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Old 03-17-2010, 10:36 AM   #1
Kubica
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Motor Prep/Maint.

I thought I'd post this in the motorsport section . . .

I was wondering . . .I'm going to be doing about 7-8 HPDE's and 7-8 Autox's this spring/summer. Car is good to go regarding suspension and brakes- only thing I'm worried about is the motor.

I have 98K on the motor right now. I've never done anything to it besides spark plugs and oil changes, it's never even been opened up. I use 1/2 quart of oil every 7000 miles of daily driving and when it's really wet outside, my crankshaft position sensor gets wet and I get a rough idle for a while. Throws codes for cranshsft sensor and clutch adaption, but they don't come back once they are cleared. I'm not too worried about that issue.

So . . .any suggestions to ensure a trouble free driving season? Everything is stock up there besides the waterpump and pulleys. Only other code I ever pulled was due to a failing thermostat. I've never cleaned the MAF, messed with the VANOS, CCV, ICV, DISA, etc. I run a stock airbox and filter. Planning on dumping a bottle of water wetter in when it gets hotter outside.

Other than that . . and suggestions?

Even small stuff like the oil filter housing gasket . . .basically anything that would keep me from enjoying a day at the track.

Thanks guys.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:57 PM   #2
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Well, for one thing, I'd do the valve cover gasket before you have to chip it out with a screwdriver and an ice pick.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:04 PM   #3
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You mentioned waterpump and pulleys...

Not sure if you did more to the cooling system but if not, that would be a good place to start. The expansion tank is a cheap and necessary replacement. You could do hoses for insurance too, but in my experience, the stock hoses hold up surprisingly well and way past the 100k mark.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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I've never cleaned the MAF, messed with the VANOS, CCV, ICV, DISA, etc.
MAF is real easy to take out and spray down with MAF cleaner.
VANOS is only messed with as needed, I think.
CCV should be replaced if you hear a weird air release noise when you turn off the car.
ICV and DISA are different names for the same thing. I don't think you have to look at it unless you're getting codes about running rich or lean while idling.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:26 PM   #5
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You mentioned waterpump and pulleys...

Not sure if you did more to the cooling system but if not, that would be a good place to start. The expansion tank is a cheap and necessary replacement. You could do hoses for insurance too, but in my experience, the stock hoses hold up surprisingly well and way past the 100k mark.
I did stewart pump, hoses, expansion tank, coolant, alternator all within the last year. You are right- the hoses I took out looked perfectly fine after 85K.

I did power pulleys, but not tensioners since they seem fine.

I'm not too worried about front of the engine stuff.

McSpeed- you think I should do the VCG preventatively, huh? I was thinking I'd do it when it started leaking, or when I needed to crack the engine open for the first time for something else.
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:39 PM   #6
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If your car is well maintained just go out and enjoy it. Always check your car over a week before an event and replace/repair what ever is necessary.



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Old 03-17-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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McSpeed- you think I should do the VCG preventatively, huh? I was thinking I'd do it when it started leaking, or when I needed to crack the engine open for the first time for something else.
In my experience, the longer you wait the tougher the gasket gets. I just did mine at 74K and the valve cover didn't want to come off - I had to pry it from the tab at front corner and work it off - but after that it was smooth sailing - the gasket came right out. When I did it on a 2000 328i at around 110K or so, I actually had to chip and pick the gasket out of the top bc it had lost almost all its elasticity and was basically like hardened glue that was fused to the valve cover.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:08 PM   #8
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Athough true that the VCG will harden over time. IMO there is no real need to proactively replace the VCG unless it is leaking or you need to work on something underneath it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:21 PM   #9
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Make sure your Engine and tranny mounts are good. You dont want that moving around in your engine bay and pulling hoses. You mentioned cooling is done so go out and have a blast.
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:06 AM   #10
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Sounds good. I'm going to order a VCG and keep it on hand just in case. I actually have motor mounts sitting at home waiting to go on. What's the best way to do those N2? I was planning to drop the subframe to get to the passenger side- I was just waiting until it gets warmer out to ask a helper.

