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Old 03-01-2010, 01:03 PM   #1
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Hello again folks!

This thread is about some DIY service you can do on your diesel particulate filter (DPF) on diesel E60's.

Yes, the DPF should be maintenance free and you should buy a new one when it's fully clogged and the self cleaning sequence can not be executed anymore to clean the filter. The new one costs about 1500?.
So... maybe you would like to try something else first!

This is my story and you should not go for the same route it if you have any doubts!


----------------------------------------------------------------------


Basics about the DPF taken from a BMW wiring diagram system:

WDS Wiring Diagram SystemFor heavy vehicles such as the E60, to comply with the EU4 legislation taking effect as of 2005, a coated diesel particulate filter is necessary.
This diesel particulate filter separates the soot particles in the exhaust gas with high efficiency (> 95 %). The diesel particulate filter has no influence on the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions; these are reduced by measures inside the engine.
The particulate filter system used at BMW requires no maintenance and is designed to last the service life of the vehicle. A fuel additive for filter regeneration is not necessary for BMW vehicles.

The diesel particulate filter is fitted close to the engine and is located behind the oxidation catalytic converter in the underbody of the vehicle.
The filter element consists of a ceramic monolith made of silicon carbide that is resistant to high temperatures. The filter element is 50 % porous and has been given a platinum-based, catalytic coating. This coating ensures that the soot ignition temperature is reduced, thus ensuring good regeneration characteristics of the particulate filter.


----------------------------------------------------------------------



Now, there are two basic types of DPF's for E60's.


The DPF may locate as a separate can on the bottom of car in the first third of the exhaust tubing (part number 3):

Click the image to open in full size.




Or, it can be joined in the same can with the catalytic converter, and it locates right after the turbo (part number 1):

Click the image to open in full size.




It seems that M57N engines have the first solution and the M57N2 engines have the second (Much more arduous to remove/install).


----------------------------------------------------------------------


Why I had to deal with this world saving tin can then???


I'll tell you!


My iDrive displays 100.000km of lifetime left for the DPF, but I ran into problems two weeks ago. I was accelerating at the highway and suddenly all the power dropped and I hardly could get the RPM's over 2000. At first I thought it was the turbo, and kind of it was...
The car limped for two weeks like it had no turbo until my solution.


I got the fault codes read and they were the following (by INPA software):

E R R O R M E M O R Y

---

Date: 21.02.2010 20:07:44 ECU: D50M57E0 JobStatus: OKAY Variant: D50M57E0
480A 480A particle filter system Error counter: 1
Logistic counter: 40
Mileage 114496 km
Engine speed 1268.79 1/min
coolant temperature 77.23 C
ash mass in particle filter 61.94 g
Injection quantity 4.73 mg/Hub
Air mass per cylinder 548.24 mg/Hub
soot mass in particle filter 60.94 g
exhaust volume flow in particle filter 117.03 m^3/h
Difference pressure over particle filter 187.08 mbar
Abgasgegendruck vor Particle filter 1161.84 mbar
Environment pressure 984.61 mbar

Partikelfilter stark beladen (Abgasgegendruck ueber CRT-Schwelle)
Test conditions not yet fulfilled
Error present now, but not yet stored (debouncing phase)
Error would not cause a warning lamp to light up
Fehler in Entprellphase Fehler in Entprellphase Fehler in Entprellphase
Error code: 48 0A 51 02 00 00 01 28 37 E8 2E 7F 3E 0C 57 3D 0E 13 76 64

---

481A 481A particle filter system
Error counter: 1
Logistic counter: 40
Mileage 114496 km
Engine speed 1406.70 1/min
coolant temperature 82.25 C
ash mass in particle filter 61.94 g
Injection quantity 33.08 mg/Hub
Air mass per cylinder 693.18 mg/Hub
soot mass in particle filter 60.94 g
exhaust volume flow in particle filter 217.34 m^3/h
Difference pressure over particle filter 305.23 mbar
Abgasgegendruck vor Particle filter 1289.84 mbar
Environment pressure 984.61 mbar
Partikelfilter stark beladen (Abgasgegendruck ueber Maximum)
Test conditions not yet fulfilled
Error present now, but not yet stored (debouncing phase)
Error would not cause a warning lamp to light up
Fehler in Entprellphase Fehler in Entprellphase Fehler in Entprellphase
Error code: 48 1A 51 02 00 00 01 28 37 E8 33 84 3E 54 6E 3D 1A 1F 83 64

---

4530 4530 (1297) air charge control, Standard deviation
Error counter: 1
Logistic counter: 40
Mileage 114496 km
Engine speed 1682.53 1/min c
coolant temperature 82.25 C
Rail pressure Actual 464.75
bar Injection quantity 22.45 mg/Hub
Air mass per cylinder 781.40 mg/Hub
Charge pressure
Actualwert 1476.92 mbar
Linearised APP1 96.85 %
duty cycle exhaust refeeding actuator 4.73 %
duty cycle manifold pressure actuator 94.53 %
Environment pressure 984.61 mbar
Ladedruck zu niedrig/positive Regelabweichung
Test conditions not yet fulfilled
Error present now, but not yet stored (debouncing phase)
Error would not cause a warning lamp to light up
Fehler in Entprellphase Fehler in Entprellphase
Fehler in Entprellphase
Error code: 45 30 51 02 00 00 01 28 37 E8 3D 84 3B 39 7C 96 7B 06 78 64

---


So the first two are about clogged DPF and the third is about limiting the turbo because of the high backpressure in the exhaust. I tried what happens if I just clear the error memory, and only I got a fully working car for 6-8km until the same fault came back.

