Putting it back together

February 6, 2011

Finally began reassembling the engine today. It’s fun to be putting stuff back on the engine for a change. I had help from Kari, thank you for that. We started by cleaning a few more bits. Then we installed the oil pump, noticed that we forgot a few seals, took it off again and reinstalled with the proper o-rings. Then we installed both the upper and lower oil pans and finally turned the engine the right way up. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but it took a while with all the cleaning. I had planned to paint the lower oil pan, but why bother… It won’t be visible anyhow.


Me looking for debris that might’ve fallen into the engine.

Oil pump installed and upper oil pan ready to go on.

Engine the right way up.

Next time I think I’ll open the alternator and take a look inside, as the previous owner told me that the car had some charging problems although the voltage regulator had been replaced. I should also give the transmission some attention. Oh, and I have to get the valve covers blasted and painted. I ordered some more parts after last time, only to discover that I already had bought them a year ago. Good thing they weren’t expensive.

Progress, finally

January 30, 2011

I apologize for the long delay in updating. I finally got something done today, although not as much as I had planned. As it’s been a while since I last worked on the project I had forgotten that I’ve ran out of a few supplies and tools. Will be trying to continue the project next week.

I finally got the crankshaft vibration damper off, which gave me access to the coolant pump. Fortunately the coolant pump seems to be ok, so I’ll just replace the o-rings and reinstall it. The crankshaft front oil seal also seems to be ok. I also dissected the oil pump a few months ago, no apparent signs of wear there either, more great news.

Next time I just have to do a bit more cleaning and then I can start reinstalling parts on the engine, starting with the oil pump and pan.


Bottom end without oil pump and oil pan.

Crankshaft damper and coolant pump removed.

Water pump seems ok.

Updates coming soon..ish

September 9, 2010

I have two weeks of summer vacation left, starting next monday. I intend to work a bit on the engine during my vacation among many other things, so updates are coming soon!

Edited October 17th.: The vacation came and went, unfortunately nothing happened to the car. I built a workbench in the garage, bought a new daily driver (another 7-series), traveled to Paris and worked on my new and old daily driver, but had no time left to work on the E32. I’m still hoping to get something done soon.

Progress at last

June 21, 2010

Here we are again, after a longish break. My summer vacation started, so I had a chance to work a bit on the car. I forgot that I had ran a bit low on supplies so instead of continuing cleaning the engine, I decided to remove both oil pans and the oil pump. The gaskets on both oil pans were in really bad nick, so that’s gonna help with the oil leaks.


Lower oil pan removed.

Upper oil pan too.

Bottom end visible.

That’s really all I had time for (spent a lot of time cleaning the garage and looking for tools). Next time (soon hopefully) I’ll open and inspect the oil pump, clean the rest of the engine and hopefully start putting it back together again.


Oil pump awaiting inspection.

Ultrasonic cleaning

May 2, 2010

Once again, sorry for the lack of updates lately. Work has still kept me busy, as has the start of the motorcycling season. I hope I’ll have more time to work on the car in the near future.

I’m still in the cleaning stage. I’ve been trying to think of good ways to clean parts, small and big. First I tried a citric acid bath, but that only really works on removing rust. I was going to use the power washer today and clean the transmission & some other parts, but the washer broke. Will have to get a better one. I figured a ultrasonic cleaner would be good, but all the larger ones seem to be meant for industrial use and cost a shitload… I managed to find a small metal washer on eBay for a reasonable price and bought it. There were a lot of cheap small plastic ones, but they looked like toys. The one I bought is pretty small, so I’m mainly gonna use it for cleaning nuts, bolts and other small parts like the fuel injectors. It doesn’t work wonders on the really dirty parts, but it beats scrubbing everything with a toothbrush and some parts looked really good after cleaning. It doesn’t help with oxidation and pitting, but it removes the oily gunk from the threads. I might have go at electrolytic cleaning next, just out of interest.


My little ultrasonic cleaner.

Parts before washing.

Parts after washing.

I also cleaned the intake manifolds and a few other small parts in the dishwasher, don’t tell my girlfriend. 🙂 Those came out nice.


Clean intake manifolds.

Current state of engine.

Yet more cleaning

April 4, 2010

Today I got another chance to work on the car, but not as long as I would’ve liked as I ran out of brake cleaner and clean wipes. I brought many toothbrushes, but I only used up two of them.

I started by attacking the heads around the intake ports with a toothbrush. After a bit of cleaning I had them looking quite good. After that I was gonna move to the front of the engine. To get access to all the dirty areas I need to remove the waterpump and to remove that I need to get the crank vibration damper off. I removed all the small bolts and tried pulling it, prying it, whacking it with a hammer but it would just not move. I’m afraid of heating it, as it would damage the rubber part of the damper. Any ideas?


Dirty head.

Clean head!

Annoyed by this I moved to cleaning the cylinder heads on the other side. I got the whole right side of the engine cleaned and a bit of the left side before I ran out of brake cleaner. It’s not clean enough to eat from, but a lot better than before. Once I get most of the goo off I’ll go over the engine once more and either leave it as it is or paint the engine silver. The valve covers are in place just to protect the valvetrain from dirt. They will be media blasted and painted before installation. I will also paint the intake manifolds.


After a lot of toothbrush action.

But then I ran out of cleaner.

I’m still satisfied with what I achieved, although I ran out of supplies. It shouldn’t take many more cleaning sessions anymore, which is good because then I can clean the garage. Now the floor is very dirty and slippery and I can’t move the motorcycle because of it.


I’m pleased with the result!

Cleaning the engine

March 28, 2010

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I’ve been really busy at work and haven’t had time to work on the car. Today I started cleaning the engine, and it appears to be a slow process. In retrospect I should’ve washed the engine with a power washer when I was removing it from the car. Now that it’s inside the garage I can only use brake cleaner and a brush. So far I’ve been only been scratching the goo away with a screwdriver and vacuuming. Next time I’ll have to bring a whole lot of toothbrushes. I’m tempted to dismantle the engine further, but I can’t justify spending a lot of money on gasket sets and headbolts just to clean the engine up.
No pics today, as the batteries were empty in my camera. I hope I’ll have more time to work on the car soon. After all there’s not that much stuff to do on the engine. I’ve set myself a goal to get the car running by the end of this summer, or at least get the engine in the car.