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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #101  
Old 02-23-2011, 01:01 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8thumper View Post
Hey guys, sorry to be so late to the party.

I just recently finished replacing an M50 head on my Papa-in-law's 525i for the exact same reason Rick is; all cracked up. Papa's car has 255k miles (zoikes!) and is in incredibly good shape overall, so it was certainly worth the time and resources to repair.

Rick, one bump in the road that I ran into: check your 'new' cyl head for head bolt washers. The cyl head that I found to replace Papa's turned out to be a replacement head (i.e. originally came out of a parts department vs. off the assembly line on a car). It turns out that assembly line heads have the head bolt washers swaged into the head, whereas replacement heads do not. Of course, new head bolts do not include head bolt washers. Simple solution... I ground the aluminum swages out of the old head, extracted the washers, and installed in the new (replacement) head. Just FYI, if nothing else
All is OK with mine. Washers fit right into the rebuilt head.

Don't know how far back you've read but if you have anything else to add, it'll be great.
Thanks.
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  #102  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:00 PM
v8thumper v8thumper is offline
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I'll go back and browse it when I've got a few minutes, but it sure seems like you're on the right track. I did use loctite on the valvetrain and timing fasteners; peace of mind. Do be cautious as to not drop anything down the front of the motor or you'll be pulling the oil pan off to get it out Timing the camshafts to each other and to the crankshaft via timing chain is of course very critical... you don't get a second chance if its not right the first time!
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  #103  
Old 02-23-2011, 05:00 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8thumper View Post
I'll go back and browse it when I've got a few minutes, but it sure seems like you're on the right track. I did use loctite on the valvetrain and timing fasteners; peace of mind. Do be cautious as to not drop anything down the front of the motor or you'll be pulling the oil pan off to get it out Timing the camshafts to each other and to the crankshaft via timing chain is of course very critical... you don't get a second chance if its not right the first time!
Thanks. I ordered the gasket set online so now its a waiting game. In the meantime I'll be putting the cams back on. How did you install your cams? I'm reversing the pelicanparts procedure. Since the lifters aren't pressurized I'm guessing the cams will be easier to bolt back on thereby reducing the risk of breaking them?
As for timing it, I purchased the timing tool plus I zip locked both sprockets to the cam chain for an added measure of security.
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  #104  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:31 AM
v8thumper v8thumper is offline
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Hey Rick. I didn't have to mess with swapping camshafts as the head Papa bought was only very slightly used and ready-to-run (like I said previously, great score). Indeed; with your lifters having been disassembled they are now collapsed; there is still valvespring tension pushing up on the camshaft lobes. Assemble as carefully and evenly as you disassembled; even if you have to turn fasteners one quarter turn at a time in sequence (draws the camshaft down into its saddles square).

Even though I've built literally dozens upon dozens of engines (maybe a hundred or more? lost count years ago), I still take advantage of technical info. In Papa's car's case, I went to a local library and checked out a Chilton book on E34s. Even before I turned wrench one on Papa's car, I read and studied the tech manual and 'schooled up' on the specifics and idiosyncrasies of the M50 platform. I then browsed the internet, that's how I wound up here. I'd highly recommend you do similar; having the book in front of you is invaluable if you run into a snag, especially if you're on a late-night thrash and technical questions on this or other forums may not get answered in a timely fashion.


Anyway, I did have to time the camshafts and the motor. On the back of the cams are cast square bosses; to have the cams timed at TDC cyl #1 the intake and exhaust lobes must be pointing tward one another at about 45* up angles. At this alignment, those square bosses on the back of the camshafts will be 'square' to the head, i.e. horizontal to the deck/valvecover surface.

With the motor at TDC #1 (cylinder at the very top of its stroke) the timing chain sprocket is installed on the exhaust cam, followed by the transfer chain & sprockets. This is a very abbreviated; there's much more to it than that. As I said... beg, borrow, or buy a book. You certainly seem to enjoy and appreciate your car or you wouldn't be going through all of this; a $20 book will pay for itself many times over in the years to come

I can do a specific write-up on camshaft timing if you'd like. I'd need to budget some time to do it, so let me know
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  #105  
Old 02-24-2011, 09:19 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8thumper View Post
Hey Rick. I didn't have to mess with swapping camshafts as the head Papa bought was only very slightly used and ready-to-run (like I said previously, great score). Indeed; with your lifters having been disassembled they are now collapsed; there is still valvespring tension pushing up on the camshaft lobes. Assemble as carefully and evenly as you disassembled; even if you have to turn fasteners one quarter turn at a time in sequence (draws the camshaft down into its saddles square).

