Billy & me, maintainin’ (16 pics) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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Old 06-25-2013, 10:46 PM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
Location: CA
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,909
Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
Billy & me, maintainin’ (16 pics)

It's been quite a learning curve I must say, and I feel good that I got some of that curve behind me. I realize it's 15 pics, hm how do I edit title...

I thought it was a good idea to gather most of the items I was going to use. Well, I was happy to receive a surprise visit from Billy, as he had heard I was up to no good and I can't say I was displeased when I saw him go directly for the creeper.

The old microfilter is 10 months old. Time already for my first issue (of many to come as you will soon see, I don't think I had a single thing go smoothly except possibly the engine air filter). Do not place your microfilter on the garage floor, even if painted or relatively smooth, because any dirt will very easily scratch this most delicate plastic, so do it on the box that the new filter comes in, your carpet, something soft and 100% non-scratching. A new cover I want to say is $38, I'm keeping mine for now but I did look. I was very gentle btw, even thinking gosh they make it look harder than it is in those videos I've seen.

I like this cheap trinket I picked up at HF, magnetic screw holder. The MF shows what a little wipe down picks up at the area where the microfilter sits.

The bottom sides of the air filters. The tops had a difference too, but more subtle. This is the first change AFAIK.

As for my oil/filter change, no photos here as this was my second time. It went smoother this time, as I didn't have "lack of space" issues with my tools, and (thanks to SD_Z4MR's input my last time), I used a pick-hook to get the o-rings off the filter housing, and had Pig Mat to absorb a bit of spill. I made sure to lube the large o-ring with fresh oil, which I don't think I did last time. I also made quick work of it, maybe a 10 min drain, instead of a 287 hour wait to get very drop out after reading what Pasa-d had to say in my oil change thread.
I didn't do the "redneck lift" because my jack simply couldn't get the wheels to clear the height of the ramps. I ended up having the front end on ramps, and the rear on stands. Which is dangerous according to some people, I did chock all 4 wheels. The rear wheels were still at the ground, though on wood boards (they were there as I was trying different methods in clearing the ramps). I made sure to have this setup as level as possible for the diff in particular.

So the diff. Easy, right? Suck out, pump in, piece of cake? AHHHHHH. I think I tried in order suction gun, pump, siphon by mouth, pump, gun, pump. The pic is the siphon by mouth which did stall out. Billy didn't much care for the stink of the old fluid as you can see. The lighting is not great here, but you still might get an idea of how murky the fluid is. In the light, I would call it a drab green color I think. I wasn't really scrutinizing, but I would call the fresh fluid a shade darker than canola oil, which is to say it's relatively pretty clear, with some yellow. I'm at 30.8K miles just fyi, and I'm not implying that color means anything either, just sayin'. So anyway, why so much trouble with the tools….... The gun has a very thick hose, it just couldn't get through to the bottom for me. The pump finally worked for me when I finally tried using thumb and forefinger to sort of pinch it in there, while using the rest of the same hand in helping to actuate the pump (but it also started leaking on me). The OEM diff fluid bottle has a little nozzle that is meant to put a tube on, so that you can simply squeeze. WELL….... for some reason the tube came off for me, maybe I knocked the bottle over, and I suspect once the bottom of the cone is oiled up, the tube just won't stay. I even tried a hose clamp, but that was futile I am sure precisely for the reason of being conical and not cylindrical. "Easy" turned into major PITA for me. I guess I'm glad I got the crash course in fluid transferring techniques, ahem failures, behind me.

On to the next job, my 3rd fluid change at this point, manual transmission. With the tools at my disposal, I couldn't figure out a way to get off the "holding bracket" for the large plastic cover at the bottom of the car. This is recommended in the E90post DIY to help make it easier to get to the fill plug. Well IMO, it's unnecessary because the fill plug was plenty accessible with my very modest selection of tools, and thankfully so. This failure to remove bracket was in large part why I decided to NOT go ahead with the "flushing"(?)or is it "bleeding"(?), no it must be "changing"(?) the clutch fluid out, among other reasons. Well, I have to say it was REALLY nice to let it just drain all out after my diff fiasco (yes I did make sure that the fill plug was removed before trying the drain plug). But alas I stripped the drain plug when torquing it on. Lesson learned for me? Don't torque it while lying on a creeper, not yet anyway. (Side note for MT drivers, at least for 335i but I imagine it would be all E9x?, both plugs are M18x1.5 in case you've studied your Bentley and realized it doesn't tell you what either plug might be, but only happens to list torque values for this plug as well as the M12. I specifically asked for M18 and showed my stripped plug at the dealership, and they still fetched me M12s, then they scared me by saying that they and no one else carried M18s, until finally they realized I drive an MT... then got the right part #...) See pic to admire my lovely handiwork.

