Porsche Cayenne (955) Front Wheel Bearing Replacement January 17 2017

Our Porsche Cayenne 9PA parts and people hauler started to have a whirring sound coming from the front axle that was speed dependent. It was time to remove and replace the front wheel bearings. We'll show you how we removed and replaced ours.

Project E36 M3 - Xenon Headlights with Angel Eyes March 23 2014

BMW E36 M3 with angel eyes.

Our E36 M3 had the plastic US spec headlights, and they had gotten hazy and it was getting hard to see the road at night. We had tried using headlight polishing products, but the haze came back a few weeks later. We got on the phone with BavToys and spoke with Mike. He was very helpful and willing to educate us on what our different options were. We placed an order and this is our unbiased review of the Depo lights that we ordered.

Project E46 M3 - Front Pads and Rotors January 27 2014

New brake rotor in box.

Our BMW E46 M3 is fitted with the competition package, which includes brakes that will rip your face off if you get on the pedal too hard. The calipers are the same as the standard E46 M3's, but the rotor has grown substantially from 12.8 to 13.7 inches in diameter. We were getting a weird wear pattern on the front left rotor, so it was time to change the rotors and pads. It is recommended to change both sides at the same time. We'll take you through what it takes to replace the rotors and pads. It is not too difficult, and it took us about 40 minutes per side at a leisurely pace. So let's get started.

Project E46 M3 - Replacing Front Wheel Bearings January 19 2014

Chisel being used to undo locking notch in axle nut.

We have a friend that had a bad wheel bearing, but kept driving on it for a while. Finally, the bearing seized up and the wheel locked up while the car was at speed. There was lots of tire smoke and plenty of steering correction, and a soiled pair of underwear later, the car came to a stop in the middle of the busy road. Luckily, no one was hurt, and no damage was incurred, but it could have been bad.

When our E46 M3 had started to make a whirring sound at certain speeds, we suspected a bad wheel bearing and wanted nothing to do with a seized wheel bearing. We had recently tackled this same job on our E36 M3, and the process is very very similar. Basically, you strip off all the brake components, pull off the wheel bearing, and then put new parts back in. With the right tools, it's not a difficult job, so let's get started.

Project E36 M3 - Guibos and Driveshaft Bearings October 29 2013

Center support bearing with paint markings to notate orientation.

I remember watching a show called the Forza Motorsport Challenge, where several competitors raced in a series of challenges and winners got credits for mods to be used in subsequent challenges. It was a pretty cool concept of bringing the Forza Motorsport video game into reality. I remember watching the final race. The battle was heated, and everyone was in contention for the top step of the podium. One of the muscle cars was powering down the straight when the sound of a thousand Riverdancers on bath salts erupted and instantly the inside of the car was filled with a violent swirl of debris. I was sure the engine had exploded. When the car finally came to a rest on the side of the track and the cloud of debris subsided, it was revealed that the drive shaft had snapped. In the process it had thrashed around so violently that it ripped out a huge portion of the floor pan. The car was done for the day.

That's what I think of when I think of drive shaft failures, so when I saw a small crack in the drive shaft coupling (aka guibo) of our E36 M3, I didn't waste much time attending to it. The job took several hours performing it solo and documenting every step, but there wasn't anything too difficult.

Project BMW E30 318iS - Custom Racing Seat Mounts October 11 2013

Driver's and passenger race seats inside cockpit.

It is a little known fact that the diminutive BMW E30 318iS can be configured to have seating for 7. I was driving away from a Craigslist purchase with two racing seats riding along in the back seat. They were Italian OMP "Record" seats that were expired per FIA regulation and were no longer of any use to the owner. They had a couple of tears in a few places, but were in otherwise great condition. The seller included the accompanying mounting brackets to sweeten the deal. The seats bounced around the back of the car as I drove back home. With the windows open and the 16 valve 4 cylinder at full song, I couldn't help but be in a good mood. Our project car was going to take one step closer to being a track car.

Hitting the Easy Button: Miata Heater Core Replacement DIY October 09 2013

Heater core.

