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Old 12-06-2017, 09:44 AM
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Water Pump + T-Stat as preventative maintenance? 2011 328xi

Hello,
Having reached the end of my CPO in September and mileage just clocked to 100,000, I am thinking of attempting the job as soon as it gets warmer. It seems like the pump fails without warning sometimes, I really do not like the idea of being stranded and having to tow the car, finding indy that will work on it immediately, etc.
I have been searching and there are a few procedures, maybe those who have done it can help me understand if I even should attempt this.
Can this be done on car ramps, in particular those of us who have X-drive? I feel like they are much safer than stands, this means of course I cannot drop subframe. Is it still possible to fish out the pump that way?
Look like at this time the pump has been replaced with the Pierburg manufacturer, I remember some time ago Continental was making our pumps for a while. Is one brand better than the other? This might be a good kit to get: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...11517586925kit
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2017, 11:16 AM
u.nanimous u.nanimous is online now
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On ramps...not quite. I attempted it on our N54 335xi (@130k) and because of the xdrive you will have to remove the right front wheel and wheel liner. I'm old and have a bad back, which I threw out in the process of all the shifting around on the ground, but I did manage to get it in and hooked up...with 1 problem! Due to lack of room and visibility I realized when I went to plug in the connector on the back of the pump that I had the wires running behind the pump (explains why I had trouble bolting it in place), but you might have a little more room considering there are no turbos. So 1 ramp and 1 jackstand and I did it in the driveway on a Sunday afternoon without dropping the subframe. Just don't have any small chidren around, you'll be using a lot of words that they shouldn't hear.
As far as that kit, it looks similar to what I bought but I'd have to dig up the receipt to be sure.

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2005 Venture Extended LT - what else you gonna drive when you have 6 kids, cargo and still want better than 10MPG (hello X7, and lottery!)
1999 BMW 740iA - long term project/summer DD
2000 Impala LS - RIP 12/23/2016, officially totaled by insurance company
2001 BMW 330xiA - fXtXeX/son project - now April's car
2008 BMW 335xiA - makes me wish we always had snow
2002 BMW 530i/5 - 2.5 years searching...and it is John's car
1989 BMW 535i/5 - plan is for it to be Charlotte's when she gets her license (fall 2018)

Last edited by u.nanimous; 12-06-2017 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u.nanimous View Post
On ramps...not quite. I attempted it on our N54 335xi (@130k) and because of the xdrive you will have to remove the right front wheel and wheel liner. I'm old and have a bad back, which I threw out in the process of all the shifting around on the ground, but I did manage to get it in and hooked up...with 1 problem! Due to lack of room and visibility I realized when I went to plug in the connector on the back of the pump that I had the wires running behind the pump (explains why I had trouble bolting it in place), but you might have a little more room considering there are no turbos. So 1 ramp and 1 jackstand and I did it in the driveway on a Sunday afternoon without dropping the subframe. Just don't have any small chidren around, you'll be using a lot of words that they shouldn't hear.
As far as that kit, it looks similar to what I bought but I'd have to dig up the receipt to be sure.

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Awesome tips, thank you. Now to get the car on one ramp did you have to drive up the ramp with just the left front wheel, then jack the right side of the car and support with the stand? All videos show what I believe to be non x-drive models and hands working form the bottom to access pump and the hoses. With our x-drive did you have to access from the right wheel well to do most of the job or just specific parts?
Yes pretty much anything on this car you have to swear to work on it! I just did the FH gasket and was quite verbal when I broke the radiator drain sleeve trying to drain coolant.
Thanks!
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:56 PM
u.nanimous u.nanimous is online now
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I started with the car on ramps because that's the info I found...and then I found out there is a stiffinning plate and an axle in the way that isn't on non xdrive cars so I put the right side on a jack stand to remove the wheel and liner. There are 2 hose clamps and the electrical connector that you have to reach in from the side to get, the rest of the job can be done going from underneath in front of the subframe. To get whatever room I could I also took out the bolts holding the sway bar to the frame and a coolant pipe that runs across the car next to the sway bar. IIRC it is a power steering hose on a rubber mount that needs to be moved also. Its just a bunch of nuts and bolts so you can push things out of the way to get the right angles with your hands and tools. There is also a small curved plate with 2 bolts over the tie rod you can remove for a little more hand room. And you get to drain the coolant again!
BTW...get the car postioned before removing the stiffenning plate, I read somewhere (Bentley?) you aren't supposed to move the car without it attached. Also, there may be a note with the pump but incase there isn't, before you mount the new pump reach into it and make sure the impellor moves (won't spin freely like a clean bearing but should turn easily).

