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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I just had my clutch replaced by my local dealer on my '03 M5 about two months ago at aproximatly 17,500 miles. When I left my office last night I pull out on the highway and up go the revs, and the car is bareley moving.

I was able to make the 60 mile ride home but the car is seriously down on power and it feels like the clutch is going away again. Is this possible already?

When I went to review my receipt from last time it looks like the clutch they used was "remanufactured". Do these exist and is that what BMW uses to repair a $75,000 car??

My other question being; Should I even bother going back to the dealer (under warranty) or just do it right and have my local shop put a better clutch in? If the stock (or remanufactured) clutch is going to keep crapping out it is not worth my time to keep bringing the car back (or worse have to worry about getting stuck) to the dealer for a "warranty" repair.

I would rather just spend a few $$ and get it done right. Can anyone offer and reccomendations on what clutch to use and approximate cost?

My lease is up in September and I am going to buy the car out and keep it so I don't really have a problem spending some $$ on it.
 

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I hear very good things about the UUC clutch setups. Do a search and you'll come up with a lot of threads on UUC clutches and some alternatives. I dont remember exact numbers, but UUC setups are around double the clost of a normal clutch, but they can take the S62's power much better.
BTW, did the clutch get broken in correctly? If not, then you might have glazed it up, and in which case it would slip like how you describe. Proper break in is paramount to clutch life. UUC website Navigate to BMW, then flywheels, then M5, then you'll see pricing and info. Best wishes!
:cheers:
 

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Hi mricorp:

I would also suggest a UUC setup, but negotiate with the dealer to have them install it. It takes one special tool to do the job. This might be the same tool BMW uses to remove the flywheel I believe.

If you don't want to get the dealer involved, there are a few local shops that can do the job right. Send me a PM and we can chat on this.
 

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"remanufactured"

When I went to review my receipt from last time it looks like the clutch they used was "remanufactured". Do these exist and is that what BMW uses to repair a $75,000 car?
To answer your concern about the "remanufactured" clutch that they installed, it does not mean what you think. You did not get a second-quality part instead of the "new" part you were owed.

Most of the bigger BMW parts are listed in the ETK (BMW's electronic parts catalog) as "remanufactured" - there is no "new" part available on many items.

The reason for this is simple; big items that are replaced under warranty, such as transmissions, differentials, and even flywheel/clutch parts, have "hard parts" that are certainly re-usable. If a transmission fails internally, for example, the case and most of the gears are still good. BMW (and it's OEM suppliers) have a remanufacturing (refurbishing) program that brings these pieces back to as-new quality with the same warranty. The refurbishing is so extensive that it is impossible to tell the difference between a "remanufactured" part and a genuinely new part removed from a car right off the assembly line.

Obviously, on a brand-new model, there could not be any "remanufactured" parts in the system. In 1999 when the E39 M5 was released, the replacement parts were already listed as "remanufactured" when it is obviously impossible for parts to have been cycled through the system already. What happens is that the parts are always listed as remanufactured simply to avoid the question of "should I buy new or remanufactured?"

Back to your original problem... there is certainly something wrong with the replacement clutch, whether it's a bad install or a defective SAC mechanism. Bring the car back to the dealership ASAP and have them fix what you have already paid for (or had warranteed). In these situations, some dealerships may agree to cover the labor if you supply an aftermarket part... never hurts to ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
DavidS said:
Could be a leaking crankshaft seal too...

David
Could you please elaborate on how you come up with that theory?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Re: "remanufactured"

Rob Levinson said:
To answer your concern about the "remanufactured" clutch that they installed, it does not mean what you think. You did not get a second-quality part instead of the "new" part you were owed.

Most of the bigger BMW parts are listed in the ETK (BMW's electronic parts catalog) as "remanufactured" - there is no "new" part available on many items.

The reason for this is simple; big items that are replaced under warranty, such as transmissions, differentials, and even flywheel/clutch parts, have "hard parts" that are certainly re-usable. If a transmission fails internally, for example, the case and most of the gears are still good. BMW (and it's OEM suppliers) have a remanufacturing (refurbishing) program that brings these pieces back to as-new quality with the same warranty. The refurbishing is so extensive that it is impossible to tell the difference between a "remanufactured" part and a genuinely new part removed from a car right off the assembly line.

