drdisque New Reader
Jan. 13, 2015 6:01 p.m.

I have a 2008 BMW 135i with the N54 Twin Turbo engine

So, according to everything I read on here and elsewere, the cooling system in general and water pumps in particular on these things (and apparently all BMW's) seriously sucks.

The car currently is 7 years old with around 54k on it and according to everything I've read, at this mileage, it's not if but when the water pump and/or thermostat housing will decide to take a dump.

So I go on rock auto - they have a nice belt and tensioner kit, that looks fine and dandy. they have several different thermostats and housings that look roughly the same (anyone have a recommendation) But the big question - they have two water pumps, one by a brand called "First Line" it says it is Euro market and it costs $108. The other one they have is an Airtex and costs $470. Has anyone else heard of "First Line"? The description says "E88 chassis N54B30A engine" The E88 chassis was the convertible. I highly doubt the convertible got a different water pump than the coupe. Should I just get the Airtex since it's probably a better part?

Also, I know this sounds like heresy on this site, but I won't be doing any of the work myself. I live in the middle of Chicago. I have 1 garage spot in a 3 car unheated garage I share with my neighbors which barely fits my car, our bikes, and my autocross junk. I have a mechanic nearby that works on a lot of cars like these and his kid races Spec Miata so he knows and understands what I'm trying to do with the car - very few mechanics in this area do.

Also, when I have the car apart I'm planning on them also adding a catch can since I hear that blowby is a problem with these cars as well.

84FSP Reader
Jan. 13, 2015 8:53 p.m.

I'd connect with FCP Euro to talk thru a few of these details as they were pretty helpful to me. There were a huge number of revisions to the various pumps so make sure you have the latest and greatest rev.

Look into doing the oil filter housing gasket, the oil cooler housing, and the valve cover gasket.

You might pass on a minor leak and not worry about it but more often than not then drip onto the serp belt setup causing it to slip and eat itself. I can tell you lurid details about the stainless lined serp belt eating a crank seal gasket requiring resurfacing of the crank snout and seal surface. There are a variety of other items that jump out but those added to your water pump and thermostat concerns should cover the common issues.

02Pilot HalfDork
Jan. 13, 2015 9:01 p.m.

Three words: O. E. M. Don't screw around with aftermarket parts with no proven track record. You do not want to find out how much a used long block costs the hard way.

spandak
spandak New Reader
Jan. 13, 2015 9:34 p.m.

Ive always had good luck with Pelican Parts. They carry the OEM pump for your car and the price is pretty hard to beat.

upwardlymobilehome
upwardlymobilehome New Reader
Jan. 13, 2015 9:35 p.m.
02Pilot wrote: Three words: O. E. M. Don't screw around with aftermarket parts with no proven track record. You do not want to find out how much a used long block costs the hard way.

I understand the OEM argument, but it is the OEM stuff that has proven to be of poor quality. I'd say pay the same price as OEM but for much better after market stuff.

spork
spork New Reader
Jan. 14, 2015 1:58 a.m.

Stick with oem. Yes, it's pricier, but does First Line produce a good linbus module? The water pump is smart! Also, there are done different water pumps out there, they are not all the same part number. As far as the belt slipping, the primary cause for the belt falling off is the tensioner no longer being parallel. Look for the belt walking of the tensioner pulley. Also, use new aluminum bolts every time you encounter one. Steel will rot the magnesium engine.

bigev007
bigev007 Reader
Jan. 14, 2015 6:35 a.m.

Is that still an issue on the newer models? Pelican's water pumps are both about $500, and I'd expect less if it was a common replacement. For example, on an E36, OEM is $150, and they sell a ton of kits that include EVERYTHING for a cooling system refresh.

Harvey HalfDork
Jan. 14, 2015 8:23 a.m.

I would also stick with OEM or at least talk with some BMW experts like the guys at Pelican Parts or Turner Motorsports to see what parts you should buy. My friend works for Turner and I can put you in touch with him if you want. They sell OEM or equivalent aftermarket replacement parts when OEM is not sufficient.

drdisque New Reader
Jan. 14, 2015 11:13 a.m.

84FSP, thanks for the link to FCP Euro. I'd never heard of them.

Harvey, Thanks, I'd appreciate that.

To be clear, I currently have no issues with the car (other than the damn windows not wanting to go up all the way unless I hold the switch), belts sound great, runs cooler than a cucumber even during a 90 degree day of autocrossing.

Sonic SuperDork
Jan. 14, 2015 1:13 p.m.

For the windows, on my Z4M, after the battery is out of it you have to have the windows re-learn auto up. The procedure is to roll the window up and hold the switch in the up position for 4 seconds, then put the window 6 inches down, then back up again and hold, and then it will be fine to auto up.

Harvey HalfDork
Jan. 14, 2015 1:26 p.m.
drdisque wrote: 84FSP, thanks for the link to FCP Euro. I'd never heard of them. Harvey, Thanks, I'd appreciate that. To be clear, I currently have no issues with the car (other than the damn windows not wanting to go up all the way unless I hold the switch), belts sound great, runs cooler than a cucumber even during a 90 degree day of autocrossing.

Contact Turner at 1-800-280-6966

This is my friend's info.

Kevin Foote Ext 160

D_Eclipse9916
D_Eclipse9916 New Reader
Jan. 15, 2015 11:25 a.m.

Pelican...

The electric water pumps are way more of a pain to replace than the old style E36/E46, and at 4-5x the price. Make sure you replace the thermostat with it as you have to take out the thermostat to get to the electric water pump. A little advice is pull off the passenger side wheel to get better access to some of the clamps on the backside of the water pump.

Just did the oil filter housing gasket and water pump/thermostat on a friend's car sunday. Not easy like the previous cars, but not rocket science.

JtspellS SuperDork
Jan. 15, 2015 12:05 p.m.

I had luck with e europarts with past vehicles, but Turner is without a doubt the best people to get in contact with.

44Dwarf UltraDork
Jan. 15, 2015 4:06 p.m.

Theses guy all ways did good for me in the past. They used to advert in GRM they still might I don't read cover to cover anymore... http://www.greenfieldautospecialists.com/

drdisque Reader
Sept. 26, 2015 9:30 p.m.

I was planning on preemptively doing this this winter.

It didn't let me get that far. The water pump let go during the first run of an autocross this morning.

On the bright side, after that I did get 2 runs co-driving a very fast but very unruly 2007 Mustang Shelby GT.

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