ALPINA wheel valves

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Charles
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ALPINA wheel valves

Post by Charles » Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:16 pm

There have been a number of mentions of the challenges faced when removing/replacing the wheel valves due to limited space.

I am now facing the same issue as two of my valves have started to leak.

Given that this is something faced by us all (apart from those on Dynamics), I thought it might be helpful to collate information into a single thread.

For example, what is the part number? I believe it is 91 47 3 610 061

Additionally, given the limited clearance around the base of the valve, members have resorted to adapting existing 13mm sockets by filing down the wall thickness. However, has anyone been able to source a socket that will fit without "adjustment"?

As such, please contribute knowledge and information here :D
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!

ade and liz flint
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Post by ade and liz flint » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:15 pm

I'm not really sure why the valve in its entirety ever requires replacement as the valve body is stainless and will outlast any wheel. Any refurbishment of the valve can be facilitated by fitting any standard valve inner (they screw in/out with the requisite tool) or the O ring seal at the base, which can be obtained from a hardware supplier if you offer them the diameter and thickness. A few pence et voila! The only sources of leakage are these 2 areas.

Now tools for removal and refit; simple, use a 13mm long socket of either 1/4" or 3/8" square drive....not 1/2". The socket itself should be hex drive, not multipoint to ensure it grabs fully and doesn't round anything off! The 1/2" socket body is thicker (nominally 19mm versus 18.5mm for the smaller drives) to accommodate the thicker drive fitting, and to accommodate the higher potential torque loads without splitting the socket. So, all my off the shelf 1/4" and 3/8" sockets fit; simple 👍 My off the shelf 1/2" drive sockets won't.

A very light torque is all that's required on these to prevent stripping out the female thread in the wheel...I do it by feel with the shortest ratchet possible as my torque wrench starts at 25Nm which is too high by a long chalk. A quick bubble check around the valve seat and inner on inflation satisfies any fears of leakage. I have repaired damaged wheels with part-stripped threads (happily not my own!) and that's a real bum twitcher with the cost of wheels. So, keep torque low; it can always be tweaked up a touch should the bubble check fail, but on clean faces O ring seals are pretty foolproof once gently nipped up at these operating pressures
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127
981 Porsche Cayman GTS
Focus STline dog wagon

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S

E24man
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Post by E24man » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:38 pm

I have a Halfords Professional 1/4" drive socket set which has a deep enough and thin-walled enough six sided 13mm socket to remove the valves.

As Ade suggests, don't bother trying anything bigger, and get a set of 'o' rings rather than whole new (expensive!) valves.
E24man

2001 Alpina B10 V8 Touring (1 of 12 rhd)
1997 Alpina B12 5.7 L (1 of 2 rhd)
1995 Alpina B10 4.6 Touring (1 of 1 rhd)
1985 BMW M635CSi (1 of 524 rhd made, but less than half left now)
1982 BMW 635CSiA (1 of only hundreds left from the thousands made and still valiantly fighting a rusty grave)

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Post by hap » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:26 am

From what I have read yes you can use other o rings I have seen on here that due to issue of corrosion from the valves on the alloys there is now an updated version of the valve with a modified seal to minimise leakage and corrosion

ade and liz flint
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Post by ade and liz flint » Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:08 pm

hap wrote:From what I have read yes you can use other o rings I have seen on here that due to issue of corrosion from the valves on the alloys there is now an updated version of the valve with a modified seal to minimise leakage and corrosion
Hap, these don't corrode as such as the valve is screwed into unpainted alloy and it has little contact area, and no paint to hide under and bubble away. The Roadster S dynamics original valves did, however, as they stupidly from factory had a steel washer under the valve body, and upon tightening the valve into the wheel (the seal is inside on these valves) the steel washer bit into the paint, allowed moisture/salt to become trapped and act as the electrolyte in a really aggressive galvanic corrosion reaction. Updated items (my old RS posts give the p/n, and I may still have it around) have been released which get around this. For info, Porsche also use identical valves and can be obtained in a range of colours.

Later dynamics on E9x models had a new and improved valve from day#1

O-ring wise, the inner diameter (ie diameter of valve seat) is what is required, plus the thickness of the seal to obtain correct size seals, but it is possible that slightly thicker O-rings can be used as long as the id is correct. One may need to buy a large quantity if purchased online (loads of sellers of O-rings on ebay). The main thing is clean valve seat on alloy, undamaged O-ring and good to go.
E24man wrote:I have a Halfords Professional 1/4" drive socket set which has a deep enough and thin-walled enough six sided 13mm socket to remove the valves.
Fine tools for the money: and why am I unsurprised someone of your background uses decent kit! :lol: I use their kit to replace my very old but quality kit when it eventually fails/get lost and it's easily a match for this.

My favourite kit is a Proxxon Professional 3/8" drive set I bought in Germany which just feels so good to use and has lasted me 25+years of abuse already. My 1/4" kit is an old, good quality, Radio Spares fully loaded 1/4" and 1/2" drive set I've had even longer....with the odd Halfords drive and socket included, now, as this took a major beating travelling the world back in the day.

