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Discussion Starter #1
Well, since apparantly no one has ever successfully done this themselves, I guess I'll be the first. I've searched and searched, and any time someone asks for a DIY people change the subject like someone just asked about unicorn blood.

So I'm in the middle of this right now. Let me tell you, it sucks. Huge pain in the ***. Again, BMW in their infinite wisdom places these sensors behind the gad-damn motor. Sure, they're high up alright, but there is convenienly a plastic black wall containing all the engine wires and harnesses in it running like less than an inch from the two screws you need to get to.

And yes, I said SCREWS. Not allen head, but good old fashioned phillips-head screws torqued down like they hold the car together or something. Oh, and they're Chinese, so they must strip extemely easy as well.

FML.

Needed to take a coffee break and a rant seemed appropriate. Anyone here (dare I ask) ever done this themselves, without removing the engine? Trying to avoid doing that...
 

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plenty have done this before, myself included. I guess you're the first to document it. Not the easiest job but not the most difficult either. I ended up destroying my screws - unscrewed them with pliers, couldnt find another way - and replaced them with hex. An 'upgrade', if you will. Thanks for writing it up! Were you getting failsafe codes?
 
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small pair of vice grips works well. also you can take a small sharp chisel and knock off the top "fins" on the tps. makes it easier to turn the screws on the vice grips are locked on.
 

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I feel your pain Brother...I remember one of those CPSs on the drivers side being akin to trying to tie your shoes with a baseball bat...What doesn't kill you will make you stronger...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
plenty have done this before, myself included. I guess you're the first to document it. Not the easiest job but not the most difficult either. I ended up destroying my screws - unscrewed them with pliers, couldnt find another way - and replaced them with hex. An 'upgrade', if you will. Thanks for writing it up! Were you getting failsafe codes?
I'll document it better once I get a chance and the beast is up and running again. Beat me to it with the hex upgrade! Went to Ace this morning, since I wanted to burn the screws to the firey depths of hell and replace them with anything better. The Allen head will make this job 100% easier in the future...





Wasn't getting codes.. basically did it as PM since I was in there anyways for a t-stat changeout and coolant flush.

small pair of vice grips works well. also you can take a small sharp chisel and knock off the top "fins" on the tps. makes it easier to turn the screws on the vice grips are locked on.
Very good tip! Almost came down to that, but remember, at that point there is no turning back :)

I feel your pain Brother...I remember one of those CPSs on the drivers side being akin to trying to tie your shoes with a baseball bat...What doesn't kill you will make you stronger...
All very true. This was every bit as exhausting as the CPS's were.
 

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Additional TPS Removal & Install Tips

Jetpilot - I just did the same job today.

My M5 was stumbling/hesitating/running crappy - finally got the "cross check code" and the "bank 1 failure code" (I posted in the Peake Code section)

One thing I found is that you do not have to remove the plastic ducting.
I used my trusty Xcelite 378M needlenose pliers - had these for over 20 years and they always seem to solve a problem - heavily serrated jaws that grip like a psychotic ape - and they are thin enough to get between the screw head and the plastic duct.

Here's the steps I took to remove:

1) Loosen the screws with the pliers completely.
2) Back them out till they hit the plastic wire duct.
3) Pry the TPS loose from the head and push forward.
4) With your thumb, push back the plastic wire duct - there is "JUST" enough flex to clear the screws & TPS as 1 unit. (Screws completely un-threaded, but still in TPS holes.)
5) Remove TPS.
6) Remove connector.

To Install:

1) Throw away the Phillips screws & get (4) M4 bolts/washers - and a 7mm combo wrench if you don't have one. (I didn't - my set stops at 8mm)

2) Attach connector to new TPS.
3) Insert the bolts/washers into the TPS holes
4) Push the plastic wire duct to flex back enough to position the TPS (with the bolts through the TPS holes as 1 unit).
5) Position the bolts & tighten.

I found this method alleviates much of the time in removing the plastic ducting - I know - I did one side that way! (I'm not sure, but I may have invented some new curse words in the process).
I guess I'm used to removing the screws/bolts first, then the part - in this case removing the part with the screws worked out much better.

Another project saved by the Xcelite 378M! (I don't work for them) - Add it to your toolbox.

Hope this info is helpful!

I reset the codes and took a non-spirited 10 mile drive after installing the new TPS's - no hesitation/stumbling/crappy running.
I also noticed that the previously "raunchy" 1-2 shift is so much smoother.
The real test is tomorrow - a spirited drive on the NY Thruway - taking my wife to Imax at Pal Park Mall.
 

