This section contains information such as tools, techniques, emergency tips, etc.
All information contained in this FAQ is provided by BMW enthusiasts who are not typically fully trained in the art of BMW maintenance. As such, all information in this FAQ is provided "as-is". Any use of this information is strictly the responsibility of the using party. The supplier of the information and the Webmeister assume no liability for incorrect information or use of this information.
Wobbly Extensions and Half Moon Wrenches
EEZIBLEED Pressure Brake Bleeder
DIY Brake Bleeder
Making a Thin Wall Socket
Tool Kit Contents
Weight of E24's
Repair Library Review
Checking Out a Car
Wobbly Extenstion and Half Moon Wrenches.
You may already have these tools but if not ADD them to your kit. I used a set of "Wobbly Extensions" instead of universal joints to remove/re-install a tranny yesterday and they were INDISPENSIBLE. I bought a set of 3, 3/8"drive at Sears for $19.95
The other tools that have been a life saver are the "Half Moon" box end wrenches from Griot's Garage (800-345-5789), part number U258283. They are pricy ($38.50 for set of 3, 10/13, 14/17 and 19/22mm) but worth their weight in gold, I promise you. If you ever have to pull the starter on a big six, you WILL want them. They will pay for themselves in that one job alone!!!!!!!!
Making a Thin Wall Socket - email@example.com
I needed a thin wall 30mm deep socket to remove the output flange on the back of the transmission. The Bentley talks about grinding one down. I searched high and low and the closest I could come was a Snap-On for $25 and it looked like it was going to take some grinding. I went to an Auto Zone parts store and found a 30mm deep impact socket used on some GM cars but it's outside diameter was way to big. How to grind it down. I finally came up with an idea.
I bought a 1/2" arbor (the kind you attach buffing wheels to drills. I hooked it up to the socket. I then put the arbor in a drill, clamped the drill to a table and, using a pneumatic grinder and a grinding wheel, proceeded to take the socket down to the right size.
To see what I mean check out the pictures.
Tool Kit Contents - Alfred Sutlick <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|1||Tool box||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 117 105|
|2||Plug (Male thread. For lid)||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 117 440|
|3||Threaded plug (Female thread. For lid)||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 113 291|
|4||Holding strap, gray||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 116 719Z|
|4||Holding strap, black||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 179 443|
|5||Sound absorber||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 113 754|
|6||Foam rubber insert - 05/82||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 114 789|
|6||Foam rubber insert 05/82 -||1||1||1||71 11 1 127 421|
|7||Body nut ST4.2-1||8||8||8||8||8||07 12 9 925 709|
|8||Fillister head self-tapping screw|
|ST4.2 X 19||4||4||4||4||4||07 11 9 907 950|
|9||Tool kit||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 115 329|
|10||Combination pliers||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 092|
|11||Water pump pliers||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 091|
|12||Open end spanner 8-10||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 126 208|
|12||" " " 10-11||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 078|
|12||" " " 12-13||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 079|
|12||" " " 17-19||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 080|
|13||Box end spanner 9-10||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 081|
|13||" " " 12-13||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 082|
|13||" " " 17-19||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 099|
|14||Screwdriver, long, flat tip||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 190|
|15||Screwdriver, short, flat/phillips||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 179 629|
|16||Spark plug wrench||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 179 745|
|16||" " " , adjustable||1||71 11 2 225 101|
|17||Socket wrench 10-11||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 084|
|18||Pin (Spark plug wrench handle)||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 103 085|
|Cleaning rag||1||1||1||1||1||71 11 1 115 810|
|Fuse 5A - 05/82||X||X||X||X||61 13 8 760 141|
|" 8A - 05/82||X||X||X||X||61 13 8 760 138|
|16A - 05/82||X||X||X||X||61 13 8 760 140|
|25A - 05/82||X||X||X||X||61 13 8 760 139|
|7.5A 09/82 -||X||X||X||61 13 1 370 987|
|15A 09/82 -||X||X||X||61 13 1 372 626|
|25A 09/82 -||X||X||X||61 13 1 372 627|
|30A 09/82 -||X||X||X||61 13 1 372 628|
|Bulb (All 12V)|
|4W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 256|
|5W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 227|
|10W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 230|
|21W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 370|
|5W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 340|
|10W||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 305|
|55W (Pigtail with spade connector)||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 390|
|55W (Spade connector, w/o pigtail)||X||X||X||X||X||07 11 9 978 390|
X means quantity greater than 1
Basic Tips - Andrew Warren - email@example.com
This reminds me of some other things I do to prevent self-inflicted damage to my cars... If, like Pogo Possum (and me), you "have seen the enemy and he is us", maybe you'll find them useful.
