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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-29-2010, 10:52 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Possible stripped thread while doing oil filter housing

I need to pull the oil filter housing back off to be sure but I have a very bad feeling that I stripped one of the threads...maybe two.

I'll know more tomorrow night.

So, assuming that I did strip one of these threads, how do I fix it?

Helicoil? Is this something a weekend wrencher can do? I've googled all kinds of stuff out there but I'm wondering what experiences folks here have had.

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  #2  
Old 11-30-2010, 03:20 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99 View Post
assuming that I did strip one of these threads, how do I fix it?
Hi Ågent99,

I do not know the answer; but I feel for you.

I would think you have the standard basic options though:
a) Clean up the threads with a tap & die set (best option)
b) Drill a larger hole in both mating surfaces (if possible) & tap (yuck)
c) Insert heli coils or timeserts (auuurgh)
d) ?

See this bestlinks thread for ideas on the various insert models:
- Helicoils (1) versus Timeserts (1) for stripped threads in the oil pan, head, and elsewhere

Unfortunately, I've no real-world experience to give you; but I'm sure others will chime in with ideas.

Last edited by bluebee; 11-30-2010 at 05:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-30-2010, 05:02 AM
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Thanks, Bluebee. I'm going to button it up tonight and see if I still have the oil leak. If so, I will look into local sources of thread repair to see if I can get something. I really wanna get 'er done before Friday if possible (weekend trip to SF is in the plans for the family). Damn aluminum blocks...gotta be careful!!
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  #4  
Old 11-30-2010, 06:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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You prob have a later model than my 1998 w/ iron block.

1999+ models have aluminum block so likely you strip the threads inside the block than the bolt itself.
This is why it is crucial to use Torque Wrench here.

Someone in this forum has stripped the bolt before.

Search the internet for the difference between Helicoil and Timesert!

Last edited by cn90; 11-30-2010 at 06:46 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2010, 08:20 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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cn90,

I was following your excellent DIY but I guess I didn't pay enough attention about the torque wrench part. I do know better! SIGH

I have a 2001 530i so the block is likely stripped. In fact, it would be bolt holes 3 and 4 on your diagram that I most likely stripped.
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2010, 08:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My philosophy is: if not broken leave it alone!
Start the engine and use flash light and mirror and watch for any oil leak.
If you see leak, the redo it.
If you see absolutely no oil leak, then leave it alone. It is held by a total of 6 bolts.

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  #7  
Old 11-30-2010, 08:40 AM
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Well, I had a leak so I went back and decided to retorque everything and that is when I noticed that bolts 3 and 4 turned but not get any tighter.

I'm still going to put everything back together and check again anyway. I can live with the small leak for a little while as I investigate getting it fixed.

At least working on this isn't too bad...the only plus to this.

I replaced my crankcase ventilation/oil separator and tubes and redid the o-rings on my VANOS and replaced the spark plugs as I'm at 97k. Those areas are doing well.
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2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2010, 11:29 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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These metric bolts are undersize to SAE American counter parts---for instance M6 bolts that I have stripped before, I merly chased down the threads going into the part with a 1/4-20 (if I remember correctly--might be a 5/16--18)tap and then use that size SAE bolt and all was well--this would work for you without having to drill out for a Helicoil and all--works for me when this problem has arisen.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2010, 11:40 AM
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That is an interesting approach/idea, poolman.

First, I'm going to try and borrow an M8 flat-bottomed tap and rechase the threads to see if I can get a few threads that might hold torque. If that doesn't work, I'll think about your idea as well as the helicoil/thread-fix route.
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2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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  #10  
Old 11-30-2010, 11:54 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Poolman idea is a VERY GOOD idea. I have done it before.

Remove the suspect bolt and match it up with an SAE bolt from a hardware store.
But the problem is the thread pitch is different for Metric vs SAE.
However, if you find a bolt with the same exact thread pitch and a "tad wider" (in terms of diameter),
it may work for you. In this case, I would torque it just a tad on the lower side, maybe a few Nm less than spec to prevent stripping.

---> The bottom line is to get a bolt just a tad "fatter". If original bolt is 8mm, then get 11/32" bolt = 8.7 mm in diameter.
Thread pitch is tricky. If the original has a thread pitch of 1.25mm (not sure but check it), then an SAE bolt with thread pitch of 20 would be fine b/c 25.4mm/20 threads = 1.27 mm, good enough for this purpose. Regardless, test this SAE bolt using an appropriate 8mmx1.25 Metric Nut.

------------
The following is a quick guide to Metric vs SAE bolts.

Metric Bolts

Metric bolts are sized according to diameter, distance or spacing (in millimeters) between threads and length.
For example a size of 12x1.75x30 translates to a bolt that is 12mm in diameter, has a distance of 1.75 between the threads and is 30mm long.
Metric bolt sizes can also be listed as M6x1x25. This bolt is 6mm in diameter, has a distance of 1mm between threads and is 25mm in length.
A metric bolt has metric threads. Period.

Metric nuts have no identifying marks. When you purchase them try to keep them either in the original package or separated by size so you do not run into a problem later on.

Metric nut sizes are diameter x thread spacing. A 6x1x35 bolt needs a 6x1 nut.

