No sign of that snowstorm, so I got a bit of work done on the engine. First I took the intake manifold off. Some of the bolts were a bit tricky, but with enough extensions and a magnet to guide the sockets on to the bolts I got them all off. Refitting is gonna be harder.

Removing intake manifold nuts.

Most of the oil seems to be leaking from the intake manifold gaskets, which is bad news as they cost 4x $200. I think I’m gonna remove them, inspect them carefully and if they’re not completely hopeless just reuse them with a lot of gasket sealant.

Intake manifold gaskets.

Oily mess.

I also took the valve covers off. The camshaft lobes didn’t have any grooves in them, but they aren’t evenly shiny. I’m not sure if that’s acceptable or bad? Maybe someone can give me confirmation on this. However, quite worryingly I found a piece of metal wire crumpled up in one corner of the valvetrain. I couldn’t figure out what it was for, and why someone would leave it in there? Weird..

Metal wire. WTF?

Camshaft condition.

Another engine shot.

Finally I took the alternator/hydraulic pump mount off the engine. Someone had broken off one of the alternator mounting bolts, will have to take the mount somewhere to get the bolt drilled out. That’s about all I had time for.

Yours truly mucking about.

Plans for the weekend

February 19, 2010

This project was featured over at Tamerlane’s Thoughts. Click here to check it out. I was also interviewed on Finnish car culture.

Anyway, on to the car itself. I was planning to do some work this weekend, but now I’m not sure anymore, because according to the news the worst snowstorm this winter is coming this weekend. I was gonna work inside, but I’m not sure if I’m gonna bother driving to the garage (some 40km away, partly on unplowed roads) in a storm.

Bought a few more parts for the car. First I ordered new valve cover and oil sump gaskets etc. from my BMW dealer. At least those need to be replaced, not sure what else until I get to work on the engine. I also got a leather interior restoration kit (two kinds of leather cleaner, black dye, and protection cream). I might make another mini-project (like the engine removal) about the interior restoration. I was thinking about taking the seats somewhere to refurbished, but that would have cost way more than the interior cost me, so I just ordered the DIY-kit.

Engine on stand

February 13, 2010

It’s been a busy week, so this is the first time I got to work on the car after taking the engine out last week. Today I cleaned up after the mess I made and put the engine on an engine stand. I started by removing the torque convertor. That got me quite frustrated as I was trying to open the bolts from the starter opening with little success.  I even modified a spanner to make it fit better. Then I used my head and cleaned some of the goo off the bottom of the engine and found a plastic cover with an access hole underneath it. Then the torque converter came off easy. After that I ran to the hardware store to get longer bolts and put the engine on the stand.

According to the package the stand should carry up to 450kg (the V12 weighs about 240kg according to some sources), but it does feel quite unstable and wobbly with the V12 on it. I guess it will hold, but I put the floor jack underneath the oil pan just to be sure.

Engine on stand and garage rearranged.

I looked around to identify the oil leaks and most of it seems to be coming from the valve cover gaskets and upper oil pan gasket, possible timing chain tensioner as well. What disturbs me is that on the rear of the engine it looks like oil is leaking between the cylinder heads and the block. Maybe it’s just a case of warm oil spreading all over the engine. I don’t really wanna take the heads off unless necessary.

Leaks in front of engine.

Head gasket leak?

Upper oil pan gasket leaking.

Valve cover gasket leak.

Transmission rear oil seal leak.

Next time I’ll start removing the intake manifold to get a better look at the leaks and take a peek at the valvetrain.

Engine removal, day 5

February 3, 2010

I started the day by removing the driveshaft bolts. The penetrating fluid did it’s job once again and they came off really easy. After that I removed the exhaust front pipes from the manifolds. Then it was just a matter of disconnecting coolant, fuel and oil hoses and removing wiring harnesses. Finally the engine was ready to come out.

Another problem I had was getting the engine inside the garage. I thought about making skis for the engine hoist, making a sled for the engine to sit on etc., but finally I just dug all that snow and ice out to make a path to the garage. Easy solution but it took quite a few hours.

