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      02-14-2016, 11:14 AM   #1
iknowrepairs
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DIY N55 Spark Plug Change

1. Remove bulkhead cowl and covers and strut bar.
2. Remove coil packs.
3. Remove spark plugs.
4. Install spark plugs.
5. Re-install coil packs.

...
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      02-14-2016, 11:19 AM   #2
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A couple notes from when I did my spark plug change.

1. I believe the Bentley manual did this on a PWG (pre-2014) 335i. You will have an additional step for a EWG car which involves undoing 1 Torx screw to move a bracket out of the way. It is required to access cylinder #5.

2. You may need to locate a inverted Torx socket to remove the one-time strut bolts. The regular socket equivalent measurement is 9/16th inch. I ended up removing it with a 12 point socket but you run the risk of stripping the strut bolts.

3. The ignition coil packs may be difficult to remove. It requires a decent amount of force to pull out.

4. I did each cylinder separately. For example, leave everything in place and remove components for one cylinder at a time. Less chance of messing up if you're focusing on one thing at a time.

5. You will need a special tool: thin wall socket. You will also need long extensions for it. I ended up connecting two extensions together.


Last edited by Polo08816; 02-14-2016 at 11:24 AM.
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      02-14-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
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Outstanding!! Thanks for posting. Did you replace the strut stretch bolts as the manual mentioned or reused the originals. I'm due at 67K even though performance and MPG have remained good.
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      02-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Outstanding!! Thanks for posting. Did you replace the strut stretch bolts as the manual mentioned or reused the originals. I'm due at 67K even though performance and MPG have remained good.
I replaced them. However, I discovered a discrepancy with what RealOEM/manual said and what was actually on my car.

The two center bolts (near windshield) weren't the same as the bolts on the strut tower. The two center bolts had a regular 6 point head. The two bolts off the strut tower were inverted Torx heads. Also, those center bolts were a bit longer. However, the thread pitch and diameter of the bolt matched.

I ended up using 4 new Torx bolts.
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      02-14-2016, 11:42 AM   #5
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Good to know. I'll check mine today before getting plugs and stetch bolts tomorrow.
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      02-14-2016, 11:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
I replaced them. However, I discovered a discrepancy with what RealOEM/manual said and what was actually on my car.

The two center bolts (near windshield) weren't the same as the bolts on the strut tower. The two center bolts had a regular 6 point head. The two bolts off the strut tower were inverted Torx heads. Also, those center bolts were a bit longer. However, the thread pitch and diameter of the bolt matched.

I ended up using 4 new Torx bolts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Good to know. I'll check mine today before getting plugs and stetch bolts tomorrow.
I've attached a picture of the bolts. The left bolt were the original center strut bar bolts (2x). As you can see they are a bit longer than the bolt on t he right.

The bolt on the right is what RealOEM lists as the bolt for both the center strut bar bolts as well as the bolts connecting the strut bar to the strut towers.
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      02-14-2016, 11:49 AM   #7
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Here's what my old spark plugs looked like...

Breaking them loose took a bit of effort.
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      02-14-2016, 12:50 PM   #8
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If I remember correctly, aren't spark plugs part of the 50,000 mile scheduled maintenance?
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      02-14-2016, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaungo View Post
If I remember correctly, aren't spark plugs part of the 50,000 mile scheduled maintenance?
I believe not.

The reason is because BMW specifies the N55 spark plug change interval at 60,000 miles which falls outside the 50,000 mile maintenance plan.

Now it's possible an earlier N20/26 F30 would have a spark plug change included in the scheduled maintenance because those initial spark plugs were spec'd for a 30,000 mile service life. (Not sure). However, I believe a revised spark plug was introduced which increased the interval to 60,000 miles.
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      02-15-2016, 12:25 PM   #10
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Your plugs actually look pretty good given the mileage.
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      02-15-2016, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Your plugs actually look pretty good given the mileage.
I always use Top Tier gas, oil changes every 5,000-7,500 miles, and the powertrain is complete stock (no tunes).
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      02-15-2016, 04:27 PM   #12
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Ditto! I've been using the same change cycle for years on all my cars.

An interesting note for your DIY and just general info.

I just returned from the Dealer Parts Dept. and pick up the strut brace stretch bolts and sparkplugs which were listed at $30.80 ea, but when i mentioned that O'Reilly's Auto Parts down the street offered them at $20.99 & even though O'Reilly's did not have them in stock, the Parts Dept honored that price.

