iXchange Issue #17

December 1997

A newsletter for BMW 325 iX Enthusiasts.


Clutch Replacement 1
Bekkers 5
Spring & Shock Upgrade 5
Trunk Tool Kit Items 5
No More Puddle Problems 6

Ed. Note: Thanks especially to Ken for the following excellent helpful article.

Clutch and Rear Main Seal replacement: 1989 325iX 5-speed

"Things Not to Do Under Your Car in the Summer" By Ken Warnock of Essex, Massachusetts

Keep in mind: read and follow all manufacturer's warnings, directions, etc. on how to complete the following procedure. Bill Buckwater's article in Issue 12- September 1996 of the iXchange provides some good hints working with the driveshaft bits on an automatic, some of which are helpful here. The Bentley 3-series manual also helps with some general stuff, but has nothing ix-specific.

A spreading stain of brown engine oil at the bellhousing/engine block joint tipped me off to a leaking main seal. Since the car had 115k miles on the original clutch, I figured that major surgery might be in order to bring everything back to new. Besides, I hadn't done anything particularly masochistic recently and the 95(F+ weather seemed to be the ideal setting for benchpressing rusty, grimy drivetrain components.

I started the project with what I thought was good planning: order all the nuts, bolts, and seals that I'd need for the flywheel, flex couplings, exhaust, etc., get a few jugs of vital fluids for the diffs, transmission, and engine, and stock up on latex gloves (good for cleaning drains, as well as changing fluids.) I set a date with my friend with the big tools and the compressor, got approval for $300 from my wife, and we were off.

Things started going bad the night before the big event. My friend Bob (of the big tools) was racing a 1970's Buick in an enduro (what they call a 150 lap demolition derby in New Hampshire), and I got to watch the car shed parts up to and including the transmission fluid lines. Guess who was the only one with brake fluid and ATF in his trunk at the race? If BMW built 12-quart transmissions like this Buick's, Red Line would be sold in gallons, not quarts. Anyway, after another stop at the parts store, it was off to the garage to immobilize the monster.

Jack up the car: Past transmission work on a 318i and a healthy sense of respect for my own skin made me set up the jack stands carefully: large, 6-ton models ratcheted up to their maximum height to make as much room as possible. (two stages of lifting are required with the floor jack: be careful that the stands are properly supported and that the car is stable at all times.) At this point, remove the battery negative cable, get ready with the air tools, and get a good stretch in before crawling under.

Drain fluids: While the floor is still clean, drain any fluids from underneath the car that you're planning to change. With the ix, you've got a lot of places to hit, including the diffs, engine oil, trans oil, and transfer case oil. (Ed. note: loosen the fill plug to be sure you can remove it before removing the drain plug.) Watch out for splashes with the car up so high! Note to self: While it's OK to replace the diff fluids and engine oil after draining, leave the transmission and transfer case empty- you'll see why later.

Removing Exhaust: Begin by finding, cleaning, and wearing your safety goggles before the rust showers begin. Both the catalytic converter and rear exhaust have to go, so I removed them in one piece and separated them outside the car. This saves fighting the bolts at the rear flange of the converter while it's up against the bottom of the car. Don't forget to unplug the O2 sensor, and be careful lowering the heavy assembly once the last nuts come off.

Remove rear driveshaft covers: With the exhaust out, pull these covers off and set them aside. You'll probably end up with a bit of gravel in your hair unless you keep out from under the shields while removing them.
Mark all guibos: At this point, you've got the chance to view the 4wd system in its full mechanical glory. Take some whiteout, a centerpunch, or what-have-you and mark the alignment of the flanges on the front driveshaft guibo, transfer case input shaft guibo, rear driveshaft guibo, and rear driveshaft u-joint to diff flanges. Mark the guibos with an arrow pointing forward, as well, if you plan on reusing any. This ensures that you can bolt everything together the way it came apart, and at least make sure that the car doesn't vibrate worse than when you started. While you're there, loosen all the nuts on the front and rear driveshaft guibos.

