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Float On
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just completed the cooling system overhaul (and I mean all of it) and Vanos rattle/seal repair. So far I've replaced the power steering hoses clamps and fluid flush, intake boots, Oil Filter Housing gasket, valve cover gasket kit, spark plugs, oil filter and change, CCV with dipstick o-ring, and cleaned all oil/fluid residue from the engine and underside of the car. I now need to replace the oil pressure sending unit (I whacked it with an overly generous spray of water when cleaning gunk from underside of engine *sigh*). I have the part but I'll wait until the next oil change to replace it. Happily, the engine and underside are clean and dry!

These cars are not too difficult to maintain and repair, IMO. It feels good to have this all behind me so I can enjoy my car and my free time (while it lasts). The PO did nothing so all parts replaced were original, including the belts!

I am, however, scheduling the next round of preventive maintenance such as brake caliper rebuild, fluid flush and upgrade to SS braided brake lines. I'll be installing Akebono pads at that time. Also will be taking on the thrust arm issue which seems to be slowly escalating. New Koni Yellow Sports to be included (had them on my Subaru and loved them).

Thanks to all for your excellent advice, DIYs, photos, links and shared experience. This forum makes owning a BMW even more rewarding. :thumbup:

I now understand that it's not just a car, it's an obsession.

Your fan,

John
 

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Freude am Fahren
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Let us know how the brakes turn out. I'm not sure if it's the lines or the smaller brakes on my 528 but it's not up to par. Hoping SS lines will clear up some of the uncertainty :p.

That's a lot of work. How long did it take? I've been planning that kinda thing for a while.
 

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Was ist los? Der Hund!
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Nice job- don't you feel great when you slide into your seat, and turn that key? A relationship with a car is always special when you're the one keeping her running at a high level!
 

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o/h

Well done Menhir, I am about to do the same within the next couple of months, I have the same car as you, are there any little tips you want to pass on other than what's in the DIY's. You mentioned the dipstick o ring, was it leaking?
 

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Float On
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for your comments!

Well done Menhir, I am about to do the same within the next couple of months, I have the same car as you, are there any little tips you want to pass on other than what's in the DIY's. You mentioned the dipstick o ring, was it leaking?
The best advice I can offer is to take your time with the entire job. Be sure to label all the parts you remove if doing all that I did at the same time. There are lots of bits which can become unfamiliar if you've been away from the project for more than a day or two. It took nearly two and a half weeks to complete due to parts availability and shipping time among other scheduling issues. And yes, the car was idle for the entire time.

Read through all applicable DIYs completely once or twice to familiarize yourself with part locations and procedures.

Make a complete and accurate list of all the items you want to replace and review it at least twice before placing your orders. I overlooked a couple important things until last minute (expansion tank - what!? It never made it to my shopping cart first time around; incorrect parts sent; cancelled part order but received the parts anyway at no charge :confused: ).

If you are performing the Vanos seal and or rattle repair you will find it is not as daunting a task as you may think. An impact wrench is vital to remove the 24mm bolts once the Vanos is properly secured in a vise. The rest is pretty straight forward. It is important not to rush through this procedure and keep your work area clean and uncluttered as possible!

Totally wear good eye protection when working on the cooling system! And tape your mouth shut because the coolant is not as tasty as it looks. Be sure to have the proper draining vessels in which to catch the expired coolant as well as cardboard or some other material under that to accept the splashing and splattering. Also have a bag of cat litter open and readily nearby for the inevitable and unexpected copious spill of coolant when you're contorted enough not to be able to prevent it. Best wishes for a speedy recovery if attempting to drain from the engine block.

While the water pump, thermostat, pulleys, etc were off the front of the engine I took this time to clean any residual grease/oil from the front of the engine. We have a product in the U.S. called Simple Green which is an amazing degreasing agent. Include the use of a small paint brush to get in tighter spaces and to remove thicker accumulations. Rinse gently with water and wipe away what doesn't rinse off. A cleaner block is a cooler block.

My experience from years ago: before installing the new radiator, I cut out a piece of cardboard from the shipping carton it came in. I cut it to fit over the fins and taped it in place in order to prevent damage to the cooling fins. Use just a few pieces of tape and place them such that they are easy to remove and the cardboard can slide out once the fan/fan clutch are securely in place. After this secure the fan shroud. I followed the link from Beisan Systems and it worked perfectly: http://www.beisansystems.com/procedures/e39_fan_procedure.htm

I found the most helpful DIY here because, being a noob, bleeding the cooling system was kinda touch and go for me: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=456240&highlight=bleeding+the+cooling+system - follow this closely.

I replaced the O-ring at the bottom of the dipstick tube (where it enters the oil pan) exactly because it was leaking generously. Actually, there was no O-ring. I was shocked to say the least! This piece of advice came from a DIY for the CCV (sorry I can't remember who wrote it; Jason5driver perhaps?). Also check the condition of the two small O-rings at the top of the dipstick which seal the dipstick and the tube. If they appear shrunken of feel hard or, more importantly, if there is oil weeping from under the dipstick handle replace them. I did and feel better for doing it. It takes about a minute to do and cost hardly anything.

Since you will be replacing the valve cover gasket and bolt grommets, I would suggest this to be a good time to route the CCV tubes, especially the one that connects to the valve cover. It seems to me it would be easier to do with the cover removed. It then will almost attach itself when the cover is put back in place. Just remember: if it don't fit, don't force it! When reinstalling the air distributor (it lays on top of the intake manifold) you may find it helpful to lightly lube the six small O-rings before inserting them into their respective tubes. New O-rings here is also a good idea as mentioned in the CCV DIY.

As it turns out, by following the sound advice of the veteran repair force on this forum you should have quick and full success. Be prepared, however, for some parts to succumb to breakage while being removed. This will unhappily add to your total cost of repair and time.

Finally, be comforted to know that it takes just a little more time to complete the work than it did to read my blithering post.

Best of luck in your endeavor! As mentioned above, the feeling afterward is wonderful.

John
 

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Great advice.
 

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Last fall I did the cooling overhaul
Now my car is code free and running energetically after Vanos DIY (Besian).
Feels good.
 

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Float On
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Last fall I did the cooling overhaul
Now my car is code free and running energetically after Vanos DIY (Besian).
Feels good.
Excellent! Isn't the peace of mind a wonderful thing?

My only regret was not having the $$ for a Zionsville type all aluminum radiator/expansion tank.

Now, I'm chasing an engine oil leak which I hope to have resolved this weekend. Seems to be the oil pipe which runs from the bottom of the oil filter housing (oil pump) to the Vanos housing. The leaks is at the hose where it meets the crimp for the hard ends; both top and bottom are weeping a bit of oil. Checked the torque on the bolts (which was correct @ 24ft/lbs) and reset but that did nothing. The oil light, in yellow form, illuminates after a drive of more than 10 miles or so. The rate of loss is about a quart in 1200 miles. A teeth grinding experience for me (little dental humor). The new oil pipe and washers to arrive today! I hope to have good news after my regular morning commute on Monday.
 
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