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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-05-2010, 10:51 AM
oceano oceano is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Changing mechanical tensioner to hydraulic

Hey guys,

Looking for a DIY to change from mechanical to hydraulic tensioner. Surfed the forum found a lot of discussion just not the DIY, if you have seen it could you send out to me. Thanks again.
2003 325i

Last edited by oceano; 02-05-2010 at 10:52 AM. Reason: model
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2010, 12:59 PM
jack_ski jack_ski is offline
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Use http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/belts.php as a starting point.

To replace the tensioner, it's only a few long hex-head bolts.

Should be a direct swap from mechanical to hydraulic, I think.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:37 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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As far as I remember, there is a SIB for mechanical to hydraulic replacement process. I'll try to look for it for you. However, you do not need really need it. There are plenty DIYs for mechanical tensioner replacement, use them as a starting point. The realoem.com has diagrams for both mechanical and hydraulic tensioner. I believe with hydraulic one comes the conversion kit (or may be you need to buy it sepatately, i do not remember for sure). Then, it's pretty much a direct swap. I'll try to locate the SIB for you. I know I saw it somewhere!

Last edited by Starless; 02-05-2010 at 04:40 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2010, 03:59 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Ok, found the SIB 110403 for you! All the parts numbers and installation instructions are there. Other than that use any online diys.

Good luck!

hydraulic[1].pdf

EDIT: Actually, follow this link for an updated SIB dated February 2007. It has better quality pictures too.
http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/...p/B110403g.htm

Last edited by Starless; 02-05-2010 at 04:14 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2010, 06:37 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Here is a tensioner DIY from my bookmarks:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...13#post7896513
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2010, 06:44 PM
oceano oceano is offline
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Too cool Starless

You are the best, I can recombinate DNA, but without a method I am lost. Thanks again, When I viewed it was you, I knew things were looking up. Your info is always smooth.

oceano
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2010, 06:51 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceano View Post
You are the best, I can recombinate DNA, but without a method I am lost. Thanks again, When I viewed it was you, I knew things were looking up. Your info is always smooth.

oceano
You are welcome, my friend! I did it before, so I had some info in my bookmarks
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2010, 11:54 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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I was going to do the same(just for the main tensioner not the A/C tensioner) when I was doing the cooling system overhaul. But then realized that hydraulic conversion will cost about twice as much with the upgrade kit (buying the hydraulic tensioner only won't do it). Then I would have one hydraulic and one mechanical tensioner in there. Then I read a few thread about how some of the units fail prematurely(not trying to say this is a common case). There was one guy he switched from hydraulic to mechanical just to get rid of the headache. Then knowing that a mechanical tensioner lasts for a good 50k miles and I will most likely be driving something else by then made me want to spend 50 bucks only and keep the other 50 in my pocket. I bought another mechanical tensioner and replaced the original one as a preventative maintenance at 60k miles. And the original one didn't have any issue when I replaced it.
But after replacing the mechanical tensioner, my idler pulley failed miserably giving me a terrible squeal every freaking day. So you might want to replace that too if you have over 50k on it... It is a cheap part and one bolt holds it. Actually while replacing your tensioner (with mechanical or hydraulic) that idler pulley needs to come out anyways...

Last edited by iskoos; 02-05-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:51 AM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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I recently found out that my tensioner was making noises and needed replacement. I looked at autohausaz.com and the price for a mechanical tensioner is $48, and as many of you know, you have to replace the whole assembly and not just the pulley.

I decided to go with the hydraulic one for $64.55, and the kit $28.48, because in the future I would only need to replace the pulley, hydraulic ones are better, and BMW has discontinued the mechanical one, that's a $48 difference, but if I had the hydraulic one I would have to pay $15 for the pulley alone, rather than $48 for the whole assembly.
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  #10  
Old 02-06-2010, 12:51 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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I replaced my mechanical tensioner for another mechanical (preventatively) and at the same time did the idler pulley (which was squeaking), AC tensioner and belts. Next time I need a tensioner the mechanical one will probably be unavailable at all, so I'll have to put in the hydraulic one.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2010, 08:05 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Tisher is great as usual. They put together this new kit for $290:



OEM BMW E46 Belts/Tensioners Replacement Kit. Kit includes both alternator and a/c belts, pulleys, and tensioners (includes a hydraulic alt. tensioner). For vehicles that have a mechanical alt. tensioner setup, the coversion kit includes all parts necessary to retrofit the hydraulic setup. Fits all E46 3 Series vehicles except M3's. *Price includes Free Ground Shipping! (US only).

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...gid=4462&tab=1

P.S No, I do not work for them.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2010, 12:45 PM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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so the kit is 290 with two tensoners?
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2010, 01:47 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlboBMW View Post
so the kit is 290 with two tensoners?
Yes, one is AC belt tensioner (mech.), the other one is Alternator tensioner (hydraulic)
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2010, 03:22 PM
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ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
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We offer a complete Hydraulic Accessory Belt Tensioner Conversion Kit...

Click HERE to order or for more information.

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  #15  
Old 02-13-2010, 04:23 PM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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Here's a few pics of my new pulley



all set
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  #16  
Old 02-13-2010, 07:08 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlboBMW View Post
Here's a few pics of my new pulley
all set
Nice! Good Job!
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  #17  
Old 02-13-2010, 10:46 PM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Nice! Good Job!
thanks bro for the link.
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