First, the general ones:
1. If you're going to work on your car, schedule the work for a time when you're alert and unhurried (i.e., NOT the night before a track event).
2. Take careful notes the first time you perform any repair procedure. This is especially useful if you're not actually REPAIRING something, but just ADJUSTING it... For example, if you're aligning your car, it's nice to be able to look at the notes you took last time and see that adding one shim adjusts the camber by "x" degrees, or that one turn of a turnbuckle adjusts the toe by about "x" millimeters.
If you find errors, omissions, or ambiguities in your repair manual, make corrections THERE, in the margins or on a sheet of paper stapled to the appropriate page.
Now some specific ones:
1. Before I do any work on my car, I put the keys in a sealed envelope. This way, if it gets late and I go to sleep halfway through the job, I don't wake up the next day, grab the keys off the nightstand, and drive to the corner deli with a torsion bar disconnected or something.
2. My dad lives in Denver, Colorado, takes long walks every day, and picks up tools that he finds in the street. He's amassed about a dozen complete sets of metric and standard sockets, along with a truly impressive array of ratchets, screwdrivers, allen wrenches, punches, etc.
Most are Taiwanese, of course, but he has no shortage of found-on-the-street Snap-On sockets and ratchets, either. If you live in Denver, please keep your tools in a big rollaway cabinet and contimue to "temporarily" leave them on your car's bumper or engine crossmembers while you're working... I don't want my dad's supply of found tools to dry up.
If you live anywhere else, consider buying one of those cheap plastic tool cases with molded compartments for each of your ratchets, sockets, etc... They don't look as good as the Snap-On cabinets, but since they provide a place for every tool, it's easy to tell when there's a piece still missing.
3. I've never left a wrench in the engine compartment, but I DID once manage to disable a car by leaving a rag in there; the rag was sucked into the fan-pulley, it dislodged the alternator belt, and the car died when the battery did: 40 miles from home on my way to Willow Springs.
This will never happen to me again, because I now take shop rags out of the box ten at a time, never one at a time. When it comes time to button the car back up and test-drive it, I count the rags that're out of the box and make sure the total is a multiple of 10.
4. I've seen race cars go out on the track with lug nuts only finger-tight on the wheel studs, loose bodywork, and dangling exhaust brackets. Aside from being potentially dangerous, this sort of thing is very embarrassing... To keep it from happening to you, follow this simple rule: Whenever you put a fastener together (like a lug nut on a wheel stud), even if you KNOW you're going to be taking it apart again in an hour, TIGHTEN IT FULLY.
Alternately, you can also just keep the fasteners COMPLETELY apart, so long as you make it impossible to overlook the fact that you've done so. I accomplish this by putting all loose nuts and bolts in a box on the driver's seat whenever I take a break from working on the car.
Tools for the absent-minded:
1. If you're disassembling a large chunk of your car for the first time, a Polaroid camera makes it real easy to document exactly how everything's supposed to fit together when you reassemble it.
2. Wire-marker labels (just little consecutively-numbered or -lettered labels suitable for wrapping around the ends of electrical wires) are a wondrous thing... If you use them, you'll never have to worry about, for instance, which of the 25 identical white wires in a 914-4's disconnected fuel-injector harness goes where.
