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Thread: E30 noobs please read for all DIY and FAQ

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    328is

    E30 noobs please read for all DIY and FAQ

    I've been working on a new for-the-community DIY site, covering E30, E36 and E46 for now.

    The site is available at http://www.BimmerDIY.com
    Last edited by BimmerDIY; 03-27-2005 at 11:05 PM.
    BimmerDIY - enough said

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    323
    My Cars
    1998 323is
    BimmerDIY, http://e30.bmwdiy.info/ has some info that could be added to your site.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    1991 318iS
    My site has a couple articles done in it...hopefully once things in work/school calm down I will finish them.

    www.e30tuner.com => Articles section

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    MA
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    1998 M3 Coupe - RIP

  5. #5
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    Jan 2005
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    NYC
    Posts
    2,408
    My Cars
    91 332is, 00 323iT/6

  6. #6
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    My Cars
    1997 Topless 328i
    HEAD UNIT INSTALL:

    took down the thermostat write up as it was not something i would want anyone to follow, i would feel bad..

    The official e30 Aftermarket Radio Install Write up!
    If you have the premium system ( tweeter on doors, plate speakers on rear deck )

    * Yellow wire from new head 12v+ goes to Red/grn in dash
    * Red wire from head ign goes to purple/wht in dash
    * Black wire goes to brown wire in dash plus two extra brn/blks that were attached to old head. There will be three wires total hooked to the black from new head.
    * Blue/wht from new head goes to both white wires in dash. If you don't have a blue/wht on new head, use the blue.
    * That will leave three wires:
    * If your new head has a dimmer lead ( usually orange ) it will attach to the red/grn lead in dash. If the new head does not, TAPE THIS OFF. No sense blowing fuses now when you are so close to sound.
    * White wire from new head goes to yellow wire in dash
    * Grey wire on new head goes to blue wire in dash.
    * Tape off ALL REMAINING WIRES FROM NEW HEAD, don't allow them to touch each other or any metal in the dash.
    * This uses the factory fader, and factory amp, without messy rewiring.
    * Anyone who tells you that the new radio has more watts than the old amp needs to look at what it takes to make 40x4 rms. It sure ain't gonna fit inside a deck, and it will need at least 10ga power wire, which new radios don't have.
    * I worked the install bay many many years. I did every e30 like this, and my 88 535is has had this wiring for 6 years, no problems. There is a common thread on these boards that says 'rewire' when it is not needed.
    * If you have the std system without an amp, it is just as easy, there are two extra wires. Email me for details if so.
    * If you are confused, take it to a reputable shop ( no Best or Circuit in the name ). 40 bucks and you will be in and out in 10-15 minutes.

    its 12am here and I'm tired and bored. The proper illumination wire found in the dash of e30's is Red/GREY not Red/grn as I said. So shoot me, lol.
    __________________
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:36 PM.


  7. #7
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    1991 318iS
    Lots & Lots of M42 related writeups, and some stuff that might apply to 'other' E30's.
    http://www.m42club.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32

  8. #8
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    1987 3235
    find faq's below
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    Frequently Asked E30 Questions

    I am writing this thread because I am sick and tired of people asking the same damn questions OVER AND OVER.

    This is basically be a n00b guide to stupid easy to fix problems on e30s, I will also write a bit on other things that I have seen many threads made about.

    General links:

    BEFORE YOU POST LOOK THROUGH THESE FOR ANSWERS AND SEARCH!!!

    http://www.bimmerdiy.com/e30

    www.bmwe30.net

    Problem 1: Buying a car and "common problems"

    This has to be the most asked question EVER.

    Here are some links to some good buyers guides I have found

    http://www.e30tech.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3726

    This is my guide and has some insight on common problems:
    THIS COVERS THE FOLLOWING: Window switches, Idle problems, Door locks, Inop windows, TIMING BELT!! AND PLASTIC BUMPER CONVERSION INFO


    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...92#post7542392



    Problem 2: Dead Tach/Speedo/Odometer/Funky guages

    ( http://e30m3performance.com/maintena...d/SI_Board.htm this guide for SI boards also shows how to take the cluster out and apart)

    If your Speedo doesn't work, $10 says its the Speedo unit itself. The solder used to hold it together degrades over time. You have two options, 1 buy a new Speedo, 2 try and resolder your old one to kick it back into life. Here is some info on fixing your old one

    http://www.unofficialbmw.com/speedo/speedo.html

    http://greg.scott.com/bmw/speedo.asp

    If you buy a new cluster or Speedo on ebay, VDO and Motormeter will work in any cluster you have, IE a motormeter speedo will work in a VDO cluster and vice versa. Replacement should be easy enough same with soldering, if you cant figure out how to take your cluster out and apart... search. Its been covered. Or check the DIY guides

    If your odometer doesn't work, its probably because the gears for it busted. Again, you can buy a new Speedo, or replace the gears. You can buy gears here:

    http://www.odometergears.com/

    Or like I said above, get a new Speedo off ebay.

