Timm's BMW Website Update Log
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April 16th 2018, hooray the weather's getting better, time to do outside stuff! I've just restarted the YouTube channel with a few video's, concentrating on diagnostics and how to use them to solve engine running problems. That leads on to actually fixing the problems, and this weekend was spent looking at how to repair inlet manifold leaks. Whilst recording I actually came across a new vacuum leak at the back of the PCV on my E31 - this is a large blanking cap that blocks off the vacuum take-off point which is used on other models for the brake booster. The cap was replaced five years ago and I found it to be completely split and ready to drop off. That will be covered in the video - the main thrust being how to stop the manifold gasket leaks without removing the inlet manifold. Why don't I just remove the inlet manifold? Because there is no need to and it is fraught with problems (just read the E38 forum posts that start 'I just changed the inlet manifold gaskets and now my car is broken/won't idle/misfires/only runs on 6 cylinders'). If there is one bit of advice I would give on working with these old cars it is - do as little as possible - and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, the video should be available next week as long as I get on with the editing. Meanwhile, on the 6-Series front, the 650i has been making absolutely horrible gear changes, sometimes appearing (briefly) to be in neutral when accelerating. This is something that resetting adaptations would not fix, so I took it to Lee Shannon for a fluid and filter change. The difference is like day and night, so much nicer to drive with barely discernible gear-changes. Worth noting is that there is a block gasket that connects the Mechatronik assembly to the valve body - when this splits you would get the same symptoms - and although mine was OK, Lee swapped it anyway as it was only seven quid. One of the main causes of the rotten changes was due to the fluid leaking out of the main gasket, one of the various causes of a good oil slick on my drive. Total cost was £400 - I would have paid twice that for the smooth performance ----------------- x x x x x ----------------- End of February 2018 and I’m starting a new series of articles and YouTube video’s on diagnostics, something I’ve been planning to do for a while. Diagnostics can dig deep into an engines inner workings, in particular, how well the engine is burning fuel and turning it into motive energy. These windows into the engine are quite well hidden, and my aim is to demystify the process. February 2018, it’s blooming freezing here and both cars are running fine. The biggest change on meeknet is ADVERTS - yes, a necessary evil I’m afraid as meeknet even with your very kind donations is running at a huge loss. These days meeknet gets over three million page views a month - and that costs a few quid - so adverts it is, not that they actually make much money, still running at a loss but slightly less than before! The code writing for the ads has taken away the time that the new YouTube channel should have used - but a few more weeks and I’ll be back to it. It's the very end of 2017 and I'm up to a couple of things - fitting a dashcam in both cars - both the 650i and the 840ci are done, rather neatly installed and wired into the interior light assembly, this not only means no trailing wires but also allows the dashcam to remain active for 16 minutes after the car is locked so that anything useful can be downloaded via WiFi from the house. This additional feature consumes an additional 0.04Ah from the battery which, from 150Ah, is nothing to worry about. The second thing I have been fiddling with is measuring battery drain - I don't have any problems but this comes up so often on the main Forums and I always advise on measuring the current demand - and then realised that most members wouldn't know how to do it without losing the evidence - so I wrote it up. December 2017 - 650i gearbox adaptations reset and all back to smoothness, except it's not perfect so time for a filter and fluid change. The 840ci A/C system ran out of gas eventually and a trace of UV dye was noticeable on the condenser, so I fitted the AdRad one (which was a replacement for one that didn't fit) - updated here. It was pretty depressing fitting the condenser due to the amount of crumbly rust on the radiator hanger - still got some strength but it is time to get the rust sorted and it won't be cheap, I'm just glad Mora Metallic hides rust