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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-22-2012, 02:35 PM   #1
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DIY: German Auto Solutions DISA Repair Rebuild

Hey Fanatics,

I love it when someone steps up and does something for the E46 community. In this case, it's German Auto Solutions. Gary has artfully put together a kit to help those of us with failing DISA valves. My original valve went kaput well before my car hit 100k. I was lucky enough to pick up a used valve from a local Fanatic that had installed an ESS TS2 on his car. My car now has 165k on it. While the valve currently doesn't have any issues, TrippinBimmer told me that he picked up this kit to rebuild his valve while installing his charger. I couldn't resist the preventative maintenance.

Okay, so on to the install. First off, this is for a B30. I'm sure that the install for the B25 would be very similar. I used Gary's directions found here:

http://germanautosolutions.com/DISA_DIY.html


First step was to remove the DISA from the car. You will probably have loosen and remove the upper intake boot. Then it's 2 torx screws. T40. Don't drop them, you'll probably never find them, or they may end up in your throttle body!

Here's where I'll start with pictures: (DISA and German Auto Solutions kit)



You're also going to need:
small flathead screwdriver (5/32)
5mm allen wrench (or socket)
7mm socket and small extension
needle nose pliers
diagonal cutters
cleaner and a rag
toothpick
stiff wire brush

Now, note that I started this with a fully functional DISA. Yours may be in different condition. Please check the GAS site to make sure yours can be repaired.

First thing GAS says to do is check the functionality of the vacuum pot. Close your valve and cover the small hole. Then let go of the flap like so:



The flap will move a bit. That's normal. You just don't want it to flip back all the way.

Next step is to remove the actuator access cover. Here it is removed. The GAS site gives the location where to pry. It comes off fairly effortlessly.



Now we want to remove the small retaining clip. I used my needle nose pliers and worked it off. You can use your small screwdriver to move it up a bit, too.



Now you can slide the lever off and tie it up with the supplied wire. Getting it out of the way makes things a bit easier to work with.



The next step is really the only "tricky" step. It would have been easy if I would have read the directions carefully, but I was hasty. GAS says to get a 5/16x1.5 lag screw and screw it into the middle of the lever. Then you just pry it out with some needle nose. Well, I didn't have the screw and didn't want to drive anywhere to get it. Since I knew that the parts weren't reused, I threw caution to the wind and pried it out. I slid my screwdriver through a small opening and had my friend twist while I grabbed the pivot point on the lever. Came out okay. I'd suggest using the screw. If It would have broken off inside the housing, I might have run into some issues. Luckily, all turned out fine.



On the next step, make sure you're using your small flathead. Position it like in the picture below and twist a little. It'll move the pin out just a little.



Then you can grab the pin with your diagonals and get it out of the housing.



Now you can easily slide the flapper out of the housing. Here is a quick comparison picture of the two assemblies.



Take this opportunity to clean things up. Mine had some grime on it. Just make sure not to get anything nasty down in the little hole on the face of the housing. GAS suggests sticking a toothpick in there. I used some Goo-Gone to do my cleaning. Don't use carb or brake parts cleaner. Not good on plastic.

The GAS piece comes assembled (except for the lock washer). Here it is taken apart.



GAS supplies you with 2 cotton swabs and some super-lube. Use the swab to lube up the inside where the seal will rub against the new lever.



Also lube up the base of the new lever. Try not to get any of the lube on the tapered surface. No worries if you do, you'll just have to clean it off after you install the piece.



Installed and cleaned up:



This is about how you'll want to position the new piece so that everything lines up:



Gently push the tapered part back down into the hole evenly so as not to touch the sides and get it greased up. Make it flush like this:



Use the other supplied cotton swab and put some of the supplied red thread locker on the inside edges of the new flap. This is why you wanted the tapered section of the lever clean. They'll mate up and this will help keep everything secure.



Slide the flapper back into place like this. Note the orientation:



Now slide the lock washer onto the new bolt and put a little loctite on the threads. 2 drops should be enough. Make sure the flapper is in the open position and that the new lever is where we positioned it. Insert the screw into the middle of the lever and through the new flapper. As you screw the bolt in, it will bring the new lever up into place.

When it starts to get tight, hold the flap in the closed position and put some good torque on it with your allen wrench. GAS didn't provide a torque spec, but they say to get it tight to make sure there is no slipping of the tapered surfaces. Holding the flap closed keeps it from putting pressure on the base of the housing.

The flapper should now move open and closed without binding. There is a little resistance, but that's just the seal. No worries.

Now you can take your wire off the lever and put it back on the pivot point.



Use the 7mm socket to push the new retainer clip onto the pivot point. Don't press too hard. GAS warns not to get it super tight. Make sure the arm can move up and down just a hair to allow for movement.



Pop the cap back on and you're almost done. One of the very nice things about this kit is the new gasket you get. BMW doesn't sell a gasket to replace it. Take your flat head and start to scrape the old gasket out.

Don't use anything sharp that might cut the plastic. I used a tiny allen wrench to get what the screwdriver didn't. Then I used a wire brush. This was the most time consuming part of the install, but it came out pretty darn clean:



Install the new gasket:



Before you put it back on the car, put some of the supplied grease on the o-ring for a good seal and smooth install. Then put the screws back in and reconnect your connector. You're done!