    If your tach doesn't work or all your gauges act erratically, your SI board is probably bad or needs new batteries

    Heres a guide:

    http://e30m3performance.com/maintena...d/SI_Board.htm



    Problem 3: Exhausts

    Lots of people ask what the best exhaust for an e30 is. First off, a new exhaust will not give you any performance gains, the stock one simply isn't very restrictive. Now, if you want to replace a rusted out exhaust or want a more throaty tone to heres some info.

    First off, if you have a hole in your muffler or a rusted out pipe or cat and you dont want to buy a new exhaust goto an exhaust shop and have it fixed. It will be way cheaper than off the shelf stuff. If you need a cat you can get a magnaflow one off ebay for about $40, should only cost $20 tops to have it welded on. If you need a new muffler, again I would recommend getting a magnaflow off ebay and having them weld it on.

    If you want a new exhaust for whatever reason, look for reviews. I would personally recommend Ireland Engineering's SS catback

    Here is a quick review I dug up

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...exhaust+review

    This is also some great general info on e30 exhausts

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/forumdisplay.php?f=136



    Problem 4: Burnt out bulbs

    Cluster: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...eplacement.htm
    OBC: http://www.unofficialbmw.com/repair_faqs/obc.html

    Problem 5: Not being able to use the intarweb

    "Whats the difference between a 325e and 325i?"

    http://www.strictlyeta.net/technical/differences.html


    Problem 6: Which spark plugs

    YOU WANT OE Bosch W8LCR's!!! DO NOT PUT BOSCH PLATINUMS IN

    If you want to know why search or read these:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ht=spark+plugs
    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ht=spark+plugs

    Problem 7: Which GAS

    Any m20 engine, 87 is fine
    318is though you want to run 91+
    m3 92




    That's it for now, Im for sure going to add to this once I find some more posts I know I have answered more than 15 times.
    Last edited by equate975; 10-13-2006 at 10:35 PM.

  10. #10
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    1984 325e

    Question Cluster F---ed, need HELP

    I've got an 84 325e with cluster probs and fuel gauge probs. I love the car, and it runs really well. I read your advice on replacing the SI boards. (The hyperlined "how to" guide is great, I wish I'd read it before I figured out how to do it by trial and error last week.)

    Here are questions for which I need answers:
    0. I forgot to look at which port the single grey wire connects to on the yellow connector on the back of the cluster. It seems to attach through into the speedometer. There are three choices. Does anyone know, does it matter?
    1.The 1987 cluster I bought from the junkyard does not even have the yellow connect piece. Should I attach the one of have and connect the grey wire, or is it now obsolete?
    2. The fuel gauge is acting the same with both clusters. Must be the sender, the connections, the relay or the wire; Where is the access to the fuel gauge sending unit for my car?
    3. Where is relay unit "1" that the fuel gauge sending unit wire runs through before it hits the cluster?
    4. Will a 1987 SI board work in my 1984 cluster even though it shows obvious differences?
    5. My old cluster has a long black plastic plug type thing that kind of resembles a golf tee, slid like a key into a slot in the back of the cluster seemingly into the tachometer. The 87 cluster has a removable but still in place, tab over that "key" hole. What is that all about?
    6. Can I remove the batteries and just jump across them with some wire?

    Details:
    The cluster had the following problems before I started working on it:
    tach is innaccurate,
    temp gauge stopped working,
    fuel gauge, which had been working sporadically, stopped working,
    fuel empty light stopped working properly (flickers).

    Odometer works, Speedometer works.

    I purchased a used cluster from an '87 e30 from the local BMW junkyard. I pulled the old one, and loosely installed the "new" cluster to see if it worked and so that the alternator would keep charging the battery while I worked on the original.

