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535i subframe lowering

Old 01-23-2018, 02:39 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Somerville, AL
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My Ride: 535i Sport Package 6 speed manual
Model Year: 2008
Engine: N52
Default 535i subframe lowering

I've got a 2008 535i sport that ingested the serpentine belt through the front crank seal, so I'm trying to remove the oil pan to clean out the pieces. I need to lower the subframe and I can't get to the passenger side engine mount bolts. Do you have to remove the exhaust down pipes to get to them? Also, there are two fluid lines that pass through the subframe. Do they need to be removed?

Ken
2008 535i
Sport Package
6 speed manual
rkvarner43 is offline  
Old 03-09-2018, 01:44 PM
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My Ride: 535i
Model Year: 2008
Default Any Update on subframe lowering

I have the same car, need to lower subframe to replace turbo cooling lines. Any information on your journey would be appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2018, 04:31 AM
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Join Date: May 2015
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My Ride: 535i Sport Package 6 speed manual
Model Year: 2008
Engine: N52
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I'll try to describe what I did.

1. Raise car and put on jack stands.
2. Remove front wheels
3. Remove engine cover
4. Install engine lift ring (same as tow ring) and engine support (I used the Harbor Freight version) to support engine (apply some pressure to lift the engine slightly)


5. Remove belly pans
6. Remove subframe stiffener plate
7. Remove steering column to steering rack pinch bolt and pull off steering rack
8. Disconnect electrical connector from steering rack
9. Siphon out power steering fluid from the power steering reservoir
10. Remove wheel well covers from around steering rack arms
11. Disconnect 4 hydraulic lines in passenger wheel well just behind the wheel (two shown in the photo) Note- these go to the active stabilization and power steering. If you don't have the sport package with active stabilization, then it may be different.


12. Disconnect the hydraulic quick disconnect at the lower passenger side of the radiator. Remove the white clip and slide the QD sleeve away from the radiator to release.
13. Remove the top nut from the drivers side engine mount.
14. Disconnect the vacuum accumulators mounting bolts to gain access to the passenger side top engine mount nut. Use long extension and universal joint to reach the nut (may have to bend back the heat shield. Once you have the nut loosened, you can reach it by hand from underneath to remove it by hand.
15. Disconnect the end links from the active stabilization roll bar (this step may not be necessary)
17. Remove the link on the height sensor on the passenger wheel side
18. Place a floor jack underneath the subframe. I used a 2x6 to span across the subframe just behind the jack pad point.
19. Remove the 6 subframe bolts
20. Slowly lower the subframe. The subframe and engine mounts will lower away from the car and engine and remain connected to the lower and upper suspension components. Hard to really see, but here's a picture of the subframe lowered.



Note that the subframe and stiffener bolts are torque to yield and BMW calls for them to be replaced. I put in new subframe bolts, but reused the stiffener bolts.

I also replaced my engine mounts since I'm at 110K miles. Both were slightly collapsed when compared to a new one.




Ken
2008 535i Sport w/6 speed
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:56 AM
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My Ride: 2008 535i Sport Automatic
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I was doing this today for the same reason.Your post proved to be invaluable to me since I couldn't piece it together on my own with just whatever is available in TIS.


Many thanks to you, sir for taking time posting this!


One thing I wanted to add, for automatic transmission you *absolutely* have to disconnect a mounting bracket which fastens trans cooling lines to the subframe. Yes, subframe, not oil pan. Bracket is located on the driver's side and is pretty much hidden unless you know what you're looking for. Here's a link to TIS online. It's a second to the last diagram: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...l-sump/4NuSJRf


Whoever worked on my car before my time didn't release that bracket when lowering subframe and that costed me a transmission since it ended up running low on fluid due to a slow leak thru that crack.


Cheers!
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:30 PM
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My Ride: 535i Sport Package 6 speed manual
Model Year: 2008
Engine: N52
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Originally Posted by dpersh View Post
I was doing this today for the same reason.Your post proved to be invaluable to me since I couldn't piece it together on my own with just whatever is available in TIS.


Many thanks to you, sir for taking time posting this!


One thing I wanted to add, for automatic transmission you *absolutely* have to disconnect a mounting bracket which fastens trans cooling lines to the subframe. Yes, subframe, not oil pan. Bracket is located on the driver's side and is pretty much hidden unless you know what you're looking for. Here's a link to TIS online. It's a second to the last diagram: https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...l-sump/4NuSJRf


Whoever worked on my car before my time didn't release that bracket when lowering subframe and that costed me a transmission since it ended up running low on fluid due to a slow leak thru that crack.


Cheers!
Glad it was of some help. Found lots of information on the 335i, but not as much for the 5 series. Love the forums and how much info is out there!
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:25 AM
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My Ride: 2x E61, 1x E60, 1x E90
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Originally Posted by rkvarner43 View Post
...
7. Remove steering column to steering rack pinch bolt and pull off steering rack
...
VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you mark the position. My bolt would not go out and I had to remove the spline part of the steering column. Even if you take the bolt out make sure to disassemble and re-assemble the steering connection with a straight steering wheel. Trust me this will save you an extra lowering of the sub-frame, don't ask me how I learned.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Issaquah, WA
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My Ride: 2008 BMW 535i 6-speed manual
Model Year: 2008
Engine: N54
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Ken, your instructions became invaluable for me since I have the same car (2008 535i Sport Package 6-speed manual) and was doing oil pan gasket replacement. Quite an involved job and needed lowering the subframe, also replaced the engine mounts since I was there. For those taking on the oil pan gasket replacement - in addition to the steps above you need to release three E12 bolts on the power steering pump to get access to a couple of oil pan bolts. I also had to remove the plastic front intake charge air duct to get access to the T60 tensioner bolt in order to remove the serpentine belt from the power steering pump pulley.

11. Disconnect 4 hydraulic lines in passenger wheel well just behind the wheel (two shown in the photo) Note- these go to the active stabilization and power steering. If you don't have the sport package with active stabilization, then it may be different.
I would also comment here that it's all clear what you need to do once you remove the cover (5 8mm nuts) on the rear side of the passenger wheel well. You will see 2 power steering lines going in and out to the Dynamic Drive Valve Block (I believe).

I got everything together, added more than 1L of CHF-11s power steering fluid since most of it was flushed and the car drives again. Yet I'm getting "Steering malfunction: Possible hazard from fluid loss in steering or suspension hydraulic system" error right after turning on the ignition. Tried to reset the codes with the INPA but 5D60 fault code comes back immediately. Since the fault is "permanent" and comes as soon as the ignition is on then I hope it's something simple and I forgot to connect some switch, yet I'm scratching my head yet what I could have missed (finished assembling the car late last night - was pretty tired already).

Ken, if you are reading this, did you do anything special after adding power steering fluid back into the system?
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Old 06-30-2019, 09:04 PM
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My Ride: 2008 BMW 535i 6-speed manual
Model Year: 2008
Engine: N54
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Yay, my car is perfect again! Turns out something silly as I hoped - when I moved my power steering canister to the side to get better access to the engine mount nut somehow I got the power steering fluid level sensor plug disconnected. So if you are reading 5D60 fault code and "Steering malfunction" error on the dash then I think it should be the first thing to check.
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