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2005 Venture Extended LT - what else you gonna drive when you have 6 kids, cargo and still want better than 10MPG (hello X7, and lottery!)
1999 BMW 740iA - long term project/summer DD
2000 Impala LS - RIP 12/23/2016, officially totaled by insurance company
2001 BMW 330xiA - fXtXeX/son project - now April's car
2008 BMW 335xiA - makes me wish we always had snow
2002 BMW 530i/5 - 2.5 years searching...and it is John's car
1989 BMW 535i/5 - plan is for it to be Charlotte's when she gets her license (fall 2018)
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Old 12-06-2017, 02:32 PM
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Wow that does sound much worse than a rear wheel drive car! Maybe that's why I cannot find any videos or guides for the X-Drive.
Well, hope I can somehow finish it even if the car has to stay in the air more than one day.
Thanks for great tips!
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:26 PM
koreanknife koreanknife is offline
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My indy mechanic quoted me 3 hours labor for a total of $225 if I bring him all the parts. Turns out my overheating issue was not water pump / tstat related. I had a hard time reaching all the hoses in the back of the thermostat and was afraid I was going to have to give up half way through. If you have success in changing it yourself, please update as this will give me the courage when it comes to changing mine to give it another shot.
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Old 12-06-2017, 07:54 PM
u.nanimous u.nanimous is online now
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Yes major swearing at two of the hoses in the back. You have to take your time putting it back together, those hoses are right against each other and it takes time to work them on. I forget which but I put one on before putting it in, keep this in mind as you take it apart. Book time is 3 hours but I stretched it out to 6, although I took a few breaks in there.

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2005 Venture Extended LT - what else you gonna drive when you have 6 kids, cargo and still want better than 10MPG (hello X7, and lottery!)
1999 BMW 740iA - long term project/summer DD
2000 Impala LS - RIP 12/23/2016, officially totaled by insurance company
2001 BMW 330xiA - fXtXeX/son project - now April's car
2008 BMW 335xiA - makes me wish we always had snow
2002 BMW 530i/5 - 2.5 years searching...and it is John's car
1989 BMW 535i/5 - plan is for it to be Charlotte's when she gets her license (fall 2018)
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:18 PM
eric_dot_com eric_dot_com is offline
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hey so what was causing the overheating if it wasnt the water pumps and/or thermo ? im just curious if you ever found out the main problem on your ride due to the overheating
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:19 PM
eric_dot_com eric_dot_com is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koreanknife View Post
My indy mechanic quoted me 3 hours labor for a total of $225 if I bring him all the parts. Turns out my overheating issue was not water pump / tstat related. I had a hard time reaching all the hoses in the back of the thermostat and was afraid I was going to have to give up half way through. If you have success in changing it yourself, please update as this will give me the courage when it comes to changing mine to give it another shot.


hey so what was the issue with your ride that is causing the overheating problem if it wasnt the water pump and the thermo ?
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:43 PM
u.nanimous u.nanimous is online now
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Speaking of overheating problems...the waterpump and thermostat throw codes - no codes, look elsewhere.

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2005 Venture Extended LT - what else you gonna drive when you have 6 kids, cargo and still want better than 10MPG (hello X7, and lottery!)
1999 BMW 740iA - long term project/summer DD
2000 Impala LS - RIP 12/23/2016, officially totaled by insurance company
2001 BMW 330xiA - fXtXeX/son project - now April's car
2008 BMW 335xiA - makes me wish we always had snow
2002 BMW 530i/5 - 2.5 years searching...and it is John's car
1989 BMW 535i/5 - plan is for it to be Charlotte's when she gets her license (fall 2018)
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  #11  
Old 12-07-2017, 06:41 AM
koreanknife koreanknife is offline
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My radiator fan failed. no codes thrown. found out when trying to turn it on using ODB scan tool and it did not respond.
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:46 AM
silver328i01 silver328i01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u.nanimous View Post
On ramps...not quite. I attempted it on our N54 335xi (@130k) and because of the xdrive you will have to remove the right front wheel and wheel liner. I'm old and have a bad back, which I threw out in the process of all the shifting around on the ground, but I did manage to get it in and hooked up...with 1 problem! Due to lack of room and visibility I realized when I went to plug in the connector on the back of the pump that I had the wires running behind the pump (explains why I had trouble bolting it in place), but you might have a little more room considering there are no turbos. So 1 ramp and 1 jackstand and I did it in the driveway on a Sunday afternoon without dropping the subframe. Just don't have any small chidren around, you'll be using a lot of words that they shouldn't hear.
As far as that kit, it looks similar to what I bought but I'd have to dig up the receipt to be sure.

