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      01-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #45
Jstic
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Finally found the time to complete this repair. The initial gear position and diagrams are attached. The PDF file also gives the part numbers for anyone who needs to buy the new gears. Cost is less than $30 for the plastic parts.

I think I have also discovered what caused this problem. When I pulled out the cabin air filter, a bunch of leaves, small twigs and other debris was clogging the fresh air flap opening, which did not allow the gear and actuator to close it properly. This is probably what caused the actuator to skip gear teeth as the white gear was trying to turn the black gear(see previous posts for photos) but the black gear which controls the flap, had no where to go.
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      01-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #46
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Excellent! Thanks for posting this. I'm going to dig into it this Spring.
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      01-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #47
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Here is a picture of the two gears I replaced, damage and missing teeth circled.
At first look, I did not see this, once I took them out the damage was far greater than I first thought.
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      01-03-2013, 03:51 PM   #48
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Hi Jstic,

Thanks for posting that alldata sheet up and for the pics. I noticed the same thing in the new z4 I got, so this seems to be a common issue...

I'm going to do a full service to the car either this weekend or next, and this is on the itineary. Do I have to just pull the panel underneath the glovebox and the glovebox? Or do I have to pull apart the entire dash? IIRC, that panel is held in by just a couple of screws, right?

Thanks for sharing this info with us!

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      01-03-2013, 05:51 PM   #49
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Yup, 2 screws. That is all I pulled. The General Module for body electronics is attached to the backside of the panel, so don't just yank the panel out. Lower it a bit after removing screws and you will see the module. It is held in place by two 8mm bolts that lag into the plastic panel. I also removed the passenger seat so I could stretch out a bit and work comofortably on my back. Be very patient, this job took me all of 8 hours total.

The TIS says to remove the glove box. I did that initially and also removed the passenger side knee airbag. It really did not give me any better access, I would have had to take out the fuse panel to be able to gain access to the actuator and gears. I found that I could do everything I needed to do by working on my back rather than taking the dash apart. Others may find it easier to follow the TIS and remove the glove box and air bag unit. If you are big,(I am 5'11" and 190 lbs.), you may not be able to do it the way I did.

Last edited by Jstic; 01-03-2013 at 05:57 PM.
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      01-03-2013, 06:01 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstic View Post
Finally found the time to complete this repair. The initial gear position and diagrams are attached. The PDF file also gives the part numbers for anyone who needs to buy the new gears. Cost is less than $30 for the plastic parts.

I think I have also discovered what caused this problem. When I pulled out the cabin air filter, a bunch of leaves, small twigs and other debris was clogging the fresh air flap opening, which did not allow the gear and actuator to close it properly. This is probably what caused the actuator to skip gear teeth as the white gear was trying to turn the black gear(see previous posts for photos) but the black gear which controls the flap, had no where to go.
So how did this stuff get past the cabin air filter? Was it not installed or not installed correctly? When I replaced mine there were a few leaves on the inlet side, but the outlet side was clean. That cabin air filter is a PITA, it's much easier to replace on my wife's 335is Coupe.
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      01-03-2013, 09:40 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstic View Post
Finally found the time to complete this repair. The initial gear position and diagrams are attached. The PDF file also gives the part numbers for anyone who needs to buy the new gears. Cost is less than $30 for the plastic parts.

I think I have also discovered what caused this problem. When I pulled out the cabin air filter, a bunch of leaves, small twigs and other debris was clogging the fresh air flap opening, which did not allow the gear and actuator to close it properly. This is probably what caused the actuator to skip gear teeth as the white gear was trying to turn the black gear(see previous posts for photos) but the black gear which controls the flap, had no where to go.
Jstic,

Excellent, really excellent. Thanks for your diligence in tracking down this information and sharing it with us!