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+1 on the hex bolts

I replaced both TPS when I had the plenum off a few weeks ago. Only two things I would add:

1. I had an old 90 degree philips head screw driver - its basicaly just a piece of metal with a 90 degree elbow on it that ends in a philips head. I believe this is used by plumbers or electricians to get into really tight spaces - it just barely fit between the sensor and plastic wire bundle. Can't remember if I got this at homedepot or sears. Locking pliers work too.

2. Hex bolt size is M4x7 25mm long. Perfect fit and w/ a 7mm wrench piece of cake putting the new sensors in. Well worth doing.
 

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im sure the peanut gallery is going to chime in here but unless you're having throttle issues or have fault codes stored for tps then theres no reason to change these. you're not going to see any performance increase.
 

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Are TPS considered Preventative Maintenance?

im sure the peanut gallery is going to chime in here but unless you're having throttle issues or have fault codes stored for tps then theres no reason to change these. you're not going to see any performance increase.
Hello Nightkrawler,

I'm a newer member here, and have read 2 schools of thought on replacing parts - 1. Wait till a code is thrown and 2. Preventative maintenance.

From reading the board, I know the CPS & O2 sensors are considered PM - are the TPS sensors also?
I Had to replace mine, but I'd like to know from your experience -what other parts would you consider to be PM at 68K miles - I wouldn't like any surprises like I had with the TPS - plus it's starting to get cold outside!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hello Nightkrawler,

I'm a newer member here, and have read 2 schools of thought on replacing parts - 1. Wait till a code is thrown and 2. Preventative maintenance.

From reading the board, I know the CPS & O2 sensors are considered PM - are the TPS sensors also?
I Had to replace mine, but I'd like to know from your experience -what other parts would you consider to be PM at 68K miles - I wouldn't like any surprises like I had with the TPS - plus it's starting to get cold outside!

My reason for swapping out the TPS's was the "you're in there anyway" school of thought. I had the entire plenum off to do the T-stat swap, so that's really the only reason I did it. Plus they were relatively inexpensive.

So, would I have done this entire job just to swap out two sensors for the hell of it, no. But is it prudent to do so when they're staring you in the face, yes.
 

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Hello Nightkrawler,

I'm a newer member here, and have read 2 schools of thought on replacing parts - 1. Wait till a code is thrown and 2. Preventative maintenance.

From reading the board, I know the CPS & O2 sensors are considered PM - are the TPS sensors also?
I Had to replace mine, but I'd like to know from your experience -what other parts would you consider to be PM at 68K miles - I wouldn't like any surprises like I had with the TPS - plus it's starting to get cold outside!
maf's and pre cat o2 sensors would be a good choice.
 

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For those who attempted this, do you still have the part # for the TPS? I will replace the CPSs the upcoming weekend, will add TPS to the mix, since my beast has a slight hesitation from 1500 to 2400 rpm.
 

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Hi Folks,

I am now stuck with removing the damn TPS. Spent a whole evening to no avail.
The philips bolt head is stripped. The plastic wire duct is in place. Trying different options at the moment....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi Folks,

I am now stuck with removing the damn TPS. Spent a whole evening to no avail.
The philips bolt head is stripped. The plastic wire duct is in place. Trying different options at the moment....

Did you watch the video, near :40 seconds, I mention how I used both a small stubby screwdriver, AND a vice grip on the head of the screw and turned them both carefully and in unison to get the screw to come out. I then replaced the screws with a proper allen-head (which is what should have been in there in the first damn place).

So, if your head is screwed you have two options:

1 - try the vice grip method, after soaking the screw with some PB blaster

2 - (if replacing the TPS anyways) destroy the plastic around the TPS, then use a small hacksaw to cut the heads off the screws. Then, the rest of the screw will come out in your hand easily.
 

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I understand the first method, mate. But don't quite get the second one.
If you cut off the head, how are you gonna unscrew it from the motor?
 

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He's basically saying

you can crack the plastic around the old tps sensor and then cut off the screw head w/ a hacksaw blade - allowing you to pull the sensor off and then use vise grips to grab the piece of screw left and turn it. What you might also try is using a hacksaw blade to try cutting a new slot across the face of the screw and then use a flat head screw driver (or something that fits in said groove) to try turning the screw.

Do yourself a favor and make sure you've removed the air ducts AND the black plastic by the firewall for as much clearance as you can get. I used a combination of needle nose vise grips (very small/thin jaws) and a 90 degree stubby phillips screwdriver (it looks like a phillps head bit with a 90 bend at the end - I found it in the plumbing section of lowes of all places). Replace the screws with hex head bolts to save yourself (or some other poor shmuck) the pain in the future.

Good luck.
 
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