In the evening my friend Mikko (thanks again!) came to help me with removing the engine, as that is something I thought I’d need help with. Things went quite smoothly, although we had to separate the engine and gearbox at one stage, because the gearbox was putting the combination off balance. A few hours later the engine was inside the garage. I’m really pleased with myself, I undertook this project to prove to myself that I can do it (I’ve many times let someone else do a repair because I thought I couldn’t handle it) and I managed to do most of it myself.

It’s almost out.

Engine detached from..

..the transmission.

The next time I’m gonna be putting the engine in the engine stand and just organizing parts after these 5 days of making a mess.

Engine removal, day 4

February 2, 2010

I guess that miracle happened, finally got that exhaust off. Maybe it was the three consecutive days of soaking with penetrating fluid, or maybe I just perfected my technique of snapping of bolts, but I finally got it off. Snapped many more bolts (will have to drill the studs off and use bolts when reinstalling) and got the rest of the nuts off. Even after that the flanges were stuck hard. I thought those dents in the exhaust were from the car hitting rocks or something, but now I know it was probably the previous owner hitting the exhaust with a hammer to get it off, only to then proceed and cut it off. With a large breaker bar and a mallet I finally got the exhaust down. Those pipes are pretty badly banged up, wonder if that’s gonna affect performance…


Four broken studs on the right side.

Only three on the left one.

Dent on the right side.

Left one is badly dented.

After struggling with the exhaust I moved over to the next problem, the driveshaft. The bolts at the transmission flange won’t come off easily. The place looks like you could almost fit a socket and a ratchet, but there’s just not enough space. Only thing that will fit on the bolts is a spanner, and I can’t get enough force with it. Soaked the bolts in penetrating fluid, will have to think of some extension to use with the spanner (metal pipe or something). Huge play on the driveshaft joints, will have to get that off to some specialist to renew the joints. No wonder the car used to shake.

It’s not entirely impossible to still get the engine out tomorrow. I just have to get the driveshaft off and lot’s of small things (heater hoses, electrical connectors etc. Then just open the motor mounts and pull the engine. Getting the engine inside the garage is another story. Gotta pull ~300kg of engine and transmission in a hoist on the snow for several meters, and then get it over a high doorstep. Maybe I can use the motorcycle in the garage to pull all that inside. I guess it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow. After tomorrow the next time I can work on the car is next week, so I’d like to get the engine inside the garage.

Engine removal, day 3

February 1, 2010

Today went a bit better than yesterday, but still not good enough. Got a new jack in the morning so now I have the car at a good height so I can work underneath it.

The exhaust is still giving me trouble. I was gonna try giving the nuts heat, but the stupid gas heater was DOA. Only managed to get one nut off today, again. Also broke another stud, so that’s one third done/broken off now. But then I noticed that all the nuts on the other front pipe were rounded and badly stuck. Explains why some previous owner had cut off the exhaust and rewelded it. So I guess I’ll be cutting off the rest of the studs. That’s gonna be a painfully slow process so unless a miracle happens I probably won’t be getting the engine out this week. Bad picture of the nuts below (hard taking focused pics with a DSLR on free hand).

Annoyed by the exhaust nuts I switched to other stuff. Got the exhaust middle section and rear muffler off the car. The middle section isn’t looking too great, will keep an eye open for a good used one. After that I decided to follow the Bentley manual and removed the oil filter canister, alternator and ac-compressor. I spent three cans of brake cleaner getting goo off the parts, so a parts washer would be nice (or else I’m gonna need A LOT of brake cleaner). Broke a bolt in the ac-compressor trying to remove the magnetic coupling (just to clean the compressor), will have to get that drilled. I guess that’s about it. Will be grinding and sawing a lot tomorrow.

Rear exhaust came off

Oily mess under chain tensioner

Dirty parts

Cleaned ac-compressor

Cleaned alternator

Cleaned oil filter cannister

Engine removal, day 2

January 31, 2010

No pictures today, as I forgot the camera. Not that it matters, there wasn’t a whole lot to take pictures of. Spent half of the day removing snow and jacking up the car with one shitty jack. Gotta get a new jack that goes higher tomorrow. Not enough space to work now. Hopefully tomorrow will be more productive as I’m running out of time (after wednesday the next chance to work on the car is next monday). Only managed to get one nut off the exhaust middle section-front pipe joint.