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Matt, Engineer
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 21854
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer with 20 years experience in the auto industry, 8 yrs in formula 1 engine testing
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Having difficulty finding the right sockets to the remove

Customer Question

Having difficulty finding the right sockets to the remove cylinder head cover
I'm working on an old 528i trying to replace the cylinder head gasket. Following the steps in the workshop manual, one of the early steps is to remove the cylinder head cover. There are 15 fasteners that need to be removed which appear to be in two pieces. The top of the fasteners are simple enough to unscrew but the reveals recessed nut with a protruding thread. I believe that the nuts are 10mm, however all the 10mm sockets that I can find are too wide to fit into the well containing the nuts. I have tried a 9mm socket, that will go into the well but is too small to engage on the nut. I have spent a lot of time and invested in a lot of sockets looking for one that might fit. Am I missing something obvious? Any help hugely appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
What is the last 7 of the vin?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

did you remove 15 bolts or what exactly did you remove?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I attach 3 photos. I removed the nuts pictured in "top-nuts". Underneath were a series of nuts pictured in "recessed-nuts". These guys have a screw-thread sticking out of the top and I can't find a tool that will engage with the hexagonal nuts because the wells they are sitting in are too narrow.
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.


another expert here

I'd say that you need a single point ( 1 hex) 1/4" drive deep socket as these tend to have the thinnest walls and as the torque is pretty low on these fasteners then you can also turn the outside of the socket down if required

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks Matt - that's exactly what I bought, in fact I have bought several in an attempt to find one slim enough to fit. I thought about turning down the socket but unfortunately I don't have access to a lathe. I even thought about putting into my drill and grinding it down but the socket is to large to fit any of the drill chucks I have.I started wondering if there's something fundamental I'm missing - it seems like it shouldn't be this hard. Is there a way that I can check that 10mm is the right size? Is there maybe a BMW certified set of sockets that would fit into this well?
Expert:  Matt replied 1 year ago.

A lot of BMW tools are pretty skinny so I'd not worry about keeping the socket perfectly square and true and I'd ground down plenty of sockets by hand with a bench grinder

or even use a belt sander with a long m6 bolt through the middle of the socket so it can spin and you've something to hold it with

as for if its a 10mm or not then I'm about 90% sure it is a 10mm but some locations do also use a 8mm

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cool - I'll give it a shot. Damn German precision engineering :-)