perfectly.... September 2017 and the 840's cabin is getting very hot - initially I thought that the A/C had lost its refrigerant again but no, the heater valves have failed, well they lasted 19 years I suppose. During the hot weather I devised a clamp made from two small spanners and tie- wraps to pinch off the heater hose to stop being fried while my Ebay replacement water valves made their way from Germany. I have updated this routine to include new information gleaned. The 650i's gear changes are getting worse, time to reset the adaptations again. I've fitted LED fog lights to match the Halo's, a certain amount of messing about is required to stop the bulb warnings, but nothing too taxing. August 2017 and nothing to report really - both cars are running fine, the 840ci gearbox selector switch is causing no problems and the 650i's auxiliary water pump is keeping things warm. The A/C was fixed by the replacement of the compressor and a regas, all for £400, can't complain. Next on the agenda is sorting the E31's rust. Just coming to the end of May and the A/C has given up on the 840ci and the heating has gone feeble on the 650i - this is due to the failure of the auxiliary water pump. I finished replacing the pump today and will write it up, quite a simple job to do and the pump was reasonably cheap at £55 - can't complain. April and I've taken a break from my new project to fix an annoying oil-leak on the E64. I'm normally not that fussed about small oil-leaks, especially as I've had seven cars with the M62 engine and the normal leaking valve cover gaskets - but this time the oil is blowing back onto the exhaust and it stinks. The source of the oil is from the vacuum pump, which is required on the N62 as there is very little manifold vacuum - and vacuum is needed for the brake booster. These have a large flat cover which is sealed by an o-ring - and the combination of heat and age changes the properties of the o-ring and it fails. An easy job which can have a bit of a sting as it is easy to damage the pump - so I decided to do the job in an order that ensures the pump is not damaged. It's the start of April 2017 and not much has changed, I've been busy on a new project that has reduced the time spent on the cars. The 840ci's A/C has run out of gas, well, it lasted five months, just long enough for the hot weather to turn up. I'll get it re gassed again and see how long it lasts, at some point I will have to mend something. Apart from that it is running well and the cleaning of the gearbox selector switch has fixed the transmission problem I had. The 650i needs a brake-reaction bush and the exhaust is leaking at a joint, two jobs I'll pass on to the local garage. Middle of February and I'm back in the 840ci with working gears again. The problem was the gear selector which is fitted to the RHS of the gearbox, and open to the elements. To counter these harsh conditions the switch is a work of art, fully sealed and filled with an anti- corrosion fluid. It is normal to find sealed wires going into the switch - but what wasn't expected was a clear pipe going into it! The pipe is used during the manufacturing process to fill the switch with contact fluid to keep the contacts clean and corrosion out. The fluid is eventually lost through the seals and the switch starts to fail. And that's exactly what mine did, there were small leakage currents between the contacts and that was enough to cause illegal switch patterns - and that upset the gearbox computer no end. The fix was two-fold, I initially modified the gearbox computer (EGS) to provide a greater current to the switch and that got me driving again - I then flushed and re-filled the switch with WD40 to disperse contamination and any moisture - and that brought the switch back to production performance - I'll write it up later - also done was oil and filter on both cars and clearing moisture from more-or-less all the lights on the 650i - the seals are hopeless. After trying to support two versions of each web page (both widescreen and mobile versions) I have decided to drop the low-resolution version as most mobile devices have more than enough resolution to display either. The main problem was editing finished pages, it caused all sorts of synchronisation errors - I'd rather write up new routines (I've got loads waiting) than mess about trying to get both versions working - so, new pages will be 1200 pixels wide only. Two weeks into February and the 840ci has done two things, it’s reached 160,000 miles, and more importantly decided to change gears at random - trundling up