1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - Next Chapter

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al525i
Posts: 661
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by al525i »

absolutely awesome work,

but you really need to go ahead and do the timing guides and components.

Theres no way I wouldn't go ahead and replace the headgasket and freezeplugs at the same time, but its your call. The timing stuff is a time bomb though.

it looks like you're running 98% of the marathon with the engine and turning around when you see the finish line.

either way it will be an absolutely gorgeous car when you're done with it!

for the firewall insulation, I stripped the components off the fire wall, peeled all the insulation off, and used a product called "rattletrap" double layered there. It is essentially the same thing as dynamat but a fourth the cost.

some of its been on there for three years, but only driven for two months now. After 2500 miles and a run up to 150+ its holding strong and isn't coming loose even where the turbo is close to it.
impactbumper
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 02, 2016 9:17 PM
Location: San Antonio TX

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by impactbumper »

nice build
geordi
Posts: 1410
Joined: Jan 26, 2012 1:17 AM
Location: WYOKA

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by geordi »

Vince, this is impressive! I'm in awe. Just when I think I'm anal about my stuff, you blow me out of the water. :laugh:

I was debating to clean up the engine bay on my M535i… but after seeing your work, my patina stays.

So now that is out of the way… lets see more photos of the beautiful reno you are doing on your home. :clap:
geo
vinceg101
Posts: 4253
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by vinceg101 »

June 4-5 Update:
Not huge progress this past weekend but small, incremental items that needed to happen before I start putting everything back into the car.
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Engine Bay Refinishing:
Once I had everything cleaned, discoveries came to light that needed to be addressed. Namely this: Battery Well:
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I had to prep the entire well for repainting. Primarily I had to mitigate that rust so it didn't dissolve the entire Battery Tray any more than it already has.
Once I did that, I masked off the entire area along with some other areas and went at it with the touch-up paint.
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There were several other areas, but mostly I touched up the entire front body frame.

Body Refinishing:
Along with a few areas under the car and the wheel wells, I had to address the bottom of the front spoiler. I had it painted black shortly after I bought the car and had the entire front M-Tech spoiler re-painted; I chose a gloss black for this reason so I could touch it up after this happened:
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The joys of a lowered suspension, especially in the city.

Fuse Box:
Pulled apart the Fuse Box to see what I was up against. My current one has lots of melted spots and fuse holders. Aside from at least one wire I may have to deal with all looks okay. It will be a slow and methodical connector-by-connector transfer of this whole octopus:
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Transfer is next Sunday's task.

In between all of that I was painting various components and sorting parts.
Picked up the first round of Yellow Zinc plating last week (forgot to take photos).
Dropped of the (only) round of engine parts for tumbling at Speedway this morning.

The big decision was what to do with the engine; specifically what to do with the Cylinder Head. I conferred with both Ralph and Dorian (my hangar-mates) and asked their opinions. Both concurred with everyone else here that at the very least pull the head and redo the gasket and Timing Chain Guide. I have also decided to have the head pressure tested to see if I need a valve job. It seems foolish not to since I have already done 85% of the labor. It makes me rearrange my schedule a little as it will take an extra few weeks or so, but I have some many other items to address I can likely absorb the shuffle. It just means the block won't go in until later; not great but oh well. So it comes apart this Saturday and off the shop next Monday.
vinceg101
Posts: 4253
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by vinceg101 »

geordi wrote:So now that is out of the way… lets see more photos of the beautiful reno you are doing on your home. :clap:
geo
That is in another thread (or at least it will be).
ElGuappo
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Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Sacramento, CA
Contact:

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by ElGuappo »

Good to see the photos finally.
This is gonna be great...
vinceg101
Posts: 4253
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by vinceg101 »

Okay, so it’s time for a long overdue update to my little project.
So where we last left off it was the beginning of June (the 5th to be precise) and I was at a sort of cross-roads with a few items. A LOT has transpired since then other than a significant amount of critical time. During the month of June, I was focused on three things:
-Engine Electrical & Fuse Box
-Hydraulic System
-Engine Bay

