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Results: Stygar's clutch pedal parts! (archive)

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Posted by JoeHH on April 23, 2000 at 15:21:45:

First of all, a big "Thank You!" to Mr. Ron Stygar, Official BMW Re-engineerer extaordinaire. It was great of him to let me try the parts first.

The parts: Ron sent me a new clutch pedal and an adjustable clutch stop of his own design and manufacture. The clutch pedal was stock except that he reamed out the hinge hole (what's the proper term here?) and teflon-impregnated delrin bushings had been installed. He also included a large spacer/washer.

Problem the first: If you check the range of clutch pedal motion in a '00 M coupe (and any number of other late model BMW's), you'll find that you have to bring the clutch pedal up from the floor a long distance before the clutch engages. This is wasted space and means you're wasting time and effort whenever you engage/disengage the clutch. This is bad for racing where time is critical and it might be even worse for commuters. If you're stuck in traffic, the last thing you want is to increase the amount of work your left leg is having to do.

Solution the first: An adjustable clutch stop. When you fully depress your clutch pedal to the floor, what stops it? It is the clutch stop. This is a simple plasic screw with a large rubber bumper on the end. In my car the stock stop is just slightly raised above the level of the rear firewall and carpeting. In other words, you're pushing the clutch pedal almost completely to the floor before the stop does anything. Ron's clutch stop is much longer than stock. It allows you to extend the stop up from the level of the carpet. When adjusted properly, this significantly reduces the "dead space" in the clutch pedal's range of motion. Ron's stop actually uses the stock BMW rubber bumper. The stop itself is made of black delrin and the included nut and washer are black. With my black interior, no one will likely ever notice that I have anything other than the stock stop.

Result the first: Perfect. The stop took mere moments to install and adjust. Now there is much less work in engaging/disengaging the clutch. I autocrossed last weekend and just finished a CCA Driving School yesterday at Thunderhill. The stop has performed flawlessly.

Problem the second: When I installed an adjustable clutch stop of my own design 2 months ago, I ran into a big problem. At my first autox in my new M coupe, on the first run, during my first shift, I enthusiastically (read 'forcefully') slammed the clutch pedal down, grabbed 2nd gear and............ The clutch pedal never came back up! Post-DNF investigation revealed the clutch pedal flexed towards the outside of the car, sending it alongside the side of my clutch stop where it became lodged! This was not good. Further investigation revealed 2 things: 1) Fully stock, my clutch pedal doesn't impact the clutch stop in the center. It is offset to the left 1/3 of the stop's surface. 2) The pedal has a lot of lateral play. Meaning you can grab the clutch pedal and push/pull it towards the right/left side quite easily. These 2 factors combined explained why my pedal had gone around the left side of the stop.

Solution the second: Ron's new delrin bushings and spacer/washer. Although it took a little doing and a few hours (ok. I'm a hack mechanic!), I was able to remove my stock clutch and bushings and install the new O.E. BMW clutch pedal with his bushings installed. I also placed the washer on the hinge to remove any additional slop in the stock setup.

Result the second: Disappointment. Not in Ron's part. Disappointment that BMW couldn't have done it like this themselves. The clutch pedal moves with no more or less effort now, but it goes straight forward and backward. No more side-to-side movement. Less mushiness. The clutch pedal now impacts the stop almost absolute dead center. Mr. Stygar didn't earn his title for nothing. Again, after an autox and Driving School there were no problems and the car drove great.

Also: Although I never experienced this w/ my '99 ti Sport or with my current M coupe, Ron stated many owners are experiencing clutch pedal squeaking. Ron traced this noise to the bushings. The teflon-reinforced Delrin bushings eliminate this noise and never require lubrication.

Conclusion: Bother Ron. Bug him. Offer more $ than he asks for. You need these parts. Your car needs these parts. BMW should buy these parts directly from Ron. This is a relatively easy mod and the difference is well worth it. In my opinion, the real beauty of this mod is its subtlety. A BMW tech could probably look at your car 20 times and never know the new parts aren't stock. Except of course when he test drives it.

JoeHH
00 M coupe Titan/Blk


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