On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 11:56:40 AM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:
Which confirms what I saw. Like I said, I would not even have fooled
around with the VANOS piston seals, but I was taking the whole unit
off to replace the gasket between it and the cylinder head, so figured
I might as well do it. Engine was running perfectly before and after.
I saw no diff in MPG either. So, I think a lot of this VANOS seal
failure stuff may be BS.
I got them for ~$28 on Ebay.
I had a big go round with some of the boys on Xoutpost about replacing
the mechanical fan with an electric one. They claim that mech fan
sucks up 10, 20 or 50 HP. And they claim that once they replaced it,
they could feel a big difference in performance. Like you, I think
that big difference is all in their minds. Having spent a weekend
tearing apart the car, re-engineering an electric fan in there,
there is bound to be a big placebo effect.
My thinking is that if those fans were sucking up anywhere near that
HP, the auto manufacturers would have gotten rid of them immediately,
in the quest for MPG. I mean, an average car, how many HP does it
use just going 60 MPH on the highway? Fifty maybe? And the mech
fan is supposed to be taking on that order of energy? In reality,
those fans went away because of the move to FWD, with a transverse
engine. Not saying that there are not advantages to having an
electrical fan, that it won't make some improvement in available HP,
etc, just that I don't buy it's a big, noticeable diff.
Taking them apart once they are off the car is easy. The one potential
big trouble is that the pistons are fastened to the camshafts with a
small, left hand thread bolt. People say it's delicate, I saw one guy
that broke his off. That was my one fear, because if it breaks off
with the rest of it in the camshaft, then you're in big trouble.
Mine came off easily, no problem. But I did notice one thing that
I couldn't figure out at first. That is that the bolt has a thinner
neck, near the head. I'm thinking that may have been done so that
if it does break off, it breaks off there and you can then grab
what's left after you remove the unit with vice grips and get it out
of the camshaft.
I understand the X5 enough to know that overall, it's a nice SUV
that handles well and if fun to drive compared to a Honda CRV.
But I do think that it has some of those serious weak spots that you
would not expect in a car costing that much. Another thing that
annoys me is that they seem to have used every possible type of
electrical connector on that car. Including many that even if you're
looking right at it, you can't figure out WTF you're supposed to do
to get it to release. And then after you figure it out, 10 mins later
you're at another totally different one. Even worse when you can't
see it. Thank God for youtube!
On Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:29:38 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
I agree. There are very good arguments that the VANOS can't be the blame
for all the ills that people give it (sort of like "warped" disc brake
rotors are blamed when *nobody* every measures an actual warped rotor.
Yup. That's why I say BMW knows how to build systems but they don't know
how to build the entire car.
Yup. You need a mechanical engineering degree just to figure out how to
Trust me. I know. Anyone working on a bimmer knows. They're crazy those
On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 17:54:24 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
A lot of crap snipped
You call that bulletproof? I call it a flipp'n disaster.
Even a crappy 3.0 liter MitsuShitty is a better engine. The only
problem they had was valve guides. Guides that got loose and fell ot.
Guides that wore out. Guides that wore then carboned up and stuck.
Just about anything that could go wronf with a valve guide. Other than
that the piles of scrap were pretty well bullet proof. Virtually never
saw a bottom end go out - or even a piston.
Compare that to the Vauxhall 2200 and 2300 cc slant fours. Other than
popping the diaphragms out of the Stromberg 175 carbs, or lighting
them on gire because GM techs couldn't get their heads around the
concept of hydraulic dampers on carburetors, those things were
bulletproof. Perhaps not having enough power to hurt themselves
helped, but even highly boosted in the Panther,Lima (with very close
to 180HP in "stock" form) stood up VERY well.
A 225 Mopar six - now THAT was bulletproof. A 283 Chevy wasn't far
behind. But ANY Bimmer???? Not even their inline 6 turbo diesel.
And why the heck would you take it to a "quick change"???
Some people's time is worth more to them than the savings of
changing their own oil rather than taking it to the "dealer" (now that
is a novel idea, isn'y it) for service.. Not to mention the mess of
changing the oil, particularly on a CI engine.
On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 12:10:26 AM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
You're mixed up as usual. Here you're replying to Frank.
