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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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Old 10-04-2012, 02:01 PM
numindast numindast is offline
Properly chastised re: Xi
Location: Chicago
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1,007
Mein Auto: 2005 325xi
Ugh. My car is collapsing :(

All in the last two weeks:

a) Clacking noise when turning in the parking garage. Probably a CV joint boot has torn and lost all its grease. Yuck, that's something I'm not sure I want to try tackling DIY yet, after looking it over in my minty-fresh Bentley manual.
b) Rear passenger window regulator failed catastrophically.
c) Green fluid leaking from the car. Thankfully it's just a leak at the windshield washer tank/pump. Yes, the washer fluid I filled with is green... but not after scaring me with doomsday thoughts of a catastrophic coolant leak.
d) Ordered a cooling system kit from Max. This will be interesting. Will I do it correctly?
e) While searching item "c)" above noticed baked oil on the metal flange above the exhaust manifold near the valve cover. Guess I need a VCG too.
e2) Maybe the oil separator valve is failing. See e) above...
f) Oil leaking around the oil filter cap. Hopefully it's just my bungling the o-ring install last time I changed the oil. That or it was defective. Or I slightly cross threaded the cap.
g) Realizing my battery is 7 years old. Still works good (no gremlins) but a ticking time bomb...
h) Spare tire is flat.
i) Oil change kit ordered from Max was marked "damaged in transit" by UPS. As he put it, would hate to be the UPS driver covered in motor oil!
j) Power steering fluid cap collects gunk like crazy. Or is that brake fluid... to the right of the oil filter. By now it's gotta be low.

It's an expensive month and I'm nervous about doing the work -- gotta do it soon before the weather gets nasty.

Can folks recommend tricks for the stuff above? Eg:
1) what torque wrench would you recommend buying?
2) what tools will work to get the radiator fan off the water pump shaft? Smolck says a long wrench and sledge, what size sledge? should I get pipe to put over the wrench end? use a socket wrench or regular spanner style wrench?
3) What's the easy way to capture/evacuate the coolant?
4) How to best scrape the old VCG off?
5) What's a reasonable price to have the CV boots replaced?
6) How can I tell if I have jack pads or not? Do I need to buy those?

Thank you in advance for your support and help.. I'm definitely nervous about the cooling system refresh.

Oil change and window regulator don't scare me at all but the cooling system does. I'll have to buy jack stands, a torque wrench, and who knows what all else.
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
...the last thing you need is unpredictable rubber
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