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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone, finally have a legit question to ask... my '02 M coupe just turned 44000 (exactly as I parked it today!), and the past few times I've driven the car, I've had some issues with the clutch slipping through hard acceleration. I don't track it, although I'm the second owner and who knows what the first guy did :eek: ... I just take it out for fun on the back roads.
What has been happening (like today) is: as I get on he accelerator in a low gear for instance, and try to accelerate hard through the gears, I feel the clutch slipping, and then the wonderful burnt clutch smell floods the cabin (even with all of that wind!). I am not power-shifting mind you, just a good solid quick, clutch in, shift, release, back on the gas! Today, I dropped into 2nd and took off fine, then when I shifted into 3rd, I felt the slipping through the entire gear up to about 7k on the tach, so I backed off of the throttle a bit going into 4th and it caught fine, but the smell :yikes: !!!
Anybody else experience this, or is the clutch on it's way out? It's fine just lolly-gagging around town, but I do like to push the car... it's meant to be driven! Any ideas or input would be appreciated, and any suggestions for improvements (parts or upgrades) when the clutch is changed would be welcome. Thanks a lot everyone!
 

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Officially Weird
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Weird. For some reason the clutch and flywheel were replaced by BMW under warranty on my car at 30k miles, right when the second owner bought it -- he felt it shifted funny.

But I've heard of E36 M3 clutches lasting 150-200k miles. I expect this one will last to at least 130k.
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
readconti... I wonder why yours was replaced so early... I have an '02 with th s54, but I don't know if the clutch is different than your 2000. Like I said, the car drives fine around town, but on the hard acceleration it slips (like I described) on fast shifts... usually the car is all warmed up when this happens. I'm ok with looking into a high performance clutch, but I have an 8 month old baby (my first!) and even though the car came first, you know which baby takes priority! I don't know much about dual mass clutches and how they differ from regular clutches. I also read that the M coupe has a valve in the clutch line like the M3 that is supposed to smooth out the shifts... maybe this has something to do with it, but no one else seems to have this problem so maybe the previous owner beat the crap out of it, and it's just time for a replacement.
Hoping someone else has some insight on the problem! Thanks!
 

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19,585 Miles
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11,141 Posts
readconti... I wonder why yours was replaced so early... I have an '02 with th s54, but I don't know if the clutch is different than your 2000. Like I said, the car drives fine around town, but on the hard acceleration it slips (like I described) on fast shifts... usually the car is all warmed up when this happens. I'm ok with looking into a high performance clutch, but I have an 8 month old baby (my first!) and even though the car came first, you know which baby takes priority! I don't know much about dual mass clutches and how they differ from regular clutches. I also read that the M coupe has a valve in the clutch line like the M3 that is supposed to smooth out the shifts... maybe this has something to do with it, but no one else seems to have this problem so maybe the previous owner beat the crap out of it, and it's just time for a replacement.
Hoping someone else has some insight on the problem! Thanks!
Maybe some engine, tranny oil leaking in.
 

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It's pretty easy to measure the clutch plate with the BMW tool (just be careful with the slave cylinder pushrod, you don't want to drop it into the bellhousing).
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ron, how would I know where to look for leakage, and what would cause it? My skills as a mechanic are limited... I do as much as I can, but clutch work is not something I'm comfortable with... I have to say, you just scared me with that leakage thought :eek: ! Does it mean something bad is happening?

DWM... like I mentioned.... measuring clutch plate type stuff is out of my skill set (if I don't know how to do something, I'll humbly admit it :) !)... what exactly would that indicate anyway? Is it an easy fix for my mechanic?

Thanks!
 

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19,585 Miles
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11,141 Posts
Ron, how would I know where to look for leakage, and what would cause it?
Following is from an article I read.

"Examine the bottom of the bell housing. If oil is present the rear main seal
of the engine or the front seal of the transmission may need to be replaced.
Smell the fluid and see if you can determine whether it's engine oil, ATF or gear
lube.
Some dual mass flywheels are hydraulically damped, and can also leak fluid
when they fail."
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just took a quick peek... there appears to be oil all around the edges of the plastic engine shield on the bottom of the car... a couple of drops of fresh oil around the drain plug and gasket on the bell housing (I assume)... I did spill a small amount of oil siphoning over a quart of oil out of the dipstick tube after by last dealer oil change (thanks, incompetent techs!)... but it does look a little moist around a few other seals on the engine. perhaps when the baby naps for more that 25 minutes, I can get the plastics off and take a couple of pics... Thanks for any input!
 

