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  #1  
Old 11-23-2009, 10:32 PM
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DIY: Changing Oil & Filter in a 35d - new pics added

Tools Required:
17 mm socket w/ a breaker bar
1 1/4" socket w/ ratchet & short torque wrench. Its probably 32mm but I'm to cheap to buy metric sockets above 24mm
Long thin screw driver (approx 12in) - optional

Supplies:
8 Qts OEM Oil - Castrol SLX Professional OE 5W-30
1 OEM Filter kit w/ large oil filter cap O ring and small brass drain pan washer
1 empty 1 qt Yogurt container or 1 lb coffee can

Procedure:
1 - Warm up the engine to operating temp

Underneath-
2- Remove the ROUND plastic cover form the aluminum stiffener plate. You just press in on driver's side and it will hang straight down. But you can completely remove it by unhooking the other side to make it easier if you are not on a lift.
3- Position a min. 8 qt drain pan (a 10-12qt drain pan is much better) under the 17mm drain plug (AKA drain bolt) which drains straight down.
4- Remove the 17mm drain plug. It has nearly an inch of threads. So your fingers will get pretty hot unless you take a break mid way.
5- Let the engine drain. Keep the drain OPEN while you change the filter, because the filter canister holds an additional quart that does not appear to drain into the oil pan until you remove the filter

In the Engine compartment-.
6- Remove the plastic air tube on the drivers side (US) of the engine. This just clips off. But it helps to remove the front first. Then use a long thin screw driver to unhook the left under side clips BEFORE you unclip the easy ones to the upper right. These clips are symmetrical. Two on the upper right and two just like them on the lower left.
7- Unscrew the plastic oil filter cap using the 1 1/4" socket and ratchet. Unscrewing the cap is easier with a ratchet because the cap is connected to a long plastic 'cage' that goes through the paper oil filter. Even though the large O ring clears the housing pretty quickly there are two more small O rings at the bottom of the cage that remain 'engaged' until you completely unscrew the cap.
8 - Pull up the filter cap just a little and wait until the housing drains. Other wise the filter will be full of oil and make a mess on the second urea filler fitting.. Don't ask how i know
9- After the housing and filter has had a little time to drain, quickly pull the cap/filter/cage assembly out of the canister and into the empty coffee can.

At your workbench-
10- Remove the filter from the cap/cage assembly and clean the plastic parts.
11- Remove the old O ring and Install the new one. Its easier if you do this over the top of the cap
12- Install the filter over the cage until you hear it snap into place.

Back in the engine compartment-
13- Insert the Oil Filter/Cap/Cage assembly and hand tighten.
14- Use the 1 1/4" socket and ratchet to seat the O rings. Stop as soon as it meets any resistance.
15- Switch to the short torque wrench set to 25 Nm (roughly 220 in/lbs). It will probably click almost immediately. IMHO BMW marked the plastic cap at 25Nm to keep mechanics from over tightening this plastic cap.

Back underneath-
16- Clear away the drain pan and clean up any mess.
17- If the previous brass washer has stuck to the oil pan, remove it.
18- Install the drain plug with the new brass washer and tighten it 'snugly'. Snugly to me is pretty tight using a 3/8 Craftsman breaker bar. But your definition is as good as mine.
19- Replace the plastic cover.

Back in the engine compartment-
20- Fill the engine with 7 quarts of oil. Be sure to check the oil level with the dipstick. At 7 quarts the dipstick should show FULL.
21- Start the engine and let it idle a few minutes to fill the oil filter canister.
22- Shut off the engine and let it rest a few minutes before checking the oil using the dip stick which should show 1 qt low.
23- Fill till it reaches the full mark (should require 1 more quart). DO NOT OVERFILL. Diesel engines can self destruct if over filled. It is better to be a little too low than a little too full.
24- Replace the plastic air tube.
25- Run the engine for a few minutes and check for leaks.
26- If there are no leaks, you are entitled to a beer (or maybe more depending on the size of the mess you made)

Funf Dreisig

p.s. the picture of the new and old filters shows why BMW prints the oil filter part number in yellow

Edit: Added pics of air tube and the oil filter housing. The gray stuff over the filter housing that looks like cast aluminum in the pic is actually flexible foam rubber sound deadening material.
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Last edited by FunfDreisig; 11-24-2009 at 06:59 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-24-2009, 12:35 AM
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Excellent write-up, many thanks as I plan to do this is the next week or two!

FYI, I found that the petrol engine drain plug torque is 18 ft-lbs for a 17 mm plug(according to Pelican parts). But with that much thread, it would seem stripping it is probably not that much of a risk. Interestingly, I found that a 17 mm oil drain plug on a Mazda specifies 25 ft-lbs, 33 ft-lbs on a NSX, and a 17 mm plug on a Porsche is 37 ft-lbs. Quite a range!

Did you use ramps or a lift, or did you find enough room without? I have a sloping driveway, so I find I can back vehicles in, pull forward onto ramps, and end-up with the vehicle level.

Last edited by Penguin; 11-24-2009 at 12:41 AM.
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  #3  
Old 11-24-2009, 01:09 AM
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Very nice, thank you.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
..
FYI, I found that the petrol engine drain plug torque is 18 ft-lbs for a 17 mm plug(according to Pelican parts). But with that much thread, it would seem stripping it is probably not that much of a risk. Interestingly, I found that a 17 mm oil drain plug on a Mazda specifies 25 ft-lbs, 33 ft-lbs on a NSX, and a 17 mm plug on a Porsche is 37 ft-lbs. Quite a range!
The "oil pan" on the 35d is not sheet metal. It looks like cast iron but is probably a strong light alloy. And as you say with that much thread it would be hard to strip a 17mm bolt with a standard length 3/8 breaker bar. The plug was only "snug' from the factory. It easily broke loose with a light tug using the same breaker bar. BTW I use a breaker bar instead of a ratchet simply to make it easier to feel/judge the force required to remove & replace a bolt.

