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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 2010 35d with approximately 92,000 miles. For the last few weeks I intermittently have noticed an exhaust smell in the cabin. My first thought was a cracked EGR cooler, but that was fine. I also read about some exhaust pressure sensor lines that can come loose, but those were also fine. I noticed the top/small/high pressure turbo oil feed line (part # 2 in this RealOEM link) was leaking a bit, and thought that maybe the leaking oil was the cause. However, when I got into the replacement of that part, I found that two of the three collar bolts on the small/upper/high pressure turbo had come loose (one barely hanging on, the other completely missing), and turbo gas/soot was being sprayed around the engine compartment. Most of the soot was hidden by the heat shield over the turbo. Interestingly, there is a gap between the turbo and the heat shield where a number of vacuum hoses run, and the covering of the vacuum hoses had been deteriorating due to the hot gases. Anyway, here is a description of the issue and repair with pics.

First, the picture below is an overview of the small/upper/high pressure turbo:



The blue arrow above is the oil feed line that was leaking (the picture is with the new line in place). The red arrow shows the gap between the turbo heat shield and the turbo where (I believe) leaking turbo exhaust gas was causing deterioration of the vacuum lines. You can see the tesa tape that I put on to protect the vacuum lines. The yellow line shows where a bunch of soot had also been leaking and covering the turbo (again, this pic is after I had cleaned up most of the soot).

Getting the heat shield off is a bit of a hassle, but not too bad if you have a long extension and a universal joint. See this pic:



Before working on the heat shield, the yellow arrow points to a banjo bolt on the exhaust manifold that must be removed to give room for getting the heat shield out. When re-installing the torque for this banjo bolt is 35 Nm. The heat shield is held in place by 3 bolts indicated by the red arrows above. The (two) double red arrow bolts are easy to get to. The hard bolt is the one way in the back and indicated by the single red arrow. I was able to get it with a long extension and a universal joint - see pic below:



Once the heat shield was off, this is what I had:



The yellow arrow above shows the bolt that is just barely hanging on. The red arrow shows where a bolt was completely out. Only one bolt (on the far side of the turbo not seen in pic) was holding the turbo collar/housing on. The blue arrows show where the oil feed line will be attached.

Not wanting to have this happen again, I added some lock washers to the collar bolts.

I haven't read of this particular problem before, so maybe it's a rare thing and nobody else is likely to have this problem. On the other hand, most of soot that would alert someone to a leak is hidden by the turbo heat shield. If you have a 35d, it's probably worth a quick look. If your vacuum hoses in this area are deteriorating, and/or you see black soot around the upper turbo, then you might have the same issue I had.

Be aware that the torque value for the oil feed line bolts is 22 Nm, and one should replace the crush washers (part #9 in the same RealOEM link noted at the beginning of the post).

One question for those with more experience than I: The collar bolts that loosened up are part #4 in this RealOEM link. They are stainless steel and BMW wants around $16 for one bolt! [Edit: Upon closer inspection, I was wrong - it's not part # 4. In fact, the bolt that loosened up is a M6, not M8. It appears that the bolt that loosened up is considered part of the turbo unit itself, and is not listed as a separate part.] I used a grade 8.8 steel bolt from my collection of metric bolts. Is there a particular reason (?high heat? ?galling?)why stainless steel is preferred? Should I order the bolt and swap it out, or is the steel bolt I used OK?

Regards.

Stephen
 

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Nuclear engineer
02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 98K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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Heat accelerates corrosion rates proportional to the change in absolute temperature (K, °R).
 

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I would recommend 304 or preferably 316 stainless steel bolts.

As for the bolts loosening, it's actually pretty common on turbos due to the heat cycling. I can also say that the lock washers likely won't work, as the heat will probably anneal them and they'll lose their "spring."


I would highly recommend trying out some stainless steel Nord Lock washers:



The serrated teeth dig into both surfaces, and the ramps on the inner surfaces are such that it actually tightens the bolt up as it tries to rotate backwards. It really works, as it easily increases the torque to loosen the bolt by a noticeable 20-30% once they've been installed.

