Difficulty Engaging First?

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster
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tiggercoco
Joined: Tue 25 Oct, 2016 20:41
Posts: 20

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by tiggercoco »

Just bought a 1999 2.8 and find it 'difficult' to engage first gear, very notchy. Workaround is to engage second then shift into first.

What is this indicative of?...totally new clutch or something not so financially drastic? (presume a new clutch supplied and fitted would be a £1K?)....

Also the previous owner must have been something of a boy racer as the exhaust is very boom/droney....can anyone recommend a new exhaust for this car with the twin pipes but that is quiet?
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Tufarlian
Joined: Sat 14 Mar, 2009 20:21
Posts: 307

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Cheshire
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Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by Tufarlian »

When was the last time the gearbox oil was changed?
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tiggercoco
Joined: Tue 25 Oct, 2016 20:41
Posts: 20

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by tiggercoco »

Good question!....car was bought with virtually no history....time to search West Sussex for a good BMW indie!
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Tufarlian
Joined: Sat 14 Mar, 2009 20:21
Posts: 307

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by Tufarlian »

Any competent mechanic can change the gearbox oil. Nothing particularly special about the Z3 gearbox. Just make sure you get the correct oil.
Good idea to change the diff oil at the same time.
There's a good chance they've never been changed.
Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 10:27
Posts: 2092

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by Mike Fishwick »

a late reply is better than none! Clutch drag is usually caused by the clutch hydraulic hose having softened with age, and slightly expanding under pressure, so starving the cylinder of fluid. a new hose would be a stop-gap measure, a cure being the fitting of a braided hose, available from Earls Performance of Silverstone for about £45.
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!
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tiggercoco
Joined: Tue 25 Oct, 2016 20:41
Posts: 20

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by tiggercoco »

Thanks Mike I will order one and get it fitted, I had the gearbox oil changed but it didn't resolve the issue.

Its not a biggie but a bit irratating.

Another forum suggested:

"Per BMW: Engine running, clutch all the way down. Try to put it into 1st. While keeping pressure applied to the shifter, reach around and shut the key off. If, as soon as the engine stops, it slits right into gear, it's the clutch. If it continues to bind, it's the trans."

I did try that and sure enough once the engine was switched off it slipped right in.
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tiggercoco
Joined: Tue 25 Oct, 2016 20:41
Posts: 20

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by tiggercoco »

So after a gear box oil change and a braided clutch hose the movement is much better, less of an 'issue' and more just a part of the cars character.
tmoretta
Joined: Sun 02 Oct, 2022 19:47
Posts: 2

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Difficulty Engaging First?

Post by tmoretta »

My 2001 Z3 3.0 has similar first gear difficulty. Could rust on flywheel cause this? The car was winter stored in a space without heat. If so, could I purposely slip the clutch to clean it and the flywheel?
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