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  #1  
Old 11-16-2016, 02:07 PM
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Stiffening plate removal / reinstallation

I'm in the process of investigating a potential new oil leak, and looking at the necessity of removing the stiffening plate to see where the oil is coming from. I know I have weeping power steering lines, which I intend to replace over the Thanksgiving weekend. I have also seen what appears to be oil on the ground, dripping from the front opening in the stiffening plate. What I'm curious about is, could this fluid dripping from this front opening simply be old oil (from previous oil leaks which I fixed), being mixed with ATF from my power steering lines, since the foam on top of the stiffening plate can hold quite a bit of oil itself?

Now my question: I understand the bolts for the stiffening plate are one-time-use, torque to yield bolts. Should I also buy new nuts for these bolts?

Any advice / tips on removal and replacement of the stiffening plate is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Please only feedback if you've replaced the bolts / nuts for your stiffening plate. I understand this is a matter of personal preference, and have no desire whatsoever to re-start the argument of whether this is necessary. Having worked in the plant where my X was built for nearly 15 years, I have my own opinion on the matter, and feel no obligation to argue the point. Thanks.
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2003 E53 3.0i
DOB 10/15/2002
Sienna red, Savannah Beige Dakota leather
Type FA53, Engine M54B30

2017 F25 35i
DOB 9/12/2016
Alpine White / Saddle Brown Nevada leather
Engine N55

Last edited by luvmy03E53; 11-16-2016 at 02:30 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2016, 02:54 PM
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I would be more than interested to hear your opinion on this Gary - even if it means using different bolts and nuts on reassembly (i.e. Replacing with non one time use units)
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  #3  
Old 11-16-2016, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy03E53 View Post
EDIT: Please only feedback if you've replaced the bolts / nuts for your stiffening plate. I understand this is a matter of personal preference, and have no desire whatsoever to re-start the argument of whether this is necessary. Having worked in the plant where my X was built for nearly 15 years, I have my own opinion on the matter, and feel no obligation to argue the point. Thanks.
That prediction that made you do that edit, is spot on.

It is only the bolts that are supposed to strech when tightened to torque spec. not the nuts. So i would assume that you could re-use the nuts.
That been said, if i were convinced that i needed to replace the bolts, i would go all the way and replace the nuts too.

When you remove & replace the plate, you will notice that there isn't much space to get your tools in place. But with a little fidgeting it is a relatively easy task.
Make sure you have enough working space under the car to loosen the old and tighten the new bolts with quite a bit of torque. (stage 1: 56 Nm, stage 2: +90 degrees)

Edit:
I almost forgot.. If you find that pesky oil leak, please let us know where it was.
I have that same oil drip from the front of my pan.
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Last edited by Freestyler; 11-16-2016 at 03:19 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-16-2016, 03:18 PM
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RB, the car was designed with TTY bolts for a reason. I'm not privy to the design reasoning for this, nor do I wish to be. I'm an electrical engineer by degree, not a mechanical engineer, so such topics are beyond my education and experience.

I have no problem replacing all 6 bolts and nuts, and I'm only really curious about whether the nuts should be replaced as well.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions are always welcome. Flames > /dev/null
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2003 E53 3.0i
DOB 10/15/2002
Sienna red, Savannah Beige Dakota leather
Type FA53, Engine M54B30

2017 F25 35i
DOB 9/12/2016
Alpine White / Saddle Brown Nevada leather
Engine N55
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  #5  
Old 11-16-2016, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy03E53 View Post
I'm in the process of investigating a potential new oil leak, and looking at the necessity of removing the stiffening plate to see where the oil is coming from. I know I have weeping power steering lines, which I intend to replace over the Thanksgiving weekend. I have also seen what appears to be oil on the ground, dripping from the front opening in the stiffening plate. What I'm curious about is, could this fluid dripping from this front opening simply be old oil (from previous oil leaks which I fixed), being mixed with ATF from my power steering lines, since the foam on top of the stiffening plate can hold quite a bit of oil itself?

Now my question: I understand the bolts for the stiffening plate are one-time-use, torque to yield bolts. Should I also buy new nuts for these bolts?

Any advice / tips on removal and replacement of the stiffening plate is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: Please only feedback if you've replaced the bolts / nuts for your stiffening plate. I understand this is a matter of personal preference, and have no desire whatsoever to re-start the argument of whether this is necessary. Having worked in the plant where my X was built for nearly 15 years, I have my own opinion on the matter, and feel no obligation to argue the point. Thanks.
I have found that a short stubby 16mm wrench works best for removing the stiffening plate.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is View Post
I have found that a short stubby 16mm wrench works best for removing the stiffening plate.
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Type FA53, Engine M54B30

2017 F25 35i
DOB 9/12/2016
Alpine White / Saddle Brown Nevada leather
Engine N55
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:30 PM
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I use an offset box end wrench to get the nuts off. It's long enough that I can wedge it against something and just remove the bolts with a ratchet.
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2016, 04:42 PM
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I have done this twice. A second set of hands to hold the lower wrench is the issue as the bolt faces upwards (nut on top of the plate). If you use a long ratchet handle it is real easy. Replacement is a challenge as you need to hold 23# of plate up as you install the first one. Hence the second set of arms/hands solution.

I voted to replace both nuts and bolts.

Oil leak will be Alt/Oil filter housing and P/S hoses. God help you if it is the oil pan too.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmy03E53 View Post
RB, the car was designed with TTY bolts for a reason. I'm not privy to the design reasoning for this, nor do I wish to be. I'm an electrical engineer by degree, not a mechanical engineer, so such topics are beyond my education and experience.

I have no problem replacing all 6 bolts and nuts, and I'm only really curious about whether the nuts should be replaced as well.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions are always welcome. Flames > /dev/null
I'm in agreement Gary for sure - I would replace the nuts and bolts when tightening the stiffening plate, pretty sure when my front suspension was replaced the guy re-used them and I've had the slightest bit of shimmy ever since -

And I also agree with Stephen, hoping its just your PS hoses but didn't you say you did your OFHG last year? If not, that's probably it - and God help you, like he said, if its the oil pan
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2003 X5 3.0i 5-Speed - Born on 9/18/2003
93k miles -Topaz Blue/Schwarz/Titan Int. Trim/EHCII/Sport
OEM+ with plenty of Lighting Mods
Proud 3-Pedal owner, UUC/AFE/4.8iS Exhaust/Sharked
2013 X5 35D (CEO's) - Born on 5/17/2013 -
42k miles - Alpine White/Cinnamon Brown/Premium Pkg, Sport Activity/Premium Pkg and Sound/20" Style 214/Running Boards

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  #10  
Old 11-16-2016, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenVA View Post
Oil leak will be Alt/Oil filter housing and P/S hoses. God help you if it is the oil pan too.
I did the OFHG and VCG about 2 years ago, and from what I can see from underneath (without the stiffening plate removed), the oil isn't coming from either of those places. I intend to fix the weeping PS lines first and see if the spots on the driveway stop appearing. Back when I had oil leaks before, I'm sure a lot of oil collected in the foam on top of the stiffening plate. I'm hoping this time it's a case of PS fluid making it way onto the plate and mixing with the old oil, then dripping from the front hole in the plate.
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2003 E53 3.0i
DOB 10/15/2002
Sienna red, Savannah Beige Dakota leather
Type FA53, Engine M54B30

2017 F25 35i
DOB 9/12/2016
Alpine White / Saddle Brown Nevada leather
Engine N55
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