Remove rear driveshaft: Not for the fainthearted (or wristed). By applying and releasing the parking brake in between rotations of the rear driveshaft, remove all four of the nuts holding the u-joint to the rear diff flange. (a 17mm box-end wrench and a cheater pipe helped me.) At this point, it's time to loosen the slip joint on the rear driveshaft, collapse the driveshaft, and remove it along with the rear guibo. I took a piece of 1-1/2" angle iron X 4' long, drilled a hole big enough for a guibo bolt at one end, and fastened this rig to the flange on the front of the driveshaft to keep it from rotating. Then, using a pair of water pump pliers or a monkey wrench (BMW special tool ??? will also do, but I didn't have one.) thread the nut on the slip coupling towards the back of the car until the driveshaft can collapse. Remove the driveshaft, and stretch your fingers.

Remove bellhousing bolts: All of the torx bolts on the bellhousing now have to be removed to free up the transmission. Leave the rear transmission mount in place while removing the bellhousing bolts, as it stabilizes the transmission and prevents it from dropping free when you're lucky enough to get all of the bolts undone. The photo shows a rough layout of the bolts, all of which require a Torx socket.
(*Note on removing the transfer case first: While this may be possible on an automatic, on my manual the transfer case was fastened with two hex head bolts (17mm or 18mm) on top and two on bottom. The bottom two can be loosened with an open end wrench, but the top two looked like could not be reached without a crowfoot wrench due to the tight fit in the tunnel. The bolts also only have about 3" axial clearance beyond the head, making it impossible for me to get a socket on them. See photos for bolt locations)

If at all possible, get a set of Torx sockets with built-in universals. I wasn't able to get my hands on a set, and had to rely on (2) 3/8" drive universals and several 6" extensions to get at some bolts. Start removing bolts from the bottom, and note different length bolts and where they come from.
The two bolts noted on the photo that hold the starter do not thread into the block, but are through bolts that fasten with nuts on the front side of the starter flange. The two nuts on my car required a 16mm open end wrench (unusual size), along with someone to hold the wrench while I loosened the bolt head from under the car.

The top two bolts have become famous in BMW fix-it lore for the headaches they can cause. The one slightly to the passenger side can be "sort of" reached with the universals and several extensions (pass the in from the front driveshaft side of the transmission), but the top one is awful . Unlike on other 325's, I could not reach the top bolt on the iX by going over the transmission with the two recommended universals and about 3' of extensions. The transfer case and shifter got in the way, and I only succeeded in stripping the tip of the torx head on the bolt.
Bell Housing
At this point, I realized that I was experiencing further proof of Warnock's Revised Pareto Principle For Auto Repair; "5% of the fasteners are responsible for 95% of the time spent." This bolt ranks in the top 1% of that 5%. 4 hours and several Sawzall blades later (BRRRRRM!! BRRRRM!!!! BRRRM!!!!!!! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!! GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!! ping! ... oops.) I succeeded in cutting the head from the top bolt. Needless to say, don't strip the head on your bolt, but if you do, remove the heater core hoses by the firewall and go in from the engine compartment.
Other suggested methods for getting at this top bolt include:
Use the proper tool: a torx socket with built-in universal, and be careful when cranking.
Remove the rear crossmember, and jam the trans up into the tunnel with a floor jack. This gives enough room to get a 12-point box end wrench on the torx head (it kind'a fits), or to use a flex handle ratchet from the engine compartment side of things.
Substitute a heat wrench (acetylene torch) for the Sawzall, but watch out for the fuel lines!

Before taking a break, remove the 10mm hex bolt that holds a dust cover to the transmission, located under and behind the exhaust manifold. Remove the two nuts that hold the clutch slave cylinder to the transmission, and suspend the slave cylinder from the car with a piece of wire.

Removing the transmission: Once the bolts start loosening, support the transmission with a tranny jack and remove the rear crossmember. From inside the car, remove the shift knob, shift boot, and unplug the reverse light switch. Remove the two 13mm nuts directly behind the shift lever that fasten the shift console to the car, and push the rubber boot around the shaft out the bottom of the car. Put the car in first to keep the shift lever from catching on the hole as you lower the transmission out the bottom.
At this point, begin lowering the transmission and pulling it back at the same time. You may need to carefully pry the transmission flange from the engine until the locating bushings in the flange separate. There is just enough room to get the transmission and transfer case out (watch out for the shifter!) by lowering a little, pulling back a little, and repeating. Be sure that the triangular flange on the front driveshaft doesn't catch on the engine block when pulling the transmission back. Catch the metal plate between the block and tranny once the tranny separates from the block.