Even though I've built literally dozens upon dozens of engines (maybe a hundred or more? lost count years ago), I still take advantage of technical info. In Papa's car's case, I went to a local library and checked out a Chilton book on E34s. Even before I turned wrench one on Papa's car, I read and studied the tech manual and 'schooled up' on the specifics and idiosyncrasies of the M50 platform. I then browsed the internet, that's how I wound up here. I'd highly recommend you do similar; having the book in front of you is invaluable if you run into a snag, especially if you're on a late-night thrash and technical questions on this or other forums may not get answered in a timely fashion.


Anyway, I did have to time the camshafts and the motor. On the back of the cams are cast square bosses; to have the cams timed at TDC cyl #1 the intake and exhaust lobes must be pointing tward one another at about 45* up angles. At this alignment, those square bosses on the back of the camshafts will be 'square' to the head, i.e. horizontal to the deck/valvecover surface.

With the motor at TDC #1 (cylinder at the very top of its stroke) the timing chain sprocket is installed on the exhaust cam, followed by the transfer chain & sprockets. This is a very abbreviated; there's much more to it than that. As I said... beg, borrow, or buy a book. You certainly seem to enjoy and appreciate your car or you wouldn't be going through all of this; a $20 book will pay for itself many times over in the years to come

I can do a specific write-up on camshaft timing if you'd like. I'd need to budget some time to do it, so let me know
Thanks Thumper,
As you suggested, I read and studied everything there is about doing this job before turning one bolt and kept reading until I not only fully understood how everything worked but had a solid visual in my head.(wife believes I'm too consumed, lol) Highly recommended to others who want to do this job themselves. I've learned more about this job than a couple of so called local BMW experts, lol.
I have the Bentley manual but as most will agree here, it isn't the end all as far as guiding you 100% as they miss many steps or do not include situations you will run into.

That being said, I've always believed that one can never have enough info from different perspectives so I would certainly appreciate a write up if you have the time.

Rick
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  #106  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:58 PM
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cpnwrench cpnwrench is offline
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Am amazed at the depth of greatness!!!



Guys,

read through entire thread, (yep , been away a while, overseas working) and not a chance to drive my baby so I was intrigued by this thread....

I guess I know who I will be talking to when that time ever comes!

Rick, so you know a couple years ago I went through a major teardown and re build similar to yours and I have to say when I was done (in no small part to the help folks here gave!), my car has been a wonder to drive! so smooth and for 230thou on the odometer, one would think it was new....

now I have a chance to ship her to Hawaii and am contemplating......but.....I wonder what the service and local parts would be like. I do know having parts shipped from US continental is pretty steep, but hey I got a chance for paradise...what to do, what to do?

anyway,,,, thanks everyone for the great read,,,,,,I will copy everything so in case I get stuck one day I got reference data!!!

cheers!

cpnwrench

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  #107  
Old 02-24-2011, 09:30 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpnwrench View Post


Guys,

read through entire thread, (yep , been away a while, overseas working) and not a chance to drive my baby so I was intrigued by this thread....

I guess I know who I will be talking to when that time ever comes!

Rick, so you know a couple years ago I went through a major teardown and re build similar to yours and I have to say when I was done (in no small part to the help folks here gave!), my car has been a wonder to drive! so smooth and for 230thou on the odometer, one would think it was new....

now I have a chance to ship her to Hawaii and am contemplating......but.....I wonder what the service and local parts would be like. I do know having parts shipped from US continental is pretty steep, but hey I got a chance for paradise...what to do, what to do?

anyway,,,, thanks everyone for the great read,,,,,,I will copy everything so in case I get stuck one day I got reference data!!!

cheers!

cpnwrench

I like the kind of choices you have.
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  #108  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:07 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpnwrench View Post


Guys,

read through entire thread, (yep , been away a while, overseas working) and not a chance to drive my baby so I was intrigued by this thread....

I guess I know who I will be talking to when that time ever comes!

Rick, so you know a couple years ago I went through a major teardown and re build similar to yours and I have to say when I was done (in no small part to the help folks here gave!), my car has been a wonder to drive! so smooth and for 230thou on the odometer, one would think it was new....

now I have a chance to ship her to Hawaii and am contemplating......but.....I wonder what the service and local parts would be like. I do know having parts shipped from US continental is pretty steep, but hey I got a chance for paradise...what to do, what to do?

anyway,,,, thanks everyone for the great read,,,,,,I will copy everything so in case I get stuck one day I got reference data!!!

cheers!

cpnwrench

Hawaii, nice! Which island?
As for shipping your car over there, that's a tough one. As you said, shipping is steep and these car aren't cheap to repair. If you are going over there temporarily, perhaps a small car suited to the island theme is more favorable for you. Some thing with surf racks!

