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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Need a way to get TDC on my car for intake valve cleaning



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      07-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
endlesstime
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Question Need a way to get TDC on my car for intake valve cleaning

I tried looking up things on how to get top dead center on the rest of my intake valves because I am cleaning them myself. Some say to turn the crank bolt but I have no idea where that is and I don't feel like taking the oil pan off that what i think you have to do. The car is a 6MT and its on stands so i can't really try to shake it. Any suggestions?
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      09-22-2012, 02:43 AM   #2
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      09-22-2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by shaginwagon13 View Post
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The only way I found out how to by doing some research, is getting under the car with a flat head screw driver and there is a little slot for the flywheel that you can see, you put the screw driver on the teeth and pushed it the one way with the screw driver resting on the one case around the flywheel, you will know when you see it. I know it doesn't sound like the best method but once you get it going it is pretty easy. You just have to keep getting out from under the car and check if the valves are closed. Only 2 or 3 valves will be closed at one time ao after you're done cleaning those get under amd turn it some more. Some people probabaly say not to do this but I only found out with method by another post I found on here. Hope this helps!
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      09-22-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endlesstime View Post
The only way I found out how to by doing some research, is getting under the car with a flat head screw driver and there is a little slot for the flywheel that you can see, you put the screw driver on the teeth and pushed it the one way with the screw driver resting on the one case around the flywheel, you will know when you see it. I know it doesn't sound like the best method but once you get it going it is pretty easy. You just have to keep getting out from under the car and check if the valves are closed. Only 2 or 3 valves will be closed at one time ao after you're done cleaning those get under amd turn it some more. Some people probabaly say not to do this but I only found out with method by another post I found on here. Hope this helps!
Is there a tool that you can use in spark plug location that will let you know when the piston is at TDC?
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      09-22-2012, 06:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shaginwagon13 View Post
Is there a tool that you can use in spark plug location that will let you know when the piston is at TDC?
I'm not really sure if there is a tool for that, but what are you trying to do? If you are cleaning the intake valves you can spray carb or brake cleaner in the valve and see if it puddles and if it does its closed. It won't hurt the engine because it can be burned off when you turn the car on.
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      09-22-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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Don't make it harder than it needs to be! Either buy or make a remote engine start. Remove the plug from the starter and conect to the two terminals. Battery power is the stud just above the plug. Bump the switch to rotate the engine until you see the valves close. Then bump a tad more for good measure. It's just that simple. Obviously, make SURE the tranny is in neutral...
See pdf here on first post for more details.

I've used this procedure 5 times so far without issue.
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      09-23-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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This is too easy and I'm not sure why it is being made so difficult.

If you are cleaning the intake valves then you have all the engine cover stuff stripped off. Just pull all the plugs out (so there is no compression to fight), use a breaker bar on the crankshaf bolt in the center of the harmonic balancer (i.e. the crank pulley) and rotate the engine as needed. The tool I use to determine TDC is a plastic straw (like a Mc Donalds drinking straw) in the cylinder I'm trying to locate TDC. You can also use a long, small diameter wood dowel. When the straw, or dowel, is at it max hieght out of the plug hole you know the piston is at TDC. The length of the straw or dowel is determined by the piston stroke dimension plus a few inches (say 6 inches or so) so you can see the top of it above the valve cover. Simple. Make sure the car is in neutral....
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      09-23-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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OP-I have walnut blasted at least 15 cars at this point. Just remove connector going to starter and use a three inch piece of wire to jump from the inside of the connector to the powered bolt right below it. Sorry, for the lack of description as I am on the road and do not have access to my Bentley. If you still need help- I can be more exact on Tuesday when I get home.
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      09-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #9
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There you have it, now why didn't anyone answer when I tried to ask and I had to do it the hard way. Next time I do it I will know now. Thanks
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      09-23-2012, 11:34 PM   #10
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I just bump the starter from inside the car. I think the next time I will buy a remote starter.
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      09-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
This is too easy and I'm not sure why it is being made so difficult.

If you are cleaning the intake valves then you have all the engine cover stuff stripped off. Just pull all the plugs out (so there is no compression to fight), use a breaker bar on the crankshaf bolt in the center of the harmonic balancer (i.e. the crank pulley) and rotate the engine as needed. The tool I use to determine TDC is a plastic straw (like a Mc Donalds drinking straw) in the cylinder I'm trying to locate TDC. You can also use a long, small diameter wood dowel. When the straw, or dowel, is at it max hieght out of the plug hole you know the piston is at TDC. The length of the straw or dowel is determined by the piston stroke dimension plus a few inches (say 6 inches or so) so you can see the top of it above the valve cover. Simple. Make sure the car is in neutral....
X2, done the same trick on every vehicle I've owned. You can even leave in gear and turn the wheels. I've used a socket extension in the cylinder to find TDC.
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