So, I learned a couple things about dropping an engine this week.
1) If your battery is in the back of the car, you'll be taking apart the power distribution block in the FRONT of the car, which means you won't really have any electrical function after you pull the engine. This becomes a problem when you leave an electric window down, and you want to park the car outside for a few days during a rainy spring. Luckily, BMW is way ahead of you, and there are provisions for rolling the window up manually, IF you have a full tool kit... ;)
2) Just when you think you have EVERYTHING disconnected, and you're ready to drop the engine, there's always ONE MORE thing to disconnect. In my case, it was the steering linkage which happened to be absolutely locked on the two splined shafts at each end. No matter how much I loosened the nuts and pried with every appropriate tool, they wouldn't slide off. So, I attacked the rubber donut that holds the two halves of the steering linkage together. Fell right out after that...
3) When doing major maintenance on someone else's car, no matter what kind of hurry you're in, DO A TOOL CHECK. I've been gloating for months about the fact that I can do tranny work and I have ALL the tools, etc. Well, my brother was in a hurry to leave when we did that auto tranny job last year. I didn't do my tool check. Guess what I lost? THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL for seperating a tranny from the engine. E14 socket. $40 later, I have an all new set of torx sockets just so I can replace the ONE. (sigh) Boy did I need that tool, though.
4) Pushing a car with no drivetrain is a CINCH! Taking 500-600lbs out of the front end of the car makes it so much easier to move around! EXCEPT, when you can't steer the car using that incredibly useful wheel in front of the driver's seat. (see #2)
You can do it, it just takes a lot longer.
5) Engines get violently sick once they leave the engine bay. It's like a crazy motion sickness, EVERY time you move the thing, it pukes up some kind of liquid all over your concrete garage floor. Then, when you can't mop it up fast enough, it dribbles outside onto your driveway and makes a HUGE mess that says, "HEY, I'M DOING ALL KINDS OF CRAZY CAR MAINTENENACE HERE, JUST THOUGHT I'D LET EVERYONE KNOW THAT I'M A DIRTY FINGER NAIL, NOISY AIR TOOL SLOB!" ... and just for added fun, I was out of kitty litter. We finished up at about 10:30 last night and that wasn't too bad, until I needed an extra hour to go get kitty litter, then clean THAT up. Boy am I tired.
6) It can be done on your own, and isn't too bad if you're brave and apply necessary OSHA procedures (What's OSHA?), but it does make it easier if you have a helper.