BMW E30 Restoration Project part 3

13 02 2009

Today we made a lot of progress on the project. So much so that we are starting to put things back together.


Remember the differential that was leaking? Well here it is all opened up. You can clearly see the ring gear, pinion and side gears. We had removed the back plate and given it a good flushing using diesel which I had bought a few days ago. Diesel makes for an excellent degreaser. Do not ever use water to wash out any of these parts. Thankfully I did not see any metal swarfs in the oil that came out of the unit. After letting the diesel drain out we had brought it in to reassemble it. We replaced the drive shaft seal and the mounting plate seal on both sides and put those parts back together. The back plate was also washed (again with only diesel) and left to dry. Tomorrow we are goign to attempt to change the gearbox mount which lives on this plate. If you look carefully at the flange where the back plate mounts onto the differential, you will se what are remnants of a paper gasket. I managed to remove most of it with my fingernails whilst I was flushing the “diff” but I could not get all of it out. Do not ever ever use a metal instrument to scrape the gasket out or it will score the mating surface. This will render the gearbox almost useless as it will leak like a sieve.  drive-shaft


Next we managed to pull aprt the drive shafts and had a look at the Constant Velocity joints or CV joints as they as popurlarly called. Tomorrow I intend to give these pieces a good clean before reaasembling them. Got to remember to buy a can of grease to repack these joints. These CV joints are protected from dirt and grime by a rubber boot that is installed ont he shafts over these units.  For those of you operating a car, you would do well to get down under the car and inspect these rubber boots from time to time. A torn boot will allow dirt and sand to contaminate the grease leading to a premature failure of these joints.

input-shaftEarlier on, after removing the backplate to the dfferential gearbox, we had a go at removing the drive input shaft in order to replace the seal. But we failed miserably and bent a rather large allen key in the process. I shall post some picture of the tool when I get a chance. We decided to build up the rest of the diferential and take it to a gearbox specialist for the replacement of this seal.



Above are some of the many tools we have used to carry out the work so far. Most of it belongs to my friend Beadon and some were loaned from an engineering outift nearby. A good set of quality tools is a prerequisite before you even plan to work on your own car. These set of tools cost approximately RM4000-5000. An equivalent set made by Snap-On would have cost in the region of RM12000!
The jackstand you see above is too high to fit under my car. The jacks we have now cannot lift my car high enough to allow the use of these 6 tonne jackstands. It will be used when we attempt to remve and service the main gearbox, so we will need to find a way to boost the height of the jacks themselves. For that i will be looking for a 2″ by 4″ piece of wood.

housekeepingBeadon left at about 8 p.m and I set about cleanng the tools and the floors of the house. When you deal with tools and machinery it is inevitable you and the area around you get looking like the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Housekeeping is a good habit to cultivate. This will ensure that you have a clean work space the next time to come back the your project. It also reduces the possiblity that you will lose some of the small bits and pieces. With that in mind, I collected all the tools we had used and wiped them down with a cloth dipped in diesel. Then the floors got the same treatment followed by soap and water. Finally before leaving the house I arranged the parts so I would know which side of the car they belong to. More to come in the following days.




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