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1975 BMW 2002 keeps stalling when clutch is release


xshazeemx

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Hello everyone, 
 
Completely newbie here. I had parked my 2002 for a week and after warming it up, I wasn’t able to shift into gear, I also notice that brake padel was also stiff. I check the brake/clutch fluid reservoir and it was completely empty even though I had filled it completely before.
I looked at underneath the car and notice that it was leaking from the hole(shown in photo) looks like the pedal housing.
I filled the reservoir with more fluids which then I was able shift into gear but however every time I release the clutch the car dies.
Not sure if the leaking is caused by a bad master cylinder or something else. There was a washer and screw came out of the hole when I first removed the black foam that was covering the hole. Not sure if something inside is loose.
 
Any help would be appreciated.
 
 

IMG_0056.HEIC

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Before delving into the clutch hydraulics, pour enough brake fluid into the reservoir to reach the nipple that's about 1/3 of the way up the reservoir's side.  That side nipple feeds the clutch hydraulics, the two at the bottom feed the brake M/C.   Don't touch the brake pedal 'till you're sure there's fluid in the bottom of the reservoir.  

 

Filling the bottom of the reservoir will keep air from getting into your brake hydraulics, which would require bleeding all four brakes (and six bleeders).  You don't want to do that if you don't have to.  

 

I did a Roundel column with a few tricks of the trade when it comes to replacing both clutch master and slave cylinders .  PM me if you'd like a copy.

 

And...be sure and clean up every molecule of brake fluid which you'll find as puddled in the pedal bucket (it'll hold nearly a pint!)--wipe down with alcohol and if you find rust, paint with anti-rust paint.  Otherwise it'll eventually rust through the bucket--and replacing it makes bleeding the brakes a trivial job.

 

mike

  • Like 1

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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On 12/9/2022 at 8:38 AM, halboyles said:

Your clutch MC needs to be replaced.  You should probably also replace the slave at the same time.  Inexpensive insurance.

I did replace the slave master cylinder before and everything was working fine. Changing the master cylinder looks very complicated and I don't change it unless I need to. There isn't any video on either. 

 

 

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On 12/9/2022 at 9:19 AM, Mike Self said:

Before delving into the clutch hydraulics, pour enough brake fluid into the reservoir to reach the nipple that's about 1/3 of the way up the reservoir's side.  That side nipple feeds the clutch hydraulics, the two at the bottom feed the brake M/C.   Don't touch the brake pedal 'till you're sure there's fluid in the bottom of the reservoir.  

 

Filling the bottom of the reservoir will keep air from getting into your brake hydraulics, which would require bleeding all four brakes (and six bleeders).  You don't want to do that if you don't have to.  

 

I did a Roundel column with a few tricks of the trade when it comes to replacing both clutch master and slave cylinders .  PM me if you'd like a copy.

 

And...be sure and clean up every molecule of brake fluid which you'll find as puddled in the pedal bucket (it'll hold nearly a pint!)--wipe down with alcohol and if you find rust, paint with anti-rust paint.  Otherwise it'll eventually rust through the bucket--and replacing it makes bleeding the brakes a trivial job.

 

mike

Mike,

 

I tried fill the reservoir with more brake fluid which then allowed me shift into gear but however whenever I release the clutch the car dies. Is that because of bad master cylinder? Also notice that the clutch pedal is looser than before. 

 

Please do send me any documentation that would help. 

 

Thanks. 

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Replacing the clutch master isn't complicated, but it is a little tricky holding the fasteners on the inside, while turning them on the outside.  I've done that job a few times now, while trying to repair my original and then finally replacing it.  I'd skip trying to fix it and just put in a new one if it is leaking.

 

When you say the clutch pedal is looser, what do you mean?  Easier to push? If it has run low on fluid, you may have air trapped in the system. 

 

You said the reservoir goes completely empty, so that implies a leak in the brake system.  Otherwise, the level only drops to the clutch outlet.  I'd look carefully at each wheel, to see if there's any brake juice escaping.

