutch system to the reservoir. Ah okay, maybe I'm thinking this through as I type this.... After the brakes are done, I remove the brand new fresh brake fluid from the reservoir and set aside. Pump upward through clutch, old fluid is now in reservoir, remove it. Put the fresh fluid that was set aside back into the reservoir.

This make sense to you? Am I making this more complicated than necessary? My lack of understanding how best to attack this is kind of bothering me. I know some of you must have done this.... thank you. Okay, one more question, if I can obtain the above items by next week, the brake fluid is fresh enough that it's perfectly fine to go ahead and do this right?

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  #2  
Old 06-27-2013, 01:40 AM
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Flushing clutch fluid

"Clutch" fluid is the same brake fluid, it comes from the same reservoir.
So if you are keen on flushing your clutch you better flush your brakes at the same time. The clutch system must be air free after you're done, and the brake hydraulic system must remain air free as well.


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Old 06-27-2013, 05:13 AM
hondo402000 hondo402000 is offline
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I have never seen a brake system and a clutch system use the same reservoir. To me that would be insane, if you lost your clutch hydraulics then you would loose the brakes too. NOT SMART

now if you meant to say the brake fluid and clutch fluid are the same type and interchangeable I agree with that, to change out the clutch fluid really all you have to do is open the bleeder screw and let gravity do the work, and make sure the reservoir stays full or you will have to pressure bleed it, which means one person in the car one under the car, guy pushes on the clutch, you open the bleeder screw, guy hold the clutch down till you close the bleeder screw, guy releases the clutch peddle, repeat the steps till fluid is clear

easy!
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondo402000 View Post
I have never seen a brake system and a clutch system use the same reservoir. To me that would be insane, if you lost your clutch hydraulics then you would loose the brakes too. NOT SMART
Open your hood, on the driver's side remove the plastic cover by the leaf catcher, and the reservoir is in plane sight for your viewing pleasure
I am pretty sure BMW engineers introduced a fail safe system to minimize no-clutch/no-brakes failure.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:11 AM
Strongmad Strongmad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
Open your hood, on the driver's side remove the plastic cover by the leaf catcher, and the reservoir is in plane sight for your viewing pleasure
I am pretty sure BMW engineers introduced a fail safe system to minimize no-clutch/no-brakes failure.
Correct, same reservoir, iirc there they are separated inside though. You also need to get as much air out as possible. If not, the next morning your clutch pedal will be on the floor. Its ok though, you just need to manually push the clutch pedal back and forth until you pump the air out since the system is self bleeding. Ask me how I know

Oh, and I did have to drain the brake side too.

Last edited by Strongmad; 06-27-2013 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongmad View Post
Correct, same reservoir, iirc there they are separated inside though. You also need to get as much air out as possible. If not, the next morning your clutch pedal will be on the floor. Its ok though, you just need to manually push the clutch pedal back and forth until you pump the air out since the system is self bleeding. Ask me how I know

Oh, and I did have to drain the brake side too.
I don't remember seeing a separator when I was doing my CDV delete.
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  #7  
Old 06-27-2013, 07:52 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
"Clutch" fluid is the same brake fluid, it comes from the same reservoir.
So if you are keen on flushing your clutch you better flush your brakes at the same time. The clutch system must be air free after you're done, and the brake hydraulic system must remain air free as well.


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I just did the brake fluid using a BavAuto power bleeder last weekend. It's okay to do the clutch say early/middle next week? (I'm taking my car in today for bumper repair, due to getting mildly rear ended recently, and won't get it back until after the weekend, I think anyway.) Does my described method make sense to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongmad View Post
Correct, same reservoir, iirc there they are separated inside though. You also need to get as much air out as possible. If not, the next morning your clutch pedal will be on the floor. Its ok though, you just need to manually push the clutch pedal back and forth until you pump the air out since the system is self bleeding. Ask me how I know

Oh, and I did have to drain the brake side too.
With your hard earned experience (I've been getting a lot of that lately, even for the easiest jobs!), do you like my described method? Is there still a high risk of introducing air?

How did you introduce air, were you using a power bleeder, and with the unideal position of the bleeder valve, some small bubbles were introduced from the side of the catch bottle?

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 06-27-2013 at 07:53 AM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:40 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
I just did the brake fluid using a BavAuto power bleeder last weekend. It's okay to do the clutch say early/middle next week? (I'm taking my car in today for bumper repair, due to getting mildly rear ended recently, and won't get it back until after the weekend, I think anyway.) Does my described method make sense to you?



With your hard earned experience (I've been getting a lot of that lately, even for the easiest jobs!), do you like my described method? Is there still a high risk of introducing air?

How did you introduce air, were you using a power bleeder, and with the unideal position of the bleeder valve, some small bubbles were introduced from the side of the catch bottle?
FWIW, I've never used the pressure bleeder for the clutch, I always use the pedal, seems to work better for some reason, perhaps the separation of the reservoir makes it difficult to force pressure in that direction.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovemycar View Post
I just did the brake fluid using a BavAuto power bleeder last weekend. It's okay to do the clutch say early/middle next week? (I'm taking my car in today for bumper repair, due to getting mildly rear ended recently, and won't get it back until after the weekend, I think anyway.) Does my described method make sense to you?



With your hard earned experience (I've been getting a lot of that lately, even for the easiest jobs!), do you like my described method? Is there still a high risk of introducing air?

How did you introduce air, were you using a power bleeder, and with the unideal position of the bleeder valve, some small bubbles were introduced from the side of the catch bottle?

They video you referenced is the most proper way of bleeding the clutch on the German cars.
What I'd do given you already did the brakes, the system is primed and pressurized - remove the fluid from the reservoir (I would not think it is a best idea to reuse it though), remove the fluid from the clutch system. Make sure yoyu get the fluid out of the master and slave cylinders.
Put the brake fluid back into the expansion tank and bleed the clutch.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2013, 10:07 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekurgan View Post
FWIW, I've never used the pressure bleeder for the clutch, I always use the pedal, seems to work better for some reason, perhaps the separation of the reservoir makes it difficult to force pressure in that direction.
Thanks for sharing this, it's good to know. I'm embarrassed to say though that I'll have to look more into the pedal technique. I didn't think there was any involvement of the pedal with the method described in the video, but I will definitely run some searches later on today for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
They video you referenced is the most proper way of bleeding the clutch on the German cars.
What I'd do given you already did the brakes, the system is primed and pressurized - remove the fluid from the reservoir (I would not think it is a best idea to reuse it though), remove the fluid from the clutch system. Make sure yoyu get the fluid out of the master and slave cylinders.
Put the brake fluid back into the expansion tank and bleed the clutch.
I think I will do this. No pedal, right? Brake fluid is super cheap, I will buy a fresh bottle (I think I have half a bottle or so left over as well). I believe I've read that the clutch system only takes a few oz to flush out.

Question for all, regarding suggested tools: I was intimidated while staring at the slave underneath the car in big part because I was pretty sure I was lacking the right tools. Assuming it's 7mm like in the video (I know my rear brakes were 9mm, and front 11mm), am I best advised to find something like a "crow foot" 7mm, with long extension... or... wait, is what I want a flexible head like this here? (I didn't find a 7mm with flexible head at Lowe's where I go to often.)
http://www.amazon.com/0-Flexible-Rat...cheting+wrench
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2013, 11:30 AM
Strongmad Strongmad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lqaddict View Post
I don't remember seeing a separator when I was doing my CDV delete.
You may be correct, I swear there was a little divider, now I'm going to have to look when I get back home.

As far as how I drained the fluid, I did it the same time I did my CDV delete, so I just drained the fluid from there, pulled out the restrictor valve in the CDV and put it back in line and filled the res with fluid, which in hindsight is how I got so much air in the system. Then I just bled the brakes.

As I said before I had to manually pump my clutch pedal to get the air out after bleeding the brakes. Its been about a year and works great. I guess Im used to working on older cars, hence the ghetto method I used.
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:35 AM
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thekurgan thekurgan is offline
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[QUOTE=Strongmad;7676749]You may be correct, I swear there was a little divider, now I'm going to have to look when I get back home.

As far as how I drained the fluid, I did it the same time I did my CDV delete, so I just drained the fluid from there, pulled out the restrictor valve in the CDV and put it back in line and filled the res with fluid, which in hindsight is how I got so much air in the system. Then I just bled the brakes.

As I said before I had to manually pump my clutch pedal to get the air out after bleeding the brakes. Its been about a year and works great. I guess Im used to working on older cars, hence the ghetto method I used.[/QUOTE]

I'm the same way, I find a better pedal feel using the old school method and/or gravity bleeding.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:38 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
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So many methods^, I didn't have the time today to better understand my options, but I intend to find time this weekend. So I finally found out what size wrench is needed, it's 11mm according to one thread (first two DIY threads I found never mentioned it, and the Bentley never mentions it either, hence my asking). The poster who mentions 11mm, says he can only turn it about "2 cms". These will sound like the stupidest questions, but I really am still interested in your tools of choice here. Long needlenose pliers to pull off the cap (and how do you get it back on, same pliers, "pushing in"?), and then what type of wrench are you guys using there? Is it a crowfoot or flexible head wrench that I want? Thanks for obliging... you can see the box end wrenches I used for the brakes... maybe it's good enough, and that the tiniest turn is still good enough to bleed this "smaller" system?
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