Once the transmission is free and clear, carefully pull the front driveshaft from the transfer case and look at the splines on the shaft. The splines should be in good shape and the lubrication on the shaft clean and free of grit. Before putting the shaft away, protect the splined end from damage with rags or a plastic bag, and clean up the plastic protective cap that snaps over the splines.
Extricating the Clutch: The easy part: Block the flywheel in place and remove the metric Allen head bolts holding the pressure plate (a.k.a. clutch cover) in place. An metric Allen head socket is useful here, or use a regular "L" Allen wrench and about a 1' long X 1/2" ID pipe.
Xmsn and Xfer case Remove the Flywheel: Now, using an impact wrench if possible, remove the flywheel bolts and carefully remove the flywheel (it's heavy). You should now see the pilot bearing in the end of the crankshaft, and the rear main seal housing. Check that the pilot bearing spins freely and doesn't have any slop; if it does, remove and replace.

To remove, either use a pilot bearing puller (Bavarian Auto has one specifically for this- about $30), or pack behind the bearing with grease, and drive a rod into the center to "hydraulic" it out. (wrapping the rod/dowel with electrical tape allows you to adjust the diameter for a good seal in the bore.)

Rear Main Seal: At this point, you're ready to remove the rear main seal after cleaning some of the clutch mung from the back of the engine. Bentley has a good, clear description of this process, but my version goes as follows:

Loosen the two bolts that fix the rear main seal carrier to the oil pan (go in from the bottom).
Remove the bolts that fasten the carrier to the back face of the block.
Remove the two bottom bolts, tap the carrier a few times to break the seal, and pull it away from the block and off the end of the crankshaft.
Clean any remnants of the carrier-block gasket away from the mating surfaces with a razor blade, and wipe the surfaces clean of oil. Note how far into the bore the present seal is seated.

I used a few blocks of wood to drive out the old rear main seal and drive in the new. Be careful that the seal seats square in the bore, and that you've driven it in a few mm deeper than where it used to be (if possible) so that the seal rides on a clean, unworn area on the crank. Oil the inside of the seal and the crank. Add the new gasket that seals against the block, and lay a bead of silicone gasket maker to make a new seal between the oil pan and the carrier. Replace the carrier carefully, finger tighten the bolts, and retorque the bolts.

Transmission Servicing: The Transmission Monster: Isn't it a big thing? With the transfer case attached, the transmission looked so big and bad that I took a few photos to show the boys with the Buick (they of the 12-quart variety). Once you've got the whole mess out and cleaned off, you'll see why leaving the gearboxes empty is critical- there are vents under all that goo! The first time I pulled a manual transmission, I kept wondering why it had a slow leak when stood on end- duh!

With a clean transmission, you can get at the tough parts that might need fixing. There are three relatively simple seals on the transmission that tend to wear, and cost less than $20 total to replace: the shifter shaft seal, the input shaft seal, and the output shaft seal. To get to them, take the leap and loosen the center guibo bolts completely with the transfer case attached. Break and remove the bolts fastening the transfer case on with the transmission bellhousing face down, then lift the case up and away. The shifter shaft seal is now facing you and can be replaced after pulling the shift linkage off. Remember to oil the new seal before it goes in!

To get at the transmission output shaft seal and the rear transfer case output shaft seal, you'll need a deep, thinwall 30mm socket, a brace to hold the output flange while loosening the nut, and a BIG 3-jaw puller to get the flange off. Pry the locking washer from around the output shaft nut with a screwdriver, attach your brace (similar to the driveshaft brace mentioned earlier), and get the nut off. Pull the flange off, and voila! The output shaft seal! (I didn't replace any of the transfer case seals, since they weren't leaking and I was feeling wimpy.)

The transmission input shaft seal is far simpler, but requires a lot of work with a 10mm socket and extensions. Mark the position of the input seal housing relative to the transmission case, and pull the bolts while carefully keeping them in order by position and length. Tap the seal housing back and forth to break the seal to the case, and pull away. Voila, again! The input shaft seal! After replacing all needed seals, use new flange lock washers on the output shafts and tighten the nuts in the approved two-step sequence in the Bentley manual. When replacing the input shaft seal housing, lay a bead of gasket maker under the flange before remounting.