Well now. What else could go wrong? How about a jack that can't be lowered?! LOL. Oh man. I tore a bit of skin off trying to twist the handle, tried a variety of things, including channel locks which tore right into the knurled handle. After visiting Costco then HF, I picked up a heavy, and quite long lo-pro jack, only rated 2 tons, but I quite like it. It also uses a U-bolt hinge thingy (not sure if that truly was the issue for me but I'm thinking it might be), but the release happens to be a knob at the end of the handle. I need to try and see if this is long enough to get the car high enough to clear the ramps for the idea that MP3_E46 kindly suggested for me, as a much safer method when used in conjunction with stands at the same time.

I was very relieved to get the car back down from the stuck jack. Within minutes I realize I can't get the wheels off! Tried many things. I gave up, and the next day I bought a sledge hammer, and I have to say I am very happy to have this tool. I bought a handle long enough for two hands, but I didn't want to buy the heaviest because I wanted some ability to use only one hand just in case, but that was an unnecessary thing to be concerned about it, I could prop the plywood well enough to use two hands. So I finally got the wheels off, but I tell you Billy just couldn't handle all of the drama anymore, it finally all just got to him, he couldn't bear to watch anymore. Yes my bumper is scuffed.

No pics, but afterward I got to do something I've wanted to do for a while, and that is to use a micrometer to measure rotors. There are all kinds of numbers stated on the internet, maybe they're all accurate and that there are many different rotors out there for any given model, but my mins are 28.4mm front and 20.4mm rear. I took an avg of 5 readings at each, and I'm about 0.8mm away at fronts (there was one measurement lower than this out of 11), and the same for rears as well.

This is a pic of the wheels after quite a lot of Sonax (enough where I decided I'm not using IronX, which TJPark01 had kindly advised me to do when I picked his brain; wonder where that guy has been lately...), quite a bit of 3M adhesive remover, and a good session of claying (wow, clay is a must).

I continued on the wheels with hand polishing, started only a bit with M205, and quickly moved on to M105. A thorough IPA wipedown, and I'm finally ready to use Megs BDB that I've had for so long. I'm ready for the final step, the easiest step, the pièce de résistance and then….... WUT? Are you kidding me?! This is not the easily removable 1-piece type with other cans, the nozzle part is simply missing. So off to a store to find another can, nope don't have it anymore, then on to another store….... I mean, c'mon, the jack, the spray can, isn't this getting kind of weird…....?! Is someone sabotaging me?

[INTERMISSION: supremely boring and stupidly long human non-interest story.] So while I'm at this second store, while I'm heading over to the register, I notice a young man kneeling down studying various detailing products. I realize there's only one employee in this whole store, and I'm fourth in line. (Alright- I need to say that during the previous day, I happened to run into the most generously helpful fellow browsing around at Harbor Freight while I was shopping an emergency replacement jack, to whom I really expressed my gratitude. This guy was even trying to truck the huge jack into my shopping cart while it was at the other end of the aisle, and so of course I'm off racing for the cart; that kind of guy.) So back to the story, I thought I had nothing better to do while waiting in line, thought of the extremely helpful man at HF and how I should pass along the good mojo, and I let the young man handling all the detailing stuff know that I would be happy to help while I'm waiting, saying that I know way too much damn stuff about this topic. After sharing some good info, I eventually find out he's driving a new to him by 3 months jet black E60, which his sister ran the into some nasty bushes. We go out, I study the car for a few min, give him a plan of attack. I wish him the best of luck, off I go toward my little shop of horrors. A couple of blocks down, the guy shouts out from two lanes over in his 5 series, hey do you do detail jobs? He said something or other I dunno what, I said ok let's pull over. We only focused on the big scratches, I asked him what it was worth to him to get these scratches out, which traversed 3 panels. One of them he thought was unrepairable, a prominent scratch that came with the car at the dealership. For some reason I decided to do it for less than his first offer on the spot. He arrived with a friend right after I had finished with the BDB, and I got his scratches maybe about 90-95% corrected and that's including the "dealer" scratch, which was all gravy for him. I probably took 20 PTG measurements during the process too, and they were so impressed with the process and results. It was hard to focus on work though, because they could not stop asking me so many questions about everything and anything, after seeing what I was up to with my own car, and what I was doing with theirs, etc.

