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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

As this is my first Beemer, I'd like to do a build thread and share my experiences with other noobs as well as any mistakes/pitfalls I might encounter. As well as that it's a place I can refer back to any advice I get from more experienced members.

Here's the car. It's a 2005 325i Executive with auto trans. Nothing too special, but is really clean and has spent it's life indoors with absolutely no sunburn or clear coat damage, which is a hard thing to find in Australia it seems. 240,000kms on the clock.

It was very cheap, and came with 6 months rego and a brand spanking new set of Bridgestone Potenzas, but the dash is lit up like a Christmas tree with faults, there's persistent misfires and it's in limp mode. It still drove 400kms home on the highway in blistering heat, and the compression test etc was all good.

What I like is the fact that it seems to have just had regular servicing without all the plastics in the engine bay being molested, and I like the interior color/condition as well.

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the people’s mod
2004 330Ci 115k miles
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14,441 Posts
Looks nice! Keep in mind some parts for RHD are different than their LHD counterparts. You surely already know this being in Oz, but some parts you would not expect to be different, indeed are.

Can you add a post here describing all the repairs done? That ends up being super useful to new owners.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I've ordered a bunch of bits from FCP in the US, and Clickables here in Australia. Both are good.

Here's where I made my first blunder. I didn't realize that when I put a "cooling system set" from FCP in my shopping cart that it would then put all the parts in separately, and that I could delete/add items. I thought the set was cheaper or something, and couldn't be altered. For example, I didn't want a mechanical cooling fan and I wanted the hard pipes, and should have just deleted one/added the other in the cart after I'd added the full set. Instead I went about researching every component and making my own set, which resulted in a few returns and plenty of lost time. Next time will be simpler, and there likely will be a next time as the "bug has bitten".

Other bits are on the way like GAS Disa kit and coolant cap, silicone vac lines/caps and other little bits.

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Looks nice! Keep in mind some parts for RHD are different than their LHD counterparts. You surely already know this being in Oz, but some parts you would not expect to be different, indeed are.

Can you add a post here describing all the repairs done? That ends up being super useful to new owners.
Thank you.

Yep...already ballsed it up with the O2 sensors I bought from FCP. Lesson learned for sure, but plenty of scope for further confusion. As you get older screwups become part of the entertainment it seems.

I will absolutely list my repairs step by step, and hope that someone will benefit from them.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Initial observations were exactly what I was told here to expect...original vacuum boots/hoses/disa seal with plenty of vacuum leaks almost certainly related to misfires. Shit looking plugs and injectors, and a manifold full of soot and oil. A definitely broken CCV return line with oil leaking, and general signs that the cooling/vacuum refresh described here is the way to go.

Good news is that all the plastic/wiring/clips/etc look virginal, and there hasn't been some meathead in there prying and breaking everything. Compression test was really good, and coolant/oil are both staying where they are meant to be...away from each other. My thoughts are that this car has had an old school mechanic dropping the oil, spinning filters and generally checking belts and ball joints.

No super bad oil leaks by the way. There's certainly a couple, but the rocker cover and sump gaskets seem to be holding up. The belly pan cover seems to only ever have been hit by blades of grass and came off easily. I do have one split steering boot, but it's not leaking.

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
As I'm going for an electric puller fan with mechanical and aux fan delete, my son and I decided to pull the bumper off. It'll be a cleaner finish with the unused aux fan removed.

I didn't want to buy the clutch fan tool, and as the fan shroud was a little bit cracked already we busted it out and got to the fan clutch with a small pry bar and shifter. It all came apart easily, and to be honest the belts/pulleys all look good. Having said that, there was a definite pulley/belt/roller squeal when I used the AC on the way home. I'm still happy with my decision to buy all new belts/pulleys/rollers/tensioners, it makes sense while I'm doing all the rest.

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the people’s mod
2004 330Ci 115k miles
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14,441 Posts
If the old electric fan motor and control unit still work, save them in the parts bin for future use. Those control units are usually the ones that go bad, so having a spare is nice. The electric motors are very robust and last a long time.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
When I was trying to do the fuel pressure test via the schrader valve on the injector rail, I wasn't holding any static pressure for very long at all. On closer inspection I noticed there was reasonably bad fuel leaks from the O rings on 4 out of 6 injectors. I pulled them out and they looked like absolute crud, so Instead of just changing the O rings as I'd planned, I sent them to an injector guy to get serviced.

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They certainly came back cleaner, but I'm a bit unsure of the presentation with them slapped into to plastic bags 3 apiece, and with grease all over them. It could be just how it's done I guess, but they are cleaner. He gave me a certificate of sorts with them, and told me 2 were forming a bad spray pattern and I think he said one was leaking as well. He now says it's all good and they've been ultrasonically cleaned and tested, and they've been fitted with new O rings and strainers.

