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Old 10-27-2008, 12:47 AM   #1
ShortE36
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Default From a stop, 1st gear 'pops' - Advice?

OK so as the title states, I'm having a problem with my transmission/clutch.

1998 318ti (10/97 prod date)
160K

Symptoms are:

From a dead stop, when I put the car in 1st, it will pop back out about 50% of the time.

No other problems with any other gears, not even Reverse.

I've just gotten done replacing ALL shift bushings and seals in the Pelican Parts shifter bushing rebuild kit.

I've also, in the last 2K miles, drained and filled the gearbox and differential with the appropriate Royal Purple fluid. Synchromax in the gearbox and MaxGear in the differential.

I've also replaced the transmission mounts about 2K miles ago.

After ordering the Shift Bushing Super Kit which replaces the following:
Shift coupler with internal bushing
Pin retaining clip
Ball cup sponge & U-joint/coupler
Shifter Arm Plastic Bushing (attaches to chassis)
Shifter arm bushing (attaches to transmission)
Lower shift boot
Shifter arm pin
Two Shift selector rod circlips
Four Yellow plastic washers/bushings for shift selector rod
Shift handle ball cup bushing
I still have the 1st gear pop. The shifts in all other gears as SO crisp and it really feels like a new tranny but 1st gear is obviously still acting up.

After reading a few service bulletins it seems there are resolutions that cite when you have this problem with 1st & 2nd gear due to the guide sleeve, it calls for a tranny rebuild or replacement. I've also seen another service bulletin that quotes BMW as saying that problems with 1st gear and no other gear are typically clutch problems.

With that in mind, I do have to do a brake/clutch fluid flush very soon. My inspection place here in PA said it looks like it's never been changed and it's like syrup almost. I plan on doing a complete flush with some new fluid and flush the clutch slave cylinder too.

Anyone think this is worth a shot or is my transmission most-likely shot?
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortE36 View Post
I plan on doing a complete flush with some new fluid and flush the clutch slave cylinder too.

Anyone think this is worth a shot or is my transmission most-likely shot?
Clutch slave cylinders are known to cause that symptom.

My tranny used to pop out of 2nd or 3rd when it was rainy.
At the time, it was replaced under warranty.

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=13377
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=2537
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6713
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Old 10-27-2008, 12:57 AM   #3
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Well definitely flush your brake (clutch) fluid. That's just normal maintenance.

Looks like you've done all you can with the shift bushings, and you've seen the bulletin. I think it's just shot.
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Old 10-27-2008, 05:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input guys. I ordered the Brake Pressure Bleeder from BavAuto but they're back ordered so hopefully they can get it out soon.
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:10 AM   #5
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I've always been curious with this issue. If you were to hold the gear lever in first as you release the clutch, would it stay in gear?
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Old 10-27-2008, 06:15 AM   #6
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Nah - forces it back out.
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Old 10-27-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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it might be the gear synchro for first gear, I knew someone with a Saturn that had the same problem and that was what was wrong, although I think it was just when he downshifted
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:17 PM   #8
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i'd say worn synchro. I've got one in third. Pops out 30% of the time as the engine rpm drops from below 3500.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Just ordered a new clutch slave cylinder from AutoHausAZ. I got the Brake Pressure Bleeder from BavAuto but it was the catch bottle that was back ordered. Whenever I get the clutch slave cylinder I'll do the flush and update you guys on the status of the problem.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:40 PM   #10
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Default Update

Clutch slave cylinder came yesterday. Gotta take care of a leaky valve cover gasket on my 528i tonight and if I have time (and energy) - I'll tackle the job on the Ti and provide some updates.
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Old 11-21-2008, 12:42 AM   #11
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Question Dang!

No luck. Swapped out the clutch slave cylinder, bled the clutch system but no good. Clutch feels MUCH better, lighter and engages much earlier. There is a lot less resistance in every gear change too. Nevertheless, this didn't resolve my 1st gear popping. It's still popping out about 50% of the time. So to date, I've:

Drained and filled the gearbox w/Royal Purple Synchromesh
Installed new transmission mounts
Installed all new shift bushings using the Pelican Parts rebuild kit
Installed new [Febi/Bilstein] clutch slave cylinder and bled the entire brake and clutch system using ATE SL DOT4 fluid.

So my only conclusion is that it is either the clutch or transmission. I'm leaning heavily toward the transmission as the clutch itself feels great in all other gears.

At this point I think I'm willing to live with it but does anyone else have any other ideas?
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:02 AM   #12
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Well, I bought this Civic one time, in the Marines, for $200...only problem was the synchro was bad for 2nd gear. If I would accelerate, it would stay in gear, but as soon as i let off the gas, it would pop out.
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Turbos are great!...Especially the higher mileage m42's & m44's...A BUDGET setup should be good for atleast 400rwhp...I was running 60psi on stock internals and homemade parts...
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:49 PM   #13
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Default bump for this guy

i'm having the exact same issue. if i can find a fix then i'll just fix the tranny and sell it. that way i can finish up my zf replacement.
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:18 AM   #14
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I had this very problem back when the car was 150K miles young. The fix was a new-to-me transmission.
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