    Batteries on SI board were fryed and had corroded the SI board a bit. The pair of old Ni Cad batteries were hard to remove: spot welded in place, so I had to de-solder the battery clips from the board. I used pB Blaster on the board to clean it up a bit. I resoldered the clips into the board, but did not put in batteries yet. I'm kind of stuck on how to hold them in place.

    Meanwhile the junkyard 1987 cluster has some good parts:
    working and accurate speedometer
    working and accurate tachometer
    working and accurate temp gauge

    Odometer does not work
    Fuel gauge does the same flickering as the old board.
    I'd keep "new" cluster in but without odometer or fuel gauge, there is now way to even estimate how much fuel is in the tank. However, since fuel gauge is acting exact same as old cluster, it is probably sender or relay related.

    The SI board on a junkyard purchased cluster from '87 e30 is different from my SI board. It has much more circuitry and clipped in connector that give front access to the "temp gauge" side of the board from outside the cluster. It did not come with the yellow connect on the back that the single wire on mine had plugged into.

  11. #11
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    My Cars
    1989 325is

    Restoring a Sloppy Shifter

    Thought I would add some info to the FAQ, as this question is asked waay too often:

    In order to restore your shifter to feeling brand new, follow this procedure and replace ALL the pieces that it suggests. I did this myself on my car and I am 100% satisfied.
    http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...t_Bushings.htm

    If you want to shorten the throw of your shifter while you have everything apart, get the shifter lever from a Z3 1.9. It is the only one that is truly "plug and play" because the rod is bent, like the one that is in your E30. Using a rod that is not bent will result in your shifter not being centered, and you will have difficulty shifting into reverse.
    Also, the Z3 rod will clear your harmonic balancer on the driveshaft without having to modify anything. Again, I did this on my own car and it works great, and cost me less than $100 for everything.

  12. #12
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    1989 325is

    How to install E36 window switches in your E30

    Here is a really great writeup for anyone thinking of doing this. Let me tell you it is totally worth it.
    If your car has the window circuit breaker in the center console, I suggest finding one from an early model that only has the two holes for the window switches. It looks really clean this way (the same one pictured in the writeup.)
    Also, if you have never soldered before, don't be afraid. Just get a couple pieces of junk wire and play with the soldering iron a bit before you start cutting wires in your car.

    http://www.strictlyeta.net/technical/e36switches.html

  13. #13
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    1989 325is

    E30 Engine Swap Resources

    Engine swaps are a very popular mod, so here are some useful links for anyone that is thinking of tackling this project.

    M30 Swap Information
    http://www.jaredsquires.com/ndp/335i/m30/page20.html <--- lots of info on the swap
    http://www.designbolt.com/html/bmwproject.html
    http://www.e30.de/<--- manufactures necessary motor mounts
    Also check out Autobahn Sport (funkmasta on r3vlimited) for motor mounts if you are in the US and want to pay less.

    M50, M52, S50, S52 Swap Information
    http://www.e30dohc.com/wiki/index.php?title=Talk:Main_Page <--- lots of info on the swap
    http://www.akgmotorsport.com/e30products.html <--- Sells necessary pre-modified brake booster, motor mounts, and wiring harness adaptor
    http://www.racersmarket.net/catalog/index.php?cPath=34 <--- Sells useful misc bits and pieces for the swap
    http://www.treehouseracing.com/ <--- sells wiring harness adaptor
    http://www.zionsvilleautosport.com/s...egory_Code=CKE <--- complete or partial swap kits available here

    These are probably the two most common swaps. People have swapped all kinds of engines into E30s, but these two swaps are popular because they can be done fairly cheap, they don't mess up your handling very much, and they all have more power than any factory E30 motor.

  14. #14
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    '00 330Ci, '07 350Z
    ONLINE REPAIR MANUAL:


    I found this over at Bimmerfest, looks pretty handy:

    http://ee1394.com/bmw/docs/factory/repair/en/index1.htm

    jus click on main groups and away you go
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:42 PM.
    E46 330Ci: Umnitza P46 Headlights + Predator Chromium Halos; Eagle Eye smoked rear LEDs; yellow fogs; M3 bonnet conversion; M-Sport Front & Rear bumper; Replica mirrors: Rear lip spoiler; Carbon fibre strut brace; Aluminium rear strut brace; H&R Sway Bars; LSD 3.15 ratio; F30 front & rear BBK conversion; Muffler delete; ECU Remap; E63 M6 Front Seats; GROM Audio

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    '90 325iX, '15 Fit EX MT
    BADGE PLACEMENT:


    hey im famous!

    heres the diagram:


    from what ive heard the ix part of the badge is NLA, so buy up,
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:40 PM.

