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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 07-15-2019, 10:41 AM   #1
Newbimer
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Tips To Make Your Next Fix Easier!

Next time you are at the wreckers try getting one of the leaves from an old leaf spring. They are around 1/2 thick by 2 to 3 inches wide. A very hefty piece of steel that's easily drilled/tapped, etc. Comes in very handy when you need to make a nice thick washer, spacer, pry bar, or DIY redneck wheel bearing puller. A nice 10 inch long piece and two 4" x 4's makes a nice rear wheel baring puller.

The OD of the rear wheel bearing is the exactly the same as the OD of the M54 engine throttle body. Just in case you are making your own plate to install the bearing, that's the exact size you will need to make a washer to push the bearing into the control arm.

Save any old worn out metal hole saws. You can make an nice spacer by grinding the down the teeth. Or if you need to, cut the saw section away from the hefty metal plate its welded to at the back. Makes a great thick washer/spacer and its already center drilled and tapped for you.

If making your own DIY bearing installing tool using a threaded rod, nuts and washers. Get a coupling nut and drill out the threads. Install it between the bolt head and the washer. Then use a deep socket to hold/drive the rod in. The head of the bolt will do the work, the coupling will allow it to turn and gives you more surface area allowing you to use a deep socket instead of a box/open end wrench, so it cannot slip off the head of the bolt.

When removing wheel bearings, leave the rotor attached to the hub via the small hub retaining screw. Once the hub nut is removed, give the rotor a sharp pull and the bearing will many times come with it. If the rear bearing race stays on the spindle, try pulling it off by hand before getting your puller out. I've had a few that I simply spun by hand and they came out. If you are replacing it, it most likely is worn pretty good, so the clearance will be a lot larger and it just may come out with little effort.

After market parts are almost always different then the OEM. Many ball joint nuts have to be tightened down while using an Allen wrench to keep it from turning, which doesn't always work very well. Avoid that by simply jacking up under the ball joint, placing the full weight of the car onto it, then tighten to specs. A lot easier then trying to hold the Allen wrench.

If you are just replacing the brake pads you may not need to remove the caliper. First place a screwdriver between the rear pad and rotor and push the caliper piston back. Then loosen the slider pins, and remove the top OR bottom sliding pin only, depending which one will not over extend the rubber brake line. R/R the pads, and complete brake job.

For any electrical/audio connections use a bit of Sanchem NO-OX-ID Conductive Grease. Its specially made to inhibit corrosion and lubricate electrical connections. Its a bit pricey, but works great. Ebay.com 2 oz. tub is about $8.00 but it goes a long way, since you don't need to use a lot.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:36 AM   #2
samwoodblack
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Thanks! It's very useful!
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:50 AM   #3
76m2002
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Nice! I'll add one: When you are replacing front struts, its easy to remove and install the top nut with an impact gun. However, Koni shock techs warn against this because the spinning strut rod will wear internal seals prematurely. Instead, grasp the very top of the extended strut rod in a vise, then remove the nut while the vise holds the rod immobile. While counter-intuitive, this very top portion of the strut rod never enters the body of the strut, so any marks on the rod are purely cosmetic and won't damage the strut.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:57 AM   #4
Newbimer
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Great. I'll keep it in mind. Anyone else have any helpful hints feel free to add to the list. Never know when one will come in handy!
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