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Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

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Danny Wilde
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Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:10 pm

Hi guys, would really appreciate your advice on this :-?

Lately I've been experiencing some intermittent issues with the 1st gear (2nd and reverse also some times), in most of the occurrences it's just hard to move it in or out of the gears, at times it just won't engage, and more rarely it has grinded. Then after a few attempts it's perfectly smooth again as if nothing's happened, as a matter of fact, for one or two shifts it's much smoother than normal, I'd describe it as almost "strangely effortless" :-k, then goes back to a "normal" resistance when moving the knob.

So, after a few occurrences in different days, as soon as the issue turned up I tried turning the engine off and gears engaged perfectly smooth (normal resistance), I tried this 3 times so I think I can confidently say that it only happens with the engine running, and only after a while and with a hot engine, while in a traffic jam.
Clutch pedal action is normal.

Clutch kit replaced 2 years ago, master and slave cylinders 5 years ago, brake fluid level is full.

It may be a coincidence :-k, but I thought I should point out that I have recently replaced the following parts on the gear lever mechanism, to fix the knob's looseness in neutral:

Image

Could these issues be related to these recent gear lever replacements or is it just a coincidence and you'd suggest it is more due to a gearbox or clutch issue?

Thanks for your precious help guys :D
Danny
9/1986 euro 635CSi manual Diamantschwarz

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dwcains
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by dwcains » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:10 am

Every time one of my cars (BMW or Alfa) starts that behavior, I have a look at the slave, and that's usually the problem. Just went through this a month or so ago, and there was no obvious leaking or visible fluid loss until I pulled the slave out. Hard to diagnose from a distance, but that's my guess.
Dean
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Brucey » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:10 pm

I agree, a duff slave cylinder will do that and sometimes a bad MC.

However other things that will do that include

- a fault in the pressure plate
- an intermittently draggy spigot bearing (aka pilot bearing)

Since troubleshooting the slave cylinder is both easiest and most likely, that is the thing to look at first for sure.

cheers
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Pod » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:51 am

I had exactly the same problem a few years ago with my first M635CSi, driving down to Le Mans. It got so bad I had to do the final 250 miles or so without using the clutch at all! It was, of course, the slave cylinder - so now I always keep a spare in the boot, they're not expensive.

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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by dwcains » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:07 am

I replaced the slave on mine about a month ago, with an "OEM" part made by FTE. It's one of the new plastic ones, so I'm curious to see how long it lasts.
Dean
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Danny Wilde
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:51 am

Brucey, dwcains and Pod thanks for your support! :D

I think I might have been a bit too hasty :mrgreen: and directly replaced the slave with a new BMW one (€130, came in plastic :shock:), but the issue is still there…
It happens only on a hot engine when I'm at a traffic light, if the car is moving and air is flowing the issue disappears, only to manifest itself again at the next traffic light, looks like temperature is a key factor here..


1)
Worst case scenario is the pressure plate or the clutch bearing as you suggested, would it make sense to replace the single parts (bearing or plate) or is it mandatory to replace the whole clutch kit?
My current clutch kit was installed 2 years ago, was an original "barn find" BMW new kit but it was very old, maybe more than 20 years, still in good condition, it still had the white bmw stamps on it and was still wrapped in its original oil paper, could it's age be the issue?

2) If I had to replace it would a €280 Sachs clutch kit be ok all the same? BMW one is pretty expensive :mrgreen:


Guess I should proceed with the (5 years old) master cylinder now, looks in pretty good shape, no "obvious" leaks:

Image
Last edited by Danny Wilde on Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:22 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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dwcains
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by dwcains » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:24 am

Have you checked the pedal assembly for a crack? This reinforcement is something I think all our cars should have:

http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?t=103670
Dean
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Danny Wilde
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:33 am

dwcains wrote:Have you checked the pedal assembly for a crack? This reinforcement is something I think all our cars should have:

http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?t=103670
thanks dwcains, already checked that :D
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by dwcains » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:37 pm

Unlike the slave, the master can leak internally, so that could be your problem.

Next time you need a slave, I'll send you one, I just paid $30 for the same plastic FTE part.
Dean
Lutz, FL

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'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
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Danny Wilde
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:37 am

Thanks dwcains! as a matter of fact I found some interesting prices on Ebay, original oem BMW master cylinder is around €200, since I'm not sure that that's the issue I guess I'll go for the cheaper one this time :roll:

By the way it's pretty confusing out there, always thought that Febi Bilstein was medium/good stuff and that TRW was not-so-good quality, but then I saw that the Febi one is only 33 while the TRW is 89??? :-k
Is there any available info on the average quality for each of these different makes? Or a list of the makes to avoid?

Think I'll go for a Bosch one (€80), does it make any difference on a part like this? Or should I be ok for years with a cheaper one? :?:
Did you have any positive experience on some particular make for an MC?

