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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 Tue, Apr-27-2010, 07:46:14 PM   #41
os46
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Default Update

I replaced the tranny mounts with Rogue mounts. Didn't solve the first gear problem. On the other hand, I didn't have any clear difficulty getting into any other gears on a track day, so it is possible it helped with that. I can't be sure; it was a short, drizzly day, so I didn't push too hard.

Otherwise, I've had everything checked that could be checked without pulling the transmission. A few parts sitting below the shift lever are worn out, including washers and the part where the horizontal bar connects to the car in the front. I will change them, see if it helps (which I doubt), then have the tranny pulled to check the rest. I'll update this when I learn more.

Finally, is this the same problem importrp had? Not sure. Parts of his description sounds spot on (the missing 5mm followed by grinding part). On the other hand, I never noticed vibration in any gear, it sounds like my problems were less severe during normal driving, and I never had any trouble getting into reverse. Perhaps a mild case of the same? Also, I'm not sure if importrp noticed worse/further problems when corning hard, so perhaps my car's problem is different. Or perhaps it has multiple problems. We'll see.
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Old Tue, May-18-2010, 10:07:40 PM   #42
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Default Another update and question

So I've now replaced the small parts below the shift lever. As expected, it does not solve the problem, at least getting into 1st. (Though shifting feels a bit better.) So the transmission needs to come out to check the various things which some people have helpfully suggested, including the clutch and hydarulic systems. And I have two questions about this about which I'd very much appreciate advice.

First, I understand that with some parts, it is very hard to see if they are good or not, and that it might therefore make more sense to simply replace them, as they are cheap. (I seem to recall people suggesting this with the master or slave cylinder or both, and perhaps other parts.) Is it more likely that a dealer would able to check/test such things than a specialist? Are they likely to have better equipment for such things? Or should I just go to a specialist and save at least half the price?

And any (more) guidance re. which parts it makes sense to change because they are hard/impossible to test for errors, would be appreciated!

Thanks!
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Old Wed, May-19-2010, 11:04:46 AM   #43
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I am having similar issues. Did your clutch feel really soft or is it just hard to get into gear? My clutch pedal actually felt different and it will half engage the clutch.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 12:03:44 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by devilbones View Post
I am having similar issues. Did your clutch feel really soft or is it just hard to get into gear? My clutch pedal actually felt different and it will half engage the clutch.
My clutch feels fine, so it is probably a different problem - at least partly.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 12:09:11 PM   #45
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Default Master & slave cylinders

It looks like the master & slave cylinders were worn out, so I replaced them. Result? While it seems to shift better, the problem remains. And I'm told clutch itself (including all the plates, etc., seems to be in good condition, as do all the transmission mounts, etc.

Perhaps all that is left is the transmission (?), and I have the same problem as importrp. I'll go back to the shop in a week or two and see what turns up ...
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 01:14:13 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by os46 View Post
It looks like the master & slave cylinders were worn out, so I replaced them. Result? While it seems to shift better, the problem remains. And I'm told clutch itself (including all the plates, etc., seems to be in good condition, as do all the transmission mounts, etc.

Perhaps all that is left is the transmission (?), and I have the same problem as importrp. I'll go back to the shop in a week or two and see what turns up ...
Those parts don't "wear out" - they typically work, or they leak and don't work. Wear doesn't really come into it.

Again - I'll repeat what I said:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...3&postcount=29

Being told the clutch is in good condition, without removing the transmission to see is a diagnosis without any facts. You can't SEE the internals of the clutch without removing the transmission. If it was me - I'd find a new shop. This one is shotgunning the repair (just keep replacing parts until the problem goes away, or you go away).

The clutch failed the BMW clutch test. That hasn't changed. Wishing it was something else doesn't make it something else. Considering you were doing HPDE's it isn't a surprise that the clutch might need replacing - it IS a wear item.
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 03:42:38 PM   #47
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Those parts don't "wear out" - they typically work, or they leak and don't work. Wear doesn't really come into it.

Again - I'll repeat what I said:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showp...3&postcount=29

Being told the clutch is in good condition, without removing the transmission to see is a diagnosis without any facts. You can't SEE the internals of the clutch without removing the transmission. If it was me - I'd find a new shop. This one is shotgunning the repair (just keep replacing parts until the problem goes away, or you go away).

The clutch failed the BMW clutch test. That hasn't changed. Wishing it was something else doesn't make it something else. Considering you were doing HPDE's it isn't a surprise that the clutch might need replacing - it IS a wear item.
Thanks again for the (continued) advice. Actually, my local specialist did remove the transmission. I gave them a list of everything you suggested checking in your posts, and also things which others mentioned. Hopefully, they checked them to the extent possible. I'm not actually sure if they said the cylinders were worn or described the problem in some other way. I saw the original cylinders, they said it wasn't possible to see the problem, but they were able to determine that they weren't working properly. They didn't say how. (Based on how the parts move? By seeing a leak? Don't know.)