And here you're replying to me. So the answer to that is:
Because it's quick, inexpensive and it's worked fine for me.
For many years I had a corporate car and that's where I had to
take it, Jiffy Lube or similar. No problems.
You can take your car to the dealer to get hosed if you like.
I'm with Frank on doing most repairs that the dealer will screw you
royally for yourself if you choose. An example is a brake job.
Take the car to the dealer and they will tell you that you need
not only new pads, but new rotors. Then bill you at BMW prices
for all. You wind up with a $1000 bill, instead of $50 for pads
and DIY. And that's just most dealers, then there are the special
ones that are totally crooked. I can tell you some great stories
about that kind.
On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 09:35:40 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
I agree with Trader that anyone is welcome to take their car to the dealer
for an oil change, but, they must be willing to pay through the nose for
the privilege of the free loaner car for the duration.
Mine is $200 an hour and they charge double the price for parts so, it's
never gonna be inexpensive to get work done at the stealer. A simple brake
job can cost easily four digits (don't ask me how anyone can justify that
Yup. I don't think a four-wheel brake job is ever less than four digits at
a bimmer stealer whereas I can easily do the job for less than a hundred,
and that's using FF Textar/Jurid OEM pads (or Axis or PBR or Akebono
aftermarket FF or GG pads), new solid Brembo or ATE rotors, ATE blue ersatz
DOT4 brake fluid, etc. (yes, I know that a brake-fluid bleed isn't part of
a normal brake job).
I pity people who take their cars in for service who don't know how to do
the job themselves because they can so easily be screwed.
On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:21:37 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:
The BMW and similar owners actually look at paying that as a badge of honor.
They think it costs so much more because the BMW is the ultimate driving
machine. So, they roll in and say "Thank you Sir, may I have another?"
IMO, the best investment you can make with any car is to get a good
code reader. That alone can help you figure out if the dealer or shop
is BSing, you. They have ones now that work now with a smartphone.
I don't have one of those, but for the BMW, I have the BMW software
that the dealers run.
On Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:06:57 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
Yes, I know all about it. The specific IBM T30 thinkpad that they use
(which has a serial port, although people use it with K-Line USB interface
to newer computer USB ports too).
There is a plethora of easily found BMW diagnostic software such as INPA,
EDIABAS, NCSExpert & easy, EasyDIS, Progman, etc.
I just use a dumb code reader.
On Sunday, December 18, 2016 at 11:56:36 AM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:
I have one of those too. It's fast and easy to get some idea of
what's going on. But that BMW software goes way beyond. Simple
example, I can reset the airbag light with it. Otherwise, I'd
have to go to the dealer. I ran into that once, when replacing one
of those window regulators. It will also run
tests on things that fail, step you through a process to diagnose
it, etc. It was pretty cool to see my notebook PC controlling the
engine, speeding it up at idle to warm it up, etc.
On Mon, 19 Dec 2016 09:33:22 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
Yeah. Most of the guys use Carsoft to reset the airbag light. A lot have
the pirated Carsoft, which, for whatever reason, has the GUI to reset the
airbag light - but it doesn't actually reset it (cruel irony).
WHenever I work on the window regulators or the front seats (to fix seat
twist), I make sure the battery is always disconnected before I touch any
*yellow* connector! (In the E39, the airbag connectors are yellow.)
And, I always connect yellow before connecting the battery. So, no airbag
light for me - but zillions of people complain of an airbag light after a
windows regulator or seat fix because mechanics don't know this trick.
There is also a cheap airbag reset tool (don't recall what it's called 'cuz
I never needed it).
Yup. Everyone who replaces a window regulator in the front has to remove
the airbag first. That yellow connector should only be touched with the
On Sat, 17 Dec 2016 00:10:26 -0500, email@example.com advised:
You have a point in that the cooling system weakness takes out more BMW
engines than any other threat.
The DISA valve pin ingestion takes out a few too.
But other than those two external threats, the BMW engines are bulletproof,
at least mine is (M54).
Dunno. The M54 is a great engine, as long as those two external threats are
accounted for and ameliorated.
At least it has a timing chain! :)
The timing chains on the V8 E39 had stupid plastic guides, which is another
weakness of BMW engines (not on the I6 though).
I never understood the turbo rationale.