PART VIII: ENGINE ELECTRICAL & FUSE BOX
I blocked out an entire weekend for this task, swapping over the entire wiring octopus that is the fuse box takes a fair amount of concentration and patience. It’s actually two octopi entangled together: the main harness coming from the driver’s side cabin and the front coming into the fuse box and the front headlight harness going out. There is an in and an out at each fuse and relay connection: BMW was good about color coding the connection points, but they leave you in the dark as to identifying the actual wires themselves. They also don’t leave you any room to work; how people are able to do this when everything is in the engine bay is beyond me. The first thing I did was create a key map numbering each wire connection point in sequential order. Then I carefully labeled each wire, in some cases twice. I re-purposed my stash of Drafting Dots (small round pieces of masking tap, +/-1";the small size is the perfect amount to fit around the wire and notate on), Ultra Fine Sharpie, and small needle nose pliers:
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I took full advantage of the car being without its’ engine and raised like it is; I parked myself in a chair and methodically went through each connection labeling then disconnecting them. The fuse box had several melted fuse holders topside and this really bad spot inside:
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The main power feed 10ga. wire from the battery has 14ga. jumper wire which feeds the blower motor. It’s pretty fried and a bit shocking:
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Putting it all back together was the reverse of removal however you need to figure out/remember how they overlapped all the wires from the two octopi so you can close the fuse box back up again. Kind of like repacking your suitcase after a long trip.
I replaced the main power wire feed and blower motor jumper and upgraded them both one wire size (power feed is now 8ga., and the jumper is 12ga.) and F4 tape wrapped and shrink tube protection over the connectors outside the box:
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In the meantime, I have been making repairs and improvements to the remaining harnesses:
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In the spirit of information and to shed light on my process (and because someone asked), this is the procedure I followed:
After you disconnect the battery and the main power wire from the battery to the fuse box, I would follow these simplified steps:
1. Disconnect the one harness coming over the top of the engine (coming from the ECU); it is a simple plug connector on the side of the fuse box.
2. Remove the front grilles, disconnect the front headlights, turn signals and fog lights from the wire harness.
3. Loosen the harness from the front nose body work and pull it back over to the battery well. The goal is to get slack in the line so you can get the fuse box loose.
4. Disconnect the securing clips that hold the fuse box down and un-clip all the relays that are on the exterior of the fuse box (mark and photo everything).
5. There are two small Phillips screws on the top side of the fuse box, these hold the two halves of the box together. The bottom half is just a cover as all the wires are attached to the back of the top behind the fuse terminals. DO NOT remove the hex head screw bolt in the middle yet (see #9 below).
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6. With the slack from the front harness you should be able to flip the whole thing over and see the wire connections.
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7. All the wires are attached to the fuse terminal points (there are one or two per fuse: one for the cabin side harness and one for the front harness). There can be several at the relay terminals. BMW color coded the fuse box as it corresponds to the wire colors, but it's still a challenge to keep it all straight.
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8. Make yourself a diagram and number each wire connection point. Then start marking and numbering each wire before you disconnect them as it corresponds to the connection point on the box. Small pieces of masking tape and Sharpie markers are your friends.
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9. The first wire to disconnect would be the main power lead from the battery. It is the larger red 10ga wire that is connected to the power bridge/spline in the middle of the box. There are 2 or 3 other wires connected to this point (from the harnesses) all secured with that hex head screw bolt you see from the top of the fuse box. Once this is done it gives you a little more room to work with. Be careful not to lose the small CAD plated L-bracket clip with the hole in it; it is what transfers the power to the spline (make note of how it sits in there, it only goes in one way).
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10. Disconnect the wires. Each of the wires is held on to the fuse terminals with simple female spade connectors (some are covered with a plastic housing), so a little force with needle nose pliers will get them off the male spades. Don't worry if the plastic cover comes off before the wire does, just clip them back together once you get the wire off. The wires into the relays are bit tougher as you will need terminal removal tools which when jammed in from the other side of the fuse box (you see all the spade connectors when you remove the relays) will release the securing clip then allowing you to pull the wire out. It takes a little practice but becomes clear once you get a few off. (Google the procedure if it is unclear; there are a million YouTube videos for it)
Provided you labeled and photo documented everything you should be set to re-connect it all back in reverse order of removal into the new fuse box. Now is the time to make any repairs to fried wires (no doubt you have some like the one above.)
The only trick is to make sure you get all the wires back in compactly so you can close the box back up, so you may need to do the re-connections in phases switching back and forth between the two harnesses so you can layer the wires back into the box. Start with the main power wire first as the middle of the box becomes increasingly harder to access as the wires get connected.
You may want to consider upgrading the main power wire to 8ga as well as the small 14ga jumper wire that feeds the blower motor that is attached to it up to 12ga. A lot of power if fed through it and BMW was a little slim on the wire sizing in the E28 anyway. The heavier gauge may be able to withstand more resistance than the original if your downstream wiring is not the greatest. The most common melted points in these boxes are the auxiliary blower fan fuses. This is my upgraded fuse box power wire ready to connect the fuse box to the battery: Image


The biggest piece of advice is to have patience and not rush anything. Be methodical and take your time. Take some time to study the way it all looks before you take it apart; photo the hell out of it.

PART IX: HYDRAULIC SYSTEM & ENGINE BAY
In the meantime I was working on starting the installation of the (mostly) new complete hydraulic system. However, before that I focused on cleaning and repainting large portions of the engine bay. As typical with this project, just when I think I’m done with one task, it turns out there is more and more to do. Sometimes my OCD kind of took over and I just couldn’t leave things alone. I guess I just want to do this project right and not want to regret anything later.
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Speaking of not wanting regret about not doing something, the big one that popped up was the Firewall:
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As you can see, my Firewall is probably pretty typical for a 30 year BMW: peeling reflective barrier, crumbling & cracking rubber matting, and general overall fatigue. I was cleaning it as best I could but never had intended to do anything more to it; I simply didn’t have the time in the schedule to address it correctly and give it the attention it needed. But the more I sat there and looked at it day in and day out, I knew I would have to do something no matter schedule implications.
So the first thing up was the reflective barrier:
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It really is just some heavy weight aluminum foil glued to the rubber sound/heat matting behind it. I was first trying to track down material durable enough to hold up to installation and life in an engine bay. Standard aluminum foil was out of the question; you breath on that stuff and it tears. Reynolds makes two products that might work: Heavy Duty Foil and Extra Heavy Duty Foil both sold in super wide rolls. The problem with these is that they are mostly used in commercial restaurants and kitchens and only sold in 1,000 yard rolls. They also carry a hefty price tag and not to mention only sold to the industry and trade. So time to look for something else.
After some research I came up with this as the best candidate: Thermo-Tec Cool It Aluminized Heat Barrier
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They sell this in both non-adhesive and adhesive backed. I opted for the latter and decided to add extra adhesive in the form of some High Temperature Spray Adhesive.