3. Zip-Loc polyethylene parts bags with "write-on" areas are also real handy... Especially if you spread a repair job over a couple of days, they make it real easy to remember which screws (or whatever) go together.
I buy my parts bags and wire markers (and all SORTS of other tools and hard-to-find little parts) from Small Parts, Inc. You can get their catalog by calling 800 220-4242; they also have a web site at:
Andrew Warren - firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacking Technique - Norm Grills <email@example.com>
Periodically, the question comes up on how to jack your car. The accompanying photo shows one technique I use. The board is a 2X8 long enough to stretch across both jacking points. I like this technique for a couple of reasons. First, it distributes the weight over a wider area preventing damage to the underside. Second, I only have to jack once per side. Using this techique, I can either put the stands where shown or on the sub-frames etc. depending on what kind of access I need to the car. Check the picture.
Weight of E24's - "Gene M." <MClan@worldnet.att.net>
Although the E24 body looks the same from year to year, the curb weight of the car has varied over the years, but maybe not as much as expected. Here are the curb weights reported in magazine articles for various years if weight is a factor in your selection of a car.
|1976 Euro 633Csi||4 speed||3340 lbs.||Autocar|
|1977 US 630Csi||4 speed||3510 lbs.||Road & Track|
|1977 US 630Csi||4 speed||3470 lbs.||Road Test|
|1979 Alpina 630||4 speed||3241 lbs.||Motor Trend|
|1979 Euro 635Csi||5 speed||3447 lbs.||Autocar|
|1983 US 633Csi||5 speed||3400 lbs.||Road & Track|
|1984 Euro M635Csi||5 speed||3300 lbs.||Car & Driver|
|1984 Euro 635Csi||Auto||3225 lbs.||AutoTest|
|1985 US 635Csi||5 speed||3375 lbs.||Car & Driver|
|1986 US 635Csi||5 speed||3415 lbs.||Road & Track|
|1987 US M6||5 speed||3570 lbs.||Motor Trend|
|1988 Euro 635Csi||Auto||3467 lbs.||Autocar|
These are the GVWR reported on the door stickers on these models:
|1983 US 633Csi||Auto||4170 lbs.|
|1986 US 635Csi||5 speed||4240 lbs.|
|1987 US L6||Auto||4351 lbs.|
There are substantial changes in standard equipment between 1983, and the 86 and 87 models, such as anti-lock brakes, power seats, even a rear a/c unit in the L6, which would be expected to substantially increase the GVWR. Apparently BMW may have utilized weight saving components throughout the remainder of the car to achieve moderate overall weight increases.
Repair Library Review - firstname.lastname@example.org
In the past, on BCG and Bimmer.org, I've seen a lot of questions about the availability, cost and quality of repair information for our 6ers. Since I seem to have collected a bunch of these references, as I restore my 1987 L6 back to it's former glory, I thought it would be helpful to provide a brief description, opinion, availability, and cost on each. Not endorsing any particular vendor, just relaying where I purchased the material and some of my thoughts on each. Sort of long but I hope this is helpful for those who are new and/or for those wondering if buying a particular reference will provide the kind of information needed. Maybe Norm can create a FAQ for future reference?
**** BMW Factory Repair Manual ****
Cost: Approx. $135 Purchased from: All BMW Parts / Dealer Marketing Contact: http://allbmwparts.com/bmwpart/ Impressions: A 3" binder packed with detailed, mostly repair and selected troubleshooting and theory of operation descriptions. Covers 635 and L6/M6 models from '83 to '87. Very good photographs and diagrams, although some photos seem to be a bit dark and detail-less. I've used this manual countless times when I needed more detail than the Bentley Manual could provide or when I needed another perspective on a problem. Price is high, but considering an $90/hr. rate, it pays for itself in about an hour and a half. If your doing a restoration or a serious DIYer, then this is a manual to own. If your an occasional DIY or put off by the high price then a Bentley Manual is the way to go.
