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Old 09-27-2012, 07:37 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Hi Vegas

That was just an ideal list based on the fact that the intake manifold is a big deal to remove, and makes so many things easy to do once it is out. You don't have to do it all of course.

The m50 engine's setup compressed many things together (and yes the writeup for the E36 is the same as the E34 provided its for the same m50 engine). You're going to pay the same amount in terms of time and/or money to remove and reinstall it, so it makes sense to avoid duplicating efforts and eliminate future risks. I mean, I'm sure you did pretty much nothing to even accidentally provoke the leak that you've spotted. How did it get there then? The car is old. Many things in our car were not made to last for 20+ years. We have to stay ahead of the curve out of necessity.

At the very least, clean out your idle control valve. This just requires 10 minutes and some carb cleaner ($8/can). It will smoothen out your idling or at least prevent it from getting worse. Depending on who you speak to, the ICV needs to be cleaned once every 6 months or once every year. Third, at least check on your fuel injectors as described above, since you'll be removing the rail anyway. It will only take you an additional 10-15 minutes and at least you'll know if there's an impending problem. The car does not always throw codes for buggy components and its cool to see your own car's injectors in action. Fourth, take good closeup pictures of each of your intake valves for inspection later. Takes less than 5 minutes, and they will probably look very good not to worry but its fun to have pictures. 5th, do a 1 second hard spray of carb cleaner directly onto each intake valve as soon as the manifold is removed even if the valves look good. By the time everything is reinstalled, any excess cleaner would have evaporated out of the intake valve area, and the carb cleaner will dislodge the looser carbon bits which will become expelled once the engine starts running. So this takes 6-7 seconds total. 6th and imo critical would be you replacing the CPS. If you do not do this now (and have not ever done this), you will regret it later as old ones fail unexpectedly and leave you stranded without a functioning engine literally anywhere and at anytime. A very common no-start issue for the E34. $90 and 5 minutes work when the intake manifold is off, even if you have big hands . Not doing this means you are taking a bad risk imo.

The starter and alternator would be nice but not strictly necessary they are generally good risks to take. However, if I were you, I would have that alternator checked at a battery shop. It takes less than 5 minutes for them to put it through its paces and the service (along with the battery's reserve charge check) is also free. If a problem is spotted, at least you'll have the opportunity to decide if you wish to get to it at the same time as when you replace your main coolant hose.

Top up your coolant at least once every day, keep spare water in the trunk, and keep an eagle eye on your thermometer while driving until this problem is fixed.

And very importantly (unless you are a very seasoned DIYer), please do give yourself plenty of time to do this. It is potentially stressful and stress tends to generate unforced errors, compounding the situation.

Cheers, Roberto
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