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      10-15-2008, 08:40 PM   #23
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A couple thoughts...

1. The "strut (w/o shocks)" basically excerts pressure on the initial 20% of clutch pedal travel.

2. Now the initial 20% of travel is gone, so we spend less time on depressing and lifting the clutch. Also, now the clutch engagement point is much closer to the initial position of the clutch pedal (since the initial 20% is gone).

3. Perhaps an aftermarket telescopic component can replace the "strut" to maintain lateral support.
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      10-15-2008, 11:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
A couple thoughts...

1. The "strut (w/o shocks)" basically excerts pressure on the initial 20% of clutch pedal travel.

2. Now the initial 20% of travel is gone, so we spend less time on depressing and lifting the clutch. Also, now the clutch engagement point is much closer to the initial position of the clutch pedal (since the initial 20% is gone).

3. Perhaps an aftermarket telescopic component can replace the "strut" to maintain lateral support.
1.The "strut" absorbs energy (more effort in the initial travel) and releases it as the pedal reaches full extention. This is to allow holding the clutch pedal down easier.

2.I have not noticed a decrease of travel, this 20% of which you refer. The pedal moves exactly the same distance as it did before. Once fully released, can you pull the pedal back an additional distance?

3.Have you noticed any lateral movement or additional sideways movement of the clutch pedal? I checked this after the previous post and found very little sideways movement, but never compared it with the 'strut' connected.

An aftermarket telescopic component is really not needed, in my very humble opinion. But if you have concerns, it wouldn't be hard to slip a metal sleeve(a tube) over the strut's internal sliders (without the spring) and have that make any concern over lateral support be quelled.


Check all your cars, most of them have these types of springs and they are not used as "lateral support". fThey are used to try to keep the clutch depression effort uniform throughout the range of pedal movement (because the internal "spring" in the clutch becomes harder to press the more it is disengaged), and the manufacturers typically do not achive their goal. The pedal effort often times, especially in the M3, causes an uneven feel of pedal pressure and leaves a very disturbing, difficult to "pinpoint" point of engagement on release. This is maddening, at least to me, and detracts from the driver/vehicle interface. My solution...yank the spring. Every car I've owned over the last 8 years (roughly 9) have had this done...(except my Subaru STI and Lotus Elise...those felt fine)...and clutch "feel" was improved significantly. The most improvement was on a C5Z06 and my current M3.
Come to think of it...the greatest improvement has been on the M3...that spring absolutely ruins the clutch feel. The feel has been improved so much that I am no longer looking to install a "clutch-stop"...it's, IMHO, no longer needed.
Yep, an absolute "must do free mod" for the M3...

Glad to hear you guys like the mod.

Be good,
TomK
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      10-16-2008, 06:11 AM   #25
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I would say it doesn't provide any lateral support. When you look at it connected it appears to have lateral support as one of it's functions because it's so big. But once you take it out you can see it wouldn't stop any lateral movement. Seems to be a very good mod, I can't wait to get some more time on it today to really evaluate it. I really feel like I have more control over the clutch now.
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      10-16-2008, 10:14 AM   #26
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did the mod last night... the e clips were a bit of a PITA, but manage to pop them off after a few minutes of frustration.

The clutch feels much easier to modulate and the shift are very smooth esp. with my AA short shifter.

I haven't done "spirited" driving yet, but so far, great mod for a few minutes of time.

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      10-16-2008, 10:17 AM   #27
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I just got a chance to go for another short ride. So far I really like this improvement. I feel more connected with what the car is doing and my shifts are perfectly smooth. Something this car used to give me an issue with on the 1-2 shift.
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      10-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace996 View Post
I forgot to take pics of this...but my description should be sufficient...it is quite easy.

Ditched the clutch-spring today...about 5 minutes total. You need a little torx bit and something to pull two little e-clips...I used a curved pick.

1. Under the steering wheel, there are three little screws you need to remove, this allows the plate/cover that shields the pedal-innards to be removed. Once they are out, the plate/cover drops down...just watch the wires.

2. Behind the clutch pedal, there is a spring...it looks like a little black coilover...that is what is removed, not the silver spring that pulls it up in front (closer to the driver). You need to use the pick, or something else, to pull the e-clips that are on the left-side of the restraining pins (the top and bottom of the coilover).

3. Push the pedal, by hand, all the way to the floor and push the locating pins (top and bottom) out. This will allow you to pull the top of the coilover out and then the bottom.

4. Put the cover back and install the three screws. That's it.

I've done this to all the cars I've owned over the past few years. What this does is give a consistant feel to the pedal on release. You know how the pedal feels hard at first when you push down, then it gets easier? Now it's just the same feel the whole way down...not really harder...but it doesn't get easier.