The bolts were $5 each, but when i asked if they really needed to be replaced, Parts Mgr said he didn't think so and they would have to order them. As we discussed the need, I asked if he minded checking with the Service Mgr, which he gladly did. Service Mgr said they don't replace them unless they look compromised or damaged.
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      02-15-2016, 06:46 PM   #13
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About time Bentley published the manual. I've been waiting forever, but gawddamn - $129?
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      02-15-2016, 07:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Ditto! I've been using the same change cycle for years on all my cars.

An interesting note for your DIY and just general info.

I just returned from the Dealer Parts Dept. and pick up the strut brace stretch bolts and sparkplugs which were listed at $30.80 ea, but when i mentioned that O'Reilly's Auto Parts down the street offered them at $20.99 & even though O'Reilly's did not have them in stock, the Parts Dept honored that price.

The bolts were $5 each, but when i asked if they really needed to be replaced, Parts Mgr said he didn't think so and they would have to order them. As we discussed the need, I asked if he minded checking with the Service Mgr, which he gladly did. Service Mgr said they don't replace them unless they look compromised or damaged.
That's good to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by _bdiddyb_ View Post
About time Bentley published the manual. I've been waiting forever, but gawddamn - $129?
If you're a BMW CCA (perhaps NCC CCA) member, they have a discount code that is 35% off but it may be only for pre-release date manuals.
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      02-16-2016, 05:47 PM   #15
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Just completed the plug change based on your DIY. Worked great. Only minor issue I encountered is I could not use my standard 3/8 extensions. It appears, on my car at least, the sleeves are not perfectly centered over the plugs and the normal extension has to go in at a slight angle which then makes it hit the top of the plug on the magnetic ring in the 14 mm plug socket, therefore not seating fully. i had to use adapters and use a 1/4" extension which solved the issue.

thanks again for your DIY. Just ordered my Bentley's
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Last edited by Orion4; 02-17-2016 at 11:14 AM. Reason: Add Photo
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      02-16-2016, 05:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Just completed the plug change based on your DIY. Worked great. Only minor issue I encountered is I could not use my standard 3/8 extensions. It appears, on my car at least, the sleeves are not perfectly centered over the plugs and the normal extension has to go in at a slight angle which then makes it hit the top of the plug on the magnetic ring in the 14 mm plug socket, therefore not seating fully. i had to use adapters and use a 1/4" extension which solved the issue.

thanks again for your DIY. Just ordered my Bentley's
Yes, I observed the same thing with the sleeve alignment. I used 1/4" extensions. Didn't even try the 3/8" at all.
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      03-03-2016, 09:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion4 View Post
Just completed the plug change based on your DIY. Worked great. Only minor issue I encountered is I could not use my standard 3/8 extensions. It appears, on my car at least, the sleeves are not perfectly centered over the plugs and the normal extension has to go in at a slight angle which then makes it hit the top of the plug on the magnetic ring in the 14 mm plug socket, therefore not seating fully. i had to use adapters and use a 1/4" extension which solved the issue.

thanks again for your DIY. Just ordered my Bentley's
Yes, I observed the same thing with the sleeve alignment. I used 1/4" extensions. Didn't even try the 3/8" at all.
The documentation in Rheingold states a flexible joint is required for this. Haven't done it myself but sounds like you can get them out without it.
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      03-04-2016, 01:51 PM   #18
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I'm sure a 3/8th universal joint connected at the top of the sparkplug socket would have solved the initial clearance issue with the 3/8th extension. Either way will work fine.
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      03-13-2016, 05:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Here's what my old spark plugs looked like...

Breaking them loose took a bit of effort.
Looks really good!
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      03-13-2016, 08:30 PM   #20
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Great DIY, I'm coming up on 60K and am planning to replace my spark plugs myself. Subscribed for future posterity!
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      04-29-2016, 05:04 PM   #21
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Hey can anyone help me out with the part number for the replacement strut tower stretch bolts? I can't find them on realOEM.
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      04-29-2016, 11:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pisgahlvr View Post
Hey can anyone help me out with the part number for the replacement strut tower stretch bolts? I can't find them on realOEM.
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=51_8381

I believe it's under "vehicle trim" and then "3' F30 335i Reinforcement for body, front". It took me a while to find it.

02 Torx screw with collar ASA M10X20 4 07147270121
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