The story of a long forgotten 528i and me.

kirk Apr 20, 2017

  1. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    When this thing arrived, saying I was stoked would be a massive understatement. I went to the website for installation instructions and got started. True to BMW form, everything has to be disassembled to remove the old radio and install the new. Removal of the base unit is easy. Take the knobs off, and 1/4 turn of this torx and it swings free.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Not really anything to this. Remember what I said before, its just a basic controller.


    [​IMG]

    Downside: No more Beastie Boys tapes. Upside: No more Beastie Boys tapes. I had to remove several pieces of trim, take the glove box door off, piece of plastic behind that, and two kick panels. Then the dash loosens enough to put your aforementioned Shrek hands in there and start getting things loose. Second time I found myself wishing for baby hands while working on this car. Not wishing too hard really, because they would look odd paired with my orangutan arms and clown sized feet. And that’s all I need, I look freaky enough as is. *licks hand, rubs down cowlick* Focus! With the dash disassembled, laying loose and floppy, both units removed easily. Now THIS bitch, didn’t wanna come out. At all. Bye by little spring loaded trap door.



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After that comes out, the Dynavin N6 bracket goes in. Made to go in, in three pieces, came to me pre assembled (like nine-twelve nuts and bolts and baby washers) so since I had the dash apart anyway, I spent some time finagling it to slide back in. Mostly cause Im lazy, and didn’t want to take that bracket apart, just to put it back together. But it went in!

    [​IMG]

    But all these damn trim inserts broke when I removed the trim.

    [​IMG]


    I found them online for like $2.50 each. Then I went to eBay. Through the magic of the internet, you can get like 22,000 of them, a pitbull puppy and a subtitled discount DVD of Frozen for $5. You have to wait 9 weeks for it to arrive, from deepest deepest china and since I may or may not have already seen Frozen, I opted just to pay full price.

    Through some witchery, a little bit of prayer and a couple bleeding knuckles, I got the wires in, and the radio powers up. With this radio you have to run a USB extension from the back to be able to plug in. Of course the passenger side is easiest, but also the laziest. I sent my buddy a pic of the cord coming out the passenger side, and in true friends talk shiat form, he pointed out my laziness and to try again. I bet I jacked with trying to run this damn cable on the drivers side for 30-45 minutes. There is most of the AC system on that side, a metal brace/pipe, a mountain, three of the last six missing pets from those sad posters, Jimmie Hoffa and nine cars worth of metal in the way. Such a pisser! And my big ass hands don’t fit well. Did I mention my big ass hands? Big ass hands. So I did what every other sane person would do. That’s right, I took out the AC controls.

    [​IMG]

    With that out of the way, I was able to snake the cable through and around to the drivers side.

    [​IMG]

    I don’t have a permanent mounting spot for it yet, I'll really have to look see what I can come up with, but it hides nicely on the drivers side. I rarely have a passenger, and if I did, why on earth would I give them musical control? That’s a big responsibility, and one I'm not sure many of my friends would be up to. Too many of them like current pop music for my liking. *shudder*

    Once the radio is in, you have to program it to speak the DSP secret twin language by turning down the radio via the steering wheel, adjusting the amp gain, then turning the radio itself up to half, THEN bringing the stereo volume up. That took a few tries to get perfect, but when music poured out, that wasn’t recorded on a cassette, it made me smile. I threw in some Isley Brothers "Voyage to Atlantis", to dial in the settings, and sat back smiling. I did have to order knobs for it, as they didn’t show up. He swears he mailed them, I swear he lost them. Maybe the truth lies in between both, or maybe he kept them as a momento of days gone. All I know is I got a damn good radio at a damn good price. Its even built specifically to match the interior, not attract undue attention, and match the dash lights exactly. Yes, its that cool.

    [​IMG]

    Thats as far as my tale goes this time. Until next time, Constant Reader, avoid old BMWs unless you want to practice the art of frustration control, or you are just a sadomasochist who likes hand pain.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Muadeeb

    Muadeeb Bastard Admin from Hell Admin

    Messages:
    15,911
    Location:
    Dallas
    You need to do more write ups. I could blow off work and read this shiat all day.
     
