Spin-On Oil Filter For Six-Cylinder Cars
One of the first ‘do-it-yourself’ tasks that a BMW owner decides to tackle is the oil and filter change. The six-cylinder oil filter can make you wish that you had chosen something else like a transmission rebuild. The job isn’t really that difficult -just frustrating.
First, you crawl under the car and loosen the bolt holding canister and filter in place. If that doesn’t fall out and hit you in the face along with oil flowing through the hole , you reach in from above and finish removing the bolt , then lower everything to a resting place while the oil drains into the pan below. You did remember the drain pan, didn’t you?
After the oil drains out you try to figure out how to get the u nit out without spilling the remaining oil over the engine compartment. Reversing the process is even worse when you are trying to keep everything aligned and compress the spring to start the bolt in place.
After going through this procedure several times, I decided someone must have found an easier way. So r began to research all of my old Roundels and newsletters. Just as r expected , there were several articles ranging from the procedure described above to removing the engine first. Seriously, no one recommended removing the engine, bu t one article did suggest removing the entire filter housing from the engine.
My i nitial research produced no easy solution . After all else failed , I discussed the problem with our friendl y BMW con sultant Walter Wiesboeck at Munich West. Without even stopping to think, Walter told me the answer to my problem was a Miller and Norbum conversion to a spin-on oil filter. We consu lted the M & N catalog, and there it was in two forms . A conversion ki t, wich uses the existing housing , is available for $39 including the filter. A complete ready-to-bolt-on unit may be had at $69. I chose the con version kit since the complete u n it did not seem to be $30 easier. After complet ing the job I bel ieve that the decision was correct .
To accomplish the con version , begin by removing the entire filter and hous i ng. This is accompl ished by removi ng the four bolts holding the unit to the block . Then remove the filter and canis ter from the housing. You wi ll notice that the center post that the canister bolt is screwed into has a hole through it. This was for oil flow , but it also makes the post easy to remove. Insert a steel rod through the hole and turn.
After cleaning everything, simply in stall the gasket provided and screw the M & N adapter into place. Now you ‘re ready to screw the filter into place and bolt everything back to the block . Don’t forget to put a new gasket between the block and the housing. My kit did not include one, so be sure to order it at the same time you order your kit.
The complete unit includes a new housing with the adapter, etc. in place so you only need to remove the four bolts and install the new unit. After complet ing the change you can change filters as easi l y as 2002/320i owners.
Rocky Mountian Chapter
This article was originally published in the April 1988 edition of Zundfolge