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  #41  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:05 AM
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Laying flat on my back, with just enough room to get my arm to slide between the belly plate and my head, it took me about an hour (including the 15 minutes trying to fish out a dropped nut) to get the 6 bolts in place.

There has to be a much better way of doing this. Whoever designed this is a sadist.

I am stretching my sore, wet, back while I contemplate getting the nuts tightened. I will have to check this site and the web to find the torque specs.

I guess designing a system where these nuts were semi-captive would have cost a bit more, but god it would have helped.

I am also assuming that having the car up in the air would help too. I gotta dig that pit in my garage.

I decided that with others having experience that the bolds can successfully be reused and the fact that the car has 137K miles and it is likely I will have to drop the pan again soon, I decided to reuse my bolts.
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  #42  
Old 05-17-2017, 11:52 AM
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In fact, I just figured out how to locate the nuts before attaching the plate.

Get 6 "T" shaped plastic dowels with a head ("nut locator"). The dowel has to be thin enough to slide through the nut without binding, but also tight enough that the nut will not be able to move much laterally, and long enough to go through the nut, the car frame, and the belly plate.
  1. Push each of these locators through the nuts
  2. and put each in place on the frame
  3. use your jack to push the belly plat into position, threading it's mounting holes through the locator
  4. once the plate is in place it should be easier to hold the nut in place (rather than trying to find the right place to hold the nut) until you can get the threads started
  5. as you thread the bolt, allow the locator to slide up and out of the way of the bolt as it is being threaded.

Of course I haven't tried this (mine are now located after an hour of contorting my arm), but I would be curious to see if this works for anyone.
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  #43  
Old 05-17-2017, 12:37 PM
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Solution is almost always the right tool. Now that you have experienced the job suggest you search out the tool(s) you will need the next time. I expect the reason the nuts are not secured to the plate is the BMW position they should be replaced each time the plate is removed.

I will be removing the plate soon and will note what tool I use and how I do it. I don't have difficulty anymore and hold it up there without assistance of any kind. Not bragging, it's only because of repetition.
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  #44  
Old 05-17-2017, 03:53 PM
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The suggestion on this site that people use a stubby is a good one. But I believe, not the best.

In fact I found that the stubby 16mm worked well on only one of the nuts.

For the passenger side, I found that the nut was best held in place with a 6" 16mm flair nut wrench with no offset, while the driver side was secured best by a deep offset 7" long combination.

After doing the job, my best guess is that the job should be done with a 12" or so long flat wrench that maybe has a slight offset. With a wrench like this, you can reach and hold all six nuts from the central oil change hole.

As for the "solution is always the right tool," while I agree with that, my drawing is not about a tool to tighten, but a tool to locate. Even if I discover what tool BMW recommends for tightening, the problem I was addressing was simply getting the nut into the right location. No matter what tool you use, getting the nuts there with big hands is extremely difficult.

The locator tool that I will make for myself next time I need to replace those nuts allows the nuts to be put into place easily without any contorting and without the nut being accidentally knocked out of place once one of the bolts has been secured (thus preventing the fishing expeditions ).

Now that I think further on the matter, this "tool" can easily be made using a keyhole saw, a 1/4" drill bit, and a length of 1/4" dowel.

I'd be curious to know any results if you give it a try.
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  #45  
Old 05-18-2017, 06:49 PM
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Started the car today and let it get up to operating temperature. Tomorrow I will take a cruise to the supermarket.

Thanks to all for the input and the help.

Edit:

I thought about it and decided there's no time like the present. I took it out, ran up and down the neighborhood waiting for operating temp... Then I ran the 45 MPH road outside the hood a couple times got out and checked for leaks.

Finally, I jumped on the highway and ran up down, exceeded the speed limit for a while, the temperature stayed steady. Thanks again BCRedLiner, for slowing me down before I removed the intake mani.

As for the chassis, feels just as solid as always. In fact, I haven't driven the X for about two months. I hit a couple hot exit and entrance ramps that I love and I stabbed the brakes hard a few times. No shimmies, no shakes, no creaks, no pops.

My new plans for tomorrow are to clean my tools and my work area, the garage floor, and wash and wax the X then prepare to pull the engine in the RX7-FD.
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Last edited by blktoptrvl; 05-18-2017 at 07:35 PM.
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  #46  
Old 05-18-2017, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
The suggestion on this site that people use a stubby is a good one. But I believe, not the best.
I can't comment on how access is on the V8s - but on my I6 (3.0d) access to the six nuts is not an issue. BUT, I did remove both front wheels and all the Tupperware from the lower wheel arches. That gives you (and your helper) all the access to the nuts you could ever want and allows the use of a number of different tools.

The only nut requiring any special technique is the front right side and there is a special access hole in the stiffening plate for just this task - a standard ring spanner (along with your hand) slips in there with ease.

YMMV and clearly it does!
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