  3. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    34,382
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    That prose tho. Beautifully written and a joy to read. I'm in agreement with Deeb. Write more.
     
  4. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Ha! I was bored at work, and the whore thread wasn't popping. Thanks guys.
     
  5. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    So backing up a bit, back in July, the beater bimmer started to have a squealing belt. It would squeak a little bit first thing, then go away. I didn't worry about it too much since it was nine trillion degrees outside then. I thought I would wait and work on it when it was cool, as a little bit of squeal first thing isn't too bad really when the alternative is working outside in 195 degree heat while laying on flesh scorching concrete. I was wrong, as the Bimmer had other plans for me. On day three, as I came out to the car first thing, turned the key, and instead of the trademark BMW purr, I got a squeal at an octave typically reserved for calling dogs, and cats with their tails under rocking chairs. A blip of the throttle did nothing to reduce the howl, and by this point people were starting to stare.

    Key off.

    So now my choices are: Drive 30 minutes to my Moms house, where the Xterra is so I can park it and order parts, or miss work for several days as I wait on parts, binging Netflix and chilling. Then I remember I like getting paid.

    Key on.

    Instantly, the BMW begins to howl its displeasure, and texting a buddy in case I break down, away I go. Interestingly, I think people thought it was a siren, because they moved out of my way all the way to town. Parked it in moms driveway, got the X and went to work. A little research shows that FCP Euro (home of the lifetime BMW part warranty on everything they sell) has an entire kit for $160. All belts, pulleys and tensioners. Since the car is knocking on 200k, and is "fresh" from a multi year pasture nap with no maintenance history, I splurge and go for it. I don't like doing work twice, and sure as sh*t Ill replace the belts and later have to come back in for the rest. One and done. Also, the last time it was at the Indy shop, they quoted me $575 to replace my Aux Fan which isn't working and has to be repaired before the AC can be worked on. Piss on that, the fan is $159 (again lifetime warrantied) and Im sure I can remove the bumper and replace that fan for way less than they want in labor. I had hoped it was working after the switch was replaced but no such luck. So I order that too. Lastly, I have a check engine light on for the secondary air pump, so i throw the relay in the cart, grab a good used unit off eBay (a new one is like $300) for $50 and I'm gold. Plan to make a weekend of it, and get caught up on all my maintenance due.

    Three days later, parts are at my door. I opt to drive the mobile noisemaker back to the house to do the repairs in my own driveway, as its a Friday and that gives me all weekend to break and fix the car since I have no idea what I am doing.

    My dad was very very fond of saying: "Nothing motivates you to fix something more than knowing you have to drive it to work on Monday.

    I have found throughout the years that this is very true, and I plan to put it to the test and see how much I can get done. Leaving my moms house, the car lulls me into a false sense of security as it doesn't howl immediately, and in fact waits till I am passing through a crowded school zone to sing me the song of its people. At least I was able to amuse them, and I cant hear their laughter over the sound of my cars belts playing violin off key.

    I make it home, and make a drink. Tomorrow we wrench!
     
  6. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    I get up at the crack of dawn, because the heat sucks, and Texas heat will kill you. Remember that thing where I redid that cooling system? Yeah well lots of it gets to come back out, including this new fan shroud and fan clutch.

    [​IMG]

    I was lucky, because after only a few whacks, the fan spun free. None of that beating the sh*t out of it nonsense I had before. Lucky me. Not sure this wrench could take much more.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Hood up, back on jackstands (where this b*tch seems to like to live, more than anywhere else in the world.) and cooling system partially disassembled.

    [​IMG]


    Now I live three blocks from Harbor Freight, which is awesome because if I need a tool, I go get it. Case in point, I needed a T50 Torx to get started, and didn’t have one. But my car was disassembled, so what do to?


    [​IMG]


    Don’t act like you haven’t ever rode to the store on a vintage scooter covered in grease looking crazy. I know Im not the only one. SO! Down and back with the torx and some other stuff. Back to work.


