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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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  #26  
Old 02-22-2011, 03:19 PM
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I vote for oembimmerparts. Very reputible company. great customer service!. As he also said if you supply your own parts you don't get a labor warranty. But you will save a lot of money.
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  #27  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:24 AM
Germane Riposte Germane Riposte is offline
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OP - there sure are a lot of part numbers floating around, aren't there?

Most of the vendors do a pretty good job of getting you squared away with the right P/Ns for your car, when you give them the year+model or the VIN.

To supplement and confirm that information, I always review the parts diagrams for my car at http://www.realoem.com/bmw/. Handy site if you're not already aware of it. There are pictures for each subsystem, with parts lists including changes from year to year. It's especially great for finding the P/N for some random doodad that may not be explicitly listed on vendors' websites.
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  #28  
Old 02-23-2011, 06:42 AM
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-27-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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  #29  
Old 02-23-2011, 06:44 AM
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-27-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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  #30  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I didn't read the whole thread so please pardon me if I mis speak.

However, on two points, I know the answer well.

1. Max at OEMBimmerParts supplied all my cooling system and belt drive system overhaul parts and he never steered me wrong.

2. Fuhget' about "upgrade" from mechanical to hydraulic! What upgrade? We've asked and there is no advantage anyone can find and plenty of disadvantages. Don't even consider it.- Changing from Mechanical tensioner to Hydraulic tensioners

Just replace what you have with what you have:
- How to tell if you have spring-drive or hydraulic belt tensioners or both (1)

It's always a good idea to do both the belt drive & cooling system together:
- Typical tandem DIY repair jobs combined while you're already there (1)

Do not get parts from the dealer; get 'em from Max or Mark:
- Complete cooling system overhaul recommended parts list (1)
- Recommended parts list for a complete belt drive system overhaul (1)

I could link you to death, but more than you could ever ask about is already in your own E46 bestlinks I would wager (I didn't check as I own the E39 ... but almost all of this would be similar for the E46).

Quote:
Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
There is some truth to that in that the tensioner for the waterpump can be either mechanical or hyd. and the only 100% way of knowing is to look at which one was installed on your car. If it is mechanical you need to buy the entire tensioner with pulley and if hyd. you can get just the pulley.

Whether or not to upgrade to hyd. has no bearing at all on what type of trans. you have. If you have the mechanical tensioner the entire thing with pulley is 53.00, If you have the mech and want to upgrade it it is basically double the cost and a bit more labor. If you have hyd. then you can change the pulley which is 26.00
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Last edited by Nando779; 02-23-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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  #31  
Old 02-23-2011, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
2. Fuhget' about "upgrade" from mechanical to hydraulic! What upgrade? We've asked and there is no advantage anyone can find and plenty of disadvantages. Don't even consider it.
[B]- Changing from Mechanical tensioner to Hydraulic tensioners
There's a BMW service bulletin (SI B 11 04 03) that recommends replacement of noisy mechanical tensioners with hydraulic tensioners. The bulletin applies to most BMW models equipped with the M54 engine.
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  #32  
Old 02-23-2011, 09:25 PM
bostonbuck bostonbuck is offline
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bluebee ftw w/the links. awesome stuff everyone, thanks.
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  #33  
Old 02-23-2011, 10:10 PM
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-27-2011 at 12:23 AM.
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  #34  
Old 02-24-2011, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
This would be a very important find. The "holy grail" of sorts, for the argument whether the expensive and problematic conversion from mechanical to so-called hydraulic tensioners confers any advantage at all.
I'm surprised that you haven't read it yet. Someone posted a PDF of the service bulletin to this sub-forum a few years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
In fact, since BMW doesn't appear to sell the "kit" needed to convert from mechanical tensioners to so-called hydraulic tensioners, it would be strange for the service bulletin to suggest aftermarket parts.
They don't have to sell a kit or recommend aftermarket parts. The dealer techs can just piece it together from the parts list in the SIB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
The complexity of the conversion is more than a simple replacement (those who did it said you need an additional non-BMW kit)
Molehill. If you can interpret the BMW parts diagram for the hydraulic tensioner, then you can assemble the tensioner on the bench in five minutes. The SIB takes you through the assembly step-by-step.

