E90Post
 


MINHS Auto Care Center
 
BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > Oil Dipstick Retrofit?



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      08-16-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
IlChengis
once Treppiede
IlChengis's Avatar
Italy
14
Rep
868
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 E92 M3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miami and Atlanta

iTrader: (4)

Oil Dipstick Retrofit?

*** Please avoid posting here if you intend on praising the electronic oil level monitor system on the car. If you like it, enjoy your dipstick-less N54 and don't pollute this thread unless you have helpful technical insight. I would like to maintain this thread free from dipstick vs. electronic level monitor debates. Thank you. ***

Guys,
The lack of dipstick is one of the things that piss me off the most about this car. We've all seen the many debate threads and the pros/cons everyone lists.

I heard the 335d comes with a dipstick. Is this correct?

Am I right to assume that BMW likely used a similar block cast for the N57? Am I right to assume that our block *might* have a blank spot where the N57's dipstick is mounted?

I am sick and tired of the bullshit sensor that our N54s came with. I want to be able to look, smell and lick the oil in my car by popping the hood. I am also sick of getting low oil warnings when I leave the car warming up on an incline for more than 2 minutes.

Please share your knowledge and let's figure out a way to retrofit a dipstick on our cars.

Thanks,

-Walter
__________________
2012 E92 M3 | AlpWhite | FoxRed | AlumTrim | CompPackage
Previous: 2009 E92 335i | 6MT | AlpWhite | CoralRed | AlumTrim | M-Sport | Nav | Logic7 | Alarm (sold to a friend)
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
Jon335iFL
Brigadier General
Jon335iFL's Avatar
92
Rep
4,842
Posts

 
Drives: This----------->
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Jrz :)

iTrader: (14)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treppiede View Post
*** Please avoid posting here if you intend on praising the electronic oil level monitor system on the car. If you like it, enjoy your dipstick-less N54 and don't pollute this thread unless you have helpful technical insight. I would like to maintain this thread free from dipstick vs. electronic level monitor debates. Thank you. ***

Guys,
The lack of dipstick is one of the things that piss me off the most about this car. We've all seen the many debate threads and the pros/cons everyone lists.

I heard the 335d comes with a dipstick. Is this correct?

Am I right to assume that BMW likely used a similar block cast for the N57? Am I right to assume that our block *might* have a blank spot where the N57's dipstick is mounted?

I am sick and tired of the bullshit sensor that our N54s came with. I want to be able to look, smell and lick the oil in my car by popping the hood. I am also sick of getting low oil warnings when I leave the car warming up on an incline for more than 2 minutes.

Please share your knowledge and let's figure out a way to retrofit a dipstick on our cars.

Thanks,

-Walter
This is actually a very good idea. And yes licking oil is something i like also .
__________________


.
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
I335
Brigadier General
I335's Avatar
59
Rep
4,251
Posts

 
Drives: '08 335i Coupe
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: New England

iTrader: (11)

There are so many people who agree with you that I'm guessing there is no place to install a dip stick on the N54 or someone would have done it by now. That said, it's still worth investigating and confirming either way. I'm not about to have my block drilled to add a dip stick but I'd certainly add one if it wasn't too much of a hassle and not too expensive. One way to figure this out is to have a look at the diesel block, see where the dipstick is located, and then have a look at the N54 to see if there's a plug in the same location. Good luck and let us know what you find out!
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 01:46 PM   #4
pimple
Private
United_States
0
Rep
88
Posts

 
Drives: 335i N54
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: .

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Treppiede
...I want to be able to look, smell and lick the oil in my car by popping the hood. ...
Although it is a bit of a hassle, you could always unscrew the oil filter and inspect (and lick ) the oil that way. I'll tell you, it gets black surprisingly quickly in the N54.
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
IlChengis
once Treppiede
IlChengis's Avatar
Italy
14
Rep
868
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 E92 M3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miami and Atlanta

iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by I335 View Post
One way to figure this out is to have a look at the diesel block, see where the dipstick is located, and then have a look at the N54 to see if there's a plug in the same location.
That was exactly my plan. I was thinking on swinging by the dealer and taking a look under the hood, but I figured I'd ask here first in case someone had already looked and documented.

I am concerned about drilling my block as well. I am not too concerned about metal shavings since I suspect one could drop the oil pan and place a shop-vac hose under the location where the bit is supposed to come through. What concerns me is the way the hole is drilled. It ought to be done in a way that the block doesn't crack/weaken.

