This is a write up on replacing the clutch and all of the shifter bushings on a 2002 BMW e39 M5. This writeup does not cover replacing the rear main seal or the flywheel because they just were not needed. The writeup lists most of the tools used at the end but no torques because honestly, we didn't use a torque wrench on any of it.
At this point the car is 12 years old and has 81,000 miles on it. It has only seen one winter and has always been garage kept.
It should be noted the Russian translated BMW TIS instructions are very good if you get stuck and can be found here:
During the experience we had a GoPro camera set up to take a photo every 10 seconds, here is the video of compiled photos.
The first order of business is acquire a friend with an uncle that has a two post lift in a nice barn fully stocked with tools. I just happened to have one of those:
Remove both under body plastic panels. The large rear one comes undone with Philips head 1/4 turn screws, the front one comes undone with the Philips head 1/4 turn screws and two 10mm hex head bolts.
It is now time to bask in the glory that is the underside of an e39 M5.
Assuming your exhaust headers are cool enough the first thing you should do is spray a good amount of PB Blaster on the bolts that connect the header to the rest of the exhaust system. On a stock system this will include 4 nuts on the outer pipes and 4 bolts on the inner pipes.
While you are at it, PB Blast all other bolts you find connected to the exhaust system and the O2 sensors. After that is done it is time to take a break and go to dinner.
This photo is sponsored by PB-Blaster
After coming back from dinner, take a good look at the underside of the car you might just find something else that needs attention. For instance I found a broken rear sway bar mount bracket.
Now comes the hardest part of the entire job, dropping the stock one piece exhaust system. It is said that removing the rear bumper makes this much easier. We decided to remove the bolt going through the center of the rubber exhaust hanger on each outside of the exhaust. This was a mistake, after inspection the two nuts on studs that hold the other part of the rubber exhaust hanger should have been removed, they are easier. If you are interested in taking this bolt out, a 13mm wrench will do:
The O2 sensors need to be removed. It would be best to find somewhere to find someway to tie them up else your face will get black marks all over it from bumping into them. Wrench size is unknown, I used an adjustable wrench, they came out with surprising ease.
Remove the 4 bolts an 2 nuts that hold on the central exhaust hanger plate. Both the bolts and nuts are 13mm.
Remove the 8 nuts from the studs that hold both sets of inner exhaust hangers on. These are right next to the battery box and are easily reached with a 13mm socket with an extension.
A two foot extension works well:
When you drop the exhaust it helps to have at least 3 to 5 people on hand, it is very heavy. It may also help to tie a strap across your lift to help catch the exhaust.
Unclip the O2 sensor wires from the center heat shield shields. Only the post cat O2 sensors are clipped up.
Now it is time to take off the heat shields that cover the drive line, there are two of them. All of the bolts are either 8mm or 10mm hex head.
Unclip the O2 sensor wires from the back of the transmission support bracket.
Unclip O2 sensor wires from wire clip on back of transmission.
Unclip O2 sensor wires from the passenger side of the transmission. There are 3 clips, 2 are visible in the photo below.
Unplug this connector from bottom passenger side of transmission.
Remove these two connectors from drivers side of transmission.
The only way to unbolt the prop shaft at the guibo is to remove the rear trans mount. So the lift the car is on was lowered to about 3 ft off the ground so that a transmission jack could be used to hold the transmission. Now the rear transmission mount can be unbolted. All of the bolts and nuts on the mount are 13mm.
Transmission being supported by a jack under a cinder block under a 2x4. Seems safe.
With the rear transmission support out of the way the guibo bolts are easily accessible. Both the nut and bolt are 21mm. You can remove the 3 bolts connected to the transmission or the 3 connected to the drive shaft. I decided to remove the ones on the transmission as there was more room for the wrench on them. For this it helps to rotate the shaft and then pull the hand break to lock the shaft from rotating.
Remove the prop shaft carrier bearing. The nuts are 13mm, there is some sticky glue holding it in too.
Strap the prop shaft up and out of the way. The goal is to prevent the rear CV joint on the differential from resting at it's max angle. If you just let the prop shaft drop you run the risk of ruining the boot on the rear CV joint.
Switching to the interior, pull up all of the boots and foam around the stick shift, unplug the wire for the stick light and get it all out of the way so that you can access the ball.