Even though they rated the glue on the foil material over 400 degrees F, I wanted the extra adhesion.
I smartly saved some pieces of the original (the sides against the fender well) by carefully peeling it off to use as templates for the replacement. Using large sheets of paper (recycled prints from past jobs) and all my latent crafts skills from design school, I set out to make the pattern template for the passenger side Firewall panel. After some trial and error and several do-overs, I had a viable template and ready to cut the material and start installation:
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My goal was to carry the foil down into the transmission tunnel as far as the material size would allow me to go (turns out it was just about 6” in front of the gear shift hole). The compound curves and shapes made it challenging, but with some patience, 3D thinking skills and a very sharp blade I was able to manipulate the stuff into position. Luckily this stuff can seam pretty well so you can splice in sections as you need them.
I decided to extend the foil past the original termination over to at least the heater valve. This allowed me to line up with driver’s side of the transmission tunnel:
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Believe it or not, that was all I was going to allow myself to do as time was being a crafty thief. However the more I looked at that driver’s side rubber matting, the more I KNEW I couldn’t live with it or myself for not replacing it. After all, now was the only time I would be able to do anything about it; there was no coming back later.
The task then was to find the appropriate material to replace it; with all the patina and wear, the OEM matting was a little hard to identify not to mention finding any of it once I did. I settled on Neoprene, specifically ¼” Grade 60A Black. The Commercial Grade 60A is rated for temperatures up to 212F degrees and is oil and gas resistant so it perfect for an engine bay. The other option would have been Nitrile which has a slightly more textured look which looks closer to OEM, but it only rated for 170F. After scouring the internet for local sources where I could pick it up before the following weekend (I only gave myself the next Friday and Saturday to tackle this), I was able to find someone local selling Neoprene off the bulk rolls to any length I needed. I picked up a big chunk on Friday morning and set out making the patterns for the driver’s side. Again, I tried saving as much of the old stuff and keep it as a template (less than successful).
First up was removing the old matting. It didn’t require much effort as whatever was holding the rubber on the Firewall was giving up the ghost. The only care I gave it was trying to salvage intact edge pieces for the pattern.
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Eventually I got down to this:
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After some cleaning and prep, it was ready for the templating and pattern making. The driver’s side was a bit harder as there are several more elements and objects to work around.
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At first I wanted to carry both the Neoprene and reflective foil down into the transmission tunnel as far as I could in order to add some additional noise and thermal protection. This was one of the areas where I am opting to try upgrading from the original design. While I am keen on preserving the M535i’s characteristics, this project was never meant to be a complete restoration. I am all for making smart improvements wherever possible as long as they are done well, add function and don’t detract from the car.
There have been many times after being on the road for hours that I wish I could get away from the heat radiating off the tunnel (especially those July road trips through the Central Valley on my way to 5erWest). However the Neoprene is pretty heavy material and even with the high strength adhesive it just wasn’t going to hold. No matter how much bracing I had securing it while it set up, over the course of two days and several re-applications, it just wasn’t happening.

In the end, I settled on installing the Neoprene mostly at the original locations and limits (albeit in a few pieces rather than one continuous as per OEM). However, I did manage to get the reflective foil installed down almost to the gear shifter portal which should offer more thermal protection than the original design.
In the end, the Neoprene went on the rest of the firewall pretty smoothly. All the test fitting and re-cutting of the numerous templates paid off.
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With that done I could finish the remainder of the Hydraulic system installation. Words of wisdom when working with Neoprene: 1) It off-gases significantly when fresh off the roll; best thing to do is wipe it down with mild degreaser to get some of the oils off of it and then put it in the sun for most of a day. The sun and heat will bake out most of the odor. 2) It is heavy and dense but easy to cut so long as you have a sharp knife. Because it’s so dense, you can easily carve and/or cut the thicker material along the thickness so you can shape openings as needed.

This brought me to July and the major items this month were the Cylinder Head & Engine Block (not to mention finishing the rest of the scope of work).

PART VIII: CYLINDER HEAD
The big item, which turned out to be necessary was the decision to pull the Cylinder Head off the block and send it out for pressuring testing and possible Valve Job. At the least it meant changing the Head Gasket & Timing Chain Guide which was highly recommended by All Y’all. This did put stress on my already tight schedule to complete before Monterey, but at that point in the overall scheme of things I was able to shuffle things around in sequence to absorb the schedule hiccups. After all, my rebuild/refinish/reassemble list is vast so I can certainly find a myriad of things to look after while the head is off to the shop.
First off was the disassembly; this was actually pretty easy with help from Dorian (who has about 50 M30 engine rebuilds under his belt). As long as you take the time to set the cam to TDC correctly, and unbolt sequentially then it only takes about an hour if you take your time.
This was time to get our first glimpse at the piston tops:
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Yeah, that’s a lot of carbon. The price to pay for a high compression motor. Worst part was just how cemented that stuff was on the pistons; nothing was taking it off without a fight. In the end I settled for this stuff: Berryman Chem-Dip Carburetor & Parts Cleaner.
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Be careful with it as it will eat the finish off just about anything and smells terrible; but it works. I poured a cup or two into the center four cylinders and just left it there for a few weeks. Every weekend I would come through agitate and scrub with a red Scotchbrite making sure to get into the corners and edges:
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Eventually it ate down through most of it and only left the very worst. All in all it looked a whole helluva lot better than when I started:
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Meanwhile, the pressure test at the shop ended pretty inclusively as he could not get a good enough seal around most of the valves likely due to the amount of carbon and debris. He warned me this might happen so it was no big surprise when he told me this. At that point I decided that if I was in for the Penny I might as well be in for the whole Pound and told him to pull the trigger on the Valve Job.
That was when the first scheduling SNAFU happened: in order to them to plane the head (there was a slight bow to it) he needed the Upper Front Timing Cover to check and plane at the same time. This was on a Thursday; problem was it was down deep in Orange County at Speedway along with a bin full of other parts (lower timing cover, valve cover and intake manifold) all getting tumbled, blasted and clear coated and wasn’t going to be done until the following Thursday. Crap. The following Friday I get up at crack-o-dawn and drive the hour or so south to retrieve the parts then turn around and drive the now 1.5 hours back north (it was now rush hour by that time) and deliver the part to machine shop. Kelley’s (the machine shop) completes the job the following Wednesday; head install is on deck for that Saturday and I make arrangements with Dorian to help.
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In the meantime I am multi-tasking with trying to finish work in the Engine Bay getting it ready for the eventual return of the engine and transmission. Saturday comes and I was still working in the engine bay with my hands full with the Hydraulic System and refinishing the bay itself (both of which were taking too long, but more on that later).
Dorian arrives in the afternoon and as I setting up I realize I made the bonehead move of the day: I forgot the new Head Gasket back at the house. :facepalm:. There is a bit of distance between my house and hangar so just popping back home to get the gasket is not really an option this late in the day. It is now July 2nd and I REALLY need this done this weekend if I am going to have any shot at installing the engine the following weekend. So although we both had family obligations the next two days, we agree to meet the next morning bright and early to install the head. I have a family party to attend at 2pm and the install shouldn’t take more than an hour, hour and half tops right?
Well, in a perfect world yeah we should have wrapped that whole thing up by 10:30. I had visions of completing the Firewall insulation installation or Fuse Box completion before I had to run off to my nieces’ 15 year old birthday party/4th of July BBQ.
I am starting to lose faith in Kelly’s Block Service. When Dorian and I went to install the head, we discovered that it wasn’t set to TDC like it was when it was removed. That alone wasn’t a tragedy but it ate into an already tight schedule that morning. We had to bench the head and rotate the cam; not hard but I did have to run to the auto parts store for a 1 5/8” socket to make it happen. Then when we set the head on the block, the back 3 cylinder head bolts on the left side didn’t drop in.
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Huhh. Crap. Good thing Dorian knows what he is doing. He spotted the issue: the left side rear rocker arm was just out of position preventing the bolts from dropping in:
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We had to futz around with both arms with some back and forth with the wrong tools. We got them all aligned, finally. Dorian’s goal was to put it together, get it off the engine stand and spin the motor a few times; he does this will all his rebuilds as a peace of mind test just to make sure. So that is what we did. Getting that done was a whole other drama; suffice it to say it spun pretty smoothly and was back on the stand. Oh and by now it was 1:30.
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So it was now Sunday July 3rd, I was planning on installing the engine the next weekend on the 9th. However, I had an ever increasing mountain of things that had to happen before that. With all that drama of the weekend before and with my increasingly slowing pace of work, it was becoming clear what I had been feeling for the last month: getting this car ready for Monterey just wasn’t going to happen. There were other factors at play as well: life, work, forgotten parts ordered, wrong parts ordered, and me breaking stuff (two bolts on the block). But the largest factor was that with deadline looming I was forced to make some decisions about what was going to get done and what was not. Also, things that I had finished that I wasn’t necessarily happy with, I was facing having to leave it behind; this was becoming intolerable. I was pretty disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to take this car to Monterey to unveil all this work, but my project was not supposed to be just about one show or event, I’m doing this make this car better and for me to learn and enjoy the process. Time to take a step back, re-group and pick a more reasonable completion date.
On that note I am taking a more steadied approach towards completion; but I have been back at it the last few weekends. I have been interjecting a few projects to the E39 getting it ready for the road trip to Monterey. I haven’t been making huge progress these few weekends since that decision, but it is starting to show and my efforts are paying off.

