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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 11-12-2007, 10:27 AM
bmwhsu bmwhsu is offline
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socket size for oil filter cap

Hello-

I'm attempting my first oil change. I was able to drain the oil, but for the life of me cannot take the plastic oil filter cap off.

I tried the filter wrench and a plumber wrench but it won't budge.

What is the socket size?

Don't worry, since my vehicle has 120k on it, I've got a new oil filter cap coming.

thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2007, 10:33 AM
bmwhsu bmwhsu is offline
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Never mind.

Repeat after me. The search function is my friend.

I need a 36mm.

Thx,
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2007, 10:49 AM
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la528it la528it is offline
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ADvice: open it VERY slowly, and when you are done; tichten the cap using your hand on the socket, when you can;t go anymore, give only the SLIGHTEST tug on the socket with your ratchet.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:44 AM
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Michael Star Michael Star is offline
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Ya, sucks when you have to buy a $4 socket.
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2007, 11:45 AM
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open while holding the canister. if not, you're going to break the two rubber pads very easily.

slow and easy... it's about torque and not hp.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2007, 11:45 AM
Beau6183 Beau6183 is offline
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And for God's sake LUBE UP THE NEW O-RING WITH NEW OIL!

When I first got my 5er, I took it to crappy Lube for a change... not only did they NOT replace my o-ring, they also didn't lube it back up when rescrewing the cap back in. It wore the o-ring too thin and caused my housing to leak oil REALLY all over my engine compartment.

(they also stripped my oil drain plug, but that's another story -- still waiting for a reimbursement check from them for a new pan, gasket and plug).
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:31 PM
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ross1 ross1 is offline
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36 mm This is a fairly common hub nut size so you may find an inexpensive one made from sheet steel rather than a broached socket.
It doesn't need to be very tight.
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2007, 04:36 PM
bmwhsu bmwhsu is offline
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Thanks for the advise.

I picked up a 36 mm socket from Sears. Had it done in 5 minutes.
I did have a hard time getting the cap off and on. I'm glad I made the socket purchse. Otherwise, I probably would've chewed the plastic oil cap with the plumber'w wrench.

The cap was hard to put back on because the Mann Oil filter 0-ring gasket was slightly larger than original. I doubt I can hand tighten it. I had to use some force.

Next big project. the cooling system.
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2007, 05:04 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2007, 06:28 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chivas View Post
open while holding the canister. if not, you're going to break the two rubber pads very easily.

slow and easy... it's about torque and not hp.

+1 Yes, hold the canister while loosening the cap, those two silly rubber insulated bolts are a terrible design and easily torn apart if you do not hold the canister in place....
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  #11  
Old 11-12-2007, 08:12 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Welcome to the bimmer fun!

The P.O. (or Jiffy Lube) torqued my 36-mm cap so much that when I removed it, it cracked. I did not notice the crack until I start the engine and check for oil leak before closing the hood, sure enough, lots of oil came through the crack!!!!
I am glad you got a new O.F. Plastic Cap: for $27.00 it is peace of mind!
After 10y/100miles, do not trust any plastic. Plastic dies with time and heat.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:32 AM
rph74 rph74 is offline
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FYI for others in a pinch you can use the wrench that comes in the trunk tool box, or better yet, use a traditional oil filter strap wrench at the bottom of the cap.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2007, 05:41 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rph74 View Post
FYI for others in a pinch you can use the wrench that comes in the trunk tool box, or better yet, use a traditional oil filter strap wrench at the bottom of the cap.

yep, first time I tried to get it off, I used a plumbers chain type wrench on the wider part of the cap. much more surface area and perhaps less likely to crack
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