Last edited by ricks5series; 02-25-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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  #109  
Old 02-25-2011, 08:03 AM
v8thumper v8thumper is offline
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cpnwrench,

Thank you for your service! Men like YOU sacrifice so much of yourselves to protect and defend Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness for my family and I. I am forever in your debt sir. God Bless You, welcome home
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  #110  
Old 03-02-2011, 08:35 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Ran into a few hickups since my last post but here is the lastest.
Cams were successfully installed with the help of my wife. For reasons I'll explain later, I decided not to go at this alone as I did with the removal.
Also a preview of the valve cover. Imperfections are light reflections.
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  #111  
Old 03-02-2011, 08:47 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Very nice !!

Keep the updates coming.

Steve
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1991 735i - Sold
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  #112  
Old 03-02-2011, 10:27 PM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Valve cover looks outstanding ! Well painted.
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  #113  
Old 03-03-2011, 09:08 AM
v8thumper v8thumper is offline
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mmmmmm, fresh motor
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  #114  
Old 03-03-2011, 05:53 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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More prep work today...I removed the oil sending unit and replaced the "O" ring for safe measure (one on the left is the old one). What you see is after I cleaned it up, it was caked with black watery oil. I also poured about 120z of diesel fuel into the oil dip sick and let it run out of the drain plug. Trying to extract as much contaminated oil as I can.
Boy, I tell ya, BMW loves to zip tie every electrical line which I'm sure is a good thing but a pita to get to. I'm referring to trying to disconnect the sending units plug.

I've also cut the torx heads off two of the old head bolts and barely screwed them into the block where the dowel rings are. This will help me and my bro-in-law (hopefully he shows up tonight) guide the head down onto the block without disrupting the gasket too much.
When the head is down on the block, Ill simply unscrew the the studs and pull them out.
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  #115  
Old 03-04-2011, 06:53 AM
v8thumper v8thumper is offline
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Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
I've also cut the torx heads off two of the old head bolts and barely screwed them into the block where the dowel rings are. This will help me and my bro-in-law (hopefully he shows up tonight) guide the head down onto the block without disrupting the gasket too much.
When the head is down on the block, Ill simply unscrew the the studs and pull them out.
Good idea; but you might do a mock-up first... measure the total length of studs as they sit in the block now, from the deck (NOT top of dowel) to top of stud. Let's say you've got 3", duplicate that on the cyl head sitting on the workbench to make sure you have enough exposed stud to extract once the head is on the deck. It would really suck to have to have to stab that 60lb chunk of aluminum twice

I used an engine hoist to crane the thing in, and stabbed the head onto the deck with the exhaust manifolds installed. That was tricky... aligning the exhaust manifold collector studs with the exhaust pipes while aligning the head onto the deck. By myself
The method you're using is far safer, less risk of something going wrong. As it turns out, Papa's car is back to screamin' and running cool. Still, if I ever do another one of these, I'd follow the method you're following now.
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  #116  
Old 03-08-2011, 10:00 PM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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So the head is on and torqued to spec(s).
I used a printed protractor posted by a forum member and this worked out pretty good with the help of my wife. She assisted in making sure the protractor did not rotate while I torqued the bolts down.

I've also installed the two sending units within the head. I applied high temp sealant and torque them to spec.

The cams are timed and I completed the installation of the cam sprockets. Tricky to understand at first but keep studying and it will come to you.
It's also important to lubricate all side of the cams and thrust spacers before installing them as they will be moving back and forth.

I began reading about the VANOS unit and discovered I needed to replace the seals and the outer ring since the tolerances were beyond specifications.
I've created another link if anyone is interested or will be performing a cylinder head replacement in the near future. Something you should consider since its already out.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=525451
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  #117  
Old 03-09-2011, 01:28 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Rick, I have an idea. Before you install the intake manifold, and after everything else has been fixed up, please check for spark. This will ensure that everything that you've fixed up and connected actually works as planned, including the fuel injectors ( you should be able to smell the fuel through the open spark plugs' holes, do not fix up the spark plugs before you check for spark following your rebuild). Or of course, you can suspend the fuel rail slightly above the head with wire or rope cord or something, and you'll be able to see each injector literally firing the fuel charge in sequence. I suggest you test this first in this way before testing for spark, in order to minimise freak fires.