PART IX: HYDRAULIC SYSTEM COMPLETION
While it is not 100% completed (the brake line installation on the Firewall is one of the items I want to go back and do over; it just did not want to go back on cleanly), it is starting to come together.
The Oil Cooling System: Refurbished Radiator (ultrasonically cleaned and re-painted) and new Cooler Lines:
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Along side the Oil Cooler lines are the Hydraulic Fluid Cooling lines (newly re-painted and clear coated).
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Imagine the small sections of rubber hose connecting to the cooling loop behind the front nose (also newly powder coated)

Other Hydraulic System components: New E32 Master Brake Cylinder, new Hydro Accumulator (Brake Bomb) and Switch, Reservoir, New High Pressure Lines and Hoses:
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Newly repainted ABS Pump Unit (with new A/C Drier right behind it):
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Somewhat related was replacing the Clutch Fluid Return Hose from the Clutch Master Cylinder to the Reservoir. BMW stopped making this out of the traditional blue braided cover and now only makes it in the black. It wasn’t even an issue pushing the new hose through the Firewall grommet but getting it off the Clutch Master was PITA. It was terribly frustrating getting in there to the connection. Funny thing I was just in there to replace the cylinder two years ago and I don’t remember it being that much of a pain. That plastic nipple on top of the cylinder was the problem; ended up pulling the cylinder off the pedal bracket to get the leverage needed.
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At the same time I installed the new Accelerator Cable (which I don't have any pictures of at the moment).

PART X: ENGINE RE-ASSEMBLY
After the Cylinder Head went on, first up was replacing the Freeze Plugs. Removing the old ones was challenging and in the end took brute force to get them out.
Drill a hole strategically along the lower edge:
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Cold chisel hammered through to break the outer lip and bend it up:
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Then break out what’s left of the old plug, pry and re-shape it so you can get it back out of the hole:
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Next came installing the new one. Here is where I cheated bit and followed some advice from someone who has done many of these before. Spread a light layer of blue thread-locker around the lip of the new plug before insertion.
For the larger plugs, it turns out that a 30mm socket fit like a glove (HF ½” deep impact to be precise). The smaller plugs worked with a smaller 23mm socket (a 24mm would have worked better but I didn’t have one). Thanks to Charlie (cek) for that advice.
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It takes actually a bit of force with a heavy sledge hammer to pound it into the hole. It took patience to do it evenly and not drive it too far into the block.
I have yet to pull it off the engine stand and remove the Flywheel to get at the rear plug:
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That looks like next weekend’s task.

Time to start putting on the various covers with their respective gaskets:
Oil Pan:
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Front Lower & Upper Timing:
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Rear Cover & Duck Gasket with Cooling Tube:
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Valve Cover:
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The Upper Timing Cover was just a fraction lower than the Head, so a bit of Copper RTV down before the actual gasket was needed.
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Other components: Oil Filter Head:
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Starter:
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The BMW/Heyco slim 17mm combo wrench is still the only tool you can use that fits that works on removing and installing the Starter. The last time I attempted to replace a starter I was laying across the Intake Manifold administering quarter-turns to get those M10 bolts out. Can't say it was a whole lot easier this time, but access was a lot better.

Exhaust Manifolds freshly ceramic coated:
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(Don't mind the bolt extractor trying in vain to get that copper nut body off after I sheared it trying to install it. Oh and I ended up breaking that extractor. And the next larger one that followed. And it still didn't come out.

Started working on the Intake Manifold and installing some of the components: Cold Start Valve and prepping the Throttle Body:
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So that was June and July and where I’m at right now. I’m still running into parts and hardware I need to order as well as a few last minute items to plate and powder coat.
August is going to be about Monterey and the E39, so I don't see a whole of progress happening this month.

(So I lied: this thread is turning into one of those Epic Build Threads.)
Last edited by vinceg101 on Aug 05, 2016 12:39 PM, edited 1 time in total.
cek
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by cek »

So awesome.

