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blobrob

530d DMF/Clutch/gearbox issues?

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2 years ago (40k miles) I fitted a new Luk DMF, Luk clutch kit, Meyle propshaft coupling and BMW sourced (Koyo) pilot bearing. I also did the shifter detent rebuild job on the gearbox. All has been fine until last week. The clutch pedal felt a bit gruanchy and within 200 miles or so, as I was pulling out of the car park at work, I heard quite nasty grinding rattly noise coming from the gearbox area. The noise did not seem to affect shifting and it was there regardless of clutch position, gear selection and road speed. It was so bad I was about to turn back but it went away within 2 minutes. Since then I drove 300 miles and the clutch pedal seems to change its feel every few clutch actuations and it is rather noisy on engine overrun and sometimes I can feel significant damped backlash in the drivetrain.

 

So I decided to remove the box to see what is going on and this is where it got interesting as the box did not come off. Was free to move about 25mm off the back of the engine and it came to a dead stop with a thud. After much head scratching and just before I was about to use a hole saw to get through the bell housing I managed to get to the pressure plate bolts through the slave cylinder hole, wasn't easy though. The gearbox came off and the pilot bearing was stuck on the gearbox input shaft as expected.

 

After I used a puller on the pilot bearing I could not find the cause of the noise. Pilot bearing seemed good, Clutch seems fine, the pressure plate seems OK however will need a new one as I removed it without pre-loading so the self adjustment mechanism is at it lowest setting. The DMF seem OK to me as well although I am not an expert in checking DMFs. I can see fresh metal particles on the bell housing that must have been flung out of the rotating assembly but I cannot find where they came from, I don't think it is the clutch as the rivets are well clear of the surface. Will definitely get a new pilot bearing and clutch kit but I am not convinced it will cure the issue. The propshaft coupling has a tiny amount of play in one of the bolt holes so will get a new one of those as well, not too surprised by that due to my driving style and Meyle not being the best quality part out there. There is also a little bit of radial play in the gearbox input shaft, but from memory this was there last time. Not sure how much is acceptable.

 

Where do I go from here? DMF is quite new and I can't see any of the other parts being responsible to cause this magnitude of problems, how can I prove the DMF is not the source the problems? I don't want to trow £500+ worth or parts on it just to find the same issue although I am looking at £200+ already for clutch kit, pilot bearing and propshaft coupling. Any ideas where I sit with the DMF warranty, being a Luk part sourced through CP4L (EPC stock)? Could it be the gearbox, if so how can I tell?

 

 

Edited by blobrob

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you can check the dmf quite easily, try and find the specs for your unit, there's axial play around its bearing as well as in/out play to check.

 

http://www.partinfo.co.uk/files/DMF_a2_tool_poster without Datawheel .pdf

 

I found these values which may not be 100% correct for your car.

 

Max. Clearance Angle [Degree] 11
Number of teeth (finding the max. clearance angle) 4
Max. Sideplay [mm] 2.9

 

not come across any self adjusting pressure plates before, there must be a tool to re-set them?

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I only got 4.5 teeth of clearance and about 1mm of sideplay so it good on that front. I checked the back of the DMF and found some evidence of oil leaking, but I don't think it should be cause for concern. What do you think? See pictures below.

 

I have also attached the picture of the metallic particles in the bellhousing, damage to the propshaft coupling and mating surfaces. There is some discoloration on the mating surfaces, is this normal?

 

There are self adjusting tools available used fire installation/technical but I am not aware of one that resets an incorrectly removed pressure plate. Edit: I have found a SAC rest tool however it is £100. BGS Reset Tool for BMW SAC Clutch (Art. 8283)

 

Pressure plate mating surface:

20170326_194556.jpg

 

Rear of DMF:

20170326_193340.jpg

 

Bellhousing swarf:

20170326_194022.jpg

 

Rear of DMF 2:

20170326_193508.jpg

 

Propshaft coupling:

20170326_193933.jpg

 

DMF mating surface:

20170326_193743.jpg

 

Edited by blobrob

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apart from a shot spigot bearing and prop donut it looks reasonable, the oil on the back of the flywheel might be from the engine.

 

if the bearing is anything like the older ones a standard £5 SKF bearing can be used instead of a £20-30 BMW one.

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Am i seeing some blueing on your dmf? If thats blueish then its overheated for some reason, there is also uneven wear on you pressure plate and on the rear of the dmf that looks like a score mark which could be the shavings in the bellhousing.

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I don't remember paying £20-£30 for a BMW pilot bearing but seeing as BMminiparts are no longer doing parts to order I will just get an aftermarket one. Still can't see how the pilot bearing would be cause of all this noise and odd behaviour, it was not square on the shaft but the bearing feels fine.

 

Seeing as you only need the reset tool if you don't preload the pressure plate with a bearing puller or similar it will only be needed if the pilot bearing gets stuck on the output shaft again so I am really unlikely to use it again. Can't see there being much of a market for used ones either. I will just a new clutch kit.

 

The DMF looks a bit blue in that picture as there is a very blue LED work lamp illuminating it, it is very similar in colour to the pressure plate. I could not feel any scoring on either clutch mating surfaces. According to this Luk document you only need to replace the DMF if it is blue around the rivets: https://www.scribd.com/document/327030548/DMF-Failure-Diagnosis-Visual-Inspection.

 

So as I have not found conclusive evidence of what caused the issue I will have to put it back together with a new clutch kit, pilot bearing and coupling and take it from there. Worst case scenario I could always go back in and replace the DMF.

 

 

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So new clutch, pilot bearing and propshaft coupling and all back together and TBH its better but not completely cured. Clutch pedal feel is still not perfect so will flush the fluid, been 3 years since I did the coolant/brake fluid service so about time I did it. Clutch pedal feel must be unrelated issue. I have a lot less backlash in the drivetrain and since doing about 300 miles the nasty noise has not come back.

 

I did find a few other bits that needed doing when under the car, the diff bushes are past their best so that will need doing at the next service. Replaced rear drop links and did pads discs and shoes on the rear as they might not make it to the next service.

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Do diesels have the clutch delay valve (CDV)? if they do, take it out! Made a HUGE difference to out pretrol one - prior to removal, it was easy to stall, and hade to make smotth shifts and modulate the clutch correctly. Probably nothing to do with your problem, but "since you down there" :D

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Update. I change the gearbox oil, diff oil and flushed the brake fluid (including clutch) and although shift quality has improved significantly the clutch pedal feel is still not great when on the move. Also now that I know the diff bushes are ripped I have noticed that the clutch pedal vibrates a lot during overrun which is accompanied by a quiet booming noise coming from the rear of the car. Will sort the diff bushes next and see if the clutch pedal feel/vibration improves.

Edited by blobrob

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