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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 01-26-2011, 01:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Timing Belt Fun!

I started with a leaky water pump in my '86 528e. In less of a week it leaked a little, then it leaked a lot, then it made some meanish noises on the way to the in-laws for the weekend. So we decided to Do It All that Saturday. Belts, hoses, cap and rotor, water pump and timing belt. *sigh* First trip to the auto store, and my butt kinda hurt after the severe attack on me wallet. Broinlaw thinks I'm "funny" for buying new- he wanted to go on a junkyard field trip to get me the parts.
The previous mechanic (ten years or so previous) had used a thread locker- on everything. This added hours of enjoyment whilst trying not to round off small bolt heads that are hard to get to. Second trip to the auto store, for drill bits and EZ outs, and bolt replacements.
BTW, pull the radiator, first thing. The books say you don't have to but it saves mucho time, space and probable damage if you pull it first. After you do that, spray all the bolts with PBlaster, and take off the fan clutch. Whilst I was at the store my beer luvin broinlaw decided that if that big nut was too tight he'd try to take the pulley off. No? Try taking the fan off the clutch. No? Ruh ro! I come back. There's no room for anything to do anything anymore. Four hours of two guys playing three stooges later I finally managed to put the pulley bolts in backwards to engage the pulley enough so I can crimp the belt with some vicegrips and then *finally* break that nut loose.
Second day of a three hour job. The timing belt- was tight. The old one was tight to get off- a little off the top, a little around the sides, do it a few times more and it finally came off. The new one was a little tighter. Yes it took taking out the bottom adjuster bolt and one person pushing the spring tight before the belt finally slipped on. The big ol soft rubber hammer helped a bit. I had taken the covers, cleaned and painted them, and placed them on. Remember broinlaw? I had said don't tighten the bolts at first until we're sure, so that means that alternator bracket bolt got redid a few times, especially after he broke the rotor. Third trip to the auto store.
We get it all together. We fill it with water. We start it up. We drive it around. We make steam. We come back. Broinlaw had moved the radiator hose into the alternater pulley trying to go around the airbox after pulling and replacing the battery. (Another longish story) Fourth trip to the auto store. AFTER I replace the hose AFTER rerouting the transmission lines back he pulls out the plastic timing cover piece and says he thought this was supposed to protect the hose. ?!?!?

Aftermath: he had thought about fixing the fan clutch (it wasn't broke) during one of my store trips, and after breaking a few small fins he decided it wasn't coming apart (I had put STP into *his* old Chevy fan clutch a few years back when he took THAT apart, and it kinda still works), so he "retensioned" the front spring bar. He told me this a few days later, when I said my heater doesn't work as good as it used to. I check. Seems that the fan works a lot more often now.
After my battery was disconnected for a day and a half the mpg meter actually worked for a couple days. It used to work once a week or so, it worked steady for a couple days afterwards, but now it's back to normal. I was going to redo the batteries on the SI board, but I noticed some fine cracks in the plastic where the two screws used to go, and telltale signs of glue. It ain't moving. It'll wait.
My power steering pump is groaning. It started up on the way back. I don't think it's related to the job we just did, unless a few days of boiling water being streamed upon it did anything. It only groans at cold starts, and when I turn the wheel. And now there's signs of oil mist on top of the reservoir that I thought were from me maybe overfilling it. I checked and double checked the mounting bolts and adjustment, and they seem fine. So I'm juggling- Do I try a fluid flush first? Do I do a reseal? Do I just replace it? Broinlaw says he can get it from the junkyard at half the price of new ...

Last edited by gidgaf; 01-26-2011 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
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Wow, what an adventure...

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Old 01-28-2011, 11:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I know. With the broinlaw, it added another day of work. And counting parts beer and ciggies donations (I don't drink nor smoke) this added maybe another $100 to the project. I think that if I did it on my own it would have been maybe four hours.

I was thinking of getting a power steering rebuild kit from "dragtimes.com", and broinlaw is trying to convince me to take him to a junkyard for one. "We" forget that entails $4 for the two of us to enter, maybe four hours of looking around and finally picking one out, buying it ($45) (and $$ for whatever small part he wanted to get) and taking it home, ($20 to $30) for lunch, beer and a pack of smokes for broinlaw for helping, and another hour to replace my old tired unit with someone else's unknown old tired unit. OR I can buy the kit for @ $25, rebuild it on my kitchen table, paint it pretty and put it back on. Maybe two hours.
Oh yeah, talking to broinlaw, it seems that he couldn't figure out that power steering thing, and so he just loosened all the bolts to take the belt off. "All the bolts?" Yep. There's no sign of dripping or leakage, but there IS some froth and evidence of oil vapors at the reservoir, so maybe it's just an air leak? Seals, gaskets and a thorough cleaning outa fix it.

BTW; "dragtimes" (http://www.dragtimes.com/BMW--528e-parts.html) has a lot of interesting stuff for low prices, anybody have a yea/nay opinion? I'm looking at a $10 guibo, and a pair of 12" (1550 cfm) fans for $20 right now.

Last edited by gidgaf; 01-28-2011 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 01-28-2011, 03:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
42, The meaning of life
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It might be worth sending the assistant on a very important mission that will take several hours, and make use of the quiet time to do what needs to be done on your own, either that or politlely tell him to FO!

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Old 02-09-2011, 11:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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> It might be worth sending the assistant
His wife and mine went to high school together, her daughter and my son sleep together, so I'm kinda sorta stuck with him. He does come in handy sometimes, altho there's always a price ...
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