The BMW 635 CSI
06 August 2008: Had to go and weld the steering box bracket back on since it got lose again from
all the shaking of the rotors. Got it welded back in place and the ride went a lot smoother than
before. Come to find out that there is a horizontal bolt that mounts the steering gear box into place
and that bolt was lose. As you can see on the picture below, it looks very easy to tighten that one
up. (Number 5 is the one that needed to be tightened up.
09 August 2008: Even though it looks easy, try again. Took me a while to find the other end of that bolt. Actually
needed a flash light in broad daylight to find that rascal. Now it is tight and we are looking at getting the front end
alignment and get the tires balanced. The ride is very smooth now and no more swaying at all. I was surprised
when I looked at the speedometer and I was doing 65 Mph!
09 August 2008: Later this evening, I got the crazy idea do change the doors out! Below you see the reason why
the passenger side door had to go. While I was at it, I decided to do the driver side also. I think it is easier to
change out the door than it is to change the lock
We did get the doors on just as it started to rain. Now we have a Shark without any dents. The next
project will be changing out the ignition lock after i figured out how that "Shear Off" business actually
works. Sure hate the idea that those people (German BMW Engineers) couldn't just go and use regular
13 September 2008: Replaced the Steering Wheel Lock so that I only have to schlepp one key with me.
15 September 2008: Fritz would not start. It did crank but not start so I thought it was the relay for the
fuel pump. I changed that one out and the car started. Off to work I went. On the way there was an
accident where I stopped at an intersection even thought the light was green I did not want to drive into
the intersection since traffic was backed up in my lane. There was a car in the opposite lane going to turn
left where I left the gap and he got hit by a car in the right line going my way. The guy who was hit took
off, guess he did not have a license or insurance.
Anyway, after this Fritz just died. I tried all the relays and still did not get it running. When the battery died
I called Kris and she brought me another car and had Fritz towed to a shop. There they changed out the
relay and the battery and called it good. When I went there the next day to pick the BMW up it started
without a problem. The next day I had to fly out to DC and Fritz would not start again since the battery
was dead. I took the Saturn to the Airport and came back on Friday night. Saturday I tore the entire
electrical system apart and it looked like something was drawing power even though the car was off.
At first I thought it was the cable I connected for the antenna that would cause all that draw and trouble but
it turned out that there was a cable not connected right on the ignition side. So now, where was the draw
26 September 2008: As my last resort I went to have the battery checked for free at Advance Auto
Parts(the new one) and it turned out they gave me a bad battery when they "fixed" Fritz. Actually I think
the battery was OK when they installed it but they practically hammered the connectors onto the posts
which is not a good thing for a battery. I put the new battery in and all the readings are fine, no draw of
power anywhere except for the on board computer.
25 October 2008: Had a weird clunking noise coming from the rear passenger side which lead me to
believe at first that the window crank motor may be lose. I took the rear seat and the panel out to see if
that annoying noise would indeed come from there but I was wrong. On 18 October I decided to devote
the entire Saturday to find out where this **&&^^%^ noise is coming from.
Did not take very long until I discovered that the push rod (number 5) was bent:
After that was replaced we had a much smoother ride. Unfortunately, I
discovered that the rear pitman arms were way over due for replacement. So
I found a great deal for that on Ebay and got a pair for $45.00 and actually
installed them on 25 October 2008. WHAT A DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES!
Now, Fritz no longer gets nervous (shaking in the steering) when we go at
While looking for a Heater Blower Switch, I came across another BMW at the junkyard and thought that
some of the window switches in Fritz are due to be replaced since the paint of the arrows was worn off.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that I actually got the illuminated switches! How fancy!
30 November 2008: Now we know why women can't fix cars! Click here
12 December 2008: Discovered that Fritz did not have a blown head gasket at all but still looses
coolant. Actually went and replaced all the hoses and still have a leak somewhere. I actually suspect that
it is the thermostat housing that leaks.
14 December 2008: After Fritz has been sitting out there in the snow for some time I decided to take him
for a spin and let Mike drive as well. As we were driving the temperature needle went way into the red and
we just got home. Quickly shot Fritz off and discovered that the thermostat did not open.
