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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #26  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:43 AM
oldskoolbmw oldskoolbmw is offline
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if it has fallen into the pan then the only way to get it out is to drop the lower pan. Sorry dude.

A tap may have just cleaned the stock threads and pushed the rest of it inside the pan. If it hasn't then use a T handle and go slowly with the screw extractor. DO NOT hook it on to a drill. Screw extractors are made out of the hardest stuff on earth. They are very very brittle. If you break one, you are super ****ed. I'm sure that will be edited out but seriously super ****ed. Like mountain of dicks style.. You're running out of things to do before than pan has to come off. Be gentile. No magnet is going to "unscrew" it so unless it's just chilling out up there you'll need to get it with a screw extractor. HF sells a screw extractor kit. http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piec...set-40349.html. You want to insert one of those Spiralling extractors into the hole and turn counter clock wise with a T handle. You'll feel it "catch" inside the plug. Then take the t-handle and spin the plug out. Do NOT force it. Don't be afraid to stop and reseat the extractor if the drain plug quits coming out.
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  #27  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:47 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyowolf View Post
Dropping the oil pan is really pretty easy , just grab a new gasket, drop it, then you can easily get the bolt out...
Yeah, dropping the oil pan is easy for V8 but I6, you need to think again.
It is a NIGHTMARE to drop the oil pan in the I6 (dropping subframe).

Bluebee,

- Do your best to extract to remaining bolt (using extractor).
Perhaps some local people can help bluebee? ("edjack" lives in San Jose CA too).

- Any metal fragments in the oil pan: use a smaller telescopic magnet and fish them out.
Any larger pieces, leave them inside the oil pan: no harm to worry about.
But of course, if you are in the mood to drop the oil pan (again, this is a NIGHTMARE), then do it but I don't think it is necessary.
Leave any large pieces inside the oil pan and don't lose sleep over it.
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  #28  
Old 05-27-2010, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
PS: How dangerous would that bolt segment be in my oil pan?
Can I just leave it there in the back of the oil pan drain hole?

I am not sure if anyone really knows the answers as this is a very unusual occurance. Here is what I think (which could be wrong):

1. If the bolt segment should come loose, it could conceivably be sucked into your oil pump, damaging the pump. However, the size of the bolt segment may be too big to cause damage to the pump. You could conceivably leave your magnet in place to help keep the bolt segment from straying, if it comes loose. However, there is lots of uncertainty regarding this risk and it is better to remove the bolt segment and eliminate all risk since failure of the lubrication system can be catastrophic to the engine.

2. With the bolt segment left in place, you will probably not be able to seat the new bolt properly so that the bolt gasket is engaged and the sump will then leak oil. Hence, the suggestion to use teflon tape to help seal the bolt threads (although this is a temporary solution). I do not think leaving the bolt in place can be part of a long term solution.
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  #29  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:00 AM
pangolin pangolin is offline
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http://www.harborfreight.com/13-piec...set-95146.html
1/4" is largest size, might not be big enough.

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piec...set-40349.html
Hopefully this should work. Do not use the drill bits they provide. You already have a hole in the bolt you're removing.

Dont expect quality from Harbor Freight. It will get the job done, though.

Sears might have better ones. Maybe with straight flutes so you can just hammer it in and then twist counterclockwise.
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  #30  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:15 AM
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The previous suggestion to use a left hand (counterclockwise) drill bit is a good idea to help prevent pushing the bolt segment into the sump. The fact that there is already a cone shaped indent in the bolt segment should allow for easier drilling of the pilot hole for the screw extractor. You also do not need a larger screw extractor if that bolt segment is not tight in the hole. Go small first as drilling the hole will be easier. And make sure the drill hole is properly matched to the extractor. Screw extractors work very well once they bite onto the bolt. A little PB Blaster may help to lossen the bolt segment too. Once that oil comes out, it should flush all the PB Blaster away. Good luck!
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  #31  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:17 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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I just measured the bolt for you, the hollow part of the bolt is exactly 6mm.

More options:
1. Get a flat blade screw driver with its widest part to be around 6mm or 5.9 mm or so.
Gently push the screwdriver in, kind of wedge it against the hollow part (bevel the screw driver a bit).
Then twist the hollow part out (Counter-clockwise). It should come out nicely because there is very little friction on this thread.

