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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 10-17-2011, 07:51 AM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Radiator Hose & Thermostat Assembly Replacement on 2001 325XI

Hi all,
This may have been covered in another post, but a quick search didn't yield any results for the 2001 325xi I have. My upper radiator hose has completely snapped off and after getting a closer look it looks like the expansion tank also had a leak which caused the car to overheat and start smoking. I pulled over and had it towed home so more damage wouldn't be done. From what I could see, I believe I just need to replace the thermostat assembly, the upper radiator hose & of course the expansion tank. I've ordered the parts, but I'm hoping someone can point me to a DIY tutorial/video on how to remove the current broken parts. I fussed around with the current assembly for half hour and didn't see an easy way to remove it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2011, 09:59 AM
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http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php

Be careful and try not to break the bracket that holds the expansion tank to the car (underneath the expansion tank)
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:56 AM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Thanks edsmax for that link! The instructions on that page are for the 330ci, but I presume it's essentially the same for the 325xi correct?
Also, I don't believe the water pump has gone bad but what's the best way to confirm?

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2011, 12:51 PM
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2011, 01:19 PM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Patrick, thanks for the part numbers. Although I had already ordered the parts from another vendor, I took a look at your site. Your prices were significantly higher than the vendor I had ordered from already; thermostat was ~$25 higher & the hose was about $4 higher. As a side note, please take this as some constructive criticism on your site coming from someone who makes a living as a web & UI designer & developer, that your site is not very user friendly. Thanks for the info.
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2011, 01:32 PM
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The link edsmax posted should be close enough to help you along during the process. One way to check to see if the water pump is bad is to remove the belt, reach down, and turn the pulley on the water pump by hand. If it does not turn it is ceased and it's time to replace, if there is any play the pump is worn and needs to be replaced.

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  #7  
Old 10-17-2011, 02:04 PM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Thanks ECS Tuning, for the info! I'll double check the water pump per your advice when I start the work.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2011, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivdezine View Post
Thanks edsmax for that link! The instructions on that page are for the 330ci, but I presume it's essentially the same for the 325xi correct?
Also, I don't believe the water pump has gone bad but what's the best way to confirm?

Thanks!
You're welcome! Yes, the instructions are the same for the 330 vs the 325.

The only way to test for a bad waterpump is to either see if it is leaking or remove the serpentine belt and spin the pulley by hand. If it is hard to turn or the bearings make noise, time to replace. It is so easy to change and relatively cheap it is piece of mind to just replace it.
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2011, 07:31 PM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edsmax
You're welcome! Yes, the instructions are the same for the 330 vs the 325.

The only way to test for a bad waterpump is to either see if it is leaking or remove the serpentine belt and spin the pulley by hand. If it is hard to turn or the bearings make noise, time to replace. It is so easy to change and relatively cheap it is piece of mind to just replace it.
Thanks again edsmax, much appreciated for the info! I've ordered the water pump as well. I'm already going to be doing much of the work so might as well replace it.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:02 PM
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Automatic transmission? If so, there is a automatic transmission thermostat at the base of the expansion tank. Might want to think about replacing that too. Mine was in pieces when I took the tank off of my 323 a few years back. Here is a link to a visual on what it looks like. Also, don't forget the two O-Rings to the transmission cooler...also mounted to the same bracket as the tank...while you're there, every thing is drained etc. might want to change them.

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/e46enginecooling.html
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  #11  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:59 AM
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The Xi replacement is the same as any other e46, the only difference is auto or manual. Really with the loss of coolant, and the extra time it would take, I really would do the full cooling system(hoses,expansion tank/tstat/wp).
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  #12  
Old 10-18-2011, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivdezine View Post
2001 325xi
A lot of the steps should be similar to my M54 so, I post this to head off the mistakes that I made, replacing my cooling system on my 2002 M54 engine:
etc.
Note: And those are just the mistakes "I" made!

Hint: When you're done, always autopsy the old parts and post results so that all benefit from every repair.

For example:
- Behr radiator and Behr expansion (aka surge) tank autopsy (1)




-
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
A lot of the steps should be similar to my M54 so, I post this to head off the mistakes that I made, replacing my cooling system on my 2002 M54 engine:
etc.
Note: And those are just the mistakes "I" made!

Hint: When you're done, always autopsy the old parts and post results so that all benefit from every repair.

For example:
- Behr radiator and Behr expansion (aka surge) tank autopsy (1)




-
Holy crap, dude. Did you disassemble your cooling system with a sledge hammer when you did your overhaul??
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
The Xi replacement is the same as any other e46, the only difference is auto or manual. Really with the loss of coolant, and the extra time it would take, I really would do the full cooling system(hoses,expansion tank/tstat/wp).
...and belts...
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  #15  
Old 10-21-2011, 12:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
...and belts...
...mechanical or hydraulic...
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  #16  
Old 10-22-2011, 11:30 AM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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I could really use some further guidance. I finally started the work a short while ago following the steps in this DIY: http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php and I am having a hell of a time trying to remove the radiator fan according to step # 23. I've remove the wiring on the passenger side & the torx screw from the driver side but it's not pulling straight up as described. I've looked from underneath the engine and all sides to see what else is holding it in place but no luck. Can anyone offer some suggestions please? I really appreciate it. I'm attaching some pics of the fan shroud & expansion tank that has been unscrewed.
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Last edited by ivdezine; 10-22-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2011, 03:10 PM
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There is also an expanding pop-rivet on the driver side of the fan that needs to come out. You're going to remove the wiring for the F-AUC sensor on top of the fan, it's the little box on the top of the fan, passenger side.
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Last edited by Gryphon; 10-22-2011 at 03:11 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-22-2011, 03:15 PM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Thanks Gryphon, I think I've removed the one you're referring to. See the red outlined area in the attached image; is that the one you mean?
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  #19  
Old 10-23-2011, 07:07 AM
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That's the one, just slowly pull the fan straight up taking care to avoid heavy contact with the expansion tank. The reverse is a little tricky, just make sure you get the fan in the slot as you lower it back in. Hard to describe, but after you do it the first time, it'll be a piece of cake in future endeavors. First time doing the belts took me about 45min, after that maybe 15min from dis-assembly to reassembly.
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2011, 07:44 AM
ivdezine ivdezine is offline
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Thanks Gryphon. After reading around some more I came to learn that the fan itself needs to be removed with the 32MM wrench, which is a reverse thread. I went and bought the 32mm wrench, but haven't been able to find a fan clutch holding tool in order to unscrew the fan. Tried another method that I read about using a 2 or 3 pound rubber hammer and striking it really hard to the right but unfortunately that didn't work either. I guess Ill have to order the tool and then try it again.
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:24 AM
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Apologies didnt see you had an auto, both my e46s are three pedals so no fan clutch. I believe smolck has made a youtube vid of how to remove it with a wrench and a bfh, just don't hit your expansion tank. As with most connectors on rotary parts, the threading is opposite to direction of rotation to prevent it unthreading itself

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