Over the Hump: Half Done! In the immortal words of Mr. Chilton, "Installation is the reverse of removal." That does cover most of what's left, and I'll add following cautions:

1. Use the appropriate threadlocker/Neverseez where needed, and TORQUE THE BOLTS WITH A TORQUE WRENCH. Nothing wrecks your day more than redoing a repair job to tighten one loose but critical bolt. By the same token, you don't want to be drilling out broken, over torqued bolts either. Take it slow and finish it right.
2. Check that all parts are in place before moving on. I've once replaced a transmission with the clutch throwout arm missing. Thankfully, it fell out of the toolbox as I was searching for a wrench to reattach the driveshaft.

The Clutch: Grand Finale Time Reattach the flywheel with new, threadlock-ered bolts that you torque in the right sequence to the right values. Get the clutch disc facing the right way, and start a few of the pressure plate bolts with your clutch pilot tool in place. Work back-and forth clamping the pressure plate tighter, then torque the bolts properly. Go to the transmission now, reassemble it to the transfer case, and place the throwout arm on with a new throwout bearing in place. Put some moly paste on the arm pivot, and the splines of the input shaft.

Reattaching the transmission: Straightforward. Place the metal shield over the roll pins in the block, and get the tranny in place on the jack. Re-lube the front driveshaft to transfer case splines with moly lube (or see what happens if you don't- Bruce Monk's letter in iXchange #15), and replace the plastic dust cap. Also, check that the shift linkage is properly put back together, and remount the front driveshaft guibo loosely to the driveshaft flange.

The next step is a bit like walking, chewing gum, rubbing your head and patting your stomach all at the same time. The transmission has to go up and forward, while aligning the input shaft splines with the clutch disc. At the same time, the front driveshaft goes together, and the shift linkage goes up through the floor of the car. Start the bellhousing bolts, and replace the 10mm hex head bolt that holds the metal shield between the block and bellhousing in place. If you haven't done so already, you may need to pull the heater core hoses from under the hood in order to get to the nuts on the end of the two starter bolts.
Once together, look for spare parts, and torque your way through all of the bolts, including the rear crossmember bolts. Get the shift linkage mount attached with the two nuts (make sure the support with the two studs goes in properly- if you took it off, it could have been replaced on the shift rod backwards.)
Remount the clutch slave cylinder, and replace the rear driveshaft. Whatever you do, DON'T try to bleed the clutch slave if it isn't mounted in place- it'll blow the rubber seal boot up like a balloon (ask me how I know...) Put the U-joint back together, get the rear guibo and U-joint tightened up, and get the water pump pliers out. Reclamp the slip joint on the driveshaft, and give the unit a few spins before putting the driveshaft back on.

Going Out: Fill up any fluids that you've neglected so far (including engine oil- I forgot until the low oil pressure light reminded me.) The driveshaft covers go up next, and then the exhaust bits starting with the catalytic converter. Fish out the oxygen sensor and plug it in NOW before you forget. Wrestle with the tailpipe (a floor jack helps to shove it into place), and you're done!

At this point, laziness overcame caution when it came time to test the car. My friend Derek, who had supervised so far, volunteered to spin the car over while it was still in the air while I checked the moving parts. Sounded OK, until I noticed that everything was moving fine, but he seemed to be shifting up through the gears... hmmmm.
Derek: "Oh, about 4500 RPM in 5th gear...."
ABS system that hadn't previously braked from 80 MPH to 0 in .01 seconds: "YELP ARRGH YELP ARRGH SQUARK WHIZ CREAK"
Derek, after I got to him: "Wow. These brakes work great when it's up in the ungh...HEY! LET GO!"

Needless to say, this test procedure should only be carried out under the supervision of a trained professional....If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via mail or e-mail at:
Ken Warnock, 2 Belcher Street, Essex, MA 01929 esxsol@aol.com.6


John Shreve of Newark, Delaware praises Bekkers (800.624.5410)

I'd like to let other iX owners know about Bekkers import out of GA ... they consistently offer to me outrageous rock bottom prices on BMW OE parts, including control arms .. yes the full assembly ... I got them for $175 each. I recently had to buy two front inner CV boot kits .... dealer, and everybody else wanted 100 for each kit ... Bekkers ... BMW OE ... $49. Without sounding like an advertisement for them, I urge iX owners to give Bekkers a try ... we all know how expensive iX parts are ... Bekkers has saved me much $$$ .....
From James Stephen of Marlboro, MA:

I just purchased an "88 iX. I replaced the shocks with Bilsteins, and picked up a new set of H&R springs from Haun MotorSports. These make the ride and handling excellent, not harsh. The ride height looks about 1 inch lower. The shocks were obtained at Bavarian Autosport (800-535-2002). Haas Fogle at Haun (800-822-4286) was the only one that could locate the springs for the iX. He also has RedLine products at the best prices I've seen. His service is great, he contacted BMW to make sure of the correct RedLine applications. He also has ATE super blue brake fluid at a great price. All the fluids came neatly labeled as to their application.

