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Old 07-17-2014, 11:58 AM
AdamsGuitar AdamsGuitar is offline
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Exclamation Turbo coolant lines leaking - HELP!

Over the last couple of days I have experienced a worsening coolant leak, culminating yesterday when I had the vehicle towed to my dealership because it seemingly wouldn't hold any coolant.

I just spoke with my service advisor, and he's told me that the cause of the problem is that the coolant lines for the turbo's are leaking, causing me to lose coolant at an alarming rate (I lost about a gallon after driving around 10 miles) and some steam to come off the engine after stopping. He is checking to see if my extended warranty will cover some or all of this repair, but if it won't then he's quoted me a figure of $2300 for the repair (because of having to remove the turbo's, etc. from the engine, replace the gaskets, etc.).

Reading my extended warranty documentation it isn't clear if this will be covered. If it isn't, does this sound like a reasonable price? Is this the sort of thing that you guys would trust to an indie mechanic? I don't have one that I've ever used, since--if this isn't covered--this will be the first significant non-warranty work I've had to do on a BMW.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2014, 12:29 PM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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I don't know if the turbo needs to come off to replace a coolant line, but since the the turbo in the N55 is built into the exhaust manifold, in order to have enough clearance to remove the turbo, you need to drop engine, transmission and the whole front axle from the car. In other words: it is a big job...

Here's the diagram of the water feed (#1) and return (#2) lines to the turbocharger:



http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...69&hg=11&fg=35

They branch off the main line going from the water pump to the rear of the block.

Here's a picture of an engine off the car: it's hard to see the lines so I have two pictures. The one clear so you can see the coolant lines, and one with red brackets around the coolant lines for the turbo. If that's where the leak is from, definitely not an easy place to get to.



I guess it may be worth taking a peak of where the water is coming from if you have a chance, but you may not see much.

Unless you have experience working with an indi, it is not something I'll do by contacting someone I found on Angie's List...

Other's may comment on warranties: as you may guess, I'm the kind of guy that thinks warranty take away the fun...
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Last edited by lpcapital; 07-17-2014 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:41 PM
AdamsGuitar AdamsGuitar is offline
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While I haven't heard back yet, he said the leak was in the "feeders" (the rubber tubes that lead to the hard coolant lines). The warranty specifically states that it covers 'lines', but seems to indicate that it doesn't cover ordinary rubber hoses.

I'm all for a DIY, but undertaking something this large that would completely take the vehicle out of commission is a little above my tolerance level, and I don't have experience doing any of the things--apart from replacing rubber hoses--involved in this.

Last edited by AdamsGuitar; 07-17-2014 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 07-17-2014, 01:03 PM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamsGuitar View Post
While I haven't heard back yet, he said the leak was in the "feeders" (the rubber tubes that lead to the hard coolant lines). The warranty specifically states that it covers 'lines', but seems to indicate that it doesn't cover ordinary rubber hoses.

I'm all for a DIY, but undertaking something this large that would completely take the vehicle out of commission is a little above my tolerance level, and I don't have experience doing any of the things--apart from replacing rubber hoses--involved in this.
The one thing to keep in mind is that if indeed it's the rubber portion of the lines, it isn't a separate p/n than the tube so the dealer will replace the whole part. Replacing only the rubber portion of the feeders may be less convoluted and intensive.

You are not the dealer than can only use BMW parts so you can replace whatever you want. If it was me, I would take a peak there and see if it is the rubber part of the lines. The metal ends have o-ring and are a more stable connection. If it turns out is the rubber part I would assess what would have to come out to get there, than go to the auto part store get e length of tubing and some hose clamps and replace the rubber part.

Based on the pictures I posted it appears that by removing the inlet and outlet of the turbo you may get to it. I suspect you may have to remove the electric fan to get enough room.
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Last edited by lpcapital; 07-17-2014 at 01:12 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:10 PM
Rock Lobster Rock Lobster is offline
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How I repaired this pesky little tube for under $25

I have a 2008 535i with 90K miles. I've gleaned oodles of information from this website and now I'd like to give back and contribute my experiences.

Besides recently changing the alternator and starter which required the removal of scores of other parts for access, the BMW engineers really outdid themselves with this one . . . Firstly, it was an unnecessary lousy design to begin with but to make matters worse it is IMpossible to access this tube from anywhere to replace, or so I thought . . .

Yes you can spend $2500 at the shop or where they'll drop your subframe and down pipes and/or raise your engine . . . Only to replace the same fault-prone tube? No, thank you!