Quote:
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CCV should be replaced if you hear a weird air release noise when you turn off the car.
Actually, now that you mention it- I turned off the car ONE time a while back and I got a weird train whistle type noise for about 1 second. It hasn't come back. Cause for concern?
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Old 03-18-2010, 10:14 AM   #11
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Hey Steve, Hope your ready for another awesome season! Everything above sounds about right. Dont forget to flush brake fluid as well.
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Old 03-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Sounds good. I'm going to order a VCG and keep it on hand just in case. I actually have motor mounts sitting at home waiting to go on. What's the best way to do those N2? I was planning to drop the subframe to get to the passenger side- I was just waiting until it gets warmer out to ask a helper.
I thought motor mounts were straight forward?

Sounds like your car is in great condition. I would look into preventive maintenance on the subframe by reinforcing and replacing the subframe bushings.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:48 PM   #13
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I thought motor mounts were straight forward?

Sounds like your car is in great condition. I would look into preventive maintenance on the subframe by reinforcing and replacing the subframe bushings.
Not necessary on an Xi like the OP has.

I think it sounds for the most part like you can just go out and enjoy yourself. Just make sure to also take care of the following:
  1. Fluid in your transmission and all three of your differentials should be less than 30k miles old
  2. Make sure that all of your CV axles, Tie Rods, and other steering/suspension components are in good shape.
  3. It is critical that your Engine, Transmission, Differentials/Transfer Case, and Subframe are all supported by bushings that are in good shape. Soft bushings can allow other things to break or for move to much. This is especially important with the engine and tranny.

Other than that, if you've been keeping up on things then just go out and have a good time. If something breaks, then it breaks and you can fix it when you get home or after your car gets towed to your mechanic
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:11 PM   #14
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Didn't know that, assumed that the subframe issue afflicted all E46s.

Our E46s are pretty good out of the box. My experience the first time I went was I had brake issues which makes things interesting. Bleed your brakes!
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Old 03-19-2010, 10:46 AM   #15
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Hey Steve, Hope your ready for another awesome season! Everything above sounds about right. Dont forget to flush brake fluid as well.
Hey Jay- going to run at NHMS on April 16 with the White Mountain chapter. You in?

Quote:
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I thought motor mounts were straight forward?
I have an xi- drivers side looks straightforward but the passenger side looks tricky. It's going to be tough just getting the nuts loosened because of clearance. If anybody has any tips, I'm all ears.

Quote:
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Not necessary on an Xi like the OP has.

I think it sounds for the most part like you can just go out and enjoy yourself. Just make sure to also take care of the following:
  1. Fluid in your transmission and all three of your differentials should be less than 30k miles old
  2. Make sure that all of your CV axles, Tie Rods, and other steering/suspension components are in good shape.
  3. It is critical that your Engine, Transmission, Differentials/Transfer Case, and Subframe are all supported by bushings that are in good shape. Soft bushings can allow other things to break or for move to much. This is especially important with the engine and tranny.

Other than that, if you've been keeping up on things then just go out and have a good time. If something breaks, then it breaks and you can fix it when you get home or after your car gets towed to your mechanic
Have been busy this winter- front axles, control arms, fcabs, rtabs, shocks/struts, rsms, tranny fluid, diff fluid (and 3.46 diffs!), xfer case fluid, front wheel bearings, front rotors, p/s fluid, coolant: All new in the last 4 months.

A lot of that was DIY'd so I'm going to get a tech inspection from my guy at Turnr before the season starts. Its always interesting to see the 'other' codes that pop up on the laptop software that aren't read by peake tools- i think I had some ridiculous number like 167 'pedal implausibility' codes last time.

Thanks for all the responses guys. I still amazes me that you can beat on an M54 for years and years and all it ever asks for is a VCG and a couple of VANOS seals. Amazing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:03 AM   #16
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Hey Jay- going to run at NHMS on April 16 with the White Mountain chapter. You in?
I was going to be, but I have to go down to South Carolina for fiancee's brother's graduation from Basic training. Gotta keep the other half happy now that I'm engaged. Was hoping to hit VIR on the way home but not gonna happen I'll be at the boston event on the 26th of may, probably doing a pca event on the 8th-9th of may. Check out COM also cause they look to have a ton of weekend events this year.

Jay
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:05 AM   #17
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Sorry man im not sure on an xi. Probably just have to get your hands in there and get em dirty. I know the driver side they undo the top nut from the engine bay using an extension, its a piece of cake.
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