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The Infamous Alternator Bracket Oil Leak on the E65 BMW 7-Series
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

The Infamous Alternator Bracket Oil Leak on the E65 BMW 7-Series

Steve Vernon

Time:

10 hours10 hrs

Tab:

$5

Talent:

****

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, Torx drivers and female Torx socket set, 10mm-17mm socket and wrenches, wrench set, flathead screw driver, (engine hoist: optional, but recommended)

Applicable Models:

BMW E65 7-Series (2002-08)

Parts Required:

Alternator gasket, power steering fluid

Hot Tip:

Rent an engine hoist

Performance Gain:

Stop pouring oil into your engine only to watch it weep out

Complementary Modification:

New power steering fluid

Alright, I know what you are thinking! Who designs an engine with a hole in it that does nothing, seal the hole with a $5 gasket that leaks, and requires removing several engine components, along with the engine mount, and 8 to ten hours of labor to replace? If you purchased a 2004- 2009 BMW with an eight cylinder engine and have just found out the dealership wants between $1,400.00 and $2,200.00 to replace a $5 gasket you are probably not happy. Seriously, someone had to get fired over this! This is one of the reasons that a car that once sold for over $100,000.00 a few years ago can now be had for less than $20,000.00.

If you are going to do this job yourself, there are a few things you need to know going in. First, you are going to be removing the driver side engine mount, so you are going to have to support the engine. I highly recommend you rent or borrow an engine hoist. While you can support the engine from below on a jack, doing so requires removing the dynamic drive, also it is going to get fairly crowded under the car, and if you can lift and support the engine from the top, it will give you more room to work below. If you are saving over a thousand dollars on labor, spend $50 and rent a hoist, it will make the job much easier and save you time in the long run.

Next, don't be in a rush! You are going to be removing bolts that are in hard to reach places and you DO NOT want to strip them. If you strip them, the engine has to be taken out of the car to fix it, so take your time and work methodically.

Warnings aside, if you are comfortable working on your car, have the right tools, and a level place to work you can do this job yourself and save a ton of money.

Let's begin.

First loosen the driver side tire. Safely lift and support the vehicle. Get the vehicle as high as you safely can to give yourself as much room to work as possible. Please see or article on safely raising and supporting your BMW. Remove the driver side tire. (I removed the tire to give me more room to work, it is a really tight fit in there.)

Go to the trunk and disconnect the battery making sure the cable can not accidentally make contact with the terminal while you are working.

Open the hood and remove the upper front engine covers. Next you want to remove the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor connector, the air duct and the top of the filter housing.

The MAF connector just unplugs from the sensor housing in the air duct, the actual sensor stays in the air duct. Use a flat head screw driver and loosen the clamp connecting the air duct to the intake duct. Unplug the breather hose going in to the side of the air box cover, squeeze it together and pull it off. Unclip the air boxes two clips and slide the top of the box back and up. Pull the air duct from the intake, taking care that you don't damage the overflow reservoir line or rip the rubber boot connecting the ducts. Leave the actual sensor in the air duct and take care that nothing comes in contact with the sensor surface.

Next you will remove the front cross member covers so you can get the cooling fan and cowl out. On the 7-Series there are eight Torq screws holding the metal plate over the radiator on. Using a T30 remove them and lift the plate off. With the plate off you will see a plastic cover over the radiator and shroud. Use a T27 and remove the five Torx screws holding it on. Unclip the overflow tube and remove the cover.

Move to the fan and shroud. Unplug the two electrical connectors for the AUC and fan motor at the top passenger side. Raise the fan housing up about an inch and fold in the retaining tab on the driver side of the fan housing, this will help it clear the bay. With the tab folded in lift the shroud straight up and out.

Remove the drive belt by placing a T60 Torx socket in the drive belt tensioner. Turn the tensioner clockwise. This will release the tension on the belt and allow you to remove it. If you are reusing the belt make sure you mark the rotation direction before removing it. There is a small hole on the lower part of the tensioner between the bolt and pulley that you can place a pin into to lock the tensioner in place if you are working by yourself. The belt can be quit stubborn to get on and off at the best of times, let alone if you are trying to do it yourself while holding a wrench on the tensioner.

Now you need to remove the alternator. There are two bolts that hold it to the front of the engine, and two electrical connections on the side. The electrical connects are much easier to get access to and remove if you unbolt the alternator first. Remove the 13mm and 16mm bolts from the front and slide the alternator forward, then remove the connector and cable from the side of the alternator. Do not let the alternator hang from the cables at any time.

You are going to have to remove the power steering pump from the alternator bracket and hang it out of the way. I recommend draining the fluid from the reservoir and disconnecting the line from the reservoir to the pump, but leaving the lines out from the pump to the steering system intact. Removing the input line from the reservoir will give you more room to swing the pump out of the way and therefore give you more room to work. You are going to be lying under the car at this point and the bracket is behind the pump, so the more room you have to reach in there and work the easier the job will be. It will only take a minute to drain and separate the line and doing so can save you a ton of frustration later. Just do not forget to refill it with new clean fluid, do not re use the old fluid when you put it back together.

Begin by using a turkey baster to drain as much fluid as possible from the reservoir, place a large catch pan under the car and have something smaller to catch the fluid that will be in the hose. It is easier to separate and reconnect the hose from the bottom of the reservoir than from the pump itself. Use a flat head screw driver and loosen the hose clamp, prepare a small catch container to collect the fluid in the hose. I cut the top off a small disposable water bottle and it worked great. With your catch bottle in hand pull the hose from the reservoir and catch the remaining fluid from the reservoir in the bottle, carefully turn the hose upside down and pour the fluid from the hose into the bottle. With the hose empty remove the two bolts holding the pump to the alternator bracket and engine. Swing the pump out from the engine and tie it and the hoses up somewhere safe out of the way. You will now have access to the alternator bracket.

Remove the belt drive tensioner using a 17mm socket and breaker bar.

You are going to be removing the engine mount so you need to support the engine and have the ability to raise and lower it. Move back to the top of the engine and remove the top cover. It is held in place by four T27 Torx screws. Remove the screws and pull the cover off the top of the engine. With the cover off you will see the engine lift point (eye hook) at the front of the driver side cylinder bank. Attach your hoist to the eye hook and lift the hoist until it takes the weight of the engine. Move back down under the car to the alternator bracket.

There are nine bolts (including the engine mounts) holding the alternator bracket to the engine. At the front of the engine you will need to remove two 13mm bolts along with a T45 Torx bolt.

On the side the engine mount is attached to the alternator bracket and engine by four E12 Torx bolts, they are basically female Torx bolts. You will need to get the proper socket to remove these. DO NOT attempt to remove these with anything other than the proper socket, failure to do so may result in stripping the bolts and you do not want to do that.

