Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Manifold Destiny

The nuts that hold the manifold on the M10 engine are notorious for coming loose and then leaking oil.  On my car two of the little critters recently started to leak. The first nut had visibly loosened itself; my attempts at re-tightening only worked for a couple of days.

1) Loose and leaking oil right on the manifold

The second nut wasn't so bad but if unattended will only get worse.

2) Also leaking

As I investigated the issue I discovered that BMW produced a newer one-piece gasket for later cars that you can use to replace the four individual gaskets.  This newer version incorporates a heat shield that helps protect the spark plug wires from nuclear fusion. Despite having an aluminum heat shield already installed - they say that most of these have disappeared from the engine bays over the years - it was recommended to use this all-in-one gasket.  So the metal heat shield will have to go away. As one helpful person suggested, "Throw it over the fence into your neighbor's pool."

I'll have to consider that.

3) The existing heat shield; at least the spark plug wires are already tucked to the side

To complete the task I ordered new studs and new copper nuts.  The combination seems counter-intuitive; combining two kinds of metal in the rig sounds like a recipe for electrolysis, but on the other hand, the car isn't in salt water (yet).  So I laid everything on the trunk, awaiting the day later in the week when the parts will be installed. 

Since the manifold has to be removed, I grabbed the extra down-pipe gasket I had lying around and will change that one, too.

4) Nice and neat

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