The method is ridiculously easy, as I discovered today on a hunch after watching a video on youtube. I was under the impression that the ignition coil would have to be compressed against the spark plug, by basically holding it down. While this can be done with an appropriately insulated hand, some may prefer not to touch the coil at all in any way due to the high voltages involved (20k-40k volts, can't remember which). However there's a far simpler way. First, remove one ignition coil. Make sure its connected to the wiring harness. Place it upside down on the engine, the shock towers, something...use a cloth or whatever to create a surface to do this. The ignition coil's rubber boot should be facing directly up (and not at any angle). Then, insert a spark plug into the boot and push it in. It will spring out a little but leave that. After that, connect 1 end of a jumper cable to the threaded portion of the spark plug, and the other end of the same jumper cable to a ground point such as a nut on the car's body. The weight of this jumper lead together with its own weight will pull the spark plug down onto the springs sufficiently to make contact with the conductor (the spring) in the spark plug boot. Then crank the engine for a few seconds.

If everything works ok, you should be able to see your spark. If there are no sparks, check your jumper cable's connections, make sure the spark plug is upright as best as you can manage it (together with the boot), and if necessary switch to a different spark plug. (needless to say, use known good plugs). If you still don't get spark, there's something wrong. With the intake manifold still not installed, it will be FAR easier for you to troubleshoot things.

If you see sparks, great. Test a different coil in the same manner. There's no need to test more than 2 coils to verify that everything is working as planned. Then, go for the final phase of your reinstallation.

This of course cannot really verify anything about timing except the most extreme scenarios, but it is a useful intermediate step that takes almost no time to do and could save you alot of trouble and stress in trying to troubleshoot something.


rgds,
Roberto

p.s. Hey bro.....did you clean out your fuel injectors? Backflushed them too? You can do this with a carb cleaner and around $5 in parts from a hardware store. Please search youtube and you'll find a great video on this.
p.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 03-09-2011 at 05:43 AM. Reason: How to check for spark
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  #118  
Old 03-09-2011, 04:25 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
Rick, I have an idea. Before you install the intake manifold, and after everything else has been fixed up, please check for spark. This will ensure that everything that you've fixed up and connected actually works as planned, including the fuel injectors ( you should be able to smell the fuel through the open spark plugs' holes, do not fix up the spark plugs before you check for spark following your rebuild). Or of course, you can suspend the fuel rail slightly above the head with wire or rope cord or something, and you'll be able to see each injector literally firing the fuel charge in sequence. I suggest you test this first in this way before testing for spark, in order to minimise freak fires.

The method is ridiculously easy, as I discovered today on a hunch after watching a video on youtube. I was under the impression that the ignition coil would have to be compressed against the spark plug, by basically holding it down. While this can be done with an appropriately insulated hand, some may prefer not to touch the coil at all in any way due to the high voltages involved (20k-40k volts, can't remember which). However there's a far simpler way. First, remove one ignition coil. Make sure its connected to the wiring harness. Place it upside down on the engine, the shock towers, something...use a cloth or whatever to create a surface to do this. The ignition coil's rubber boot should be facing directly up (and not at any angle). Then, insert a spark plug into the boot and push it in. It will spring out a little but basically gravity will hold sufficient contact for this test. After that, connect 1 end of a jumper cable to the threaded portion of the spark plug, and the other end of the same jumper cable to a ground point such as a nut on the car's body. Then crank the engine for a few seconds.

If everything works ok, you should be able to see your spark. If there are no sparks, check your jumper cable's connections, make sure the spark plug is upright as best as you can manage it (together with the boot), and if necessary switch to a different spark plug. (needless to say, use known good plugs). If you still don't get spark, there's something wrong. With the intake manifold still not installed, it will be FAR easier for you to troubleshoot things.

If you see sparks, great. Test a different coil in the same manner. There's no need to test more than 2 coils to verify that everything is working as planned. Then, go for the final phase of your reinstallation.

This of course cannot really verify anything about timing except the most extreme scenarios, but it is a useful intermediate step that takes almost no time to do and could save you alot of trouble and stress in trying to troubleshoot something.


rgds,
Roberto

p.s. Hey bro.....did you clean out your fuel injectors? Backflushed them too? You can do this with a carb cleaner and around $5 in parts from a hardware store. Please search youtube and you'll find a great video on this.
p.
Wow! Thats a lot to swallow. I will check but why would you think I'd have a spark issue since everything was fine before this project?
As for the injectors, I thought of sending them off to witchhunter performance to have them reconditioned for $19 each but decided to hold off for now. Too much into this as it is and where is the limit?
The gaskets set came with new O rings so I'll definitely replace them.
At best, I'll try that cleaning procedure you sent me awhile back.
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  #119  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:03 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Great write up Rick. Keep the udates coming. You're my hero

Roberto, thanks so much for the write up on checking for spark. You can rest assured that by this evening (if the rain holds off) I will have an answer to that peice of the Black Mamba puzzle.