Obviously, on a brand-new model, there could not be any "remanufactured" parts in the system. In 1999 when the E39 M5 was released, the replacement parts were already listed as "remanufactured" when it is obviously impossible for parts to have been cycled through the system already. What happens is that the parts are always listed as remanufactured simply to avoid the question of "should I buy new or remanufactured?"

Back to your original problem... there is certainly something wrong with the replacement clutch, whether it's a bad install or a defective SAC mechanism. Bring the car back to the dealership ASAP and have them fix what you have already paid for (or had warranteed). In these situations, some dealerships may agree to cover the labor if you supply an aftermarket part... never hurts to ask.
Thanks for your reply Rob it was very informative and helpful.

As far as the dealer is concerned, do you have any experience with Wide World in Spring Valley, NY allowing customers to use your product instead of OEM?
 

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mricorp said:
Could you please elaborate on how you come up with that theory?
The crankshaft seal keeps the oil in the crankcase. When it leaks, it literally comes out where the flywheel is attached to the crank. The flywheel is the forward slice of "bread" in the "clutch sandwich", the rear one being the clutch pressure plate. So if your rear main seal leaks, you have oil interfering with the clutch's ability to generate friction - which leads to slipping, heat and premature failure.
 

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Re: "remanufactured"

mricorp said:
As far as the dealer is concerned, do you have any experience with Wide World in Spring Valley, NY allowing customers to use your product instead of OEM?
I have heard good things about Wide World, but cannot comment on what they may or may not authorize regarding warranty claims.

All I can say is that asking them directly would be the only sure answer.

- Rob
 

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I have heard slightly different reasoning as to why OEM dealer clutches have labels saying "remanufactured" on them. Supposedly, this strategy has been used across most OEM brands to thwart owners from getting warranty extensions. I heard that litigation allowed owners to get full warranty extensions on drivetrain parts when "new" parts are installed shortly before warranty expires. The reman sticker thwarts this effort.

For about 40 years, Ford and GM have been affixing a sticker saying "remanufactured" on their brand new clutches & tranny's. You simply can not buy a clutch from GM or Ford without this sticker. I have also noticed these stickers on clutches sold right after a new car is released. For example, Ford's uprated 10-1/2" clutches had these stickers on them from Job 1. In this case, there would have been NO used clutch cores available to rebuild! You will even see these stickers on "unique parts" bought thru their performance parts catalogs & in these cases, these parts can not be assembled from core returns. This stickering practice started around 1965. I recall being quite peeved around 1973 when I bought a new Ford 289 clutch kit for a whopping $40 with a reman sticker.
 

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The "remanufactured" sticker also gives the mfr the freedom to legally inject some reman parts into the network without generating a new part# and stock item. I'm sure that recalls or massive failures could result in the mfr taking advantage of used cores in certain circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
greg said:
The crankshaft seal keeps the oil in the crankcase. When it leaks, it literally comes out where the flywheel is attached to the crank. The flywheel is the forward slice of "bread" in the "clutch sandwich", the rear one being the clutch pressure plate. So if your rear main seal leaks, you have oil interfering with the clutch's ability to generate friction - which leads to slipping, heat and premature failure.
If this were happening wouldn't I see an oil leak under the car?
 

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mricorp said:
If this were happening wouldn't I see an oil leak under the car?
Not necessarily.

A rear main seal leak may only manifest when the car is running, or specifically when running hot at high rpm. The cruise down your street before parking may be enough cool-down time for the leak to cease.

Even a tiny leak would be enough oil to foul a clutch. The handling instructions for clutch kits warn that you should handle a clutch disk by the edges and avoid touching the surface, for fear of even some human skin oil getting on the surface. Perhaps a bit pessimistic, but that's how potentially foul-able a clutch can be.

BTW, I don't think it's a seal leak... just typical E39 clutch troubles.

- Rob
 
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