 

There is a tiny drain hole on the underside of the brake master cylinder, right in front of the booster.  If that gets plugged up, or rusted shut, the fluid will run into the booster and can then get sucked through the big vacuum hose and come out the tailpipe as white smoke.  You can twist a small drill bit up into that hole, to make sure it is clean.  You can also unplug the vacuum line at the booster and stick a wire down inside as a dip stick, to see if it's dry inside.

 

Pressure bleeders like the Motive product are money well spent.  image.jpeg.35a72ad7f4e287af9cd0db31cec80b80.jpeg

 

These little 4" viSe grips are worth owning too.  They'll keep you from stripping the brake fittings if they're stuck.  image.jpeg.8391b7d017cfc5d59ffd0d6f35a60e8a.jpeg

 

I don't know why your car dies when you let out the clutch, but it shouldn't have anything to do with the brake system.


Tom

Edited by '76mintgrün'02
added dip stick suggestion
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1 hour ago, xshazeemx said:

Please do send me any documentation that would help. 

PM me for the relevant column so I can attach it to your message.   When you replaced the slave cylinder you made the clutch master cylinder the weak link.  The new slave is better at holding the not inconsiderable pressure (several hundred psi) than the old master cylinder, so guess which one's gonna leak?

 

A quick way to check and see if the clutch M/C is leaking is to slip a pencil or popsicle stick down into the pedal bucket next to the brake or clutch pedal.  If it comes up wet, then your clutch MC is leaking

 

What I (we) don't quite understand is that the engine dies when you release the clutch pedal.  I presume that when you do this, you have the car in first gear and you're feeding gas to the engine to keep it from stalling.  If the car has been sitting for some time, (like months or even years), the clutch disk could have rusted to the pressure plate/flywheel, but that shouldn't happen after not driving for a week or so.  

 

mike

  • Like 2

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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48 minutes ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

Replacing the clutch master isn't complicated

Very true.  It's really just two hydraulic lines and two bolts.  Have someone hold the nuts on the MC under the car and use an impact wrench on the inside to knock the bolts loose. You may not be able to easily get a  get a wrench on the nut on top of the MC.  Jam a large flat blade screwdriver in between the nut and MC body while someone inside unscrews the bolt. 

To make the installation process easier, file off some of the MC body just below the top mounting hole.  You'll then be able to slide a boxed-end wrench over the nut.  See pics.

Clutch Master Before Grinding.jpg

Clutch Master Grinding.jpg

Edited by halboyles
speling
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BMWCCA  Member #14493

www.2002sonly.com

1086238739_Logoforsignature.png.eb1354ab9afa7c378cd15f33e4c7fbbe.png

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I dug up my old thread, where I showed what I went through, while attempting to repair a leaker I had.  The photos might give you some insight as to what you'll be up to.  Here are a couple that show my method for holding the fasteners inside the car, while loosening and tightening them from below.  (I don't have any helpers here).

 

 

5978e8be257be_001(1024x768)(1024x768).thumb.jpg.5b704c0c882e010f0c3d46a9b3b059c1.jpg

 

5978e8d24aefc_004(1024x768).thumb.jpg.1f9b3960cfb007bdf8e7da9a5ee15bb0.jpg

 

Here is that thread.

 

 

It can be challenging to get the master's feed hose pressed into the rubber grommet while under the car, so you may want to remove that line up above and press it into the master ahead of time.  Be careful pressing the hose back onto the reservoir.  It is easy to bend/kink the nipple on the plastic reservoir.


Tom

Edited by '76mintgrün'02
"and tightening"
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On 12/10/2022 at 10:04 AM, '76mintgrün'02 said:

Replacing the clutch master isn't complicated, but it is a little tricky holding the fasteners on the inside, while turning them on the outside.  I've done that job a few times now, while trying to repair my original and then finally replacing it.  I'd skip trying to fix it and just put in a new one if it is leaking.

 

When you say the clutch pedal is looser, what do you mean?  Easier to push? If it has run low on fluid, you may have air trapped in the system. 

 

You said the reservoir goes completely empty, so that implies a leak in the brake system.  Otherwise, the level only drops to the clutch outlet.  I'd look carefully at each wheel, to see if there's any brake juice escaping.

