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Old 01-21-2013, 09:40 PM   #1
can0n4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 306
My Ride: '04 330xi, '04 X3
My journey to solve poor cold shifting problems... FIXED.

Summary: Fixed. New clutch, flywheel, and pressure plate fixed the issues below. New clutch was UUC non self-adjusting w/ LUK flywheel. @90K miles. Old clutch disc was still in really good shape, as was the flywheel. I'm blaming SAC.

The symptoms
- Jerk take-offs, like I don't know how to drive stick.
- Easily shifts when car is off, falls into gear effortlessly.
- Will not shift immediately into first second or reverse when cold and running.
- After shifting into other gears (4,5) will shift into any gear.
- If clutch is held for 5-6 seconds, can easily shift into any gear. (this is an important one I feel).

Replaced:
- new slave.
- new master.
- new clutch line.
- bled, bled, and bled, ordered bleeder tool, and bled more.
- pressure bled in a continuous loop so as no air was in the entire system.
- Transmission fluid with D4, then MTL, then Royal Purple, back to D4 MTL mix.




I am starting this thread to hopefully someday solve the problem, and help those who experience the same problem.

I bought my 2004 330xi in September. Decided to do routine maintenance and replace all fluids. Soon (a few weeks) after changing the transmission fluid to Red Line MTL, my car became almost impossible to shift into first, second, or reverse, when the car was cold. Weather started changing to so I'm not sure if the two have anything to do with one another. When the car is warm it is slightly better, but not perfect.

A lot of people on here, on other forums, all over the internet chalk it up to being cold. They say the live with it, its normal, all cars do this etc... Problem is, my father (lives down the road) has the same car, same year, same model, same transmission. No matter the temperature his car falls into gear almost effortlessly. This is my third BMW in my lifetime and I refuse to believe that this is normal behavior, nor will I accept double clutching, revving, or not using those gears until warm.



Called UUC as well as BavAuto. Both representatives state that the issues is most definitely caused by the BMW SAC (self adjusting clutch) and that it needs to be replaced. I am taking this with a grain of salt because both of them were ready to sell my a full kit on the spot. However they very convincingly sounded like they knew what they were talking about.

My next step is to replace the clutch, although I don't quite see how a 15 minute warm up would allow the pressure plate fingers to behave differently. My gut is telling me it is not clutch, but nothing is left. I'm going to dig in in about one months time and do the clutch if nothing else works.

Anyone with credible advice, experience, please chime in. Things I have ruled out are synchros, linkeage, and fluid. Unless someone could chime in and tell me the recommended brake fluid being used for this application. currently I'm using Valvoline DOT 3 and 4 fluid.

Last edited by can0n4; 04-01-2013 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Fixed.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:24 PM   #2
tjyak50
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 57
My Ride: Frontier, 240z, W126
Can you feel through the syncros to feel just where the clutch engage /disengage point is?
Rebuilt my 5 speed in a 240Z and struggled with MT90, then GMSMFM then I went back to cheap GL4 and had some improvement.

Might be worth a few more fluid experiments. Especially the cheap ones.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:15 AM   #3
can0n4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 306
My Ride: '04 330xi, '04 X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjyak50 View Post
Can you feel through the syncros to feel just where the clutch engage /disengage point is?
Rebuilt my 5 speed in a 240Z and struggled with MT90, then GMSMFM then I went back to cheap GL4 and had some improvement.

Might be worth a few more fluid experiments. Especially the cheap ones.
I can't feel the clutch engage, disengage at all through the syncros. Since you've been inside a transmission think about these two for me:

if the clutch pedal is held down 5 seconds the car will shift easily into any gear. During that time, I feel nothing change in the pedal, in the car, in the gearshift, nothing, nor do I hear anything while lying underneath the car.

Also, increasing the RPMs has little if no effect on shifting, leans me away from the tranny... but maybe not.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:11 AM   #4
sgoetz628
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 334
My Ride: 2002 330 CiC
Almost the exact same experience at about 45k miles. Dealer replaced the clutch under warranty. Made no sense to me, but completely solved the problem. At almost 100k, the problem has not returned
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:34 AM   #5
afstud
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NE Wisconsin
Posts: 1,002
My Ride: 02 & 04 325xi sports
I have the same problem and im going to be replacing the fluid with OEM fluid when it gets a tad bit warmer outside, i remember a previous thread where they used the red line fluid and then swtiched to royal purple with horrible result on both, then they switched back to OEM fluid and the shifts were perfect there on out.
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Last edited by afstud; 01-22-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
can0n4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 306
My Ride: '04 330xi, '04 X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by afstud View Post
I have the same problem and im going to be replacing the fluid with OEM fluid when it gets a tad bit warmer outside, i remember a previous thread where they used the red line fluid and then swtiched to royal purple with horrible result on both, then they switched back to OEM fluid and the shifts were perfect there on out.
you should do it this weekend.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:43 PM   #7
can0n4
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 306
My Ride: '04 330xi, '04 X3
update because fixed.
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