Once again, thanks to German Auto Solutions for this. Very cool part and it saves you from having to buy a $180 DISA. I'd rather spend the extra $100 on performance, wouldn't you?

www.germanautosolutions.com
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:23 PM   #2
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good job, man. did you do this as prev. maint. or was yours rattling?
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Excellent DIY, Brady. Very thorough and precise.

I really like that it's super cheap and you can get the Fluorosilicone O-Ring as a replacement!
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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This was preventative. I've had one rattle on me before. My current DISA is a replacement but probably has 80k on it. Better now than when I'm in a pinch.

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good job, man. did you do this as prev. maint. or was yours rattling?
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Yep. I'd suggest that anyone that has even removed their DISA cough up the cash just for the O-ring.

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Excellent DIY, Brady. Very thorough and precise.

I really like that it's super cheap and you can get the Fluorosilicone O-Ring as a replacement!
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
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For the extra $100 I'd personally just swap it for a new one. But great write up. And at the end of the day probably more satisfying.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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nice find

everyone should at least check their disa and see if its damaged. this looks better than getting a new one

gasket info here http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897595
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:09 PM   #8
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Nice DIY man!
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #9
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How could repairing an old part be "better" than a new part? I am constantly surprised that people buy a luxury European car and then get all offended because the mechanical parts that wear out actually cost money to replace. It is a high quality piece of engineering, so the parts will be expensive. Why is that an issue?.. Buy a Ford if you want cheap parts!
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:15 PM   #10
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the quality of this kit is great. I placed my order on friday and i recieved it yesterday very fast shipping for something going from FL to CA. I will be installing this kit today because my disa has been rattling alot lately and if this kit makes my disa last for another 3 years then i will consider this kit "worth the squeeze"!
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:12 PM   #11
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That was a fairly uneducated statement.

Edit: I'll elaborate because I'm just assuming you haven't read the product description. The breakable composite/plastic parts on the OEM piece are replaced with high quality aluminum precision machined parts that seal better and won't break. GAS actually sells brand new OEM DISA valves fitted with the aluminum parts so that you'll never have to worry about it breaking.

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Originally Posted by oml67 View Post
How could repairing an old part be "better" than a new part? I am constantly surprised that people buy a luxury European car and then get all offended because the mechanical parts that wear out actually cost money to replace. It is a high quality piece of engineering, so the parts will be expensive. Why is that an issue?.. Buy a Ford if you want cheap parts!
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:16 AM   #12
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FYI, I sent my review to GAS. Gary responded and let me know that the kits are now shipping with the screw for easier removal of the old lever. My kit was shipped during the transition period. So, even that much easier!
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:50 PM   #13
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Nice job. Thanks
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Old 05-24-2012, 02:26 AM   #14
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Very nice mod, will do it for sure when I need to re-install my DISA
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:49 PM   #15
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Thanks for doing this write up. That guy Gary seems to be doing some quality work.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:54 PM   #16
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You're bold to rebuild this part. I just couldn't stomach it. If i messed something up, kaput.

Anyone know what part number/manufacturer I can source from a local auto store such as autozone, for the 1/8th inch O-ring for the 323i disa?
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oml67 View Post
How could repairing an old part be "better" than a new part? I am constantly surprised that people buy a luxury European car and then get all offended because the mechanical parts that wear out actually cost money to replace. It is a high quality piece of engineering, so the parts will be expensive. Why is that an issue?.. Buy a Ford if you want cheap parts!
so the stock water pump is better than the EMP Stewart?
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:52 PM   #18
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Wrong Point!

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so the stock water pump is better than the EMP Stewart?
wildcat293 - you have made an different point entirely? My comment was that a repair of an existing OE BMW component cannot be "better" than the same but new part from BMW.

You are arguing that the EMP Stewart pump is a better design than the OE (not OEM-would people please understand that!) BMW pump I can only assume?

That is not what is being discussed here. Are EMP Stewart pumps really OE pumps that get some of their parts replaced by DIY's in their home garage?

Lets not even get started on the merits and disadvantages of metal impellers. No doubt you will "spin" up!
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:16 PM   #19
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I noticed my Disa rattling a short time ago and decided to purchase this kit because I drive my car on a daily basis and avg. approximately 85 mi a day. The concept of this kit is to retrofit an acceptable Disa body core, with improved parts. The kit is highly engineered with precision machined parts and is a marked improvement over the original design. On any machine, parts are going to need replacing so I really do not think there is a sensible argument over replacing parts or even improving upon a given design. When companies are contracted out to design and build a product material cost and competetive pricing are always a factor. I spent 14 years as a Aircraft mechanic, the last 8 rebuilding jet engines and have seen many design changes due to failure prone components. Kudos to GAS for taking the time to redesign and improve a known, possibly catastrophic, wear failure item on our cars
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:29 PM   #20
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That was a fairly uneducated statement.

Edit: I'll elaborate because I'm just assuming you haven't read the product description. The breakable composite/plastic parts on the OEM piece are replaced with high quality aluminum precision machined parts that seal better and won't break. GAS actually sells brand new OEM DISA valves fitted with the aluminum parts so that you'll never have to worry about it breaking.
Wrong point again. This thread is about the end user repairing a broken or worn compenent. I understand that some of the parts of that component are of a different(higher) quality. Buying a professionally rebuilt component is subtly different again.

Uneducated-thanks for the insult. Always know people are losing the argument when they start insulting you rather than focussing on making their point.

I do not wish to comment on your level of education in these matters in return.
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