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BMW DIY Video – Installing Koni Sport Shocks in E36 M3 – Cut a Strut

Jan 23 15

Here’s a DIY video, done by Koni’s Lee Grimes, showing the procedures for installing Koni Sport shocks on applications that require cutting and re-using the original front strut housings.  In these applications, Koni has not manufactured a complete replacement strut assembly, typically due to unavailability of the lower spring seat or some other part of the original housing.  In these cases, the original shock cartridge is removed by cutting the strut housing. The Koni insert is then installed into the empty strut housing.  This procedure may sound intimidating, but it’s really pretty simple, as the video will show.

The only BMW application that uses this “cut-a-strut” design is the E36 M3 (95-99).  The sport shocks do come with instructions detailing the steps for modification and installation.  This DIY video uses a Subaru strut/shock as the example, but the steps are identical to the E36 M3 application.

Click below for Koni Shocks:

Video used with permission; Koni NA


Bavarian Autosport

BMW DIY Videos – Replacing Spark Plugs and Coils, How To

Jan 9 15

Bavarian Autosport has produced a few DIY videos showing how to replace spark plugs and ignition coils on the Direct ignition (coil-on-plug) BMW engines.  Click the links below for Bavarian Autosport’s various DIY videos on replacing spark plugs and ignition coils:

BMW models with the early “bolt-on” direct ignition coils, used in various 3, 5, 7, 8, X and Z models from the early 1990s through early 2000s.
Click HERE for DIY video.
Applies to:
* 6-cylinder M50, M52, M54, S50, S52
* V8 M60, M62, S62

BMW models with the “pencil” style direct ignition coils.  Used on various 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, X and Z models from mid 2000s to current.
Click HERE for DIY video.
Applies to:
* 6-cylinder M54, M56, N51, N52, N54, N55
* V8 S65
* V10 S85

BMW 5,6,7 and X models with the N62 & N63 V8, Mid 2000s to current.
Click HERE for DIY video.
Applies to:
V8 N62 & N63

BMW and MINI Used Car Post-Purchase Maintenance and Inspection

Jan 7 15

One of the common requests for assistance, here at Bavarian Autosport, is how to properly care for a “new” used BMW or MINI purchase.  In other words, what (if any) maintenance should be performed that will assure a long and healthy life for the vehicle?

Making a used car “yours” may involve differing tasks and procedures depending on the mileage of the vehicle as well as the known or unknown vehicle use and maintenance history.  Vehicles with low mileage and a known history may require less initial maintenance.

Older vehicles with higher mileage (with or without documented history) will typically require a more intense preventative maintenance and inspection program in order to bring them up to a point where all scheduled and preventative maintenance is known to be current.

Let’s consider a common 60,000 to 100,000 mile vehicle that does not have a documented history of maintenance and repairs.  We will be using Otto’s Ultimate Maintenance Schedule to help in determining what areas should be addressed.  In the following notes, if any items are known to have been recently addressed, these can be deferred for the applicable time or mileage period until the next servicing is due.  Lower mileage and/or newer vehicles can be addressed in a similar, potentially deferred, manner in accordance with Otto’s Ultimate Maintenance Schedule.

Click HERE for Otto’s Ultimate Maintenance Schedules

1) With safety in mind, the first areas to address are inspections of the mechanical systems, specifically centering on the drivetrain, suspension, steering and brakes.  We absolutely want to be aware of the conditions of these systems before spending a lot of time on the road.  Failures in these areas can cause a minor inconvenience all the way to a major catastrophe.  It pays to spend a couple hours under and around the car to verify the current condition of these systems.  Click the link below for our DIY videos.

2)  Unless the vehicle has extremely low mileage and is nearly new (or shows history of recent maintenance), we always like to change all of the operating fluids.  The list below notes the various fluid changes.  Additionally, if you click on the items, we’ll take you to our DIY videos for these tasks.

While changing the engine oil, we also like to perform an initial application of the Liqui-Moly Engine Renewal Kit.  The kit includes the Engine Flush, Ceratec anti-friction treatment, Jectron fuel system cleaner and Ventil Sauber carbon cleaner.

The Engine Renewal Kit cleans up engine oil sludges and varnishing to assure proper piston ring sealing and oil flow, while the Ceratec protects bearings, pistons, cylinders and camshafts from long term wear and cold starts.  The Jectron and Ventil Sauber will assure proper injector spray patterns  and clean intake valves and combustion chambers.

Click HERE for more information on the Liqui-Moly Engine Renewal Kit.

3) After addressing the various fluids (some including filters), we’ll want to address the remaining filters.  These would include the fuel filter, engine air filter and the cabin air micro-filter.  Click the items below to go to our DIY articles for these tasks.

3) Next, we’ll address some of the maintenance areas that may not always be considered preventative maintenance.  However, failures of these parts or systems will typically result in a dead BMW or MINI …. at the most inopportune time.  This is why (from years of BMW and MINI experience) we recommend preventative maintenance for these systems.

4) Finally, we can address a few areas that may be in need of updated maintenance.  These  may not fall into the potential catastrophic failure category, but the vehicle will run more efficiently once the areas are addressed.

At this point we should feel very secure about our “new to me” BMW or MINI.  We should be able to drive many miles in confidence.  Continued adherence to the Ultimate Maintenance Schedule with keep our BMW or MINI running great and help to assure that we do not experience those unexpected “side of the road” adventures.

Bavarian Autosport