Homemade wheel install guide.

by Tom McCandless [trmiii@earthlink.net]

While reading the owners manual for my CPO 1999 528i, this first time BMW owner ran across the procedure for jacking up the car and changing a wheel/tire assembly.  Mention was made of a “pin” (part number 71-11-1-093-774) with a plastic sleeve that is to be slid into a lug bolt hole to help guide the wheel onto the hub.  Inventory of the onboard tool kit showed no such animal.  Checking in with the parts dude at Don Mackey revealed that it’s supposedly not part of the tool kit for the USA destined cars.  Now it IS a bit awkward holding that wheel on that relatively narrow lip and starting a lug bolt at the same time.  So what to do?  (Besides buy the “pin” for a whole $9.30.)  Which I did, if for no other reason than to fill the empty slot in the tool kit.


But here’s a better way.  Go to your local hardware store that carries metric nuts and bolts and buy a long metric bolt that has the same thread (in my case 12mm X 1.5mm) as your lug bolts.  Three or four inches long is about right.  Preferably one with only an inch or so of thread.  Ace Hardware had 12 X 1.5 nuts but no bolts.  Go figure.  Found mine at Sutherland Lumber.  Cut the head off with a hacksaw, cut a screwdriver slot across the unthreaded end, and dress the burrs off with a fine file.  Now when you screw it in that lug bolt hole (hand tight only please!), it won’t wobble around and the smooth part of the bolt shank will allow that heavy wheel/tire to slip right into perfect alignment on the hub.  And the screwdriver slot will allow you to screw it out if your righty-tighty is heftier than your lefty-loosey.