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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 39
2003 R53 Clutch replacement problem

My clutch was slipping at 120,000 miles so I decided to replace the disc and pressure plate.

Prior to replacing the disc and pressure plate I could depress the clutch pedal almost to the floor before engagement.

Anyway, after replacement of the disc and pressure plate and before re-installing the clutch slave cylinder I noticed that there is about an 1 1/2 inches of free travel before there is any resistance. I am sure that is the point where the throwout bearing is actually starting to press against the pressure plate fingers. At that point it takes considerable force to move the arm any further. The arm will only move another inch or so as the clutch diaphragm is depressed.

Here is the problem.

When re-installing the slave cylinder and with the slave cylinder actuator rod at it's full length it just barely contacts the arm of the clutch release shaft. I am afraid if I depress the clutch pedal at this point that it will overextend the actuator rod and destroy the clutch slave cylinder.

I looked at the clutch fork and nothing is bent. I measured the replacement throwout bearing against the original and they have the same dimensions. I also made sure that the throwout bearing was properly placed in the fork.

It seems that this would only leave the possibility that the angle of the fork and that of the arm on the clutch release shaft is no longer correct. I examined the hex bolt that holds the fork on the clutch release shaft and it is intact. I also looked at the arm on the clutch release shaft and it appears that everything is correct with it.

So here are the questions.

Should there be any free play before the throwout bearing begins to press against the pressure plate?

With the clutch pedal at the top of its travel how far should the arm on clutch release shaft be from the bracket that holds the clutch slave cylinder?

With the clutch pedal at the top of its travel should the pressure plate be applying pressure though the arm on the clutch release shaft to the clutch slave cylinder to ensure that the clutch pedal returns to its topmost position?

Is it possible for the angle arm on the clutch release shaft to change with relation to the clutch fork?

Thanks,

Jack
Old 04-06-2013, 08:01 PM
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1st Update on clutch replacement issue

Well I've had the transmission on and off the engine about 4 times.

I have devised a method to help do this. I had some mild steel round bar and I cut it to about 16 inches in length. I then threaded one end at 12mm with a 1.75 pitch. I then screwed three of these rods into the bolt holes where the transmission mounts to the engine. The bolt holes I used were the left bottom and the one right above it also on the left side of the transmission and then from the backside of the engine on the lower right hand side.

With these guides in place you can quickly move the transmission out enough where you can access the clutch release bearing (throwout bearing) and pressure plate.

I confirmed that the clutch release bearing is properly installed. I also examined the clutch release shaft, specifically the pin that locates the arm to the shaft. This pin is very stout and straight, so this can be discounted as a possible problem. I had previously examined the bolt that holds the clutch release fork. It too is straight, tight and without issue.

One thing that I did notice. When the pressure plate is bolted into place that the actuator fingers are about 3/4 of and inch below the outside of the pressure plate. I don't know if that is acceptable or not.

I have come to the conclusion that the problem with the excessive freeplay is that there is too much distance from the clutch release bearing to the actuator fingers on the pressure plate.

The replacement disc and pressure plate are manufactured by SPEC, which is a reputable manufacturer. That of course doesn't mean that one of their employees might have mismatched the disc and pressure plate.

My next stop is to ask SPEC how much deflection in the pressure plate fingers is normal when the pressure plate is bolted to the flywheel and also to check and see if this disc and pressure plate is correct.
Old 04-07-2013, 02:27 PM
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:22 PM
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BigTim
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Warrington PA
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Is the clutch plate facing the correct direction.
HTH
Tim
Old 04-16-2013, 01:44 PM
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Clutch saga continues

It's been a while, but here is an update.

I sent the clutch back to the manufacturer. They did not say there was anything wrong with the clutch, they kept it for a week and sent it back to me.

When I re-installed the clutch the bearing release arm was now in the correct position. Why it should now work when previously it didn't, I can't say. I re-installed it the same way I had before, taking care each time to make sure the disc and release bearing were properly oriented.

As far as that part of the clutch installation everything is now fine.

However, a second issue has occurred.

Shifting into gear is now very difficult. It appears that the slave cylinder actuator rod is not moving far enough in order to disengage the clutch completely. I replaced the clutch slave cylinder and bled it using a Motive Power Bleeder. This improved the shifting action, but it still requires a good deal of effort.

I measured the distance that the actuator rod is moving, about 1/2 inch total. It appears that I need it to move another 3/8ths to 1/2 inch to completely disengage.



If someone has ready access to be able to measure the distance that their clutch actuator rod is moving and provide me with that measurement I would greatly appreciate it.

Also, is it possible that the clutch master cylinder is at fault causing the slave cylinder actuator rod not to move as far as needed? I checked and the clutch master cylinder is not leaking.


Thanks,

Jack
Old 05-20-2013, 07:56 PM
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compressing slave cylinder using caulking gun

I just found out that you can use a caulking gun to compress the slave cylinder. Almost everyone has one or two of those around their house. Or at least I do.
Old 05-21-2013, 01:16 PM
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I would really appreciate it if someone with a working clutch would climb under their car and measure how far the clutch slave cylinder is moving the clutch release arm.

I have measured the total travel length of the clutch slave cylinder actuator rod. It is 1 and 7/8th of an inch.

In it's installed position on my car the clutch slave cylinder actuator rod is at 5/8ths of an inch from the bottom (totally compressed) position.

When the clutch pedal is depressed the clutch slave cylinder actuator rod moves 1/2 inch.

5/8th + 1/2 = 1 and 1/8th inches.

Since the total possible travel length of the actuator rod is 1 and 7/8th of an inch, that leaves an additional 3/4 of inch that the rod could could possibly travel.

It appears that I only need an additional 1/4 inch of throw for the clutch to work properly, but no matter what I do I cannot get the clutch slave cylinder actuator rod to move the clutch release arm any further.

So far the clutch master cylinder has been replaced. The clutch slave cylinder has been replaced. The middle clutch line (the one with the rubber hose) has been replaced and the entire system has been bled with a Motive Power Bleeder several times.

I have been working on cars, trucks and tractors for 40 years. I rebuilt the engine in my BMW M3. This is not my first time bleeding a clutch cylinder, but this has been the most irritating thing I have ever attempted on a car.

Right now I am contemplating sending the car to the crusher just for the sheer joy I would get from seeing it crushed and shredded into a million pieces.
Old 05-31-2013, 01:55 PM
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