The real reason for this... when I release the pedal, you can feel the engagement point much better, instead of the wandering/vague point with the spring. I never feel comfortable with the spring installed, as it feels as if the engagement point is never quite same from one day to the next. Now, the lever release is linear...no change in pressure from one inch to the next.

Depending on how I feel, I may tackle the clutch-stop mod next...

Be good,
TomK
Sounds exactly like what I need to do, so I went ahead and tried it. Removed the plate/cover in 30 seconds, but then for the life of me I just could not get to the e-clips. I can't see them, and I was just feeling/poking around but to no avail. Just gave up in utter disappointment and mounted the plate/cover back on. Damn.. I'm very handy, just no idea how you guys get to the e-clips so easily. I wish I could see them at least and it's hard.

Do you put them back on after the spring is out and the pins back in, or leave it all out? I'd like to try it again, and it's not a lack of tools, but maybe I need a small mirror? I assume you are removing them with the clutch up, not depressed. That would be even more impossible!
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      10-17-2008, 10:20 AM   #29
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Yea, the clips are a pain in the ass. I actually stuck a small mirror back there to take a look and see what direction they were facing. The clips should be on the left side of the pin. You need something that is small and has a sharp point on it to fit in the small space of the clip. Once you have something stuck in there you should be able to just pull and slide the clip off the pin. Once it's out there is no need to put the pin back in. The tool I used to fit in the clip was one of those "picks" or "scrapers" (whatever they are called) that dentists use to scrape your teeth when you get them cleaned. It was perfect because it's very small and has a curve at the end.
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      10-17-2008, 10:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J08M3 View Post
The tool I used to fit in the clip was one of those "picks" or "scrapers" (whatever they are called) that dentists use to scrape your teeth when you get them cleaned. It was perfect because it's very small and has a curve at the end.
I used a similar tool, but bought from the auto store. You can purchase a set of "picks"...curved, straight, angled...and you will use them plenty for all sorts of jobs.
Obviously, make sure you have some light and you'll be able to do it.
Good luck,
TomK
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      10-18-2008, 10:11 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace996 View Post
1.The "strut" absorbs energy (more effort in the initial travel) and releases it as the pedal reaches full extention. This is to allow holding the clutch pedal down easier.

2.I have not noticed a decrease of travel, this 20% of which you refer. The pedal moves exactly the same distance as it did before. Once fully released, can you pull the pedal back an additional distance?

3.Have you noticed any lateral movement or additional sideways movement of the clutch pedal? I checked this after the previous post and found very little sideways movement, but never compared it with the 'strut' connected.

An aftermarket telescopic component is really not needed, in my very humble opinion. But if you have concerns, it wouldn't be hard to slip a metal sleeve(a tube) over the strut's internal sliders (without the spring) and have that make any concern over lateral support be quelled.


Check all your cars, most of them have these types of springs and they are not used as "lateral support". fThey are used to try to keep the clutch depression effort uniform throughout the range of pedal movement (because the internal "spring" in the clutch becomes harder to press the more it is disengaged), and the manufacturers typically do not achive their goal. The pedal effort often times, especially in the M3, causes an uneven feel of pedal pressure and leaves a very disturbing, difficult to "pinpoint" point of engagement on release. This is maddening, at least to me, and detracts from the driver/vehicle interface. My solution...yank the spring. Every car I've owned over the last 8 years (roughly 9) have had this done...(except my Subaru STI and Lotus Elise...those felt fine)...and clutch "feel" was improved significantly. The most improvement was on a C5Z06 and my current M3.
Come to think of it...the greatest improvement has been on the M3...that spring absolutely ruins the clutch feel. The feel has been improved so much that I am no longer looking to install a "clutch-stop"...it's, IMHO, no longer needed.
Yep, an absolute "must do free mod" for the M3...

Glad to hear you guys like the mod.

Be good,
TomK
As for the travel, after the spring is removed, if you tap the clutch, now it's loose. It used to be pretty solid.

The "strut" definitely provides some lateral support, because it adds another support near the pedal. It's like a beam that can take load sideways. Think of the entire clutch arm as a catilevered beam, with the "strut" there is an additional support point near where force will be applied. W/o the "strut" it is only supported at the top, which creates a longer moment arm.

Most of you didn't try but with the spring on, lateral movement of the pedal is more restricted. But I don't think w/o the spring there would be a big problem.
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      10-18-2008, 10:49 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
But I don't think w/o the spring there would be a big problem.
I agree with you. I've noticed no ill effects of removing the strut.
Be good,
TomK
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      10-18-2008, 03:48 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rldzhao View Post
As for the travel, after the spring is removed, if you tap the clutch, now it's loose. It used to be pretty solid.