Rick F.
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      01-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SD Z4MR View Post
So how did this stuff get past the cabin air filter? Was it not installed or not installed correctly? When I replaced mine there were a few leaves on the inlet side, but the outlet side was clean. That cabin air filter is a PITA, it's much easier to replace on my wife's 335is Coupe.
The cabin air filter is after the outlet flap in the air flow cycle. The filter is actually part of the problem as it is within 2mm of the open flap and the leaves rest up against the filter and accumulate. If fresh air flap is left open for a long period of time, leaves and debris accumulate and once they hit the filter, they have no where to go. On my car the leaves had accumulated about halfway between the cabin filter and the inlet under the hood. Bottom line, check or change air filter regularly.
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      01-04-2013, 07:20 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstic View Post
The cabin air filter is after the outlet flap in the air flow cycle. The filter is actually part of the problem as it is within 2mm of the open flap and the leaves rest up against the filter and accumulate. If fresh air flap is left open for a long period of time, leaves and debris accumulate and once they hit the filter, they have no where to go. On my car the leaves had accumulated about halfway between the cabin filter and the inlet under the hood. Bottom line, check or change air filter regularly.
Thanks, good to know. It was such a PITA to change I tried spending as little time as possible wedged in under the glove box!
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      07-16-2014, 09:12 AM   #54
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Just thought I would update this thread with a progress report. Since repairing the fresh air flap gearing I have not had any further problems. It has now been 18 months and the system works as it should without any crunching noises.

I also have made it a point to clean out my cabin filter or replace it every year.
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      07-28-2014, 02:14 PM   #55
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Jstic - thanks for all the info you have supplied. I, too, have this problem and I'm debating what to do next. I have disconnected the actuator and crunching noises have stopped. I'm also thinking that since I have done that the air flap is now in its recirc position - correct? If so, that's fine with me. During the summer months down here in FL you need the AC to be in the recirc position while during the winter months the AC is off and the windows and/or the top is down. Am I doing more harm than good by keeping the actuator disconnected?
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      07-28-2014, 07:07 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jstic View Post
Just thought I would update this thread with a progress report. Since repairing the fresh air flap gearing I have not had any further problems. It has now been 18 months and the system works as it should without any crunching noises.

I also have made it a point to clean out my cabin filter or replace it every year.
This just came up on my service calendar to do in the next week. After remembering how much of a PITA it was to pull out the filter and replace it, I was just going to let it slide. I'm pretty sure I did let it slide last year, so I probably really need to do it this year. Fortunately we don't have the size and quantity of leaves that you have back East, but it's probably worth checking.
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      07-29-2014, 05:28 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG Z4 View Post
Jstic - thanks for all the info you have supplied. I, too, have this problem and I'm debating what to do next. I have disconnected the actuator and crunching noises have stopped. I'm also thinking that since I have done that the air flap is now in its recirc position - correct? If so, that's fine with me. During the summer months down here in FL you need the AC to be in the recirc position while during the winter months the AC is off and the windows and/or the top is down. Am I doing more harm than good by keeping the actuator disconnected?

I doubt you are doing any harm at all. What you did(by disconnecting actuator) is the same thing as having your fresh air flap in one position all the time. When you disconnected the actuator, if you were in recirc mode, then it will stay in recirc full time now. If you were in fresh air mode, then it will be in fresh air mode full time.

If you are not sure, then just plug the actuator back in, put it in the mode you want, then disconnect again.
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      07-30-2014, 07:21 AM   #58
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Thanks Jstic - what I find puzzling is that mine makes that crunching noise right before I start the engine but then the actuator works fine after that. If the gears have jumped and are out of position wouldn't it make that crunching noise any time I change from fresh to recirc (or vise versa)? I'm wondering if there is a separate signal that triggers that actuator upon start up and if I can defeat it by maybe cutting one of those four wires or something.
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      07-30-2014, 08:26 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG Z4 View Post
Thanks Jstic - what I find puzzling is that mine makes that crunching noise right before I start the engine but then the actuator works fine after that. If the gears have jumped and are out of position wouldn't it make that crunching noise any time I change from fresh to recirc (or vise versa)? I'm wondering if there is a separate signal that triggers that actuator upon start up and if I can defeat it by maybe cutting one of those four wires or something.
I thought of that too, and even tried tracing the wires and pinpointing what each one does. Could never figure out anything beyond that. My car also acted fine after it started and went through the initial gear crunching. If I remember right, it was exclusively at startup.

To be honest, I'm glad I made the repair, but if I had to do it again, I might just live with the noise, or disconnect the actuator like you did, and leave it at that. It really is a big PITA, and takes ninja fingers to complete the way I did it.
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      07-30-2014, 09:39 AM   #60
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Just out of curiosity (crunching noise? WTF?) I started reading this thread - even though my car doesn't (yet) exhibit these symptoms - and by the second page recognized that we were dealing with a top notch trouble shooter in Jstic - I found his methodology and approach very interesting and (at least I'd like to think) similar to the way I tend to approach things. Bravo.

