Saturday, 27 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 6

  • Replace snapped T-piece on injector leak-off pipes.
  • Torque up crank-pulley and HP-pump.
  • Refit drive-belts.
  • Refit radiators / coolers.
  • Refit headlights and crash bar.
  • Refit slam-panel and grilles / ducts.
  • Plumb cooling, A/C and PAS back in at the front.
  • Loosely refit exhaust and heat-shield.
  • Fill with oil and coolant.
  • Refit ECU and plug loom in.
  • Plug in all wire connectors to engine.
  • Refit fuel-rail and pipes.
  • Refit turbo and exhaust-manifold.
  • Refit rocker-cover and injectors.
  • Refit inlet-manifold.
  • Attempt start!
NOTE: Fasten engine-mount top nuts! Neaten up fuel-rail return pipe!

Well, sadly, it didn't fire right up in the first few tried like last time, but the battery has been sitting for a month and died quickly, so I will charge it overnight and have another crack tomorrow.
  • Check for missing wire-connectors. Crank-sensor?
  • Bleed injectors and check for rail pressure.
  • Flywheel position sensor - is it a different flywheel? Swap to original.
  • Check injector-leads for pulses with multimeter.
  • High-pressure pump - does it need bleeding? Is it working?
  • Is 'Service Due' warning affecting immobiliser?
If all these check out and it still won't go then I will have to get a computer on it and get some fault-codes. I'm back in work next week, without a break, so I should be able to bring the Launch home.

It's been a hella lot of work the last 6 days so it would have been nice to have the engine fire up on the third go like it did when I fitted the new cylinder head, but ah well, I'm full of optimism at the close of today.

Plastic T-piece nozzle snapped off in the injector leak-off hose. Luckily I got fuel pipes with the new engine [even though the pump itself was missing] and didn't have to buy a new one.
From an '03, to an '09 and now back to an '04 - this is the third head in the E60.

Friday, 26 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 5


  • Attempt to lift gearbox underneath car.
  • Lift engine back out.
  • Fit gearbox to engine.
  • Remove bonnet / A/C-duct.
  • Lift engine and gearbox in together [mm to spare!].
  • Fit prop-shaft.
  • Fit gearbox mounts.
  • Fit starter-motor.
  • Fit oil filter/cooler.
  • Fit alternator.
  • Fit PAS-pump.
  • Fit A/C compressor.
  • Fit thermostat.
  • Re-attach lower wiring-connectors.
  • Loosely fit crank-pulley.
  • Loosely attach main electric-cables to alt / starter.
  • Loosely fit anti roll-bar.
NOTE: remember sump wire connector + tighten 10mm screw on gearbox!


Gearbox was getting nowhere from below with so little room under the car, so the engine came back out and we lifted the gearbox on very easily.
By removing the plastic air-con duct at the back and popping the bonnet lifters off so it lifts up vertical, it is possible to just about lift the engine and gearbox in together without lowering the subframe / rack.
Just the rads and injectors now and it's pretty much ready to start.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 4

Had a lost day yesterday when the engine didn't arrive. It only turned up at 1.30pm today, so I will have to concentrate on swapping over the high-pressure pump, flywheel and clutch, as well as removing the loom etc. ready to patch mine in. Lifting the engine in will have to wait until tomorrow.
  • Replace steering-rack / subframe bolts entirely.
  • Remove loom and vacuum-hoses from new engine.
  • Swap over high-pressure fuel-pump.
  • Fit flywheel and clutch.
  • Remove oil filter/cooler and rocker-cover for lifting.
  • Match engines entirely.
  • Lift engine in.
Engine arrived at 1.30pm.


And was finally sat in the bay at 7.30pm.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

E36 Compact: E46 Driver's Arm-Rest Retrofit

Just as on E46, the two bolts holding the handbrake down hold the right side of the arm-rest bracket. The third threaded-hole is covered by putty a bit further down the left side of the trans-tunnel.
The three existing holes fit the E46 arm-rest bracket, longer 13mm bolts and shims perfectly.
The rear roll-down ash-tray trim screws to the rear of the arm-rest bracket.
The centre-console trim took a bit of getting in under the gearstick trim panel, but fits the rear and arm-rest pretty well.
As does the handbrake handle and leather gaiter. Just deciding now whether to retrofit the gearstick trim panel and window-switches from the E46, or cut the centre-console trim to fit the E36 better. Hmm.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 3

  • Drop prop-shaft.
  • Remove slave-cyl. / gearshift linkages.
  • Drop gearbox.
  • Lift engine out.
  • Remove parts for new engine.
Once the prop was down it didn't take long at all to get the engine out. The gearbox is huge, but surprisingly light.