I hope you kept those firewall templates. I will pay you monies for copies.
vinceg101
Posts: 4253
Joined: Jun 20, 2007 2:40 AM
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by vinceg101 »

cek wrote:So awesome.

I hope you kept those firewall templates. I will pay you monies for copies.
I knew someone was going to ask about those. Sorry: they didn't survive the transfer to the Neoprene as I had to glue them down to the Neoprene. They were just on plain bond paper anyway; I had to remake them twice before I had the final pattern.
Frankly I was working really fast that weekend and didn't care about saving such things, I was frantic to finish this task to keep from getting further behind than I already was.

The only pieces that are tricky are the sides up against the fender well and that complex curve going down into and around the transmission tunnel. If you can save those you have a really good start. One thing to note: you cannot simply mirror flip the passenger side for the driver's. The driver's side has an extra "bulge" into the engine bay up just under the where the Accelerator cable and wire harness go through the firewall. So the patterns will be unique for each side.

One other thing I didn't really show was that in order to use the spray adhesive you need to completely mask off anywhere you don't want the glue to go. The stuff comes out of the can like a firehose and wants to go everywhere; there is no being surgical with the stuff. That got difficult on the driver's side with all the harnesses and hydraulic components already in the car at the time. It took me some time to mask it all off confidently; painters paper, green/blue tape and some cardboard shields to use as you spray are the way to go.

If I were to do this again and/or recommend the Neoprene replacement to someone, I would have them look into material slightly thinner than the 1/4" I used. The OEM stuff does appear to be a few mm thinner and even less dense as it telegraphs the body work through much more than what I used (if that matters to anyone). However, I think I will be happy with the Neoprene if if affords me better sound and heat protection. I haven't decided what I'm going to do with the top panel that covers the blower & wiper motors. The OEM stuff is not in that bad a condition but it now looks completely different than the Neoprene (color & texture). I may look for 3/16" or even 1/8" material to recover this panel as I think it will apply better. I have to think on that one but common sense design aesthetics dictates I change it to match the new stuff.
Karl Grau
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by Karl Grau »

I'm speechless! :bow:
oldskool
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation

Post by oldskool »

Karl Grau wrote:I'm speechless! :bow:
Meee Two. I searched for the laptop to finally view such awesome sauce. Enjoyed the journey.
vinceg101
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by vinceg101 »

Hey Y'All, remember this project? Yeah, I know it seems like this project dropped of the planet since my last update, but a lot has been going on; just not really with this car.

First, August was all about Monterey. Between getting the E39 ready for the road trip and the event itself, most of the month was eaten up. All the progress made at the harried end of July was paused and somewhat set aside to be picked up at some point in the future.

September: Getting back into this project proved to be tougher than anticipated. Work and life pulled my time away from this project so I was down to really a day or sometimes just a half a day each week to be in the hangar. I had to first clean and re-organize the hangar and thoroughly inventory all the parts and half-done assemblies I left at a stand-still the month prior; this took the first few weekends. The rest of the month was taken up with other demands.

October: Schedule demands carried through into October (for some reason, work always ramps up to almost intolerable levels the last few months of the calendar year. This and the looming holidays always makes me want to crawl under a rock). The SoCal Vintage BMW Meet was on the 8th so it was good to see everyone again even if I had to run through my progress story several times (I didn't mind really, it sort of reinforced in my mind what my new and more realistic schedule is. It is nice to know that some people actually care about my progress and want to support me. Thanks everyone.) I did manage some time in the hangar trying to move forward.
The rest of the month just sucked out loud, though. On Saturday the 22nd after working all day in the hangar where I was starting to make some actual progress removing and refinishing the brake lines, shortly after I came home our dog had a seizure. We rushed her to an emergency hospital close by but the prognosis wasn’t good; she had two more seizures at the hospital and was placed on Phenobarbital. After a consult with the Neurologist and chest x-rays where we discovered a large mass in her spleen and tumors in her lungs, we brought her home Sunday evening. Part of me wishes that she would have passed peacefully in her sleep in her home and bed, a place she has known all her life. But that wasn't to be; she was in pain with no real positive change so Monday we had to make the gut wrenching decision and efforts to bring her to her Vet and end her life, the last 12 hours of which I wish I could take back. She had just turned 16 a few weeks earlier so it's not like we expected her to live forever, for a large dog (Lab-Rhodesian mix, 90lbs) she lived a relatively healthy and active life right up to the end. Intellectually we knew that any time after she turned 15 would be a gift and that she would eventually die. But emotionally that knowledge is of little solace when the time really comes. My wife and I don't have kids so Asta was the closest surrogate we had to offspring. We had her from just 6 months old and got her almost following us buying this house, so she has been a permanent fixture in our life for the last 15 years. Losing her has been pretty devastating for Mary and I and really took the wind out the sails of this project, so I kind of tabled it for a few weeks.
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[I realize that dropping this here in the middle of a seemingly upbeat epic restoration thread is kind of a downer, but there it is. Life isn't always neat and tidy.]

November: So in the wake of October, I was back in the hangar. The new target of road testing the car in January/February is really looming now and that St.Paddy's Day Meet in March (the now real unveiling event) isn't far beyond that; I had better get my ass in gear so to speak.
The brake lines were refinished (turns out that flat camouflage green paint with a clear acrylic coating is an excellent color and finish match to the factory coatings) and ready for re-re-installation:
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As with the rest of this project, I seem to be taking a lot of backwards steps. When I was making the final connections of the brake lines to the ABS pump, I ended up cross-threading two of the lines. Luckily (at least I hope) I only mucked the threads in the pump up. The prospect of having to replace the brake lines at this stage is not something I want to take on; replacing the ABS pump is far more attractive (providing I can't repair the threads in the pump).
I picked up a used one that turned out to be in much better cosmetic condition than my current one and with all its' threads intact, so I am just going to replace pumps. I am going to pull it apart for a thorough internal cleaning and started that yesterday. However I need an unusual tool to get the case screws apart: either a pentagonal hex key or 5-sided Torx security bit (Bosch really didn't want you taking these apart for some reason). I am only doing this because this part has an unknown past so don't know how well the car it came from was treated. It may allow me to re-plate the top case portion and case screws, so it should be pretty presentable. (Sorry no pictures of this yet).