  16. #16
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    1983 porsche 944, 1987 bmw 325is
    REAR SUB-FRAME ANSWERS:


    It's really not that bad, Just alot of things to take apart. I dropped everything in one piece, diff, subframe and t arms all attached to each other, then taking it apart on the ground is much easier. The driveshaft is also not very hard unless you take the rear out before the Dshaft. I'd say the hardest part is getting a rusted exhaust off if it's rusted. And the 6 nuts at the exhaust manifold are tricky to get to, you'll need a long extension with a universal joint.

    Also get under there the day before and spray release oil on everything you need to remove, also spray the Ebrake cable where it goes into the back of the hubs, they get rusted in there. Also make sure you spray the splines where the driveshaft slides together and apart because you'll need to compress the driveshaft a bit to drop it down if you do that before you remove the diff. Also a good sized bench vice is handy for getting out and installing the T arm bushings, the subframe bushings aren't so easy but you'll figure it out. And flare nut wrenches are handy for the brakeline fittings on the Tarms, they can be stubborn.

    Just a few things i can say as i did these things in the last 2 weeks. There are lots of knowledgeable and helpfull poeple on here if you get stuck. They've sure helped me out when i was stuck on a few things.

    Have you read this yet? http://e30world.com/suspension/BMW-E...gs-Replacement
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
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    Los Gatos CA
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    1987 325is, e34, Z3, e39
    TOOLS AND TIPS FOR TIMING BELT CHANGE:

    You need to remove the fan to access pretty much anything on the front of the engine.

    There are much less expensive tools that will work just as well. I use a light aluminum headset wrench with an extension, but I would buy a large steel Park headset wrench from FleaBay if buying another. A longer wrench can be hit with a hammer, avoiding the need to hold the pulley. If the pulley starts to turn, I need to hold it using a large screwdriver jammed between the mounting bolts.

    Tool size needed for timing belt:
    Most bolts and nuts are 10mm, 13mm or 17mm
    Crank turning: 22mm box wrench or socket
    Crank pulley: 13mm socket on 2-3" extension
    Reference sensor: 5mm hex key
    Distributor rotor: 3mm hex key (socket and small torque wrench preferred)
    Hose clamps: 6mm or 1/4" socket+extension or long nutdriver
    Hood bolts: 10mm socket, 1/4" drive to clear hinge
    Fan clutch: 32mm thin wrench
    Cam sprocket bolt: 8mm internal hex or T50 Torx or E12 external Torx


    Camshaft drive belt tensioner to engine (bolts) 22+-2Nm (16+-1 ft-lbs)
    Front end cover to engine (bolt)
    M6 9+-1 (6.5+-0.5)
    M8 22+-2 (16+-1)
    Intermediate shaft sprocket bolt 60+-5 (44+-4)
    Reference sensor mounting bolt 7+-1 (5+-0.5)
    Vibration damper to crankshaft (nut and pulley bolts) 22+-2
    Last edited by moberg12; 11-16-2008 at 10:41 PM.

  18. #18
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    moberg12 is offline YourFriendlyNeighborhood Moderator
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    Last edited by moberg12; 04-09-2014 at 06:21 PM.

  19. #19
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    moberg12 is offline YourFriendlyNeighborhood Moderator
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    Last edited by moberg12; 01-26-2009 at 02:13 AM.

  20. #20
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    HOW TO CLEAN AND SEAL YOUR GAS TANK:

    While you can get a little bit of the sediment from the tank with it in the car, the rust on the baffles and other internal surfaces will still be there. Below is my tank saga...

    A twenty year old car with a steel gas tank can have a surprising amount of rust in the tank. That rust can and will clog the pump inlet screens and filter and cause the high pressure pump to have a short life. While a new tank will certainly fix that, you can clean and seal the tank for a lot less money.

    My 87 325is suffered from this. The car ran fine on the street but the first time I took it to the track for a test & tune it was as if the car had a soft rev limiter that decreased by 500-700rpm per lap. Some particulate matter did come out of the tank when I drained the gas, but with the in-tank pump out I could see a layer of crud in the bottom of the tank that was about an 1/8" deep. On the track that stuff got stirred up, clogged the inlet screens & filter, and starved the engine. It also ate up the internals of the high pressure pump. Rust is a fairly abrasive material.

