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Old 01-18-2018, 08:17 AM
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Default e36 clutch pedal dropped to floor

Pulling into my office today, I went to change gears to slow down for a speed bump and the clutch pedal dropped to the floor with no resistance. I had popped into neutral already and could only get it back into 5th gear. Limped it into the parking area in 5th gear.

With the car running, I played with the clutch pedal and observed that it can be pulled off the floor back to the normal position, but when pushing it down it goes straight back with no resistance and does not return back up. So seems like the clutch pedal is not working with the actual clutch to engage/disengage.

The brake fluid level light is on but that is not terribly unusual for this car. It has been coming on intermittently for some time and has needed to occasionally be topped off.

Waiting for it to warm up a bit before I got back out there to look at it, but any advice on what to look at/for would be great!
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:38 AM
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Lane, hopefully, someone with more BMW knowledge will chime in soon, but if it were my P-car, the brake reservoir is also the reservoir for the clutch master cylinder. I would start looking for a leak between reservoir and the clutch slave cylinder. Good luck.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:46 AM
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E-36 has Oh so much plastic and mechanical motion in the clutch pedal cluster. Can you feel any resistance or does the pedal flop? did it go from all good to 0.0 or did the clutch pedal feel odd a time or two prior? Could be air could be a broken part. Based on your discription I am guessing mechanical break which would be real easy to se once you crawl in. As said the Clutch draws from a point above min level so a failure in the clutch fluid system does not also take out the brakes.

Brakes and clutches should not need to be topped up. The fluid level should go from (measured when cold) Max to Min over the life of a set of brake pads.
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:33 AM
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As VG said, 1st take a look at the pedal assembly itself and see if anything looks broken(parts diagram available on realoem if you don't have one)...then follow the line and see if you have a leak in one of the connections or the line may have a break somewhere. if the level has been dropping occasionally and you have had to refill it, I would suspect a leak in the line and air getting into the system. then Pull the slave cylinder...it may have just given up (don't pump the clutch with the slave pulled out). if you are going to pull it anyway, and it hasn't been replaced in a while you may want to replace the slave cylinder for good measure.

Curious how you got it into 5th gear...were you pressing down on the clutch which was already on the floor? or did you just jam in into 5th somehow?
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Old 01-18-2018, 09:58 AM
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As said check the fluid. My guess is its low. Fill and see if you can pump up the clutch. Might be enough to get home or to a better location. I've seen a spot weld brake and the clutch pedal and spring acted similarly but thats not nearly as common as a bad slave/leak.
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Old 01-18-2018, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPM911 View Post
Pulling into my office today, I went to change gears to slow down for a speed bump and the clutch pedal dropped to the floor with no resistance. I had popped into neutral already and could only get it back into 5th gear. Limped it into the parking area in 5th gear.

With the car running, I played with the clutch pedal and observed that it can be pulled off the floor back to the normal position, but when pushing it down it goes straight back with no resistance and does not return back up. So seems like the clutch pedal is not working with the actual clutch to engage/disengage.

The brake fluid level light is on but that is not terribly unusual for this car. It has been coming on intermittently for some time and has needed to occasionally be topped off.

Waiting for it to warm up a bit before I got back out there to look at it, but any advice on what to look at/for would be great!
100 percent clutch master and slave cylinder. You can still drive it. Shut the car off when at a stop. Leave the clutch pedal on the floor. Start it un first and hard shift it.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:12 PM
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Topped fluid off, pumped the pedal. No change. Checked fluid level, dropped back down to same level.

Looked under car to find:
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:51 PM
86911TLCAB 86911TLCAB is offline
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Either the slave cylinder or the line going to it. Time for a tow home or to a shop to repair. Not sure I would risk the possible damage to the tranny by trying to drive it home.
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Last edited by 86911TLCAB; 01-18-2018 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:50 PM
mlytle mlytle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LPM911 View Post

The brake fluid level light is on but that is not terribly unusual for this car. It has been coming on intermittently for some time and has needed to occasionally be topped off.
(queue the "Big Bang Theory" episode where Penny ignores the check engine light....)

brake warning light comes on for a reason, and it is not just to top off the fluid. brake fluid should never need to be topped off. a loss of fluid means there is a problem with the brake or clutch. there should be a puddle of brake fluid under the master or slave cyl. gonna have to replace one or both.

just noticed your pics...no surprise...puddle under the tranny. slave cyl probably died and is spewing fluid into the bellhousing. rare that the rubber fluid line would fail, but replace it anyway while doing the slave cyl.

recommend a tow to your favorite shop. slave cyl could be done in your parking space...not that hard...but....
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Old 01-19-2018, 09:51 AM
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when you look closely at the first picture I see what looks like a trail of fluid running down the tire...could the connection at the master cylinder be loose and the fluid spraying in the engine bay, then running down the lines?
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