    Belts off, first tensioner off. That Torx bolt was tight as all hell. Thank the Lord Jesus above for breaker bars, because I had a bitch kitty of a time loosening it up. All the other bolts are behind this one, so that had to come off first. I broke it loose with the belts on, then removed the belts then removed it the rest of the way to get the baby shock absorber looking tensioner off.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Okay, I found rat crap BEHIND the tensioner. I have no idea how it got there, because the tensioner sits flat, but whatever. More crap, yay me. Out comes the vacuum, away goes the poop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The new stuff is made pretty well, and is an exact fit to the originals. Comes with all new hardware, which was cool.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    New tensioner on, new pulley as well. Has a little nipple to hold it in place and center it up. Pretty handy really, stops it from rolling around while trying to pack your gargantuan arms in and bolt it up.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    The bottom one is just a baby shock. It comes off easily by laying under the car, with the splash guard off. No new hardware here, reuse your old stuff.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All done? Good! Time to reinstall belts, but with new awesome ones.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Re assemble the cooling system, and you are done! Although I did manage to bust a knuckle or two, but that seems to be pretty much par for the course with working on this damn thing.

    [​IMG]


    I swear, I am becoming a pro at this cooling system removal. I break for lunch, which consists of a sandwich, AC and a 12 minute nap on the floor. It was most glorious.
     
  7. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    I awake in a puddle of my own slobber, comfortable and not wanting to return to the hot box that is the entire outside world. A partially disassembled BMW is peaking at me through the window, so guilt ridden, I get up and go back outside.

    The shop wanted $800 for this job, lets figure out why. Two pins on the bottom of each vent, near your blinkers need to come out first.

    [​IMG]


    Then two big ass bolts that hold the bumper to the frame. Remember that Torx set I bought early, via scooter delivery? Came in handy again!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    One bolt and plastic clip on each side, on the inside behind the inner fender. Luckily for me, the previous owner was an ass and busted up the inner fenders for me, so I can easily access those! Thanks negligent owner, you are the best! [/sarcasm]

    [​IMG]


    Bumpers off, and now we look like a sleek German version of Mater.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now remove each of these pins so you can remove the inner vents.

    [​IMG]



    (are you keeping your hardware in bags? I sure hope you are, or you are screwed baby.)


    Now you have to remove the plastic vents under each headlight. (passenger one missing in this pic)

    [​IMG]


    You can see where they vent into here:

    [​IMG]



    Did I forget to mention the headlights have to come out? I did?! Well shucks, hey, the headlights have to come out as well. Chop chop.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Now you can reach the inner bolts to take the cover off, and those "lip" looking things. Two on each side.

    [​IMG]


    Got it!
    [​IMG]


    Lets step back and take a look at the carnage.

    [​IMG]



    It is at this point, that I start to have serious concerns if I can put humpty dumpty back together again. I mean sh*t. Taking things apart is easy peasy. But, lets not think about that now, here we go!
    Old fan is now easily accessible.

    [​IMG]



    Its removed with four bolts as well. Behind it I found the lair of the dead insect. I mean a ton of dead things, and poop. Did I mention poop? Poop. And nine hundred eleven cigarette butts. Basically 200k worth.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    All vacuumed out. Off to the passenger side of the car, is the secondary air pump. We will get to that in just a little bit.

    [​IMG]



    New fan back on, direct fit, plug is a direct fit, everything goes in easily.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Im pretty hot and sweaty by this point, but since we are completely disassembled, lets replace the secondary air pump, okay? Okay. Removal is easy. Three ten mm nuts. Once its out I notice immediately I have a problem. The mounts are completely different. No problem, they unscrew, so I can switch them out.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Then I realize the whole damn unit is different. The top, mounts and attachments. So much for "send us your VIN and we will confirm". I contact the eBay people right then asking for a refund, and they ignore me. I ask again a week later, ignored again, so f*ckem. Bad feedback and I move on. Since this Is a lost cause, and visualizing $50 with wings flying away, I reinstall the old one, and go back to putting the front end back together. So that will leave me with a check engine light. Luckily for me the very thoughtful previous owner tore up my inner fenders (his graciousness being previously mentioned) so I can replace it later with the front bumper on. This blows, I hate wasting money.