The Table of Contents include the following subjects: Maintenance and General Hints, Warranty, After service Development, Professional Development, Tools and Equipment, Customer Relations, Engine, Engine Electrical, Fuel Systems, Fuel Supply, Cooling Systems, Exhaust Systems, Clutch, Manual Transmission, Automatic Transmission, Gear Shift Mechanism, Drive Shaft, Intermediate and Special Transmission, Front Axle, Brakes, Pedals, Wheels and Tires, Special Suspension Systems, Body, Body Equipment, Seats, Special Roofs, General Electrical, Instruments, Lights, heating and AC, Sound, Cruise, Alarms and Monitors, Remote Control Systems, Vehicle Tools, Safety Restraint Systems, Phone and Navigational Systems, Corrosion Protection and Paint Work.
For some reason, a few of these chapters are removed, especially the first 6 I mentioned above. Not much in the way of electrical details. See the ETM description below. BTW, I believe there is Microfiche available (a lot cheaper) for this but you will need a reader that can read the larger German fiches. Bottom line for me was that it was not very portable and convenient to buy the fiche.
**** Electrical Troubleshooting Manual ****
Cost: Approx. $75 Purchased from: All BMW Parts / Dealer Marketing Contact: http://allbmwparts.com/bmwpart/ Impressions: Invaluable and highly recommended for the serious DIYer. A 1 1/2" binder full of detailed schematics, connector views and locations, and splice locations. Also includes fuse data and some troubleshooting guides for selected systems. Covers 635, L6 and M6 for a particular model year. Photographs can be a little grainy and narrowly focused (Can't tell when the part is located - not enough surrounding detail). Fixed many problems with this manual and has paid for itself many times over. Ever wonder how your factory stereo is hooked up? Ever wonder why your switches don't work? Ever wonder why your heating control doesn't work. Having problems with your starting system? Take the guess work out of electrical troubleshooting, it's expensive and time consuming. A great companion/compliment to what ever repair manual you buy.
The Table of Contents include the following subjects: Index (full list of all schematics in the manual), Symbols, Wire size conversion chart, Systematic troubleshooting, Connector views, Power distribution box, Fuse Data, Component location chart, Component location views, Splice Location Views.
**** Bentley BMW 5-Series (E28, 1982-1988) ****
Cost: Approx. $45 Purchased from: Steve Haygood Contact: 706 647 0302 or email@example.com Impressions: Probably the most purchased reference manual for the 6 series. Don't be fooled by the cover referencing the E28. Many systems are the same or similar between the two, making it an affordable and available reference book. Excellent reference containing great combination of diagrams and repair description. It also provides detailed information on general maintenance procedures. While not as comprehensive and detailed as the BMW factory manual, it generally does a better job at describing a repair procedure. It's very comprehensive and could be the only manual you need for most DIYers, although I would still recommend the Electrical Troubleshooting Manual as a companion.
The Table of Contents include the following subjects: Fundamentals, Lubrication and Maintenance, Engine service and repair, Engine reconditioning, Fuel supply, Fuel injection, Ignition, Battery, Starter and Alternator, Cooling system, Exhaust, Manual transmission and clutch, Automatic transmission, Drive shaft and final drive, Suspension-Front, Suspension-Rear, Steering and Wheel alignment, brakes, body and interior, Heating and AC, and Electrical systems.
The Bentley Manual also covers torque specifications for most repairs. This is something the BMW Factory Manual does not provide.
**** Mobile Traditions Parts CD ****
Cost: Approx. $45 Purchased from: Steve Haygood Contact: 706 647 0302 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your local BMW Parts Shop Impressions: Another great reference depicting exploded parts views and part numbers for a wide selection of historic BMW autos and motorcycles. I've used this CD countless times to identify parts when purchasing them from my local BMW shop or mail order vendor, identifying how the various assemblies fit together, help in troubleshooting problems. I think the biggest benefit for me with this parts CD is to be able to cross reference parts from other 6 series years/models when looking for used parts. The big question when dealing with this is "Will it fit my year and model?"