When you see nuts listed as Ny-lok or nylon threaded it means that they have a nylon-plastic substance in the threads that keep them from loosening due to heating and cooling cycles or vibration.


SAE vs Metric Bolt Sizes

Metric bolt sizes are stated as diameter x distance between threads x length.
American or SAE bolt sizes are expressed as diameter x thread pitch x length. Thread pitch is the number of threads per inch.
An example of a SAE bolt size is 1/2x13x1. This bolt is 1/2" in diameter, has 13 threads per inch and is one inch long.
SAE bolts will not thread perfectly into a metric nut or metric threaded hole.
But there are some exceptions if you find close enough match as I mentioned.

Last edited by cn90; 11-30-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:21 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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M8 x 55, coarse (1.25 mm thread pitch) are bolts #3 and 4 on cn90's posted pic above. These are the two stripped holes on my block (most likely).

8 mm = 0.315"
1.25 mm = 0.0492" (20.32 tpi)
55 mm = 2.1654"
Drill for tapping: 6.9 mm [0.2717"] (17/64" [0.2656"] is close)

Next on the chart for SAE:

5/16" = 0.3125"
18 tpi => 0.0556" (Drill for tapping: Letter F [0.2570"] but 17/64" [0.2656"] is close
24 tpi => 0.0417" (Drill for tapping: Letter I [0.2720"] but 17/64" [0.2656"] is close

3/8" = 0.3750"
16 tpi => 0.0625" (Drill for tapping: 5/16" [0.3125"])
24 tpi => 0.0417" (Drill for tapping: Letter Q [0.3320] but 21/64" [0.3281"] is close)

Interestingly enough, there is this one:

M9, available in a 1.25 mm pitch.
9 mm = 0.3543"
Drill for tapping this: 7.9 mm [0.3110"] but 5/16" [0.3125"] is close

I attached a chart of the relevant data. It looks to me like 3/8" x 16 is the safest fit that is easily, locally obtainable but it would require drilling and tapping. However, I'm not sure if the oil filter housing holes would need enlarging as well. If they do, that would be a royal PITA but do-able. I do have drill press but yuck at the thought of this.

5/16" x 24 might possibly work and could just be tapped straight-out I think but I think this one might not have enough material to hold torque. It could be worth a shot, however, just to test and if it fails, then the 3/8" x 16 would be the next logical choice.

The M9 initially looks nice due to matching pitch but it would need a tap and drilled out so unless the oil filter housing won't fit a 3/8" bolt, I don't really gain anything spending time/money to get this obscure bolt and tap. Also, if something went wrong, I can't easily get another M9 bolt/tap.

So, in conclusion, it appears to me that I can't get around drilling and tapping whether I use a different bolt or go helicoil/timesert. Other than checking clearances, it would come down to time/money. In that case, I think the 3/8" x 16 solution looks best right now unless the 5/16" bolt could work.

Thoughts?


poolman, your M6:

6 mm = 0.2362"
1 mm pitch = 0.0394" (25.4 tpi)
Drill for tapping this: 5.2 mm [0.2047"] but 13/64" [0.2031"] is close

1/4" = 0.2500"
20 tpi => 0.0500" (Drill for tapping: No. 7 [0.2010"] but 13/64" [0.2031"] is close)
28 tpi => 0.0357" (Drill for tapping: No. 3 [0.2130"] but 7/32" [0.2188"] is close)

I wanted to look at this as a thought exercise to help me gauge if something similar might work for me. How don't know how much it might scale. You said the 1/4-20 did the trick....
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2001 530i/5 (E39), Topaz Blue/Stone Green/Black (118k miles) *very rare interior/exterior color combo*
2005 545i/SMG (E60), ED Order, Titanium Grey/Grey (lease over)
2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015

Last edited by Ågent99; 11-30-2010 at 02:22 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:31 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I still think a SAE Bolt with this spec will work and no need to drill and tap: 11/32" x 20 x 2.25".
2.25" means 57mm, you may need to use a bench grinder to shave off 2mm at the tip of the bolt (this may not be necessary at all).
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:39 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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cn90, there is no such bolt size. If there was, I'm with ya!

If I had a metal lathe, I'd make myself a pair.
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2015 335i, ED Order Summer 2015
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  #14  
Old 11-30-2010, 07:35 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Or tap it to 9mm using this tool.
Then use a 9mmx1.25x55 bolt:

http://www.doitbest.com/main.aspx?pageid=64&sku=323977
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  #15  
Old 11-30-2010, 10:02 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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good news...no stripped threads. I dunno why the two bolts that I thought were stripped were "acting funny" but all looks good.

22 Nm is hardly anything...are you sure that is correct? That converts to 195 in-lbs or 16 ft-lbs. I'm almost certain upon initial removal that they were torqued a lot more than that.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2012, 08:12 PM
tbass tbass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99 View Post
good news...no stripped threads. I dunno why the two bolts that I thought were stripped were "acting funny" but all looks good.

22 Nm is hardly anything...are you sure that is correct? That converts to 195 in-lbs or 16 ft-lbs. I'm almost certain upon initial removal that they were torqued a lot more than that.
I feel like mine are stripped too. Did you take all the bolts out to check or did you just keep tightening and they finally snugged up? Thanks in advance
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