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Shifter sticking

Discussion in 'E36/8 Z3 M coupe (1998-2003)' started by mcouper, Apr 10, 2009.

    mcouper guest

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    The shifter is starting to stick on my '99 MCoupe (62K miles). I found an FSB, and it looks like the only remedy is to drop the transmission and get the pins replaced. The dealer wants $900, which I would assume is mostly labor. So, here are my questions:

    1) Is there a shop in northern baltimore county that members could recommend to do the work less expensively? This is my baby, so I'm not averse to spending a little extra on quality service, but dealerships always seem to be on the upper end of extreme.

    2) Are there any other repairs/services that I should consider while the transmission's down? The dealership recommended a new clutch.

    Thanks in advance.
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    mooseheadm5

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    New clutch? Really? At 62k unless you are one of the worst manual trans drivers on the planet, your clutch should be fine. Find a good independent BMW shop immediately. Whoever recommended a new clutch sight unseen probably has a boat payment to make.
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    steven s

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    By pins, are you referring to the return springs?
    They are a problem in these transmissions.
    I had mine replaced and my car is now a joy again.

    $900 is a bit excessive.
    You might want to go here.
    http://forum.nccbmwcca.org/forumdisplay.php?f=18 and search Baltimore in that section.

    I guess you can always use a new clutch?
    My clutch has +233,000 miles on it. When my mechanic dropped the tranny to replace the springs, my clutch was fine. So I guess, YMMV.
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    Joey Syracuse

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    same prob?

    Couper and Steve,

    I've got a 99 coupe also and am beginning to have issues with the clutch and shifter. I've got 121,000 miles. the symptoms I'm having with the shifter are trouble getting into first and second when stopped and clutch disengaged. (see below)

    The issue with the clutch is hard to explain but it has a stop point where I normally shift but if I push more at this point it seems to overcome some resistance and travel a little further. I really have to move the seat up though to get to the stop point then.

    I know this sounds like I'm not fully depressing the pedal but there really is a stop point then a push through. I've driven over 200,000 miles on manual transmission cars and have never had the clutch go so I'm not familiar with the symptoms or warning signs. I appreciate any info. Thanks.

    Joe

    M3Driver guest

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    Perhaps something as simple as a fluid change might help?
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    granthr

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    This might help, be sure to do the Transmission and the brake fluid (Be sure to include the clutch cylinders, the bleed screw is on the slave cylinder, which is on the trans bell housing).
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    steven s

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    I have that problem when it's very cold.
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    Joey Syracuse

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    Thanks everyone. I'll try the brake fluid change, it was due for that, and do the clutch cylinder as well. I'm kind of in the dark on the clutch cylinder though once that is bled how is it refilled?
    Joe

    Arash2002tii guest

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    Throw out bearing maybe? Just a hunch.
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    granthr

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    Buy a pressure bleeder from BMP Design or Bavarian Autosport. It hooks up to the brake fluid reservoir. The brakes and clutch use the same fluid and reservoir. Then bleed your brakes in this order, Pass Rear, Driver Rear, Pass Front, Driver Front, then slave cylinder. You might want to pump the clutch a couple times when bleeding the slave cylinder, to be sure to get all the old fluid pushed through.

    Be sure you have plenty of fluid in the pressure bleeder and keep an eye on the fluid level and the pick-up inside the pressure bleeder. The last thing you want is to push air into the system. In the case of your car it might mean a trip to the dealer to cycle the ABS. So be careful!!

    Also don't over pressurize the system, 15-20 PSI should be plenty. The pressure bleeder will pay for it's self in one use. I do my brake fluid on a yearly basis, you shouldn't go more than two years really.
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    Joey Syracuse

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    Boy I hope it's not a throw out bearing that sounds expensive but that was my initial thought as well.

    Grant, thanks for the tutorial on the bleeding. I'm wondering how hard it is to get to the slave cylinder and why does Bavauto sell a bleed tool? Do you use one?

