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From Fri Jul 3 19:32:51 1998
Date: Fri, 3 Jul 1998 22:32:04 EDT
Subject: <E36> Lets secure my VDO Oil temperature sender

Some people that installed the VDO gauge package are concerned that the oil temperature sender is mounted in the oil sump where the oil drain plug used to live. I assume that the concern is that it may loosen and fall out. I've experienced no problem with this on both of my cars, but I have thought about the possibility:). Another concern is that the ham and egger who changes your oil will take the head off of the sender when he approaches 20 LB-ft. I did this myself, prior to knowing the correct 11 LB-ft torque value:). Not sure how to solve this one, other then doing it yourself.

One night at the motor mill, watching the guys dress an F 100 jet engine for test, I was looking at how all of the F 100 engine component fasteners were safety wired in place. I was thinking, why not do this on my oil sump mounted VDO oil temperature senders, to assure that they stay in place.

I removed both of my senders and drilled a 3/64 " hole across every other hex point. This will easily accommodate the (0.25") stainless steel safety wire I chose to use.

Safety Wire:

The following is just a guide. Read it completely before attempting this modification. I completed this modification on my '96 328is (build date 4-1-96). If your car is different, modify the following accordingly. As always, feel free to do it your way. Here we go:

    BMW stuff
     1 each Bolt M8x25, part # 07 11 9 913 657 $0.15 retail
     Fender washer 1 inch
     Blue lock-tite
     Safety wire .025"
     Drill 1/16 inch   
     Drill 3/64 inch
     Drill 8 mm, or round file to enlarge the center hole of the
      fender washer 

I accomplished the above using my drill press with the sender held by my machinist vise. Prick (center) punch and drill a (larger) 1/16 " hole perpendicular and centered on the hex flat just in enough to accommodate the 3/64 " drill in the next step. Since the 3/64 " hole you are drilling is at an angle to the flat, this step lets it happen. Rotate the sender sixty degrees. Position the 3/64 " drill in the chuck so it sticks out 1/2 " or so (less likely to bend). Begin drilling the 3/64 " hole across the point just starting the hole. Now you can reposition the drill out of the chuck enough to completely drill the hole. Repeat the above for the other two points.

On my 328 I took a 1 inch fender washer (big washer with a small hole) and enlarged its center hole to accommodate the M8 bolt. I also drilled a 3/64 hole close to the edge of the washer to accommodate the safety wire (tie point). On my 328 there are two M8 threaded holes at the front of the transmission. I installed the bolt washer assembly to the passenger side one using blue lock-tite. Position the 3/64 inch hole you drilled in the washer forward. I torqued the bolt to 20 LB-ft. Technically we are using the bolt as a screw since there is no nut. I look at a threaded hole as a fixed nut.

Safety Wire:

Safety Wire

Reinstall the sender (11 LB-ft) and safety wire it in place. If you do not have a safety wire tool, you can crudely duplicate one with an electric drill.

From my mechanic friend at work (Top Gun), a brief safety wire course: Pass the wire through the installed sender and loop it back. Grab the wire pair the distance to the securing point with the safety wire tool or your drill. Twist the result (7 to 10) turns per inch. The securing point is selected to prevent the sender from turning CCW. No more than 6 1/2 inches from the sender to the securing point (I went 10). Pass one of the wires through the washer you mounted at the securing point and twist the pair. Cut the wires ~ 3/8 " past the securing point. Put a curl in the end so you don't cut yourself in the future., FLI BMW, FLY BMW, Marlborough, CT
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