    The first attempt at a fix was to have the tank acid dipped and install new pumps & filter. Either they didn't leave the tank in long enough or the acid was a bit depleted, but the result was less than satisfactory as the next time I had the car on the track the high pressure pump started buzzing and I ran into the same starvation issue.

    After taking the tank out again and sloshing about a gallon of fuel around I got loads of rust out of the tank. The new filter was heavily loaded and the inlet screen of the high pressure pump was also loaded up. And the cross-over pipe was completely plugged. This time I was determined to get all of the rust out and follow that up with sealant to lock down anything that was left and prevent further rusting. I used a gas tank sealer kit from Eastwood, but went a bit further than they suggest.

    The tank, having been recently acid dipped had no varnish in it. So a simple wash with a strong TSP solution removed the remaining organics. I made up a simple plug for the hole where the in-tank pump mounts that could easily be removed. Think of a round disk of plywood with a bar on the bottom and a couple of screws to snug the bar up. Drop that into the opening, rotate slightly to
    engage the lock ears on the tank and tighten the screws. The remaining openings were closed up with pieces of a freezer bag held in place with rubber bands.

    About a gallon of diluted acid in the tank was about right. That was enough to slosh around well but not so much as too make the tank too heavy. I used an acid mix sold for cleaning masonry that's composed of Hydrochloric and Phosphoric acids at about double the normal dilution. Over the course of a couple of hours I'd slosh and flip tank every fifteen minutes to wet all parts of the tank with the solution. At the end of a couple of hours I drained the tank and disposed of the pretty well spent acid by reacting it with limestone gravel.

    To flush the tank I made up a right-angle spray nozzle with plumbing fittings and a 1/4" hose barb. That allowed the nozzle to be inserted into the tank and a high velocity stream sprayed into all corners. This was done with the tank at about a 30deg angle (drain plug hole down) and the fluid collected into a bucket. When the water ran clean and no more loose junk came out I repeated the acid treatment and flush. It took all of one Saturday and part of Sunday to get the tank to the point that no more rust could be seen and nothing was being flushed out of the tank.

    The last steps were to use the acid etch from the Eastwood kit, flush with acetone, and apply the sealer. Before putting the sealer in the tank I removed the cross-over pipe and sealed those openings. After the sealer had been applied and before it had a chance to harden I blew out those openings and the tubing that runs across the top of the tank with compressed air. After drying for a couple of days the tank was reassembled and reinstalled in the car.

    Once sealed the inside of the tank had a fairly uniform white coating. I did see a few specks of matter that I wasn't able to flush from the tank, but those were well locked in place by the sealer.

    Cleaning and sealing the tank is pretty labor intensive. But at a total cost of less than $80 it is a lot cheaper than a new tank (~$400 for this car).
    Last edited by moberg12; 12-27-2008 at 08:31 PM.
    The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
    Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

  21. #21
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    Everything you need to know about your AC System:

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=921770

    Courtesy of Djb2
    Last edited by moberg12; 06-02-2009 at 10:10 PM.

  22. #22
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    Everything you need to know about hoses:

    There isn't any savings buying a "kit". They cost just as much as the individual hoses.

    Always get EPDM hoses reinforced with Aramid fibers.

    Aftermarket hoses can cost much less than BMW hoses, but for certain hoses only the BMW dealer ones fit correctly. In particular the one from the thermostat housing that passes close to the fan has to be molded with a very tight turn, and hold that shape over time, or the fan will wear a hole in it.

    The large front hoses are easy. The hoses to and from the heater core take much longer than you expect.


    1984-1987 Water hose kit
    13-54-1-705-568 Hose, thermostat to throttle heater $15.15/12.12
    11-53-1-287-651 Hose, bypass, thermostat to pump $14.20/$11.36
    11-53-1-289-257 Expansion Tank to water pump hose, 1987 325i only $14.30/11.44
    11-53-1-286-914 Upper radiator hose $13.15/10.52
    11-53-1-279-895 Lower radiator hose, 1984-87 $17.60/14.08
    64-21-1-380-527 Hose, from rear of head to heater core inlet (lower) $9.40/7.52
    13-54-1-289-976 Water hose, throttle housing to block 9.15/7.32
    17-12-1-712-736 Vent hose to expansion tank, 8x13mm 13.35/10.68

