Monday, 21 December 2020

Season’s Greetings 2020 from BeemerLab!

It’s been a bit of a grim year this one, but still lockdown has given us some time off to fix, tune and fine fettle our BMWs (health permitting of course! And no, not me I had to work right through lockdown + big ups to all key workers who did so too), so I just wanted to thank the half-million readers who have taken advice from our blog over the last 12 months! 

It’s been a record-breaking year and not just for Covid statistics either, but for blog visits as well and it means a lot that my little info-base is still gathering readers. Thank you to everyone who left positive and encouraging comments and I wish you all a healthy, prosperous and hopefully Covid free 2021! 

Sunday, 20 December 2020

Late '90s BMW Crossover Concepts...

 A couple of interesting concepts here from the 1990s that you might not expect from BMW, but showing once again that they were well abreast of current trends and design cues that would become prevalent towards the end of that decade. 

The first, below, is this strange high-roofline runabout / city-car that seems to be a mix of Fiat's controversial Multipla and the bubble Nissan Micra that both came along soon after. This concept also pre-dates the BMW MINI (and the 1-Series) that arrived at the turn of the millennium and was perhaps the fore-concept of BMW's small car range after becoming aware of buyers desires for high-end hatch-backs following Audi's A3. Either way, it shows BMW were having a go at that small-car big-interior vibe that has now become the basic staple of small car design.

The next, below, is a compact, convertible, sports-car, SUV. Yes, BMW are covering a lot of bases with their concepts around this time and maybe, with this beast, trying to wrap too many trendy cars into one package. The high-clearance quasi-off-road look makes sense with the success of the then recently released X5, but in my opinion giving a taste of what would come along many years later, with a plethora of smaller, sportier SUVs like the X1, X3 and of course the X4 and X6 grand lifted coupes. Interestingly, this concept has integrated 'wrap-around' wheel-arches like the odd Chrysler PT Prowler retro sports-car from the late 90s, though without the open-wheel stance. Was this to pass certain road-laws but still give the high-clearance look of a 4x4? Perhaps these were removable if you were throwing knobbly-tyres on and going off-road?? I guess we will never know.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

BMW Bosch Fuel Injection System Trouble-Shooting Guide

No cold startFuel-pump fault or clogged fuel-filter
Additional air-valve not opening correctly
Start-valve not opening correctly
Leak in fuel system
Throttle-valve plate not opening correctly
Temp.-sensor fault
Diode-relay fault
Poor hot startAs above then:
Leaking / faulty injector
Heat/time switch fault
Poor idleBaffle-plate stop wrongly adjusted
Leak in Vacuum-system
Fuel-filter clogged
Mixture-adjustment incorrect
Backfire from engineWeak fuel mixture
Fuel pressure too low
Starter-valve leaking
Engine runs on after shut-offLeaking / faulty injector
Stiff/stuck baffle-plate
Stiff/stuck control-plunger
Excessive fuel consumptionControl pressure too low
Starter-valve leaking
Leak in fuel-system
Fuel mixture too rich
Heat/time switch fault
Idle-speed too highControl pressure incorrect
Additional air-valve stuck open
Baffle-plate stop wrongly adjusted

Detailed maintenance guide / diagrams in this post [L-Jetronic] -

Bosch K-Jetronic injection-system overview / diagram here -

Bosch L-Jetronic injection-system overview / diagram here -

Thursday, 3 December 2020

F10: Rear Shock Absorber / Strut / Spring Replacement [GUIDE]

Time to do the rear struts and springs on the 530d F10 this week as one damper has been leaking and while doing my tyres last week I noticed the spring has now broken at the bottom so this is now an urgent job. I picked up a pair of used complete struts (spring, damper and top-mount) from eBay for just £100. They are from another 530d and claim to be from a low mileage car. Well, they look a lot lower mileage than the ones I'm taking off lets put it that way and appear to be in pretty good condition. I get a lot of stick for constantly using second-hand genuine parts, but I still prefer this to buying new spurious parts where I can and have never had an issue!


* This is not a difficult or time-consuming job, but will require a bit of brute force. *

1. First the rear seats need to come out. Lift the seat squab up at the front and detach it from the push-studs, press the seat-belt receivers through the recesses and lift the squab out. Next lift the seat-back upwards until it is free of the hooks at the top and lift that out, being careful of the door-sill paintwork and sliding it through the seat-belts. [You could always unbolt the seat-belts at the base using a T45-Torx socket to make this easier, but it's not essential].

2. The parcel-shelf now needs to come down in order to access the strut-top mount bolts in the shock-turrets. Remove the C-pillar trims by prizing out the plastic caps labelled 'Airbag' from the trim and removing the screw using a T25-Torx socket. Now carefully pull away the C-pillar trims and put to one side. Remove the five push-pin clips from the front edge of the parcel-shelf by levering the button in the centre upwards and pulling the plastic pin out. The studs can now be levered out. The parcel-shelf is now free to pull forwards and can be rested where the seat-back would be. [Remove the wiring-connectors to the speakers, but these should pop out by themselves anyway].

3. Lift the car and remove the corresponding wheel. [There is no need to be getting under the car for this job, so a jack and axle-stand is fine].