The two bolts on the front are relatively easy to get access to while the ones on the rear are more difficult. You will need an assortment of universal joints and extensions to access the rear bolts through the wheel well. After you have removed the four bolts holding the mount to the engine, remove the single bolt holding the mounting arm to the mount. Raise the engine enough to remove the mounting arm.

There are now two remaining bolts holding the bracket to the engine. Remove the 13mm and 16mm blots and gently pull the alternator bracket away from the engine. There are two guide tubes on the engine that the bracket sits in so you can not pull it off towards the front of the engine.

Take the alternator bracket to your bench, clean it up and replace the gasket. Give the engine block area around the bracket a good cleaning. Make sure you do not get anything inside the holes in the block as it goes directly into the engine.

Installation is the reverse of removal. Don't forget to refill your power steering fluid.

Congratulations you saved yourself a lot of money.

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Open the compartment in the trunk, on the passenger side, behind the rear wheel.
Figure 1

Open the compartment in the trunk, on the passenger side, behind the rear wheel. Remove the jack and disconnect the ground cable (green arrow) from the battery, making sure that it can not accidentally come back in contact with the battery terminal.

After removing the front engine covers, remove the MAF sensor connector.
Figure 2

After removing the front engine covers, remove the MAF sensor connector. Simple squeeze it together and pull it out of the housing (yellow arrow). Use a flat head screw driver and loosen the clamp (red arrow) connecting MAF duct to the intake tube.

Unplug the breather hose (yellow arrow) going in to the side of the air box cover, squeeze it together and pull it off.
Figure 3

Unplug the breather hose (yellow arrow) going in to the side of the air box cover, squeeze it together and pull it off. Unclip the air boxes two clips (red arrows).

Slide the top of the box back and up.
Figure 4

Slide the top of the box back and up. Pull the air duct from the intake, taking care that you don't damage the overflow reservoir line (green arrow) or rip the rubber boot (yellow arrow) connecting the ducts. Leave the actual sensor in the air duct and take care that nothing comes in contact with the sensor surface.

Remove the front cross member covers so you can get the cooling fan and cowl out.
Figure 5

Remove the front cross member covers so you can get the cooling fan and cowl out. On the 7 series there are eight Torq screws (yellow arrows) holding the metal plate over the radiator on, use a T30 remove them and lift the plate off.

Use a T27 and remove the five Torx screws (red arrows) holding the plastic radiator cover on.
Figure 6

Use a T27 and remove the five Torx screws (red arrows) holding the plastic radiator cover on. Unclip the overflow tube (green arrow) and remove the cover.

Unplug the two electrical connectors for the AUC (yellow arrow) and fan motor (red arrow) at the top passenger side.
Figure 7

Unplug the two electrical connectors for the AUC (yellow arrow) and fan motor (red arrow) at the top passenger side.

Raise the fan housing up about an inch (red arrows) and fold in the retaining tab on the driver side of the fan housing, this will help it clear the bay.
Figure 8

Raise the fan housing up about an inch (red arrows) and fold in the retaining tab on the driver side of the fan housing, this will help it clear the bay. With the tab folded in lift the shroud straight up and out. Watch for the over flow tube (yellow arrow).

This photo illustrates the fan and shroud out of the engine bay, you can see how the passenger side clip (red arrow) is fixed and the driver side clip folds (yellow arrow).
Figure 9

This photo illustrates the fan and shroud out of the engine bay, you can see how the passenger side clip (red arrow) is fixed and the driver side clip folds (yellow arrow).

Remove the drive belt by placing a T60 Torx socket in the drive belt tensioner.
Figure 10

Remove the drive belt by placing a T60 Torx socket in the drive belt tensioner. Turn the tensioner clockwise. This will release the tension on the belt and allow you to remove it. If you are reusing the belt make sure you mark the rotation direction before removing it. There is a small hole on the lower part of the tensioner between the bolt and pulley that you can place a pin into to lock the tensioner in place if you are working by yourself.

Remove the 13mm and 16mm bolts (red arrows) from the front and slide the alternator forward, then remove the connector and cable from the side of the alternator.
Figure 11

Remove the 13mm and 16mm bolts (red arrows) from the front and slide the alternator forward, then remove the connector and cable from the side of the alternator. Do not let the alternator hang from the cables at any time.

You can see the battery cable (red arrow) and electrical connector (yellow arrow) connected in the engine bay.
Figure 12

You can see the battery cable (red arrow) and electrical connector (yellow arrow) connected in the engine bay.

13
Figure 13

This photo shows the alternator removed from the engine, you can see where the battery strap (red arrow) and the electrical connector (yellow arrow) go and see how easier it is to remove them with the alternator partially out of the engine

Use a turkey baster to drain as much fluid as possible from the power steering reservoir, place a large catch pan under the car and have something smaller to catch the fluid that will be in the hose.
Figure 14

Use a turkey baster to drain as much fluid as possible from the power steering reservoir, place a large catch pan under the car and have something smaller to catch the fluid that will be in the hose.

Use a flat head screw driver and loosen the hose clamp, prepare a small catch container to collect the fluid in the hose.
Figure 15

Use a flat head screw driver and loosen the hose clamp, prepare a small catch container to collect the fluid in the hose. I cut the top off a small disposable water bottle and it worked great. With your catch bottle in hand pull the hose from the reservoir (red arrow) and catch the remaining fluid from the reservoir in the bottle, carefully turn the hose upside down and pour the fluid from the hose into the bottle.

With the hose empty remove the power steering pump (red arrow) from the engine, there are two bolts holding the pump to the alternator bracket and engine.
Figure 16

With the hose empty remove the power steering pump (red arrow) from the engine, there are two bolts holding the pump to the alternator bracket and engine. Swing the pump out from the engine and tie it and the hoses up somewhere safe out of the way. You will now have access to the alternator bracket. PLEASE NOTE: Some models have a 6mm Allen head bolt behind the power steering pump that must be removed before the pump can slide forward. 

Remove the belt drive tensioner using a 17mm socket (green arrow) and breaker bar.
Figure 17

Remove the belt drive tensioner using a 17mm socket (green arrow) and breaker bar.

Move back to the top of the engine and remove the top cover, it is held in place by four T27 Torx screws.
Figure 18

Move back to the top of the engine and remove the top cover, it is held in place by four T27 Torx screws. Remove the screws (green arrows) and pull the cover off the top of the engine.

With the cover off you will see the engine lift point (eye hook, red arrow) at the front of the driver side cylinder bank.
Figure 19

With the cover off you will see the engine lift point (eye hook, red arrow) at the front of the driver side cylinder bank. I loosened the ERG hose (green arrow) to help clear the hook.