Time will tell, but it seemed worth doing at 240,000kms when they were leaking fuel in the engine bay anyway.

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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FYI the "O Rings" can leak, however they seal out outside air from entering the intake.
It's the business end of the injector (pintle) that is a V Shaped seat inside the injector, that if dirty or very worn can cause fuel to drip into the combustion chamber.

Were the injectors cleaned only cosmetically? Conversely were they run in a injector cleaning machine, pulsed at various freq. Hz. with solution to 1st. clean them, then they're measured for delivery in CC and a printout is sent unto you?
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #13
FYI the "O Rings" can leak, however they seal out outside air from entering the intake.
It's the business end of the injector (pintle) that is a V Shaped seat inside the injector, that if dirty or very worn can cause fuel to drip into the combustion chamber.

Were the injectors cleaned only cosmetically? Conversely were they run in a injector cleaning machine, pulsed at various freq. Hz. with solution to 1st. clean them, then they're measured for delivery in CC and a printout is sent unto you?
They were cleaned ultrasonically and tested on some sort of bench rig. It was a printed form with boxes filled out by hand, showing spray pattern, flow results, leak test and resistance in ohms.

It seems he has a mobile van and does injectors onsite including removal and reinstall. He had good reviews, it should be OK.
 

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2001 330i (pre-facelift)
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219 Posts
The packaging could be better. But if the injectors are OK (and cleaned properly), then I wouldn't dwell on it.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I've done the rocker cover gasket and the Vanos overhaul kit, and it all looked to go well enough. Was straight forward and enjoyable work.

Getting that intake manifold out was the opposite...it really sucks to work on that side of the motor.

No shortage of vacuum leaks! CCV hoses busted straight off for a start, literally wide open and a terrible Disa seal. Manifold and throttle body don't look too bad, not as dirty as I'd initially expected.

But the hard coolant pipes are leaking, so I'm glad I'm doing this.

I did have to cut a hose on the Y valve (or whatever it is) as being a RHD model, there's a hard pipe right over the top of the manifold, and the hose was fused onto it pretty badly.

All in all this thing is an absolute prick to work on lol, but I can see that it needed to be done.

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #16
Wow...

Pulled those hard pipes out today and they simply crumbled away. Absolutely no chance of them pulling out in one piece. I can't believe they hadn't just blown off already, and they were leaking.

Used the soldering iron trick to get the bits out, and have been gently scraping debris and leaving a chemical soaked rag in the holes to soften the residual rubbish left in the holes.
 

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2003 BMW 325CI convertible, Oct '02 prod. date, 111K miles
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140 Posts
Wow...

Pulled those hard pipes out today and they simply crumbled away. Absolutely no chance of them pulling out in one piece. I can't believe they hadn't just blown off already, and they were leaking.

Used the soldering iron trick to get the bits out, and have been gently scraping debris and leaving a chemical soaked rag in the holes to soften the residual rubbish left in the holes.
share your pain, I was exactly where you are about 2 months ago replacing my CCV, OFHG, etc. But, once its done there is so much satisfaction. Nice work.
 

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2001 330i (pre-facelift)
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219 Posts
I did that job recently, as well. Scraping the crud out of the holes (for the heater pipes) was kind of a pain.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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582 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I did that job recently, as well. Scraping the crud out of the holes (for the heater pipes) was kind of a pain.
Bigtime pain in the arse for sure.

I've been soaking it with chemicals and lightly scraping at those ports for days, and they're not going to ever look like new but they'll be OK. Just finished flushing all the block and heater core out with fresh water, as it was filled with crappy green coolant.

By the way, I flushed all the cooling system out with tap water from the garden hose. Is that a problem? Obviously when it comes to coolant filling time I'll use distilled water and BMW coolant.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I've been a bit slack as work's been busy recently, plus it's very hot down under at the moment, which makes me less keen to venture out of the aircon on my days off.

I swung the spanners a bit today and put in my new starter motor, changed crank and knock sensors, fitted the coolant hard pipes and thermostat housing. 3/4 of the time was spent doing up the bolts on the starter motor, but it's done.

Bit unsure about the routing of the wiring loom under the hard pipes, but it looks like where it came from. The blue tape is a patch up of the corrugated conduit, I couldn't get heat shrink in there.

I also fitted a new fuel filter, and replaced the sections of fuel and vacuum line attached to it while I was there.

EDIT: Damn...should have looked at my own pics above for cable routing! I'll pull this pipes and set them right. At least I'll be able to check those O rings on the hard pipes are seating correctly and not torn.

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