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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I would appreciate you all referring me to your favorite thermostat replacement instructions and any pictures/diagrams that could be of use (I have the one from RealOEM of the waterpump-thermostat). I saw what seems to be a very detailed set written by everycredit here post #11. I'm hoping to have my friend who is a non-BMW tech do the work and was hoping to give him as much info to do the job as possible. As you might guess, I got an estimate from the dealer and it came in at $818 including parts and labor!!

I came into the dealer with a solidly lit SES on my '02 M5 (89K miles). They read the codes and found it to be a failed thermostat.

Here are my "symptoms":
-Solidly lit SES (stayed on for about 10 start cycles then went off, now back on)
-Temp gauge does not budge beyond the left white dot
-Hesitation upon acceleration (computer making a/f adjustments due to failed thermostat?)
-Code found by dealer--sorry don't have it!

Recommended replacement parts:
-BM11-53-7-835-558 Thermostat
-BM11-53-1-312-287 Seal Ring
and of course
-BM82-14-1-467-704 Antifreeze

The dealer has been good to me in other ways but this price seems really high!! I did check with an alternative shop and I think they wanted in the mid 600's to do it. The friend I want to do it works on track cars so he should have a field day working on an M5:7:

Thanks so much!

(Hey I have to tell you all that it's very embarrassing to have your 16 yr old drive your M5 and tell you it accelerates worse then his car. So yeah I really need to get this fixed!:biggrinbounce::biggrinbounce:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! Anything you would add to clarify, do differently, etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for that bit of additional advice! Do you happen to know the part number for the O-Rings?
 

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When I changed mine, instead of getting under the car to drain off coolant, I took a small hand fluid pump (like the kind you pump gear lube with) and simply drained down the fluid to below the thermostat. Made the whole job take less than an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much undfined, Steve and captainsin! I'll get the additional O-Rings ordered, print off all this and show my tech so he can how much time (and effort) this job should take which will help him with scheduling!
 

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Just replaced the thermostat - yesterday

I would say follow that link above for a very good guide. Take a quick look at the TIS if you have access.

The TIS recommends replacing all of the O Rings on the tubes going into the thermostat housing:
4 larger O-Rings
2 smaller O-Rings
It can take some effort to get those metal tubes out of the housing, don't be afraid to use a rubber mallet to loosen them up.

The TIS also says to replace the gasket seal inside of the therostat housing, this is not easy, I did it, but would say, skip this step if your mileage is moderate (mine is 67k). I did this by tapping the gasket ring with a small screwdriver through the hole where the temperature sensor screws in. This allows you to hit the gasket from the back side, forcing it out.

The new gasket seal with not just slide in, it needs "pressing" in, I set it in place and placed the end of a 2x4 over the new seal inside of the housing, and then hit that 2x4 with the rubber mallet - pressing it in place.

Finally, after experiencing leaks with my 0-rings the first time around, and draining my coolant - TWICE - I have a few recommendations.

1. You can get away with draining the coolant from just the radiator and the passenger side plug, no need to remove the heat shield and go after the drivers side coolant plug.

2. You could also use an oil extractor to draw out coolant until it is below the thermostat housing level.

3. Make sure the gasket housing o-rings and tubes are well seated in the housing and the cooling passages going into the engine block, I used a small amount of Mercury 321 marine grease to allow the rings to slip in and fully seat, the second time around. First time around I used nothing and had a coolant leak from the o-rings all over the floor - not fun as you essentially start from scratch to remove the housing and check the o-rings.

4. Buy more coolant than you need from BMW as you may be driving to the dealer twice when you have to redo the job.

5. Remove the temp sensor before pulling the thermostat housing out, makes it easier to maneuver past the Vanos lines and fan.

6 . Be patient, this is not complicated, but requires attention to detail.