Attach your hoist to the eye hook and lift the hoist until it takes the weight of the engine.
Figure 20

Attach your hoist to the eye hook and lift the hoist until it takes the weight of the engine.

At the front of the engine you will need to remove two 13mm bolts along with a T45 Torx bolt (red arrow) that hold the alternator bracket to the front of the engine.
Figure 21

At the front of the engine you will need to remove two 13mm bolts along with a T45 Torx bolt (red arrow) that hold the alternator bracket to the front of the engine.

On the side the engine mount is attached to the alternator bracket and engine by four E12 Torx bolts, they are basically female Torx bolts (red arrows, two shown).
Figure 22

On the side the engine mount is attached to the alternator bracket and engine by four E12 Torx bolts, they are basically female Torx bolts (red arrows, two shown). You will need to get the proper socket to remove these. DO NOT attempt to remove these with anything other than the proper socket, failure to do so may result in stripping the bolts and you do not want to do that. The two bolts on the front are relatively easy to get access to while the ones on the rear are more difficult. You will need an assortment of universal joints and extensions to access the rear bolts through the wheel well. After you have removed the four bolts holding the mount to the engine, remove the single bolt holding the mounting arm to the mount. Raise the engine enough to remove the mounting arm.

This photo shows the removal of the bottom forward Torx bolt (green arrow).
Figure 23

This photo shows the removal of the bottom forward Torx bolt (green arrow). You can see how little room there is to get at things and this is the easy side.

Here is the engine mounting arm removed from the vehicle.
Figure 24

Here is the engine mounting arm removed from the vehicle.

This photo shows the alternator mounting bracket with everything removed up to this point.
Figure 25

This photo shows the alternator mounting bracket with everything removed up to this point. There are now two remaining bolts holding the bracket to the engine. Remove the 13mm and 16mm blots and gently pull the alternator bracket away from the engine.

Shown here is the infamous alternator bracket gasket (red arrow) remove the old one, clean everything up, install the new gasket and you are ready to put it all back together.
Figure 26

Shown here is the infamous alternator bracket gasket (red arrow) remove the old one, clean everything up, install the new gasket and you are ready to put it all back together.

This photo shows the lower engine block with the alternator gasket removed.
Figure 27

This photo shows the lower engine block with the alternator gasket removed. The red arrows show the oil passage holes that the gasket seals, while the yellow arrow shows the guide tubes on the block. Make sure everything is clean and take your time and put it all back together. Congratulations you just saved yourself a lot of money.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Hans Comments: Great instructions, would it be possible to call out what the additional steps are for the Watercooled model ? Thanks !
July 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The alternator housing and bracket are different, too many items to list, i would likely miss something recapping it.



I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
ronreece Comments: Also, is there a tightening sequence when re-installing the alternator bracket?
June 15, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Start in the center, us a criss-cross pattern. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ronreece Comments: I've tried looking everywhere but can't find the torque specs for the bolts when reinstalling the alternator bracket, oil cooler thermostat, and oil cooler lines that bolt on top of the thermostat.
Anyone know or know where to look?
Thanks!
June 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don’t have that info.


I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
upnorth Comments: I have successfully completed the alternator bracket gasket fix on my 2004 745i per your detailed instructions. I recommend completing the fix while the leak is small. Because of the expense i delayed and just about had a major engine failure due to catastrophic oil loss. It took me two days to complete the repair, I spent several hours cleaning up the undercarriage as oil was everywhere underneath. As a older male with some mechanical knowledge I can tell you patience is the key, don't get frustrated and take your time. I used duck tape to hold the bolts in the E12 socket for the rear bolts on the motor mount with a 3\8ths universal joint through the front wheel well. Motor lift is a must, made the job manageable. Thanks for all the posts, the detailed information was very helpful.
June 7, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Eric J. Comments: My old BMW had a similar problem and I used BlueDevil oil stop leak which worked well. I would definitely suggest taking a look at.
May 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I wouldn't recommend that. The stop leak can restrict oil passages and cause oil pressure issues. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pghguy517 Comments: Would like to follow up to Jonathan's, and others, posts on X5 with N62 motor, mine is a 2005. Here are some things that I did differently, but used mostly Jonathan's post as a guide:
To access the top rear differential bolt, and bottom lower alternator bracket bolt, I used a 5/8 close enough to 16MM flex socket that I removed the section where the 3/8 drive goes into. All this requires is removing/driving out the pin. This gives you a short socket that fits into these tight spots and provides a solid way to grab the socket with an adjustable wrench pictured. Make sure when first breaking the bolts loose you grab the make-shift socket with the adjustable wrench as shown for best grip.
You won't be able to remove the top rear differential bolt all the way, but it will be loose-unthreaded 100%, just can't remove the bolt from the hole. But who cares? The differential will be loose and able to move out of the way.
Another problem I came across, but didn't see mentioned, is being able to back the lower front differential bolt out before running into the frame and binding. For this, I used a 5/8 flex spark plug socket or deep well and long extension from above to back off the motor mount stud on left side. Only need to back it out to almost off. If working on jack stands, this allows you to use a small bottle jack and piece of wood to lift the motor from oil pan about a half inch, or just enough so you can back out the lower front differential bolt all the way, then let the motor back down.
I removed the 2 strut bolts on both sides to allow the axles to remain in place when moving the differential. Left the calipers on, just tilted the spindle down and tied the wheel studs/hubs to the coil springs to prevent tension on the brake hoses and sensor wires. Only partially removed the RF inner axle to disengage from differential. I left both outer axles in the hub with the large nut in place, and the LF inner axle attached to the differential. Removing and reinstalling the RF inner axle/differential connection was one of the hardest parts of this job for me. I found that a 3" exhaust clamp fits the center grooves on the inner axle flange like it's made for it, just don't tighten too much, just enough to give it a positive grip. This gives you something to tap, hit, or pry on.
Last thing is, I didn't remove the power steering pump all the way, just removed the bolts and moved it out of the way as needed.
Thanks, Jim
April 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Howard Comments: Check very closely for cracks. I have found 3 with cracks in the housing. I use magnaflux dye pent.If you make this mistake you will have to do the job over again.
March 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
J.P. Comments: Thanks so much for this write up! I just did this on my 04 545i N62 and it was not that bad. Engine hoist is STRONGLY recommended, it helps to clear more room so you can reach the PITA bold on the back of the motor mount.

Suggestions I have is take your time! Be patient and don't get frustrated. Also, the bushings on the alternator bracket can be backed out and adjusted with an allen wrench from the front, like tree man suggested. I backed them out slightly before installing the bracket. I installed the first two bolts that go on the side of the bracket, then I tightened the bushings from the front as shown in the picture.