4a. The track-strut (pictured) needs to be moved out of the way to access the bottom strut bolt so first remove the plastic clips holding the E-brake wire-harness to the track-strut by levering them open at the bottom with a flathead-screwdriver and separating them from the strut. The wire-harness can be moved out of the way.

4b. Remove the bolt holding the inner end of the track-strut using an 18mm wrench. Pull the track-strut down and rotate it so it is pointing out of the wheel-arch. You now have plenty of room to get at the bottom strut bolt and lift the shock out.

5. Remove the bolt holding the bottom of the strut to the hub using a 21mm wrench.

6. Lift the triangle flap in the foam underneath where the parcel-shelf was to expose the studs to the strut-top mount and remove the three nuts using a 13mm wrench.

7. Wiggle the bottom of the strut free from the hub and the entire strut assembly is now free to be removed. It should be able to be lowered through the remaining suspension parts and to the rear of the car until it is free to be removed.


8. Make sure the new strut has the top-mount in line with the old one you removed by lying them next to each other and checking the bottom bolt-eyelet and triangle marking on the top-mount match up. [The triangle marking on the top-mount should face towards the back of the car with the bolt-eyelet facing the centre, or with the triangle marking facing you the bolt-eyelet should be pointing to the right for O/S (right-side) and left for N/S (left-side)].

9. Lift the new strut back up through the suspension and line it up into the strut-turret. [Triangle marking on top-mount facing rear of car] and screw the three 13mm nuts back on a few threads.

10. Lever the hub downwards until it meets the bolt-eyelet at the bottom of the strut meets its recess on the hub and screw the 21mm bolt back in about half-way.

11. Fully tighten the three 13mm nuts on the strut-top mount.

12. Fully tighten the 21mm bolt through the bottom of the strut.

13. Replace the track-strut / wheel as a reversal of steps 3 and 4.

14. If you are doing both sides then repeat steps 3 - 13 for the opposite side.

15. Replace the parcel-shelf, trim and rear seat as a reversal of steps 1 and 2.

Sunday, 29 November 2020

E81 120d M-Sport: New springs and dampers!

Sean at work has a 1er with nearly 200k miles on the clock, through you would never tell as most of the parts have been replaced since he got it for a mere £700. Yes, you can get a zippy M-Sport 120d for this price, but unless you are willing to get your hands dirty I wouldn't recommend it. Of course, you probably are willing to do that or you wouldn't be here in the first place, so go sick there are bargains out there!

This time it's having new rear springs and dampers as one has leaked all of its fluid and is jammed in position. The opposite side was constantly hitting the bump-stop. She rides good now.

Wednesday, 25 November 2020

F10 530d: 4 new Run Flat tyres (Goodyear Excellence 255/55/17)

 My run-flats that came with the F10 have been run practically, well, flat. They were an advisory on my previous MOT and the last 12 months have not been kind to them with the F seeing a fair bit of use and the two rears are about 1mm from the wear bar, so with the next test looming its time to throw some fresh rubber on.

I went for the same, like-for-like Goodyear Excellence that were fitted when I picked the car up, in 255 / 55 / 17 size. I'm not sure if these are standard fit from BMW, but it's what the police were running on it for high-speed pursuit, so they will do for me and my mainly sedate driving style...

They aren't cheap kit. Even with a discount through work I was quoted £233 for two new tyres and I needed four. This price I would consider prohibitive just for new rubber when I can get four new regular tyres for as little as £100 the lot, but the Goodyear is what I wanted so I went for used tyres. Well, they are hardly used, with the set I bought having 7mm+ of tread left and a 2019 DOT code. Three of them have a puncture repair in the tread, but even so the deal I got was too good to turn down... £250 for all four!

Run Flats or normal tyres??

I've grown used to these Goodyear tyres over the last five years, though they would not be my first choice in normal circumstances. The grip, noise and ride are all pretty good and I've had a decent run out of them given the amount of tread left when I bought the car. They have suffered two punctures during that time and this is where the Run Flats show their worth. The first I repaired straight away, but on the other occasion I ended up driving for four days and covered 75 miles on a tyre with zero PSI, yes that's ZERO air in it and to be honest the tyre still performed perfectly and there car drove as normal. OK I would NEVER recommend anyone doing this, but yes they work and are worth the extra money they cost! The downside of this convenience is the harsh, bumpy ride due to the reinforced side-walls. This may be a big factor on low-profile tyres, for instance I had 18" alloys on my E60 with Run Flats and the ride was pretty harsh, and I would imagine it gets even worse for 19" and 20" with tiny side-walls, but with my current 17 inch rims with a 55 profile side-wall the ride is actually very good, so this argument becomes negligible! 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

F10 530d: Cleaning up the 17” Cromodora alloys...

Thought I would give the 17 inch Cromodora alloys a quick clean while the tyres were off for replacement. I can't imagine they have been cleaned inside the rim in the car's entire 170,000 miles. I jet-washed them, gave them a liberal coating of Autosmart Ali-Shine (it's basically 'wheel acid') and jet-washed them again, thats it. You can see they have had a bit of a hard life, but I have to say for that mileage they haven't come up half bad!