Quote:
Did you use ramps or a lift, or did you find enough room without? I have a sloping driveway, so I find I can back vehicles in, pull forward onto ramps, and end-up with the vehicle level.
I'm still building the 3 bay garage. The CFO has suggested that putting in a 2 post lift before installing the windows and doors is maybe a bit premature. Heaven knows I would not want the CFO thinking I would do anything prematurely

So I used 4 home made wooden "ramps" which raise a vehicle a whopping 3 inches. But this little extra height makes it so I can lay on my side instead of on my back. The "ramps" are simply scrap 2x12s cut with a 45 degree bevel at staggered lengths and screwed together from the TOP. A 4 wheel drive vehicle can drive up on them without pushing them forward. The only trick is not driving off the other side

FWIW this is one of the areas where you can actually feel & hear the "turbo lag" when coupled with an automatic. The 35d really revs up to be able to drive up a 1.5" high 45 degree "hill". By comparison our old 3.0L manual PathFinder gets up on these ramps without any high reving engine drama.

Funf Dreisig

Edit: added picture of filthy X5 wheel on a magnificently hand crafted X5 35d oil change lift. The gray block is not screwed down. I used it to form the ramp for the rear tires and then placed it 'behind' the front tires because the pitiful excuse for a parking brake on ALL E70 X5s does not actually hold the vehicle stationary where you apply the brake.

BTW this front wheel has been driven 4001 miles and only washed three times by the cheapest laser car wash option. And some of those miles were towing a couple of tons of sand, etc.. We don't baby our work truck
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Last edited by FunfDreisig; 11-24-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-02-2009, 06:30 PM
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Why BMW shouldn't have removed the dipstick from engines...


I changed the oil in the diesel today after 1300 miles (Many thanks for the DIY). Forgot to check the dipstick before changing the oil.

Measured what drained-out, and it was seven quarts. Put seven quarts in, ran the engine a bit, and the dipstick says it is down a little less than one quart.

Electronic oil level display says it is at MAX. Since it doesn't hurt to run the engine a bit one quart low, I drove around a little, maybe 10 miles total, with a coupe of stops. Electronic level gauge still says MAX, dipstick still says almost a quart low.

I suspect the electronic oil level uses some sort of averaging strategy so as to not give false readings when not on the level, but I wonder how long it would take for the oil level indicator to realize the oil level is not at MAX, but almost at MIN. I also wonder if that nice oil level bar is really a "bar," which shows oil level, or just a graphic and the actual oil level readings are either "MAX" or "MIN."

Anyone ever seen an electronic oil level reading in the display between MIN and MAX?
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penguin View Post
Why BMW shouldn't have removed the dipstick from engines........ I also wonder if that nice oil level bar is really a "bar," which shows oil level, or just a graphic and the actual oil level readings are either "MAX" or "MIN."

Anyone ever seen an electronic oil level reading in the display between MIN and MAX?
Our 35d was 1/2 quart low when i changed the oil. In fact, it had been about that low for a couple of weeks while I found the time and got the supplies together. The electronic oil level "meter' showed it FULL the whole time. IMO the oil level' bar graphic' is the fancy equivalent of what we used to call an "IDIOT light"* IOW it is either on or off (AKA Max or Min)

FWIW I'm guessing the oil level sensor is that plastic black box on the outside of the oil pan near the drain plug. If so, is that thing sensing the oil level remotely THROUGH the oil pan? Or is there another hole in that oil pan plugged with a plastic coated probe

Funf Dreisig

* BTW I still do.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:20 PM
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Well, I drove it around about 45 minutes in the country with it down almost a quart and lo and behold, after about 30 minutes of driving the oil level indicator dropped to where it was just above the MIN marker, about 1/8 of the way to the MAX marker. So... I guess it does provide some level indication, but must use an average of some longer time or miles to avoid false readings.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunfDreisig View Post
FWIW I'm guessing the oil level sensor is that plastic black box on the outside of the oil pan near the drain plug. If so, is that thing sensing the oil level remotely THROUGH the oil pan? Or is there another hole in that oil pan plugged with a plastic coated probe

Funf Dreisig
Yup, that's the sensor and it does go through another hole in the oil pan, at least if it's the same as on the petrol engines...
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:12 AM
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Oil Change

Does anyone know what the Castrol Syntec equivalent is to the OEM Castrol SLX Professional OE 5W-30? What I mean to say is, are we alright to use Syntec, or is the SLX professional one in the same?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 12-30-2009, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkinner View Post
Does anyone know what the Castrol Syntec equivalent is to the OEM Castrol SLX Professional OE 5W-30? What I mean to say is, are we alright to use Syntec, or is the SLX professional one in the same....
I don't know. BUT...
IMHO this is NOT where I would try to save a little cash. I bought my oil, filter etc. from my BMW dealer. If there is ever any question about whether I used the right oil, filter, etc. I can show them the invoice.

FWIW I am very conscious of anything that could possibly give a dealer or BMW an excuse not to honor the warranty. On our old E53 I installed a 3rd party battery. But I ended up having to replace it with a BMW battery a year later. Not because it was defective, but because the dealer would not even attempt to repair an electrical issue under warranty, unless the battery was a BMW approved part.

Funf Dreisig
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