The BMW 635 CSI
8 May 2009 After a long sleep, almost too long there was a beautiful sound coming out of my
garage! Yes, Fritz woke up again! After I finally got all the tools together and had some extra time
on my hands since the 50th OSS Commander to give everyone a day off I got right on and started
working on Fritz.
The hardest part was to get everything back together! The head itself created a problem since the
exhaust flanges were still in the way. Lesson 1 learned: You have got to take the bolts out of the
exhaust manifold! The head was torqued down and the next step was putting the timing chain
sprocket back on and that is where Rick dropped one of the 4 screws into the timing chain
housing. Lesson 2 learned: Cover an opening or stick a towel in there so nothing can fall in
there. After I finally got the special tool, I was able to open the lower timing chain cover and
retrieve the screw which has fallen all the way down into the oil pan. While I was there I examined
the sprockets, the timing chain guide, and the tensioner and decided that, since I did not know the
age of those items to replace them. This included the timing chain. I also bought a new distributor
cap and a rotor. The next problem I encountered was that the head was nicely milled by Geddes
Auto Machine but I forgot to take the upper timing case along. Now the case no longer lines up with
the head. I tried to call Geddes to have the same amount taken off the upper timing case but they
were not there. I then cut off the part of the head gasket that was out there and I had to break
anyway since the timing chain guide rail would not come off with that part of the gasket intact. One
may think that I should have taken off the head again but we had already torqued it down and I did
not want to replace those bolts again (once they have been torqued they have to be replaced). So
I bought heat resistant liquid gasket and also used that on the lower timing chain cover. It was so
much easier to put that upper timing chain cover on with that liquid gasket. I tightened everything
down and in the process I also installed the rotor. When I picked up the head from Geddees, they
told me that I "may have to check the valve lash" and when I did, I figured the reason why they did
not return my call. Those valve clearances were not only way off but they were not done at all! So
I had to do al valve adjustment. Good thing that the engine was cold (sure would hope so after one
month sitting in the garage). Once that was completed it was time to get under the car and attach
the exhaust manifold. Thanks to the help of my oldest son Bob, that went fairly easy. While I was
down there I also re-attached the inspection cover that Rick took off. I got all the 8 bolts in there
and I was then done under the car.
So now the valves where adjusted and the serious part started. Putting all the parts back together
and hoping that I did not forget anything at all. I did label parts and pieces but a lot of the stickers
cane off and I had no clue where they went. Relying on my memory I got all the plugs and hoses
Wow! Now I had it all together and the final test was about to begin! I thought I am going to put
transmission fluid in the engine since this has a lot of detergent in there and I should be able to
wash the inside of the engine. Come to find out that the two bottles I had sleeping behind my spare
engine were actually engine oil. I have no idea why but I thought I should remove the engine oil
drain bolt and sure enough there was a lot of oil in there and the coolant that ran in there when we
took the head off.
Once drained I put the engine oil in. Today I plan on replacing that oil with fresh oil since the first
oil served as cleaner. I also put coolant system flush into the cooling system. There was nobody
else there to do the drum roll to I connected the battery and put the key into the ignition. First I let
the ignition be on so the fuel pump gets a chance to prime the engine. Bracing myself I was turning
the key and.............nothing happened. I checked the starter and noticed that one of the cables
had come off. Re-attached and tried again and SUCCESS!!!!!
I filled more water into the cooling system and let the engine idle. All of a sudden I see smoke
coming out of the engine compartment! The first thought that popped in my mind and I am sure
also in yours was that something must have gone wrong. Well, not exactly. It was just the oil,
coolant, and engine cleaning solvent have soaked the exhaust manifold and parts of the engine.
Since they are all petroleum based products they just lingered there and now they were burning off.
Drove Fritz out of the garage and the only thing really that stopped me from taking Fritz around the
block was the fact that there 5 tons of rocks in the drive way. So I let him idle and cleaned out the
Now at 195,300 we changed:
Head gasket Oil
Timing Chain Oil Filter
Timing Chain Tensioner Miscellaneous Gaskets
Timing Chain Rail Valve were adjusted
Distributor Rotor Distributor Cap
Water Pump Fan Clutch
Head Bolts Coolant
Sparkplugs Tires balanced and rotated
The sprockets of the timing were still in very good shape so I did not change them out.
Re-torqued the head bolts with a Torque Angle Meter that I bought at Auto Zone and that was
made by OEM Tools. About half way through that stupid thing (Made in Taiwan) fell apart on me
and it took me a while to get all the pieces back together and finish the job.
14 May 2009: So far we drove Fritz 90 Miles without any problems. Well, no problems is not
exactly true since I had to disconnect the AC Compressor since it made such an awful noise and for
a brief moment I thought it was the timing chain. Now that is a good thing and a bad thing.