the A3 in 3rd gear isn’t much fun. Fortunately, stopping the car, switching off and back on fixed that, it went into TRANS FAIL-SAFE PROG and locked itself in 4th gear (as it is designed to do). The way it was randomly changing gear points to moisture and salt getting into the gear selector switch which is stuck to the side of the gearbox. So, with snow forecast for the weekend it will be up on ramps and out with the WD40 - I'll write it up if it fixes it. Coming to the end of January, all we have had this year is fog, more fog, freezing temperatures and salt, lots of salt. The 8-Series has spent most of this year on the drive, sheltering from the salted roads only seeing use once or twice a week and washed down immediately afterwards. So, the 6-Series has seen a bit more use than normal and has a bit of work done - crankcase ventilation (again), front water drains (again) and timing-chain tensioner, well, one of them, one's extremely easy, the other one is nigh-on impossible with the engine in the car. Clearing the drains again after all the leaves had fallen seemed like a good idea, especially before the leaves had decomposed. No problems there, quite a few crispy leaves removed and the 'How-To' routine updated with a few new photographs. There has been a return of the slight hesitation when a minuscule amount of throttle is used after coasting - something that was fixed last time by replacement of the two PCV's. Both PCV's proved to be fully intact, but a certain amount of gunge had returned on Bank 1. The system is slightly different between the banks, Bank 1's PCV is mounted remotely, this is done because they both used to ice-up when fitted to the valve covers - and that blew the valve-cover gaskets out - so BMW moved one so that it was external to the head inside its own foam-insulated assembly. The new device added a cavity for any moisture that may have frozen so that the vent remained clear. That was all well and good except instead of icing-up it gunged-up instead with a mixture of oil and water. Easily enough to remove except that the gunge trickles down the pipework into the valve cover, and that needs to be cleared out - I will update the 'How-To' to cover this job which necessitates the (easy) removal of the complete assembly. It was interesting to run the engine with parts of the PCV/OSV system removed - there is information from BMW that says the inlet manifold vacuum is practically zero due to the throttle valve being fully open and idle controlled by valve-lift. Turns out that is not the case as there was a lot of manifold vacuum which I used to check Bank 1's OSV was clear after pulling gunge out of the pipework. Now and again I get a bit of top-end rattle, especially at high revs, my friend (Rupe) has replaced both timing-chain tensioners with good results (I had a blast in his 650i a week or so ago). So, I decided to replace the tensioners knowing that Bank 1's is difficult to get to. So far I have replaced Bank 2's tensioner and look forward to doing the other one! It's the start of 2017 and the cars are both going fine - during the break I had another go at fitting the 3200 Lumen LED units in the FTP main beams. As earlier reported I have a spare set of the main-beam rear covers so I cut a hole in the back that allowed the back of the LED some space - and then fitted small ABS boxes over the hole and made them waterproof again. There was a certain amount of fiddling required to get the LED, it's power regulator and connectors inside the FTP - but I got them all in eventually. And the results were..... awful! When I thought about it a bit more the reason it was awful was obvious and a small modification made the light output excellent in around 10 minutes - all to be revealed once I write it up (written-up here) - in the end there wasn't even a need to cut holes in the back cover! It’s a couple of days before Christmas and the 840ci’s ABS/ASC+T pump has decided to slow down enough to illuminate the warning lights on the dash. So, the pump needs a bit of exercise but I don’t have diagnostics with me - so I’ve got a new plan. and it’s pretty straight- forward and seems to have done the trick - I’ve expanded the original piece to include the new method. Although I cleared my front drains in the 6-Series a while ago, I’ve just got around to clearing the rear ones, and a good thing too as they were pretty well blocked. It’s not a bad job, but one that certainly needs to be done before the car floods as they seem prone to. Written up here. The E31 passed the MOT, but only just, it failed initially on