It's like putting low profile tires on an SUV.
My point was that there are two people who won't do a job:
a. Those who have never done the job, and,
b. Those who actually have done the job.
You only get useful information from the latter, but the former always feel
their opinion is worth something when it's not.
On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
Like I said - it is critical on the front independent suspension.
Dynamic balance on the duels of a triple axle trailer is NOT going to
be an issue - nor on the tandem or triple dual weeled drive axles on
a tractor. A set of super singles on the front end may well be a
totallt different story.
And a LOT of owners replacing front end parts prematurely due to
accellereated wear - and even in a vain attempt to solve a steering
shimmy that is caused by a poorly balanced tire - even though on the
bubble balancer, or even road force balancer, checks out as perfectly
The ply bushings have the mixed advantage/disadvantage of being MUCH
stiffer than the OEM rubber busgings. The bushings in most cars are
made of the same stuff the Bimmer uses - the same stuff my 21 year old
Ranger uses - and at almost 350,000km they are still original - and it
is running SEVERELY oversized tires and wheels.
Perhaps if the wheels were dynamically balanced the front bushings
MIGHT last a bit longer???? Did you read my arguement for dynamic
balancing? Did you think about it and process it?
You read a lot of PDFs. Who makes the PDFs? Who writes the copy?
Is their input verified? In other words, have you had ANY concrete
reason to believe them - that they actually know what they are
tralking about? Or is it just that they resonate with your way of
I've been right about a LOT of what I've said on this thread, by your
own admission. MABEE, perhaps, I actually DO know what I'm talking
about? Perhaps the guys writing the PDFs don't have the experience
Not saying they DON"T know what they are talking about - just raising
the (strong) possibility. Anyone can put together a fancy PDF and
overnight be an "expert" in the eyes of those who read them -
particularly in a VERY biased enthusiasts' users group populated
trust fund kids who fancy themselves experts on their chosen toy.
Front to back rotation is always a good idea. As long as the car uses
the same wheels ant tires on both ends. Rotating left to right
requires demounting and remounting the tires - particularly with
directional or asymetric treads. Put the rear tires on the front and
drive like a boy-racer and wear the outer edges off through hard
turning, particularly with the caster not set properly. You DO
remember that caster has a pretty significant effect on camber on
turns - right??? And if you are wearing the inside off the rear tires
it just means you are not cornering hard enough to get the hind end to
"step out" putting the load on the outer edge of the outside tire on
the turn :}
And there are thousands who DO who should never be allowed to have a
wrench in their hand, even under supervision - EVER
The other driver on the road should NOT be put at risk by those who
have no mechanical understanding, and no idea of the risk involved in
doing something wrong that could kill them, their family or friends,
or innocent members of the public.
I would.t be so sure. I've known sone VERY gay guys who knew their
way around the bottom of a car, and a toolbox, better than many macho
redneck knuckle-draggers. And some VERY talented yet very feminine
members of the fairer sex who could out-wrenh (and out-drive) over 50%
of the male population..
It's got nothing to do with testosterone.
And many of us who KNOW something about tires NEVER inflate their
tires to the factory recommended pressure. On my cars I almost
consistently rin 6 to 8 psi over the auto manufacturer's specs - and
NEVER run them at the maximum inflation pressure printed on the
sidewalls. The air pressure in the 235/70 16 tires on my ranger is
significantly LOWER than the pressure spec on the door sticker.
Inflating them to the specified pressure would have me bouncing all
over the road and needing a kidney belt simply because they are rated
much higher weight-wise than the truck requires, and are significantly
oversized from the factory original 195/70 14 inchers.
And if your guage is not accurate to within a lot less than +/- 5psi
(thats a 10PSI variance) you should throw the damned thing in the
trash and spend some money on a REAL guage.
And on MOST cars there isn't one - - -
No you won't. You'll never balance a large enough sample to draw any
statistically significant conclusion
I will STRONGLY dissagree with you. A $300 Michelin tire is virtually
guaranteed to be a higher quality tire than a sixty nine dollar Nexen.
It has also been my experience that a better tire usually takes less
weight, and requires a whole lot less rebalancinf. A quality tire,
once properly mounted and balanced, should NEVER go out of balance
throughout it's normal lifespan..
