Showing posts with label BMW Turbo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BMW Turbo. Show all posts

535xiT Turbo Project - Ready to Pull the Engine

It's taken me about 3 full days to get to the point where I'm ready to pull the engine. I'll share a few of the observations / problems I've made or encountered. 

Starting with the removal of the exhaust - I was really worried about the state of the exhaust nuts joining the downpipes to the midpipes. These looked like they were frozen and I was dreading this step. 

Downpipe to midpipe hardware - note the rust
I managed to impact off three of the nuts with some effort, and completely rounded the fourth nut. I tip for anyone doing this - particularly a Canadian car which lives in road salt a third of the year - do a really good job of cleaning up the nuts and soaking the hardware in solvent (PB Blaster or equivalent) before trying to removing these. Get on the hardware with a steel brush to try to get the nuts back to original size, the fastener I rounded off was enlarged with rust, and I think I used a socket size larger than I should have.
Rounded exhaust joint nut....
 So - I went through my toolbox looking for a solution for the rounded nut - and found my set of metric 12 point sockets that I bought at a garage sale about 10 years ago for $10... I pounded the 10mm 12 point onto the rounded nut with a ball pein hammer - and then gave it with the impact and managed to get the nut off. That made my day.

This will need to be replaced, along with the studs.
 I then removed the rest of the exhaust. I had some severe corrosion in this brace plate which bridges the bottom of the exhaust / driveshaft tunnel under the rear seats near the rear differential. I also had some massive heat shield corrosion. I've never removed my underbody splash shields for spring cleaning to remove road salt - and I can see why it's recommended practise. This brace and hardware will be replaced.
 Onto removal of the driveshafts. No real difficulty here - put the transmission in neutral using a screwdriver next to the shifter, and removed all the hardware with my 3/8" impact. Front and rear driveshafts dropped out without an issue. Use marking paint to index the location of the driveshafts before removal. It looks like I have a leaking transaxle rear output shaft seal - see photo below - will need to take a closer look at this.
Leaking Transaxle rear output shaft? 
 My rear differential has a leaking input shaft seal - this will be replaced before I put the driveshafts back in. Left and right output seals look okay - I'm going to avoid the rear end with this job and do that in the future.
Rear differential - input shaft leaking
 I then set out to the front drive axles - left and right. You have to detatch the lower control arms to pull out the steering knuckle enough to pull the axles out. You also need a hub mounted tool to push out the axle - I was surprised how much force was required to push the axle out of the hubs. My new favourite tool is this Dewalt 20V 1/2" impact..... Lots of power on all the tough fasteners. I also found that my torsion strut bushings were shot and need to be replaced - could be the source of the front end vibration at speed that I was experiencing - so I've added bushings and ball joints to the list of things to do when I put the car back together.
Pushing out the front drive axles from the hubs. 

Driveline carnage - Front and Rear Driveshafts, Left and Right Axle shafts. 
 In prep for pulling the engine - you have to remove the intake manifold to get access to the rear engine lift point on the block, and to remove all the electrical connections under the intake. My turbos were leaking oil through the charge air tract - here's what I found with the intake manifold removed (no surprise, I already have the kit to do the walnut blasting in the gararge). I'll do the walnut blast with the engine out of the car and on the engine stand.
Number three cylinder intake valves.
 Removing the electrical wiring prior to pulling the engine. I found some forum discussions where guys removed the connections from the ECU compartment, so they would have to disconnect all the discrete connectors on the engine. I tried this - and quickly found that it didn't work. The power leads and the grounds in the engine harness don't terminate with disconnect plugs that are accessible in the ECU compartment - you have to dig and split harnesses in order to actually make a clean disconnect. So I ended up reconnecting the ECU terminals - and went to pulling all the discrete connections on the engine. This wasn't that hard - and I used paper tags to label the connections that might be hard to identify later.
Engine harness disconnected from the engine - lying on top of the right side inner fender. 
 The last thing I did was to make sure all the hydraulic and cooling lines were disconnected and free of the engine - transmission cooler lines, power steering lines - all disconnected and moved out of the way. I've been noting all the O-rings and seals I'll need on reassembly - I'll do another post on that topic later in the week.
N54 engine ready to pull. 
All that's left to do is to remove the bellhousing bolts, and the engine mount bolts. I've already got the torque converter / flex plate bolts removed. Looks like I'll hit this on Thursday.

