BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

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See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15

Naturally, without the proper tools and equipment it is impossible to properly service your vehicle. It would be impossible to catalog each tool that you would need to perform each or every operation in this guide. It would also be unwise for the amateur to rush out and buy an expensive set of tools on the theory that he may need one or more of them at sometime. The best approach is to proceed slowly, gathering together a good quality set of tools that are used most frequently. Don't be misled by the low cost of bargain tools. It is far better to spend a little more for better quality. Forged wrenches, 6 or 12-point sockets and fine tooth ratchets are by far preferable to their less expensive counterparts. As any good mechanic can tell you, there are few worse experiences than trying to work on any vehicle with bad tools. Your monetary savings will be far outweighed by frustration and mangled knuckles.



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Fig. Fig. 1: All but the most basic procedures will require an assortment of ratchets and sockets



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Fig. Fig. 2: In addition to ratchets, a good set of wrenches and hex keys will be necessary



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Fig. Fig. 3: Various screwdrivers, a hammer, chisels and prytools are necessary to have in your toolbox



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Fig. Fig. 4: An assortment of pliers will be handy, especially for old rusted parts and stripped bolt heads

Certain tools, plus a basic ability to handle them, are required to get started. A basic mechanics tool set, a torque wrench and a Torx® bits set. Torx® bits are hexlobular drivers which fit both inside and outside on special Torx® head fasteners used in various places on modern vehicles. Begin accumulating those tools that are used most frequently; those associated with routine maintenance and tune-up. In addition to the normal assortment of screwdrivers and pliers you should have the following tools for routine maintenance jobs:

  1. Metric wrenches, sockets and combination open end/box end wrenches in sizes from (3mm) to (19mm) and a spark plug socket ( 13 / 16 in. or 5 / 8 in.). If possible, buy various length socket drive extensions. The metric sockets available in the U.S. will all fit the ratchet handles and extensions which you may already have ( 1 / 4 in., 3 / 8 in., and 1 / 2 in. drive).
  2.  
  3. Jackstands for support.
  4.  
  5. Oil filter wrench.
  6.  
  7. Oil filter spout for pouring oil.
  8.  
  9. Grease gun for chassis lubrication.
  10.  
  11. Hydrometer for checking the battery.
  12.  
  13. A container for draining oil.
  14.  
  15. Many rags (paper or cloth) for wiping up the inevitable mess.
  16.  

In addition to the above items there are several others that are not absolutely necessary, but are handy to have around. These include a hydraulic floor jack, oil-dry, a transmission funnel and the usual supply of lubricants, antifreeze and fluids. This is a basic list for routine maintenance, but only your personal needs and desires can accurately determine your list of necessary tools.



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Fig. Fig. 5: Although not always necessary, using specialized brake tools will save time



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Fig. Fig. 6: Various pullers, clamps and separator tools are useful for the repair of many components



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Fig. Fig. 7: Many repairs will require the use of a torque wrench to assure the components are properly tightened



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Fig. Fig. 8: A few inexpensive lubrication tools will make regular service easier



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Fig. Fig. 9: A hydraulic floor jack and a set of jackstands are essential for safely lifting and supporting the vehicle

The second list of tools is for tune-ups. While the tools involved here are slightly more sophisticated, they need not be outrageously expensive. There are several inexpensive tach/dwell meters on the market that are every bit as good for the average mechanic as an expensive professional model. Just be sure that it works on 4, 6 and 8-cylinder engines. A basic list of tune-up equipment could include:

  1. Tach/dwell meter.
  2.  
  3. Spark plug wrench.
  4.  
  5. Timing light. A DC light that works from the vehicle's battery is best, although an AC light that plugs into 110V house current will suffice at some sacrifice in brightness.
  6.  
  7. Wire spark plug gauge/adjusting tools.
  8.  

Here again, be guided by your own needs. While not absolutely necessary, an ohmmeter can be useful in determining whether or not a spark plug wire is within its resistance specification

In addition to these basic tools, there are several other tools and gauges you may find useful. These include:

  1. A compression gauge. The screw-in type is slower to use, but eliminates the possibility of a faulty reading due to escaping pressure.
  2.  
  3. A manifold vacuum gauge.
  4.  
  5. A test light.
  6.  
  7. An induction meter. This is used for determining whether or not there is current in a wire. These are handy for use if a wire is broken somewhere in a wiring harness.
  8.  

As a final note, you will probably find a torque wrench necessary for all but the most basic work. The beam type models are perfectly adequate, although click (breakaway) types are more precise. The breakaway torque wrenches are more expensive. Keep in mind all torque wrenches should be recalibrated periodically.

The torque specification for each fastener will be given in the procedure in any case that a specific torque value is required. If no torque specifications are given, use the following values as a guide, based upon fastener size:

Bolts marked 6T

6mm bolt/nut-5-7 ft. lbs. (7-9 Nm)

8mm bolt/nut -12-17 ft. lbs. (16-23 Nm)

10mm bolt/nut-23-34 ft. lbs. (31-46 Nm)

12mm bolt/nut-41-59 ft. lbs. (55-66 Nm)

14mm bolt/nut-56-76 ft. lbs. (76-103 Nm)

Bolts marked 8T

6mm bolt/nut-6-9 ft. lbs. (8-12 Nm)

8mm bolt/nut-13-20 ft. lbs. (18-27 Nm)

10mm bolt/nut-27-40 ft. lbs. (37-54 Nm)

12mm bolt/nut-46-69 ft. lbs. (62-93 Nm)

14mm bolt/nut-75-101 ft. lbs. (102-137 Nm)



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Fig. Fig. 10: A typical tachometer/dwell meter



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Fig. Fig. 11: An inductive type timing light



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Fig. Fig. 12: A compression gauge and a combination vacuum/pressure test gauge



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Fig. Fig. 13: Keep screwdrivers in good shape. They should fit the slots as shown in "A". If they look like those shown in "B," they need grinding or replacing



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Fig. Fig. 14: When using electric tools, make sure they are properly grounded



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Fig. Fig. 15: A Total Car Care manual is as essential as your tool collection when it comes to repairing your vehicle

 
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