I hope this helps anyone else doing this job!
March 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Greg Comments: After doing this fix three times for friends / family etc with BMW's having the n62b44 I did something different when it came time to my 2006 545i. I love the car but I hate this kind of poor design on BMW's part. I get that the engine was built with being modular in mind but for this engine they could have used a much thicker or better gasket. The amount of oil that gets pumped into this area is intense and is why the small oring type gasket fails. On my car I milled out plugs of similarly alloy aluminum and tig welded them permanently into both holes in the block. I'll never have this problem again on my car. Caveats: you need the skills and equipment and experience to even attempt this; the understanding it could go horribly wrong; and I wont be able to use an oil cooler as it was intended ever on this engine.
March 8, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tree Man Comments: use an 8mm allen key untill bushing meet cover and then intall bolts.
March 5, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the info. Figure 26 shows the plugs in place.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tree Man Comments: Wrong.Those thread into that bracket and if left un adjusted it will have an air gap in return you will loose pressure on front cover resulting in an oil leak.those three bushings are shimed out and have nothing to do with the cooler line LOOK AGAIN.440-225-6467
March 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: They look like plugs for lines to me.

Please expand on function, how to adjust, measure and confirm adjustment is correct. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tree Man Comments: Well its been a minute but here it is. Alternator bracket
March 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Like I mentioned, those are plugs for oil cooler lines. No adjustment needed. Just be sure they are sealed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
signature Comments: thanks guys for this wonderful description.
it was really helpful and saved me alot of time and money.
March 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
jeff Tree Man Comments: PS I will get a photo soon....You will learn something new.
February 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: thx. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tree Man Comments: no not the slide on the alt bushing.the alt bracket the one that has the o ring oil leak..there is the fasteners 2 w 13 m hex and one i believe t40 that have screw in bushings witch may have been loctited in.mine have become loose.
go to fig 26 above in your post far right those bushings screw in and completley out and if not adj properly you will have a front cover leak keep me posted.

Jeff Master Tech 22 years
February 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Those may be the plugs for the oil cooler lines, for vehicle with oiler coolers. They are just plugs, not adjusters. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeff Comments: hello,after removing the alt bracket on my 2003 745li
How do you keep those threaded bushings on the alt bracket properly adjusted so that when torqued it has proper pressure to seal front cover?????
February 27, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't follow, can you share a photo of the bushings? If for the alternator, they should adjust when tightening. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rasiya Comments: i have a 2005 e53 4.4i getting ready to do the alternator seal tomorrow anything i should look out for ?
February 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Just follow the steps in the article and replace any worn parts. Inspect the housing for putting when replacing the seal. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mrfixit Comments: Few questions when reinstalling the alternator bracket are there any Toque specifications there has to be some kind of toque specs or sequence to tighten bolts. So everything will sit flush and into place. Also don't want to over tighten and snap bolts off in the block that wouldn't be fun.
February 6, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All the fasteners will need to be torqued. Unfortunately I don't have the specs to share. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.

- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Indytech Comments: Ok so I've just tackled this job. Although im a experienced tech it's still not an easy job. Im doing it on a 550i but now for some reason I can't get that alternator back in. It looks like an aftermarket part and could be part of the reason thinking about taking back out but it's so close to being in and shaving down the back side of the mounting area where the bolt goes through. ive done so many of these but this one is giving me the hardest time ever I know most tricks to get it in. But none seem to work
February 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bushing in the alternator has to be reset to allow it to drop onto the bracket. look for the bushing and push it back to open the ear up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
NavyFlightDoc Comments: Nick - thank you, Pelican and the other contributors for this article. Just finished my 2006 550i and the job went great in 10 hours. Made a DIY engine lift that worked great. Tied the power steering pump and didn't remove it....was able to get the job done but would have gone faster to remove the pump. Definitely remove the oil cooler lines. Recommend replacing those O rings too.
February 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Will Comments: This is an awesome DIY. It appears that this week I will be placing my first order with Pelican, and this weekend I will be spending in the hood of my oily 745li. My question is, with so much work to get to the gasket, what should I be considering changing out as smart maintenance while I'm in there this far? One specific item I want to ask about is the auxillary water pump. My BMW shop suggested I have them change that. They wanted about $600, so it looks like there is some work to get to it. I noticed it's near the alternator. Is that a job I should do while all this is off? Thank you.
February 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if you want to replace it as well, it would save you from going back in if it needs it later. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
harpmaker Comments: The bolt on the rear of the power steering pump on the E65 can be started easily by stiscing the head into the end of a piece of surgical tubing. Heat the tubung end in hot water and force the bolt head in. the tubing will supply enough torque to start the bolt several turns. You'll need about 24 inches or less. It worked for me on the second try. This after 40 minutes with a taped swivel universal
January 31, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Murphy Homes Comments: Yes Nick. The part was not in the bag that stated all parts are in bag. The plastic parts were stuck in the box of the tube. Thanks.
January 22, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Ruben Comments: Just finished removing the bracket and everything has gone well for me on my 2008 550i. I'm almost ready to put everything back together but I do have one fairly simple question. Should I use any sealant on this gasket from hell?Oh and small hands helps.
January 20, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No sealant. Just the gasket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JohnnyCBMW Comments: I am currently dealing with this issue only my xdrive48i has an oil cooler supply hooked up to this location instead of the bracket. Any ideas on how this may differ from what your DIY demonstrated??
January 19, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: X-drove has space restrictions and oil cooler lines have to come out.
I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Hassan Comments: Hello..

I have a leak from hell. Its the Upper Timing Chain cover gaskets and valve cover gaskets, also alternator bracket seal with the oil cool gasket. My question is which one leaks worse? I can afford to do one of the repairs now.

Also, I have a park brake act unit bad. Can I buy a used one, I called a bmw indy and they say they are vin coded and I cannot use a used one. Is that true?

January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I can;t tell which leaks worse, you will have to look at the engine to decide. My guess, they are all about the same. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Paul Murphy Homes Comments: Good news, bad news and horrible news.

Good news: looks like my left timing chain cover was not leaking at all - it was the vanos solenoids leaking, so I will not be changing that gasket since even if it weaps, I'm okay with that. See below

Bad news: I would have changed that gasket because I thought I could get the cover off but then I remembered the alignment bushing I the cover and there is not enough space without pulling the alternator bracket.