    Reassembly is just the opposite of assembly, just takes a little bit longer. I finish up about dinner time, wash myself, tend to my wounds, order a pizza and make an adult beverage, basking in the glow of a days work well done.
     
  8. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (not pictured, two jackstands)

    That brings us to this. Friday before last, I was leaving work, and when I downshifted approaching the light, the clutch felt soft. I didn't pay it much attention, (clutch, flywheel, pressure plate and throwout bearing are new) started through the intersection fine, and started driving. Approaching the second light, I shifted to the next gear but the clutch went to the floor. No matter what I did it wouldn't go into any gear and I rolled out into a busy intersection stuck. Nothing I did made it work. I slapped the hazard button, and sat in the middle of a five street intersection frantically trying to find any gear at all. Lights changed and I still sat there, with people blaring their horn at me. Finally I turned the key off and kept attempting to start it while jamming it into first. After five attempts it caught, bucked twice and started to roll. I ran the next two lights in first gear, and limped all the way to moms house. I killed it out front, in gear. I backed the X out, bucked into the driveway and shut it down. It was scary as all hell.

    Luckily I was heading out of town for the next week, so I wouldn't need the car. Researching BMW forums pointed to the clutch slave. I ordered one and went on my trip. When I returned the following Friday, it was waiting on me. I took a half day, and went to my moms house to work on it. My buddy offered his driveway instead (with his tools) and I accepted. He showed up to drag my crippled BMW ass across town.

    Removal is pretty straight forward. Two 14mm nuts and an 11mm brake line. Its a super tight fit for my gargantuan hands between the transmission and the firewall, but I got it down and out with minimal fuss. I got it reinstalled, and tried to bleed it in the old school fashion (pump pump pump hold....open...close) several times, but didn't work. I thought I read it needed bench bled first, so I took it back down, and did the hose in the bucket bleeding method, by pumping the rod (while on the car). It. Was. Impossible. I needed to be a damn octopus. Hose slipped off, couldn't open and close the bleeder while putting it at the highest point AND pump the damn rod. I had to put it in and out twice more before I finally got it bled up. Its still not quite perfect, and I'm still terrified every time I push the clutch, but after three attempts, the clutch sprang to attention like a pecker on a little blue pill, so I called it good!

    All in all, this car has been a mixed blessing. Its a blast to drive. The inline 6 made by BMW is silky smooth. I have the best year, without the dual Vanos crapola to manage, and none of the V8 issues. Its also a sense of pride. So far I can manage anything this car throws at me, and I'm proud of the fact I have brought it back from the dead. But Id be a liar if I said I loved having something to fix almost every month. Thats getting pretty old. That and it needs AC repair, which is one area I've never been confident in. So I have been having thoughts of naming this pony Wildfire, busting down its stall and letting it get lost in a blizzard. (r/70's Music Reference)

    Again, don't buy an old BMW unless you really really hate having free weekends, clean fingernails and no hand scars, because these are not Toyotas, and to get their love, you gotta work at it.
     
  9. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    34,382
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    Awesome prose. A pleasure to read. Wear gloves.
     
  10. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,610
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Cool story. But for the love of god, please fix the thread title.
     
  11. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    Not a fan of all the "I's"?
     
  12. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    I cant find any I like that dont interfere with me working, suggestions?
     
  13. Prime

    Prime Some Kind of In Charge? Admin

    Messages:
    34,382
    Location:
    Denver-ish
    I use these. They hold up really well, still give good tactile feedback, and are pretty cheap.
     
  14. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,610
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    "and me"
     
  15. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas
    Ill gamble that.
    Ill grab those! I seem to tear the thin ones.
     
  16. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    It was intentional! Hahahaha


    Fine
     
  17. JeffPro4x

    JeffPro4x Hot Pipe Moderator Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,610
    Location:
    Glenside, PA
    Thank you.
     
  18. kirk

    kirk I once rented two prostitutes at the same time Supporting Member

    Messages:
    15,521
    Location:
    Allen, Texas

    Of course boo boo
     

Share This Page