This would be too good to be true, but can you imagine how awesome it would be if it turns out our N54s have a plug where the N57's dipstick is mounted and all that was needed to retrofit was the dipstick + guide from BMW? One can only dream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pimple View Post
Although it is a bit of a hassle, you could always unscrew the oil filter and inspect (and lick ) the oil that way.
I hear you, but I can't tell the oil level that way.

-Walter
__________________
2012 E92 M3 | AlpWhite | FoxRed | AlumTrim | CompPackage
Previous: 2009 E92 335i | 6MT | AlpWhite | CoralRed | AlumTrim | M-Sport | Nav | Logic7 | Alarm (sold to a friend)
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
pimple
Private
United_States
0
Rep
88
Posts

 
Drives: 335i N54
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: .

iTrader: (0)

It looks like the oil dipstick terminates at the oil pan, and the N57 and N54 have entirely different oil pans.

N57:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...09&hg=11&fg=05

N54:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...30&hg=11&fg=05

Treppiede, I would just let this go. There are better things to have your mind on than retrofitting a dipstick. But, good luck if you do follow thru.

Last edited by pimple; 08-16-2010 at 11:08 PM.
Appreciate 0
      08-16-2010, 03:35 PM   #7
David1
Colonel
David1's Avatar
United_States
28
Rep
2,664
Posts

 
Drives: 09 E92 09 X5
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: City With No Room For Ludicris Speed!

iTrader: (0)

Even if you could add a dipstick, it would make the PCV system less effective since you would be adding an atmospheric leak to the motor making the cyclonic oil seperator not work properly, clogging it making for an expensive repair. Plus adding it would make it an emissions leak (open to atmosphere due to design change) and would be illegal. In the next few years all dipstics will be gone on new motors to completley seal against all evaporative emissions types.
__________________
09 335i Coupe LBM - Black Dakota/Glacier aluminum-6spd|Nav|M-Sport|Premium|Logic7|Heated Seats|CA|BMW Performance Suspension & M3 Control Arms|M3 lip spoiler|Avant Garde M510 Wheels
07 335 coupe - Sold
Appreciate 0
      08-17-2010, 09:31 AM   #8
IlChengis
once Treppiede
IlChengis's Avatar
Italy
14
Rep
868
Posts

 
Drives: 2012 E92 M3
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Miami and Atlanta

iTrader: (4)

Quote:
Originally Posted by pimple View Post
It looks like the oil dipstick terminates at the oil pan, and the N57 and N54 have entirely different oil pans.
Treppiede, I would just let this go. There are better things to have your mind on than retrofitting a dipstick. But, good luck if you do follow thru.
Pimple, thanks for the information and useful diagrams. I know what you mean and I agree, there are better things to worry about. I feel - however - that the absence of dipstick is negatively affecting my experience as an enthusiast and I would enjoy this car so much more (and have more peace of mind) if I had access to real oil checking means.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David1 View Post
Even if you could add a dipstick, it would make the PCV system less effective since you would be adding an atmospheric leak to the motor making the cyclonic oil seperator not work properly, clogging it making for an expensive repair. Plus adding it would make it an emissions leak (open to atmosphere due to design change) and would be illegal. In the next few years all dipstics will be gone on new motors to completley seal against all evaporative emissions types.
Thanks David, very insightful. I am not concerned about the illegality, but I do worry about the atmospheric leak and affecting of the oil separator (which I am not familiar with). Does the N57 use a similar oil separation mechanism? I assume the N57's dipstick has a good seal, or could be improved.

One thing is for sure: having the dipstick on the oilpan sure makes things easier by taking block-drilling out of the picture.

-Walter
__________________
2012 E92 M3 | AlpWhite | FoxRed | AlumTrim | CompPackage
Previous: 2009 E92 335i | 6MT | AlpWhite | CoralRed | AlumTrim | M-Sport | Nav | Logic7 | Alarm (sold to a friend)
Appreciate 0
      03-02-2011, 09:40 AM   #9
radeohedca
Private
Canada
3
Rep
91
Posts

 
Drives: 2007 328i 6-spd NAVI
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada

iTrader: (0)

Looks to me like the pan might be the same but the electronic sensor now takes the place of the dipstick tube. What about replacing the sensor with the tube and fooling the sensor to keep the computer happy ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by pimple View Post
It looks like the oil dipstick terminates at the oil pan, and the N57 and N54 have entirely different oil pans.

