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We headed up to Scotland this morning in the little 125i.

The trip didn't get off to the best of starts because the screen shat itself and refused to connect to either of our phones which meant no nav or music. Sod that. After a quick pit stop at the in-laws to connect to wifi, an update to the app that runs s CarPlay had us sorted, so we were M6 bound.

Pit stopped at Teabay services for a late lunch.



The car didn't miss a beat and was averaged 38mpg on the motorway which is pretty good (didn't last long though….).

Eventually we hit Scotland and turned off the motorway to pick up the A701 which was pretty good fun other than being stuck behind a mini convoy of milf-floats. I know the best scenery is still to come, but it was still pretty.





We made it to our first stop at Peebles.



With the roof down all the way too.

We have a cracking view from our room too.



Well earned refreshments!



We're heading up to Inverness tomorrow via the Old Military Road.
 

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Today we headed from Peebles to Inverness via the Old Military Road.

The Queensferry crossing was pretty cool and a hell of an a structure.





After a bit if boring roads, we picked up the Old Military Road which we both really enjoyed, it had a lovely flow to it and was easy to get round the dawdlers. The scenery was bloody lovely too with snow on the higher parts.





We stopped to have a picnic and it looks like someone's Maxton splitter lost an argument with the ground.







We passed Glenshee ski lift so stopped for a few pics.





The rest of the road was good too..







We made it most of the way with the roof down; we had to out the roof up for about 20 minutes be of rain. We actually went round the worst of the rain and clouds.

We head for Thurso tomorrow, so there'll be more snaps along the way.
 

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More spam about our trip around the NC500 I'm afraid…

We headed out from Inverness and drove around Loch Ness which looked absolutely stunning in the sun. Being very ignorant, I never realised just how bloody big it is.





We then popped to the Loch Ness Distillery in Dores to buy a bottle of gin; my other half had some in a tiny bar in Inverness and loved it. We enjoyed hearing about the back story too.

From gear it was back to Inverness to pick up the A9. The first 45 minutes or so were ****e if I'm honest. We were caught in a train of caravans, camber vans and dawdlers with people not bothering with overtaking. We picked up a few guys on an organised rally. Eventually the rolling road blocks turned off or were overtaken and the pace picked up a bit.

The further north we travelled, the more I enjoyed the road hugging the coast. We pit stopped in a small tea room in Laidhy. The cake was fab and the views even better.





It was then a short run up to Whaligoe Steps which were amazing; the pictures don't really do them justice.







We then drove up to John O' Groats. It was sunny but a tad fresh in the breeze. It was rude not to have a cheeky pint whilst we were there.







Next up was Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the mainland. Again, sunny but sodding cold, but we sat there and polished off an Easter egg!







On the way to Thurso, we stopped at Dunnet Beach which was absolutely stunning; it was a huge expanse of sand that was deserted.





From here it was a short spin to Thurso where we are staying tonight. Grabbed a bite to eat before walking along the beach as the light faded.

It's been a truly epic day. The weather has been awesome, with no need to put the roof up. We're close to 700 mikes in, mostly with the roof down. The car has been perfect; sounds good, quick enough to get past most stuff in the way, economical and having the roof down has added to the overall experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #204 ·
Penultimate day today, travelling from Thurso to Loch Maree via various points to stop in the NC500, with some extra ones as advised by last nights B&B host.

The morning didn't get off to the best start because I think I might have got pinged by a copper with a gatso gun. My own fault for following the speed limit shown on the nav rather than engaging brain. Oh well.

We left Thurso via the A836 and headed towards Duness. It was somewhere along here where I think I fell foul of the sled gun. Our first stop as recommended by the lady at the B&B was Portskerra, there's not much there but it's very pretty. We took the short walk to the drownings monument to three tragedies over the years.





We then headed to Tongue where we had hoped to walk to Castle Varrich, but with various other things planned for the day, it was deemed to be too far away so we binned that off (a mistake with hindsight) and drove to Smoo Caves. Which were pretty cool, but very busy and the water was too high to see the third chamber where the waterfall is.



I hate camper vans as much as the next person, but they ain't fitting in a toilet…. :laugh:



After eventually stopping at a Spar for lunch (my other half was getting hangry) it was on to Kylesku Bridege. A lot of the scenery up to this point today was bleak, beautiful but bleak at the same time.





We'd been advised that Stac Pollaidh was only a short detour off the 500 and worth climb. The sun was out so we thought why not. The nav took us down a sodding awful road out of Lochinver; a very narrow single track lined with trees and gorse that ebbed and flowed. 30mph felt mental. We got there eventually and it was nice to stretch our legs and the views incredible.



From here it was onto Ullapool for more fuel.



Sone random pics, not sure where from.





We then picked up the A385, back on the NC500 route which I loved; fast and flowy roads that were well sighted (not that there was much to overtake), the A382 was bloody marvellous too. There were a few lovely beaches that would have been amazing to explore had we had more time.