As already stated, don't buy or use multipoint sockets: they MUST be hex, or there's a high potential you'll regret it if the socket slips.
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127
981 Porsche Cayman GTS
Focus STline dog wagon

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S

Gee.Singh
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Post by Gee.Singh » Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:16 pm

Hi Charles
I would change all 4 valves complete, I have a socket you can borrow if you struggle, plus the valves are approximately £26 for all 4, they normally come into Sytner within a few days
Regards

ade and liz flint
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Post by ade and liz flint » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:43 am

Below is a pic of the kit I would use to renovate a classic type wheel valve:-

Image

It consists of:-

A 3/8" drive hex head 13mm socket, 45mm long to ensure the socket doesn't foul on the threaded section of the valve (short sockets will 'bottom' before seating on the drive flanges.

A valve core removal tool (this one is effectively a valve cap with the head formed to the shape of the core removal tool). Other types are available. Currently ebay has plenty, and a set of 4 metal caps costs £1.89 delivered, or a screwdriver type inc 2 cores for £1.95 delivered

A valve core. Ebay has too many listings to narrow down too much, but I found 10 for £1.79 delivered

An O-ring seal (this one is too large, and only for guidance). Again, ebay has plenty of sellers and my hunch is these are 10mmx1.5mm rings (but this needs confirming) and again 10 can be had for £2.79. If I can get access to the my valves when I take the wheels in for refurb, I'll measure one and post up if no-one has the info in advance

The valve core tool is something everyone should have handy as cores can leak and are known to fail mechanically where the piston passes through its guide. Changing a core takes minutes with one of these and a foot pump to put it right at the end. So, the cost of renovating 4 Alpina classic wheel valves assuming a socket is in hand and a core tool too is less than £4 for all 4 and you'll have spares at the end, too. Why replace something that ain't broke? And that last comment comes from someone who does not skimp in maintaining any car.

To trouble-shoot any potential valve leakage, firstly one should bubble check the valve opening to see if the core is leaking...a quick tighten using a core tool may cure....and then bubble check where the valve fits into the wheel to see if it's a leak from the O-ring seal....again first move if leaking here would be a gentle tweek with the socket to see if it just needs a tighten.

O-ring seals in this low stress environment will almost last forever unless they've been mechanically damaged on installation. The cores are disturbed each and every time the tyre pressures are taken or a pump attached, and sometimes the piston gets bent or damages its guide collar: a regular occurence, really.
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127
981 Porsche Cayman GTS
Focus STline dog wagon

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S

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Post by Charles » Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:46 pm

In my case, two of the valves are leaking (very slowly but leaking nonetheless) from the O-ring seal, so will be nipping them up ever so gently in the next couple of days.

Interestingly, having never had a problem with these before, I started noticing a slight loss of pressure soon after the really hot weather started. It may be completely coincidental ...

However, given that these are the original valves from over 15 years ago, I have decided to invest in a spare set in case of any issues. Small price to pay for piece of mind.
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!

ade and liz flint
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Post by ade and liz flint » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:15 pm

Charles wrote:In my case, two of the valves are leaking (very slowly but leaking nonetheless) from the O-ring seal, so will be nipping them up ever so gently in the next couple of days.

Interestingly, having never had a problem with these before, I started noticing a slight loss of pressure soon after the really hot weather started. It may be completely coincidental ....
It could be a little material creep due to the extreme (for UK) temperature ranges experienced, especially if they were a touch loose to start with. Worth the nip before deciding on removal and the faff and risk of cross threading that entails.

Remember: low torque. Hold the wrench close to the ratchet drive, not the end of the handle as you usually would: mitigate over-torque possibility in this way, or it's easy to think 'oh just a bit more' and....ooops . A spray of lube (some soapy water or wd40) will help things 'slip' nicely rather than turning on a dry seal. O-rings tolerate lots of chemicals with no degradation.
Current:
E91 B3SBiturbo #127
981 Porsche Cayman GTS
Focus STline dog wagon

Previously loved:
ALPINA: E92 B3SBiturbo #285, E90 D3Biturbo #097, E85 Roadster S #168 & variety of 'grey' 4 and 6-cyl BMW lumps.
PORSCHE: Macan S, Cayman 981 S

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Post by Charles » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:38 pm

Thanks for the advice :D
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!

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Re: ALPINA wheel valves

Post by Charles » Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:46 am

Realised that I haven't updated this thread for a while. I finally attacked this problem back in April when I switched from winter to summer rubber.

Having purchased a new set of complete valves, I'm glad I did as when we removed the two leaking ones, we found that they had both been cross-threaded when the wheels were renovated a while back.

The starting point was to purchase a long thin wall 13mm socket - in this case from RS Components - but this needed to be machined down as the refurbishment had increased the paint thickness around the valve opening just enough to prevent the socket from fitting easily. It didn't need much- probably just the removal of the shiny chrome coating - but it needed it.

Removing the valves was done extremely carefully but it was obvious two of them were "wrong". Luckily my tyre fitters are a very careful bunch and between the four of us (yes, most of the team wanted to get involved as changing valves on ALPINA wheels is a novelty) we removed the damaged valves, recut the threads in the offending wheel orifices and managed to install the new valves (admittedly very very slowly!).

On inspection, the two cross-threaded valve bodies are u/s but I still have two spares (for an emergency) which just need a good clean up and new O-rings.

As mentioned above by Ade (who's advice was extremely valuable), screwing the valve bodies into the wheel requires minimal torque and once they feel tight, then STOP!!!

Since then, I haven't lost even a pound of pressure in any of the tyres which is good news :D

Hope this is helpful for others when the time comes.
Charles
Teacher of Chemistry and driver of ALPINAs - not necessarily in that order ;)
B3S Touring (49/116) - been to the moon and now on the way back!
Renault Grand Espace - not mine but the wife's!

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