A hard thinking started about WHY did this happen? Why is my DPF so clogged? I came into a conclusion that it must be because of this cold season we have had almost 100 days and the fact that I have been driving only short trips in the town and therefore the self cleaning sequence hadn't started for a couple of months!!! The self cleaning process starts only if the coolant temperature is over 75C AND the exhaust gas has reached the 240C temperature. So, my engine has never reached both of these requirements during last months. You may remember our -35C days .

Another reason could have been a faulty vacuum tubing in the engine compartment, especially the tube for the exhaust bakpressure sensor, but they all were ok.

Then I started to search info especially from the Finnish BTCF forum, and found out that some people have removed their DPF and WASHED them!
After some more investigating I decided to do the same and see what happens.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Now, this is what I did, and if someone wants to do the same just go for it but don't blame me if it doesn't work out. I'll write the phases as a list. Sorry not so many pics.

1) Removing the DPF (I have the M57N engine so my DPF is a separate can under the car and easily accessible).
- Open the eight bolts and nuts holding the DPF on its both heads
- I had some difficulties as the bolts were badly rusted and they had collected lots of dirt that had burned on them
- There are aluminium seals on both heads and I had to scrape them off with a blade

2) Washing the DPF
- At first I tried to flow clean water through the DPF, but it stopped right away and didn't "suck" into the cells
- Then I put some hand dishwashing fluid on the cells and then forced it in with a pressure washer --> lots of black soot started to came through slowly
- I repeated that step few times
- Then I trickled about 2-3 liters of a heavy detergent (98% industrial petrol) into the cells and let the thing sit for 15 mins
- Next I started to rinse the DPF with the pressure washer and LOTS and LOTS of soot came out
- Repeated the detergent thing and then rinsed the can so long with the pressure washer that nothing but clean water came out anymore
- It was late, and I left the DPF sit upright on a bucket overnight and I trickled 1 liter of turpentine to run through the cells
- Next day I noticed that maybe 0,7l had came through and missing 0,3l was still inside
- The cells are very tight and it wasn't a wonder there was still liquids inside
- All the turpentine that had came through was 100% clear

Here's a pic of the cells in the DPF, taken at the water rinsing phase. You can see the bubbles coming out of the cells and water dragging into them:
Click the image to open in full size.


A short video on the same phase can be seen here:
Rinsing the DPF

3) Drying the DPF
- I forced the "missing" 0,3l of turpentine out with my patented drying system
- I had to blow air through the DPF approximately one hour to get all the liquids out

Patented drying system (Leaf blower attached to "in" head of the DPF):
Click the image to open in full size.


And the video on the drying phase:
Drying the DPF

4) Installing the DPF
- The install was easy, just placed the seals between the attaching flanges and bolted the new bolts tight
- The new bolts can be ordered from the dealer, but I bought 8 shorter bolts for it from somewhere else
- The seals' part number is 18307789904 (Please note this is the case for the separate DPF with a M57N engine)



Then I cleared the error memory again and went for a test drive. The car felt immediately much much stronger than ever and it passed the 40km test run without problems. And the best thing was the self cleaning sequence started right after the temps were around 80C and the sequence lasted 20 minutes or something!

I'm fingers crossed here that I won't get the same symptoms anymore, but we'll see.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions!

- Antti -
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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Amazing work & DIY Antti

Im glad that your car is fine now!
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:41 AM   #3
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Good work mate and great DIY (again)

For the amount of effort you put into it Im so glad it eventually worked out well
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Old 03-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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Great job man! What's the purpose of the turpentine? I realize you wanna dry the filter properly since you had that stuff left in the can it but if skipping that stage I guess any water left should blow right out or at least evaporate after a while, right?
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilden View Post
Great job man! What's the purpose of the turpentine? I realize you wanna dry the filter properly since you had that stuff left in the can it but if skipping that stage I guess any water left should blow right out or at least evaporate after a while, right?
I used the turpentine as a last step of cleaning. I thought it could dissolve some soot while running through the cells overnight. But as I stated, it was all clear in the morning.

I wanted to dry the filter thoroughly for two reasons:
1) I noticed the filtering cell structure is very thick, because when blowing air into one end with a leaf blower I could not feel any flow on the other! ---> So, I thought that any excessive liquids inside might cause another "clogged" fault before they would have been blown out from the other end when driving the car.
2) I was afraid that if any of water stayed inside after my test drive, it could have frozen overnight.

Of course these fears may have been needless, but I didn't want to risk anything.

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:02 PM   #6
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What a brilliant job you've done. I hope everything stays perfect and you have no more DPF issues. Just wondering how do you know if the DPF is going through the self cleaning sequence? I've had my car for around 9 months and my problems started about 2 weeks ago. But even when I got the car around last summer, I never knew about the DPF or how one could tell the self cleaning is happening. Thanks again for the DIY you've posted.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:08 PM   #7
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You can hear the cleaning sequence when it's going on.

It's a low growling sound from the exhaust. And if you get out of a car you will smell it too. Smells like something is burning. I've been told the car should never be shut off when the burn is on, but you should keep driving it until it's over. The usual burning sequence lasts about 20 minutes.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:41 PM   #8
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Antti for president!
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:00 PM   #9
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:59 AM   #10
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Very nice!

I'm glad I don't have the DPF installed on my car, but I hate the exhaust pipes (bended down). A pre-owned LCI E61 will be brought this year in Germany, so I'll have to get used to it.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:59 AM
 
 
 
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