SL
 

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This job took me 4 hours to do--of which 3 hours was spent looking for the lug from the engine block drain. Some how it was in the subframe above the hole. Subscribing to the theory of gravity, I didn't initially look up there. Provided you don't lose the lug, it takes a minimum of an hour, but plan an afternoon-evening doing this. Also, if you do the coolant drainage scheme, you must properly vent the coolant described in the procedure above. It's easy to do (car is self-venting), but if overlooked, you can develop "hot spots" in your engine due to air bubbles. This is not a good thing.
 

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Any one have the part # for the 2 small o-rings?
 

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When I changed mine, instead of getting under the car to drain off coolant, I took a small hand fluid pump (like the kind you pump gear lube with) and simply drained down the fluid to below the thermostat. Made the whole job take less than an hour.
This sounds intriguing. How much do you think you needed to get rid of, and where did you pump it from? The coolant reservoir?
 

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This sounds intriguing. How much do you think you needed to get rid of, and where did you pump it from? The coolant reservoir?
I just pumped it out of the coolant reservoir. The pump's tubing goes down about a foot. I would say I removed approx 3/4 of a gallon.
 

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Any one have the part # for the 2 small o-rings?
This is the complete list of parts that are REQUIRED to be replaced when doing this job. Follow TIS procedures to eliminate headaches in the future.

2 Small Orings (Thermostat Housing to Oil Cooler) - 11531407002 (QTY 2)
4 Large Orings (Thermostat Housing to Cylinder Water Pipes) - 11531406249 (QTY 4)
Thermostat - 11537835558 (QTY 1)
Thermostat Sealing Ring - 11531312287 (QTY 1)
Coolant Drain Plug Crush Washer (Gasket installed between engine coolant drain plug and engine block, on both left and right side of block) - 07119963225 (QTY 2)
 

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I'd use a bit of petroleum jelly as it makes it much easier to put the pipes back in and lower the risk of pinching/tearing the o-rings.

Steve
 

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I'd use a bit of petroleum jelly as it makes it much easier to put the pipes back in and lower the risk of pinching/tearing the o-rings.

Steve
I do not reccomend this, while it may not harm the Orings (are they Viton or Buna?), I would instead use undiluted coolant to lube the rings. Coolant will get the job done just fine. Further the Orings will see coolant the rest of their useful life.

Do not install them dry, most likely damage will result when this is attempted without lube.
 

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I do not reccomend this, while it may not harm the Orings (are they Viton or Buna?), I would instead use undiluted coolant to lube the rings. Coolant will get the job done just fine. Further the Orings will see coolant the rest of their useful life.

Do not install them dry, most likely damage will result when this is attempted without lube.
+1 on that.
O-rings should never be installed dry, they should always be lubed with something, preferably with the media that they are sealing in (i.e. oil, coolant, whatever)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
britm3-Thanks so much for the additional info. Yeah I didn't have the nerve (and honestly forgot) to ask the dealership for the TIS (excellent idea though) after they read the codes for me basically for free. I did have my car in for something else, but that's another post LOL

As each person does the replacement it can be useful to see what was done differently or what did not appear clear and to to make note of those things. Well I would have to make notes or I'd forget!

And additional thanks to everycredit who wrote up the complete original and to tristan, topper, willsauter, 2strokecoldsmoke and the rest of you for questions/follow ups.

(For those of you that don't know me, I've got a goofy streak about a mile wide so I really had to control myself from getting into the great O-Ring Lube Debate.) That said, I'll trust the judgement of my tech as to what to use?!?:7: Seriously, he will do fine and will even take it out for a test drive after I'm sure. And I will do some "testing" too because I've got a big road trip coming up!!

And yes my tech drove my car for fun about 3 years ago so he knows how it should feel. His shop is situated such that one side faces this nice calm residential street and the other this divided road that suddenly becomes this 65mph highway. I let him take it on his own and it stared out fine as I could hear him working his way through the side streets. But then I just about had to pinch myself to keep from freaking when I saw him (he's a drag racer LOL) flying down the highway side.:7: But hey it came back in not smoking and he had a huge smile on his face so it was all good.

Thanks again everyone!

Anita
 
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