Horrible News: the coolant tube I ordered came as promised. When I got it I noticed that the nylon bushing and spacers were not there. I called Pelican and the gal said she would get them out in the morning. I received two more boxes the next day and thought the one priority box was the the nylon parts. NO SUCH LUCK. just parts that were supposed to be sent a day or two earlier. The bitch of it is that I was hoping this car would be drivable tomorrow and now I either just replace the valley pan and pass on the preventative replacing of the coolant tube. I hate when this kind of thing happens!
January 17, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Ugh, I apologize. Have you received the correct parts yet? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
car guy Comments: I just completed the infamous alt. oil leak on my 05 545. Your step by step instructions and pictures were invaluable.
I found that removing the radiator and all the attending hose helped a lot, and draining the power steering fluid could be skipped, the pump can be unbolted and just lower and move out of the way. The lower rear motor mount bolt gave me the most trouble. Thanks for the help, you picked up a new customer.
January 12, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
PaulMurphyHomes Comments: Sorry to take too much space here but I was able to get that last timing chain cover bolt out so I won't have the pleasure of replacing this o ring. Now on to getting the valve covers buttoned up and digging into the coolant tube.
January 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No apologies needed. Please share you notes and procedures with is. These comments really help the tech site grow with real-world experience. Thanks again! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PaulMurphyHomes Comments: I should have included this to my last post but if any of my friends was doing this job, I would insist that they do the following at the same time if they plan on keeping their car for more than about the next year:

Valley Pan Gasket
Coolant Passage Tube
Valve Covers and all the associated seals with the sensors and valvtronic motors
Timing Chain Cover Gaskets
Water Pump and associated seals
All soft vacuum tubes and coolant hoses.

It will save you a lot of time and frustration
January 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Paul Murphy Homes Comments: I am doing this once again... Not because it was leaking but because I have have to change a timing chain cover gasket and sadly the last bolt for that cover is under the the alternator bracket! I'm thinking about machining a hole in the bracket so that that timing chain bolt can be removed without having to lift the engine.

At the same time, I have chosen to do the center cooling tube and valley pan gasket.

I would pay $25-30 for one of these seals made from viton or unobtainium if it would make it to 200,000 miles of use. I love the car. I love the support Pelican provides but it is truly amazing how much oil weaps and leaks from what was originally an $80,000+ car! Sometimes I wonder if this was the motor that AMF built!

I would like to see any seals with improved life.

Engine Covers - they are just like baseboards - they hide the builder's mistakes.
January 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OOOOF. not fun doing this twice, but we do appreciate your comments and notes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
badbeamer Comments: After replacing the alternator bracket seal 16 hoursand still having leaks, rather than face another equally demanding job of replacing the valve cover and timing gear cover gaskets, I solved the whole problem by trading the 2006 with 115,000 miles on a 2014 750li M Sport version with 5,000 miles and CPO warrantee coverage to 2021. Got $34K off of the $96.5K MSRP plus my trade in. I'll be happy until this starts leaking!
December 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
BIG MO Comments: I read all the detail,to remove other screw,you don't have to touch engine, just take out driver side wheel, other screws,that will cut down your time a lotBIG MO
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
KennyG Comments: I'm fixin to start this project, what side is best to put the engine hoist in from? Left, right, or front? I'm guessing from the right side to give the most clearance under the car. Any suggestions? 2004 745Li.
December 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: From the right side. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
New Beemer fixer Comments: iTS BEEN 10 MONTHS SINCE I FIXED THIS AND I HAVE ANOTHER LEAK .......really! SO ILL BE LOOKING INTO THIS THIS WEEKEND ...."SIGH" CAN I JUST WELD THIS OPEING SHUT?!
December 1, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A lot of people wish they could weld it, I bet. let us know what you find. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Roger Comments: Nick, just to let you know I completed the assembly on Monday as planned. I had to replace the engine mount small oil leak from it,but no other issues. Started up and no leaks. Thank you.
November 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
badbeamer Comments: Guess what - it is leaking oil like before I changed the alternator bracket seal - probably was not that seal that was leaking. Looks like I will be changing the valve cover and timing gear cover gaskets. I strongly recommend that you be sure it is not the valve cove gaskets leaking before tackling the 15 hour alternator bracket seal project!
November 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: UGH! yes, that is great advice. be sure there are no leaks above the bracket before assuming it is leaking. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Roger Comments: Hello Nick, like you keep hearing excellent write up 2004 E66 N62 Just completed the removal and clean up 5hrs had to get a hoist. All rear bolts removed through the wheel well with a couple of extensions and a swivel. Installation tomorrow morning.
November 22, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Let us know how it works out. Love hearing about the success stories. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Big Comments: Hey guys I replaced the gasket in my 2007 750i back in March and it is leaking again. It took me a day and a half. I don't want to have to do it again but it has to be done again. The bolt in the back of the alternator was a real monster to get out and then I could not get it back in.
November 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You don't have a choice if it is leaking again. Got to get it fixed. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Scott-Round Rock TX Comments: Great write up. Thank you. The only issue i encountered was teh nut holding battery cable to altenator was very tight. When i tried to remove it, the post broke off the rectifier bridge in alt..
November 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is not fun to deal with. Hope it worked out in the end. Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
badbeamer Comments: O yeah - I forgot to mention: if possible, after removing the top air ducting components and the bottom pan, to pressure wash the engine from top to bottom, both sides, and the underside. It will make the job much more pleasent than dealing with all the oil, grime and dirt. Stuff a towel in the air intake opening to the engine first.
October 29, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Do not spray pressurized water on the engine. it will get places you don't want it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
badbeamer Comments: Having completed that project it took me about 16 hours I have a couple of suggestions that should someone else.
1 A couple of the motor mount torx bolts are impossible to reinstall using your fingers, so using masking tape I wrapped some tape around the torx bolt to torx socket to hold the bolt onto the socket, then using the 3/8" drive universal joint I wrapped some tape around the U-joint to hold it in one position and then I was able to insert the torx bolt in the motor mount hole and give it a few turns to get it started. After the bolt was started then just pull the socket off the bolt with the tape and then you can tighten the bolt down.
2 The 6mm socket head bolt behind the alternator is in a location with little space to turn a standard allen wrench, so I cut off the short "L" of the allen wrench to about 1/2" long so that it could be turned in the space available. After the allen bolt is as tight as I could make it with the short wrench I used a standard allen wrench for the last tightening. To install the allen bolt I used a litte masking tape on the end of the modified allen wrench when placing the allen wrench in the bolt socket to hold it on the wrench.
3 I used a 3/8" drive socket set for the work, but to loosen the bolts I slipped a one foot long piece of pipe over the socket set breaker bar to get more leverage to break the bolts loose.
Upon completing the job - it was one of the major accompishments of my life, with a great deal of satisfaction.
Don
October 25, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
badbeamer Comments: I finally got that rascal apart. Yes, definitely remove the oil cooler lines and fitting component before attempting to remove the upper left motor mount torx bolt - it's the difference between heaven and hell! Incidently if you have a oil cooler it requires a different seal that separates the inlet and outlet openings, than the seal without the oil cooler fitting. I didn't see any damage to the oil seal other than is was flattened and brittle - hope this was the cause of my leakage.
I hope to be on the road again tomorrow!
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
badbeamer Comments: I discovered that I have a oil cooler and the upper left motor mount torx bolt is behind the oil cooler fitting component that bolts to the alternator bracket - making it impossible to get a torx socket attached to a wrench on the torx bolt. Do I try to remove the oil cooler fitting component before trying to remove the motor mount bracket? My fustration level is quickly raising as I am down to the last motor mount bolt to remove and can't get to it. Any ideas?
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes, remove the lines and cooler. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
badbeamer Comments: Please add to your info for figure 16: "Some models have a 6mm
Allen head bolt behind the power steering pump that must be removed before the pump can slide forward". It cost me one and a half hours to deal with that Allen bolt at a 45 degree angle. Otherwise - well done!
October 13, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I will have someone update the article. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Eli Comments: Trying to do this on my 2004 545i. I have everything pulled off up to the motor mount, and I CANNOT get the e12 torx bolts to break loose. Such little leverage because of the restricted workspace... every time I got the bit to stay on the bolt with my swivel, it would slip off when I put pressure on it to turn it. I'm afraid of rounding the bolt off. What do you suggest for the rear motor mount bolts?? I am stuck. Car's been in the air for 3 days now.
September 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If they are that tight, maybe an E12 wrench will do the trick. Place it on the fastener end, and turn it using a lever. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Brian Comments: So, 2004 545i just replaced alt. Bracket Gasket, valve covers, break booster pump seals, oil pressure sender switch, upper timing covers, and all that good stuff. Still end up with a big puddle at least 6 inches across each time my car cools off. I was thinking oil filter housing? Oil pan gasket looks decent, maybe thats it. I gotta pressure wash and inspect. Driving me nuts! Why only when I park and car cools down? Is that symptom of a certain gasket shrinking and leaking? Cause it stops at a certain point until car is hot again.
September 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Maybe the gasket for the stand slipped. That would be my guess. To confirm, look for the clean oil spot in the area of the leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lajih Comments: Anyone in northern California Oakland, walnut creek area who can work with me and get this done on a 2005 645ci to get this done for money? I have all the tools and equipment.