    11-53-1-289-377 Hose, heater outlet to thermostat housing $17.40/13.92
    may also be listed as 11-53-1-278-939
    URO price is $2.97
    Retrofit hoses for recall adding heater thermostat, EPDM+Aramid, replaces '527
    64-21-8-367-790 Cyl. head to valve hose $3.42 $2.75/2.34
    64-21-8-367-791 Thermostat valve to heater core hose $2.75/2.34
    64-21-8-367-834 Hose to retrofit thermostat $5.10/$4.08

    1988+ water hoses
    11-53-1-287-651 Hose, bypass, thermostat to pump $14.20/$11.36
    (same as 84-87)
    11-53-1-722-218 Hose, thermostat to radiator, 46mm $38.90/31.12
    11-53-1-718-980 Lower radiator hose to pipe, 47mm $19.05/15.24
    11-53-1-718-982 Hose, pipe to thermostat 45mm $23.30/1864
    ( The '980 and '982 hoses and the metal pipe, replace the '895 hose)
    11-53-1-722-743 Hose, 'T' from heater outlet to thermostat $64.45/51.56
    (Allows the reservoir on the left side, and a single-inlet pump.)
    64-21-1-380-527 Hose, from rear of head to heater inlet $9.40/7.52
    (Same as earlier cars, and same retrofit)
    13-54-1-719-966 Hose, throttle to thermostat $27.20/21.76
    13-54-1-719-967 Hose, block to throttle $25.65/20.52
    (The '966 and '967 hoses replace '568 and '976 hoses)

    Courtesy of Djb2
    Last edited by moberg12; 06-02-2009 at 10:13 PM.

  23. #23
    moberg12's Avatar
    moberg12 is offline YourFriendlyNeighborhood Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Franklin, NC
    Posts
    6,148
    My Cars
    Spec E30, 91 318i
    Those things you mount your tires to are called wheels not rims

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    745
    My Cars
    E36 M3/4/5, E46 328i

    Post E30 noobs please read for all DIY and FAQ

    Here is the easiest way that I've found to do this:

    You would normally do this on the underside of the car, but I'm doing this outside the car so I can actually take pictures.


    Harbor Freight item 96572 is what you will need. Now on sale!



    This is the position you want to start the tool in. Place the handle directly on top of the shift carrier.


    Close-up of the starting position. Place the tip of the pick in the corner of the groove. Pull the handle straight back from here.


    This is the final position after you've pulled the pick straight back. It should unlatch the clip so you can undo the rest with your hand.


    This is how it looks when you do it.

    Booyah!

    The best improvement you can do to a car is become a better driver.
    www.off-camber.net

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Huntsville, AL
    Posts
    25,923
    My Cars
    87 325is
    Want a Clean Engine:

    I prefer not to use a pressure washer as they can damage things or force water into places that you don't want it.

    When faced with a dirty engine and/or engine bay the process I use is:

    1) Start with a hot engine and get front of the car up on jack stands. Several
    large pieces of cardboard under the engine area will soak up the grunge and
    help prevent stains.

    2) Using a putty knife, screw driver, etc., scrape off any heavy
    deposits. Most of that will be on the lower part of the engine and you'll have
    to get to it from underneath.

    3) Spray a mixture of Gunk and diesel on using a garden sprayer.

    4) Scrub every thing you can reach using plastic bristle brushes on painted
    surfaces and wire brushes on bare metal. Work heavily caked areas again with
    the scrapers. Spray on more solvent mixture as needed.

    5) Re-fill the sprayer with any concentrated detergent (Simple Green, pressure
    washer detergent, etc) and spray everything down.

    6) Using a garden hose set for a gentle spray, or better yet a plant watering
    wand, wash down the engine and engine bay. You want to avoid any high pressure
    spray as that may force water into places that you don't want it.

    7) Spray on more detergent and go over everything with the brushes, then
    repeat (6).

    8) Leave the hood open and allow the engine bay to dry for at least 8 hours
    before starting the engine.

    Notes: Having the engine hot will make oil and grease easier to wash off and
    the residual heat will help dry out any water that reaches electrical
    parts. You won't get the cosmoline/oil stains off the valve cover as they are
    baked on. The best way to clean up the valve cover is to have it bead blasted
    or hot tanked, but you can get most of it off with paint remover (with the
    cover off the engine).
    Last edited by moberg12; 07-31-2009 at 12:23 AM.
    The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen.
    Jim Levie, Huntsville, AL

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