Besides the 6 series other vehicle exploded parts views contained on this CD include: Isletta, 1500-2000CS, 1502-2002tii, 2500-3.3Li, 2.5-3.0CSL, E12, E21, E23, E24, E30, and Z1. This is very similar to the software you local BMW parts counter has when you ask him to look up a part, less pricing and availability of course!
The Table of Contents include the following subjects: Engine, Engine Electrical, Fuel Systems, Fuel Supply, Cooling Systems, Exhaust Systems, Clutch, Manual Transmission, Automatic Transmission, Gear Shift Mechanism, Drive Shaft, Intermediate and Special Transmission, Front Axle, Brakes, Pedals, Wheels and Tires, Special Suspension Systems, Body, Body Equipment, Seats, Special Roofs, General Electrical, Instruments, Lights, heating and AC, Sound, Cruise, Alarms and Monitors, Remote Control Systems, Vehicle Tools, Safety Restraint Systems, and Phone and Navigational Systems.
Follows the same Main Group structure that the BMW Factory Manual Covers (sometimes with slightly differnt names for the Main Group).
**** Popular Mechanics Automotive Repair Information ****
Cost: Approx. $ 19 Purchased from: Autozone Contact: http://www.autozone.com/ Impressions: The jury's still out on this one. I mainly purchased the CD to get access to the TSB's for my L6. It seems sort of clunky to get around the software and it provides really limited repair information. Graphics are generally poor with some just unreadable. A bit disappointed in the repair and troubleshooting sections to say the least. Again, my reason for purchasing was to gain access to the TSB's (the entire TSB and not just the titles like you find on the Alldata site). Recommended for TSB's.
**** Chiltons BMW Coupes and Sedans, 1970 to 1988 ****
Cost: Approx. $30 Purchased from: Barnes and Noble Contact: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ Impressions: My first reference manual after buying my L6. Couldn't find a Bentley so I settled for this. Had to get a quick fix in learning about my new project car! Ok in the beginning learning about BMW repairs, but the benefits faded fast. This reference tries to cover too many models over too many years. While there is a lot of similarities between the models, I found that the repair information too light on description for any particular model. My lack of confidence in this book culminated in providing me wrong valve adjustment procedures for my L6. Thanks to BCG and Bentley for getting me back on track! This is a book I rarely use. My money would go toward a E28 Bentley Manual, described above, if I had do it over again.
**** BMW Owner's Handbook ****
Cost: Approx. $8 Purchased from: Local BMW dealer parts counter Impressions: Buy it! It's cheap and provides a lot of good information about your OBC, heating and cooling adjustments, seat memory programming, fuse box information, and technical specifications among others.
**** BMW 6 Series Enthusiast's Companion ****
Cost: $45 Purchased from: Amazon.com Contact: www.amazon.com Impressions: Great non-technical reference book on the 6 series history and development including racing history for the US and Europe, Performance, and production figures and specifications for each year. Also Insider's tips on 6 series purchase, ownership and restoration. This is the book by Jeremy Walton. Won't help you fix your leaky PS reservoir but it will give you an appreciation of the 6 Series history. Also contains discussions of the 6ers predecessors like the 2002, M1 and 3.0 CSL/I.
**** Web References ****
Last but not least, all great references are not always on CD or paper! Try WWW.bimmer.org and the Big Coupe Group at http://web2.airmail.net/grills/b_c_g_FAQ/b_c_g_FAQ.html. I use these almost exclusively for my BMW Newsgroup and mail server information sources!!!
Checking Out a Car - Greg Hutchinson <email@example.com>
Obvious stuff - any rust under the car, bottom of door, tiny bubbles near the bottom of any body panel. Look down the sides of the car, around the battery area, and under the rear by the muffler to see if all the metal looks straight. Look under the hood and see if all the relays are the metal type or been replaced with the newer plastic ones. Are all the hoses looking good - or cracked or swollen? Are the 2 sensors in the top right of the radiator white and red (stock)- or gray and white (best)? Can you catch the date on the battery? Any leaks or weeping? Did the hood try to hit you in the head or have the hood shocks been replaced recently?