 

There is a tiny drain hole on the underside of the brake master cylinder, right in front of the booster.  If that gets plugged up, or rusted shut, the fluid will run into the booster and can then get sucked through the big vacuum hose and come out the tailpipe as white smoke.  You can twist a small drill bit up into that hole, to make sure it is clean.  You can also unplug the vacuum line at the booster and stick a wire down inside as a dip stick, to see if it's dry inside.

 

Pressure bleeders like the Motive product are money well spent.  image.jpeg.35a72ad7f4e287af9cd0db31cec80b80.jpeg

 

These little 4" viSe grips are worth owning too.  They'll keep you from stripping the brake fittings if they're stuck.  image.jpeg.8391b7d017cfc5d59ffd0d6f35a60e8a.jpeg

 

I don't know why your car dies when you let out the clutch, but it shouldn't have anything to do with the brake system.


Tom

Tom,

 

I checked all the wheels, there is no fluids coming out from the brakes. I only see fluids coming out from the pedal bucket/housing. Please take a look at the photo. 

 

It make sense that the pressure is less when releasing the clutch padel because there is no fluids and air has been going in. 

 

When I release the clutch slowly after putting into gear it does not engage and the engine slowly dies out. 

 

 

 

Screenshot 2022-12-11 at 9.47.01 PM.png

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That is where the fluid tends to leak out when the clutch master cylinder has gone bad.  You'll probably be needing a new one and it might make sense to do the slave cylinder at the same time, so you don't have to get back in there anytime soon.

 

I still don't understand why your car dies when you let out the clutch.

 

The brake/clutch fluid reservoir would not be going completely empty, if it is only a clutch system leak. 

If the fluid level only goes as low as the outlet on the side (that feeds the clutch), you might not have a leak in the brake system.

 

You do have some serious rust issues in the frame rail.  That is structural and needs to be repaired.  The floor pan repairs may need to be redone at the same time, depending on what's under that coating.  Sorry.

 

I see that you just joined the forum.  How long have you had this car?  

   

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On 12/10/2022 at 10:41 AM, Mike Self said:

PM me for the relevant column so I can attach it to your message.   When you replaced the slave cylinder you made the clutch master cylinder the weak link.  The new slave is better at holding the not inconsiderable pressure (several hundred psi) than the old master cylinder, so guess which one's gonna leak?

 

A quick way to check and see if the clutch M/C is leaking is to slip a pencil or popsicle stick down into the pedal bucket next to the brake or clutch pedal.  If it comes up wet, then your clutch MC is leaking

 

What I (we) don't quite understand is that the engine dies when you release the clutch pedal.  I presume that when you do this, you have the car in first gear and you're feeding gas to the engine to keep it from stalling.  If the car has been sitting for some time, (like months or even years), the clutch disk could have rusted to the pressure plate/flywheel, but that shouldn't happen after not driving for a week or so.  

 

mike

Mike,

 

The car was sitting for about two week or less, I always have to move it around because of street cleaning. 

 

What I meant was, when I put into first gear or into reverse and release the clutch slowly, it does not engage. It chokes and stall. It was grinding when I put it into reverse at first, and won't move at all. 

 

Should I jack it up from rear and start in gear? maybe the clutch is stock? 

 

 

Screenshot 2022-12-11 at 9.47.01 PM.png

Screenshot 2022-12-11 at 10.35.01 PM.png

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57 minutes ago, xshazeemx said:

Should I jack it up from rear and start in gear?

Wouldn't hurt to try this...Just support the rear on jack stands, not just the jack, and see what happens.  It's pretty unlikely that the clutch would stick in a week or two, but it's been known to happen.  

 

One other test:  start the engine in neutral, get it good and warm, then shut it off, put the car in gear and restart it.  It should lurch but get underway (be sure and do this with plenty of space in front of you, because the car should moving forward in first gear).  If that works, then chances are the problem is your inop clutch master cylinder.

 

But you definitely need to replace your clutch master cylinder.  Hopefully when installed and properly bled, your clutch should operate properly.  

 

mike

'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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11 hours ago, '76mintgrün'02 said:

I still don't understand why your car dies when you let out the clutch.

How experienced is the OP at driving a stick shift car?  Maybe he didn't open the throttle when trying to get the car to move?

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A radiator shop is a good place to take a leak.

 

I have no idea what I'm doing but I know I'm really good at it.

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