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From digest.v4.n636 Fri May 24 01:29:37 1996
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 22:48:16 -0400
Subject: Stiff Clutches -- another possibility

With regard to the rash of "stiff clutch" posts a couple of weeks ago, I had a different stiff clutch scenario earlier last week. This is somewhat easier than digging for the throwout bearing.

Over the winter I replaced the clutch master cyl, and replaced the slave early last week. After careful bleeding it still felt mushy at first, then stiff, and the pedal still wouldn't return to its "normal" position, even if pulled up. When I took off the underdash panel to look, the pedal was ~.5" from full return, but nothing was obstructing it. (So *this* was why the cruise had quit, because the pedal wasn't contacting the switch!) I noticed that the master's rod (ok, you Freudians!) was cocked at an angle, causing binding and loss of travel. Then I saw that the steel pedal bracket had fatigued and torn ~4 inches (~10cm), just above the master cylinder, causing the clutch pedal to twist out of position!

I got the bracket out and took it to a shop to be welded. They have patched them *in* the car, but they can get a better weld with it out. IMHO, leave it in and get it patched. It may be strong enough not to need a "next time". It's a PITA to drop the steering column, unbolt almost everything and *gently* wrestle the bracket and pedals past the *brake* master's rod and nearby wiring. Then there's the re-install.

What a difference! Clutch feels *much* lighter and smoother, and no more left-leg Nautilus workouts!

Happily heel/toe double-clutching,
'87 535i der StarKruiser
'88 325is der SchuttleKraft
Mr Data, stand by with the clutch ... engage!!

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