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.


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.


BMW E61 535xiT Wagon - Turbo Replacement, Cooling and VANOS Repairs

My 5 Series wagon just hit 185,000 km (115,000 miles), and I've had an engine light (low boost error) for the past 4,000 km. A trip to the dealer confirmed that I had a worn waste gate bushing. corroborated by the unmistakable waste gate rattle sound on acceleration. I was returning from a camping trip with the kids and I got on the phone with Turner Motorsports and discussed the turbo replacement options.
N54 Front Turbo Oil Leak
I decided to replace the turbos with new Mitsubishi OEM units - identical to the BMW part but at half the price.I thought about what work I would do while having the front end apart, and I added the following to the work order:

1. Walnut blast the intake valves;
2. Replace the radiator, expansion tank, thermostat and upper / lower coolant hoses (due to the damage to the radiator fins behind the grille and age). I've already replaced the coolant pump about 2 years ago;
3. Replace the VANOS (variable valve timing system) solenoids;
4. Replace all the drive train fluids - engine, transmission, transaxles
5. Ignition - plugs and coils
6. Do a good inspection and replace any leaking drive train seals.

I'll have to keep the car for another 5 years to justify the investment, no worries considering the later 5 series wagons are no longer imported to North America, and the E63 AMG wagon is a bit out of my snack bracket... I figured this project would justify the purchase of some new tools, so number one on the list was a Quickjack car lift system. I went with the BL-5000 EXT - which I measured to fit just long enough to hit the lift points on the 5 series wagon.

Setting up the Quickjack lift took about an hour - you have to add the quick connect fittings to the ends of the the hydraulic hoses and pumps, fill the reservoir with hydraulic fluid or transmission oil, and test the system. Everything went together smoothly, with no leaks from any of the hose connections.

Quickjack BL-5000 EXT unboxed and ready for assembly

Ready for the first lift with the Quickjack
With the lift tested - and with the engine and transmission still warm - I proceeded with a compression test of all cylinders before dropping the engine and transmission oil.

Engine covers, air filter housing and intake duct work removed to access the plugs, coils and throttle valve.
I removed the covers and intake in order to remove the coils and plugs, and access the throttle valve to be able to jam it open with a plastic pry tool. I also removed the fuel pump fuse - #72 on this car, so that I wouldn't be injecting fuel while doing the compression test. Everything went smoothly - starting with removal of the cabin air filter housings, the cowl cover, the engine cover and finally the air filter housing.
Three of the coils had been replaced last year along with a leaking valve cover. I'll be replacing all coils as a set, along with new plugs. 

My 10 year old daughter held my iPhone and took videos of the compression gauge during each test - so that I could see the results after cranking the engine. Results of the compression test are as follows, from cylinder 1 to 6:

170, 170, 165, 175, 170, 175 psi.

All in all - not bad variation - in spec for this vehicle. I wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting my time and money replacing the turbos...

With the compression test done, I drained the engine oil and transmission oil - and sampled both to send out for oil analysis. I'm interested to see the condition of the oil, particularly the lifetime transmission fluid, and to get some indication if there is any abnormal wear.

Oil bottles with samples ready to ship to the lab.
One thing I did find was lots of oil in the main intake pipe at the throttle body. This could be an indication of oil leaking from the bearings in the turbochargers - another indication that the turbos are ready to be replaced.

Lots of motor oil in the intake piping. 
I'll probably be at this project for a week or two - so I'll be doing regular updates as the work progresses.

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. Oil analysis by Blackstone Labs.