A cheap tire may require rebalancing several times before it fails -
particularly if dynamically out of balance to start and not properly
The 300 dollar tire may actually make more economic sense than the
sixty nine dollar tire.
But your premise is WAY off. And the materials are a large part OF
the quality and where costs are very often cut. A better grade of
rubber costs more. Properly mixing the rubber, and properly milling
it, costs money. The actual RAW material cost of a tire is likely
closer to 10% than 90.
Properly BUILDING a tire is a job that requires some skill - and
attention to detail. Properly curing the tire is also a critical
process - which if rushed, or with any shortcuts taken, results inan
Also, proper spot testing of the product as it comes off the line
costs money. This is "quality control" - which is generally almost
non-existant on many of the cheap tires. They put a warranty on the
tire so if a customer realizes there is something wrong they will
replace it. Replacing half of the defective tires that get through
is still cheaper than implementing proper quality control - and at
least half the buyers either won't realize there is anything wrong, or
won't bring them back for replacement - they'll just ditch them, swear
about the crappy tires/crooked tire shop to their friends, and buy
more garbage with a different name on it from another tire dealer for
Which, as I said, is EXACTLY what happens.
Not just might be. I live in what WAS the tire manufacturing capital
of Canada. We gad BF Goodrich, Goodyear and UniRoyal (Dominion rubber
origionally) building tires here in Kitchener for decades. They are
all gone now. I knew lots of guys who worked in the tire plants - and
several who workead at the one plant came and bought the Atlas tires
(private brabded for Imperial oil - ESSO) from me at list rather than
buying the manufacturer's own brand at a discount directly from the
plant because they KNEW the quality control was MUCH tighter on the
private brand tire. A few years later I had the same happen at the
Shell station - the tire workers bought the "Shell" brand tires
because theywere a better tire - buiot to a higher spec, with better
quality control, than the mainline branded tire (2 different plants
Also, the markings on the tire tell you exactly what plant the tires
come out of - and knowing that can tell you a LOT about what kind of
quality to expect.
On Friday, December 16, 2016 at 11:24:41 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
So, what does Clare recommend? Govt regulation so that you have to prove
that you have training, are certified, to work on your own car? Can you
provide us some examples of the horrific results of the millions of guys
who work on their own cars? And I suppose there have been no horrific
results ever from incompetent work done at a dealer, right? How about
all those dealers and GM that let people drive around in cars, getting
killed, that they knew had defective ignition locks?
On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 23:24:40 -0500, email@example.com advised:
I'm aware that static balance isn't the entire balance story; however I
asked a few shops the same question I asked you, and *all* said that there
is no reason to dynamically balance if the car doesn't vibrate.
I certainly know the argument for dynamic balancing.
I've read everything I can on the subject.
It's the same argument, in many ways, used for precision in nuclear
You mistake me for most people.
I'm not at all like most people.
I change my mind when I am presented with valid new arguments.
However, if all I hear are the same arguments that I've long ago processed,
then there is nothing new added to the equation.
The arguments against doing a job are almost always extremely obvious.
Anyone who has never done the job is usually incapable of adding a new
argument to the equation. They just don't know enough to be of any value.
You do know (pretty much) what you're talking about.
So do I since I've done the job twice now.
When I do the job fifteen times, I'll know more.
My plan is simple:
a. Change these tires
b. Change the next set of tires
c. Change the set after that.
If at that point I want to pay $100 for someone else to mount and balance
my tires, then I'll at least make an educated decision at that time.
I understand the arguments that BMW uses for not rotating.
And I understand the arguments for one-side-only rotation.
However, I rotate as I see fit.
Sometimes, I get lazy myself, and I don't rotate.
It's what happens in real life.
Yup. Luckily, unmounting and remounting tires is easily done at home.
Speaking of caster, I'm still working on that darn equation of measuring
camber to calculate caster. It's boggling my mind, but I'm working on it.
I have an entire thread on just that alone in the Toyota forums.
They're far more helpful than the people here, by the way, for the most
They have boy racers too; but at least they have a few people there who
know how to measure camber at an inboard and outboard angle, and then how
to subsequently calculate the caster.
On Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 11:00:14 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:
No, I never said anything about cellphones or anything being useless.