Here's what I had to do.

1.) Jack up and right front end, remove passenger front tire, turn wheel as left as possible, support.

2.) remove small plastic panel and the left half of the large one as you'll be able to flip it to the right. There's also a plastic module and small harness that will have to be removed.

3.) You will then need to mark off a 3.5x3.5" area on the frame where you will cut out and create an access area. Since I didn't want to risk poking anything on the other side, I drilled a hundred or so holes in this pattern and finished it off with a hand held sawzall blade tool. Then I had to do the same thing about 3 inches inward. After this is the flexible insulation material. Therein lied that pesky tube. After smoothing out all the drill hole ridges with an electric sawzall to protect your gloved hands, it is time for replacement.

4.) Firstly you are not going to be able to do an exact replacement because the forward T30 bolt mounts (2) tubes piggyback and the outer one is stiff. So no complete removal is possible. You will need to buy a 90 degree rubber tube ($11, advance) to fit over the hard tube.

5.) Pull the coiled section off, literally by hand. I 'ate' the lost coolant because I didn't want to risk breaking the lower radiator hose. I was able to fit a PVC tube over one of the metal tubes to divert the flow somewhat. Then I worked off the little collars to reveal the hard tubes, which are rubber hose-ready. I removed the left T30 bolt and worked out the tube with it. You'll need about 18" in extensions to do this. Yes, I replaced the rubber o ring ring even though it was still supple.

Installation is the reverse.

Happy Mechanicing!!
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Last edited by Rock Lobster; 06-07-2018 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Clarity and photos
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2018, 04:25 PM
ard ard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Lobster View Post
a 4x3 area on the frame where you will cut out and create an access area.

Wait...WHAT?

We definitely need pictures....
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Alignment here: The Definitive Alignment Thread

OE is Original Equipment aka 'BMW Original Parts' aka 'What you buy at the BMW dealer with a BMW label'

OEM is Original Equipment Manufacturer... EITHER the company that made the OE part or.... A part this is identical to the OE part, but is sold by the OEM under their own label


OEM is not what BMW sells


http://www.bimmerzone.com/category/T...ricks_OEM.html

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/t-OEvsOEM
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:37 PM
ard ard is offline
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for sure expected a comment or two....
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Alignment here: The Definitive Alignment Thread

OE is Original Equipment aka 'BMW Original Parts' aka 'What you buy at the BMW dealer with a BMW label'

OEM is Original Equipment Manufacturer... EITHER the company that made the OE part or.... A part this is identical to the OE part, but is sold by the OEM under their own label


OEM is not what BMW sells


http://www.bimmerzone.com/category/T...ricks_OEM.html

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/t-OEvsOEM
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  #8  
Old 06-11-2018, 08:31 AM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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So, a hole in subframe was cut just for the sake of not having to drop it?
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:34 AM
J_ANT$ J_ANT$ is offline
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Nice job, you really outdid yourself with this one!
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:07 AM
ard ard is offline
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I swung by his shop today...

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Alignment here: The Definitive Alignment Thread

OE is Original Equipment aka 'BMW Original Parts' aka 'What you buy at the BMW dealer with a BMW label'

OEM is Original Equipment Manufacturer... EITHER the company that made the OE part or.... A part this is identical to the OE part, but is sold by the OEM under their own label


OEM is not what BMW sells


http://www.bimmerzone.com/category/T...ricks_OEM.html

https://www.turnermotorsport.com/t-OEvsOEM
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  #11  
Old 06-11-2018, 06:56 PM
deptrai deptrai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Lobster View Post
Installation is the reverse.
How do you reverse drilling hundreds of holes and cutting out a section of subframe?
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:29 AM
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serge1 serge1 is offline
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:43 AM
jason0 jason0 is offline
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I was expecting an extra step of welding a steel plate to patch your holes.... but no?
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:06 PM
Rock Lobster Rock Lobster is offline
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Just a flesh wound in light of this massive hunk of alum . . .
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  #15  
Old 11-09-2019, 09:37 AM
ULTIMATEPILOT ULTIMATEPILOT is offline
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I did a hybrid of this fix without drilling, but I did drop the subframe about 2-4 inches to reach the tcl with a couple pairs of 16" long needle nose pliers from Harbour Freight. I think I paid $10.00 for the pair..
Heres the link to the post...
Massive Coolant Leak 535xi https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1082465

Last edited by ULTIMATEPILOT; 11-09-2019 at 09:47 AM. Reason: Correct grammar and add link to e60 posts
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