N57:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...09&hg=11&fg=05

N54:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...30&hg=11&fg=05

Treppiede, I would just let this go. There are better things to have your mind on than retrofitting a dipstick. But, good luck if you do follow thru.
Appreciate 0
      03-02-2011, 04:29 PM   #10
Tj Hunter
S54 Master Tech
United_States
0
Rep
88
Posts

 
Drives: E46 M3, E83 X3
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Minnesota

iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by radeohedca View Post
Looks to me like the pan might be the same but the electronic sensor now takes the place of the dipstick tube. What about replacing the sensor with the tube and fooling the sensor to keep the computer happy ?
I have not taken a look at these engines personally, but looking on RealOEM, it does look like there is a sensor/plug in the dipstick location, and all you would have to do to trick the system is jump the wires to make a closed circuit, but you would not have a sensor for low oil level so you would HAVE to check your oil from the dipstick, which is not too big of a deal, but if you sold the car that is something that I would disclose to potential buyer.

OP et al - the engine for the 335d is M57 no N57.
Appreciate 0
      03-03-2011, 10:51 AM   #11
radeohedca
Private
Canada
3
Rep
91
Posts

 
Drives: 2007 328i 6-spd NAVI
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada

iTrader: (0)

I would probably restore it back to use the sensor if/when I sold the car.

I'm going to investigate further and see if I can acquire a dipstick and tube.
Appreciate 0
      03-03-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
secretsquirrel
Colonel
secretsquirrel's Avatar
26
Rep
2,100
Posts

 
Drives: 335i nFifty4LiFe
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: land of the squirrel

iTrader: (2)

Subscribed.
Appreciate 0
      03-03-2011, 11:31 AM   #13
Jeff@TopGearSolutions
BimmerPost Supporting Vendor
Jeff@TopGearSolutions's Avatar
United_States
244
Rep
18,349
Posts


 
Drives: C6 Z06, GSXR-750, 09 335i
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: TopGearSolutions.com

iTrader: (32)

Send a message via AIM to Jeff@TopGearSolutions
LOL Lick...

I can agree with the OP on all counts.

Dealer told me the other day they were going to "check the oil condition" to see if it needed oil changed.

I was thinking in my head, what the hell is he going to do, stick his midget head in the engine and peak around?

Classic SA BS. Like I'm dumb.
Appreciate 0
      03-03-2011, 02:27 PM   #14
shifterboy45
Major
shifterboy45's Avatar
14
Rep
1,180
Posts

 
Drives: 2009 335i Coupe
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: North by Northwest

iTrader: (0)

you know i thought the same thing when an advisor told me that the CBS checks "oil condition" -- i yelled BS!!

then i looked up the docs on the 4Gen CBS and ate my words. at that point i had to check myself cause he had just be to training class.

several routines have been added to the diagnostic test plans on the some of the later ISTA/P/D which include oil condition and fuel octane ..

cant read it off of key data -- but ISTA can .. helps to monitor folks that may not want to take advantage of the maint program while under a lease, or busy high mileage drivers

ill see if i can find the bulletin on CBS data, and ill post the SIB
*********************
SIB 00 07 02
dated Feb 2009

Last edited by shifterboy45; 03-03-2011 at 03:07 PM.
Appreciate 0
      03-03-2011, 02:39 PM   #15
Chowbow
pew pew
80
Rep
6,736
Posts

 
Drives: 三三五i
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: CA

iTrader: (5)

Garage List
I'm interested in this too. I use a oil extractor to do my oil changes and I usually suction the oil out through dipstick. Out of all the cars in the house this is the only car that I cannot do that with. We have a Mercedes that doesn't have a dipstick either but it's got a "service port" which is basically a dipstick tube with a plug on top simply used for oil extraction at the dealer.

BTW, let's not turn this into a debate about how well oil extractors work or don't work. In my experience, I can jack a car up, extract all the oil out, and pull the drain plug and get drops out of it. So to me, it's negligible. I understand if people don't like this approach, but the convenience of having this is enough for me to add a dipstick to the N54 if it isn't insanely difficult.
__________________
CSL replicas are now CSL counterfeits. Jesus saves, like Valentine1.
Appreciate 0
      02-23-2012, 10:49 AM   #16
megaguirius
Enlisted Member
1
Rep
34
Posts

 
Drives: 2007 335i convertible
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Diego, Ca

iTrader: (0)

OP: I fully agree. As for those who didn't bother reading your request to not sing the praises of the dipstickless design... and especially the idea that a dipstick adds atmospheric leaks... piffle!

A good dipstick has a narrow tube and a snug-fitting stick handle with a rubber o-ring to seal off 100%. Personally, I think betting an entire engine and possible oil starvation on something electronic that can and DOES fail, is unacceptable.