Power Steering Pump Rebuild:
Yesterday I also tackled one of the many smaller system's rebuilding procedure: the Power Steering Pump
I had pulled a donor pump apart earlier this year in hopes to have it powder coated, but that wasn't really possible. Instead I had it ultrasonically cleaned and clear coated the outer case. I also had the pulley wheel powder coated black and the bracket and center spindle re-plated yellow Cad along with new yellow Cad hardware. I picked up a pump re-build kit and cracked open the Shop Manual and got to work:
The cast of characters:
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Step 1: Assemble the pulley and spindle. I had to file off some the powder coating and then pound the spindle through, but it was successful:
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Step 2: Pound in the spindle shaft seal. A 22mm impact socket and a little oil on the seal rim is the trick:
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While you're there, turn the case over and dab a little oil on the round gasket ring included the in the rebuild kit and install it into the case; be sure to press it in firmly to seat it thoroughly.

Step 3: Put the back half of the pump together. Slip the spindle and pulley wheel assembly through the front half of the case and place the turbine-thingy (sorry, don't know the real name of it) onto the splines of the spindle shaft. Those little small metal blades actually are supposed to move in and out as it spins on the shaft and pushes the fluid around. So when you clean these things, make sure you clean out between the spines, put them back into the turbine correctly (rounded end facing out), and don’t drop any of them. In the rebuild kit there is a lock ring that fits into a shallow groove in the spindle just below the spines; this locks the spindle into the pump, otherwise you just pull the spindle straight out of the pump.
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Step 4: Fit the rear diaphragm. It aligns with the two pins from the front cover; the barbell shaped gaskets will face up when assembled correctly. There are two new gaskets that go into this diaphragm included in the kit: one a rubber one and then a very thin copper one that slips in between the metal and rubber gasket. Place the rubber one in first then install the copper one; seemed to work easier this way:
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Step 5: Fit the back cover onto this whole assembly, be sure to align the small port holes in both front and back covers. Don’t be alarmed that they may not seat completely; installing the case screw bolts will rectify this. Remember to install the bracket when putting the case screws in. FYI, the case screw bolt sizes are (3) M8x45 (over the bracket) and (1) M8x35 with B8 washers.
There you have it: one rebuilt, pretty Power Steering Pump
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It was a nice day out in the Valley: mild and warm with some clouds. Turned into a really nice sunset across the airport:
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Even caught the last LA County Fire patrol coming in for the day:
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That was about all I had time for yesterday, my one day in the hangar. I have two guys out in my Living Room right now installing our new front door. This coming holiday weekend I plan on putting in at least two solid days in the hangar to make some noticeable progress. Otherwise the next really blast of work won't be until after Christmas.
cek
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by cek »

Sad to hear about Asta, Vince. My condolences. Sounds like she's lived a great, long, life. Been there and know how much it hurts.

I've cached the fuel line paint tip... Flat camo with clear acrylic.

I want a blow by blow of that ABS unit rebuild...I have one of those in my future.
Eta power
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by Eta power »

It's good to see you making progress, Vince! Maybe this will light a fire under me to start on my latest project.
bkbimmer
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by bkbimmer »

Very nice project, inspiring.
vinceg101
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by vinceg101 »

November 27th Update:

Didn’t get as much time in the hangar as I was anticipating, but I did get some things done:
ABS PUMP:
(Here you go, just for you Charlie). As mentioned before I picked up a donor ABS pump (pretty cheap from an ebay seller in San Diego) as a backup in case I couldn’t fix the two kluged brake line inlet ports on my current pump. Turns out the donor pump is in much better cosmetic condition than mine, so the decision to just swap pumps was easier make. However, since I have no idea whether or not the previous owner of the donor pump’s car was responsible, I chose to tear this one apart and give it a thorough cleaning.

First off, I wouldn’t have thought this possible if I had not come across this thread:http://www.mye28.com/viewtopic.php?f=3& ... h#p1339558
Most of what I detail here expands from his thread, but I have filled in some detail where it was missing or a tad vague. So read his thread as background preparation.
The ABS Pump is a relatively simple mechanism really as there aren’t too many moving parts; it’s more like an electronically controlled switch or valve.