Last edited by G. P. Burdell; 02-24-2011 at 05:47 AM.
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  #35  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:14 AM
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Bluebee I want to save the festers reading and your time so I will keep it short and simple. Meaningless to spend $26 vs $53? Sounds to me like your opinion is so strong on this issue that it is clouding your logic. Let me put it this way, now that I have a hydraulic tensionor the next time the pulley goes out I will spend $26, not $53 and I wont have to take the whole tensioner assembly out making the job easier than before. Make sense? Plus I did read the bulletin that Burdell mensioned before I made my decision to updgrade. I quoted Max since he understands this. No need to respond with an essay Bluebee, most of your post was rambling and repeating.
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Last edited by Nando779; 02-24-2011 at 08:15 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:10 AM
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Your "reputable" shop is marking up those prices by a bunch. I just bought a Behr radiator for $130 from Pelican. Anyways, just buy the kit from Max@ OEM Bimmer Parts. I mean, he is awesome, reputable (unlike your shop) and honest. Not to mention he uses "the good stuff" when it comes to parts. If you buy from someone else, God help you.

Also, if the shop wants $1000 for just those parts, they are going to rape you on labor. Find someone else. The whole rebuild is only a 4 hour job at most. I've done more than I can count and it never takes longer.
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  #37  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:26 AM
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Smolck is right. Honestly if you have simple tools you can do the cooling system overhaul yourself. Only tool you might need to buy is a fan removal tool. BUT if you just want to use a mallet and a wrench that works to:P.
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  #38  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:30 AM
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They charge $95/hr for labor and quoted 4 hours. I'm doing the work myself.

I bought ALL of the parts on the list (plus went with the hydraulic conversion kit, stewart fuel pump and ecs aluminum water pump pulley) PLUS new control arm bushings, rear rotors, pads, and sensors for a total of $710 after shipping! Ah, the wonders of the internet.
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  #39  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonbuck View Post
They charge $95/hr for labor and quoted 4 hours. I'm doing the work myself.

I bought ALL of the parts on the list (plus went with the hydraulic conversion kit, stewart fuel pump and ecs aluminum water pump pulley) PLUS new control arm bushings, rear rotors, pads, and sensors for a total of $710 after shipping! Ah, the wonders of the internet.
You might need help with the front control arm bushings. Glad you decided to work on it yourself. Much cheaper and awesome to learn about your car more in the process.
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  #40  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonbuck View Post
...I bought ALL of the parts on the list (plus went with the hydraulic conversion kit, stewart fuel pump and ecs aluminum water pump pulley)...
Let us know how the ecs pulley works for you, as it is a bit smaller in diameter, supposedly to provide more water flow.
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  #41  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:50 AM
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I had already bought an OEM water pulley but the guy threw in the ECS aluminum water pulley for $8.

I plan on needing help the the CABs; front suspension tends to be a PITA if the parts are high mileage or haven't been greased like mine.

I'll report how everything goes
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  #42  
Old 02-24-2011, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marlin1881 View Post
Let us know how the ecs pulley works for you, as it is a bit smaller in diameter, supposedly to provide more water flow.
Been running that pulley for a couple of months now. I would think there is a bit more water flow but there is no way I can tell. There is slight bit better performance but that is probably due to the fact I changed out the idle pulley,got a new pulley with the hydraulic conversion and new belts. Car runs so smooth, I expect it to be even better once I do my Vanos seals. If you do use an aluminum pulley, make sure you put anti sieze on the threads where the fan attaches to. If it siezes, you wont be able to destroy the pulley to get to the water pump bolts the way you would with a plastic one.
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  #43  
Old 02-24-2011, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e30_for_life View Post
How many miles on the car?

I am sure I will get flamed for what I am about to say, but it's worth saying. I am not a believer in these "complete overhauls". That's an easy way out and is certainly the desired approach for those selling parts and/or services. Most parts do not fail out of the blue. This whole "overhaul" craze started with the E46 water pump failures on earlier modes that had brittle plastic impellers and then just caught on. Water pumps and the expansion tanks definitely seems like an 60-70K miles item and I am all for preventative maintenance but taking this same philosophy for the rest of the cooling system is overkill. Most cooling components on the E46 are easy to get to so that mentality of "while you're in there" doesn't really apply. Hoses will easily last till 100+K miles. Radiator ditto. Both of those items can be easily inspected for signs of coolant seeping through micro cracks. Thermostats will go till 90 easily and very rarely fail in a "stuck closed" position. Meaning you are bound to notice cooler water temp on highway and replace them at that time. Sensors and switches in reality last a long time as well.

My ride will hit 65K next summer (2012). At that time I plan to replace the expansion tank with OEM / Waterpump with EMP and the pulley with the aluminum counter part. The belt is a cheap enough item that can be replaced while it's out.

ok... who's gonna be the 1st one to throw something at me

Quote:
Originally Posted by ventsyv View Post
Actually I agree with you. I think the radiator and hoses don't need to be changed until you start seeing signs of wear. The belts, pulleys, T-stat and pump on the other hand should be changed together. I replaced my pump when I was changing the belts. T-stat died (stuck open) a couple of months later.
That was around 75K. Now the car has 100K and the only cooling problem I have is that I'm losing some coolant. It's probably the radiator, I don't see any leaks, all hoses look OK, but it's not a lot, so I'll keep an eye on it ...

