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N54 Engine Intercooler Replacing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

N54 Engine Intercooler Replacing

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$400

Talent:

***

Tools:

T25 Torx driver, 8mm socket, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)

Parts Required:

Engine cooling fan, coolant reservoir vent hose

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine and clear DME fault codes when done

Performance Gain:

Correct intake mixture

Complementary Modification:

Inspect radiator and coolant hoses

By compressing engine intake air, the turbocharger also heats the air. The heated air can expand quickly after leaving the turbo unit. BMW E60 models with a turbocharged engine (N54 engine) utilize an intercooler, a heat exchanger, which cools the air compressed by the turbochargers before it enters the engine. Lowering the air temperature compresses it further and raises the air density. Increased intake air density allows for better fuel atomization, higher availability of oxygen for full combustion and better engine efficiency.

The intercooler is mounted below the radiator and behind the front bumper. This subjects it to impact from road debris and curbs or parking blocks. I have seen many damaged intercoolers from collisions and a few leaking from the manufacturing welds. If you have a hiss from your engine under boost or a fuel trim fault code that states the system is running rich, a faulty intercooler may be your problem.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove the engine splash shield.
Figure 1

Remove the engine splash shield. See our tech article on splash shields removing. The intercooler is mounted in the plastic housing shown (red arrow). If this is damaged, replace it.

Remove the left side charge air duct.
Figure 2

Remove the left side charge air duct. Using a flathead screwdriver, lever the charge air duct retaining clip (red arrow) out until it reaches the stop (inset).

Once the retaining clip is disengaged, pull the charge air duct off the intercooler connection.
Figure 3

Once the retaining clip is disengaged, pull the charge air duct off the intercooler connection. Be prepared with a rag to catch any dripping oil. There is always a small amount of oil in the lower charge air pipes.

Working at the right side of the intercooler, pull the lower hose (red arrow) out of the mount.
Figure 4

Working at the right side of the intercooler, pull the lower hose (red arrow) out of the mount.

Remove the right side charge air duct.
Figure 5

Remove the right side charge air duct. Using a flathead screwdriver, lever the charge air duct retaining clip (red arrow) out until it reaches the stop. Once the retaining clip is disengaged, pull the charge air duct off the intercooler connection. Be prepared with a rag to catch any dripping oil. There is always a small amount of oil in the lower charge air pipes.

Working at the center of the intercooler / bumper area, remove the four 8mm plastic flap fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 6

Working at the center of the intercooler / bumper area, remove the four 8mm plastic flap fasteners (red arrows). Then remove the four T25 Torx intercooler fasteners (blue arrows). Be sure to support the intercooler from below when removing the Torx fasteners.

Lower the intercooler with the plastic housing out of the front bumper.
Figure 7

Lower the intercooler with the plastic housing out of the front bumper.

Then separate the intercooler from the plastic housing.
Figure 8

Then separate the intercooler from the plastic housing. Place the new intercooler in the plastic housing. Be sure to inspect the plastic housing and confirm it is in good shape. Replace it if necessary. Install a new intercooler in the reverse order of removal. Be sure the charge air ducts are properly seated and the retaining clips are engaged. Listen for an audible click when installing. Reverse the steps for the remainder of the installation.


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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:40:34 AM