Thanks!
August 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lajih Comments: All the people who did this on a 645CI or similar, I have a 2005 645ci and removed the alternator bolts and removed the deflective element on the alternator as well. The alternator moves a lot. I even see the hole for the lower alternator bolt the two that I took off from the front, but with help of friend, push from bottom, pulling forward toward radiator, up and down, try to rotate all that is possible and the alternator does not come forward toward the radiator for me to access the back connectors. Does anyone have an idea what the problem may be? Please email me at ladjevardi@sbcglobal.net or answer here.

Thank you in advance.
August 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try sliding the alternator toward the left then forward. You may be stuck on the bracket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
750Li Comments: Hey, i have an 09 750li and i believe i have this problem as well. Im adding a quart of oil every 500 miles and when i took the car to the dealer he wasnt very specific about where the leak was coming from but this definetly sounds similiar. My question is as follows

Hypothethically speaking i leave this problem to persist, what are the risks? Will this cause further damage to the car? Im not seeing any oil leaking on the ground so does this mean the oil leakage is very minimal? Where does the oil accumulate if its not coming out to the ground? Or is it leaking every so slightly that i dont realize it?

Thanks in advance.
August 4, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: if you leave this leak, if it is in fact your leak. The seals could eventually blow out completely, all the oil in your engine would be pumped out quickly. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
745i Black Beemer Comments: Followed your instructions . Awesome step by step illustrations, took me under 10 hours to complete. Saved myself $ 3,000 dollars. I will be a follower of your forum guaranteed. Thank you
May 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jerspeed Comments: Just did the alternator bracket seal on my 2005 x5 4.4l. Just a few tips I want to share with everyone. Other than taking off the Mass Airflow/ Air Filter housing, the auxilary fan and cowl, the water pump, the alternator, and moving the power steering pump to the side, the biggest challenge is getting to two bolts. The lower right 16mm bolt on the alternator bracket and the 16mm upper right bolt on the front differential. In order to remove the lower right alternator bracket bolt -several things I have found that makes it easier is the following: 1: Remove the cv axels from both sides. 2. Unbolt the central nut on the driver side motor mount. 3 unbolt pry loose and move the front differential to the side - the engine cradle keeps the differential in place. in order to do this you need to use an engine lift connected to the front driver side engine lift eyelet near the upper left side of the driver side valve cover and lift about 20mm doing this allows you access to the lower left bolt on the differential. The differential 16mm upper right bolt can be loosed with a boxed offset wrench available at harbor freight $15. 4. removal of the oil Thermostat and cooler lines from the alternator bracket held on by two 5.5mm hex bolts - use a hex key. When removing the Alternator bracket be careful: 3- 13mm bolts 2 on side, 1 on the face of the bracket 1- female t45 torx bolt, 3-16mm bolts, 1 small obscure bolt on the side use a 1/4 12pt shown on upper left side of picture socket. Once all the bolts are loose the bracket should fall right out.
March 24, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rob Comments: Yes, wheel and wheel well removal is a must! Found out today also and just finished up my 645ci, Wow, what a bear. But probably the hardest part was replacing the AC belt. Not needed for this repair but was doing the water pump also. I've attached a couple pictures of the rear alternator bolts seen through the opening in the wheel well. Be sure to have a good set of extensions and be very careful removing. I nearly striped on of the torx heads due to the angle. Be carful and take your time!
March 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Sick50i Comments: Ijust finished getting to the gasket in a 2007 650i. To all: the power steering unit has a hex bolt on the back that must be removed before it will slide off of the front bolt..On the 650i, two of the three ports of the problem gasket are actually used..so it has engine oil in same and must be removed also..as for tire removal it is a must. the back top motor mount torx bolt is easily accessible with extensions..now to figure out where all these bolts go!!
March 17, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Rob Comments: Hi, Great write up and i'm getting ready to tackle the job on my 645ci. One question, why do you need to remove the from drivers side tire? I don't see any steps in the follow-on work that seems to require it. Also, ill try to post a couple pictures if there are any differences for the e63 chassis. Thanks in advance!
March 16, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure you have to. I will check with the author and see if we can some clarity and an update. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Juice Comments: Nick would this be the same procedure for the E70? I have a 07 x5 4.8
March 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Similar, but not exactly the same. The engine compartments and component locations are a bit different. You can use this as a guide though. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Juice Comments: Do you suggest a spray seal after replacing the gasket?
March 11, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The gasket does not require any sealant. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
MDM007 Comments: Will this work on a 2007 BMW 750 li e65
March 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It does apply to E65 vehicles. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SF540 Comments: Hi, my 1998 540i/6 is also leaking in the area of the left engine mount. From what I understand, the oil filter lines run through it and also have two small o-rings sandwiched between the engine mount and the block. Can you comment on how similar it would be to change those out? Do you also remove the alternator and other related parts on an M62 1998 engine to get to these gaskets?
March 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it is quite different, as the engine are from different eras. You will still have to remove all the drive accessories from the left side of the engine. Then remove the bracket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
New Beemer fixer Comments: man, thank you so much for the step by step instructions and most of all the pics! I thank you and my wife thanks you ! yore the best ever! Just finished this today !
March 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Klun Comments: Awesome instructions, I'm so glad I found this, about to tackle this on a 2004 545
January 28, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
A B Able Truck Comments: "Alright, I know what you are thinking! Who designs an engine with a hole in it that does nothing."
On my N62TU the alt bracket is a pass thru for the oil cooler lines mount - the oil cooler is located between the fan & radiator. Maybe it's an option or an engineering afterthought.
January 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There is an oil cooler on some models, the lines do pass through the bracket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
DanT Comments: A follow up to my earlier post...
On the 07 X5 4.8 the oil cooler lines connect to the oil cooler thermostat which is bolted to the block using the same seal that leaks. After I removed the alternator and lowered the PS pump I was able to remove the thermostat with a variety of extensions and e torx sockets. No need to remove axles, diff, etc. Yup, the seal was split on the bottom. Time invested, 2.5 hours. I ordered the seal from BMW and it should be going back together soon.
January 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.