Still got the 14" wheels or been upgraded to 16" or more? If larger wheels and you can see through them, do you have bigger rotors on the front than on the back? Hit the brakes at over 30mph. Any shimmy? When you do hit the brakes. do you need to throw out an anchor to stop for the first couple seconds? (brake bomb).
Bounce on all 4 corners to see if the shocks are still shocking. Look at the front and rear bumper shocks if appropriate...are they REAL close to the body-"like collapsed?
If auto, when was the tranny rebuilt? What's the fluid smell like? The 4HP22 averages about 100K or so before the pack goes. If manual, can you make spaghetti with the shifter or is it tight and crisp? Car jerk when you take off in first? - and it's not your technique!
Go find a steep hill and nail the gas after starting up any thumping under the seat? If yes, does it go away when the gas pedal is lifted a bit?
In the cockpit.. does the temperature knob have a little resistance or does it either spin merrily or not move at all. Does the heater motor increase in speed when the motor knob rotated CW with the big blast coming when all the way to 3 o'clock. Does the AC motor kick in when you push the AC button? Antennae go up and down smoothly when radio witched on/off? Fog lights work on low beam?
Emergency lights all flash?
Push the top left button on the OBC (On Board Computer) to the right of the radio. Should tell the outside temp. Wait about 5 seconds and the time should come back onthen hit the next button down should tell you about what gas mileage its been getting lately. On the other side of the steering wheel find the check panel. Touch the very bottom button and see if all the lights light up. Any little red lights stare at you after you've started the car and tapped the brakes?
All the windows and mirror buttons work and their motors whirl properly? Window glass fit tight against the rubber? How about all the seat buttons including the headrest? Seat backs go back the same distance and angle at the same time? Seats go forward and backwards very smoothly?
Pull down on lever under steering wheel columncan you move the wheel in and out a few inches? Put the lever back when finished!!
How far up does the emergency brake handle go up...more than 8 clicks?
Rear speaker covers still formed fitted or lifting at the edges? Front dash have any cracks up front? Sunroof smoothly operate in both modes.does the middle top of the SR have any scratches from a bad adjustment?
With the temp knob all the way CCW and going down the road, any heat coming from under dash? In the temp gauge, does the temp needle stay around the middle or wander over to the way far right with the car warmed up and at idle?
All three air levers move back and forth with only a little resistance. At speed, air come in strong with the levers all the way to the right? Turn blower knob full CW, move middle lever to far left, and turn the temp knob all the way CW, heat everywhere? Turn temp knob back full CCW and hit AC button - freezing?
Drive through a clothless car wash or find a thunderstorm - any leaks - glove box, sunroof, windows? With the windshield wipers on momentary (lowest) do the wipers move smoothly or jerk. While your hand is down at that lever - take hold of the next one down and see if the speed control lever is loose.
Central locking works all around the car - including the gas door? Driver's door lock works in 2 positions CW while passenger in only one. Any tools in the tool kit in the trunk lid? Got a spare tire that matches the size of the 4 on the ground? Jack in the left side trunk pocket?
Cold engine starts quickly - warms up with little hesitation, no smoke of any color out the back. Normal small shaking at idle but goes away immediately when the gas is applied with no hesitation all the way to redline. Engine is bullet proof if you just change the oil once a decade or so (5K actually).
Any hard clicking from the rear of the cam cover? Have mechanic check for cam wear. Check front bushing wear, and O2..if O2 is good, then most likely the engine is sound IF the cam is also quiet. Have a look under the car with him/her. What's leaking/weeping? Any rust spots? What's the number on the rear diff (look for LS) and model number off the tranny? Motor and diff mounting rubber OK? See black gummy stuff in the bottom generator pivot.
That should get you started. Any price between
a willing seller and a willing buyer is a good price, just do
your homework first.. More obvious parts are paint condition,
tire life, and interior condition cosmetics. Most is just spend
the money to repaint, replace, or recover. The mechanics are what
makes this car a pleasure to drive.