You too are my hero sir

Steve
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Quote:
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It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #120  
Old 03-09-2011, 06:20 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
Wow! Thats a lot to swallow. I will check but why would you think I'd have a spark issue since everything was fine before this project?
As for the injectors, I thought of sending them off to witchhunter performance to have them reconditioned for $19 each but decided to hold off for now. Too much into this as it is and where is the limit?
The gaskets set came with new O rings so I'll definitely replace them.
At best, I'll try that cleaning procedure you sent me awhile back.
Well you may not fix things back properly. You might overlook something. You might damage something along the way without realising it. Or something may have failed naturally. Doesn't matter, this is just a check, and since it takes just 5 minutes (10 minutes if you include the fuel rails) or less, i decided to suggest it to you. Ultimately, its easy to troubleshoot and replace things if its all out in the open like that.

Another thing.....why is the shaman sending fuel injectors to the witch hunter ? lol

Theres' no need to send your injectors to anyone for a rebuild if your engine was working fine before the head job and if you hadn't had any error codes for your injectors. Injectors are very hardy things. However, backflushing while the injector pintels are open is a good thing to do if you can.

Can you try cleaning them according to that you tube video? And if you like, and if new ones are dirt cheap, do change out the o-rings. Even that is not necessary if your inspection proves the current ones are satisfactory....

rgds.

Last edited by robertobaggio20; 03-09-2011 at 07:58 AM. Reason: 'shaman' way more appropriate than 'witch doctor'
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  #121  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:22 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Ugh, after searching a bit, I found a rebuild kit for my starter.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...12&fg=25&hl=21

Has anyone ever attempted to this project? The kit is only $23.43 and I still have the intake manifold off. I'm stuck between taking the chance that mine will last another year being that removing everything again won't be as difficult and time consuming.
Decisions:
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  #122  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:41 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricks5series View Post
Ugh, after searching a bit, I found a rebuild kit for my starter.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...12&fg=25&hl=21

Has anyone ever attempted to this project? The kit is only $23.43 and I still have the intake manifold off. I'm stuck between taking the chance that mine will last another year being that removing everything again won't be as difficult and time consuming.
Decisions:
Sorry if I'm asking a quesiton you already answered in this long thread, but are you having problems with the starter or are you just wanting to rebuild it as a preventative measure?

I don't think starters on these cars are a common fail item, but they are a pain to get to if you have to remove it so I can see where you're coming from.

You may be able to find a local starter/generator/alternator shop that will rebuild if for a very reasonable price, especially if you supply the parts. That way you could make sure it is done correclty and will last a long time. Just a thought.

Steve
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Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
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  #123  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:43 AM
robertobaggio20 robertobaggio20 is offline
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What's involved in the starter kit? Might not be necessary at all. I had been under the impression that a regreasing of the innards would be all that's necessary. After all, a starter is only used when starting the car....it really does not mechanically wear out.

Ohhh.....hmmm.....is there any carbon inside the starter? That might wear out.

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...411721297.html

That's a link to a local company. Would you mind checking with them as to the composition of the starter kit? That may be useful to understand this question better. Thanks Rick.
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  #124  
Old 03-09-2011, 11:49 AM
ricks5series ricks5series is offline
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Location: So. Ca
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 498
Mein Auto: 525i, Corvette, 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertobaggio20 View Post
What's involved in the starter kit? Might not be necessary at all. I had been under the impression that a regreasing of the innards would be all that's necessary. After all, a starter is only used when starting the car....it really does not mechanically wear out.

Ohhh.....hmmm.....is there any carbon inside the starter? That might wear out.

http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/p...411721297.html

That's a link to a local company. Would you mind checking with them as to the composition of the starter kit? That may be useful to understand this question better. Thanks Rick.
I'll check with them and yes there are carbon brushes that wear out. All armatures have carbon brushes.
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  #125  
Old 03-09-2011, 08:48 PM
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luckydog luckydog is offline
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Location: Ca
 
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Nice progress on the overhaul .
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Last edited by luckydog; 03-09-2011 at 08:51 PM.
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