Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Exhaust Nut - Yearly Maintenance

I bought Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer back in June of 2008, not much in the way of maintenance records came with her. One of the things I did not know enough about then was to ask when was the last time the Finned Exhaust Nuts which hold the front portion of the exhaust pipes onto the engine's jugs had last been lubricated with anti-seize lubricant.

The BMW Finned Exhaust Nut

As my knowledge grew, thanks mainly to the Airheads Email List, Snowbum's excellent site on Airheads and their maintenance and troubleshooting and such other sources, I learned one should lubricate the threads for these exhaust nuts on a yearly or so basis. Failure to do so, will result in jammed exhaust nuts which then have to be cut off (if you're lucky and no other damage ensued) or more costly repairs involving exhaust pipe replacement.

So, today the wrench I ordered off some outfit on Ebay arrived. Its pretty lightweight and it seemed to be made of ceramic based on its surface texture. The seller says its aluminum I think. Regardless, it works as advertised. I did have to use a mallet to break the grip loose on the exhaust nuts but otherwise smooth sailing.

The exposed threads before cleaning with wire brush, they were not bad at all

The special tool one needs, although some have used a strap wrench successfully

I applied a light coat of anti-seize lubricant from the auto parts store onto the threads and carefully spun the nuts back onto them till finger-tight.

I then used the wrench to secure the exhaust nuts firmly into place. There's no real published values as to torque for this item. Snowbum says to give it a good grunt while tightening. I used the mallet to further tighten it a bit as well.

I turned on the engine, could not feel any exhaust leaking from the exhaust nuts so am calling the job good for now. I removed the engine guards which were in the way and may place them back on in a few days. I'd been having to remove the darn things to pull the valve covers and now the exhaust nuts....they may be more trouble than they're worth?

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