21 May 2009: Even though I swore that I will never buy an item that was made in Taiwan, I bought
a little dentist mirror to see if the water pump has sprung a leak. Couldn't really see anything so I
wound up taking the water pump off anyway since the new one arrived. Turned out to be the
gasket that broke and I replaced that one at the same time. Installed the new fan clutch and the
temperature stays right there at about 1/3. I also double checked the thermostat since I thought I
had a 85 Degree Celsius in there. Turns out to be the 71 Degree Celsius which is just fine. Guess
in Fall we will put in the 80 Degree Celsius one.
21 June 2009: Got a keyless entry system from Robert (oldest son) for Fathers Day and had to go
on Monday and install it (Click here)
24 July 2009: The Muffler arrived! Finally! After I had to order it from Carpartswholesale.com 4
(!) times and never received it! I went and ordered it from Partsgeek.com and received it mo
problems at all! By the way, carpartswholesale.com and usautoparts.com are one and the same
and neither of them has the parts. Whatever you do, do NOT order from them. They take your
money, keep it for a while and then give you a refund after they earned interest .
25 July 2009: You guessed it! I installed the mufflers! While I was there, I also installed the new
drive shaft bearing and the Guibo (Flex Disc). There was a lot of blood sweat and tears since I
used the old Catalytic Converter I still had from Victim. While that one was sitting around I guess it
got rusty and started to get holes (I am not going to find that out until later).
14 August 2009: Double checked on the exhaust system since I was getting a great sound but not
as it is supposed to be and found the holes in the catalytic converter. I am going to keep this on
until spring and then replace it. The new exhaust system improved my gas mileage by one mile per
I also did an oil change and made a holy mess on the garage floor since I was under the car
messing around with the front spoiler and told Mike to pour in the oil. Well, I forgot to put the drain
plug back in and the oil went on the floor. Took a while to clean up this mess.
25 August 2009: I actually cheated and took Fritz to Midas to have the catalytic converter
installed. For some reason, they installed one of the sway bar bushings not correctly and I lost it
on the way somewhere. Jenny Gröber actually picked up Fritz from Midas and got to drive it home.
26 August 2006: I am going to take Fritz to get painted at Earl Scheib's.!
29 August 2009: See above! Fritz's new suit! I still have a few more things do do on the
front bumper before I can call it done.
20 September 2009: We made 200,000!!!
26 September 2009: Developped an ugly electrical problem. Switched out the tail light and
cleaned out the sockets for the bulbs. Actually discovered that one of the bulbs was bad
and switched that one out too. My electrical problem is that the brake light warning indicator
comes on. Once I step on the brake it goes off and stays off as it should be. I also switched
out the ignition coil and a few relays. Also tightened a power steering hose and hopefully
this will take care of that leak. Afterwards Bob helped me adjust the windows>
Since it was a nice day I washed Fritz. Still have to wait another month till I can wax! Had to
take some pictures.
10 October 2009: Discovered that I actually have a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) still in my
side yard from the donor car. Yes, you guessed it! How can I let this slip (pun intended) so I
installed it. What a PITA! Learned that you actually have to use the center bolts first and
then let it down until it matches the other holes. Little did I know that you just don't raise that
LSD up to the rear axle. Anyway, at 200.100 miles I switched out the trans axle fluid and
while I was fiddling around down there I also put redline fluid into the transmission. Shifts very
14 November 2009 Still have the leak but discovered that it is not the power steering but the
brakes. I suspect the pressure hose and will find out when it is either descent weather or I get
myself to go to the Fort Carson Auto Craft Shop. I also have an oil leak somewhere in the
front that I need to find. Today is extremely lousy weather and we have company.
05 December 2009, Still a leak and still lousy weather. Discovered that the Master Brake
Cylinder has a leak and I suspect that it is the gasket. May check more on that next week.
There are two nuts and bolts that hold the brake cylinder and the booster together. I checked
them and was able to tighten them. Maybe that took care of the leak of the brake fluid.
There is a connector nut that mounts one of the power brake fluid lines to the brake
accumulator and that was lose also. I think I will invest in Locktide in the future to prevent
those rascals from coming loose.
While I was out there in the cold I installed the new speaker pods that I practically stole on
eBay. I paid a very low price for those and they are worth at least three times than what I
paid. I also fixed the parking brake handle. Put in a new one since the old one would not stay
up (maybe I should have put some Viagra in there?)
Last but not least; I actually remembered to put some glue on the slider for the heated that
had its cap popping of..