So now I'm realizing:
1) that changing the cabin filter in these cars is significantly more involved than in any of our other cars,
2) that I have never (doh!!) changed my own filter since purchasing the car (an '08 3.0si roadster) in November 2010,
3) that I've already had to replace a soft-top motor because of accumulated debris in the poorly designed drainage tubes, and
4) that I better get my ass under the dash and change the air filter this weekend, or be prepared to hear my own crunching noises!!

Thanks for the kick in the ass!
BTW, for those who have now received a similar kick, the video appended below seems to be a pretty good primer on how to actually change the filter -

Mike

PS - Is it just me, or do these cars sure seem to have design issues with proper 'waste' elimination?

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      07-30-2014, 08:24 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimolaoha View Post
BTW, for those who have now received a similar kick, the video appended below seems to be a pretty good primer on how to actually change the filter -
Good find! This video shows exactly what needs to be done but in no way conveys the absolute PITA it is to actually do it!

FYI, this filter is out of stock at filterheads.com, the company that made the video. The Mann filter that Amazon sells is now $19.53 and is also out of stock but is available from a third-party Amazon seller for $20.41 + free shipping. I paid $15.72 for this filter with Amazon Prime two years ago.
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      07-31-2014, 07:16 AM   #62
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Kimolaoha - just follow the above video. When you drop the panel you might have to disconnect the footwell light as well (if equipped). Also no need to totally remove the screw on the right side that's holding the "metal box" (General Module 5). Just loosen and slide the box out to the left.
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      07-31-2014, 09:44 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG Z4 View Post
Kimolaoha - just follow the above video. When you drop the panel you might have to disconnect the footwell light as well (if equipped). Also no need to totally remove the screw on the right side that's holding the "metal box" (General Module 5). Just loosen and slide the box out to the left.
Thanks.
Another thread indicates that one member had some difficulty with a plastic rivet that may have connected the filter housing to some duct work or something. It's not in the video. Do you have any recollection of this, or know what he may have been talking about?
The video, of course, makes it look like a walk in the park, but anecdotal evidence from the forum indicates that SD Z4MR and many others may not agree.
Mike
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      07-31-2014, 10:57 AM   #64
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The video is pretty spot on. I don't recall any plastic rivet. You don't have to remove any housings etc., just the bottom filter cover. I have a '04 2.5i so it might be different on yours. When I first got my car, last month, I wanted to check this filter (along with many other things). The filter was quite dirty so I took it out and put everything back together without the filter. Since I was in a learning mode this whole process took about 20 miins. When my new filter arrived and since this was my second time around it took about 15 mins to put in the new filter. Here again this might be different on your car but mine was not that difficult. I'd say the biggest issue (if you call it that) was lining the screws up with the holes when you're re-installing the bottom panel. My guess is that in the M series this process is be completely different.
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      07-31-2014, 11:10 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG Z4 View Post
The video is pretty spot on. I don't recall any plastic rivet. You don't have to remove any housings etc., just the bottom filter cover. I have a '04 2.5i so it might be different on yours. When I first got my car, last month, I wanted to check this filter (along with many other things). The filter was quite dirty so I took it out and put everything back together without the filter. Since I was in a learning mode this whole process took about 20 miins. When my new filter arrived and since this was my second time around it took about 15 mins to put in the new filter. Here again this might be different on your car but mine was not that difficult. I'd say the biggest issue (if you call it that) was lining the screws up with the holes when you're re-installing the bottom panel. My guess is that in the M series this process is be completely different.
Thanks for this info.
My E85 is not an M, but it is a 2008, so there may be some variances.
I'll post again after I crawl out from under the dash this weekend.

For reference, I purchased the Mann CUK2339 charcoal filter from ECS Tuning for about $20.
Mann also provides instructions (appended below), but steps 5-8 are not so clear to me . . . maybe that's the rivet.
.
.
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File Type: pdf BMW E85 Z4 Cabin Air Filter.pdf (269.9 KB, 12 views)
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      08-04-2014, 01:28 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimolaoha View Post
I'll post again after I crawl out from under the dash this weekend.
Done - not too bad, but was surprised by the amount of leaves that had accumulated.
See my DIY here:
http://www.zpost.com/forums/showthre...8#post16406818
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