emissions but the garage kindly put some injector cleaner through it and it passed. Probably due to the 200-cell cats I have fitted, but it’s been  four years or so on a cheap pair of cats so I can’t complain. I’ve fixed the RHS Light Pod so the light output isn’t restricted to illuminating a single metre of road in front of the car - the problem was I broke the centre fulcrum point (which looks like an adjuster but isn’t) while fitting a new bulb, I glued it back in place, but that left the aim miles out. I tried to pull the internal assembly back into position and broke the two outer adjusters. So, I glued those back in place as well! Due to a bit of glue spillage on the metal adjusting point meant that a bit of heat was required, but all good, the headlight aiming went well  and the lights are fine again now - I’m using LED main beams which are very effective - I’ll write that up later. Having a warm and dry Saturday allowed me to complete a job I’ve been putting off for ages, water-proofing the soft top on the 6-Series. This is a pain of a job as the waterproofing stuff tends to roll off the centre of the soft-top and run down the car body which leaves streaks. This time I had a plan to stop the fluid running - wetting the edges of the canvas with warm water first - this stops the beads of fluid running off the sides as it just soaks into the canvas as it is already wet. Finished in 20 minutes so we are good for the winter now. Even though I don't have an E32 or an E38, I still update the pages as I often come across useful pdf's - but the E38 index page has strange formatting that disallows moving it to widescreen or mobile versions. As I have an E31 and E64 those pages get the new routines. Major updates are planned to convert a lot of pages to be widescreen and mobile-friendly. The mobile pages are actually a separate page to the widescreen pages rather than just the same page made smaller and includes different formatting, pictures and text sizes. The website can detect the resolution of the device viewing the page and one of two versions will be displayed. Unfortunately this doubles the hosting space - but, space is cheap these days. Latest Changes: 09-Apr-2018     Added Video Finding Inlet Manifold Leaks without squirting stuff at it 20-Mar-2018     Added Video Using a single ramp to safely and easily remove alloy wheels 15-Mar-2018    Added Video BMW Diagnostics - The three most Important INPA pages 29-Feb-2018     Added Using Diagnostics to Solve Running Problems - first of a series 12-Feb-2018    Added YouTube Channel 07-Jan-2018     Added BMW E63 E64 Dash Cam Fitting 07-Jan-2018    Added E31 Dash Cam Fitting 28-Dec-2017    Added BMW E31 - How To Measure Battery Drain 05-Dec-2017    Updated BMW E31 Replace Air Conditioner Condenser 09-Sept-2017    Updated BMW E31_Heater_Valves_Replacement 20-Apr-2017    Added BMW E63 and E64 N62 Engine Vacuum Pump Oil Leak Repair 10-Mar-2017    Added BMW E63 and E64 Clearing Condensation from the Light Clusters 08-Mar-2017    Added  BMW E31 LED FTP Main Beams 24-Feb-2017    Added  BMW E31, E32, E38 and E39 Trans Fail-safe Prog 26-Jan-2017    Updated BMW E64 Replacing Crankcase Ventilation Valves  24-Jan-2017    Updated BMW E64 Clearing Front and Rear Water Drains 22-Dec-2016    Updated BMW_E31_Solving_ABS_Pump_Problems.htm 11-Dec-2016    Added BMW E31 Adjusting Headlight Beam and Throw 08-Dec-2016    Added BMW E63 and E64 Clearing the Water Drains 27-Nov-2016    Updated BMW E31 Fuse Finder and BMW E31 Relay Finder 24-Nov-2016    Added BMW E31 Relay Finder 22-Nov-2016    Added BMW E31 Fuse Finder 14-Nov-2016    Added BMW E31 documentation including Owners Manual and Sales Brochures 14-Nov-2016    Updated E63 and E64 Fitting CTEK Charger In The Boot to add cautionary note 12-Nov-2016    Added BMW E31 Replacing the A/C Condenser 17-Oct-2016     Added Timm's BMW E63/E64 - Fitting a Sports Badge 03-Sep-2016    Added BMW E31 Replacing the Auxiliary (A/C) Fan 26-May-2016    Updated BMW_E31_Solving_Side_Light_Failure_Messages_when_using_LED_Sidelights_in_the_FTP using new LED 15-Apr-2016    Added BMW E63 and E64 Heated Seat Problems and what a palaver that was - no wonder it took 2 months! 