The liner around the ball was a royal pain to get out. I don't have any good tips other then to destroy the two clips that hold the liner in and then have someone from down below hammer up on the shifter assembly while you pull. It wasn't a great method but it did work. The liner snaps into the two slots in the shifter carrier.
The bonded rubber mount on the back of the shifter carrier was difficult to remove, we used needle nose vise grips. There are probably better ways in hindsight, like squeezing it. If my memory serves me right, this is known as part # 14 in the Real OEM drawings. It looks like I did not take a pic of removing the clip on the shifter linkage.
Normally it is suggested to support the engine by the oil pan with a floor jack so that it will not rest on and destroy parts of the steering. We found a much simpler and better solution that does not get in the way. Lift up the engine by the trans ever so slightly and then slip a few small pieces of 2x4 under the engine above the frame. Please see the pic below for reference of location.
To remove the shifter carrier, rotate the clip up and pull the pin out to the right.
Take off the two 13mm bolts that hold on the exhaust hanger bracket on the back of the transmission.
Removing the salve cylinder take off the two 13mm nuts that hold it to the transmission.
Now removing the transmission. There are 12 bolts around the bell housing. The top two are torx e11 and the bottom ten are torx e12. A various set of long extensions and universal joints will be helpful.
While you have the exhaust system off it is easy to clean the tips. CRC brakcleen does an excellent job at bringing out the best of the stainless exhaust tips
The bushings on the shifter carrier come out nicely with a socket and a press. They go in well with a vise. Lubricating them will help them go in easier, I used some hand sanitizer that evaporated quickly.
To keep the slave cylinder out of the way, one of the loops in the steel line fits nicely in the tip of the one exhaust header. This is a good place to put it to keep it out of harms way when removing and installing the transmission.
Removing the clutch involves removing six 5mm socket head cap screws.
New clutch, old clutch!
A slide hammer works quite well for removing the pilot bearing.
The flywheel looked pretty good, there were some heat spots but it still had grooves in it so it was decided that running out and rushing to get a flywheel was unneeded.
New rear transmission mounts are easy, unbolt the 13mm hex and replace with the new part. Shown are the new mounts, they are supposed to be the same stiffness as the stock mounts but they look quite different.
The shifter link coupling instals quite easily, just put some grease on the ball, push on the new bushing, slide in the new pin and slide the snap ring into the groove.
The shifter link slides into the new bushing and a clip is installed. My new shifter link, part of the ESC tuning stock shifter refresh kit came with a slightly upgraded shifter link coupling that does not need the yellow washers like the original one. The new clips are difficult to push on.
Replacing the throwout bearing is as easy as grabbing the original one and pulling it off the shaft then sliding the new one in its place. If it were any easier the bearing would install itself.
To drain the transmission fluid, unscrew the plug circled in blue. To refill, fill by the plug on the drivers side of the transmission. Be careful that the transmission is not laying to far upside down, there is a breather on the top and fluid will drain out of it! I discovered this and quickly propped the top of the transmission up a bit. The trans takes 1.75 quarts of 75W80 GL-4 gear oil, at least that is BAV Auto claims. I bought two quarts of Red Line MTL.
Installing the new pilot bearing I used a small hammer and a 22mm impact socket. It fit perfectly and went in easily. BMW chamfered the hole just perfectly for installation.
To remove the seals on the center exhaust headers I chiseled a grove into them with a hammer and a screw driver until I could just break them off.
Now to installing the new clutch!!!
Make sure the metal clutch contact surfaces are very clean, CRC Brakleen and some paper towels works well for this. Clutch components typically come with some oil on them to prevent them from rusting make sure you clean this off!
Install new clutch friction disk with alignment tool, the ECS tuning clutch kit I purchased came with the correct tool to fit underneath SAC locking plate.
Install the new clutch using the six original socket head cap screws with 5mm Allen key heads.
I forgot to remove the installation bolt from the clutch pad center tool, so I placed an Allen key into the clutch to prevent it from rotating and backed out the socket head cap screw. This one happened to be an English 1/4-20 with a 3/16 Allen key head.
Remove the SAC locking plate. This is heavily spring loaded, be careful! The one I had used a 14mm Allen key to drive it and turned counter clock wise.
