This fell on my feet while I was driving...

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
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ThirdPedalNirvana
Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 20, 2020 5:20 PM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by ThirdPedalNirvana »

I was driving my 1984 533i. I was approaching a stop and stepped in on the clutch and the brake simultaneously, when I felt an odd ping in the pedal and felt something moderately heavy fall on my feet.

I got out and found a compression spring (it looks like a big valve spring) and what looks like a plastic spring seat on the carpet. I checked my pedals, and the clutch, brake, and gas pedal all work and feel normal, so I drove home. :dunno:

I thought maybe it had to do with the brake light switch, but I confirmed, once home, that my brake lights work normally.

I don't have the time today to undo the dash panel and take a look, so I thought I would post on here first and see if anyone recognizes them. I've uploaded the pictures here:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/CxPrqQHbCMcGTEPs6

(please forgive the trash in the passenger footwell)

Does anyone know what this is?

(also, is there a way to upload photos to show up directly in the thread? I only know how to share a link from a google photos album)
demetk
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Joined: Aug 09, 2007 8:58 AM
Location: CT, USA

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by demetk »

It's the clutch pedal over-center spring. It's happened to many here.

To include a pic simply copy the pic's location, click on the image icon highlighted below in red and paste the location between the "(img) (/img)"

Image

and voila.

Image
ThirdPedalNirvana
Posts: 23
Joined: Mar 20, 2020 5:20 PM
Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by ThirdPedalNirvana »

Excellent, thank you.

What is the function of the clutch over-center spring? My clutch pedal feels normal. Is there any risk to just running without it?
topher800
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Joined: Nov 24, 2009 10:44 AM
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by topher800 »

Go here for one that will outlast you:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=149057&start=250

..and while you are down there make sure you have this:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=103670
ThirdPedalNirvana
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by ThirdPedalNirvana »

I appreciate the links. But I do not see an explanation of the function of this spring. I do not have any problem operating the clutch without it.

What does it do?

Is there any risk to myself or my car to drive without one?
cek
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Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by cek »

ThirdPedalNirvana wrote: Oct 11, 2020 9:07 PM I appreciate the links. But I do not see an explanation of the function of this spring. I do not have any problem operating the clutch without it.

What does it do?

Is there any risk to myself or my car to drive without one?
It's primary function is to make it so when the clutch pedal is pressed all the way in the amount of pressure is minimized. This causes less fatigue when holding the clutch pedal in. It is not needed for normal shifting operation.
Mike W.
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Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by Mike W. »

ThirdPedalNirvana wrote: Oct 11, 2020 9:07 PM I appreciate the links. But I do not see an explanation of the function of this spring. I do not have any problem operating the clutch without it.

What does it do?

Is there any risk to myself or my car to drive without one?
You're knee will be slightly happier in stop and go traffic. Otherwise no big deal.
BMWCCA2
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Location: Central Virginia

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by BMWCCA2 »

I replaced one recently. The re-engineered one offered by member here wasn't available when I decided to do the job and I figured, if the first one lasted 35-years . . .

I would definitely do it right the first time. Access to replace it is a bit of a pain. The reinforcing bracket is a good idea, too, though having owned stick E28s since around 1990, I've never had a cracked pedal bracket. :dunno:
ThirdPedalNirvana
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Location: Santa Cruz, CA

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by ThirdPedalNirvana »

Thanks everybody! Good to know its a comfort/convenience feature and not critical. That way I can put it on the backburner and wait until I can buy the upgraded pedal bracket AND upgraded clutch over-center spring for installation at the same time. Having bits of your car fall on your feet while you drive is unnerving.

I've driven the car since and yes, I can tell that keeping the pedal down takes a bit more effort, but pressing the pedal down is about the same. Luckily, I do not have to drive my E28 in stop and go traffic. I actually think the pedal feels a bit more natural now than it did before, with a steady increase in clutch force rather than being tough at the beginning and easier as you push down.
Philo
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Location: Long Beach, CA

Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by Philo »

Thanks for the laugh.., I've had this happen so many time I found it rather amusing :) Also, to add to the conversation, if you but a new one at the dealer it will run you $120ish and will fail the first time you let the clutch out. The C-clip keeper pops off with the slightest pressure. What a joke. Check out the updated part from BenGerman. If he doesn't have any and you have to go with an OE part I'd advise cross drilling a small hole at the end of the spring shaft, just past where the C-clip groove is, replace the C-clip with a stainless washer and put a tiny stainless cotter pin in there to keep the assemble from coming apart.
BMWCCA2
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Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by BMWCCA2 »

Philo wrote: Oct 14, 2020 5:17 PM Thanks for the laugh.., I've had this happen so many time I found it rather amusing :) Also, to add to the conversation, if you but a new one at the dealer it will run you $120ish and will fail the first time you let the clutch out. The C-clip keeper pops off with the slightest pressure. What a joke. Check out the updated part from BenGerman. If he doesn't have any and you have to go with an OE part I'd advise cross drilling a small hole at the end of the spring shaft, just past where the C-clip groove is, replace the C-clip with a stainless washer and put a tiny stainless cotter pin in there to keep the assemble from coming apart.
First, kudos to those here involved in the production of a better replacement part for our old cars. Had it been available, I'd have bought one.
But, second, my replacement from BMW doesn't look any different than the one that broke at age 35-years and over 200k miles.
Plus, It's been installed in my 535i without modification for maybe 6-months now with no issues. It definitely did not fail on the first push of the clutch.
:dunno:
Philo
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Re: This fell on my feet while I was driving...

Post by Philo »

Cool !.. maybe I got a defective part. Who knows. Did you adjust the nut at all or did you install it as-is from BMW ? I like more spring pressure so I cranked my nut down, maybe I over loaded the clip. Anyway, glad you're back in action :D
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