We're staying in Loch Maree today which is stunning. We had an amazing dinner before sitting by the loch to watch the sunset when a deer ambled into the garden. He seemed quite tame. The silence was golden; a perfect ending to a good day.







Tomorrow we head to Applecross then not Fort William and into Loch Lomand for our final stay.
 

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Looks like you've had great weather for it, perfect for the 125i. I'm keen to do it myself but I quite like bleak and miserable Scotland so will probably head up for an off season attempt in the next few years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Final day today before heading home tomorrow.

Today we travelled from Loch Maree to Drymen, just outside Loch Lomand.

The deer from last night was knocking about again so I went to grab a few more pics.





Talking to the owners, it turns out that she's been coming to the hotel for nine years now, hence why she's not fussed by people (all the other deer run away apart from her). The Loch looked stunning again thus morning, it really was one of, if not the high point of the trip for me.



After breakfast, we picked up the official NC500 route to Applecross via the A832, to the A896 past Torridon, Sheildaig before heading to Applecross via a fairly minor road. A few pics from the drive to Applecross









We stopped at a small shop just the other side of Applecross for a snack before heading back for the Applecross Pass which I had been massively looking forward to, only to not actually enjoy it. The views were amazing but the singletrack road was **** to actually drive due to savage potholes and campers coming the other way. The switchbacks descending from the view point would be more fun to go up rather than down.









Descending the other side of the pass, the low oil warning light flashed up. Joy. I did have a few bad thoughts especially having ground the car out a few times, but I think the sensor had just seat itself after a steep ascent followed by a steep descent. I stopped, turned the car off and on again and the next reading was fine. Phew.

After the pass, we were on much more open roads before stopping at Eilean Donan castle for lunch. If time was on our side, it would have been nice to actually see the castle.







From here it was the A87, then the A82 to Fort Augustus….again roads I liked. The bulk f the traffic was going in the other direction so we had long sustained stints at a decent pace, passing slower cars easily. This continued until Fort William. I had planned on going to the Glenfinnan viaduct but time was against us so we pressed on to our B&B passing Ben Nevis then Loch Leven and Glencoe. We stopped at a view point above Loch Tulla.



The roads between Fort William and our B&B were a mix; clear sections that were fast and flowing or caught behind rolling roadblocks. We're just over 1,150 miles in and another day with the roof down.

The view from the bedroom window tonight was good.



The little 125i has held up well, it's a bit low so the underneath has been caught a few times and over the poor surfaces the SUV's etc easily pull quite a gap but on the smoother stuff it's been ace. The trip computer says the average consumption is now 30.7mpg which I don't think is bad when it's been worked hard at times. It really has been the star of the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #209 ·
nivens said:
Looks like you've had great weather for it, perfect for the 125i. I'm keen to do it myself but I quite like bleak and miserable Scotland so will probably head up for an off season attempt in the next few years.
The little 125i has pretty much been perfect other than being a bit too low over the really bad roads.

I think we're technically in the off season because the roads have large been deserted from not long outside Inverness until just outside of Fort William.

I'd like to do it again but with more time because I feel like there is so much we have missed out on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
So, today I cracked on with the starter….what a pig of a job.

Engine with the vanity cover, cabin filter etc all removed.



Whilst I was there I had a better look at the slight leak from the valve cover. It appears that at some point the edge around one of the bolts has been snapped off and that’s where the oil is coming from. You can just see a bit if missing plastic in this picture.



There are two ways to get to the starter….

One is a bit if a bodge where yup bet the intake manifold loose and move it as far as you can and basically do it all by feel / with limited vision. This sounded s bit ****, so I thought I’d do option two.

The second option is where the manifold is removed in its entirety which isn’t that hard aside from one plastic squeeze connector at the front….



**** knows how you’re supposed to get your fingers in there! I tried with some cheap spark plug pliers but they were useless. I’m going to grab some decent bang nose pliers tomorrow as well as the E14 wrench to access the rear bolt.

So as of tonight, the manifold is loosely bolted on and lots of bits are disconnected (labelled up luckily to make reconnecting easier). I’ll hopefully get it finished properly tomorrow morning. I’ll them cry of it still starts weakly.
 

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Yeah the people claiming they've done that job with the manifold loose must have arms like mr tickle.

The top E14 bolt is one of the stretchy single-use aluminium bellhousing bolts, don't go too mad with the pliers, they'll round it off in a heartbeat. I think I got onto mine using one of these with the socket:


Links not working
Should be now :biggrin:
 

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If it’s anything like the N43, one starter bolt was accessible from the engine bay, the other from the transmission tunnel. Hopefully that’s not the case with the N52! The vacuum lines are just pinch and pull, if you can get access!
 

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If it’s anything like the N43, one starter bolt was accessible from the engine bay, the other from the transmission tunnel. Hopefully that’s not the case with the N52! The vacuum lines are just pinch and pull, if you can get access!
The second bolt on the N52 is the 12 o'clock bolt in the bellhousing, to get at it through the tunnel you need to drop the prop, jack the front of the engine to tilt the back down on its mounts, then use about a metre of daisy-chained wobbly extensions to reach the bolt from above and behind the gearbox.