    Joe
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    granthr

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    I do not use a bleed tool and I have even replaced slave cylinders. When replacing a slave cylinder it is full of air, so you need to work all that out. When I replaced the slave, I had a helper in the driver seat pressing in the clutch pedal. Open the bleed screw when pushing the pedal to the floor, closing the bleed screw when releasing the pedal, other wise you will suck air in. Ask how I know! :D It really goes quick quickly.

    But, If you don't introduce air to the system (which you shouldn't since you are not replacing anything) you shouldn't have any trouble flushing new fluid through it. Maybe pump the clutch once or twice with the screw closed and then back under and bleed a little more.

    So, I think you will be fine with out the tool, just buy the pressure bleeder.

    One other tip, buy the correct sized combination wrenches for the bleed screws, you don't want to mess them up with a pliers or adjustable wrench. If I can remember correctly on my E30s the calibers are 7mm and the slave is 6mm, I think my E36 is different, but I honestly can't remember. As long as you have 6, 7, & 8 mm combination wrenches you should be fine. Craftsmen sells these, so if you have a Sears hardware near you, they should have them in stock.
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    EvaUnit02

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    I too have a sticky shifter. I thought I would follow the suggestion that I get my transmission fluid flushed. When I called my shop they told me they don't "flush" they only change (for $280) What's the difference? Is there a difference? The shop said a flush involves machinery while a drain is just that: they drain the transmission fluid and replace it.

    Is it semantics? If not, which service should I get?
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    Bimmerdan

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    Do you have a manual transmission or an automatic? I assume since you said you have a 'sticky shifter' that it's a manual. If so, then all you need is a simple fluid change. A full flush is only done on an automatic and it is quite a bit more of a process.
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    EvaUnit02

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    Yeah, sorry. I have a manual. Great! Then, I'll get a quote on a fluid change unless I can convince myself to it on my own, heh. Thanks for the help!
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    granthr

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    If you already have jack stands and a floor jack you are almost there, so do it yourself!! :D If you don't have them, the amount you save can go towards them. It is really a simple procedure, just be sure to buy an oil pump. BMP Design and BavAuto sells them. Also buy the 24mm tool, one use and it pays for itself.

    Just remember to loosen the fill plug before removing the drain plug!!! You don't want to be in a situation where you have drained the oil, but now can't the fill plug open!
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    Joey Syracuse

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    If I can indulge you a little further.... and as long as your encouraging us to be DIYers. I noticed a device termed an unlock valve. have you installed this? Would now when we're changing clutch fluid be a good time to change that? Will this add alot of time and complication to the otherwise doable fluid change? How much difference will this item make? Thanks again.

    Joe
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    granthr

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    If you are referring to the valve between the master and slave clutch cylinders that slows the clutch for BMW to meet emissions; this would be the perfect time to remove the factory one and put in a blank/open valve. This will introduce air to the system, so be sure to bleed the slave like I mentioned above.

    I don't have experience with the difference it will make, b/c my E30s were before BMW started using these and my E36 is (dare I say it) an auto! :eek: The E36 is my wife's car.

    But, if you are a long time manual trans user, you will probably like the way it feels once you remove the factory valve.
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    az3579

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    Not to thread-jack, but the CDV is there for emissions?? How does that affect emissions?
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    granthr

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    I'm not quite sure of the whole theory behind it, but when it comes to manual trans cars, it creates a problem for automakers. Emissions are partial based on how a car is driven, with a manual trans their is a big unknown in the equation, the driver and they shift. With auto trans cars the auto maker has more control of how the car shifts partially on start up when the engine is cold. The auto maker sets the shifts points, etc.

    So the CDV helps control a the way manual trans cars are shifted. Like I said I don't fully understand the whole picture and how it helps, but I believe this is the underling reason it was added to the cars.

    Maybe someone else can shed more light on this or knock me in the ditch if I completely off base here! :D

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