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  1. 10 points
    Cadwell Parker

    DIY F11 air spring replacement

    I recently replaced one of the air springs on my F11. I'd already had one replaced a few months ago by an indy garage while the car was with them for some other work but after it started to drop occasionally at the opposite corner I decided to try changing it myself. Armed with the help and advice of @Munzy123 and @HandyAndy_UK among others the job was really quite easy and as long as you have a good jack and some stands available the only other equipment you'd need would be a largeish screwdriver and a 10mm open ended spanner. Oh, and a laptop with ISTA+ installed would be helpful as well. It's possible to manage without but you'll need to remove the rear underbody panels to allow access to the air suspension valve block and manually bleed the system from there. If you have access to ISTA+ there'll be less dismantling to do. Apologies for all the nerdy computer shots. I thought they might be helpful as I'd not been able to find much online showing how to use ISTA to empty/refill the sysyem. I had to buy a decent trolley jack and axle stands for the job but considering the indy garage were saying they'd need 2 hours to properly diagnose the car before making any repairs the jack and stands have almost paid for themselves already. I took a slight gamble just changing the spring without any diagnosis other than how the car was behaving.but as one spring had already been done and the car was showing 75000 miles it seemed like a reasonable bet. In the end it paid off and I'm glad to have invested in some quality equipment. To start with I connected a battery charger at the terminals under the bonnet. It wasn't the same power supply you'd find in a properly equipped workshop and only puts a slow charge into a AGM battery but knowing I was going to leave the ignition on for a while it seemed better than nothing. I also switched off everything else I could to minimise as much battery drain as possible. Next I slackened off the wheel nuts just enough to make it easier to undo them once the car was off the ground. I was only changing the spring on one side so only needed to remove one wheel but as I was fully deflating the air suspension I needed to support the rear of the car on both sides. Being an F11 I was able to use the stiffening plate behind the rear subframe as a lifting point. It looks flimsy but the supporting struts give it enough strength to hold the weight of the car. Just be sure to chock the front wheels securely as the car will have a tendency to roll forward. Once lifted high enough the car was supported on axle stands combined with rubber jack pads which fit into the jacking points. Next I used ISTA+ to fully deflate the air suspension system. After connecting the cable and establishing a connection to the car I selected the 'service functions' tab and navigated through to the option of filling and draining the air suspension. I selected the option to bleed the air bellows Then confirmed all the necessary preconditions had been met... You need to remove the 40 amp air compressor fuse which is found in the boot inside the trim behind the right hand wheel arch and numbered 182. Then clicked to confirm the bleeding procedure and then continue While the air was bleeding out I removed the wheel nuts and wheel after noting the position of the wheel on the hub. I'm not sure whether it's considered best to replace the wheel in the same position but it seemed there'd a better chance of getting it to sit flush with the hub and avoid any vibration issues later so I took a second to photograph the wheel before removing it. By this time ISTA had finished the first run through the bleeding process and was asking my if I wanted to repeat. I selected yes and clicked through the same screens as before. With the wheel now removed after the second run through I was able to feel how much pressure was left in the suspension system by pressing on the rubber bellows. It felt very soft and was easy to push into with my fingers so I guessed 2 bleeding procedures would be enough and declined ISTAs offer to repeat. The spring is secured at the bottom by three plastic tabs which engage with the the hole in the middle of the mounting. I used a suitably sized flat bladed screwdriver to push them toward the centre and so disengage them from the edge of the hole. At first I tried to unclip all three before lifting the bottom of the spring clear but I soon realised it was much easier to unclip one and twist the lower body of the spring slightly so as to prevent the first tab from re engaging while you're trying to free off the second. While holding the body of the spring in its twisted position I could then disengage a second tab. With two tabs now clear it was then easy to twist the bottom of the spring a little more in the right direction to clear the final tab leaving the spring hanging free at the bottom and clear of the mounting. To disengage the top mounting I had to turn the spring by about 45 degrees in a clockwise direction, that is clockwise if you were looking down at the top of the spring. If you look at the shape of the top of your new spring it should be clear which way you need to turn the old one. It wasn't difficult to turn, I just gripped the bellows and dust cover in both hands and the whole assembly turned quite easily. Once turned it felt quite loose and it seemed to be disengaged but was still tricky to pull down and get clear of the mounting. After trying for a few minutes and getting frustrated I stopped, looked at the spring, swore at it and tried again. This time I must've moved it in just the right way and it dropped out easily, as if mocking my previous attempts. Don't panic if it seems reluctant to come out at first. You'll soon move it just where it needs to be to pull free and you'll be left with... Take care not to twist the air line too much or it'll get kinked and need replaced or repaired using a hot coat hanger which was one method I recall reading someone had used. Next I had to undo the fitting attaching the air line to the spring using a 10mm ring spanner. . It wasn't screwed in particularly tightly and was easy to unscrew With the air line removed from the spring I pulled the threaded part of the fitting from the end after prising off the olive which grips the pipe and had a look to assess the condition of the pipe. NewTIS says the pipe needs to be in pristine condition to to ensure a good seal. Mine was not in pristine condition having score marks round the circumference presumably from the unscrewing of the fitting. I could have cut the pipe back to a clean section but would have needed to cut off almost an inch. I didn't want to leave the pipe too short or risk not making a straight cut which might not seal properly so decided to take a chance and just refit the pipe as it was. I put some tape over the open end in an effort to keep any foreign particles from entering the system. The bare air line was then able to be pulled through the hole in the dust cover and moved to one side out of the way. All that was left was to manoeuvre the spring clear of the car. This turned out to be the most difficult part of the whole job but after some perseverance I realised I had to separate the dust cover from the spring. Once I'd done that it was easy to bend the dust cover enough to pull clear and then I was able to pull the spring out from the car and give it a good inspection. It was interesting to get a good look at it. It hadn't looked too bad while on the car but now it was off and fully deflated I could see the true condition of the rubber and some of the strange symptoms resulting from failing air springs made a lot more sense. The car might drop one day but not the next. It all depends where the rubber folds. Original BMW unit with dust cover removed and Arnott replacement side by side. The Arnott one looks quite a bit smaller and came with the the new pipe fitting already in place. There was a plastic plug sealing the fitting which you need to leave in place until just before fitting the air line. I'm not sure whether you're supposed to get a new dust cover with a new spring. Mine didn't come with one but the old one looked ok and seemed to be a good fit with the Arnott spring, notwithstanding the following, so I just swapped it over. The only difficulty I had here came from the shape of the recess at the top of the Arnott spring through which the air line passes. It's a little different to the BMW unit, I guess in an effort to make it harder to trap the air line between the top of the spring and the car but makes it difficult to get a good alignment with the hole in the BMW dust cover. The hole needs to be a little lower down. Perhaps there are some specific Arnott dust covers to use with their springs. I'll look into that sometime but for now I had to get the car back together without any further delay so just had to go with what I had. I positioned the dust cover so the airline could pass through and line up as closely as possible with the connection, removed the tape I'd previously used and the plastic plug in the air inlet and pushed the air line in until it stopped. I then pulled it out gently to seal the olive as per Arnotts instructions. Re assembly is, in classic Haynes style, the reversal of the removal procedure. Offer up the top mount of the spring into its mounting hole and rotate to engage. Take car not to trap the air line at the top of the spring or you'll end up with fault codes and need to take the lot to bits again. Mine felt quite loose just hanging there but when turned seemed to be engaging positively so I was confident it was in the right place and went on to attach the bottom mount. It was difficult to pull the bottom of the spring down with enough force to engage the tabs in the hole so after a bit of trial and error I decided I'd just get it in position, try re inflating the system and see whether air pressure would do the hard work for me. I replaced the air compressor fuse and after clicking to continue I heard the compressor start working and soon after that the bellows was hard and the bottom mount was pushed fully home with tabs engaged. Referring to the photo taken earlier I replaced the wheel after giving the mating surfaces a good brush off with a wire brush and let the car back down onto the ground. It sat there, not dropping. So far so good. Torqued the wheel nuts to 140Nm, removed laptop and battery charger, put tools away and went for a drive. The Arnott spring felt much nicer that the BMW one. I'm not sure whether the ride quality degrades over time/miles or whether Arnott units are just better from the start but it's a great improvement. The car rides a lot better and the symptoms the car was displaying are no longer evident so I'm pretty happy at having done the job myself. If anyone's thinking of doing this and being put off by thought of it being too difficult... Don't think that way. As long as you don't mid getting some dirt on your hands and have the tools needed it's really very easy and will save you plenty of money for an hour or so of your time.
  2. 9 points
    Collected her from Munich Legends and drove her for the first time. IMG_4664 IMG_4665
  3. 8 points
    Geordie

    Back in a 5

    Hi guys, Just a quick post to say I'm glad to be back in a 5 series. Having had an E60 (530d) and an E34 (530i) before, I'm finding this E39 530i Sport the best of the three. Individual in Velvet Blue with piped Champagne Nappa interior. It's not perfect on the arches or sills, but I'll sort this side of things out early next year hopefully. I'll post more pics and details of progress in the coming days. Glad to be back.
  4. 8 points
    Well folks it'll be a sad day tomorrow as I'll be saying goodbye to our E60 525d after 4½ years of ownership. During that time I've enjoyed it every time I've driven it even if I haven’t enjoyed every journey. It's been such a hugely capable car and has largely avoided the problems often associated with the E60. It really has been one of the good ones. I shall miss all that lowdown torque and the rumble of that 6-pot diesel engine. I've put heart and soul (and a bit of money!) into keeping it in as good a condition as I can, but circumstances change. My wife has always been strangely nervous about driving it and we now need a main car that she's happy to drive. I considered selling it privately but time was a consideration, and I couldn't cope with a string of whining nit-picking tyre-kickers. The dealer offered me more than WBAC so that was an easy way out. If anyone in the Glos/Hereford/Worcs/Avon area is looking for a very tidy E60 I can post a link to the dealer. The replacement will, for the time being, be a Eurobox. I'd like to return to the blue and white roundel again at some point, but I can't disappear without saying a big thank you to everyone on here. It's such a good forum. It has been a great source of help and entertainment these past few years, and you might still spot me with my nose pressed to the window from time to time. Anyway, as the title says - 'So long and thanks for all the fish'.
  5. 8 points
    RichardP

    E34 M5 Touring restoration

    Sun came out for a few minutes so snapped a couple of pictures with a proper camera.
  6. 8 points
    RichardP

    E34 M5 Touring restoration

    Collected from Munich Legends a couple of weeks ago As the car is now back home and I can now get to work on really cleaning it up. I've had a bit of a go at the interior, still work in progress, I'll just leave these here for now. I'll post some more pictures later.
  7. 8 points
    Front end lowered this morning on Eibach Pro Kit springs alongside new front OEM BMW top mounts
  8. 7 points
    Bought it! Collect next weekend. F11 528i SE, 8 speed auto, in silver, with lots of extras!
  9. 7 points
    Some additional info regarding this from ISTA.
  10. 6 points
    tallman85

    Mould in E61 Taillights - Solved

    Hello A few weeks back I complained about mould in my taillights. This was the thread: i took the advice of @dirtydirtydiesel and bought a hand steamer. After 3 hours i took them all out and cleaned them 99% as in some places the mould entered the ultrasonic welding. Need a brush and some fine tools too. Very tedious I must say but i am happy with the results. I recommend that you do it. Protect the inner side while doing it. Before After Thanks and happy cleaning
  11. 6 points
    bigrigbri

    Spotted a mint E32

    Just out today in our local town and saw this beaut come past and stop at the lights. I stood out a mile against all the other mass produced crap around and still looked the exec that it always was and mint too boot.
  12. 6 points
    sharkfan

    E39 interior choices.