The new clutch is now installed!!
The installation procedure of all other components is the reverse of installing them. Good luck, it should look similar to this when done:
Primary tools used for this job include:
Assorted 13mm wrenches and sockets
10mm and 8mm nut drivers
Metric Allen Keys
Torx e11 and e12 sockets
Phillips Head screw driver
Flat Head screwdrivers for prying
Labeled Zip Lock bags for all bolts and components that came off the car
Pliers of various sorts
Lots of rags and paper towels
Items I purchased for this job:
ECS tuning clutch kit: BMW E39 M5 S62 5.0L Drivetrain Clutch - 21217515146 - Clutch Kit - ES#2602681
ECS tuning shifter rebuild kit: BMW E39 M5 S62 5.0L Drivetrain Shifter - 25111222375KT - Shifter Rebuild Kit - ES#2593567
Red Line MTL fluid from Bavarian Autosport
Last edited by pizzaman09; 07-26-2014 at 08:41 PM.
Couple of comments:
Leave the O2 sensors in and just disconnect the plugs.
The rubber mount on the back of the shift carrier can be popped off with a screwdriver on each side.
I don't remember needing to remove the tranny crossmember to remove the driveshaft when I did the M5 LSD.
Thanks for the tip on cleaning the exhaust tips with Brakleen.
You might not need to remove the cross member to take out the drive shaft but we couldn't find a wrench that would fit, plus it was coming off anyway.
I am truly impressed with the Brakleen stuff, I had never used it before this, a friend recommended it. I would just be careful that you don't get any on your paint.
Little tip. If you plan on using CRC brakleen on your exhaust tips, make sure you put something on the tips afterwards to protect them like some wax. They apparently will oxidize very very quickly.
I had fun removing the Sachs locking plate. That thing really comes out with pressure
In for vids of burning the new clutch prematurely.
My throw out bearing guide tube looked fine to me but then again I had no idea I was supposed to check it. Every thing fit nicely on it. I did not replace mine nor did I have one to replace it with.
My throwout bearing itself was trash.
Last edited by pizzaman09; 07-26-2014 at 08:37 PM.
Great DIY with great pics. I wish this was around when I did my clutch a few months ago! There isn't too much material available about this job, except for some excellent pictures JimLev posted on Roadfly forums and a great instructional video from Bav auto of them doing the clutch on a 530i.
I'll add a few comments: It's ESSENTIAL to torque the 6 hex-head bolts that hold the PP to the flywheel to the correct spec. These bolts also NEED to be replaced each time they are removed, as they come with a special thread locking compound on the threads (or, at the very least, they need to be cleaned and have a comparable thread locker applied). I hope yours don't back out! It would be a shame to have to go back in there for $5 of screws...
Secondly, for those doing this job in the future, it would also be a great idea to replace the clutch pivot pin that lies on the opposite side of the shift lever from the slave cylinder. The stock one is plastic and has a tendency to become brittle and break (ask me how I know...). Replacing it costs like $2 and no more than 30 seconds, or you can install an upgraded metal one for about $20.
Filling the Getrag should be done when it is installed in the car, with the car level. The proper level is when the oil beings to drip out of the fill hole as you're filling it. From what I understand, the capacity isn't known exactly enough to accurately fill it from the side like that. The exact level probably doesn't matter all that much, though.
When I did the job, I also replaced the flywheel as they have a tendency to develop play at high mileage. This causes uneven clutch wear and will shorten the life of a new clutch. I also did the rear main seal and the seal on the coolant cover on the back of the block. These seem like important "while you're in there" items to me, that are quite cheap to replace and would be a huge pain if you had to go back in for them.
It is also important to lightly anti-seize the transmission input shaft splines before installing it into the clutch disk so it won't lock in there for the next time you have to remove it.
Driveshaft guibo bolts/nuts are also single-use and need to be replaced each time they are removed. (I've been known to re-use these, but if you know it's going to be a while until they're removed next, might as well replace)
I used the same trick of putting wood between the engine and sub frame. Worked perfectly to hold it up when the transmission was out, while still allowing me to lower the whole thing down a bit to access the top transmission bolts (e10 on my 540, but the m5 is likely different as you mentioned).
