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aka Chi-chi
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197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last night I installed the UUC Big Boy 2.0 clutch stop in my 2002 530i. Here are my thoughts:

First of all, the stock plastic POS clutch stop isn't worthy of this car. It is quite embarassing and many people have found the top part of it rolling around on their floormat when the head snapped off the bolt. In addition, the plastic bolt threads were stripped badly.

Second, there are three clutch variations in the e39. Before 1997, there was no clutch ignition safety switch. Therefore the UUC clutch stop can be installed and adjusted at will.

From 1998 to 2001, there was a separate clutch ignition safety switch that could be bypassed. After installing the clutch stop, people glue some sort of spacer (felt pads, rubber grommet, wood) to the clutch arm to depress the clutch ignition safety switch before the clutch stop is reached. This takes a little work, but is an easy DIY.

For 2002, the clutch ignition safety switch is integral with the clutch piston (under the dash) so that it can no longer be bypassed. The only way to install the UUC clutch stop is to cut the bolt in half, and keep 1 of the nuts provided and the washer on the bolt. The result is about 1/2" to 5/8" shorter travel. This is what I did for my car last night.

I am satisfied with the result, although I feel like BMW has screwed us by making it impossible to bypass the clutch ignition switch (they must feel strongly about it for some reason?!?). In any case, the Big Boy is nicely built, robust, and a lot wider than the stock piece. The shorter travel is noticeable and a good (not great) improvement over stock. I would do it again, but wish I could cut travel another 1/2". I am a little pissed at UUC for not posting anything on their site or in their instructions about the different installs. Must be because of liability, but then again, they are liable whether they post instructions or not. Must be why the price is a whopping $20 for a $3 part.

Just thought I'd post my experience for the benefit of 2002 owners who might expect a troublefree installation.
 

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My TARDIS is a BMW
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5,352 Posts
Cruzer said:
For 2002, the clutch ignition safety switch is integral with the clutch piston (under the dash) so that it can no longer be bypassed.
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I feel like BMW has screwed us by making it impossible to bypass the clutch ignition switch (they must feel strongly about it for some reason?!?).
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I am a little pissed at UUC for not posting anything on their site or in their instructions about the different installs. Must be because of liability,...
Same problem with the new E46's. The clutch ignition safety switch has been moved so that one can not jigger with it as easily (or at all).

BMW has the same liability issue as UUC. The switch is there to prevent some numb-nut from starting the car in gear and causing an accident or injuring or killing anyone, after which he, the injured party and/or the injured party's family suing BMW because are a deep pockets corporation.

- howard
 

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aka Chi-chi
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197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hear ya...

But riddle me this:

So, the same numb-nut presses the clutch, starts the car, and then...in numb-nutted fashion...releases the clutch in gear. The car lurches forward and injures/kills someone. What did BMW do to avoid that situation? Isn't that situation as likely, if not more likely then trying to start the car without engaging the clutch? You can't engineer away numb-nuttedness.

By the way, the suggested "bypass" performed on cars from 1998-2001 is NOT a literal bypass. The switch is still disengaged by the clutch, but just an inch later (and therefore it continues to fulfill its designer's intent).
 

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My TARDIS is a BMW
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5,352 Posts
Re: I hear ya...

Cruzer said:
But riddle me this:

So, the same numb-nut presses the clutch, starts the car, and then...in numb-nutted fashion...releases the clutch in gear. The car lurches forward and injures/kills someone. What did BMW do to avoid that situation?
Obvioiusly the manufacturer of anything can not guard against every damn fool numb-nut scenario, otherwise we'd still be living in caves, wearing loin clothes and hunting for food with rocks and sticks. All they can do a guard against the most basic things which can go wrong AND which are under their control. The rest is out of their hands, just as much as it would be if someone removed the clutch ignition switch and subsequently started the car in gear. There is a big difference between a defective product and a product used in an inappropriate manner. At that point it is up to the law to sort out who is at fault. Doesn't stop the frivolous lawsuits against the deep pockets though.

I don't know about the rest of the world, but in the US product liability laws have gone nuts and taking responsility for one's own actions has all but disappeared. That is why ladders have warning that they should not be used as hammers. Kinda sad.

- howard
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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9,106 Posts
If you want to do it right, you can get the pre 03/01 switches, part number 61 31 8 381 612 to replace the newer switches, and attach a grommet/bolt to the clutch arm.

It will make the overall mod like $50's worth for a clutch stop...Not sure if it's all worth it, but you will at least be able to shorten the clutch travel even more. See this picture:
 

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aka Chi-chi
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197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
D*mn dude!

That is some high-tech sh*t. Thanks for completing the loop for us. Sounds a little complicated, but hey, some people may go for it. Good to know there is a solution, albeit a $50 solution. Thanks.
 
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