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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning Guys,

I'm on the crest of starting some work on the car, and thought I would float the idea of a thread diarizing the work I do on the car. I did this for my last car on the appropriate forum and it proved quite popular. I used to do some hobby work on cars, the main one I did was a Mk1 Golf Gti, which I bought off a scrappy for £50 and stripped for parts, maybe no fancy project show car at the end but I learnt a lot about the workings of cars and the practicalities of actually doing work on them. I'm keen and organised, and take my time on jobs, but I'm by no means a VantaaM5. Having read most of the DIY's on here, it seems this isn't an incredibly difficult car to work on, and I feel it would save some money on work to do as much as is feasible myself. It seems a waste to have as much information as there is on here, posted by other members of the community, and not use it.

I'm thinking that doing work on the car and following the DIY's and learning gradually might give an insight to other owners thinking about doing their own maintenance. I'm starting fresh with this car, and might notice omissions in information that other, more experienced mechanics might assume to be common knowledge. I'm happy to take photos of the progress on the off-chance it might help someone.

I got really fed up with paying so-called 'specialists' quite decent money to get work that I wasn't happy with, and felt that given time and patience, there was no reason I couldn't do as good a job myself. Over the past weekend, I've started to pick up some tools again, a real PITA as I had loads that were all nicked a few years ago and the insurance was really awkward about it and in the end I gave up with them.

The main issue to begin with is doing the first lot of work in the right order. I know my thermostat needs doing, as I'm getting a constantly maintained 64 degrees on the KTEMP. This seems to be leading to the car running slightly off and I think it would benefit from this doing. My last car was the same and the thermostat failure issue was equally prevalent on that car, replacement improved the car plenty. That would seem to be the first job. I have various other issues that are familiar to the car and these are to be done over the next few months.

The one thing that's spurring me on is the fact that I've added my name to the Evolve dyno day in June. That gives me a timeframe to aim for to get the car running in good order.





Anyway, if anyone has any strong feelings one way or the other, post them up, and I'll either admit my howlers/document my progress to the world, or keep my trap shut :)
 

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Good one !!

Lets go !

But try to avoid getting into this situation :

Are you going to do the water pump when you do the T Stat too, obviously with the oil separator drain pipes ?

If you do the water pump will you do the Vibration Damper too ?

If you have front end apart, are you going to the Vanos Solenoids and Vanos Units rebuild, timing chain, tensioners and guides too, along with checking timing ?

If you have these off you might as well do the rod bearings too ?

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...and if I'm going to have it off the road and up in the air, may as well do the front suspension refresh too... :)

Yes, absolutely, this is my daily driver, or at least it is every other week, as I car share with my better half and we work at the same place. Basically, I need the car available to use and I often need to bob off round the country for work, so this won't be documenting a nut and bolt rebuild. I'm thinking more of a regular 'known M5 maintenance task' thing.

I do plan to bunch some jobs together, as it does make sense to do that, but like I say I plan to take plenty of photos, in case that other angle helps someone down the line.

I've always been of the opinion that a forum like this should not just be somewhere to ask questions whenever the need occurs, but a good repository of of information to look back on. I find it a bit annoying when the same questions and topics have come up again and again, it makes it harder to find the good information. Hopefully, eventually this thread might server as a good source of information. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quick update, order placed with Opie Oils for some fluids and bits and bobs, oil for the next change (I already have 4 litres I bought for topping up...)


Product Quantity Sub Total:
Castrol EDGE 10W-60 for special BMW M-Series engines -4 Litres
SKU: 00000935
1 £29.99

NGK Spark Plug BKR6EQUP (Opie Ref: 3199) -4 pack
SKU: 00078193
2 £52.34

CABIN FILTER: UFI active carbon cabin air filter 54.108.00 -single
SKU: 00015395
2 £38.06

REDLINE RACING Synthetic Automatic Transmission Fluid -1 x US Quart (0.946L)
SKU: 00001264
2 £27.84

Goods Net: £148.19
Carriage Net: £0.00
Sub Total: £148.19
VAT: £29.64
Total: £177.83

Also sorting a pair of Rogue tranny mounts from Maca today, so they'll be on the shelf for when I get around to that.

Had a peek under the bonnet yesterday, and my PS fluid res is loose, didn't have time to have a proper look and see if the mount itself is broken, but I'm going to change the res along with the usual hoses (I see a bit of leakage anyway). Fan clutch appears to need replacement and I have a few weeping seals around the place. No real surprises, it would have been unusual to not find anything :(

Just the MOT to negotiate before this weekend, we'll see what occurs with that.
 