2. Another option is the "sandwiching" technique.
- Go to a hardware store and buy a long (3") machine screw with thread diameter of 4 mm or so. There are plenty of these in the electrical section of any hardware store.
- The screw head is usually about 8mm in size, so file the head down to 5.5 mm or so. This is so it can slide through the hollow part of the bolt.
- Then move the machine screw side way a bit so it hooks onto the hollow bolt.
- Then apply a nut until it is tight down to sandwich the hollow bolt.
- Then using a pair of pliers to grab the machine screw and twist it CCW.

HTH.

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  #32  
Old 05-27-2010, 11:21 AM
sakiV sakiV is offline
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damn...
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  #33  
Old 05-27-2010, 11:40 AM
Tommy Carrera Tommy Carrera is offline
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given that this piece is hollow, not sure if this will work but I have used to with success in the past.

Get a solid M12 bolt that is far too long. Get some Super Glue Gel (or if you can find them the little Superglue Dots). Apply the glue to the end (not threads but the flat tip) of the bolt. Quickly screw it in until it contacts the remaining piece. Let it set for 2 minutes. Then gently unscrew the bolt with HOPEFULLY the piece glued to the end.

This will either A: remove the piece or B: go ahead and drive it into the pan. Sounds like you are in for a Oil pan drop regardless.

Buddy of mine had this sort of happen to him at a Quick Lube place. They sheared off the pan plug bolt about half way in.(Was likely misthreaded) Of course, they just unscrewed the remaining, cranked in a new bolt as far as it would go, and then hammered the bolt head until it was flush with the pan.

Yep, lawyers were involved. Yep, he got a new engine out of it. Yep, I did however initially have to stop him from killing the mgr. at the Quick Lube.
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  #34  
Old 05-27-2010, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Carrera View Post
given that this piece is hollow, not sure if this will work but I have used to with success in the past.

Get a solid M12 bolt that is far too long. Get some Super Glue Gel (or if you can find them the little Superglue Dots). Apply the glue to the end (not threads but the flat tip) of the bolt. Quickly screw it in until it contacts the remaining piece. Let it set for 2 minutes. Then gently unscrew the bolt with HOPEFULLY the piece glued to the end.

This will either A: remove the piece or B: go ahead and drive it into the pan. Sounds like you are in for a Oil pan drop regardless.

Buddy of mine had this sort of happen to him at a Quick Lube place. They sheared off the pan plug bolt about half way in.(Was likely misthreaded) Of course, they just unscrewed the remaining, cranked in a new bolt as far as it would go, and then hammered the bolt head until it was flush with the pan.

Yep, lawyers were involved. Yep, he got a new engine out of it. Yep, I did however initially have to stop him from killing the mgr. at the Quick Lube.

A good idea but in this case, it may not work, as the bolt segment stuck in the threaded drain hole probably has a concave indent in the bolt shaft (based on the convex bump on the bolt in the picture). This will make glueing the flat tip of a new bolt difficult. It may be better to use a smaller diameter bolt that will fit into the concave indent, if you plan to use glue. If you do go this route, try to find some epoxy putty to better engage the bolt segment. This will have less risk of dripping epoxy onto the bolt threads.

Just remember, whatever you do, evaluate the risk of the fix vs. the reward. The first thing in getting out of a hole is to stop digging. I can't count the times I have attempted to fix a problem only to make the matters worse. The DIYer's nightmare. Good luck!
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  #35  
Old 05-27-2010, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I can't count the times I have attempted to fix a problem only to make the matters worse.
So true! It was I who had made matters worse by using a clockwise-tap instead of a counterclockwise bolt extractor to remove the broken piece. I'm lucky I didn't turn it a few threads further or the bolt plug would be in my drain pan by now.

The rain squalls abated a bit today such that I finished the job successfully!