19 December 2009: With Robert's help I was actually able to get the driver door to seal air
tight and the window adjusted. While doing that I noticed that the window had trouble going
all the way up since it seemed to rub on that little triangle where the side view mirror is
mounted on. I thought I would give it a try and put some Vaseline on the inner track and sure
enough; the window rolls like a champ!
Then it got to cold for Robert and he went inside. I took the rear wheel off to check on the
Brake Lining Sensor and the Brake Pads. They all seemed to be OK. When I saw the Rear
Sway Bar Links I remembered that I had ordered some from Bavarian Recycle (new) and
decided to put them in. That was about time to replace those! The old ones were worn out
and dry rotted. It was a cold day and I decided to call it quits while I was ahead. While I did all
these things, Rick and Mike were swapping wheels from "Elise" and our latest addition
"Gertrude". Rick bought "Gertrude" from his friend Cameron for $635 CSi (Cash Spend
immediately). We'll have a Photo shoot tomorrow afternoon with all three 6er in the drive way.
28 December 2009: After a loooooong trip back from Waco, TX I decided that I do need to
take advantage of the generosity of the Christkind (Christ Child) who got me a Heater
Control Valve for Christmas and install this precious instrument. It was cold the previous
few weeks and I did need heat when I drove to work. Robert's Bug is in the shop and is now
getting fixed. First we had the bug at Alan's Automotive and Diesel Repair but that did not
work out at all (read here).
16 January 2010: The Fuel Pressure Regulator arrived and I had to go and put it in. What
a difference this made!!!
17 January 2010: Mikey and I took a leisure drive up north. Mikey with Gertrude (Ricks
new 6er) and I drove Fritz and enjoyed the new FPR.
27 Februray 2010: Since Rick got rear ended, I decided to add another brake light so Fritz
would not get rear ended like Gertrude.
As you may have seen in the pictures, it worked out pretty well I would say!
Encouraged by all this I installed my new dome light relay and got so ticked off since it did
not make a difference at all. The light would just stay on and did not work in the door open
position. So I took the dome light out and connected the wires where they needed top be.
Now the dome light stayed on when the switch on the dome light was in the up and down
It was time now to check the switches at the door. The one on the driver side checked out
OK but the one on the passenger side looked odd! Looks like somebody installed a switch
for the trunk! Nice try but they are a tad too short. I had an extra one laying around and
installed that one. Tada! It works!
Next was the blower motor switches. I installed the new (used) switch that I got on eBay for
$10 in a best offer auction. I also installed the sensors and resistors at the blower motor.
6 March 2010: Investigated the reason why the drive shaft still vibrates and found out that
one of the holes on the drive shaft is enlarged and that causes the vibration. Sometimes
this next week I take the drive shaft off and take it to a shop to have this fixed and balanced.
Gave Fritz a good clean up (inside and out) and waxed the outside and applied leather
conditioner on the inside.
Also "smoked" the neighborhood when I had Seafoam running through the air intake. If I
would have seen that without knowing what's going on, I would have thought there was a
fire. Took me all the way up to the end of Powers Blvd (about 6 miles) to get all the smoke
out of the system.
17 April 2010: Fritz has literally turned into a Massage car. When ever I started driving it
vibrated like crazy. First I thought it is just the rubber disk (Guibo) at the drive shaft. Upon
checking closer I discovered it was the drive shaft itself.
This is not supposed to look this way
This is more like it (new drive shaft)
I assume that the broken center piece
caused the hole to be elongated.
Maybe it was the other way around,
Regardless how this happened. I wound up getting a new drive shaft in. At the same time I did an Oil
change and discovered a small leak from the timing chain housing. I tightened the bolt and hope it
is OK that way. We'll see. We have now 206 300 miles and still going strong!
1 May 2010: Sixer meeting in Morrison, CO
20 May 2010: Rejuvenated the seats that I bought from Rick with a Rejuvenation kit that I bought
from Leatherique. Thanks to the guidance of Krysti who was always available via email, the project
turned out descent given the fact that I have never done that before. (click here)
28 May 2010: I went ahead and put the seats in. Turns out that the hinges on the driver seat lost
most of their teeth. Since I did not feel like driving while laying down I had to do something about
that. I took the hinges of the old passenger seat that I had and swapped them into the newly redyed
driver seat. Now I have a driver seat that does not wobble.
29 May 2010: Had to go and find out where the oil leak is coming from. Took the radiator off, the
harmonic balancer, and removed all the belts just to get a close look at the timing chain housing.
Turns out that there were two holes that got in there when the screws of the oil pan got re-tapped.
Fortunately I was able to plug up them up with sealant. In addition to ending my oil leak, the
performance also improved. Previously it sucked air into the engine through those holes.