BMW 535xiT Turbo Replacement Project - Prep for Pulling the Engine

I've gone past the point of no return now - will be pulling the engine to do the turbos, oil pan gasket, rear main seal, and as we'll see, maybe the front main seal as well. The past week I've pulled the bumper cover, radiator, air conditioning condensor, and all the coolers in front of the engine. Here's some photos showing what I've found.

Starting with the intercooler - this part is really easy to drop from underneath the radiator - you can do this with the bumper cover still in place. I estimate that the fins were about 30% blocked by a greasy slime of road grit and bugs.

Intercooler - removed from car before cleaning
 With the front bumper cover removed, you have acccss to the headlights and reinforcement bar. Removing the bumper cover isn't too difficult on LCI cars - 2 screws in each wheel well, 2 screws behind the inner fender up underneath the side of each headlight, 4 screws along the front above the fog lights, and about 5 screws along the front top underneath a plastic trim / seal panel.

Bumper cover removed
 Note the corrosion on the mounting sleeves of the SRS impact sensors, to the right of the headlight washers.
Headlight washer and SRS impact sensors
 SRS impact sensor corrosion.....
SRS impact sensor corrosion

These will need to be replaced, and I'll replace the hardware for good measure. 
 With the front reinforcement bar removed, I removed the AC condensor, radiator, transmission cooler, and power steering cooler. Note the crud along the bottom of the radiator.
Radiator - bottom 2" blocked with oily bug sludge
 As I'm proceeding with removing all the plastic trim parts, covers and hoses, I'm washing all the grit and grime off the parts so that when it comes time to put the car back together - everything can go smoothly. Nice thing about the wagon is that there is lots of space for all the plastic bits.
Parts removed from the car - cleaned and prepared for replacement.
 The transmission cooler won't be salvageable - the fins are completely blocked with road grit which didn't dislodge during cleaning. Since I won't be spending a few hours with a toothpick trying to clean each fin, I'll be replacing this part.
Tranmission cooler - completely blocked with road grit.
 With all the coolers removed, we can see the front of the engine nicely. I have a few more hoses left to remove, then I'll transfer my attention to removing the exhaust and getting ready to drop the transmission to access the bolts that fix the engine to the transmission.
Reinforement bar, headlights, radiator and coolers removed. Almost ready to pull the engine from up front

Looks like the front crank seal is weeping oil - hard to tell. Will see when I get the balancer off. 
 Organizing all the fasteners - I have some Plano tackle boxes which I've numbered the compartments. Every step of the way I'm noting my progress in the green notebook, and noting the hardware removed at each step. This should make reassembly easier.
Plano organizers for hardware
 There is about 15 to 20% of the steel hardware which is corroded and will need to be replaced. I'll look up all the fasteners on RealOEM and put in an order through my dealer for these.
Hardware removed from the car. 
 I have a pretty good view of the intake side of the front turbocharger - note the crud below the inlet - this has been leaking oil for a while. Will be interesting to see what this looks like when the engine is out of the car.
Front turbo - inlet side. 
More to follow - I'll do a post every few days as I proceed through this.

Sources and Links

I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below. I answer all questions. If you're interested, you can help support this site by using the following links to in the United States. Turbo parts were supplied by Turner Motorsports. Other parts were supplied by Pelican, BMW Park Avenue in Brossard, and eEuroparts.


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