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  1. #1
    etachu
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    Brakes and clutch Problem

    I am having problems with my brakes and manual gear shifting in my 1982 E28 528iA car. The brake pedal falls to the floor when you apply the brakes. It does not keep the brake pressure firm for long. When I am standing on a slope, by the time the pedal reaches the floor, the car will begin to roll. I have to keep apply the brakes again and again to stay in one place. Is this why the clutch is also difficult to engage. Usually, when I start the car in the morning or after parking for long, the gear will shift normally. But after driving it for sometime, it becomes difficult to engage. I will appreciate any advise on how to solve these problems. Thanks.

  2. #2
    CurtD
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    You may need to bleed the brakes and clutch slave cylinder...sounds like air in the system. The clutch and brakes use the same resevoir.

    Curt - '87 528e 5spd Diamond Black 250K miles

  3. #3
    etachu
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    I have done the bleeding extensively. All four wheels and the slave cylinder but the problem persists.

  4. #4
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    I assume this is a Euro spec car although this should not matter for these problems. BTW for us Americans. The 528i is an M30 engine with systems similar to the 533i/535i. If it's a US spec car its a 528e. Also, the A indicates an automatic so you actually have a plain 528i.

    Other than the shared common reservoir for fluid, these systems are separate. So let's deal with problem 1, loss of brake pedal pressure. First I assume there are no leaks in the system that would lead to a loss of pressure. If that's the case, your description indicates a failed master cylinder. When you apply pressure, the fluid leaks around the piston in the master cylinder causing your loss of pressure. "Pumping" the brakes puts pressure back in the system until it leaks down again.

    Your second problem is independent of the brakes. You aren't exactly clear on the symptoms. Are you saying the clutch becomes difficult to push or that the clutch is working fine but that the gears become difficult to shift. If it's the clutch, I would guess that you have a problem with either the clutch master or slave cylinder. There is probably dirt and/or corrosion in these causing binding. The change in behavior is related to temperature changes as the parts expand/contract at slightly different rates. Alternately there could be a mechanical problem in the clutch itself. I doubt this is your problem since it works normally when things are cool. Since you have already bled the clutch system you'll probably need to change the slave (easy) and/or the master (PITA). If the problem is gear shifting, try changing the tranny oil.

    One final note. BMW recommends flushing the brake fluid every year with fresh fluid. If this hasn't been done at least every couple of years, moisture can accumulate in the system leading to corrosion in the internal hydraulics. This in turn can lead to the types of problems you are experiencing. At a guess, the same brake fluid had sat in there for ages until you started bleeding the system out.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Richard O.
    1986 528e
    1989 325iX
    1998 328iC

  5. #5
    a
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    Is the system losing brake fluid?

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    I agree about the brakes. I have a 83 528i.


  7. #7
    etachu
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    You are absolutely correct Richardodn. The car is a Euro spec. but the name plate says 528iA. So I suppose one of the previous owners must have changed the transmission to manual.

    For the brakes problem, I am going to change the master. I wanted to be sure that I will not have to change the hydraulic booster as well. For the clutch, I guess, from you explanation, that the clutch master and slave are not the problem since the clutch pedal pushes easily. It is just difficult to shift into a particular gear after depressing the pedal. When I force it to engage, it will give a grunting sound. I will start by replacing the gear oil. Thanks all.

  8. #8
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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    Sounds like the gear synchros are going bad. You might want to change the gear oil as that can sometimes help. Plus that way you can be sure it has the correct oil.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Richard O.
    1986 528e
    1989 325iX
    1998 328iC

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    I've had your clutch symptoms...

    Don't know what caused it, but it's exactly as you describe. When the car was cold, the clutch worked fine, but when it heated up, the clutch would begin to engage even with your clutch pedal held to the floor.

    The hard shifting is due to the fact that the clutch isn't disengaging enough to let the synchros and gears do their thing.

    I tried bleeding, to no effect, then finally just changed both clutch master and slave cylinders. I think the master cylinder was more likely the culprit, but the slave is cheaper and easy to do, so best to do them both at once. The master cylinder connection to the hydraulic tubing is a real bear to get to.

    Good luck!!

    -fabrice

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    Re: Brakes and clutch Problem

    I agree with richardodn with the brake master cylinder. As for the clutch, I just went through this same issue. You probably have a broken pedal bracket (they crack) which causes the master cylinder to wear prematurely. If you replace the clutch master cylinder and you have a cracked pedal bracket, you will be doing it agan pretty soon. The crack is almost impossible to see but is a common failure for these cars. The bracket is not that expensive (actually is cheaper than the master cylinder!) but it does require to drop the steering column. Not too difficult but troublesome. Change also the small hose that comes from the fluid reservoir once you are there and also get the plastic connector for it that goes in the clucth master cylinder. If your car has the spring for assisting the clutch, make sure that it is ok and that it is installed properly. I replaced the bracket with the clutch master cylinder last October and had to do it again a month ago because the spring was not properly installed. I included a link to a good write-up about it.
    Good Luck!

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