Ok, back to the maintenance, and brake fluid in particular. I find this pic pretty amusing. But I tell you what. Because I had just stripped a bolt, I was thinking, you know, it would really suck to strip the plastic on a brake fluid expansion tank, so I made sure to get to snug, but nothing forced. Well brake fluid started seeping out. It has got to be twisted ALL THE WAY. Listen up noobies, no give! Sigh. So there I am spraying water down in the area directly below the tank pretty good. It all drains down in the area of the jack lift point, but didn't hit any paint thankfully. So while I mistakenly went too easy on the cap at first, this in turn made me tighten the bleeder screws a little more than what I interpret as "snug" (as advised in the BavAuto video for the bleed screws). My tank is full right now, so I'll check in a while to see if the level drops at all, but I think I should be fine, knock on wood.

The right rear is where I started, and the OEM fluid is supposed to be gold. Looks green to me here. This fluid is around 19 months old I think. The front rotors did not look nearly as green, and turned to what I deem as clean looking quite quickly in comparison.

This is how much I took out in all (it's a 1L bottle). Oh, if you're noobie like me, you definitely want a catch bottle like this with the rubber nipple, though I don't know how else one would do it, and I sort of don't want to know after my recent PITA learning curves.

This pic here represents one of the few concerns I had. I didn't let the pressure bleeder run dry, but yet I see that there are parts of the tube that look to be filled with air. I don't know how easily it is to push air downward through brake fluid into the system, but I hope I didn't. When testing the car, I braked aggressively a few times, enough to make my head feel funny, and I guess….... it's okay?

Speaking of few concerns, my memory is jogged now to mention another. I picked up some anti-seize at HD, it wasn't a paste type of thing like Permatex, but a spray. I read just enough to know that I only needed a little. So just the quickest of sprays at the hub, and at the wheels center, none on the studs. But then I realized, it's possible some of the quick spray got into the threading, where my torque values are incorrect, that I possibly overtightened... I'm probably fine, but it is a concern I guess.

Anyway, so I did wuss out on bleeding the clutch. Feel free to talk me into it. I'll be taking my car into a body shop for bumper repair probably at the end of the week, for the recent mild rear end accident I was involved in, and I won't have my car for a few days. After I get it back, I may investigate the idea of coolant and/or hydraulic steering fluid again. I won't rush back into it all though. My back is really feeling it!
In the end, after all the trials and tribulations, we congratulated ourselves over a nice cold beverage.

Last edited by Ilovemycar; 06-25-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:51 AM
Watchme Watchme is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: MA
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 806
Mein Auto: 2011 328i E90
where did you get them nice jack stands like that?
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:24 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
Location: CA
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,909
Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:02 AM
B-737 B-737 is offline
came and went...
Location: Jersey Shore
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 330
Mein Auto: 993 6MT
those stands do not look safe. look into a set of ESCOs
stop buying tools at HF, and you wont run into half the issues you did...

2011 328 xi coupe

Last edited by B-737; 06-26-2013 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:31 AM
Ilovemycar Ilovemycar is offline
Location: CA
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,909
Mein Auto: '08 335i coupe 6MT sport
Originally Posted by B-737 View Post
those stands do not look safe. look into a set of ESCOs
stop buying tools at HF, and you wont run into half the issues you did...
Hi B737. I hope your P-car is treating you well.

The stands have a base that is comparable to the footprint of my older jacks. If I could get an even wider base, particularly as a tripod but still with the BMW "rectangles" I would have. Now I may be wrong about this, but I actually predict I feel safer with these than your ESCOs because it's a nice to have those fixed blocks inside all of the lift point slots.

For instance I could buy 4x Esco, and 4x jack pad adapters, but those pads wouldn't be fixed. With all of the weight, probably safe, but the fixed blocks do make me feel better.

Anyway. I bought very little at HF, TBH. The only thing that gave me issue with their stuff was the $4 transfer pump, but you see I also had issue with the gun I got at Amazon. The old jack was bought from some online vendor. The stripped bolt was using a torque wrench I got at Amazon, but that was user error anyway, as was the brake fluid seepage. I know Hazard Frought doesn't have the best rep, but I'm trying to be be fair. I've seen a number of products that are sold at other vendors with a different name, but it would be a fraction of the price at HF. But again, I bought very little there, and your statement is quite exaggerated, at least in my very particular case. Thanks for chiming in though.
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