Anyway, if I understand correctly, then if they really did check everything, and if they didn't miss anything, it looks like the only thing left is the transmission. My plan is to take the car somewhere else as soon as I can schedule an appointment, have the transmission removed again, check everything, and consider whether this new transmission needs to be replaced. But if it sounds like there is anything else to try, check, etc., I'd definitely appreciate suggestions!
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 06:59:13 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by os46 View Post
Thanks again for the (continued) advice. Actually, my local specialist did remove the transmission. I gave them a list of everything you suggested checking in your posts, and also things which others mentioned. Hopefully, they checked them to the extent possible. I'm not actually sure if they said the cylinders were worn or described the problem in some other way. I saw the original cylinders, they said it wasn't possible to see the problem, but they were able to determine that they weren't working properly. They didn't say how. (Based on how the parts move? By seeing a leak? Don't know.)
How much did they charge for transmission R&R? This isn't a trivial exercise.. and most mechanics, particularly given your symptoms, would likely suggest replacing at least the "clutch kit" (disk, pressure plate and throwout bearing) while its apart. If might be they didn't - since installing the factory (or OEM) kit requires a very special clutch centering tool, a standard one won't work, and the correct one is not easy to find (my mechanic ended up making one on his lathe.)

I just can't see doing that much R&R and not including replacement of the clutch wear components. FWIW - getting to that point requires R&R of the exhaust system, driveshaft, heat-shields, transmission mount, engine cowling in the engine compartment, shift-linkage and finally the transmission. I believe flat rate books give ~8 hours labor for that. The actual clutch disk can't be examined without removing the pressure-plate. You can measure it for thickness, but you can't check it for loose rivets or linings without further disassembly. The further disassembly is likely to upset the self-adjusting mechanism on the pressure-plate, requiring either R&R of the plate, or another special tool to reset and reinstall it.

I just find it improbable that the shop would have done that much work, and then put the old parts back in declaring them OK. You're talking $1,500-2,000 in labor, and $400 in parts to replace all of the possible wear parts.
Quote:
Anyway, if I understand correctly, then if they really did check everything, and if they didn't miss anything, it looks like the only thing left is the transmission. My plan is to take the car somewhere else as soon as I can schedule an appointment, have the transmission removed again, check everything, and consider whether this new transmission needs to be replaced. But if it sounds like there is anything else to try, check, etc., I'd definitely appreciate suggestions!
It sounds like a very BIG "IF" to me - especially since the BMW clutch test fails. That test is quite specific, and is looking for incomplete release of the clutch. Incomplete release of the clutch WILL result in the symptoms you've mentioned.

Do the test again and tell us what the result is.. If the result hasn't changed, you've just paid for unnecessary replacement of perfectly good parts, and now you're headed down the same road with the same mechanics on a much more expensive part.
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  • 2002 M3C/6 - Imola Red/Black - SOLD
  • 2003 525iT - Green/Tan - SOLD - replaced with Lexus
  • 2006 Cayenne/S - Iceland Silver Metallic/Stone-steel Gray - Truckster. - SOLD
  • 2007 R1200R - Roadster, black mit/white pinstripes - SOLD and not forgotten..
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Old Wed, Jun-02-2010, 08:39:38 PM   #49
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Sounds like I should ask them if they opened the clutch. If not, then I'll suggest the dealer does so when I take the car there. (Though something tells me the dealer has a rule about only replacing, not repairing clutches :-( (Do you think they would have the special tool to reset and reinstall it?) And if it needs to be replaced, I'd like to try a slightly stronger, non-OEM clutch ...)

I do believe the specialist took the transmission out though. And I paid about as much for labor as I did when they replaced the clutch a few months back, so I at least paid to take it out ...
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Old Thu, Jun-03-2010, 01:06:51 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
It sounds like a very BIG "IF" to me - especially since the BMW clutch test fails. That test is quite specific, and is looking for incomplete release of the clutch. Incomplete release of the clutch WILL result in the symptoms you've mentioned.

Do the test again and tell us what the result is.. If the result hasn't changed, you've just paid for unnecessary replacement of perfectly good parts, and now you're headed down the same road with the same mechanics on a much more expensive part.
What is the bmw clutch test you speak of again? Is it any of the below?

1) with the car stopped, put it in 3rd gear and see if it accelerates/slips without stalling.

2) putting the car into any gear, if it resists and cant be put in to keep pressure on it while turning off the engine and see if it goes in.
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Discussing Major problems shifting (6-MT) 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)