Prep for new engine:
  • Remove clutch.
  • Remove flywheel.
Got the clutch off easy enough, but need a T55 Torx socket to remove the flywheel so that will have to wait until I get it from work tomorrow.



NOTE: Missing bolt from exhaust cross-member.

Monday, 22 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 2

  • Remove headlights and front crash-bar.
  • Remove starter motor.
  • Remove oil filter / cooler.
  • Photograph and disconnect vacuum hoses and wiring-connectors.
  • Attempt remove engine.
  • Remove exhaust-system.
  • Remove heat-shield.
  • Remove gearbox mounts.
  • Remove 2 of 3 prop-shaft bolts [coupling to gearbox].
Sadly, the first attempt did not work. The sump still gets stuck on the sub-frame. TIS says to first remove the prop and gearbox, so it looks like this is the only way.

POA for Day 3:
1. Bolt gearbox mount back up.
2. Loosen remaining prop-shaft bolt.
3. Lift car and put axle-stand under jacking point.
4. Support gearbox and remove mounts.
5. Drop prop-shaft.

NOTE: Cut off rubber exhaust-hanger needs new - Part no. 18207578238

Blue nylon rope not the best for lifting engines, but note a lot of weight is removed from the engine - head, ATF-pump, oil filter-cooler, A/C comp etc.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

E60: Engine Swap Week - Day 1

  • Remove all slam-panel and grilles / trim.
  • Drain and remove radiator.
  • Remove drive-belts.
  • Bleed air-con, remove a/c radiator and compressor.
  • Drain PAS-fluid, remove PAS-pump and cooler.
  • Remove alternator.
  • Remove intercooler.
  • Disconnect and remove injectors / fuel-rail.
  • Disconnect wiring-loom from ECU / relay-box.
NOTE: Broken T-piece on injector leak-off hose needs replacing if doesn't come with engine. [Part no. - 13537789364].



Wednesday, 17 September 2014

E60: 530d Replacement Engine - the time has come!

Im not a fan of engine swaps, they never go perfectly, but with the amount of effort and cost required to fix my original lump, I've decided to bite the bullet and spend the money. After all, I bought the engine-crane... it was as if I knew what was coming.


Here is my new donkey, cheaper than the going rate at £900, but still on the pricey side. Even if I remove my broken engine and put it on a stand to rebuild, the minimum cost will be about £400 for the new piston / timing-case and it will take a lot of evenings work. On top of that, my current engine, the one that was strong as an ox and never had a major problem until that swirl-flap fell in, still has nearly 140k miles under its belt. This new one has just 78k - nothing for one of these, so I guess the extra spend will be worth it and I am absolutely assured that this one has never had swirl-flap damage. It'll arrive on Monday, so it's high-time I booked some holidays from work and fixed the mothership! Oh, and er, continue renovating my new house... Jeez, maybe a month off work would be in order!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

E46: New secondary air-pump - one last bash...

Thought I would have one ultimate stab at the E46 as it is such a nice car to drive and only let down by shabby bodywork, which I can do something about, and the super low idling problem, which apparently I can't.

I refitted the Vanos-actuator and checked for anything I'd disturbed under the inlet manifold, finding a loose wire connector which I clicked back in, though the CCV was all plumbed up fine. A replacement secondary air-pump and its hose / filter was £30 and the only thing now missing from the inlet arrangement. It took no time to fit, just two 13mm bolts holding it on and swapping the hoses over, but has still, alas, made no difference.



I've spent nearly £300 on parts to cure this engine of its fault, but nothing has done the trick so I guess I will have to call it a day and scrap her after all. Again a shame, as it has 9 months MOT and 4 months tax left on it. The running gear is sound, I sorted the brakes and the engine runs fine when underway, pulling well in all gears over 1500rpm. Handling is as sweet as any E46. The interior and exterior are in terrible nick, but thats nothing that couldn't be sorted with a day or two spent on it. That's only worth doing if the car is useable however, and it sadly isn't.