03 540i/6 M-Sport (#166 out of 1,265)
M62/TU crank holder tool, fan clutch tools, and rear ball joint removal press available for New England members who need them!
^Those are the type of tips that I wish I had before doing my clutch! I had some tips but I reused all of the bolts that you said are one time use.
We will see if those screws holding the pressure plate on back out. I have doubts with my history of over tightening bolts.
I decided to not do the seals even though I had them. None of the seals were leaking and it would have been a pain to get the flywheel off. Plus there is chance that you could damage the new seal while installing it.
Thanks for the extra tips!
Nice job, and thanks for the pics.
I don't how I'm going handle this even with a lift, looks like a big job.
Most of the rest of the job is straight forward and could definitely be done on some nice tall jack stands.
I did the job on some nice, tall 6-ton jack stands from Harbor Freight (with backups, of course...) and I was fine. Not exactly roomy under there, but I was able to sit with my legs crossed and head in the transmission tunnel while working on the flywheel/back of engine. I borrowed an inexpensive harbor freight transmission jack from JimLev that worked perfectly to remove the transmission. This jack also made dropping the exhaust a piece of cake - I put it under the center of the exhaust, removed the fasteners, lowered it, and wheeled the whole exhaust right out. May even be easier on an M5 because the system is balanced- unlike my 540's 'lopsided' exhaust.
For those looking to do this job, only a few special tools are required -- External torx sockets, tranny jack, flywheel removal tool if you're taking it off, and a pilot bearing puller of some sort. I modified a $20 bearing puller that I got on eBay. A shaft-in seal puller will help remove the transmission seals if you decide to replace those.
03 540i/6 M-Sport (#166 out of 1,265)
M62/TU crank holder tool, fan clutch tools, and rear ball joint removal press available for New England members who need them!
Great writeup. My M5 is starting to need a clutch. Slipping a little at WOT in 3rd. Not sure if I want to do it myself since I have a friend who will do it pretty cheap.
Good write-up with pictures.
Should be included in http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...DIY-Check-here
2000 Dinan S1 //M5 (my DD) --------------- 06 DINAN E53 4.8iS (wife's) -------------- 90 Straman Z32TT (my pride & joy)
Gone, but not forgotten: 01 E39 M5, 01 E53 3.0i, 01 525i Sport, 03 DINAN 540i MSport and 91 Z32 TwinTurbo
That is what my M5 was doing. It wouldn't slip out once it was fully engaged, but if you had too much speed differential it would never engage. It was really easy completely roast the clutch from the 2nd to 3rd shift.
My car has 97,800 miles and no mods so hoping I can get away without replacing the flywheel.
Great Write up! Thank you and thanks also for the pictures as they help a great deal. I have to ask a n00bish question. I am used to taking out Automatic transmission and I have to unbolt the fly wheel from the transmission before removing it from the engine. This is done by accessing through the hole in front of the bell housing area and by inserting an open wrench from the access port underneath.
Does this same procedure apply to the manual transmission or do you just pull it off once the torx bolts are all removed ?!?!
I love all these tips. Keep them coming. Anything to make the job easier on our lives.
I recently worked on a guys 1990 535i, and replaced the transmission output flange seal. The hardest part of that job was getting the exhaust back up, while laying on my back with the car 17-20" on top of me. It was heavy as sh*t. It got me thinking- before I do the clutch on my car, maybe I should have it taken into a muffler shop to have them flange out the back section of the exhaust, and make sure the bolts on the exhaust system aren't seized up while they're down there. So you'd have the headers, the straight running pipe, and then the rest of the exhaust right before the rear tires. It should be fairly cheap, and it would save time and sweat. That was how my after market exhaust systems came on my other cars- 3 bolt flange in 3 separate sections. Easy as pie to remove, even on your back. My exhaust system already has the scuba tanks removed, so its not as nice as the OP's exhaust.
Just a thought.
Yup! My dual exhaust on the touring is setup with V bands at the headers, V bands behind the cats and V bands before the mufflers. Makes it a breeze.
Dear MOG! FML! So, first thanks for this thread, I was able to pull out the transmission no problems. I love the manuals, almost easy peasy to get them out. However, idiot me somehow managed to strip one of the torx head bolts for the clutch plate! BLEEDING HECK! Gotta figure out how to get it out now. Wonder if i can drill it out?