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Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 11-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ///Orient3 View Post
When you press the clutch in, you are pumping hydraulic fluid out of the system, but through a small passage, hence the pulsating and resistance in the pedal. I would bet a pretty decent amount, if not all of that fluid is hydraulic brake/clutch fluid.

This could explain both the clutch problems and fluid leak, and if it isn't, you ruled it out by spending three minutes removing two nuts.
Nice theory! If that's it I hope the clutch disc is ok.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:02 AM   #22
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Remove the slave cylinder and look into the transmission through the hole the slave cylinder goes into. Grab the throw out arm with a pair of needle nose pliers and *gently* check its travel to see if it seems like it is pivoting correctly.
In what direction should the throw arm move or should it not move at all?
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:35 AM   #23
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In what direction should the throw arm move or should it not move at all?
it moves toward the front of the car and back. here's a picture of what you're dealing with (arm with throwout bearing in second pic):



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Old 11-08-2010, 06:55 AM   #24
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In what direction should the throw arm move or should it not move at all?
Mcspeeds pictures should help. It's kind of hard to explain, but it should move relatively precisely. In other words, it should seem like its pivoting correctly on the attached side instead of seeming like it will flop all over the place.

I want to know what the slave cylinder looked like when you took it out.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:02 AM   #25
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Thanks McSpeed!

I removed the slave cylinder. The rod just pops out, like the cylinder is at the end of its travel. I stuck my hand in the hole, the throw out arm does move around freely. There is a little bit of resistance, feels kind of rubbery. The area around the slave cylinder was a little wet.

Still can't tell if the fluid is engine oil or hydraulic fluid. I've tried smell and sight. It looks brownish like oil. The leakage has no odor or smell.

Some pics...

The rod only goes in like a 1/2" at most.


The area near the slave cylinder
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #26
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"Brake fluid has a slippery oily feel that has no smell when new. As it ages it turns smoky brown from the water and contaminants that collect in the system." - http://hdabob.com/WhatIsThatLeak.htm

Maybe that's it then^ I think motor oil would have a noticeable smell. Hopefully you can just replace the slave cylinder & replace your brake fluid and you're done!(?)
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Old 11-08-2010, 11:43 AM   #27
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^^ I don't think he should replace his slave cylinder if it wasn't leaking there or at the lines.

Personally - it looks like the rear main seal to me. Can you feel any oil in the transmission housing.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:34 PM   #28
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^^ I don't think he should replace his slave cylinder if it wasn't leaking there or at the lines.

Personally - it looks like the rear main seal to me. Can you feel any oil in the transmission housing.
The rear main seal wouldn't leak that much as the oil pressure it experiences is passive. Also, it wouldn't explain any of the clutch issues, the rattling noise, or the loss of hydraulic pressure he experienced in the clutch pedal. The leak is a secondary symptom to the clutch problems and is the least of his worries (the leak potentially wouldn't prevent him from driving his car)...
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:32 PM   #29
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Thanks McSpeed!

I removed the slave cylinder. The rod just pops out, like the cylinder is at the end of its travel. I stuck my hand in the hole, the throw out arm does move around freely. There is a little bit of resistance, feels kind of rubbery. The area around the slave cylinder was a little wet.

Still can't tell if the fluid is engine oil or hydraulic fluid. I've tried smell and sight. It looks brownish like oil. The leakage has no odor or smell.

Some pics...

The rod only goes in like a 1/2" at most.


The area near the slave cylinder
When you say pops out, what do you mean? Does the rod separate from the rest of the assembly?

Do you have a large clamp? If so you can add hydraulic fluid to the brake reservoir, and properly bleed the slave cylinder to see what happens.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:36 PM   #30
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If you are leaking from there. You might want to check out rubber seal on the piston.

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Old 11-09-2010, 10:45 AM   #31
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Now that I think about it...my clutch squeaked in the morning when I depressed the pedal to start the car. Possibly related?
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Old 11-09-2010, 11:27 AM   #32
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Are you low on brake/clutch fluid?
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Old 11-09-2010, 04:38 PM   #33
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I'm chasing the same issue.. Brake fluid has a certain taste (no bullshit) it's nasty. Motor oil is much easier on the taste buds I thought I had a bad slave too but it was my oil pan gasket. I hate to say it but taste the fluid that is leaking you will know instantly if it is brake fluid or motor oil!!! IMO that slave is good the part that wears out is the rubber nipple on the end. after rereading this thread, what type of brake fluid are you using? I suggest bleeding the system throw in some super blue if your not using it already. That should help in diagnosing the leak! GL!!

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Old 11-09-2010, 05:29 PM   #34
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Are you low on brake/clutch fluid?
I've lost a little bit of brake fluid. I usually keep the engine oil about 1/2 above full...it is full right now. I'll try and bleed the slave cylinder and then see if that fixes it.

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I'm chasing the same issue.. Brake fluid has a certain taste (no bullshit) it's nasty. Motor oil is much easier on the taste buds I thought I had a bad slave too but it was my oil pan gasket. I hate to say it but taste the fluid that is leaking you will know instantly if it is brake fluid or motor oil!!! IMO that slave is good the part that wears out is the rubber nipple on the end. after rereading this thread, what type of brake fluid are you using? I suggest bleeding the system throw in some super blue if your not using it already. That should help in diagnosing the leak! GL!!
Trying to avoid tasting it.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:47 PM   #35
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just for fun try turning your headlights on and off while started on neutral to see any difference.
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Old 11-11-2010, 10:38 PM   #36
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I went to bleed the slave cylinder. Fluid was coming out and all seemed to be going well. But my clamp sucked. The piston came out as the cylinder slid out of the clamp. The retaining washer is now f'd up (self-inflicted). I just ordered a new slave cylinder.

Again, I checked the throw out arm through the hole. I can feel it move about 1/2" back and forth. Is that normal?

Do I need to start removing the transmission at this point? Or could I just have a bad slave cylinder which has caused all of this headache?

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Old 11-11-2010, 11:03 PM   #37
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Again, I checked the throw out arm through the hole. I can feel it move about 1/2" back and forth. Is that normal?

Do I need to start removing the transmission at this point? Or could I just have a bad slave cylinder which has caused all of this headache?
That sounds about right for the release lever. I can't think of any downside to replacing the slave cylinder, testing out clutch operation and going from there.
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:16 PM   #38
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That sounds about right for the release lever. I can't think of any downside to replacing the slave cylinder, testing out clutch operation and going from there.
There is...a $60 downside. Luckily I'm made of $60 bills so I'm covered!

So if the release lever seems to be good...what could have caused this mess? Just a faulty part? Or does it just happen every once in awhile? Is it preventable?
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Old 11-11-2010, 11:19 PM   #39
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good lord - that is horrendous
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:21 AM   #40
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The more I read into this, the more it sounds like either a bad slave cylinder or a bad throwout bearing.

Looks like I will have to pay some Korean hack mechanic to fix my car if a new slave cylinder won't fix it. Should be interesting...they do not have manual BMWs here in Korea. So I highly doubt anyone has a lot og experience with BMW clutches.
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