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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Clutch Bleed Woes



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      03-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #1
kenbrinkman
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Clutch Bleed Woes

This weekend I modified my CDV using the many DIY posts as a great guide. Everything went smoothly, except for my clutch bleed. I ended up (regretfully) removing the hard hydraulic line from the slave cylinder to make it easier for me to reinstall the metal clip/fastener which I (regretfully) removed entirely from the opposite end. I did lose a lot of brake fluid in that process. However, I got everything back in order and started my clutch bleed. Having an xi, the front drive shaft made this considerably more difficult without the space for a proper bleed wrench. I eventually used a convoluted mix of socket/universal joint/ratchet to open the bleed valve. Using a pressure bleeder, I had the lines pressurized to 15 psi when I cracked the valve. A bunch of air came out, following a bunch of fluid. This is where my problems/questions begin.

1. Without having a clear tube on the bleed valve, just a socket, it's very difficult to tell when the bubbles stop coming out. It's just a rush of fluid. I have a working clutch petal, just more spongy than before. I'll attempt a bleed again after I'm done class today. Would the traditional, two-person pumping clutch pedal method work better here than the pressure bleeder? I made sure to keep an eye on the fluid reservoir and clutch partition so that wasn't an issue.

2. In the process of bleeding, a lot of fluid dripped onto the drive shaft. Since brake fluid is a really effective paint stripper, should I be concerned with the now naked metal spots on the drive shaft? Should I remove it and paint? Will it rust? What's the proper protocol here?

Thanks for your help!
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      03-20-2013, 05:06 PM   #2
fdawg4l
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbrinkman View Post
1. Without having a clear tube on the bleed valve, just a socket, it's very difficult to tell when the bubbles stop coming out. It's just a rush of fluid. I have a working clutch petal, just more spongy than before. I'll attempt a bleed again after I'm done class today. Would the traditional, two-person pumping clutch pedal method work better here than the pressure bleeder? I made sure to keep an eye on the fluid reservoir and clutch partition so that wasn't an issue.
I had something similar happen to me. I flushed the brake fluid in my car with a vacuum bleeder. I started at the passenger side rear and worked my way around while keeping the reservoir filled. After all was said and done, I hopped in and tested the brakes without issue. A few days later I'm on the Bay Bridge and the brake pedal go to the floor without let up. I nursed it home and come to find out the bleeder valve on passenger side front wasn't torqued appropriately and came undone. There was no fluid left in the reservoir so I guessed there was nothing but air in the lines.

Ended up taking it in to a shop I trust and had them do the 2-person bleed. They tried a pressure bleeder first, but the pedal was too soft in their opinion, so they resorted to the two person method. It's back to normal now.

I'd say skip the middle step and convince someone to spend an hour bleeding the clutch with you. It's pretty much foolproof, and since there's only 1 clutch master/slave (and not 4 brake calipers) to deal with, it'll be quick. And remember to torque the valve correctly. My brakes being out was scary, but I could downshift and pump the brake pedal in emergencies. The clutch being dead is a whole other level of underpants stains.

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2. In the process of bleeding, a lot of fluid dripped onto the drive shaft. Since brake fluid is a really effective paint stripper, should I be concerned with the now naked metal spots on the drive shaft? Should I remove it and paint? Will it rust? What's the proper protocol here?

Thanks for your help!
Grab a can of brake cleaner, a rag, and apply liberally if you're worried. Avoid plastic parts and it'll take care of whatever was left around.

I had my (non-xi) driveshaft apart just this past weekend. It's surrounded by a heatshield, the tunnel, and the underbody tray. I wouldn't worry about it too much. It's sealed up well enough and it's a pretty solid piece of (I think) aluminum (in which case it won't rust anyway). But, I've been wrong before.

Good luck and report back on how you fixed your clutch feel.
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      03-26-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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I used the two person method when deleting mine. I pumped it until the pedal was nice and tight, and my buddy cinched it down under the vehicle after each pump. I would guess it took about 10 pumps of the clutch to get the air out.
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