McMaster-Carr has them for reasonable prices (under the name wedge washer). Or you can find them on eBay. Make sure you get the stainless steel ones for turbo usage.



I would be absolutely shocked if the Nord Locks don't work right on the turbine housing, as I've had them cure my turbine housing outlet bolt issue on my track Nissan (400 rwhp 4 banger with lots of vibration and really high EGTs, VERY hard usage for 25 mins of 60%+ WOT time).
 

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I have a 2010 35d with approximately 92,000 miles. For the last few weeks I intermittently have noticed an exhaust smell in the cabin. My first thought was a cracked EGR cooler, but that was fine. I also read about some exhaust pressure sensor lines that can come loose, but those were also fine. I noticed the top/small/high pressure turbo oil feed line (part # 2 in this RealOEM link) was leaking a bit, and thought that maybe the leaking oil was the cause. However, when I got into the replacement of that part, I found that two of the three collar bolts on the small/upper/high pressure turbo had come loose (one barely hanging on, the other completely missing), and turbo gas/soot was being sprayed around the engine compartment. Most of the soot was hidden by the heat shield over the turbo. Interestingly, there is a gap between the turbo and the heat shield where a number of vacuum hoses run, and the covering of the vacuum hoses had been deteriorating due to the hot gases. Anyway, here is a description of the issue and repair with pics.

First, the picture below is an overview of the small/upper/high pressure turbo:



The blue arrow above is the oil feed line that was leaking (the picture is with the new line in place). The red arrow shows the gap between the turbo heat shield and the turbo where (I believe) leaking turbo exhaust gas was causing deterioration of the vacuum lines. You can see the tesa tape that I put on to protect the vacuum lines. The yellow line shows where a bunch of soot had also been leaking and covering the turbo (again, this pic is after I had cleaned up most of the soot).

Getting the heat shield off is a bit of a hassle, but not too bad if you have a long extension and a universal joint. See this pic:



Before working on the heat shield, the yellow arrow points to a banjo bolt on the exhaust manifold that must be removed to give room for getting the heat shield out. When re-installing the torque for this banjo bolt is 35 Nm. The heat shield is held in place by 3 bolts indicated by the red arrows above. The (two) double red arrow bolts are easy to get to. The hard bolt is the one way in the back and indicated by the single red arrow. I was able to get it with a long extension and a universal joint - see pic below:



Once the heat shield was off, this is what I had:



The yellow arrow above shows the bolt that is just barely hanging on. The red arrow shows where a bolt was completely out. Only one bolt (on the far side of the turbo not seen in pic) was holding the turbo collar/housing on. The blue arrows show where the oil feed line will be attached.

Not wanting to have this happen again, I added some lock washers to the collar bolts.

I haven't read of this particular problem before, so maybe it's a rare thing and nobody else is likely to have this problem. On the other hand, most of soot that would alert someone to a leak is hidden by the turbo heat shield. If you have a 35d, it's probably worth a quick look. If your vacuum hoses in this area are deteriorating, and/or you see black soot around the upper turbo, then you might have the same issue I had.

One question for those with more experience than I: The collar bolts that loosened up are part #4 in this RealOEM link. They are stainless steel and BMW wants around $16 for one bolt! [Edit: Upon closer inspection, I was wrong - it's not part # 4. In fact, the bolt that loosened up is a M6, not M8. It appears that the bolt that loosened up is considered part of the turbo unit itself, and is not listed as a separate part.] I used a grade 8.8 steel bolt from my collection of metric bolts. Is there a particular reason (?high heat? ?galling?)why stainless steel is preferred? Should I order the bolt and swap it out, or is the steel bolt I used OK?

Regards.

Stephen
Good technical information and pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DefSport and Doug - Thanks so much for the advice on corrosion resistance and the Nord Lock washers. I'll order them today and swap them out soon. You guys really know your stuff! :bow:

Thanks again.

Stephen
 

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Thank you for the write up. My X5 just had that oil line replaced! It was done by the dealer so I did not see the condition of everything around it...
 

