You may be facing a catch-22 with your BMW clutch. Many BMW parts are plastic or thin metal to save on car weight. It does indeed make it lighter and rust-proof, but plastic does not withstand pressure and friction as well as metal does.
You may be able to repair just part of the clutch, but if the damage is too extensive, you may need to replace the entire kit. If you choose to do these repairs yourself, be sure to be prepared and keep plenty of spare parts, especially new aluminum bolts on hand. If you have any questions, please call the experts at Euro Plus Automotive.
An excellent example of this catch-22 is the shift fork pivot pin. This plastic pin breaks easily, leaving you with an inoperable clutch. The logical solution to this is to replace it with a brass AGA pin. Even with this replacement, you need to be careful because the housing unit this pin fits into is fragile. If you tap the brass pin in with a hammer, you may crack the housing around it, leaving you with a significantly more expensive replacement.
If you cannot merely repair parts, you will have to replace the entire clutch. Make sure you have a new clutch kit ready and new transmission bolts before beginning. Aluminum bolts will always need to be replaced.
1. After lowering the transmission from the engine, remove the six 6mm Allen bolts from the pressure plate in an alternating pattern. Do not let the plate fall when removing it.
2. Remove the flywheel by removing the six T60 Torx bolts from the flywheel in an alternating pattern. If the flywheel surface is in good shape, you can leave it installed. Otherwise, you must replace it.
3. Remove and replace the pilot bearing. Use a bearing driver to install the new bearing.
4. Install and center the clutch disc using the alignment tool. (Your clutch kit should come with one.) Remove the center bolt from alignment tool.
5. Next, install the pressure plate on the alignment dowels. This requires six new Allen fasteners. Tighten the fasteners until pressure plate is flush with the flywheel.
6. Double check to ensure that the pressure plate is flush with the flywheel, and then remove the SAC lock. Most come out by rotating counterclockwise using a 14mm Allen. If the SAC moves and ratchets, you need additional special tools to reset the SAC feature of the pressure plate.
7. Next, torque six new Allen fasteners. Check your vehicle specifications for to confirm torque details. Then remove the clutch disc alignment tool from the clutch disc.
8. To service the bell housing, first remove the throwout bearing, sliding it off the transmission output shaft. Then release the spring retaining clip and remove the clutch fork from the bell housing.
9. Next, replace the throwout guide bushing by removing the four 10mm fasteners, then remove guide bushing from the transmission. Install the new guide bushing, then install and tighten the fasteners. Install a new clutch fork if you are replacing it, or reinstall the old one. Then slide the new throwout bearing over the guide bushing and put it in alignment with the clutch fork.
10. Finally, it is time to reinstall the transmission. Your clutch kit should come with spine grease, which you need to apply to the spines on the transmission output shaft. Jack the transmission into its proper place, then slide the transmission shaft into the clutch. Once engaged, slide the transmission forward until the bell housing is lined up flush with the engine. Install and tighten the bell housing fasteners and make sure to replace all the aluminum bolts. Once you tighten the transmission bolts, you may install the transmission mount and secure the transmission in place.
As you can see, repairing and replacing the clutch in a BMW is not a simple task. You need the correct tools and know-how, or you can find someone else to help you. If are in the San Fernando Valley or Los Angeles County, CA, near Canoga Park or Woodland Hills, be sure to check in with Euro Plus Automotive for your BMW clutch repair needs. We have years of experience working on European vehicles, so our service technicians can provide you the expert assistance to make sure it gets done, and it gets done right.