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-   -   Ugh. My car is collapsing :( (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=649906)

numindast 10-04-2012 02:01 PM

Ugh. My car is collapsing :(
 
All in the last two weeks:

a) Clacking noise when turning in the parking garage. Probably a CV joint boot has torn and lost all its grease. Yuck, that's something I'm not sure I want to try tackling DIY yet, after looking it over in my minty-fresh Bentley manual.
b) Rear passenger window regulator failed catastrophically.
c) Green fluid leaking from the car. Thankfully it's just a leak at the windshield washer tank/pump. Yes, the washer fluid I filled with is green... but not after scaring me with doomsday thoughts of a catastrophic coolant leak.
d) Ordered a cooling system kit from Max. This will be interesting. Will I do it correctly?
e) While searching item "c)" above noticed baked oil on the metal flange above the exhaust manifold near the valve cover. Guess I need a VCG too.
e2) Maybe the oil separator valve is failing. See e) above...
f) Oil leaking around the oil filter cap. Hopefully it's just my bungling the o-ring install last time I changed the oil. That or it was defective. Or I slightly cross threaded the cap.
g) Realizing my battery is 7 years old. Still works good (no gremlins) but a ticking time bomb...
h) Spare tire is flat.
i) Oil change kit ordered from Max was marked "damaged in transit" by UPS. As he put it, would hate to be the UPS driver covered in motor oil!
j) Power steering fluid cap collects gunk like crazy. Or is that brake fluid... to the right of the oil filter. By now it's gotta be low.

It's an expensive month and I'm nervous about doing the work -- gotta do it soon before the weather gets nasty.

Can folks recommend tricks for the stuff above? Eg:
1) what torque wrench would you recommend buying?
2) what tools will work to get the radiator fan off the water pump shaft? Smolck says a long wrench and sledge, what size sledge? should I get pipe to put over the wrench end? use a socket wrench or regular spanner style wrench?
3) What's the easy way to capture/evacuate the coolant?
4) How to best scrape the old VCG off?
5) What's a reasonable price to have the CV boots replaced?
6) How can I tell if I have jack pads or not? Do I need to buy those?

Thank you in advance for your support and help.. I'm definitely nervous about the cooling system refresh.

Oil change and window regulator don't scare me at all but the cooling system does. I'll have to buy jack stands, a torque wrench, and who knows what all else.

Fishful Thinking 10-04-2012 07:22 PM

Holy moly, that's a ton of work. I can't help with most of that, but I do know that if you look under the rocker panels of your car you should be able to see the jack pads. They're rectangular pieces of black hard rubber or plastic, about 1 1/2" by 3", and there should be 4 of them.

When I did my coolant flush, I used the biggest disposable aluminum roasting pan I could buy at my local grocery store, and it worked great.

I think the torque wrench I have was from Harbor Freight, and it's perfectly suitable for the occasional job. And, it's a ratchet, which makes torquing bolts in tight areas easier.

Good luck!

GoForthFast 10-04-2012 10:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Buy the torque wrench with the correct scale for the job you will be doing.

Fill out your garage so we know how to answer your questions! What is your mileage? What trans do you have?

They make gasket scrapers for the surface on the head. Getting the gasket out of the VC might best be handled with a small screwdriver. Careful not to scratch. Clean with brake cleaner.

I bought a large shallow Rubbermaid type storage tray from the dollar store to collect the coolant from the drain plug. It squirts all over the place. Watch your eyes.

PS fluid leaks onto the cap because you need a new cap O-ring. Install one and clean the cap and refill with AT fluid as it says on the cap. Leak will stop.

Get a new battery. Winter is coming.

Refine your new list to those questions that we have not answered yet.

smolck 10-05-2012 05:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by numindast (Post 7113961)

Can folks recommend tricks for the stuff above? Eg:
1) what torque wrench would you recommend buying?
2) what tools will work to get the radiator fan off the water pump shaft? Smolck says a long wrench and sledge, what size sledge? should I get pipe to put over the wrench end? use a socket wrench or regular spanner style wrench?
3) What's the easy way to capture/evacuate the coolant?
4) How to best scrape the old VCG off?
5) What's a reasonable price to have the CV boots replaced?
6) How can I tell if I have jack pads or not? Do I need to buy those?

Thank you in advance for your support and help.. I'm definitely nervous about the cooling system refresh.

Oil change and window regulator don't scare me at all but the cooling system does. I'll have to buy jack stands, a torque wrench, and who knows what all else.

Reminds me of my old 323. It really isn't all that much work. Just relax and approach them one at a time. Answers to questions:

1. Don't really need one, but harbor freight sells them. Sometimes NAPA has them in the closeout bin for cheap too. You may even be able to rent them from AutoZone, Advance, etc
2. My youtube video of the process shows it pretty well. 3lb mini sledge and a 32mm or 1 1/4 inch wrench. Since you live in the north, soak that mother with PB blaster a day ahead of time.
3. You should have a petcock at the bottom of the radiator. Drain it there and also from the petcock where the expansion tank meets its mount. You could also remove the block drain plug. You'll still loose some when you remove the WP. When I do it, I just put a bucket or old baby pool under the car and just let it pour all over when removing parts.
4. You shouldn't have to scrape much. It is plastic and has no sealant on it. A flat scraper blade works well.
5. No idea.
6. They are black, rectangular, and located just behind your front tires and just in front of your rear tires. If you are using a normal jack, you really don't need them. If you are trying to use the "widowmaker" spare tire jack, you absolutely need them.

Again, don't get overwhelmed, it is all very easy. Nothing except the CV joints is hard to do. And honestly, that isn't either. There is a great youtube video of the process here.

Hope that helps. And as always, support is only a phone call away. :thumbup:

numindast 10-05-2012 11:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fishful Thinking (Post 7114536)
I think the torque wrench I have was from Harbor Freight, and it's perfectly suitable for the occasional job. And, it's a ratchet, which makes torquing bolts in tight areas easier.

Thanks! That's where I was planning to go, since there's one not far from the apartment.

Quote:

Originally Posted by GoForthFast (Post 7114810)
Fill out your garage so we know how to answer your questions! What is your mileage? What trans do you have?

PS fluid leaks onto the cap because you need a new cap O-ring. Install one and clean the cap and refill with AT fluid as it says on the cap. Leak will stop.

Ooops, sorry, automatic (AWD) slushbox with about 101k miles. I'm glad to hear the AT fluid cap is just a simple o-ring.

Quote:

Originally Posted by smolck (Post 7115082)
2. My youtube video of the process shows it pretty well. 3lb mini sledge and a 32mm or 1 1/4 inch wrench. Since you live in the north, soak that mother with PB blaster a day ahead of time.
3. You should have a petcock at the bottom of the radiator. Drain it there and also from the petcock where the expansion tank meets its mount. You could also remove the block drain plug. You'll still loose some when you remove the WP. When I do it, I just put a bucket or old baby pool under the car and just let it pour all over when removing parts.
4. You shouldn't have to scrape much. It is plastic and has no sealant on it. A flat scraper blade works well.

Thanks Smolck. It's good to be reassured. And to receive the multiple good tips about draining the cooling system and that the VCG won't be baked onto the valve cover head and be damned impossible to get off :) That and the PB blaster soak too.

So far it looks like I will work on the cooling system next weekend, not this -- Saturday is booked for family time, Sunday is half winterizing the boat and half performing required servitude to the halloween decorator and house cleaning in prep for guests during the week... :angel:

numindast 10-05-2012 11:36 AM

Oh, and great idea about using disposible tin cooking things. I'm saving up empty milk jugs for transporting the used oil/coolant but that sounds great for catching it. I was thinking about using my MityVac to suck the coolant out but that's probably going to take too long.

As for the jack, yeah, I'm using the widowmaker... I'm sure it'll be fine since I'm going to use some blocks of wood to chock the wheels in back and jackstands on the front. I'd love a floor jack but a) no place to store it and b) no way I want to lug a 100+ lb floor jack up and down stairs. :)


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