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2021-03-06: new spark plugs and wiper blades

All six looked just like that. Only 44k miles on 'em.

 

2021-04-10: oil and filter change, plus seasonal tire swap.

 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/22/21 9:26 p.m.

2021-05-22: R&R'd the AC condenser and the trans cooler today. Used the required AC service as an excuse to buy the finest single-stage vacuum pump and AC gauge set that The Future Hammer Store sells.

After removing upper rad support and another bit of ducting, and pulling the AC tube bolts, I met with the first challenge: steel guide pins in an aluminum joint:

Some PB Blaster and some careful hammer blows got them apart without damaging anything:

Like so many other cars, the E60 is susceptible to debris buildup between condenser and radiator, but the shop vac and a scrub brush got it all cleaned out and ready for reassembly.

Because I'm an engineer, I had to brush the old condenser with soapy water and blow a little air into it to find the leak. A couple years ago she took a rock to the face that busted the grille and dented the condenser...

... but the leak didn't erupt there. It was just a random spot on the back side, not caused by contact with anything. Weird.

With the new condenser and o-rings in place, I put it all back together and let the vacuum pump suck it a bit while I changed the trans cooler, which was not as bad a job as I expected. I released the heater hoses from their clips, pulled down on the tab holding the cooler and thermostat / manifold assembly to the radiator, and pried it away. Caught about a gallon of coolant and reused it since it was pretty fresh. With the assembly pulled down away from the radiator, I was able to get the three screws out and separate the trans cooler from the manifold. The trans cooler lines use the push-to-release collars and I was able to quickly pop them off the old cooler and onto the new. Assembly was reverse of removal, and I lost very little ATF in the process.

Since the system held vacuum for more than 10 minutes without the pump running, naturally I had to undo the condenser lines to pour in the PAG46 oil that I forgot to add when it was apart. Did not evacuate it again after that, as it wasn't open for more than about 10 minutes.

I reconnected the gauges, screwed a 12oz can of R134a to the yellow hose, set the can on my digital scale (R134a systems are pretty sensitive to mass of refrigerant), set the valves to the correct positions, and... nothing. Because the instructions don't tell you that there's an adapter required to use the 12oz cans with the hose and gauge set. I made a quick trip to Advance and dropped a $7 bill on the adapter, which also has a valve in it to close off the can before it's totally empty.

I bought 6 cans, but the system only takes 810 grams, or a little less than 2-1/2 cans. Digital scale was handy for hitting the number. And just like that (LOL "just like that" = 10 hours start to finish), she's got cold AC again!

Next up is trans fluid and filter, which I might tackle tomorrow since I have it all on hand. Then again, I really need to get back to MonZora.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/21 10:44 a.m.

2021-05-23: yep, getting on the ATF change today. Here's a comparison Pentosin ATF1 in two different conditions: 65k and two trans overtemp warnings (left) vs new (right):

Not the worst I've seen, but cheap-ish insurance at about $200 for fluid and filter.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/24/21 3:40 p.m.

Ugh, what a miserable job that was! I was using one of those OTC fluid transfer things that looks like an old-school grease gun, and it leaked like a MF, i ended up wearing a couple ounces of every pint i transferred. I have a drill-driven pump but it says "water only" on it so i didn't bother with it. i guarantee i will next time.

anyway, buttoned it all up and took it for a drive and it shifts up and down with no issues, no RPM flares, etc. I'm calling it good for a while.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/25/21 11:11 a.m.

I think it's gonna need another condenser:
 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/25/21 11:14 a.m.

Sorry to see that, always the worst right after spending some time/money on it to make it better. Hope you're feeling alright physically.

JeremyJ
JeremyJ Reader
5/25/21 11:29 a.m.

Yikes. That really sucks. 

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
5/25/21 2:20 p.m.

Oh no!  I hope you're ok!

PMRacing
PMRacing GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/25/21 2:25 p.m.

Hope everyone is OK!  Since you're posting about it I assume so. 

In for "that will buff out!"

OjaiM5
OjaiM5 HalfDork
5/25/21 3:52 p.m.

Ah man that sucks! It is a good excuse to pick up a N54 e60 tho.....devil

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/25/21 9:10 p.m.

Car did its job, no injuries. AK1 was driving when a mattress came out of a truck a few cars ahead. Much braking and swerving by all parties, and she was the fourth car into a 4-car crash. About a year ago I switched to liability only, because who keeps collision on a 14 year old car with over 200k? I'm gonna put her on CL for a few days. If she doesn't move quick I'm going to start calling the junkyards.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 2:20 p.m.

LOL car-part.com shows 3 my color with good front ends within 300 miles. I've got angle grinder, MIG, and TIG.

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/26/21 2:40 p.m.

There's that other guy on the forum building a kart out of an E46 325xi, why not do the same with your 525xi? lol

If you do decide to scrap it remember that cat prices are crazy right now, might be worth crawling under there, getting some pictures and numbers off of them and getting a quote or two as a baseline before you give the car away.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 2:44 p.m.

In reply to adam525i :

Because I don't have room in my life for that as a finished product. Believe me, I thought about going full ZAV on it, but that's not really my thing.

besides, I think there's some real Dad-cred points to be had by bringing this car back to life. That alone will be worth the time and expense.

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
5/26/21 2:56 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

I'm all for fixing it too, just my nature. If you can do that without having to do paint and bodywork then it starts to look like a good option. Doesn't need to be perfect under the skin either, just safe and structurally sound. Definitely worth digging into and seeing how far the damage goes but it doesn't look bad from this side of the internet. Plus you know the rest of the car which is a lot better than starting over with another E60 or other german car.

preach (fs)
preach (fs) HalfDork
5/26/21 3:39 p.m.

Glad AK1 is ok. 

Think she'd help with the fix? Kind of like the EVO classroom?

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 6:08 p.m.

In reply to preach (fs) :

Absolutely! Thinking bigger picture, taking this on pushes MonZora to 2022.

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
5/26/21 6:33 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to preach (fs) :

Absolutely! Thinking bigger picture, taking this on pushes MonZora to 2028.

IBT-Stampie!

Dead_Sled
Dead_Sled HalfDork
5/26/21 6:54 p.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) :

In all seriousness, I can help get you any parts between here and there,  I'm vaccinated and have alot of time on my hands.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/26/21 8:24 p.m.
Dead_Sled said:
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to preach (fs) :

Absolutely! Thinking bigger picture, taking this on pushes MonZora to 2028.

IBT-Stampie!

You genuinely made me LOL, because I totally put that out there as Stampie bait.

And just like that, she's gone. Bought by a body man who says he's already tracked down most of the parts needed to put her back together.

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