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A few people asked for a small write up, so here it is! The job itself is not very hard, just takes a little time and some small hands. I am not responsible for any damage you do to you engine or yourself. This is a high voltage system, use common sense and disconnect your battery.

Tools:
3/8'' Rachet
LONG 3/8'' Extension
3/8'' Wobble joint
10mm Socket
Spark Plug socket
Torque Wrench
Flat head screw driver
New plugs, NGK or Bosch are the BMW choice from the manual
Lots of light
Gloves
Liquid refreshment
A girlfriend/wife with small hands (If you have giant monster hands like me)

I started with the passenger side first. In order to access everything the cabin filter and its plumbing need to be removed. Zee Germans did a very nice job of making this unit easy to remove. At the center of the filter tray there is a small metal clip that holds the entire unit to the strut tower. Pull this clip out and set aside. Now lift the long, thin black bar that holds the filter lid on. Remove the lid and filter and set aside. Now to disconnect the plumbing into the firewall. On the filter box end, there are 3 tabs on the connector that need to be lifted (I choose a small screw driver but your fingers will do) The filter box and plumbing should now be separated. To remove the tube from the firewall rotate the entire tube clockwise, then it will pull straight out. To remove the filter box lift it from the right side. the box has a tab that sits in the fender and will pull right out when the right side in angled upwards.

You should have an area like this when finished


Parts that were removed look like this


There are two 10mm nuts on the surface of the access cover that need to be removed. Take care are not to drop the nuts or their washers into the engine bay! Once these bolts are removed the cover can be lifted (with a little force) and then maneuvered out of the engine bay. Be gentle and just wiggle the cover out, it will come, it may take some different angles.

You should see this


Now for the Bremi's (coils). I found it best (after trying many different ways) to remove all connectors first. To remove the electrical connector from the bremi takes the following: There is a large metal retaining clip that holds each connector in place. I found it best to use a flat head screwdriver, insert in the small recess at the front/long side of the clip and just "pop" the clip up. Then with your fingers lift the clip as far up as you can (it will stop, you won't pull it off). These clips are a pain in the arse because they always want to work there way back down, so with one hand hold the clip up, and with the other slide the electrical connector off the bremi. Repeat this process for all 4 bremis. The last one (closest to the firewall) is a PITA but take your time, just move the rubber insulator as best you can to access the connector. With the electrical connectors off I then removed the two 10mm nuts that hold the black, plastic wire loom in place. With the all of the above mentioned removed it makes access to the bremis very easy.

On to the Bremis. There are two 10mm nuts that hold each bremi in. Start with the first bremi, remove the nuts (again be careful as not to drop the nuts down into the galley) With the nuts removed get two fingers under each side of the bremi and give it a firm tug straight out. Remove the bremi and set aside.

Cover off and the first bremi out


Here is a pic with a bremi out, it is the driver's side but you getb the point


With the bremi out, use a very long 3/8'' extension, a wobble joint and your spark plug socket to get the plug out. Try to turn the plug as true to center as possible. This is hard because of the angles required to access the plugs. Remove plug and number. Reinstall new plug and turn in with FINGERS ONLY (ie remove the racket and turn the extension with your hands) this will ensure the plug seats true and not cross threaded. These are aluminum heads, not hard to f up. Once the plug is turned down by hand grab your torque wrench and tighten to 21-22 ft/lbs. Again keep your extension as true to center as possible. Reinstall the bremi and your done your first plug. I again suggest leaving the electrical connectors off to better facilitate access to the remaining units.

Work your way rearward. The last plug is a bit hard to access, but use your head and take your time.

After you change all 4 plugs, put everything back together in reverse order. Again the plug closest to the firewall is just a PIA.

I am not going to post about the drivers side because it is 99% the same as the passenger! There are a few AC hoses that are in the way, so small hands work better.

Button everything up


Start her up and enjoy! Make sure you get all your tools out of the engine bay!! Label your old plugs and post pics on here so smarter people can analyze them for you :biggrinbounce:
 

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Thank you very much for that - I was to do this over the weekend but something else has come up so it will have to wait :3:

Did you fit OEM plugs?

Richie.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
richie_rvf said:
Thank you very much for that - I was to do this over the weekend but something else has come up so it will have to wait :3:

Did you fit OEM plugs?

Richie.
The manual has two plugs Bosch and NGK. I Choose to try the Bosch, just to be different ouich
 

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In my bookmarks. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ard said:
Which manual???
My 01 BMW "User Manual" has two plugs in the back of the book under "Specs" a NGK type and a Bosch type. I can scan the page for you if you like :hihihi:
 

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rdm190 said:
A few people asked for a small write up, so here it is! The job itself is not very hard, just takes a little time and some small hands. I am not responsible for any damage you do to you engine or yourself. This is a high voltage system, use common sense and disconnect your battery.

Tools:
3/8'' Rachet
LONG 3/8'' Extension
3/8'' Wobble joint
10mm Socket
Spark Plug socket
Torque Wrench
Flat head screw driver
New plugs, NGK or Bosch are the BMW choice from the manual
Lots of light
Gloves
Liquid refreshment
A girlfriend/wife with small hands (If you have giant monster hands like me)
I attached pics in the other spark plug thread too. If only I saw this post before I started.

I didn't have to touch the air filter. I used a universal joint instead of the wobble extension. This gave me all the clearance I needed around the air filter box. I bet this saved some time. It took me 2 hours total, but I spent 1/2 hour talking to neighbors, so 1.5 hours.

Different from yours. I used:
1/2" rachet
Two 1/2" extensions 6" long
Universal joint
One 1/2" extension 3" long
 

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Wonderful writeup!
 

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A good idea ( trust me i found out the hard way) is to use some electrical tape and wrap the plug socket to the extension so that it doesn't come apart and you leave the plug socket behind!
 

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I did the spark plugs and it took me a whole 2.5 hours. I wasted about an hour on the rear-most driver+passenger plugs (the ones close to the firewall). The access back there is terrible.

Make sure you have a variety of ratchet extensions, a ratchet wobble joint, a portable and efficient light source.

Much more painful than changing the plugs on my previous E46 M3 car. The job took 30 minutes, as the coils are not held down by screws, and the access is from the top of the engine.

Nevertheless, I am happy and proud of having gone through it, and the car pulls stronger, with a better throttle response. My back is killing me though, and it took way too much time.
 

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the plugs at the front are simple, but the ones closer to the back are annoying.

if you notice in picture 3, there is a kind of rubber gasket that goes aroud the bottom where the spark plug covers go. make sure that when you are putting everything back together that little rubber gasket doesn't come off or sit smashed up.
 

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Kudos guys, I am a happy amateur mechanic with my biggest triumph being the installation of a shortshifter into my M3 (ain't repeating that one again in a hurry), but this looks like more grief and aggravation than I can be bothered with.

How often do the plugs get replaced according to the service manual?
 

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Don't forget the Antisieze!:eek:oohhh: Coat the threads of the plugs before you thread them into the head. I didn't see that mentioned anywhere including the materials list.
 

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Should add this thread to the Tips and Tricks section.
 

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gtobynj said:
Kudos guys, I am a happy amateur mechanic with my biggest triumph being the installation of a shortshifter into my M3 (ain't repeating that one again in a hurry), but this looks like more grief and aggravation than I can be bothered with.

How often do the plugs get replaced according to the service manual?
most cars would say 100k, but in the m5 it's every 60k.

oxygen sensors at 100k.
 
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