Can someone figure this out so we can tap and instal a dipstick please? Bonus points because you don't have to modify the block, just the pan.
Appreciate 0
      02-23-2012, 11:42 AM   #17
JamesM3M5
Some dude
United_States
24
Rep
1,760
Posts

 
Drives: E28 M5, E92 335i
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern VA

iTrader: (0)

You know what? I have some spare time this afternoon, I'll throw the car up on a lift and see where we can put a dipstick in the pan. This will only require removal/modification of the pan, and only be mildly more work than changing the pan gasket. I did it on a steel oil pan on the N52 Grand Am car we had, and we ended up needing to run a Kinetic Motorsports baffled oil pan with 9-11 liters of oil in it. That car had so much grip we ended up filling it with oil until it smoked lightly on hard left had turns. The Motec dash kept recording oil pressure drops with no less than 9 liters of oil in it, and a 2.5hr race meant at least one quart of oil consumption even with a perfectly working oil separator system.
__________________
RRT Racing
E92 335i/6MT Dinan Stage 3: intercooler, oil cooler, intake, flash, exhaust, LW dual-mass flywheel.
Vishnu PWM methanol custom trunk mount, Diffsonline 3-clutch Salisbury custom diff, Ohlins Road and Track coilovers, Vorshlag camber plates, much more...
E28 M5 w/ buncha stuff, R171 SLK350
Appreciate 0
      02-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #18
megaguirius
Enlisted Member
1
Rep
34
Posts

 
Drives: 2007 335i convertible
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: San Diego, Ca

iTrader: (0)

James you da man!
Appreciate 0
      02-23-2012, 01:20 PM   #19
enrita
Major General
enrita's Avatar
Sweden
92
Rep
7,331
Posts

 
Drives: 335i - Big turbos
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Italian in Sweden

iTrader: (0)

Good luck.... Kinda funny thread ...
__________________
07 335i AT - TD St.2 Turbos - COBB (Custom Cobb mapping by http://www.protuningfreaks.com/) - JB4G5 ISO - Okada Coils - NGK 5992 Plugs - E85 Walbro - Injen Intake - Helix IC - Snow Stg. 3 - Stett CP - AR DPs - midpipes 100 HJS Cats - Bastuck Quad - PSS10 - QUAIFE LSD - BMS OCC - Forge DVs - AR OC - ALCON BBK - M3 Chassi - Dinan CP - Velocity M rear Toe arms - Advan RZ-DF - Level 10 AT upgrade - Alpina AT Flash
Appreciate 0
      02-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #20
JamesM3M5
Some dude
United_States
24
Rep
1,760
Posts

 
Drives: E28 M5, E92 335i
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Northern VA

iTrader: (0)

OK, you can see the angled side of the pan from the left side near the steering shaft (for us LHD cars). This means that we have a couple of options:

1) A cheap universal dipstick commonly available at places like Summit Racing and Jegs. Requires drilling and tapping the oil pan for a 1/4" NPT or similar in the right spot, draining and refilling the sump with 7 liters of oil, and marking your dipstick. I don't know how interested others would be in knowing what is 1 liter low / 1 liter high / etc.

2) Using an E36 or E46 dipstick, machining a receiver to accept the o-ring seal on the dipstick tube, drilling the oil pan - hopefully in the right spot, welding the receiver onto the pan, and mounting the dipstick, hoping that you got the depth and position correct that 7 liters comes up to the high mark. This has the added difficulties of cutting and repositioning the dipstick tube receiver if you get it wrong the first time. Of course this must also be done outside the car. Unless someone has an N54 on a stand set at the correct angle, this will be a time consuming affair.

So it's possible, but I don't have that kind of free time on my hands. If you REALLY want a dipstick, the easiest solution is to drill and tap for a universal dipstick. You of course end up with shavings in the pan that *may* be flushed out the drain, but I wouldn't bet on it. The best way is to pull the pan and drill/tap outside the car, install universal dipstick, reinstall pan, then calibrate from there.
__________________
RRT Racing
E92 335i/6MT Dinan Stage 3: intercooler, oil cooler, intake, flash, exhaust, LW dual-mass flywheel.
Vishnu PWM methanol custom trunk mount, Diffsonline 3-clutch Salisbury custom diff, Ohlins Road and Track coilovers, Vorshlag camber plates, much more...
E28 M5 w/ buncha stuff, R171 SLK350
Appreciate 0
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:46 PM.




e90post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST