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Old 05-25-2011, 08:09 PM
jwmarc jwmarc is offline
Registered User
Location: columbia
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 740I sport
X3 Starter replacement

Well it wasnt easy and it was a pain to replace.... I thought about going in from the top but when I saw all the stuff I would have to remove I decided to try going at it from below ( BTW a BMW mechanic said that was the way).

1.First disco battery. Jack the car up at least 1 to two feet and remove the right front tire...

2. Disconnect the vacum hoses to the black cannister in front of the starter.. This is a device which controls the muffler decel flap... there is also a bracket which it is affixed to which should be removed... 13m sockets takes this out.

3. Remove the first small black wire to the right terminal of the solenoid and then the main battery connection... note there are two spade connctors for the primary wire connection. Leave the other small connection on the unit ( BLK/Yellow wire).

4. The bolts that hold the starter in are E-14 torx sockets.. and they are a pain to get at so you have to use the following... and probably get some help.

A. Use 3/8 in wobble extension bars with the E-14 socket to get at the closest torx head bolt. I used a set I purchased from Harbor Freight- 3 piece 2", 3" and 6 or 8" inch. $8.00.

B. The other bolt is a real pain and YOU MUST GET A 36" 3/8 extension bar if you want to be able to get at it... oh yeah you also need to get another wobble set extension bar... a total of six wobble extension and the 36" extension bar allowed me to angle in over the transmission and get to the far side torx bolt.. BTW I removed the 4 bolts holding the cross brace of the transmission ... this allowed the trans to flex down about 1-2" to get the long extensions up to the torx head blot. SUPPORT THE TRANS WITH A SMALL JACK!! I used a bottle jack. I had to get myself situated up by the starter and had a friend feed the multi-extension bar up to me and I blind guided the E-14 socket onto the head bolt.. make sure you helper keeps forward pressure on the rod extension assembly. Have the helper loosen via a 1/2 ratchet wrench while you keep the E-14 solidly planted on the head of the bolt. Hold it through the lossening process and keep your fingers on it to prevent it from getting away from you...

C. Now that both bolts are out you need to remove the bolt ( 13mm) that holds the dip stick bracket. Next you will have to pry up the dip stick bracket and hard pipe where it penetrates the engine case.. YOU DO NOT WANT TO COMPLETELY SEPARATE the pipe from the engine case.. You just need to get it up 2-3" so you have clearance to drop the starter down through the chassis.

D. Tap the starter with a long pry bar or screw driver towards the front of the car. Dont bang it out completely just enough to lossen the starter from the housing... NOTE there is a 3/4" long metal dowel that is at the top of the triangle 12 oclock 3 and 9 being the torx bolts. This dowel will support the starter until you are ready to work it free and drop it down through the chassis frame... and remember you have the BLK/yellow wire still attached.

5. Replacement is the reverse... BUT KEEP an EYE on the metal DOWEL PIN. I mounted it in the starter and pushed it flush with the front of the starter flang/ housing so I could push into the bell housing once I got the starter situated and had started the first Torx bolt in.. which took me a while since I just could not seem to get the right angle to mate up the bolt and start threading without cross threading. Once the bolt was started and tighten down I back it off a little so I could then make sure of the dowel pin alignment and pushed it in to seat into its mating hole on the trans case. This alignment and the final tightening of the first bolt would allow the blind bolt installation to go smoother... belive me I walked away 5-6 times during the tear down and probably 3-4 times during the build back....

6. The wobble extension rods and the 36" 3/8 extension rods were absolutely essential!!

7. BMW labor to replace $550. Starter replacement with core return $228.00. 36" extension bar $18.00 ( cheap ) and two sets of wobble extenisons ( Harbor Freight $8.00 apiece). 6 piece E-socket ( TORX) set $8.00 again Harbor freight.

8. Total time to replace 4.5 hours over 3 nights... not horrific but a challenged replacement.

9. Fired right up... less than a sec it caught as opposed to the 2-3 seconds it was taking before.
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