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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey what’s up guys, I’m new to the e46 community and hope you awesome people can help me out!

I have a 330ci that was not going into gear and the clutch felt very soft during idle. I eventually turned on the car while in 1st gear and somehow got it into 3rd gear skipping 2nd on the freeway to make it home. At the freeway exit, I tried going into 2nd gear because there was a red light and traffic, therefore I was forced to stop. The exit was an incline, so I felt more comfortable starting on 2nd rather than 3rd. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in getting into 2nd gear. Now my car only turns on in neutral. It will no longer start in 1st gear or any other gear. My clutch is also very stiff, feels stiffer then the brake pedal. I’m guessing bubbles in the slave cylinder? Shift fork pivot? Anyone know how I can diagnose this at home? Thank you!
 

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When you say it will not start in gear, does the car lurch forward when you crank it?

I hate to say it, but it sounds as if the clutch or flywheel itself has come apart, or something in
the bellhousing's stuck. Either the pivot, or the throwout bearing.

The way to diagnose at home would be to lift the car safely and securely
onto 4 jackstands, and watch what the rear wheels do.
If they're always turning when you're in gear with the engine running, then the clutch isn't disengaging.

You can remove the slave cylinder from the driver's side of the bellhousing, and try pushing
the rod all the way in (there's a spring pushing it out, so it's pretty hard to get it to collapse)

Then have someone push the clutch pedal for you. The rod should push out about an inch
if the hydraulics are working correctly.

If they are, it's time to drop the transmission. Which is a bit of a pain, as the bolts are REALLY hard to get to...
The rest of a clutch job's not any worse than any other rear- drive car.

hth

t
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When you say it will not start in gear, does the car lurch forward when you crank it?

I hate to say it, but it sounds as if the clutch or flywheel itself has come apart, or something in
the bellhousing's stuck. Either the pivot, or the throwout bearing.

The way to diagnose at home would be to lift the car safely and securely
onto 4 jackstands, and watch what the rear wheels do.
If they're always turning when you're in gear with the engine running, then the clutch isn't disengaging.

You can remove the slave cylinder from the driver's side of the bellhousing, and try pushing
the rod all the way in (there's a spring pushing it out, so it's pretty hard to get it to collapse)

Then have someone push the clutch pedal for you. The rod should push out about an inch
if the hydraulics are working correctly.

If they are, it's time to drop the transmission. Which is a bit of a pain, as the bolts are REALLY hard to get to...
The rest of a clutch job's not any worse than any other rear- drive car.

hth

t
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I hate to say it, but it sounds as if the clutch or flywheel itself has come apart, or something in
the bellhousing's stuck. Either the pivot, or the throwout bearing.


Agree. When the pedal becomes hard as a rock, something inside let go. Air = a very soft pedal.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When you say it will not start in gear, does the car lurch forward when you crank it?

I hate to say it, but it sounds as if the clutch or flywheel itself has come apart, or something in
the bellhousing's stuck. Either the pivot, or the throwout bearing.

The way to diagnose at home would be to lift the car safely and securely
onto 4 jackstands, and watch what the rear wheels do.
If they're always turning when you're in gear with the engine running, then the clutch isn't disengaging.

You can remove the slave cylinder from the driver's side of the bellhousing, and try pushing
the rod all the way in (there's a spring pushing it out, so it's pretty hard to get it to collapse)

Then have someone push the clutch pedal for you. The rod should push out about an inch
if the hydraulics are working correctly.

If they are, it's time to drop the transmission. Which is a bit of a pain, as the bolts are REALLY hard to get to...
The rest of a clutch job's not any worse than any other rear- drive car.

hth

t
Thanks for your input Toby! So far I loosen the screw of the slave cylinder to see if the pressure of the clutch pedal would release. The clutch pedal successfully released the pressure and I was finally able to start my car on neutral. While on idle I was still unable to shift (my car is on 4 jack stands). I turned the car off, and put my gear in 1st. I was able to start once and accelerate. but after I was unsuccessful. Now I can no longer start the car in first gear. I can only start in neutral, using the clutch of course. I haven’t tried removing the slave cylinder yet but I will give that a try before removing the trans. I have a feeling it’s something in the bellhousing.
 

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Oh, odd-
Now I can no longer start the car in first gear.
Do the rear wheels turn freely in neutral with the engine off?
It kinda sounds like something is also wrong with the diff/parking brakes/rear brakes,
because you should be able to shift into first up on stands even if the clutch isn't disengaging.
The synchro is powerful enough to get the wheels turning.
Likewise, you should be able to start in any gear- the wheels don't offer much extra starting drag.

So before you pull anything apart in the trans, see if the rear wheels turn. If one turns one way and the
other turns the other, then crawl underneath and see if you can turn the driveshaft (engine off, trans in neutral)
Everything should turn pretty freely.
If it doesn't, see if you can tell what's not turning- there's usually enough free play in older halfshafts
and driveshafts that you can figure out which end is stuck...

hth

t
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do the rear wheels turn freely in neutral with the engine off?
I had my parking brake up when on jack stands so maybe that was why?I checked today and the wheels do turn freely on neutral. I also successfully rotated the driveshaft. I can also now start my car in 1st gear and shift freely while car is on idle but it is really rough. Perhaps it is because I only unscrewed the slave cylinder a little bit to release pressure on clutch pedal? I haven’t done a proper bleed yet
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The way to diagnose at home would be to lift the car safely and securely
onto 4 jackstands, and watch what the rear wheels do.
If they're always turning when you're in gear with the engine running, then the clutch isn't disengaging.
My car is currently in 1st gear on jack stands and rear wheels are always turning while engine is running. I tried to accelerate until I can shift up but failed. In first gear, when I press on the gas I only gain about 500rpms and cannot exceed that.
 
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