The "strut" definitely provides some lateral support, because it adds another support near the pedal. It's like a beam that can take load sideways. Think of the entire clutch arm as a catilevered beam, with the "strut" there is an additional support point near where force will be applied. W/o the "strut" it is only supported at the top, which creates a longer moment arm.

Most of you didn't try but with the spring on, lateral movement of the pedal is more restricted. But I don't think w/o the spring there would be a big problem.
I agree - I did the mod finally today and while I did noticed a better clutch feel, I also noticed more lateral play in the clutch and also the tap thing you mention. If I just tap it a bit it moves.

That being said, I'm not sure what, if any, long term effects this may have on the clutch. I worry a bit. Putting it back does seem easy, except that when I pulled out the e-clips they bent a little. Now where to get these things if I should want to put it back? Hmm....
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      10-18-2008, 07:56 PM   #34
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I am thinking of keep the strut in place and just removing the spring from the strut...
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      10-18-2008, 08:00 PM   #35
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the strut is two pieces that will fall apart if you take the spring off them
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      10-18-2008, 11:56 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbo73 View Post
I agree - I did the mod finally today and while I did noticed a better clutch feel, I also noticed more lateral play in the clutch and also the tap thing you mention. If I just tap it a bit it moves.

That being said, I'm not sure what, if any, long term effects this may have on the clutch. I worry a bit. Putting it back does seem easy, except that when I pulled out the e-clips they bent a little. Now where to get these things if I should want to put it back? Hmm....
The pedal moves, the "tap" thing, because there is no longer a spring pushing on it, taking up the freeplay of the clutch-pedal's travel...except a much smaller spring: in the illustration above, #15 is the freeplay spring - this pulls the pedal all the way out, but doesn't have the same tension as the "strut-spring"...so you feel some freeplay, about 1/2 inch?

As I've said in the past, I've done this to several other cars and there are no ill effects. Unless you're kicking the pedal all over the place, your clutch lever will be fine. I actually tried to make some lateral movement whilst pushing on the pedal and, to be bluntly honest, it was difficult..and I felt like a spaz. Work your clutch normally and you're fine.

If you are worried, put it back...no need to worry over such things. The e-clips...place them in a pair of plyers and straighten them out, or go to a hardware store and you should be able to find replacements.

Really, I think you guys may just be overthinking the strut's importance. But if you do not think your clutch's feel is vastly improved, and worry about your clutch, then put it back. No harm, no foul.

Be good,
TomK
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Last edited by ace996; 10-19-2008 at 12:19 AM.
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      10-19-2008, 12:05 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TUNEDM3 View Post
I am thinking of keep the strut in place and just removing the spring from the strut...
You'll need to put a metal (or hard composite) tube over the strut's internal sliders or, as mentioned above, it will just fall apart. The only thing that is keeping the thing together is the spring's tension. You'll see just how little it really does add to "lateral-structural-stability" once it's removed.

Again, this "lateral-stability" discussion has, IMHO, been way overblown in this thread. Funny, I didn't notice anything until someone brought it up and then I checked. VERY LITTLE LATERAL MOVEMENT (go check other cars and see how they move, too...nothing out of the ordinary on the M3 without the strut)...and since I have always just pushed my pedal down and released it, not adding any additional spastic sideways movement, I have never had an issue. I suspect that anyone that does experience any issue with the strut removed would certainly experience issues even with the strut present, as there is a critical flaw in their clutching technique.

So really, it comes down to "do you clutch like a spaz"? If yes, then leave it in. If no, then pull it out and experience a vastly smoother and linear feeling clutch pedal...if you feel the need to improve the current feel of the stock pedal.

Hey, it's free and reverseable. Invest 10 minutes and judge for yourself.

Be good,
TomK
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      10-19-2008, 01:20 AM   #38
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only positive results from me after a few days of driving...again, much easier to modulate the clutch and always smooth shifting. together with my AA short shifter, the 6MT feels great!
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      10-28-2008, 09:12 PM   #39
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where is the e-clip??? i spend like 10 mins tryin to find it
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      10-28-2008, 09:30 PM   #40
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where is the e-clip??? i spend like 10 mins tryin to find it
It's on the left side of the pin (looking from the driver seat). Use your hand to feel it. It could be very hard to see.
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      10-28-2008, 09:35 PM   #41
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how do i take it out? i tried a flat head, do i pull it out or what?
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      10-28-2008, 10:21 PM   #42
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Yep, I pulled mine out with a curved pick...you can buy them at any autoparts store, and you'll find plenty of uses for them.

Good luck,
TomK
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      10-28-2008, 10:42 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbo73 View Post
INow where to get these things if I should want to put it back? Hmm....
Uhhh...the dealer?
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      11-06-2008, 12:41 AM   #44
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I took out the little "silver" spring too by mistake. Any pics of how it goes back? Thx.
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