Bottom line - if your car is 75K and more and you have the money save yourself the trouble and do it all at once. If you don't change the items that need changing and don't worry about the rest.
+1 I also think a "cooling overhaul" is overkill. On my 528 I think the main must do's are the fan clutch, thermostat housing and thermostat, idler pulley, and the hose that comes off the rear of the head that goes to the cabin heater system.

Last edited by ztom; 02-24-2011 at 10:20 PM.
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  #44  
Old 02-25-2011, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
+1 I also think a "cooling overhaul" is overkill. On my 528 I think the main must do's are the fan clutch, thermostat housing and thermostat, idler pulley, and the hose that comes off the rear of the head that goes to the cabin heater system.
I think the one of the main ideas behind the overhaul, specifically the cooling system, is since you already are in a position to change other parts that are known to eventually fail, why not do it now at your own leisure.
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  #45  
Old 02-25-2011, 09:15 AM
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-27-2011 at 12:22 AM.
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  #46  
Old 02-25-2011, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Hi Nando,
There's nothing stopping you from buying "just" the pulley for the mechanical tensioners.
There is no listing for just the pulley for a mechanical tensioner, only the hyrdraulic.

Mechanical, notice no individual part number for the pulley.
Here


Hydraulic, notice the individaul part number for the pulley
Here

Anyways OP purchased a hydraulic, you can stop trying to convince them .

Eidt:
Since you got my original post taken down, here is the link to the post that has the bulletin link again:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...0&postcount=39

And another, even better. Has a PDF attached with the scanned bulletin. Thanks Starless!:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...78&postcount=4

It appears you now have to be a member to view it, that wasn't always the case.
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Last edited by Nando779; 02-25-2011 at 12:16 PM.
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  #47  
Old 02-26-2011, 11:35 AM
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  #48  
Old 02-26-2011, 01:00 PM
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Can we move the frigging tensioner debate elsewhere. I for one am bored with it and the thread is about cooling parts. Let it go!
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  #49  
Old 02-26-2011, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bostonbuck View Post
Reputable Indy says I need a complete coolant system overhaul. They quoted me $926 just for parts. They said to ONLY buy genuine BMW parts and that they've seen TONS of aftermarket/OEM coolant systems fail.

The parts cost includes all belts, adjuster pulleys, water pump, everything:

11-28-1-437-450 (5k x 863) $20
11-28-1-437-475 (6k x 1538) $25
11-28-1-748-131 (Adjusting pulley) $35
11-28-1-738-605 (Deflection roller) $35
11-28-1-748-832 (Mech tension pulley m50) $69

11-53-1-437-040 (T-stat w/hsg m54 9/98) $80

17-11-9-071-518 (Rad e46 manual) $249 - they said to ONLY use the BEHR made for manual 11-53-1-436-408 (Hose e46 low) $34
17-12-7-510-952 (Hose e46 top) $34
COOLANT 50/50 (Antifreeze 50/50 mixture) 2x$18.50
17-11-1-436-250 (Train station e46 manual) $57
17-11-7-573-781 (Expansion tank e46) $84
17-11-1-742-231 (Rad cap 2.0 bar most screw) $19
13-62-1-433-077 (Temp sens RAD OUT) $26

11-51-7-527-799 (Water pump m50/52) $120

I found most of the genuine BMW parts online for about 20-30% less than what's listed above, but couldn't find everything genuine - that would mean I found just about all the recommended parts for around $700. For example, the "Hose e46 low" and "Hose e46 top" were Conti Tech, the "Adjusting pulley" was INA, and the "Rad cap 2.0 car most screw" was Ruetter. I know some BMW parts aren't labeled BMW, like the radiator is BEHR.

Was wondering what you guys have spent on a complete coolant system overhaul, which parts you used, and what your experience was installing everything and the durability of the parts you used.
Modine is the preferred radiator and used on most of the European delivered E46's. Much lower failure rate than Behr. Tons of threads about all these things. Don't believe everything this guy is telling you because his wallet is influencing his recommendations. Just like any other major decision: get a second (or third) opinion.

Last edited by catso; 02-26-2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #50  
Old 02-26-2011, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by catso View Post
Modine is the preferred radiator and used on most of the European delivered E46's. Much lower failure rate than Behr. Tons of threads about all these things. Don't believe everything this guy is telling you because his wallet in influencing his recommendations. Just like any other major decision: get a second (or third) opinion.
+1. I have seen more than a few Behr radiators leak and have fitment issues.
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