Project E46 M3: Part 13 – Lightweight clutch and flywheel, and more!


You’ll want to disconnect the slave cylinder from the transmission. The two 13-mm bolts hold it in and then it should pull right out when they’re removed.

Now comes the fun part. It doesn’t take rocket science, but gaining access to some of the bolts will have to bring some creativity. These are all Torx bolts. The ones on the bottom of the tranny are self-explanatory but to access the ones on the top, you’ll need a good assortment of extensions, probably about—or a little more—than 3 feet worth. What will also help is removing the tranny brace (or at least lowering it a little) to drop the back end of the transmission down, which will allow more access to the top bolts. Give yourself some time for this. If it’s your first time, maybe even give yourself a good hour.

One of the upper bolts on the driver-side front was a real pain to get off because I could only gain access to it by coming up by the headers, and rather sideways. Otherwise, even with several wobbly-extension combos, I couldn’t get the socket onto the Torx bolt. Yes I know that’s a flashlight and not my superman glasses but I couldn’t shove my face up that close to show you what I wanted lit up specifically.

Here’s another angle showing how to gain access to that bolt. I show you this because it’s very tempting to just want to go from the top, since it’s an upper bolt. But this should save you time.  The one to the left of this, up by the starter, is probably the biggest pain. And I found that I could only access it from the left side of the transmission. These two pointers alone would have saved me 45 minutes of walking out of the garage and screaming at the trees.

Here are the three different Torx bolts we’ll be removing. Torx are nice because, at least in my experience, they’ve always been harder to strip than conventional bolts using a six- or twelve-point socket. They’re almost like lining up gear teeth, and the meat to grab is pretty deep. There are ten torx bolts to remove. There's also a small 10-mm machine bolt holding in the aluminum shield on the middle passenger side, which can be accessed from the front of the transmission (looking back). The latter is not hard to get to.

1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *