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Cadwell Parker

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Everything posted by Cadwell Parker

  1. 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. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    That's useful info so thanks for that. I'm going to message them and see if I can get a replacement for my armrest which is starting to look a bit tatty around the handle area. I'm hoping that part is available separately rather than being part of the whole door card.
  3. Cadwell Parker

    Suspension drop on my 2012 f11

    Here you go... Really very easy once you get the car jacked up. Just a few basic tools needed.
  4. Cadwell Parker

    F11/N47 Preventative Maintenance

    Oh, and if the rear suspension airbags are the original ones you can expect them to need replacing quite soon. They might last a while but will be near the end of their life by now.
  5. Cadwell Parker

    F11/N47 Preventative Maintenance

    If you're not already familiar with it you should have a look at the Yellow Grommet issue as detailed in this somewhat lengthly thread... It doesn't cost much, if anything to sort out but is well worth paying some attention to as it could save you a lot of agro.
  6. Cadwell Parker

    How to persuade dealer to collect faulty car

    Just to update quickly on this, the car was returned to the dealer a week or so ago. Son in law had to take it back himself on his own time using a borrowed car with a tow-bar and a trailer he hired for £30. He got a full refund on the purchase price of the car but no compensation for his time or expenses incurred returning it. He was just glad to get rid and get his money back so didn't argue too much about the rest. He's currently using my old Passat tdi which has been pressed back into service after sitting idle for over a year, to transport him between S.W. Scotland and N.Yorks where he's working away all week. It cost him £500 to get the car MOTd and back on the road (brake pads+discs, new battery, suspension arm) so I'm hoping it'll keep working for him for a good while yet. It's basically a good car although getting to look a bit tatty having covered 282000 miles and being attacked by our neighbours dog. That's a story for another day but the car bears some interesting scars. It's still on its original engine but had a second hand gearbox put in after the original developed problems. It'll be good to see it pass the 300000 mile milestone
  7. Hi all, Just looking for a bit of advice to pass on to my stepson. He has bought a car from a dealer some distance away. The car was delivered to stepsons home address by the dealer. The car turns out to have a number of issues which render it unfit for use. Stepson has told the dealer he wants to reject the car as permitted under the consumer rights act. The dealer has accepted this and agreed to a full refund but asked stepson to return the car himself. As the car was delivered by the dealer we think it's up to them to collect the car and have tried to persuade them to do so but they are dragging their feet over this. The car has sat round for a few weeks now while the dealer has done nothing. Is there any way we can encourage the dealer to pull their finger out and collect the car? Are there any magic words we can use to force them into action?
  8. Cadwell Parker

    Touch-Up paint?

    I was a bit sad to find this on my NSR wheel arch while washing the car... No idea what caused it or what's the best way to treat it. Would a spot of touch-up paint be enough for now or is it too big for that? Presumably BMW do a two pack touch-up paint with bottles of base colour and top coat which should be a good colour match. Has anyone used one of these? What kind of results did you get. Any tips on betting the best results?
  9. Cadwell Parker

    Touch-Up paint?

    Thanks @Napas I've just collected the touch-up kit from BMW and have ordered a few brushes. Hopefully the good weather will last until they arrive and I can get straight on with fixing the chip. I'll post up some photos once it's done.
  10. Cadwell Parker

    Touch-Up paint?

    @Matthew Ashton Thanks Matthew, the Chipex kit looks like top quality and very comprehensive, however following an email to the BMW dealer round the corner from where I'm working tomorrow I've ordered a genuine touch-up kit from them so I'll be collecting that before starting work. I already have polish, cloths, panel wipe etc so just need to get some decent brushes to use. @Napas Thanks for all that. Some good tips there. Something like these? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/333691935669?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=542777993635&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649 Would you remove the tape while the paint is still wet to avoid cracking the edge of the painted area or getting bits of tape stuck in the dry paint? Would you then need to re-tape before painting another layer? I think we've got a heat gun somewhere but how about a hair drier on high heat? As the chip has exposed the metal underneath would I need to use any primer or will the colour coat stick ok by itself? Would I need to lightly sand the surface before adding another layer? Does the clear coat dry quite flat on its own? I guess the idea is to build the surface up to the level of the surrounding paint thus minimising the need for further finishing.
  11. I had an issue a while ago with the alarm in my F11 going off for no apparent reason but always after washing the car or a spell of wet weather. Have a look at the post I made... It could be unrelated to your issue as your symptoms sound a little different to mine but it might be worth having a look at the alarm module.
  12. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    Approaching another 10000 miles on the clock so have changed the oil and filter. One minor hitch with the sump drain plug cover. The captive nut had come adrift so was just spinning on the screw as I was turning it. I had to remove the screws holding the rear edge of the engine undertray so I could get a hand in with some grips to hold the nut, remove the screw and get the cover off. It was corroded and pretty tight but a squirt of WD40 got it moving enough to unscrew. The cover seems safe enough in place by itself and the nut was too far gone to reuse so not having a spare to hand I've left the screw off avoiding another similar struggle next time.
  13. Cadwell Parker

    F10 door corrosion

    They lent me a Honda Jazz
  14. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    Good result there. They look good on the car, tasteful without being too 'gangsta'.
  15. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    That's not bad, Especially including the 'rental' on the spare set. Looking forward to seeing how they turn out.
  16. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    Where did you take them eventually?
  17. Cadwell Parker

    Cyclical squealing - stops when applying brakes

    Are you sure there isn't a bit of the old brake shield left stuck in there somewhere rubbing on the disc? A loose wheel would be pretty obvious and lead to more catastrophe than a squeaking bearing. If the wheel actually was loose how far did you drive with it like that?
  18. Cadwell Parker

    So it was bye bye to my F11...

    That's a nice car for someone once it gets moved on. Hope you enjoy the G31 just as much.
  19. Cadwell Parker

    Front seat belts moldy

    The carpet can feel dry on top but still have Walter hiding underneath. Try removing the rear passenger side floor mat if fitted and the hook and loop pads it attaches to, then push your finger into the recess' under the pads. If the floor is wet you should see water rising/squirting out as you press.
  20. Cadwell Parker

    I’m back in a 5!

    Nice car, well done. With you on that one. Adaptive Drive would be great to have but I got tired of looking and went for a VDC equipped car. I did a more or less back to back comparison with that car and one with normal M-Sport suspension. The VDC car felt nicer to drive in every way. I'm rather envious of those comfort seats though. That was something else I got tired of waiting for. VDC was the must have option for me.
  21. Cadwell Parker

    F07 Replacing battery

    I could register it for you for free if you're near S.W. Scotland/Carlisle/North Lakes and want to meet up.
  22. Cadwell Parker

    What did you do to your F07/F10/F11 today?

    I put the summer wheels back on the car today. 2 new Goodyear asymmetric 5s on the rears which I had Road Force balanced a few weeks ago. The fronts are left over from last year with a good 5mm tread left on them so I'm hoping fronts and rears will wear out at more or less the same time so I can fit a full new set sometime next year. I was planning to leave the winters shod with Crossclimates on for a while to get a few more miles out of the rears before they needed replacing but my hand was forced by... That's definitely beyond repair but as it turned out one of the rears was approaching 1.6mm on the inside edge anyway so the nail probably did me a favour in drawing my attention to what I really needed to be looking at. While the wheels were off I gave brake disc centres a bit of a clean up with some metal polish. Not looking too shabby for just elbow grease. Next job will be oil and oil/air/cabin filters sometime in the next fortnight. Filter supplies ordered from Autodoc and on the way
  23. Cadwell Parker

    ZF 8 Speed service - 2.0 525d M Sport Touring 2013

    Probably too far away for you but Mackies in Glasgow did mine a couple of years ago. Not the cheapest but they have an excellent reputation and are official ZF agents so as guaranteed as possible to do a proper job.
  24. Cadwell Parker

    DIY F11 air spring replacement

    That's a bit over the top. Just as a word of caution... If it does start to drop don't leave it long before replacing the springs. The compressor will be overworking having to lift the car more often and will eventually fail costing you more £££.
  25. Cadwell Parker

    DIY F11 air spring replacement

    If you're planning on keeping the car for a good while you could get some new springs in now to keep in reserve or just wait and see how long the current ones last. They might surprise you.