Only in hindsight, I (finally) understand what actually happened:
- Used a 1/2" torque wrench for filter cap because 36mm socket was 1/2"
- An 18 ft-lb setting seemed to put the plastic filter cap on awfully tight
- But, silly me, I trusted the equipment (and not my senses)
- Used the same 1/2" torque wrench for the 21 ft-lb 17mm oil drain plug
- Something was wrong - and the bolt head sheared off
- I was confused as to where the threaded plug went (hard to see)
- I poked, I prodded, I stuck stuff in there, I tapped, I banged
- I wasn't sure where the bolt shaft went; I couldn't see it in the hole
- I sloshed fingers in murky oil like a kid looking for a lost marble in the mud
- In one attempt to extract, I used a clockwise tap to twist & prod
- Little did I know, but that actually screwed the bolt in deeper
- It took so little pressure that I didn't realize that was occurring
- Luckily I stopped before the plug fell into the inside of the drain pan!
- Left the bimmer outside for the night, still on ramps, devoid of oil
- Bummed a ride next day to the BMW dealership in an untimely rain
- Bought a new $10 M12x1.5x18 "screw plug" (PN:11131273093)
- Bought a Spiral Flute Extractor Set (sizes EX-1 to EX-5)
- Inserted #EX-4 (1/4") into the drain hole & counterclockwise twisted
- Out popped the missing hollow oil pan drain bolt shaft!
- The two pieces matched up together perfectly (nothing left in the pan!)

I very much appreciate all your care. If ever there was a thread that I yearned to yelp an anguished "Help!" in the title, this was it (because it disabled my blue B!).

Now I can go on to creating one of those omnipresent wholly "fictional" DIYs (where everything appears to work perfectly in every step documented!).



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  #36  
Old 05-27-2010, 05:42 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Sorry to hear of all the troubles Bluebee. One piece of advice, never use a 1/2" torque wrench for such low settings, that is where the wrenches have their widest tolerance of error. Get a 3/8 or 1/4" wrench with like a 60 to 70lb/ft setting max (these are usually calibrated in inch/lbs rather than ft/lbs, and two other pieces of advice. Buy a high quality one, not a sears or harbor freight. I usually buy less expensive tools, but this is a critical safety device, so get the best you can reasonably afford. Store it properly, never drop it AND, every two or three years, get it tested and if necessary, calibrated (it will cost you $30 to $50). I have a Utica Tools/Cooper brand torque wrench, but Snap On and others are good as well.

I have never used torque wrenches for oil drain plugs, it is easy to feel the copper or aluminum crush washer "yield" as you apply torque, and once it gives, stop, the washer has done its job. This only applies when using a fresh, new washer. Never reuse them. Once they have taken a "set" or been crushed to seal once, they should not be reused.

Same with the oil filter cover, I use a rubber strap wrench and just gently cinch it up, and stop, it doesn't need lots of torque, and I have never had mine leak, ever.

I gave up on ramps back in high school, when a drove off one in my parents oldsmobile. I have used a jack and jack stands ever since.

Thanks for explaining how the broken off bolt kept going further in, I couldn't figure that out, and started to think you might have been using the wrong tool.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 05-28-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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  #37  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:11 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Regarding the drain plugs: most cars spec is about 20-30 ft-lb.

I have never used a torque wrench for the drain bolts during my 25 years because the ground clearance is not enough for a torque wrench (car not on lift like at dealer) and here is my trick (7 o'clock ---> 5:30 o'clock trick) that I measured with a known torque wrench.

What I do for all of my cars and never have any problems:

1. Hand-tighten the drain bolt until it stops.

2. Viewing from the front of my 2007 Honda Odyssey van (same idea like E39), I place the 17-mm wrench (use the box end) at approx. 7 o'clock position, and with a rubber hammer, I gently tap the wrench until it is at 5:30 o'clock position (about 45-50 degree-turn). Anyway this trick works for me during the last 25 years......don't ask me if this is right or wrong......LOL....

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  #38  
Old 05-27-2010, 08:18 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
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Use a flathead screwdriver that is just slightly larger than the hole in the bolt and back it out. That's what I do at work when this happens. Only happens once in a blue moon, but it does happen.
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  #39  
Old 05-28-2010, 04:16 AM
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It is good to see a potential disaster result in a happy (relatively inexpensive & inconvenient) ending.
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  #40  
Old 05-28-2010, 04:57 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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I thought u wrote a DIY on how to change oil or something?
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  #41  
Old 05-28-2010, 06:10 AM
huttey huttey is offline
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Well done
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  #42  
Old 05-28-2010, 06:17 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Get a 3/8 or 1/4" wrench with like a 60 to 70lb/ft setting max (these are usually calibrated in inch/lbs rather than ft/lbs, and two other pieces of advice. Buy a high quality one, not a sears or harbor freight.
Oh my! Now you tell me!

The only reason I used the bigger one was that the 36mm 6pt socket was half inch so I used the same torque wrench for the oil-filter cap as for the oil-pan bolt.