On top of the impossible low-idling, the handbrake-shoes have collapsed in some way and stick on completely in reverse with the handbrake off. This is probably from being used so much to stop the car while my right foot was still keeping the revs up, but is extra work regardless. A large M12 bolt holding one of the front shock-absorber struts broke while I was attempting to fit the coilovers months ago. I've been driving on it and the strut hasn't moved at all, but it too will need replacing at some point and removing the stud will be interesting. Inside the car, the fan for the heater/blower doesn't work and the driver's door card is missing, meaning no speaker or door handle. Exiting the car with dignity can only be done by lowering the window and reaching out for the other handle, but all these foibles I rather liked. Using it every day was a nightmare though and, with the 5-Series engine swap underway I just won't have the time and money to restore it, so I'm hoping I can get the £200 I paid for it back from a breaker. That means I'm down about £300 on the whole deal. I could make the £500 back and probably more by breaking the car, but I could really do with it out of the way quickly now so a loss it may have to be.

Monday, 15 September 2014

E36 316i Comp: chilling update...

Well, the new head gasket is on and the car is running like a bag of spanners. I think the slapdash chain refitment may have knocked the timing out slightly. I shall have to break out the Gunson timing gun kit I bought for the E21. Oh the joys of £200 Beemers...

The cooling issue appears to be sorted, though with the thermostat removed by the previous owner it's now running a tad on the cool side. I grilled the car the 2 miles to work this morning and could only muster a 1/4 from the temp. gauge. Ah well, a new stat can't be much. 


Sunday, 14 September 2014

E60: Cracked lower timing-case - engine finished.

Yeah well that's torn it. Literally, torn it open. After all that effing about with the sump removal, finding the right piston and drilling off those snapped head bolts, I find a whopping great crack in the lower timing-case!



I wonder what caused this? Vibration from the swirl-flap doing its dance? High crankcase pressure from the dodgy piston? Who knows, but we can safely say that's where the oil leak was coming from!

It's a big enough job as it is to replace that single damaged piston, but to swap the lower timing-case as well involves stripping the entire front of the car, getting all the pulleys off and fully removing the crankshaft. Hmm, a lot of work and a lot more cost, this definitely calls for a replacement engine... Watch this space!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

E36 316i Compact: New head-gasket.

Well, it's been a busy month again in Beemer Lab and I've just bought a new house which hasn't helped. Firstly, I finally removed the stuck head-bolts from the E60, got the head off and found where my oil leak is coming from... The lower timing case has a big crack in it! It's too big a job to replace that and do the new piston, so it looks like the 530d does need a new engine after all, what a shame after my £500+ spend.

As there is no E46 progress still, I decided a cheap runaround BMW was needed on a temporary basis so I shelled out a quick £200 on an X-reg E36 316i Compact, again in Titansilver. It has 4 months tax and 10 months MOT so seemed ideal as a stop gap. That was until I went to pick up a fridge and it majorly overheated. After I limped home I found oil in the water, water in the oil and a constant bubbling from the radiator. Blown head gasket then!

I had to use it for 2 weeks in this state, only doing the 2 mile trip to work and no further, but still it was getting to max temp as I pulled up on the drive. The gasket was only £18 off eBay and is FAI. The job only took about 4 hours (oh the joys of working with a single cam!) and it is back on the road and running quite cool so far, though I will need to put it through its paces to find out if it was just a dodgy gasket or if there is a real cooling problem that's caused it.

I will cover the poor E60 and it's future in more detail soon. Oh, and I've also bought a new secondary air-pump or the E46 so watch this space. 3 Beemers and counting...

£18 delivered. eBay FTW still.
By gosh, that looks like some hot oil.
The centre two head-bolts [1 and 2] were finger loose when removed!
This has obviously allowed oil and water to mingle. Blast marks round
the front cylinder show where combustion was stopping water entering the head.
This whole head-gasket swap took about 4 hours, so how
hastily the last one was thrown on is disturbing...
Lots of burnt oil and split gasket over the head, but it cleaned up well.
Think I will leave cleaning the cooling system for another day though. The head is caked with 'rad-weld' type stuff.
Amazingly, after all that overheating, the head is straight as anything! BMW alloy heads are forgiving to say the least.
10 minutes with a razor-blade and the block is good as new. PIston don't look half bad either.
New gasket on. The re-tightening sequence is 30nm, 90 degrees and
another 90 degrees. I wonder if the last guy to work on it only did
the 30nm and forgot about the torque angling?