We have that seal too. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
DanT Comments: Thanks for this post and to Jonathan for his thoughtful comments. I'm about to do this job on a 2007 x5 4.8 and I have one question. I see no mention of lowering the subframe to access any of these components. Is this necessary? There is no mention of this in Alldata either but I can barely see the dang thing under the car.
January 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All the work is done from above. No need to drop the subframe. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
bmw745 Comments: Very nice guide. Thank you so much. One point to add about image 16: on my 2005 745, there is a hex bolt behind the steering pump that ties it to the bracket. Therefore power steering pump is fastened by one nut and one bolt at front and one bolt at the back.
December 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
beemerman Comments: I'm a ble master tech and I've done this repair many times over. I just wanted to say great job on the illustrations and step by step instructions you've provided. TThis will certainly make the job easy for the less practiced individuals that want to save time and money.
November 26, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Duffman1 Comments: 2009 E64 Convertble...75K miles started leaking oil. I have read all the posts nd wanted to know if the post by johnathan regarding the grinding of the socket pertains to the 2009 650IC as well. Is there less room because they are referring to the X5? I have done bracket for 325 and 530. Any other gaskets or plastic need changing while I am in surgery? Any 650IC points?
November 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You should be fine following this article. If a socket needs to be ground, it may be due to being too thick when made. I have not had to grind anything myself. If you need specific instructions for your models. I would grab a repair manual. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mikeymike Comments: In the writeup, it says to slide the alternator forward. Any tricks to make this happen? I have been using every screwdriver, pry bar, and various other tools that I can come up with in order to slide the darn thing forward and it won't go. I'm about ready to put a stick of dynamite in the engine bay to "ease" it out of there. No kidding.
September 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need to remove the alternator to the left, then remove it forward. It has to be moved away from the mounting bracket.

See step 10 here

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/BMW-E60/11-ENGINE-N62_8_Cylinder_Alternator_Replacement/11-ENGINE-N62_8_Cylinder_Alternator_Replacement.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
cnk Comments: Thanks boss for the advise
May 27, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No problem. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jeremy H. Comments: Coming out of the block on a 2002 745i's N62 engine, there's a top, round hole and a bottom, oval-shaped hole. Which one does the pressurized oil come out of, & which one carries the return of the non-pressurized oil to the oil pan ? Here's my thought: IF the pressurized oil is coming from the top, circular hole, then it could be tapped & a sealing bolt installed there for a permanent, superior seal. Would never need to be replaced - ever. The other, oval-shaped hole would be fine with the standard, cheap $5-$8 or so, including shipping from here or elsewhere for the oil that might slosh from the pan up against it on a hard right turn. No welding, just some aluminum shavings to clean up before reassembly. Bam. Done. Thoughts ?
April 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I am not sure which bore pressurized oil comes out of. That is an interesting solution, I imagine if a crush washer is used, the sea would last quite a while. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Govey Comments: Great write up! May I suggest that on a 2004 745i there is a 6mm allen bolt on back of power steering pump to alt. bracket. I also seen no need to even take the fluid from the power steering pump reservoir, simply take the two 10mm nuts of the mounting bracket and unhook the pvc line from engine that crosses over the reservoir and you can slide the whole tank and lines forward and down with the pump and you can lay the pump on ground if using jack stand to hold car up. I did this job in 6 hrs and never done one before. just my two cents.
April 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jeremy H. Comments: This may sound completely insane, but please bear with me just a little.

Background: I have recently acquired a beautiful, black 2002 745i & my wife & I love it. NADA valued @ almost $11K when we bought it. Bought it for $8K, so we have some fix-it financial wiggle room. It's leaking oil at a ridiculous rate, so it must be fixed wherever the leak is coming from.

What about sealing this area *permanently* - as in, welding a permanent metal seal right there. Is this outright lunacy, or what ? I mean, if this is where my fast oil leak is coming from, & I have to swap this particular $5-gasket-costs-me-10+-hrs.-of-my-life, then I NEVER want to change it again - ever. Any thoughts ?
April 3, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will not be able to weld where a gasket goes. You will have to replace the gasket. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jonathan Comments: Supplemental Note:

I did not remove the motor mount or lift the engine... I found no need to do so.

