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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 04-05-2011, 02:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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You 'can' replace the M54 I6 oilpan gasket WITHOUT disconnecting the subframe!

Teamwork between the visionary (cn90) and the pioneer (Mudbone) just solved the age-old dilemma of how to remove & replace the I6 (M54) oilpan gasket WITHOUT removing anything else!

This is a quantum leap in our BMW I6 DIY knowledge!

Just like the ABS DIY was a quantum leap in helping DIY'ers do the job right (in that case, 540iman told us what to expect on wheel speed sensor pinout diode readings & the rest is history) ... and with the idea of the teamwork involved with the VERY best of E39 Links, in this case, cn90's brainpower teamed up with Mudbone's pioneering risk-taking attitude to (finally) solve the I6 oil-pan gasket replacement dilemma.

So that the E46 crowd can both benefit and pitch in with ideas, I refer you to this groundbreaking thread opened today:
- Replaced oil pan gasket

Note: If you guys already have figured this out, please let me know; but, as far as we know, this is a first.


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  #2  
Old 04-05-2011, 04:08 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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freaking awesome!. Now only time shall tell about leaking... lol
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Last edited by MalibuMafiaV; 04-05-2011 at 04:09 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-05-2011, 04:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
Now only time shall tell about leaking... lol
The OP (Mudbone) will be on the lookout for leaking.

The good news is that an all-day job can now be done in 1/10th the time (if this works long term). The other good news is for those who have a leaking oil pan gasket, they've got less to lose since they can try this trick, and, if it doesn't work - they can always re-replace the BMW I6 oil-pan gasket the hard way!

Meanwhile, we're working on the best sealant to use in that thread (see PDF below from BMW technical training).
- BMW_Oils_Lubricants_Sealants_and_Thread_Lockers.pd f

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  #4  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:17 PM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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Look very cool.



Ps: Quantum leaps are in reality very small.
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  #5  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:49 AM
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I did the same thing my old e30 just used sealant in the cut b4 bolting it down and it worked fine drove it another 150k never leaked again /i made just 1 cut in the side middle area between 2 bolt holes.
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  #6  
Old 04-06-2011, 03:43 PM
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Keep us updated, bluebee if that car develops a leak. It's an interesting decision.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:21 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlboBMW View Post
Quantum leaps are in reality very small.
Agreed. They're fundamental!

Quote:
Originally Posted by m123 View Post
I did the same thing [in] my old e30[.] just used sealant ... i made just 1 cut in the side middle area between 2 bolt holes.
Very good tribal knowledge to strategically aim the cuts to be midway between two bolt holes!

Mudbone considered a single cut but he found that two were necessary due to the rigidity of the steel/rubber oil pan gasket interacting with the convoluted geometry of the M54 engine.

Here's what he said about the single cut approach on the M54 engine:
Quote:
I could not get the new gasket in place with one cut. It is one of those "you had to be there" moments. The locations were selected by observation.
If anyone in the E46 team tries this on an M54 with one cut, let us know how it works, please.

And, we're still gathering the details on what sealant would work best, so, keep the ideas flowing for the benefit of the tribe, at large.

Quote:
As far as recommending a gasket sealer goes, I'm going to wait to see if it leaks before I recommend anything. But for the record I used "Permatex Ultra Copper".

Last edited by bluebee; 04-07-2011 at 05:22 AM.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:33 AM
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MicahO MicahO is offline
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This is truly good stuff. Thanks for the cross-post! Makes great sense.

(Side note, how many shops do you think use this method, yet still charge the full rate for a pan gasket replacement? Oh, there I go being negative again. Me and my 'trust issues' about letting other people touch my cars...... )
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2011, 08:26 AM
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I gotta say, removing the subframe on an E46 is seriously easy business. I always liked the excuse to remove the pan and reinforce the oil pump nut too. But I see no reason why this won't work. I don't like to work in tight quarters though, and with the subframe in the way, it would be tight.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2011, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I gotta say, removing the subframe on an E46 is seriously easy business. I always liked the excuse to remove the pan and reinforce the oil pump nut too. But I see no reason why this won't work. I don't like to work in tight quarters though, and with the subframe in the way, it would be tight.
+1. For automatics, with the oil cooler lines in the way, it magnifies the accessibility problem plus it is hard enough to get a torque wrench in there even with the subframe dropped. There is just too many things in the way. I would just rather drop the pan and do it right the first time. No sense in doing things twice, where if it leaks later I would be kicking myself for taking the lazy way out.

These are good ideas on what was done though...subscribed to both to see how things pan out.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2011, 03:14 PM
JF330xi JF330xi is offline
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Now someone needs to figure out how to do this for an xi. Freakin' nightmare to take the oil pan off.
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  #12  
Old 04-08-2011, 10:16 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Can one of you E46 guys help us out by providing a cross link over to here?

This is cn90's post today in the originally referenced thread:
- Replaced oil pan gasket (see post #38 today by cn90)

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
I do NOT have an E46 but reading the E46 forums, these guys are crying over the same Oil Pan Gasket Job LOL!!!

If someone here has an account in E46 forum, please let them know this "cutting gasket" trick!!!

Here are the threads that these guys are crying over:

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=184018

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=820305

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=457789

Last edited by bluebee; 04-08-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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  #13  
Old 04-08-2011, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Can one of you E46 guys help us out by providing a cross link over to here?
Done!
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  #14  
Old 06-13-2011, 09:19 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Thanks.

BTW, today an M54 engine owner tested the (old) oil pan gasket to see how much it would have to be bent to do the job without removing the subframe.
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Oil pan gasket repair, partial fail.

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