    Mine too Individual silver/grey extended nappa leather Individual Birch Anthracite wood trim Individual Anthracite headling Individual Steel Grey metallic paintwork Individual High Gloss satin chrome exterior 1 of 12 Alpina B10 V8 Touring in right hand drive
  13. 6 points
    I bought some genuine 18" wheels so that we can fit winter tyres to them, got them off ebay last weekend, had to drive to Wembley, but they were a bit of a bargain at £250! All 4 are straight and original, just a bit unloved and battered, but me being me I could see some potential One of the photos from the advert: Look so much better after a deep clean: General condition pics: After a good bit of sanding with 80 then 120 finishing off with 240 grits pretty much all the kerb rash is gone...then given a decent coat of etch primer and left to dry over night and in the sun yesterday (Saturday). Once little man was in bed i headed out to the garage and started to shoot the base coat....couple coats and the faces and barrels were done....gave it 20 mins to flash off (got to love fast base coat thinners!) then shot the 2k clear. Pretty chuffed with the result as this is my first time spraying proper car paint thats not in a rattle can. There are some areas where there is some "grot" in the base...but these are winter wheels and for a first attempt well chuffed. So far these wheels have cost £250 for the wheels, £80 for the paint and probably £10-15 in sundries...Got some TPMS sensors coming and they were £130 odd so not doing too bad expense wise
  14. 6 points
    richyx

    my 540 touring

    thought id post a couple of pics, recently done a deal against my 530 touring for this 540 as i was pestering the lad for age s to sell it me lol as it needed a box so a deal was done and finally had a great basis for the mods i wanted to do it got fully wet flatted and polished to give a nice deep gloss shine as i hate orange peel, my 19 paras fitted, the spec of the car is nice, even power boot ive recently fitted double glazing as well, and just finished fitting full airlift air ride into the car with all new arms as well, and chopped the spare wheel out a bit to create a route so i can run dual exhsusts properly i have full leather lower dash, consoles, door cards to eventually fit in champagne, as well as contours, that i will be converting to heated and active massage, door blinds, and also e38 headrest mirrors and tables to be fitted to contours as well. it shoould be a ncie spec car when ive finished as i plan on alcantara roof lining and maybe full boat space too, with anice clean stereo install to be able to keep load bay as well some pics and some genuine 19 inch alpinas i had refurbished which ill use as winter wheels unless they sell
  15. 6 points
    Was a pleasure to meet you today and had a very comfortable 300 mile drive back. Car is excellent and has obviously been well looked after. Sadly now time for me to part with my admittedly very tired E39 workhorse.. it was only ever meant to be a cheapo run around and ended up becoming the gateway drug to BMW ownership for two and a half years as I couldn’t believe just how good it was. I will do my best to take good care of your old motor! Anyway i I look forward to participating now in the E60/E61 forum now I am an owner! Cheers.
  16. 6 points
    Hippy

    What did you do to your E39 today ?

    Collected the car from the welding shop today. All jacking points now repaired, a few pics of their handy work........ Not a cheap job, but the car is now structurally sound
  17. 6 points
    d_a_n1979

    What did you do to your E39 today ?

    Washed - snowfoamed using Autoglym Polar Blast; wheels cleaned using Autoglym Magma and Chemical Guys long wheel brush, rinsed, lambswool mitt washed using Dodojuice Car Shampoo, rinsed, Chemical Guys towel dried, black plastics and roof rails treated with G4 Techniq and tyres treated with Chemical Guys tyre gel Car put back up the drive as it's blowing a hoolie here and it's dusty as hell already
  18. 6 points
    jimboe39

    Back in a Beemer Whooohoooo

    Hi all, after 4 years in a S Max ferrying round the grand kids I,m back amongst the fold. Just got a E39 530i Sport in Mora Metallic with 67k on her.Picked her up in Windsor and drove her back to Cornwall. Did not put the radio on for the first 4 hours , just listened to the engine going down the motorway. I will put some pictures up of her as soon as I have uploaded them to my pc. Good to be back, Regards, Jim bmw 530i e39 sport _ eBay.html
  19. 6 points
    She loves her arty pics!
  20. 6 points
    I always fill my tyres with a very specific mix of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, 1% Argon. It's never let me down over the years and I find it's the most convenient mix Keliuss
  21. 6 points
    I took the compressor assembly off and stripped it right down (apart from the actual motor itself). I found that although the compressor itself seems to be be fine, the vent solenoid for the drier was jammed closed. Presumably that explains why all the "caviar" (drier granules) in the drier cavity was soaking wet. This would have caused an additional back pressure which could explain the increased load current and fuse blowing. I guess that's surface tension for you. The only place I could find a replacement solenoid had actually run out (aka "last one, 1000 Euros") and as it's not a BMW replaceable part, the only alternative would be to buy a complete aftermarket compressor or a used genuine assembly. That wasn't part of the plan. I managed to free the solenoid by bashing it against a granite block and applying 18V repeatedly from a power supply, then blasting it clear with alcohol and compressed air. Sounds good now and actually works as a solenoid valve. The solenoid, foam filter, and sintered bronze silencer(?) had rusty stain marks and the bronze was a nasty shade of green (oxidisation). Not sure what generated the rusty stuff but I suspect one of the screws holding the reed valve, which looked quite rusty. I soaked the bronze filter / plastic housing in a mixture of citric and acetic acid (aka lemon juice and vinegar) and dried off the caviar in the oven. Then reassembled it and refitted it to the car. It's a damned fiddle getting the compressor box back on the car but everything seems fine now. 40A fuses don't seem to be common currency. I've ordered some up and in the meantime it seems happy with a 30A fuse. Given that it was popping 40A fuses earlier, I seem to have improved something. Hopefully it will start to behave now. Thanks for the helpful links and advice. And for anyone else coming across this issue (working but popping fuses), hopefully my experience will be useful. The compressor assembly is actually quite simple to dismantle and clean up.
  22. 6 points
    d_a_n1979

    What did you do to your E39 today ?

    Fitted all new OEM BMW front top mounts along with Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs
  23. 6 points
    Quick snowfoam, wash and towel dry with my all new Chemical Guys stuff; their snowfoam is brilliant and their drying towel; it's like a bloody duvet, it's huge Their tyre gel is superb too; much better than the Megs version IMO; does really well on black plastics too
  24. 6 points
    markblack

    What did you do to your E39 today ?