Next thing is that I order a new thermostat.
15 December 2008: I sent an email to Bab Geon and ask for a quote for a new thermostat with gaskets
and got a super quote. When I asked how I do pay for that the guy from Bab Geon told me that I could
just email him my credit card info. I don't know about you but I am not comfortable emailing this info out
but I called the man and he was not available. I sent another email asking him to call when he is available
and he sent me an email back telling me that the cost is on him and Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas
indeed. However, I did not receive the goods and thought that was just a joke since I did not receive
anything as promised.
23 December 2008: The thermostat arrived! Merry Christmas and thank you Bab Geon, the number
one source for foreign auto parts.
24 December 2008: Merry Christmas! I received a new blower motor for Christmas as well.
25 December 2008: Merry first day of Christmas! Yes, you are wrong! As much as I am tempted, I am
not going to touch a wrench or a screw driver and work on Fritz! God creates "Tomorrow" and I'll have
plenty of time to install the new blower motor and the thermostat then. Let's celebrate the birth of Jesus
14 February 2009: This is the first noteworthy entry this year. I replaced the thermostat with the 80
Degree Celsius one and Fritz has been running hotter ever since. Would not be a problem in itself but I
am also loosing coolant this way. The coolant gets pushed out the overflow tank and I could not for the
life of me figure out why that would happen. Today I finally found out that it is the thermostat that opens
randomly or should I rather say stays closed no matter what the temperature will be. Guess to end this
entire misery, I would have to get and install another new thermostat
20 February 2009 I went ind got a 71 Degree Thermostat, drilled a small hole in there to accommodate
the bleeding of the coolant system. It also appeared not to help and I still lost coolant like crazy.
27 February 2009 After I got laid off from my contract by ManTech I had some more time on my hand.
Mind you, I got laid off from ManTech's contract and not from my actual employer Trinity Technology
Anyway, that is a different story. I arrived at the conclusion today that my head gasket is blown. For the
past few month I have been loosing coolant and had to much pressure building up in the cooling system.
My BMW mechanic told me back then that it is my radiator that causes pressure building up and forcing
coolant out of my overflow. I changed out the radiator and that did not provide a cure for this problem.
Next thing I tried was changing out the thermostat with the 80 Degree and that did not help. Even putting
in another but a 71 Degree thermostat did not provide any relief.
Flushing out the old radiator and putting it in seemed to help at first but the problems came right back and
the car overheated more and more.
Today I took the thermostat out completely and had, with the engine running the bleeder screw open.
Imagine my surprise when I noticed that there is no pressure going at all. This leads me to believe that the
water pump must have died somewhere down the line. With a dead water pump the water was not
circulating and hence the engine overheated several times but leaving me with the impression that the
thermostat did not open.
The tell tale is that I actually have water in my oil and the exhaust is white along with exhaust gas coming
out of the overflow.
Now the decision to make is: should I swap out the engine (since I have a spare) or just do the head
5 April 09: Based on the fact that I have not entered anything lately should lead to the conclusion that I
opted to do the head gasket. As we (that is Rick and I) took of the head on Fritz it was sort of clear that
the gasket was shot (Pictures here). The head was also warped and it definitely had to be milled.
That was all said and done and we were going to put it all together when Rick accidentally dropped a
screw into the lower timing chain housing and it most likely fell through into the oil pan. In either event, to
retrieve this screw we have to take the lower timing chain cover and everything around it off. The biggest
problem there is the 36 mm nut that has to come off.
For this undertaking I would need a special tool to lock down the flywheel since the engine wants to turn
over every time I try to open the 36 mm nut. I found several tools to rent but it did not seem economical. I
did find a tool on ebay that will help me do the job.
At the same time I decided to put my vacation money I get paid to good use and switch out some
replacement parts such as the timing chain and all the other parts that go with that. I am also replacing
the distributor cap and the rotor. Don't even think for a minute that I got a good deal on ebay with that.
Sometimes I think that folks buy parts somewhere cheap and put it on ebay.