What do you think of these torque wrenches, in terms of accuracy?

Since I have more than one torque wrench, do you think I can test them against each other by putting one on each end of a single two-headed bolt made up by joining two large bolts tail to tail?

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  #43  
Old 05-28-2010, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I place the 17-mm wrench (use the box end) at approx. 7 o'clock position, and with a rubber hammer, I gently tap the wrench until it is at 5:30 o'clock position (about 45-50 degree-turn).
That mallet-tap 3/4 turn after the oil pan drain bolt is hand tightened is probably a good idea.

But, at least on my 2002 525i, the oil pan design seems to preclude the use of a box or crescent wrench (see pic below). Do you think they designed it that way on purpose?

The only wrench I could get in there was a socket wrench.

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  #44  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Oh my! Now you tell me!

The only reason I used the bigger one was that the 36mm 6pt socket was half inch so I used the same torque wrench for the oil-filter cap as for the oil-pan bolt.

What do you think of these torque wrenches, in terms of accuracy?

Since I have more than one torque wrench, do you think I can test them against each other by putting one on each end of a single two-headed bolt made up by joining two large bolts tail to tail?

Make sure after every job, you set the torque to "0", so as to relax the inner spring of the torque wrench. Otherwise you will loose the calibration over time. (Except for the middle one in your pic, of course)
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  #45  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:19 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by doru View Post
Make sure you set the torque to "0"
Oh oh. I never did that. These are the kinds of hints that we, combined, can make so that someone else who reads our combined DIY can benefit from all this pent up knowledge!

BTW, as yet another nugget of learned-the-hard-way recommendations, I realized (see pic below) why we should never put oil filters that have a visible seam (like STP oil filters) in the E39!


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  #46  
Old 05-28-2010, 07:25 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
That mallet-tap 3/4 turn after the oil pan drain bolt is hand tightened is probably a good idea.
The only wrench I could get in there was a socket wrench.
Bluebee,

- In my trick with the rubber mallet, it is not a 3/4 turn (= 270 degree turn), it is only 45-degree turn, from 7 o'clock to 5:30 o'clock.

- Wrench vs socket: you are right, the BMW oil pan design prevents a wrench from going there, only a socket fits that recess. Anyway, the idea is the same: a 45-degree turn.
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  #47  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
it is only 45-degree turn
Ooops. I stand corrected. Thanks. It's only a 1/8ths turn, which isn't all that much. Do you think we should gauge, as we're turning, the squishing of the crush washer?

BTW, I still have a bunch of questions about a "proper" oil change (you know, the kind that are in your wonderful DIYs where nothing ever goes wrong!)

If we can pool our knowledge by answering the myriad of questions, that would be a benefit to us all.

For example, I found the STP paper flutes failed such that there was a visible tear clear through the paper filter at the rather wide seam.

Looking closely, I noticed the Mann and Fram don't have visible seams like the STP filter does. Everyone talks trash about the rubber in the STP (again the Fram and Mann don't have that rubber end cap) ... but nobody yet (to my knowledge) has mentioned to avoid any filter with a visible seam.

My question:
Do you agree with my (new) assessment that we should outright reject any filter that has a visible weak point such as can be seen below?

Also ...
The $18 Fram 8081 looks identical to the $6 Mann filter (afaik) - what do you guys think of the Fram (locally available in an emergency)?

(That oil filter, btw, cost me something like $18 ... so it proves, yet again, you never get what you pay for.)


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  #48  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:10 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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The best thing to do is to have a stock of 4-5 Mann or Mahle filters at home all the time.

In an emergency, only NAPA Autoparts carries Mann. Autozone, Pepboys, Advance Autoparts only carry STP.
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  #49  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:15 AM
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BigCo540i BigCo540i is offline
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BTW Napa Gold is made by WIX which is also top of the line like MANN.
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  #50  
Old 05-28-2010, 10:27 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
What do you think of these torque wrenches, in terms of accuracy?

Since I have more than one torque wrench, do you think I can test them against each other by putting one on each end of a single two-headed bolt made up by joining two large bolts tail to tail?

If that is a Harbor Freight torque wrench, they are accurate to about +/- 5%. We calibrated Chris' (NeverSayNever) torque wrenches using a fishing scale and they were within the 5% range. Accuracy seems to decrease more at the outer range of the scale.
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