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Good going mate !

I must admit, sex does have its moments.....but I think for you, me and several other chaps, there is something so lovely about getting new bits and pieces for our beasty !!! Unparalleled feel good factor !
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hee, hee, yes, I know it's not the biggest order ever placed, but it's a start. I'm struggling to find time to get anything done, with work and dark nights.

I'm really keen to get going, and fluid flushes and changes have always been a good place to start, getting in and dirty with the engine bay and underside of the car often highlights other stuff to be done, and if nothing else improves familiarity with the car. I want to get the car up to look underneath for the whole rear main seal/propshaft/diff seal checkover as well. I'm having a bit of a mare getting a load of tools delivered as the delivery address is different to the card holders address, they're just being security-minded and can't really fault that, but it's a pain...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hee, hee, yes, I know it's not the biggest order ever placed, but it's a start. I'm struggling to find time to get anything done, with work and dark nights.

I'm really keen to get going, and fluid flushes and changes have always been a good place to start, getting in and dirty with the engine bay and underside of the car often highlights other stuff to be done, and if nothing else improves familiarity with the car. I want to get the car up to look underneath for the whole rear main seal/propshaft/diff seal checkover as well. I'm having a bit of a mare getting a load of tools delivered as the delivery address is different to the card holders address, they're just being security-minded and can't really fault that, but it's a pain...

(Apologies for double post)
 

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Great idea for a thread - looking forward to the updates.

I'm particularly interested in reading about the experiences of an amateur mechanic with only limited to moderate experience, who doesn't have an endless supply of state-of-the-art tools and is often operating against time constraints. Which is my world and that of many others I believe - which will help not only to prepare for jobs, but to determine which jobs one should take to the garage versus the ones that would be fun and satisfying to do oneself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Plenty - Absolutely the point of the thread :)

Can I make it completely, absolutely and utterly clear here that I am not wishing to do down, critcise or otherwise, any of the forum contributors who have posted information or DIY's. I have said before that forums with people happy to help are like gold dust. It is due to these contributors that I'm going to take on some of the jobs within my skillset. Like I said, I'm fairly intelligent, mechanically minded and bodily able to carry out some of the tasks that I've previously given to trusted, reputable independents and not got the results I was after. To have to get a rocker cover gasket replaced 3 times in 12 months is not my idea of having the job done properly :( (That's not on this car, BTW)

So yes, I'm delving in from a very amateur point of view, and am assuming there is the possibility to fill in a few things that for most seasoned mechanics are given.

I've spent loads of time on here since I got the car, researching the various issues that can occur, and using the search function, of course (apologies if I have asked questions already answered in other threads, it was probably just for clarity).

Hoping to get the MOT out of the way on Thursday and then once the parts, tools and confidence arrive, I'll start the log.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
OK, tonight could well have been the start of this, but it's pouring with rain. Yet again, came out to the car tonight to drive home and the battery was flat as. Tried jumping it off a colleagues car (again, and still not good, all this jump starting is going to start to damage something, I know). Had no turn at all, not even the click-click, and still didn't even when it had been hooked up to his car for ten minutes. So that was just plain embarrassing. But no matter, the guys pushed the car and I managed to bump start it (have no idea if that will have any effect, had no display on the heater controls...). Needs must, had to get me and the girlfriend home. :(

Anyway, got home determined to disconnect the TrafficMaster unit. From various threads I've read, it seems the TM might be to blame for various issues, and I bloody need this battery drain issue sorted. So I made sure the laptop was charged and went out, to be greeted by wind and rain, not the sort of weather to start messing with delicate electronics. I had a quick check though and it looks as though my TM unit isn't behind the CD changer, it seems to be mounted above the nav unit in the same bracket. I may be wrong, I'm not in the best mood tonight, but when I do it, I'll take plenty of pics. Just worried it won't start in the morning now, it's due in Derby, 40 miles away for it's MOT and a bit of a second pair of eyes to check it over briefly.

One other thing, I have also read that the nav unit can drain the battery if it has a non-perfect disc in it, it continuously tries to read it and cannot shut down. It might be a by-product of the battery flattening again, but it did eject the disc wile I was outside. It's done this once before when the nav stopped working, so I'm thinking that perhaps the disc I'm using (a non-genuine copy) is no good, it's what I got with the car. I've left it out for tonight in the vain hope it helps to conserve a bit of power.