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  #13  
Old 12-07-2017, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koreanknife View Post
My radiator fan failed. no codes thrown. found out when trying to turn it on using ODB scan tool and it did not respond.
Good to hear it was a simpler issue that discussed here. Also good way to check fan is to turn the AC on, I believe that causes fan to come on regardless of engine temp. But yes I have BAVTECH cable that lets you cycle fan at different speeds.
I very much want to attempt this, given that my system doesn't fail in the winter. I have no garage, so I have to work outside once the weather warms up a bit. Will update for sure.
One trick I did learn in the past working on someone's fuel filler pipe is the old style flood light (non-led) positioned near rubber hoses softens them up quite a bit due to heat output.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:03 AM
yohomes1 yohomes1 is offline
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water pump

My '07 328i has over 170,000 miles on the original water pump and thermostat. I used my Schwaben scanner and ran a diagnostic scan which indicated that everything was OK. The scanner showed no "hidden" codes, rpm of the water pump, temperature of the coolant, fan speed, oil temperature and condenser temperature. The outside temp was 96 degrees while conducting these tests. The coolant Temp ranged between 180-190 degrees while parked in my driveway with the AC on and the radiator fan running. I had previously replaced the radiator, hoses, coolant recovery tank and coolant, plus belt and idler assembly. I periodically check the coolant level to ensure all is well. Right now I have confidence in the pump and thermostat assembly. In an emergency, I would trust it on a very long trip. I have driven it on a 200 mile round trip at extra legal speeds since replacing everything. No problems. I will continue to periodically scan the pump for hidden codes and change when something turns up.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by yohomes1 View Post
My '07 328i has over 170,000 miles on the original water pump and thermostat. I used my Schwaben scanner and ran a diagnostic scan which indicated that everything was OK. The scanner showed no "hidden" codes, rpm of the water pump, temperature of the coolant, fan speed, oil temperature and condenser temperature. The outside temp was 96 degrees while conducting these tests. The coolant Temp ranged between 180-190 degrees while parked in my driveway with the AC on and the radiator fan running. I had previously replaced the radiator, hoses, coolant recovery tank and coolant, plus belt and idler assembly. I periodically check the coolant level to ensure all is well. Right now I have confidence in the pump and thermostat assembly. In an emergency, I would trust it on a very long trip. I have driven it on a 200 mile round trip at extra legal speeds since replacing everything. No problems. I will continue to periodically scan the pump for hidden codes and change when something turns up.
You might be the record keeper for the original pump! I salute your confidence that is impressive, actually given all the stories we read about pump failures. There's also a very old school test I read at pelican parts that sounds very simple:
Quote:
You may also want to try squeezing the top radiator hose with the engine warmed up and running. You should feel pressure build up on the back of the hose and surge once it is released. If you feel no pressure, it's a fair bet that the coolant pump is failing.
It may be that you have replaced the coolant just at the right time to keep the pump from deteriorating due to working fluid.
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Old 12-09-2017, 10:56 AM
Steve111 Steve111 is online now
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Mine had a little over 150k on it before it failed. It's the dang circuit board that fails on these pumps unfortunately. The pump itself is good but the circuit board is the weak point there.
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Old 12-10-2017, 05:16 AM
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Mine had a little over 150k on it before it failed. It's the dang circuit board that fails on these pumps unfortunately. The pump itself is good but the circuit board is the weak point there.
Have 149,000 on mine and have a 600 mile work trip next week that will push it over 150,000. Since these things are electronic there is no guarantee that changing them before they die prevents future failures.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:51 AM
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Interesting. I suppose data gathering is difficult on the internet. If looking at threads, most of them will persuade you that these pumps fail rather early, that is because mostly people will post IF they have a problem. The ones that don't simply keep driving...
That gives me some more things to think about, thanks guys. At the very least I do plan to at least do a pump change mock-up: raise the car and take a look around as to how difficult would it be to access with splash shields off.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:10 PM
Steve111 Steve111 is online now
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I have an x drive and it took me like 4 hrs. It's very tight and you have to take your time and be creative.
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Old 12-11-2017, 01:27 AM
officer140 officer140 is offline
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Just hit 67,000 miles on my '07 335i vert. Original pump failed around 45,000 miles. OEM replacement then it failed again at 65,000. W/P had a leak at the seam where the unit appears to "join together". I did the work myself this time around, again using OEM pump and t-stat. Did the t-stat as a precaution. Took about 4 hours. There is 1 bolt that was a major PITA. Took me about an hour total to figure out the best way to remove/install that one. Next time around, I could do it in about 3 hours or less using stands.
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