The simple fact is that dynamic balancing does a better job and that
you may have noticeable problems if you only do static balancing.
If you want to live with that possibility, and all the other hassles
with mounting and balancing your tires at home, that's up to you.
Just like using an old cell phone, when newer, better methods are
available. BTW, at some point everyone moved on from AMPS and if
you still have one of those, I would bet it is pretty much useless
today as a cellphone.
Try using an AMPS, analog cell phone on the major carriers today.
Notice the big "if" there.
I just did answer it.
Again, notice the big if. It's not worth it to me, or to 99% of the world,
apparently, to screw around and hope that there is no vibration. It's
simpler, easier, to just have the tires mounted and dynamically balanced
at a shop.
Even if it's a low percentage, it's just not worth screwing around for
me or most people, obviously. The last set of tires I bought, I have
80K miles on them. And even if I only got 30K miles it's not worth
the hassle, the trouble of screwing around at home. It cost $50 every
time I fill up the gas tank. For $60 I can get tires mounted, dynamically
balanced, new valve stems, and the old tires disposed of. Spending that
$60 every few years, compared to the cost of gas, oil changes, insurance,
repairs, is really very small potatoes.
Not for me. I just pay $60, get it done right, no fuss, no muss.
And also for that ~$60, I get free rotation and dynamic balancing
for the life of the tires.
On Fri, 16 Dec 2016 15:28:40 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
What you say makes sense.
What makes sense is that you (a) can get your tires mounted and balanced
for a good price, and that (b) you don't want to screw around with doing it
yourself, particularly if (c) there is an x-percent (1%?) risk of having to
do the dynamic balancing anyway.
The only thing that doesn't make sense is why you're telling us what
everyone knows? There's no added value telling us that you, and 9,999 out
of 1,000 people who have the same attitude as you do, know nothing about
mounting and balancing tires at home (having never done it).
Only 1 out of 1,000 people can add value to this thread.
On Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:21:32 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:
I guess I'm telling you that because you couldn't accept my simple
original comment that dynamic balancing is superior and will be
needed on at least some tires. That was all I said to start with.
And it seems like everyone agrees with that.
On Sun, 18 Dec 2016 07:10:18 -0800 (PST), trader_4 advised:
Nobody needed to tell me that dynamic balancing is more accurate than
static balancing for the tires that need it so the fact that we all agree
means it only needs to be said once, and that's it (since there is no
argument about it).
My premise is what needs to be tested, which is that a wheel that doesn't
vibrate is balanced so well, that dynamic balancing won't add any value.
I *read* (but no proof was supplied) that someone said that an
imperceptible vibration would cause damage to suspension components, which
could happen (anything can happen) but I also read numerous times that
tires should be balanced every 3,000 miles (e.g., Goodyear PDF) so there is
a *lot* of unbalanced systems out there if that's really true.
So, like a CSV has to separate the oil from the water, I am forced to
separate the bullshit from the reality.
Fact is, my premise has not been prove nor disproven that a tire statically
balanced that doesn't cause vibration, is balanced well.
I did check that very same hypothesis with *all* the tire shops, and all
concurred (you can take my word on that because I have no problem admitting
when/if I'm wrong).
Anyway, if someone can show *proof* that a wheel that doesn't cause
perceptible vibration is actually harming the car somehow, and that dynamic
balance would prevent that harm, I'm all ears because I'm here to learn
(but I'm not here for unsubstantiated bullshit).
I'm never afraid to admit if/when I'm wrong, nor if/when I make a mistake;
but I'm not like most people here who think they know more than they
actually do, and who spout cliches as sophistic proof of their knowledge.
On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 20:38:10 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron advised:
I found this PDF which has a nice guide that all of you can use, no matter
what car you have.
For example, the PDF says all Accura wheels use FN weights, while all
non-R8 Audi wheels use EN while all BMW wheels use IAW, and all Buick
wheels use MC (and so on).
It says the Toyota SUV uses FN but I know enough now not to believe that.
I think the Toyota I am working on uses P type weights.
On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 06:01:40 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron
You SURE you know enough not to believe it? I won't get into the
weight types and models - I never paid attention to the designations -
my supplier just stocked the cabinet with what we needed - and I used
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