Thanks for your kind help :D
Danny
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by dwcains » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:17 am

I think it's gotten to be hit or miss with hydraulics. Sometimes the name brans end up being the cheap part reboxed, which doesn't indicate quality, anyway. I bought the FTE because it was on the cheaper side of the range, and the vendor offers. A lifetime warranty. I wouldn't buy anything from Metelli, though, as I've been through to many Alfa hydraulics from them that were DOA, and they were hardly inexpensive.
Dean
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'87 Spider Veloce
'92 Spider Veloce
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Danny Wilde
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Wed Jul 05, 2017 8:07 am

I guess you're right dwcains thanks :-) ... Just ordered a Bosch master cylinder, as soon as I get it replaced I'll post the results!
Hoping the issue is not my 2 years old clutch kit :shock:
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:24 pm

Well, finally managed to change the master cylinder and it looks like that that was the culprit, working fine now! \:D/ Only the reverse is a bit hard to insert but that's always been so....
thanks guys!! :D
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:11 pm

err :oops: ..
Maybe I've been a little too optimistic, issue is back again :shock:, I guess the master cylinder was bad anyway because the problem had disappeared for some time and was a contributory cause because now seems slightly less hard, but it's happening again, on a hot engine, it's intermittently hard to get out or in of 1st or 2nd or reverse.
Once it happens and I'm back in neutral, if I press the clutch pedal I can hear a faint mechanic noise from the clutch (I guess?), after pressing one or two times the noise disappears… Then the issue manifests itself again, but never on a cold engine.
Already changed the slave cylinder as a first attempt but it probably was ok since nothing changed after that.

Do you think the only solution left is replacing the clutch kit? I'm still in time before I go for a car trip on the 11th of August. This is an old but original BMW kit, it's been sitting on the shelf for many years I've been told, but still good and in its original wax paper with the old style white bmw stamps, and I've installed it just 2 years ago… I'd really like some advice before spending all that money again... If it stayed like this I guess I could live with it for a while, but I'd like to avoid ending up with a broken clutch while on vacation this summer 8-[

Thanks for your precious help guys :-)
Danny
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Pod » Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:54 am

I would think the "mechanical noise" is most likely the release bearing and not a worry unless its really noisy.

If I were you, I'd re-bleed the fluid just in case you've got air in the system. It sounds to me that there is not enough movement in the actuating rod which will hamper dis-engagement of the clutch and thus make gear selection more difficult.

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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:40 pm

Thanks Pod :-), just checked today but no air seems to be in the system, I also changed the transmission fluid as a last ditch attempt but nothing changed.
I guess I'll wait and see if it worsens, then I'll post more results...
thanks
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Pod » Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:34 am

I'm running out of ideas here, but keep returning to the actuating rod throw. Maybe you could try replacing it. I presume you have tried adjusting the clutch pedal??? - that could possibly affect the total movement in the hydraulic system.

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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by hornhospital » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:28 pm

Danny Wilde wrote: It may be a coincidence :-k, but I thought I should point out that I have recently replaced the following parts on the gear lever mechanism, to fix the knob's looseness in neutral:

Image

Danny

I notice you didn't change #8. That rear carrier can adversely affect shifting if the tail is not held firmly in alignment. You may have said it was replaced later, but I didn't see such mentioned.
Ken Kanne
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:23 pm

- Thanks Pod, by actuating rod trow you mean the one that comes out of the slave cylinder? As a matter of fact the slave cylinder was the first thing I replaced a month ago, would it make any sense since it happens only on a hot engine?
Concerning the clutch pedal I must admit I didn't know that it could be adjusted? How is that achieved? Thanks for your kind support..

- Thanks for your help Hornhospital, as a matter of fact the rear carrier looked like it was in good shape so you're right, I did not replace it. Could it be that it was badly reassembled? And would that make sense since this only happens on a hot engine?
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:25 am

SOLVED! \:D/
Finally replaced the clutch kit with a new Sachs one and gears get stuck no more, problem solved!
Thanks for all you support guys :D
Danny
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Pod » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:07 am

Great news! Upon inspection, was the friction material down to the rivets??

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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:36 pm

Pod wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:07 am
Great news! Upon inspection, was the friction material down to the rivets??
Actually not Pod, the kit was still quite new, have been using it only for two years, I guess it had either been faulty or badly installed, the surface of the plate was pretty obviously unevenly worn :shock: ...
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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Pod » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:19 am

Just “one of those things”, I guess. It never ceases to amaze me how mechanical components can fail in different ways. My vote was definitely on the clutch driven plate not disengaging fully. I don’t think I’ve ever come across uneven wear on either of the plates before (which one was it?)

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Re: Hard to shift in and out of 1st/2nd/reverse - intermittent

Post by Danny Wilde » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:02 am

Yeah, I wonder if it was faulty to begin with or if it had been badly installed :-k ...
Here's a pic of the uneven wear on the clutch disc:

Image
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