Step 1: Disassembly
First, disconnect the brake lines from the pump; use an 11mm Flare End wrench. Unscrew the small center screw that secures the black plastic cover over the electrical connections (it doesn’t come out, it just loosens and stays in the cover). Lift off the cover, set aside and then disconnect the electrical harness plug from the switch. Also remove the two relays.
Next loosen the two bolts on the sides of the ABS that secure it to the fender well through the two dome covered rubber bushings. These bushings are just slip-fitted to two hex shaped studs on the ABS. You kind of need to rock and tilt the ABS towards the back (front end up). Be sure to plug the brake line inlet ports and cover the brake line ends themselves; both will be full of residual brake fluid and WILL leak everywhere.
With the ABS on a bench (on top of a towel preferably), you need to remove the electronic module that is piggy-backed on the actual pump unit (the big silver round barrel off the back of the assembly). First disconnect the red power wire, save the really small little screw and washer. Next remove the equally small Torx bit screw over to the side of the top of the plastic terminal:
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Completely back this screw out, it secures the thin metal band clamp that goes around the barrel of the pump. Once you remove the screw you can pop the band off. Feed the red power wire through the slot on the back of the terminal, then lift the whole terminal off the barrel:
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Now you can set about separating the ABS pump into its’ smaller assemblies. First off you need one of these: a 45ITV socket bit, otherwise known as a 5-point Tamperproof Torx Bit:
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It’s the only way to get the case bolts out (that and a healthy portion of PB Blaster). You need to remove the two domed-shaped cover caps over the two center bolts. Carefully pry them up with a small bit screwdriver, but expect some marring and/or damage; there is no simple easy way to get them off.
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Once the bolts are out, pull the top half up off the base (some gentle prying necessary):
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Carefully separate these, the four cylinder filter modules are still hard-wired to the electronic terminal and are only sandwiched between the upper case and lower module. The cylinders will likely be stuck to the upper case cover so you can flip it over. Now you can start to see what the internal condition of the ABS is:
The bottom of the cylinders:
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Where the cylinders sit into the bottom assembly:
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First the bottom section:
There will be four rubber gaskets set in the top of the bottom portion which is notched to receive the cylinders. Carefully pry these out and drop in some de-greaser to clean. You can see from the photo above, this unit has a lot of old gelatin-ized brake fluid pooled up in these wells. A though going over with brake cleaner will clear this up. Be sure to run cleaner through the holes in the bottom of the wells. These connect to the inlet ports on the side of the case (where the brake lines screw into the ABS). It should resemble this when cleaned:
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Next, remove the two small hex bit screws on the back of the big cylinder pump. They each have a small, arched plated washer. These are quite long and go all the way through the pump and attach into the top of the back of the lower module:
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This completely frees the main cylinder pump from the lower half of the ABS module. There is shaft that is fitted into the module, carefully pull these apart and remove the rubber ring gasket that goes around the base of the spindle shaft; set aside and clean thoroughly:
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I say carefully because there is a spring loaded cylinder valve of sorts that sits inside a hole in the side of the opening that receives the shaft:
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This is actually two springs: a smaller thinner one that rests against an equally small ball bearing both of which sit inside a larger, thicker spring. The small valve is sitting of all these under a fair amount of tension. Be aware there is a very small washer ring that sits on the bottom of this valve between it and the spring, don’t lose it. It’s also a bit tricky to put it all back together, so exercise patience. I wasn’t aware of how tricky it was to reassemble because the old brake fluid gunked it all up so it stuck together until I took the valve out and cleaned everything. Thoroughly clean everything prior to reassembly with brake cleaner including the spindle shaft of the cylinder pump that fits into the lower module; it should spin freely. You can chose to reassemble right away following a reverse procedure. I haven’t quite figured out how to insert the spindle shaft back into the lower module yet (you have to find a way to depress the valve in order to fully insert the shaft). I was going to employ a bent piece of thin metal shim (bent at 90 degrees) to apply pressure to depress the valve, then slip the spindle in and slide the shim out. (This is the method used to rebuild and clean Craftsman socket wrenches when dealing with a similar assembly for the ratcheting assembly, but I digress).
However, I am repainting/refinishing the pump barrel as it is aged aluminum and looking a bit tired. I am going through all this effort to beautify the engine bay so why cut corners now?

Second the top section:
As mentioned the four smaller cylinders are just pressure fit into the top case cover; aged fluid is the only thing holding it all together. Give them a small tap and they will pop off:
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NOTE: Make yourself a diagram noting which cylinder goes where relating to the case cover; it is important. There are no designations on the cylinders themselves. You can use the wire colors as an aid (black/green vs. black/yellow). Find some way to mark the cylinders themselves, preferably one that doesn’t rub off (hint, Sharpie wasn’t it).

Once this happens, set the whole terminal and cylinder assembly aside and deal with cleaning the upper case cover:
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Again, run brake cleaner through it completely cleaning out all the holes and ports. There is hollow black plastic tube acting as a sort of sleeve for one of the case bolts. Pull it out for cleaning, be sure to remember the orientation.

With that done you can turn you attention to the cylinders themselves. Each cylinder is a small sub-assembly unto themselves:
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First remove the two washer rings on the top, one white plastic and one black neoprene. Clean and set aside:
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Next there is Cad plated ring which covers the inner coil. Carefully pry it off, it will be stuck on:
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Then slip the center shaft out the bottom, separating it from the inner coil. Put the center shaft aside, we’ll get to it in a minute:
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Pull the inner coil out from the Cad plated cylinder case. Thoroughly clean each item (this is where I made my markings identifying each cylinder: Inside of the plated case and on the outside of the inner coil):
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Now turn you attention back to the center shaft. You may not be able to tell, but at each end of this shaft there is an extremely fine micro screen filter that the brake fluid is pushed through. It will likely be gunked up pretty heavy with old fluid so don’t go at it with anything other than a blast of brake cleaner. Thoroughly clean the rest of the shaft:
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The last item to remove and clean is a thin Cad plated ring that slips around the large base of the shaft:
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Needless to say, bag & tag and photo everything. I’m taking all the Cad plated stuff over to the plater this week to see if they can re-plate the ABS module case itself (carefully covering the delicate parts and Bosch ID tag, of course).
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That was just Saturday; Sunday I dealt with a few issues on the engine block.
First up was to get the engine off the stand so I could get the rear section. I should have done this part already, but considering this is how the block was supported on the stand, it stands to reason why I’m doing it now:
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(I knew some old climbing gear would come in handy for this part)

FLYWHEEL:
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I pulled the Flywheel off and will have it mic’d and see if I need to resurface. This likely hasn’t seen the light of day since it was installed back in 1990 (if I interpreted the cryptic markings correctly it was specifically August 26, 1990?). I masked off the whole block at got to work cleaning out this section:
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REAR MAIN SEAL:
Cleaned and removed the Rear Main Seal cover and gasket.
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That left the last Freeze Plug to change. Easy now that nothing is in the way and I had practice with the others. Thoroughly cleaned the block area and even painted it (pic later for that):
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Thought I had bought all the components for the RMS replacement, but alas I didn’t. It’s all on order tonight so it will be here for next weekend. My wife and I are running off to the desert this weekend for a well-deserved spa weekend and will connect with Craig and Katherine Langpap (clangpap) before they run back to Canada next month.