20-Feb-2016    Added BMW E63 and E64 N62/N62TU Engine Oil and Filter Change includes air filter change 12-Feb-2016    Added E63 and E64 Fitting CTEK Charger In The Boot so that the IBS measures the charge 07-Feb-2016    Updated BMW_E31_Solving_ABS_Pump_Problems to include INPA screenshots 07-Feb-2016    Updated and mobile version of BMW E63 and E64 Harsh Gearchanges to include INPA screenshots 03-Feb-2016    Updated and mobile version of M62 and M62TUB Engine Failsafe Problems to include M62 loom failure 01-Feb-2016    Updated and mobile version of E31_Timing_Chain_Tensioner_M60_M62_Engine 30-Jan-2016    Added BMW E31 8-Series Common Problems about time too 25-Jan-2016    Added BMW E31 Making Error-Free Licence-Plate Lights 20-Jan-2016    Added BMW E31 ABS and ASC Lights Stay ON A quick fix that may last - and may not! 18-Jan-2016    Added Fitting Alloy Wheels The East Way well, it’s time to fit the winter alloys 12-Jan-2016    Updated Timms_bmw_wheel_and_tyre_page to include new BMW documents 12-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of BMW E31 Using LED’s for FTP’s to include other external lights 09-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of E31_840ci_Poor_Tick-Over 09-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of BMW_M60_M62_M62TU_Vacuum_Leaks 08-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of E31_Throttle_Pedal_Replacement 08-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of Fitting the Becker Indianapolis NAV Unit 06-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of E31_Battery_Replacement 06-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of BMW E31, E32 and E38 Auxiliary Pump Repairs 05-Jan-2016    Updated and mobile version of BMW M60 and M62 Engine PCV Valve Replacement 05-Jan-2016    Updated all remaining E31 pages to 1200px 05-Jan-2016    Updated all remaining E38 pages to 1200px 30-Dec-2015    Added BMW E63 and E64 N62 Engine Sparkplug and ignition coil Replacement 27-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of The BMW Nikasil Myth 26-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of BMW E32 Common Problems 26-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of Champagne_Nappa_Leather_Refurbishment 23-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of BMW_M60_M62_M62TU_Engine_Scary_Noises 22-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of BMW_M60_M62_M62TU_Engine_Cooling_System 22-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of BMW_M60_M62_M62TU_Engine_Crankcase_Ventilation 21-Dec-2015    Updated and mobile version of BMW_M60_M62_M62TU_Engine 19-Dec-2015    Added BMW e63 e64 fog light bulb replacement and refurbishing 18-Dec-2015    Added BMW_E63_E64_Licence_Plate_Bulb_Change 18-Dec-2015    Added BMW_E63_E64_Microfilter_Change 18-Dec-2015    Added BMW_E63_E64_Seatbelt_Cleaning 18-Dec-2015    Added BMW_E63_E64_White_Halo_Lights 16-Dec-2015    Added mobile version of BMW_E63_E64_Seatbelt_Cleaning 16-Dec-2015    Added mobile version of BMW_E63_E64_Licence_Plate_Bulb_Change 16-Dec-2015    Added mobile version of BMW_E63_E64_Headlight_Main_Beam_Bulb_Change 15-Dec-2015    Added mobile version of BMW_E63_E64_Microfilter_Change 15-Dec-2015    Added mobile version of BMW_E63_E64_Crankcase-Ventilation-Valve-Replacement 14-Dec-2015    Added E63 E64 Microfilter Change 14-Dec-2015    Start of Mobile-friendly changes - BMW_E63_E64_White_Halo_Lights - Updated to have widescreen and mobile variants 13-Dec-2015    E64 Index updated 13-Dec-2015    Added E63 and E64 White Halo LED Fitting 11-Dec-2015    Added E63 and E64 Licence Plate Bulb Change 10-Dec-2015    Updated Wheels and Tyres Page 07-Dec-2015    Widescreen changes to BMW E64 650i SPORT INDIVIDUAL 06-Dec-2015    Added E63 and E64 Crankcase Valves Replacement 01-Dec-2015    Edited E31 Page Index 26-Nov-2015    Added E63 and E64 Harsh Gear Changes 25-Nov-2015    Edited E64 Ambient Temperature Problems - Soft Top Won't Open Either 25-Nov-2015    Edited BMW V8 PCV Valve and Crankcase Ventilation 23-Nov-2015    Edited BMW M60/M62 V8 Inlet Manifold Leak Simple Fix 22-Nov-2015    Updated BMW E32 Pages - added a few routines that are relevant from E31 and E38 sections 22-Nov-2015    Added E63 and E64 Seatbelt Cleaning 20-Nov-2015    Edited REFURBISHING CHAMPAGNE NAPPA LEATHER to include Dakota Leather 19-Nov-2015    Widescreen changes to E63 and E64 About Page 18-Nov-2015    Updated Differential Oil Change with new pictures 06-Nov-2015    Added E31 Emergency Boot-Hinge Wiring Repair 06-Nov-2015    Edited E31 Boot Hinge Wiring Repair 24-Oct-2015    Edited 1-Hour Kerb-Rash Removal as I clouted another alloy 16-Sep-2015    Edited BMW V8 Pages to add N62TUB48 09-Sep-2015    Edited BMW V8 Camshaft Sensor Replacement - changes to widescreen 09-Sep-2015    Edited BMW LED Headlights - widescreen version 04-Sep-2015    Edited The Nikasil Myth page 10-Jul-2015     Creation of E63 and E64 Pages 10-Jul-2015     Edited Chase Pages - new music player (one that works for a change)