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New clutch time.

Regardless if your clutch is worn out or you have a rear seal leak, it sounds like it's time for a new clutch.

I had mine done on my 02M roadster recently w/ 57k miles. Bought it used, so I don't know how badly it was treated. It is a bit early for a clutch though.
I cooked mine running up in the Sierras here in N. Cal. As a result had to replace flywheel. You don't want to go there was OEM flywheel is a pricey unit. I ended up going with aftermarket lightweight unit and sprung hub clutch in lieu of stock dual mass flywheel and solid clutch plate.
Also replace clutch line with non restricted unit. The restricted line is the equivalent of the cdv in the M.

Good luck!

Scott
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Regardless if your clutch is worn out or you have a rear seal leak, it sounds like it's time for a new clutch.

I had mine done on my 02M roadster recently w/ 57k miles. Bought it used, so I don't know how badly it was treated. It is a bit early for a clutch though.
I cooked mine running up in the Sierras here in N. Cal. As a result had to replace flywheel. You don't want to go there was OEM flywheel is a pricey unit. I ended up going with aftermarket lightweight unit and sprung hub clutch in lieu of stock dual mass flywheel and solid clutch plate.
Also replace clutch line with non restricted unit. The restricted line is the equivalent of the cdv in the M.

Good luck!

Scott
Scott... I was wondering about the dual mass/lightweight flywheels... I've put lightweights on other cars I've owned, but never had a vehicle with a dual mass... I've read a lot about chatter and harmonic vibration at higher rpm's with the lightweights in the m's... also, that the benefit would not be that great if the car was not used on the track... let me know what you think of yours and what products you used... thanks!
 

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I guess siince mid/late 90's bmw started using dual mass flywheels with solid hub clutches to reduce gear noise (or is it bearing noise?).
Went with the UUC stage 1 unit. Basically because I was able to talk to them and get the unit overnight. Flywheel is 11.5 lbs. There is a resonance when you run it up near redline. Not a big deal for me especially in the roadster. The car is pretty visceral to begin with. I think it may be more of an issue in a more insulated car like the M3. The motor spins up quicker. You have to keep you eye on the tach and shift shortly after 7k or you will hit the rev limiter.
At idle and normal driving, any additional noise from the flywheel is negligable.
I would have just replaced the clutch, but I totally cooked the stock flywheel. The "flexable" material between the inner portion and th outer portion of the flywheel was totally gone. Pretty much an inner hub rattling within an outer ring. Retail on the OEM dual mass flywheel is around $1,000. It was easy to justify lightweight flywheel clutch combo for about the same price as flywheel alone.

Clutch action is a littler different and seems easier to bog/stall coming off the line. You get used to it. Someone new stepping into your car will look like they haven't driven a clutch in a while. Now that it is broken in, I will proabably bring the clutch stop out a bit.
Also put in new clutch line so engagement is more responsive.
Actually chirped 3rd gear the other day without trying.
Overall, I am satisfied with the combo. It would be tougher to justify for street use if I had a good stock flywheel.
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Overall, I am satisfied with the combo. It would be tougher to justify for street use if I had a good stock flywheel.
Scotty... are you saying this is a bad setup for the street? I haven't gotten to the track with the car and don't know when I will so I hope you can clarify this for me... also... did you do a CDV delete or have a modded one installed? I've been wondering if the "softer" engagement with the CDV may be part of the problem...
 

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It's not bad for the street, just easier to bog down. Probably due to the lightweight flywheel more than anything else. Still haven't adjusted out my clutch stop any further. Just want to drive it a bunch and get everything fully seated.
Overall, I am satisfied with the setup.
I replaced the clutch line with a new one (don't remember who made it). The Ms don't have a separate cdv at the end of the line. There is just a smaller orifice at the end of the OEM line. Replacement of the line will do the trick. That's probably the reason it barks the gears so much easier now.

Overall, it fits the character of the well.
 

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Lurking=Learning
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Ms don't have a separate cdv at the end of the line. There is just a smaller orifice at the end of the OEM line. Replacement of the line will do the trick. That's probably the reason it barks the gears so much easier now.

Overall, it fits the character of the well.
I was under the impression that the M does have a cdv ...

Good to hear your take on the clutch upgrade, it's something I may consider... thanks for the input!
 
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