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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Apr-29-2018, 10:35:25 PM   #1
E30User
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Default Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

I'm in the middle of replacing my clutch and flywheel, on my SMG. I plan to keep using the existing clutch slave cylinder. As I was reinstalling the slave, I accidentally pulled the shaft outward, and it felt like something disconnected internally. Nothing from the outside is disconnected, and there are no fluid leaks. The difference now is that the shaft hangs loosely and flops around, while it stayed somewhat straight before.

I'm still able to line it up to the clutch fork, and press it into place. Before I keep using this, I wanted to make sure it's not ruined. I've read stories of people having the slave parts explode into their bell housing, and wondered if this is how it starts.
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Old Sun, Apr-29-2018, 10:44:27 PM   #2
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

If the SMG slave is like a manual slave then the pin just sits in a detent on the piston. Id guess that you can pull the pin out and not ruin the slave. Not sure, never tried it.

Ive learned my lesson twice, replace the slave when you replace a clutch. Not sure if that would apply with an SMG but these slaves like the throwout bearings arent made to last.

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Originally Posted by E30User View Post
The difference now is that the shaft hangs loosely and flops around, while it stayed somewhat straight before.

A blue pill can fix that. Lol...sorry.


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Old Mon, Apr-30-2018, 04:56:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

Be careful, just like brake calipers, the slave has a seal and dust boot to let the shaft move in/out without any fluid spilling out. You can just push it back in and use it, but monitor it after reinsallation, to make sure the seal did not get damaged/twisted/unseated, resulting in a leak.

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Old Mon, Apr-30-2018, 06:56:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
A blue pill can fix that. Lol...sorry.
I don't want to live in a world where these things go unacknowledged.

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Originally Posted by mrgizmo04 View Post
Be careful, just like brake calipers, the slave has a seal and dust boot to let the shaft move in/out without any fluid spilling out. You can just push it back in and use it, but monitor it after reinsallation, to make sure the seal did not get damaged/twisted/unseated, resulting in a leak.
Hmm. I'm not seeing any leaks so far, even when pushing the piston in. I've seen slave cylinders from other cars where the piston dangles loosely, even when new. But since this one wasn't at first, and it's not going back to how it was when fully pressed, I'm thinking I dislodged something inside.
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Old Tue, May-01-2018, 02:10:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

After taking a more thorough look, I see what happened.

That feeling I had of something coming apart was the dust boot. Based on the dirt build up I saw behind the dust boot, I think it was already torn and just barely hanging on. Once the dust boot is torn off at the base, the piston is much more loosey goosey. So I'm thinking it would still work fine, but it might fail prematurely once dust gets in there. I think I'm going to replace it (ugh smg slave cylinder prices), and see if I can rebuild this one as a spare.
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Old Tue, May-01-2018, 02:13:09 AM   #6
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

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Originally Posted by E30User View Post
After taking a more thorough look, I see what happened.

That feeling I had of something coming apart was the dust boot. Based on the dirt build up I saw behind the dust boot, I think it was already torn and just barely hanging on. Once the dust boot is torn off at the base, the piston is much more loosey goosey. So I'm thinking it would still work fine, but it might fail prematurely once dust gets in there. I think I'm going to replace it (ugh smg slave cylinder prices), and see if I can rebuild this one as a spare.
Boo. Sorry mate. Yeah smg slave prices...

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Old Tue, May-01-2018, 11:08:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

I wonder if the guts are the same as the manual slave. If so, Id just buy a manual slave and put the piston assembly into the SMG one.


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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 12:00:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

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Originally Posted by bigjae1976 View Post
I wonder if the guts are the same as the manual slave. If so, Id just buy a manual slave and put the piston assembly into the SMG one.


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No, they are not.
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Old Thu, May-03-2018, 06:31:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Did I destroy my clutch slave cylinder?

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No, they are not.
I haven't confirmed any specifics yet, but it's possible that the serviceable parts might be the same. I see some slave cylinder rebuild kits for sale for e46 M3s, and none of them specify SMG/6MT versions. For example, https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...159332#fitment . Again, still unconfirmed if this is exactly what I need, but it seems likely. As for the PLCD sensor that's unique to the SMG slaves, I'm not sure if that's something that can be bought separately. I imagine it is, but not sure.
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Discussing Comprehensive CSL Intake Thread in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)