E39 520i Manual Gearbox or Clutch Costs. Anyone?

My E39 520i 97 Manual definetely has a transmission problem. It started as a problem with 3&4 gears but now its all the gears. Now the problem is lack of drive in any gear. I'm needing to rev the engine alot higher
to get any drive output, so I know its one or the other, hopefully not both T-T
My questions are to do with cost:
Is it likely to be the CLUTCH failing or the would the Gearbox need replacing?
Anyone have any idea how much it would be to have a gearbox replaced or refurbished. If you've had it done at the dealer or indy please give me an idea of how much it cost you.
How about a cluth replacement, anyone with experience of clutch replacement costs?
I've already been in touch with some breakers and spares companies and I'm being quoted minimum 250 for a gearbox.Are these reliable?
I would really appreciate any answers, if it costs just a few more quid to get it to the stealers then I'd do it.
Please any ideas on prices for clutch replacement, gearbox replacement, gearbox reconditioning...
Thanks.
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Your current post sounds like your clutch is worn out which would probably cost you $1000 to $1500 to have it replaced but it also sounds like you may have let it go too long and you may have damage to the flywheel which may cost another few hundred. But I also see that you were posting a transmission jumping out of gear in november so you can probably add another $750 for a used gearbox or $2300 for a rebuilt. I see this is a 520 so you're probably in Europe so your prices may vary but the bottom line is that this isn't going to be cheap.

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On the other hand, if the remainder of the car is in good shape, the service costs needed today are much cheaper than the cost to replace the car.

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My instinct is that your transmission is okay, the clutch is toast. (The "clutch" includes the likelyhood of a severly worn pressure plate and clutch disk, and the possibility of a damaged flywheel.) The pressure plate and clutch disk, including the associated bearings and miscellaneous parts should run to about $1000 (USD) installed.
Under normal conditions, the flywheel is not usually damaged. But, if you failed to hear the warning sounds as well as your failure to respond in a timely manner to the warning feelings (loss of engine respons in the higher gears), then it is possible that you damaged the flywheel. My ONLY point here is that you should be prepared for the mechanic to tell you that the flywheel has been damaged. He will not be able to tell you this when you drop the car off for service, but it will become obvious once the car is taken apart.
I have every confidence (sitting here at my computer) that your transmission is fine. It is okay that you round up some estimates on a replacement, but I'm pretty sure that all you need at this juncture is a new clutch.
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Car was towed into the garage after the clutch completely failed. I took the car into the garage and even after insisting on the guys checkout the flywheel I was told the flywheel isn't the problem. However an aftermarket Sachs clutch was fitted. I didn't think the clutch pedal felt the same. I think the hydraulic system was compromised. I had to complain before the clutch was bled to have return to a somewhat normal pedal feeling. But now the problem is that the gearchange on the is new clutch is awful. I get the most awful judder when changing lower gears and now need to bring up the clutch pedal in the most ridiculously slow way. I'm talking about reving high and slowly bringing up the pedal. It feels like I'm driving a 950cc car.. I don't quite understand why this is the case. I suspect the flywheel isn't exactly alright. But these things ain't cheap and don't want to waste money on it. The worst part is, the stealer is quoting me double the price for an aftermarket one. I've heard of overheards but I'm sure the flywheel is either a LUK or Sachs and double the price is just ridiculous. Also I have read about the Clutch delay valve (CDV) which is supposed to slow down the clutch engagement regardless of how fast the pedal is released. But I didn't think those things broke as its a simple valve. Could this be the fault why my gearchange now seems to almost fall into gear, not a smooth change at all, without surgical feet precision in the gear changes.
I'm starting to run out of options here, anyone have ideas as to what could still be wrong with the car. The only option now is to change the clutch and flywheel. And maybe replace the CDV if it can ever be faulty. Perhaps even bleed out the entire system. Any ideas for the choppy gear change would be appreciated.
Jeff Strickland wrote:

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bearing and/or pivot pin changed too? I recently had my clutch replaced when the throwout bearing starting making a ton of noise. Besides a Sachs clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc, throw out bearing), I also had the pilot bearing and pivot pin changed. Further, I had the shop replaced the the inner and outer seals in the tranny plus the shifter seal and pivot bushing. In total, the cost was under $1,000US. The only complaint I had was the shop used regular tranny oil which results in a stiff shifter. I will replace with synthetic (redline or royal purple) when I get a chance.
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bfd wrote:

I did one on a 325 a while back - the clutch kit was about 120 (US$200ish) BTW (and I got a free Sachs hat :-) ). I had a bit of a judder before and I had a bit of a judder after too. Sometimes the dual mass flywheel springs get old and don't shock absorb as much as they should. Maybe I should have changed the flywheel too but I didn't want the expense. 5-series are much easier to change clutch and gearboxes on and incidentally, in the UK you can get 'boxes for about 150 if you don't go to the big rip-off BMW breakers.
Anyway, it *could* be that the clutch needs to bed in properly. ...or it could be that it wasn't fitted properly.
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No. The only replacement was what was in the Sachs clutch kit (pressure plate, clutch disc, throw out bearing) I haven't changed anything else, althouth I do remember reading somewhere about a pilot bearing but I'm not sure what/where that is in the assembly. I've looked on realOem (http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model 12&mospidG537&btnr!_0220&hg!&fg) and all I can see is a clutch release bearing. I guess the guys at the shop or BMW would know what it is. Either way its going back till someone figures out why the clutch change is so choppy.

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ChrisJ wrote:

(http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model 12&mospidG537&btnr!_0220&hg!&fg)
The pilot bearing is part of the engine more than part of the clutch. http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model 12&mospidG537&btnr_1151&hg&fg They rarely go but can of course.
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The analogy here isn't 100% accurate, but it should work okay.
The flywheel is sorta like a giant rotor on your disc brakes. If the brake pads wear to the point of damaging the rotor(s), the damage is obvious, and repair or replacement is needed. Back in the olden days, it was common to put a worn rotor on a lathe and clean it up. You can still do this today, but they make rotors as thin and as light as possible, so turning a rotor frequently makes the rotor too thin to be used anymore.
The flywheel can be removed from the car during clutch service, and there is a strong argument that says it should. It frequently is not removed though. Normal wear on a flywheel will leave minor raised areas (concentric rings) on the flywheel. These rings are not a particular problem, but the new clutch plate will not get full grip on the flywheel -- it will only grip the raised portions. The flywheel can be made true again by using a lathe, or a surface grinder. There is a great deal of precision that must be maintained, so the machine that one would use will be quite large to hold the part that must be machined.
The new clutch material will have a different friction coefficient than the one that was removed. You will notice this as a variance in the way the clutch feels. Couple the different clutch material with the concentric rings I described earlier, and the variance you feel might be extreme.
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