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The blue arrow above is the oil feed line that was leaking (the picture is with the new line in place)...
Where's the other end of the feed line, i.e. how difficult is it to replace?
Mine has some oil on it, not sure if leaking or just spillage from the last oil change.
 

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Where's the other end of the feed line, i.e. how difficult is it to replace?
Mine has some oil on it, not sure if leaking or just spillage from the last oil change.
I believe that's where mine is leaking too -> http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=892832 Once the heat shield is removed, the other end is right there: you can see it pointed to in one of the other pictures posted.

In my case the oil feed line is soaked up in oil and it looks it is also dripping down. I too am not sure if it comes from the oil line or a sloppy oil change. I'm planing on taking things apart this weekend and inspect closer, perhaps give it a good wash with some degreaser before replacing anything.
 

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Today I spent some time on this...

First I really couldn't get the heat shield off... But I'll admit I didn't spend too too much time: it was hitting against all the vacuum things in the back...

In any case: I checked the flange bolts and they were fine. The car has 110k miles.

I also couldn't determine for sure if the oil feed line was leaking or I was just sloppy last time I did the oil change, so I just washed the area with engine degreaser to see if the oil comes back or not.

I also wrapped the vacuum lines with Tesa tape like the OP since the sleeves were getting worn too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
DieselDonKey - 1 roll will certainly be enough for this job, but when I bought mine I think I got a better deal with a 2 or 3 pack. Your decision, of course.

lpcapital:

1) Not sure if you got all the bolts off, and then had trouble with the heat shield, or if the issue was getting the far back corner bolt off. If the former, then work with it (make sure the exhaust manifold banjo bolt I pointed out in the posting - yellow arrow second pic - has been removed) and it should come out. A tight squeeze, but it will come. If the latter, I used a Sunex 1/4 inch universal joint on a 14 inch 1/4 inch wobble extension.



Between the universal joint and the wobble extension, you get quite a bit of flexibility:



The extension set is available on this link, and the universal joint on this link.

2) I suspect your turbo line is leaking, and that a messy oil change is wishful thinking. I don't mean to act like a smart a**, but as Mark Twain said, "denial ain't just a river in Egypt." Not a big deal, of course, and time will tell for sure.

Regards,

Stephen
 

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I also couldn't determine for sure if the oil feed line was leaking or I was just sloppy last time I did the oil change, so I just washed the area with engine degreaser to see if the oil comes back or not.
I ran an experiment (inadvertently) yesterday during an oil change, and yep, even a tiny spillage finds its way down the oil filler neck straight on feed line, even if you wipe it promptly off the filler gasket.
 

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Big word of warning on this job, when removing bolts to remove the heat shield ensure you do NOT strip or break the hollow bolt in the exhaust manifold which goes to the exhaust pressure sensor. If that happens, you are looking at removing both turbos and dropping the DPF to remove the exhaust manifold. Don't even ask me how I know, I'm still shell shocked at how much is involved to remove the exhaust manifold.

Made me miss the days of slapping in a new header on my 4 banger honda in a couple of hours
 

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Distribution Block Feed Line Leaking

Hey guys,

I recently purchased a 2012 X5 35d with 75k miles on the clock. The BMW dealer that I bought it from mentioned that they had replaced the turbo oil lines (line #s 2 and 3 from the OP's Realoem link) for a suspected leak, but after cleaning and keeping an eye on the area under the turbos for 1k miles or so I'm now suspecting that the oil feed line (#1 in realoem) that feeds the distribution block is also leaking. I've been looking for a DIY or some information on how difficult it is to R&R that line on an E70 but haven't found much. The best writeup I've found thus far is for the E90 335d (http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=989221) and it seems like a real PITA. Anybody have some information on this they'd be willing to share? Thanks!
 

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I can vouch for the Nord lock washers. Years ago on my first BMW I had a problem with some exhaust clamp bolts that seemed to back off and vanish regularly. I tried lock washers, LokTite, both at the same time, nylon nuts, all to no avail. Damn bolts dropped out weekly. Not a big deal, but a real pain in the butt to keep replacing them. A set of those washers completely solved the problem. I'm delighted they are still available.
 
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