Wish me luck for tomorrow morning, please.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
D-Lite - Not sure what you mean by that, but in an attempt to answer, our MOT is the test of roadworthiness, only £40-£50, and I'm fairly confident all will be fine. Bar a brakelight bulb but they're going to fit that first. Once I get there. Battery flat as, yet again. AA on their way, to try and jump it again, I'm guessing. God only knows what damage it's doing, all this jump starting, and trying to jump start it. I could start falling out with this car. Grrrr :( :( :(
 

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You really really need to get to the bottom of the current draw. Priority 1, before you damage something!!

Having flattened your battery a couple of times, it will be now pretty much useless, so get a new one. If you can't find the cause of the current draw immediately, leave the car on charge over night or whenever you leave it if at all possible.

Do you have access to a decent ammeter, or ideally a clamp meter, so you can measure the current draw?

Do you have a Resler iBus interface so you can see if something is not going to sleep and keeping the rest of the car awake?

Location of the TM unit varies, depending what else you have. If you have Nav, TV and Bluetooth then the TM unit is stuck to the TV module. If you have no phone, or possibly the older phone TCU, then it's above the Nav unit. Regardless of location, the connections are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Car is now at Benz Bavarian in Derby. AA came out this morning and battery is OK, but the starter is just not turning. So towed to Derby and just waiting to hear what the guys find. Most impressed at the outset with them, car hadn't been off the loader for 10 minutes and they were running DIS on it. Unfortunately DIS wouldn't run as the connector wasn't talking to their laptop. No lights behind the digital aircon display and a message about the tyre pressure system not being active. Ho hum. It's only money and I'll look back and laugh. Perhaps.

Will update when I hear back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looking sad...
 

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Oh dear. I still think your battery is toast. A car battery is not designed to be deep cycled, one deep cycle will pretty much kill it, 3 or 4 and it's scrap, even if it does test OK!

Is it just the photo or are those wheels not OEM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think you're right Richard, I've asked Mark to see if the battery is actually up to spec. It was recently new before I bought the car but this may mean nothing if it's not the right spec. It's a Halfords 800amp (?) unit, I looked at it this morning but forget what it might have been exactly.

Wheels - No, not OEM, 19" Breyton Spirits. You can't really see from the angle of the photo but they have a juicy big rim, lovely when polished but suffering from our less-than-tropical climate at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Must admit to being a big fan of the Bosch Silver's, it's what I've always replaced with in the past, good bits of kit.

I see that one is 920CCA, whereas the one that's in is an 800CCA. Will bear that in mind.

One issue is, I don't do big miles in the car, 7 miles in to work and the same back, 5 days a week every two weeks with some bits and bobs inbetween. I guess it's possible that if the battery that is in now isn't up to spec and was not in good condition anyway, that might be the cause of my issues. Of course I need to test for drain from the usual suspects but if a battery that's had a hard life isn't getting properly run then it may well have finished it off. I'm looking at my old MOT, the one that covered the year up to now, and the car has covered less than 5000 miles in 12 months, and I must easily have done at least 2-2.5k of those in the last 4 months, then it could easily have been sat flat for long periods of time. I notched up nearly 1000 miles in the first 8 days of ownership. I really need to change my fluids out SOON having said that. Oil and PS fluid due tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
OK, full marks for RichardP. Battery was totally effed, any accessories on and it was dropping to 7-odd volts, big new one in, Exide I think, similar to the OEM, so all good. Lack of starter was due to 4 out of 5 terminals being 'totally corroded'. They've been all cleaned up and the starter motor all reconditioned and cleaned up. Some waxy protection has been put on to try and stop this happening again. Lack of heater controls was just down to a blown fuse.

Just need a multimeter now so I can check if I have a drain elsewhere, TM still to come out and phone module to be disconnected. FSU to be changed, this was in the AA chaps diagnostic notes this morning too. But it seems the battery was at fault fundamentally so all good.

MOT passed with a couple of advisories, rear ball joints, one front ball joint, exhaust brackets broken but not a fail, exhaust itself is in good nick.

So not a bad day, all's well that ends well. Collecting tomorrow night with a big grin :)

Note, the starter motor terminals are not that well protected by the underbody guards apparently, this is why they corroded, perhaps one for the owners in the colder, salty countries to check now and again, and bear in mind if you get no starter motor joy.
 
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