Also, there's no need to remove the axle/spindle nut to pop the right CV axle out of the differential. It only needs to slide out an inch or two and there's enough play in the joints to allow for this if you take the two bolts out of the strut mount. That will save you from having to buy a new axle nut, as they are not reusable. The left CV axle can stay in place, but I unbolted the strut mount on this side as well to give the differential a little more wiggle room - not sure if that was entirely necessary, but it was easy enough to reassemble.
March 20, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback and additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
NuMoo Comments: Thank you, Jonathan!! :
March 18, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jonathan Comments: 2 of 2 posts
And here's where it gets a little hairy... Just as Natethegreat eluded to, 3 of the 4 diff mounting bolts are easily removed, but the rear/top is almost inaccessible due to the contour of the diff housing, the motor mount and frame being in close proximity. However, it can be done with a little ingenuity. I started with a "pass-through" 16mm socket. These sockets do not snap onto a standard ratchet. They have a hex cut around the outside for use with a open/box-end wrench, giving them a smaller profile. I then put the socket on the grinder to scale the overall length down even more, to under an inch, leaving just enough of the outer hex to get a wrench on and just enough of the inner teeth to securely grab the head of the bolt. I could then reach up and slide my new socket onto the head of the bolt, accessing it from the bottom. With the socket on the head of the bolt, I could get my wrench on the hex end of the socket and break the bolt loose. Tip: break this hard-to-get-to bolt loose first. With the other 3 bolts still tight I was able to unthread this bolt with my finger tips, which is a must because you can only back it out so far with the socket on it before you get in a bind. So once you break it loose, take the socket off and unthread in with your fingers until it's completely out. Then you can remove the other 3 bolts. Now the diff is able to be moved out away from the engine and down just enough to give you access to ALL of the alternator bracket bolts. You might have to play with it a little, using a small pry bar to position the differential in the perfect location, but I was able to do this fairly easily.
The first alternator bracket bolt I tackled was the rear/lower one that the differential was blocking access to. I used the same modified socket and wrench configuration on this bolt as I did on the diff bolt. Once I broke that bolt loose I was able to unthread it with my fingers and the remaining bolts were a piece of cake.
And there you have it... Alternator bracket removed, $2,200 stays in your pocket, and a good beer is in order.
March 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the time it took the share this and the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jonathan Comments: 1 of 2 posts
For those who drive the X5... There IS a way. Absolutely no disrespect to Natethegreat, because almost everything he mentioned above is accurate and it's next to impossible to remove that rear/lower alternator bracket bolt without moving the front differential out of the way. However, over the weekend I was able to accomplish this on our 2006 X5 4.4i.

After removing all of the aforementioned components air filter housing, fan, alternator, power steering pump, skid plate, etc., I pulled the right CV axle out, partially. The right axle assembly runs through the oil pan and is held in the diff with a spring clip E-clip at the end of the shaft. But with the tap of a hammer it'll snap out. There are several good videos on youtube that walk you through this process. With the right CV axle out of the diff you are able to pull the diff out away from the motor after you get it unbolted.
March 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
NuMoo Comments: Is there a way to "drop" the steering column to get access to the hard to reach bolts on the mounting plate?
March 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like Jonathan got you your answer. The Pelican community does it again. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
NuMoo Comments: What would be your recomendation on suporting engin/lifting from below if there was no Engine lift available as mentioned above.

Also are there better rings avaiable as an alternative to the BMW stock one?

Great write up.
March 17, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Sounds like Jonathan got you your answer. The Pelican community does it again. - Nick at Pelican Parts - Nick at Pelican Parts  
JWR Comments: For the X5 it is not a 20hour job.

This one had the oil cooler line too which need to be more out of the way.

Reach behind the power steering lines from the front of the wheel well use a 1/2inch socket to loosen all the bolts but one. You need to use a 16mm or 5/8inch boxed end wrench to loosen to of the front

For the x-drive move it about 1/2inch that will allow you to use the 16mm boxed end wrench to get the last bolt out of the Alternator plate. warning the plate has another has yet another obstruction a pilot sleeve/alignment sleeve Yes the BMW Engineers are full of jokes but keep working the alternator plate it will come out and then grind the pilot sleeve off you don't need it. Goes not a lot quicker after you stop admiring you work. Savings around $1500.00
March 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
x5e39 Comments: Hi Stefan, I have the same car 2004 x5 4.4. I'm stuck at removing the last bolt of the alternator bracket. The front diff is in the way. Could you please provide more information how you tackled this? Thanks!
February 9, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Have you tried loosening it with a wrench as you back off the bracket? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
sabotage Comments: Is this info on a air cooled alternator or water cooled alternator i need an air cooled or is it all the same
February 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The bracket is similar, but removing a water cooled alternator requires a few more steps. This article shows an air-cooled alternator. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
George Comments: 1998 BMW 740IL

All cigarette lighters do not work. Both fuses are OK.

Suggestions????


January 29, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Is there power at the socket? The sockets themselves may be faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
stefan Comments: I did this on my 2004 X5, and yes it took longer because of a few extra steps and I had to manufacture 2 new tools to be able to reach 2 very difficult bolt locations.
Contact me for more information.
January 15, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
dre Comments: How do I order the gasket? I also need a price on the bracket, because I cracked it..
November 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Natethegreat Comments: Also, 1 more thing to note.

If you're thinking of buying the $130 service manual to your car to fix your N62 engine, think again. Yeah, it's not in the manual. They have the M62, and make references to the n62, but you'd think that in 1250 pages, they could've thrown a few in there about the n62.

Assholes.
May 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you referring to a specific X5 manual? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Natethegreat Comments: Awesome post, there's not much information out there on the N62 engine, and for people lucky enough to have been graced with the existence of the alternator bracket gasket issue, this is much appreciated.

HOWEVER, for people the drive an X5 with the n62 engine and are attempting to replace the alternator bracket gasket, DON'T. Don't even try. Just take it right to any local mechanic, spend the money, avoid the hellish nightmare that I wasn't smart enough to avoid. I swear the BMW engineers must take a special pleasure in making maintenance impossible.

Little background, I drive the 2006 X5 4.4, I've got a pretty solid background in engine maintenance, and my roommate is a tool rep for snap-on, so I've literally every tool there is.

After spending the better part of a week, several hundred dollars in specialty tools, jacks, rental cars, and beers, I had to give up. Why you ask?

In the X5, you've got this lovely little thing called the X-drive, which, makes this entire exercise absolutely impossible. It's literally impossible to get to the bolts you need to get to. After pulling out the fan, the tire cowling, the alternator, the power steering pump, removing the serpentine belt, and the tensioner, the mass air flow filter, the under carriage cover, and 8 of the nine bolts needed to take off the alternator bracket. I realized I couldn't get to it because the x-drive was in the way.

Hey, no problem, just started taking the x-drive off, and got 3 of the 4 bolts need to move the x-drive system out of the way. Stuck again. There had to be another way to get to these bolts I thought. I had every universal joint, extension, wrench, socket, and every part of the car off that could come off. But to no avail. At the end of a VERY long weekend, I had to put the car back together and tow it to the mechanic shop.

20 hours of my life gone. Don't make my mistake. The way I look at it, is that I made a real honest go of it, and it didn't work out. And if you can't spend the money fix it, then you shouldn't have bought the car.
May 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional information. We appreciate it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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