I have been shopping for snow tires. The stock BMW 14" steel wheels list for $70 each, the best price I could find is $57 at the BMW store (800-543-1649), but the hub caps were $44 each. So. I contacted Brad at the Tire Rack (800- 428-8355, x 398). He had 14 inch steel wheels for $39 each, and hub caps that were $28 for 4. I am mounting 185-70x14 Nokia Hakkapeliitta 1s with the eco- studs, I will report on their performance when it snows.


Ed Note: The following info was posted on the Internet's BMW Digest by Al Sutlick of the BMW CCA San Diego Chapter and forwarded to me by Mike Richardson of West Linn, OR.

Most of the following items apply to all E30 models; exceptions are noted.

Tool box
71 11 1 128 913
Threaded plug
71 11 1 113 291
Plug Receptacle
71 11 1 117 440
Holding strap
(gray) 71 11 1 116 719Z
Holding strap
(black) 71 11 1 179 443
Foam cushion
71 11 1 152 109

Open end spanner
8 X 10 71 11 1 112 893
12 X 13 71 11 1 126 148
17 X 19 -> 09/87 (up to 09/87) *
71 11 9 690 008
17 X 19 09/87 -> (from 09/87) **
71 11 1 129 076
* All models less 318M42
** Models 318M42, 325, 325i, 325iX
71 11 1 179 629
(long metal rod with a partial sleeve towards
one end) 71 11 1 116 843
Sparkplug wrench
SW21 *** 71 11 1 179 745
*** All models less 318M42, M3
Water pump pliers
71 11 1 179 522


7.5A 61 13 1 370 987
15A 61 13 1 372 626
25A 61 13 1 372 627*
* All models less 318M42, M3, 325I, 325iX
30A 61 13 1 372 628

Bulbs, all models -> 02/93

12V 4W 07 50 9 063 576
12V 5W 07 50 9 063 573
12V 10W 07 50 9 063 575
12V 21W 07 50 9 063 574
12V 5W 07 50 9 063 578
12V 10W 07 50 9 063 577

Polishing cloth
71 11 1 115 810
And that be it!


Michael Boyd of Middletown NY follows up on his experience of driving through a deep puddle of rain and having to replace the engine (see issue #10):

I'm happy to report that 12,000 miles later, I have had o flood related problems. However, the car did have to be flatbedded 40 miles back to the dealer a week after I got it back with the new engine due to a water damaged air flow meter and idle control valve. They allowed the engine to start for only about tow seconds and them die. That little incident really had me worried it might be the beginning of more repairs to come. But, thankfully, no more problems!

More recent repairs have included a new muffler (OEM) and oxygen sensor at 66,589 miles. Last month I had the dealer replace my parking brake cables, shoes, pivots and adjusters. For over a year before that, I kept hearing a rattling noise from the rear end when I went over bumps. The entire parking brake cable (sleeve and all) was moving when the brake was applied. The brake would release, but not properly seat which caused the rattling noise. I guess the entire system was crudded up from years of Northease winter driving. At the same time, the rear rotors, pads and wear sensors were also replaced. Finally, as if the bill wasn't high enough already, my ball joints were replaced. At 67,582 miles I felt this was a little early., They were knocking and clunking pretty bad when I drove over rough roads or bumps, although I never noticed any sloppiness in the front end. I figure they probably weren't totally shot, but at least now I don't need to listen to that annoying noise anymore!


Heater Hose connections shown in the BMW Factory manual and the Bentley Manual are confusing. See Issue #12 of the iXchange for the correct connections. The upper hose from the heater core should lead to the thermostat housing, not to the rear of the block. Incorrect connection yields no heat!




PS. -- I have a printed version of the 325iX Factory Service Manual. Contact me if you need help.