I put this one off for quite some time, and frankly it was because I loathe these kinds of projects. The heater core went out sometime in mid December and spewed deliciously sweet, steaming hot, coolant all over my legs. Since then I've simply removed the heater from the cooling system as a sort of punishment for her bad behavior and frankly, it didn't get cold enough to need a heater in Texas. But enough was enough, and after fighting off the desire to just strip out the HVAC system (she's a sophisticated lady) I finally decided to bite the bullet and just get it over with. Just in time for spring, but hopefully this DIY will be much more useful to you now that the weather is actually cooling down.

Most of the other write ups involve the torturous process that is removing the entire dash; nightmares of broken plastic tabs kept me turning in bed at night. But I figured out I could do it without pulling a single tab, and I was right.

Project E36 M3 - Replacing the Window Motor and Regulator October 04 2013

BMW E36 door with vapor barrier removed.

The officer didn't seem pleased as I tried to talk to him through the sunroof. "I don't mean to be rude, but my window doesn't roll down," I explained. "Can I open my door instead?" "NO," was his emphatic response. Apparently, he really didn't like open doors. He walked around to the passenger side of the car. Sensing the tension of the moment, I choose not to be a smart ass and lie about the passenger window not being able to roll down either. A few minutes later, I took my ticket through the fully functional passenger side window and continued on my merry way.

The defunct window motor on our E36 M3 was making it difficult to speak with the friendly local law enforcement officers, and paying tolls with coins was awkward. It was time to replace the window motor. A lot of people go ahead and replace the window regulator at the same time, since it is easy to mess it up when drilling out the rivets.

Red Eye Garage Tip #4 September 30 2013

Dead blow hammer striking wrench.

Don't you hate it when there is a stubborn bolt and while you're cranking hard on the wrench, the bolt suddenly decides to loosen? Usually your knuckles end up smashing into whatever was in front of them and the neighborhood kids receive an impromptu vocabulary lesson. An easier way to do this is to create a ghetto impact wrench with a wrench and a mallet. I like to put the box end of the wrench on the bolt and then hammer repeatedly on the other end with a mallet. I prefer to use a rubber-coated dead blow hammer over a metal hammer because it doesn't bounce after striking, doesn't shoot off metal splinters, and is easier on the wrench. It works well on allen wrenches too, since it is usually hard to get leverage on them. I don't recommend using this technique with ratchets or ratcheting wrenches because the gears inside will get chewed up.

Project E36 M3 - Changing the Fuel Filter September 21 2013

BMW E36 M3 fuel filter.

If your car is down on power or sputters when starting, this may be a sign of low fuel pressure. That could mean a leaky injector, a failing pump or a dirty fuel filter. Since the filter is so cheap and easy to replace, it's usually the first thing to try. The fuel filter removes the dirt that would otherwise make its way down the fuel system where it can clog injectors or accelerate wear in your engine. If the fuel filter gets too clogged with contaminants, fuel has a hard time getting through, and you may have reduced fuel pressure at the engine. This means your engine will be running lean and not getting all the fuel it needs. Our E36 M3 didn't experience any of those symptoms, but it has been about 40,000 miles since the last fuel filter change, so it was time to swap it out with a new one. Before we started this job, we ran the gas tank down to nearly empty in case we sprang a leak that we couldn't stop. We also moved the car out of the garage. It's bad if your car catches on fire, but it is worse if your garage goes up in flames too. Good ventilation is important too, since there is going to be spilled fuel. As a good measure, we removed the fuse to the fuel pump and ran the engine until it died to bleed fuel pressure from the system.

Project E36 M3 - Front Wheel Bearings September 15 2013

Notching axle nut.

A nasty whirring sound had started to develop on the front wheel, and it sounded like the wheel bearing was on its last legs. I placed an order for a wheel bearing kit, and when they came in, I went to work. With the right tools, it is not a difficult job. In a nutshell, the process involves stripping the brake caliper and brake rotor off, which gives us access to the wheel bearing. Keep in mind that there are a few uncommon tools that you will need. In regular Red Eye Garage fashion, this was a nighttime wrenching session.

Project E36 M3 - Squealing Brakes September 03 2013

CRC disc brake quiet.

I had been running Axxis Ultimate brake pads and ran into some problems with some massive brake squealing. From 30 to 0 mph, the brakes would squeal like a teenage girl at a Bieber concert. I tried cleaning the brakes with brake cleaner, but that only stopped the squealing for about 30 miles before the squealing came back. Willing to try almost anything at this point, I saw a bottle of Disc Brake Quiet at the local automotive supply store and decided to give it a try.