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Discussion Starter #1
So ever since I got the X3 (3 years ago) during winter months, cold days during shifting I hear this odd noise. It's hard to describe but it sounds like plastic gear, almost as if there was a frog under the dash.

This occurs in the higher rpms as I am about to shift, the X3 is a 6speed manual FYI. Once clutch is pushed in it's heard. It also related to RPM, so lets say I push the clutch in anticipation of shifting but just hold it pressed in and as the RPMs drop this sound gets more faint.

It does not affect shifting or drive ability at all. However sounds annoying as can be. Is not present as soon as the milder temperatures appear. The sound sounds like plastic or something. No feeling or anything on the clutch.

Overall the clutch etc feel great and no issues with it. Just like I said the sound is the only nuisance.

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm I looked this up and that was my thoughts too, but the throwout bearing makes sounds at idle everyone says, this one does not.
 

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If that sound only occurs when you push the clutch in, then it's a throwout bearing. Is it time for a clutch anyway? I'm not sure how long X3 clutches are typically lasting. MY e46 lasted about 175K miles and that seems to be pretty typical for e46's.

If you haven't replaced the clutch, I'd plan on doing the whole job at once. Not worth pulling the trans to just replace the TO bearing. Be sure to replace the rear main seal and the trans input shaft seal while you're in there.

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To revive this thread. I am not totally convinced its the throwout bearing. Would it not be doing it constantly, every single time the clutch is pressed in?

Could it be the slave cylinder or master cylinder? What is their purpose?
 

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The only moving parts to the cylinders are the hydraulic pistons traveling in/out in their very limited range. They are not capable of making the kind of noise you're describing. Unless you have some sort of foreign debris inside your clutch, I don't see any other cause than a T.O. bearing. It should continue to get worse until total failure if it is the bearing.

AM.
 

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I'm also of the throwout bearing camp. Can also sound like a heat shield rattling sound; my old truck has done this for 30k miles and at least since 2011, but I just haven't found the drive to address it yet (access to the upper bellhousing bolts requires unbolting and raising the cab). Definitely replace the clutch if you're in there, possibly pressure plate (if warped) while in there, and also make darn sure the rear main seal isn't leaking (if it is, you'll get clutch chatter). I've seen clutches needing replacement at 60k miles (my E46 that I traded for the E83... I'd bought it with a clutch on its way out and still drove it for 15k miles, and never replaced the clutch), and also clutches that have lasted 400k miles (my grandfather's '76 F250). Clutch longevity all depends on the driver. The clutch is hydraulic, so when you press the clutch pedal, there is a master cylinder that forces fluid fluid into the slave cylinder (the clutch's equivalent of a wheel cylinder), which in turn operates the clutch pressure plate. They are simple valves and wouldn't make noise, but can leak. But, they can be rebuilt (I plan on rebuilding the one in my old truck today, as it's been weeping for years but has recently gotten worse). If you've never drained, filled and bled the clutch fluid, you should. Clutch fluid is brake fluid, and absorbs water. Also, if anything like the E46, there is a clutch delay valve in the system that lots of E46 folks remove in order to improve clutch feel and engagement. Good luck... yanking a transmission is my personal idea of Dante's 8th circle of hell.
 

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From my internet diagnoses, it sound like one of the bearing's inside the TC.......TB typical also makes noise @ idle..........Get it up in the air and have a helper listen to pinpoint the noise
 

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Discussion Starter #9
From my internet diagnoses, it sound like one of the bearing's inside the TC.......TB typical also makes noise @ idle..........Get it up in the air and have a helper listen to pinpoint the noise


Not sure how this relates to the TC.. the noise is not consistent. Today was not as bad as other days, certainly seems more profound on cold days. if it is the release bearing that sucks lol as I really don’t want to have to drop the transmission in my garage... no hoist etc.




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FWIW, all of my clutch chatter and noises on my '84 GMC (previously attributed to throwout bearing) went away with a new slave cylinder. The old one was leaking inside the transmission and fouling the clutch causing chatter, that I'd previously attributed to a leaking rear main seal. The noises were due to the slave's pushrod rattling around. Of course, if you're not using clutch fluid, this is all moot.

Can you record said noise?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmm where is the clutch fluid reservoir? I'm sure by now if i was using clutch fluid I'd be bone dry at this point..
 

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I'm not sure where on the E83 it would be, but should be on the side of the transmission (probably driver's side). Follow the clutch hydraulic line down from the clutch master cylinder. I'll be honest, I can't recall if my E46 had a separate master cylinder for the clutch or if it shared with the brakes.

You'd know if you were down on clutch fluid, though, but I believe in looking at the cheap/easy solutions first.
 

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The cylinder itself is, of course, separate, but I believe it shares a common reservoir with the brake system. There's should be a small opening at the bottom of the bell housing. You might crawl under there with a strong flashlight and see if you can get a look at the slave cylinder. I'm not sure if you can see it, but would only take a minute. I'd consider going in there with the borescope I recently got, now that I think of it.

AM.
 
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