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Erk (not what I said at the time): was bleeding the clutch / brakes the other day and hasn't yet fully bolted the clutch slave back in before foolishly depressing the clutch. The slave subsequently exploded throwing the pin into the bell housing.

I figure I've got two options to get it out - fish with a magnet or drop the gearbox. Based on that I'd appreciate suggestions or answers on the following questions if anyone would be so kind:

1) Is the clutch slave push rod magnetic, eg, am I wasting my time fishing with a flexible magnet?

2) Is there any chance of sliding the gearbox out just enough to get a finger in there without dropping the entire exhaust and propshaft?

Really bad time of year to have screwed this up! :)

Thanks!
 

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It sounds like the possible options are already covered. I don't believe there is any slack in the prop shaft though to push the transmission back. It isn't a trivial job to remove the trans from this car or even move it, there are 12 bolts if I remember correctly between the bell housing and the block. The bottom 10 bolts are external torx e12 size. The top two are external torx e11 size, which is a hard socket to find, the only place I could find that sold it was harbor freight tools.

Your best bet is to get a magnet and go fishing and with some luck pull that pin out. Maybe you could rent a boroscope from an auto store? That will help you locate the pin.
 

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Hopefully none of my friends will read this post... I've never admitted to doing what you did, but I have done it... And I never found a way other than dropping the tranny out (and I tried...). But since I spewed hydraulic oil all over the inside of the bell housing when I did it I took the opportunity to clean up the f^ing mess I had made.

Look on the bright side - there's lots of PM you can do on your way in!
 

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The top two are external torx e11 size, which is a hard socket to find, the only place I could find that sold it was harbor freight tools.
Any reports of those top two bolts being e11 are simply wrong. They are e10. Anyone using an e11 socket on those top bolts is just asking to strip those bolts. The rest of the bolts are indeed e12.

John
 

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The slave rod is magnetic and you should be able fish it out with a customized coat hanger magnet.
 

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yeah get a good strong magnet and secure it very well to a coat hanger. fish it out through the hole where the slave bolts up. that or drill a big hole in the side of the bellhousing, though i wouldn't unless you're good with a tig welder.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Any reports of those top two bolts being e11 are simply wrong. They are e10. Anyone using an e11 socket on those top bolts is just asking to strip those bolts. The rest of the bolts are indeed e12.

John
I bought a set of sockets which didn't include an e11 then took them back and swapped them for a bigger more expensive set which did. Ah well, more tools at the end of the day :)

Thanks for the other replies - I'm pleased to report I did get it out. It then even managed to retrieve the attachment which I dropped in there as well trying to get it out :D


First sight of the quarry.

I borrowed a inspection probe with removable tools on the end to do it - I guess it was fairly simple once I'd figured out where in the bell housing it was, which was nowhere near the flywheel in my case. It dropped just to the right of the hole where the slave cylinder sits, but down into the bottom of the casting so I had to lift it over an internal wall to get it out.

Anyway, about 5 hours and a lot of swearing and contorted limbs later, here she is (also featuring the tool):


For the Internet/anyone searching: I found both the rod and the weird crush washer that retains it in the slave cylinder to be magnetic but probably because of the shape of them they wouldn't hook onto the magnets I had very well. I got most of the way there with a hook type tool grabbing the rubber boot and dragging it that way.
 

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I would like to say that I've done this but on my e36 328i. I got to learn how to disconnect the exhaust, remove the drive shaft, and pull the transmission. I wanted to get in there and clean up all of the brake fluid that shot out with the pin. It was not a fun job but it has me somewhat ready and prepared to tackle the clutch on the E39 M5.
 

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Any reports of those top two bolts being e11 are simply wrong. They are e10. Anyone using an e11 socket on those top bolts is just asking to strip those bolts. The rest of the bolts are indeed e12.

John
Really? Now you are making me very curious, I know I used an e11 on mine with fine results, given my history of tightening bolts, if it could be stripped, it would be stripped.

Then again, what do I know, I did the entire clutch job on my car without a torque wrench.
 
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