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2005 Mini Base, 5 speed. Just changed clutch and cylinder,

2005 Mini Cooper Base, 5...
2005 Mini Cooper Base, 5 speed. Just changed clutch and slave cylinder, now the clutch won't disengage. I've bled the slave several times with pressure bleeder - no air bubbles, good clutch feel
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Answered in 1 hour by:
9/25/2012
GearheadBrown
GearheadBrown, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 68
Experience: 10 Years various auto repair and diagnosis. Nissan Specialist technician. ASE Master certified.
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I believe I can help you with your problem!
Your vehicle should be equipped with a dual mass flywheel.
If this is the case, then that is surely why your clutch will not disengage. A Dual Mass Flywheel, or DMF, cannot be resurfaced. Even if you resurface both the friction area, and the mounting area where the dowels go. When you do this, you change the position that the clutch fork contacts the pressure plate, and the clutch will not disengage.
Unfortunately you will have to take the transmission back out and replace the flywheel with a new unit.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

This car doesn't have the DMF - it's a single piece, and I had it turned at an auto machine shop. So, at this point I have the front of the car off the floor. When I start it up in gear the front wheels start spinning slowly - on the ground the car will lurch and die. When I press the clutch, I can shift gears except for reverse. So, I'm trying to bleed the system again, but if that doesn't work, is there something else I can check? The transmission on this car has a throwout arm, not a shaft and fork type throwout system, and by reaching inside the hole where the slave cylinder mounts I can move the throwout arm back and forth about an inch or so. Thank for your help.

Do you have the measurements on the flywheel after being turned? Being a single mass does give you some room to cut, but I cannot find any specs for a minimum thickness, which tells me it isn't recommended.
Other than that, check for weak soft lines between the clutch master and slave cylinder. It is possible that the strength of the new pressure plate is overcoming the lines, causing them to bulge and not fully release the clutch.
Finally, the last possibility that comes to mind is the pilot bearing hanging up. This could also cause the symptoms you are describing, as the input shaft can drag against the crank and give the illusion of a clutch not disengaging.
Most of the time there will be some play in the arm, but the slave cylinder should take up that slack.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

I don't know the specs for the flywheel, so I'm going with what my mechanic said about it - I'll look into that to be sure.

As for the soft lines, there is one section about 8" that joins hard lines connecting the master and slave. When the clutch is depressed I can see the lines flex, but no bulging and no leaks or bubbles. I can hear something happening inside the transmission at the clutch.

Should I be able to disengage the clutch with the engine off by pressing in on the throwout arm?

Here's how I'm bleeding the system: With a partner in the driver's seat, unscrew the bleeder valve on the slave, then have partner push in the clutch, close the valve, pull up the clutch pedal - repeat about 5 times. Then, with power bleeder connected to the brake fluid reservoir, slave cylinder pushed all the way in and secured, power bleeder pressurized to 10 psi, then open the bleeder valve on the slave and wait for bubbles to disappear. I've done this several times. This work or do you know a better way?

Honestly there is no better way than to bleed the system than what you described by pressurizing the reservoir. Only thing I would change, is have the person in the vehicle press the pedal down, then open the bleeder, and close before he removes his foot. That way the valve is never open when there isn't pressure on the system to ensure no air makes it's way in there. That being said, if you use the pressure bleeder after wards, then you can be pretty sure there is no air in the system.
As far as disengaging the clutch, there should be way too much pressure there to be able to disengage it by hand. The hydraulic system greatly multiplies the force applied at the pedal. If you can press the throwout arm all the way in by hand, something is wrong with your pressure plate.
From what you have told me, it is safe to say the problem is not in your hydraulic system. It sucks to do, but you are probably going to have to remove the transmission at this point and double check everything. Inspect the pressure plate for any cracks, as well as the springs of the plate. Then check the clutch disc for any deformities. Finally, be sure you inspect the pilot bearing inside the crank. It does not sound like you replaced this, but it is very important that you do. The pilot bearing can cause this very issue, as well as damage the input shaft to the transmission.
Also make sure to find out the specs on the flywheel. If it has been cut too much, then the throwout arm will not be able to fully depress the springs to release the clutch disc.
GearheadBrown
GearheadBrown, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 68
Experience: 10 Years various auto repair and diagnosis. Nissan Specialist technician. ASE Master certified.
Verified
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