More updates after 12/11.
cek
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by cek »

(Here you go, just for you Charlie).
Hero. Above and beyond the call of duty. Thanks, sir.
white chocolate
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by white chocolate »

I think this is one of the most well documented and well written threads I have ever seen. Awesome work, and thanks for sharing your experience!
maybeillbuyit
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by maybeillbuyit »

Vince, I'm really loving your posting. Great pictures, commentary, attention to detail. Really well done. Thx for sharing.
Adam W in MN
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by Adam W in MN »

Need to revisit this thread more often. The detail and pictures are extremely helpful, I just wish I had seen the firewall insulation section before embarking on my own path for the E12's firewall insulation replacement (it's NLA from BMW). Thanks for keeping this project going and for all the detail.
maybeillbuyit
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by maybeillbuyit »

I'm about to clean off the block in preparation for new head gasket etc. When you were cleaning out all the gunk with chemicals etc did you do anything special to avoid crap getting into the crack between piston and cylinder wall? Or just have at it and clean out the crack afterward?
vinceg101
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by vinceg101 »

maybeillbuyit wrote:I'm about to clean off the block in preparation for new head gasket etc. When you were cleaning out all the gunk with chemicals etc did you do anything special to avoid crap getting into the crack between piston and cylinder wall? Or just have at it and clean out the crack afterward?
Short answers: No. Yes.

Without pulling the cylinders out of the block and/or removing the engine from the stand and spinning the crank to move the cylinders, there really is no way to clean out the rest of the cylinder walls. Of course the center four were mostly in the down position anyway, so if any muck bypassed the cylinder, it moved out the bottom quickly. I witnessed this as I was doing it because the Oil Pan was off the block so I was able to clean it once I emptied the Chem-Dip and rotate the block over on the stand. For the only two cylinders in the up position I would just have to rely on engine operation to clean out those cylinders. This shouldn't be a problem since I didn't use Chem-Dip on these two anyway (just scraping and a cloth with lacquer thinner); any carbon build up in those two would be left there (not ideal, but that was all I was able to do). However, I didn't witness much carbon build-up on the other cylinder walls (just a few lines around the top of the cylinders which weren't big), so I'm not worrying about this.

I didn't get a whole lot done yesterday, my only day in the hangar this week, other than clear-coating a bunch of parts and starting to re-assemble the ABS Pump. More on that later.
Of course this project would go a lot smoother and faster if I stopped breaking sh*t. This time I cross-threaded one of the brake lines and the front port on the Master Cylinder :facepalm: (I'm finding I am using this emoticon a LOT in this thread, it is the most appropriate and will only stop once I stop doing things worthy of its' expression). Sigh. I was able to fix the MC and run a tap to clean the threads (M10x1.00 for the record), but I didn't have the corresponding die to fix the brake line. That is on deck for next week.
cek
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - November Update

Post by cek »

vinceg101 wrote: :facepalm:
You and me both, my friend. Two steps forward, three back it seems.
vinceg101
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - December Update

Post by vinceg101 »

Not a ton of big progress last weekend, but some smaller milestone stuff. Most of it was correcting my previous :facepalm: incidents already noted. For instance, I managed to fix the threads on the Master Brake Cylinder and on one of the brake line fittings; all that went back together as it should this time.

All the block work now is in preparation to install the engine back into the car next week between the holidays. But I did find that I was missing the cooling system hoses (I actually just plain forgot to order them, really) of which only three are needed before I put the engine back in the car (the three that are connected via that confounded plastic Tee under the Intake Manifold). I hate working blind and that assembly is a PITA once the block is back in the car.
I also tried to install the Oil Dipstick Tube only to find out that BMW superseded the original 1985 version (along with the Dipstick itself) with the newer versions. All that is fine, but I wanted use my original yellow handled wire Dipstick and the new Tube is longer than the original by at least 3”. That pretty much negates any accurate oil level readings unless I switch to the new Dipstick. Turns out the original tube is also yellow zinc plated (as are the associated brackets) and the newer, longer version is black powder coated. So after I fixed the original tube since it got banged up when I removed it last January (there is no way to remove them delicately), it was off the plater this week. I had to hustle since they are closed all next week and this Friday and I needed to get that Tube into the block before install.
Well, onto the things I actually did get done with marked progress:

REAR MAIN SEAL-REASSEMBLY
After the paint cured on the rear of the block, and I cleaned off the cover mating surfaces, not to mention all my parts arriving, I was ready to install the new seal, gasket and cover.
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First: assemble the Seal into the Cover. Liberally apply oil to both the aluminum cover rim and to the side of the rubber seal. Install the thin shim in first then the seat the seal into the cover:
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Then press the seal into the cover. The goal is to get the seal to evenly sit all the way into the cover so the tops are flush (Bentley’s says new seals should be sitting +/-1-2mm lower, but the shim kind of prevents this). “Pressing” consisted of a 4lb Dead-blow and a 2x3 block of wood moving evenly around the perimeter until it seated evenly.
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Once that was done, I applied a thin even layer of Copper Gasket goop to the block and to the back of the cover; then placed in the paper gasket. Be sure to apply a liberal amount to the top of the Oil Pan lip that is exposed. The last two back Oil Pan bolts actually bolt into the bottom of the RMS cover. (Note: the critical part of this to get a healthy glob into the corners of the Oil Pan and block.
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Next, install the cover. Bolt into the block with new hardware and Locktite. Torque to specs.
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After all that, I turned to the Flywheel. I had mine re-surfaced so it was nice and shinny and kind of psychedelic in the right lighting:
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Install onto the RMS and block. Be sure to emery cloth the center hole on the flywheel (surface rust, dirt and oil will be present if you didn’t scrub down the Flywheel earlier). Also, apply a nice thin film of oil to the Flywheel and rear crank hub so it all slips together nicely. A bit of persuasion with the Dead-blow was required to get them to mate completely.
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Next week new Flywheel bolts will be torqued after I figure out how to lock the Flywheel adequately (tool or bolt as stopper). Then install the new Clutch, Bellhousing and Lower Inspection Cover. After that I have to spend an afternoon torqueing everything to specifications. Then it will be ready to drop into the engine bay (of course not until I rebuild the Front Struts, install them, and install the Front Subframe; you know minor stuff).
Ricky535
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Re: 1985 Arktisblau M535i Renovation - December Update

Post by Ricky535 »

Are you going to change the engine management ? Alpha -N or megasquirt :lol:
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