BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Air Cleaner

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All the dust present in the air is kept out of the engine by means of the air cleaner filter element. Proper maintenance is vital, as a clogged element not only restricts the airflow and thus the power, but can also cause premature engine wear.

The filter element should be cleaned or replaced every 15,000 miles (24,000 km), or more often if the car is driven in dusty areas. The condition of the element should be checked periodically; if it appears to be overly dirty or clogged, shake it; if this does not help, the element must be replaced.

The paper element should not be cleaned or soaked with gasoline, cleaning solvent or oil.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Carbureted Engines

The air filter on these engines sits on top of the carburetor, usually towards the center of the engine compartment. To remove the filter element, simply unsnap the housing cover and lift out the element.

Clean the element by lightly shaking it against the palm of your hand (blowing with compressed air is also acceptable). If the filter element remains clogged after cleaning, replace it.

Fuel Injected Engines

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

2002Tii MODELS

This model utilizes a long cylindrical air cleaner housing with 2 separate filters in each end; it is located in the left side of the engine compartment. To remove, unsnap each end from the main body of the housing and lift out the filter elements. Clean in the same manner as described for carbureted engines.

318i AND 320i MODELS

This model utilizes a square air filter element and housing, located in the left, front side of the engine compartment.

To remove, loosen the clamp connecting the vacuum limiting valve to the air intake duct. Next, remove the 2 bolts fastening this valve and its companion valve, the cold start valve, to the bracket near the injection pump. Unsnap the over-center catches and, while holding the 2 valves out of the way, pull the filter element up and out of the air cleaner housing. Clean in the same manner as described for carbureted engines.



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Fig. Fig. 1: Loosen the retaining hardware which secures the top of the air cleaner in place



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Fig. Fig. 2: Loosen the hose clamp securing the hose between the intake manifold and air cleaner assembly



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Fig. Fig. 3: Unfasten any wire harnesses attached to the air cleaner assembly. If necessary, tag for identification



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Fig. Fig. 4: Unclip the securing tabs surrounding the air filter



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Fig. Fig. 5: Slowly lift the top of the air cleaner up to expose the filter element



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Fig. Fig. 6: Lift the filter element out of the air filter base

6-CYLINDER MODELS

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

The air filter element on all 6-cylinder models is removed in basically the same manner. Unsnap the 2 over-center catches and split the 2 halves of the housing apart. Lift the element upward slightly to separate it from the lower half of the housing and then slide it out of the opening between the 2 halves.

When replacing the square type element used on most later models, always make sure that the arrow indicating airflow direction points toward the engine (or into the manifold) when positioning the filter. Also make sure that the rubber border on the element is properly positioned around the lower case half before closing the catches.

Clean in the same manner as described for carbureted engines.

 
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