Lots of clutch/flywheel DIYs suggest removing the starter as an easier way to get that bolt out and drop the gearbox... Obviously I didn't, then my starter needed doing a few months later anyway 🤦‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #216 ·
Bit of a late update on this….

on Saturday morning a popped out to get sone long bent nose pliers so I could access the vent hose at the front. They had the front hose off with minimal swearing or frustration which in turn meant the manifold was free and out easily.

Gas Personal protective equipment Auto part Machine Electronic instrument


I could now easily see / access the old starter…

Automotive tire Plant Motor vehicle Wood Tree


The rearmost bolt was now much easier to access but I had a bit of a bo-bo. The plastic vent pipe was catching on the wrench as I was on doing it and after catching my knuckles 500 times on a sharp plastic hose clamp I thought I’d give my sa tad more room by moving pipe to onside slightly and this happened…..

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior


Turns out people are not joking when they say these hoses get brittle! And of course my local dealer didn’t have one in stock and the soonest I could get one was Tuesday. Luckily it was cheap enough at £40 which was less than a patent part, less than some cheap Chinese jobbie on Amazon and less than half what some jokers on eBay were trying to sell an OE one for!

I carried on as much as I could; old starter out next to the new one.

Road surface Asphalt Automotive tire Gas Bumper



I had expected the cog that turns the flywheel to be loose like in most of the YT vids I’d watched but it wasn’t. It was very stiff though and there was something rattling around inside when you shook it.

This is where mission creep set in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #217 ·
Links not working for me Sam 🤷‍♂️
Hopefully your hard work will pay off. Mine started by just looking at it when my starter was changed. By the garage 😉
I think it might be because I copied the previous post from my thread on PH. I’ve stopped being lazy so will rewrite a few updates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #218 ·
What I did notice is that there was an awful lot of crud and oil around the oil cooler. I’d susp a leak from here previously and had bought the gasket for the cooler and filter housing but has never really got around to doing it.

I decided that whilst the manifold as off that and the car was out of action, it’d be a good time to deal with them. This was the mission creep.

Oil cooler as it was. The underside was absolutely disgusting.

White Light Automotive tire Gas Auto part


I didn’t have a T60 to remove the belt so protected it with plastic and lots and lots of rags. I also had an old pot to hand to catch the worth of what would spill.

Oil cooler removed.

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Signs of a leak at the bottom; the gasket looked well past its best.

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I cleaned the mating surface up as best I could and ran a Stanley blade over it to ensure it was smooth.

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Next up was the filter housing. Due to the state of this, I opted to remove it entirely which I decided would also prevent gunk getting into the oil pathways.

Filter housing off the car and the gasket wasn’t looking too clever either.

Automotive design Bicycle part Automotive exterior Auto part Personal protective equipment


Bicycle part Rim Auto part Bicycle drivetrain part Carbon


Cleaned up as best I could. All of the oil, coolant and general grime has been removed leaving just the tarnishing to the cast finish.

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Discussion Starter · #219 · (Edited)
New genuine BMW gaskets ready to be fitted.

Automotive tire Hood Grey Font Style


Filter housing gasket fitted

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Oil cooler and filter housing back together (housing has had new OE bolts fitted).

Light Motor vehicle Automotive tire Engineering Auto part

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All bolts torqued up to the relevant settings; 16nm for the cooler and 22nm for the filter housing. Neither is a lot. I think someone had previously tried to sort the leak by just cranking the the bolts up. The oil cooler bolts were unbelievably tight.

This killed some time whilst waiting for a new vent hose!
 

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Discussion Starter · #220 ·
Tuesday morning arrived and I popped to Sytner to grab the hose I ordered and some more coolant so I could bleed the cooling system once everything was back together.

Drinkware Fluid Hood Liquid Table


And here it is connected to the valve cover, waiting for the manifold to be refitted.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Coil Wood Electrical wiring


Starting to put things back together

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I had two of each letter test I’d used to label the parts that had to be disconnected, so it was time to drop in the airbox etc.

Hood Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design



And now the nerve racking bit; would it start without the dash being lit up like a Christmas tree? Yes is the answer.

Watch Speedometer Vehicle Odometer Plant


Once it was working, I bled the cooling system which is dead easy with the electronic water pumps (possibly the only good thing about them….).

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Everything was cleaned as best I could, dressed and
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The good news is that it starts on the button now. It’s so much better and after running it up to temperature to burn off any remaining degreaser I took it for a drive. Got back and there were no signs of leaks and the car no longer smelt of oil when hot. I just need to keep an eye on the valve cover which I think has been broken and is weeping ever so slightly. I’ll deal with this later in the year.

Its going to need a pair of rear tyres soon and the rear discs and pads will need replacing soon. I’ll get these done before worrying about the valve cover which is only very very slightly weeping.
 

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