DIY Projects

DIY Projects (2)

Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00

Shop projects - long overdue update

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The shop has been built for awhile now and has been used extensively.  This includes everything from tire rotations to oil changes, brake system replacements, and complete track preparations with suspension reinforcement welding.  The projects have covered a wide range, as you can tell.

One of the first projects ever completed in the shop was the replacement of brake hoses on an e39.  My neighbor's 5 series had some brake hoses which were showing their age.  This was an easy project and a great way to get familiar with the brakes on a 5 series.  It didn't hurt that the previous owner of this car kept it in pristine shape, and my neighbor is at least as determined to keep this car super clean.  Working on it, therefore, is a pleasure.

All of the soft lines had begun to show their age, with some weather checking.  While it wasn't dangerous yet, why wait?  Replacement hoses aren't very expensive.  We decided to use factory replacements as this is a street car.  Stainless steel lines are a definite option, but really need to be replaced far more regularly than a street car warrants.  The parts weren't that expensive from BMW, and installation was easy.

We simply disconnected each hose and replaced it with the new part.  We then bled the system and performed some quick tests to make sure everything worked.



While you don't specifically need a lift for this project, it sure makes things MUCH easier!  So, let's get this car in the air and see what we can do.  The Z3 ended up being more tricky than most for us to get lined up on the lift - but, after a few adjustments we were ready to begin.  You'll want to do this project on a car that is cold.  We drained the system completely, and began removing parts.  We replaced most of the system except for the crazy water hose that runs the length of the motor - this one was in good shape.  We attacked the radiator, mechanical fan, auxiliary fan, hoses, thermostat, water pump, and expansion tank.  If you are going to do this work on a BMW, it really makes sense to just replace everything you can touch.  Dumping the coolant will make a bit of a mess.

 We also decided to replace the pulleys and belts while we were doing this work.  While not completely necessary, it's an easy time to go ahead and do this work.  The cost is minimal and it only takes a few minutes.