    Had my car for about 12 years... but today was the first time it was clayed, buffed and polished. Just moved house so I have a garage for the first time. Still needs more work... but it came out pretty well. Amazed at 20 year paint! Few bumps, scratches, stone chips... but in the pic it looks pretty good
  25. 5 points
    After one year, I decided to change the oil in my sump. Oil service was carried out by BMW on 1st October 2018 at 48,232 miles so I did an intermediate oil change today at 52,713 miles. I did not reset any service icons etc. I also fitted a new air filter after fitting one last October as it was not done as part of the oil service BMW carried out a few days earlier. There is no dipstick on the N55 so you need to get under the car to the sump plug drain bolt, you cannot extract the oil via a dipstick tube. Tools needed Means of having the car up in the air 8mm socket 1/4" drive 17mm socket 3/8" and 1/2" drive 16 flute oil filter wrench 86mm AF, 88mm Dia (same as a Volvo) 3/8" drive. Torque wrench capable of measuring 25Nm Various ratchets I used 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" Pick for removing oil seals Plenty of rags Plenty of disposable gloves. Sump pan capable of catching 6.5 litres Measuring jug Funnel Take car for a drive to get the oil up to normal temperature. I did 13 miles. Lift the car so you have space to get in underneath it. The fall of my driveway is 30mm for every 1m. 3m wheelbase, car lifted ~180mm on my wooden ramps means the front end is about 90mm higher than level, but I've got plenty of room to work safely, which is more important to me. Using an 8mm socket remove the locking bolt in the oil sump hatch in the underbelly. Put your fingers in the holes and twist 1/3 of a turn to remove the cover. 17mm sump plug drain hex head. Insert a rag between the underbelly and the sump pan to the rear of the opening to prevent any oil dribbling on to the top of the underbelly and crack open the sump plug with a 17mm socket and ratchet. Remove oil filter cap to allow air into the engine. Get your sump pan ready and unscrew the plug while keeping upwards pressure on the bolt head to limit the flow until the last second and whip it away and catch the flow in your drain pan. Oil after 4,481 miles was quite discoloured. Leave it to drain while moving on to the oil filter replacement. Place a rag around the oil filter housing. Using the oil filter wrench unscrew the oil filter cap. The cap brings away the oil filter within it. Oil filter housing (lower part) in the engine bay. Using a pick tool remove the end spigot oil seal. This is a tiny O ring which comes with the replacement filter and is not listed as a separate part on Realoem. Using the pick tool remove the large O ring from the top of the threads of the oil filter housing. Clean the oil filter housing cap and lubricate the two O rings with new engine oil to aid installation into their correct locations. Push in the new oil filter in to the housing cap. It doesn't matter which way up the filter goes. Place the housing with the new filter into lower oil filter housing in the engine bay and tighten the oil filter cap to 25Nm. I then changed the engine air filter while the oil still dripped out the sump. This is the old filter which has been in since 6th October last year. Very little trapped debris after 4,399 miles so probably doesn't need changing every year at my mileages but its £27 worth of peace of mind for me. I then cleaned up the sump plug and used the new copper washer that comes with the oil filter. I lubricated the sump plug threads with new engine oil and then torqued it to 25Nm. Clean up the oil dribbles from the sump pan and remove the rag. Pour in 6 litres of your chosen flavour of LL04 oil. The other hands were my dads who helped 'hold' things today just like I did as a kid when I was helping him. The important bit on the oil bottle, BMW LL04 which in oil spec technical speak is ACEA C3 and API SN. Grades can vary. 5W-30, 5W-40 etc. As long as it says LL04, no worries. The sump capacity of the N55 in the F10 (UK spec) is 6.5 litres. As my car wasn't quite level when I drained it there will be some residual oil in the sump which is why I only poured in 6 litres to start with. Refit oil filler cap and start engine and run for 3 minutes. Then check oil level via idrive as there is no dipstick. Engine rpm picks up during this No low oil pressure warnings which was re-assuring. Oil level not quite at maximum but "ok" so I decided to add another 250-300ml as I did not want to over fill it. Recheck oil level via idrive and this resulted in spot on level. Check for leaks from the sump plug and around the oil filter housing. Refit the oil sump hatch. I put a tiny mark on the hatch cover inline with the bolt hole so I could line up the bolt hole as you can't see the 'U' nut on the hatch cover once its correctly in position. I cleaned up the 8mm bolt and put a bit of ceramic grease on it to allow it to come out again easily in a years time. Next time I'll replace the sump bolt, the 8 mm hex bolt for the hatch and its metal 'U' nut which was quite rusty. I checked the old oil filter for any debris but nothing obvious. Engine sweet and smooth as usual. Tidy up and know that you have saved yourself a few £££ by doing it yourself but more importantly the internals of the engine are kept healthy with the frequent oil and air filter changes. An enjoyable way to spend a Saturday morning with my dad.


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