Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:10 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
Cooling system overhaul

I am currently searching for any DIY's on a complete cooling system overhaul and am finding a plethora of information.

I drive a E46, 99 323i automatic transmission.
I've replaced the Clutch Fan and the Expansion Tank 10k miles ago. The Clutch Fan failed and caused the Expansion Tank to burst. The work was done by an Indy shop, and at the time I didn't have the cash to completely overhaul the entire cooling system. I'm pretty sure that I do now though.

I have a leak in the system somewhere. There is a bunch of coolant on top of the expansion tank which leads me to believe that it's getting to hot and the fill caps breather is releasing fluid.

In any case I have 124k and have only replaced the Expansion Tank and Clutch Fan. I know I've been skating on thin ice and it's time

As I look and dig through a million posts. Maybe it would be faster if someone could point me in the direction of a complete list of parts, and tools needed for the job. DIY threads would be nice too. I've found Smolk's water pump video on his Youtube channel. But I'm still looking.

Thank you for stopping in!
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:43 PM
hexy27's Avatar
hexy27 hexy27 is offline
GO FLYERS!!!
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 317
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Go to oembimmerparts.com....they sell a complete kit for a cooling system refresh and have all the parts you need.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:09 PM
Brobby87's Avatar
Brobby87 Brobby87 is offline
The Arch Bishop
Location: Minneapolis, MN
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 168
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, 1986 535i
Odds are when your expansion tank was replaced, it didnt receive a new expansion tank cap to go with it. So the old one was used and the gasket on it is old and perished.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:46 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
They replaced the cap, I'll scan up the work order.



Thank you Hexy27 for the tip on the oembimmerparts.com kit, that definitely helps.

I'm almost positive that I will not be needing everything on that list for the master cooling kit.
I've replaced the belts already less than 5k ago,
I already have the BMW antifreeze.

Are the belt tensioners something that are a normal replacement? It almost seems like they wouldn't go bad. Same with the water pump pulley, How would these parts go bad?

I've heard of the Idler pulley being a common replacement part though.

And a few other coolant related parts were replaced in this work order
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Expansion tank WO.jpg
Views:	68
Size:	142.0 KB
ID:	357815  
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:58 PM
ECSTuning's Avatar
ECSTuning ECSTuning is offline
Instructor of the Stig™
Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,975
Mein Auto: Hover Car on Wheels
You can always use my Ultimate Refresh kits (LINK) as a guide for the most common parts replaced when doing a full cooling refresh. From there if you don't want to get a complete kit I'd be happy to help piece together everything you need/want.
__________________

Have questions? Need answers? Live Chat us! 8:30am to 12:00am Midnight EST
sales@ecstuning.com | customerservice@ecstuning.com
Customer Service Hours: M - F 8:00am - 8:00pm EST | Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm EST
Sales Team Hours: M - F 8:00am - 11:00pm EST | Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm EST
800.924.5172 | OEM BMW Part Number Search
Do you love surveys? Click HERE to take our Customer Satisfaction Survey!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:20 PM
mikeetastic mikeetastic is offline
Registered User
Location: Cali
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 99 323i MT
wow.. the fan clutch cost $210? and it's on "SALE".. do the cooling overhaul and best if you DIY it..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:31 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
yeah, they robbed me on the Fan Clutch. I called them on it too.

Their reply was... "We have to warranty our parts and work so that is why we charge more".

My car was already at their shop, so I just let them do the work.

And my car has never seen a shop since then, (aside for alignment and tires).
I've gotten real hands on really quick. Indy or stealership, it doesn't matter. Mechanics labor and parts markups are ridiculous period!
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-15-2013, 03:07 PM
mikeetastic mikeetastic is offline
Registered User
Location: Cali
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 99 323i MT
not sure if cross posting from other forum is allowed but here you go..

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=914109

really depends on you and your budget on what parts you will replaced..

edit: i also suggest you replaced your water pump and pulley..

look at what happened to me a few days ago http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...950&highlight=

Last edited by mikeetastic; 01-15-2013 at 03:10 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 04:10 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
WOW, I'm sold!
Thank you for setting me straight on the WP pulley!
This is Exactly the type of information I am after!
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:29 PM
mikeetastic mikeetastic is offline
Registered User
Location: Cali
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 34
Mein Auto: 99 323i MT
hit me up via PM if you're doing this anytime soon.. looks like were just a few miles away.. couldn't be much a help though coz i have only done a WP, pulley, belts and clutch on my car.. no experience on ET,radiator and other parts - but would love to be an audience hahaha..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:05 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
I'm up in Placer county now. And I need to do this as soon as my parts arrive because I'm not mobile atm.

I'm just about to start ordering parts really. I'm trying to figure out what I already have replaced and what I will need to purchase.

But I'm beginning to think I should just buy the entire kit, and in the worst case I'll have extra replacement parts for the future.

I need to stop trying to cut corners and just replace the entire system, I just didn't want to have 2 gallons of BMW coolant, and a few duplicate parts that I have recently replaced. Plus I was " iffy" about the need to replace some belt tensioners and pulleys.
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:19 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
They replaced the cap, I'll scan up the work order.



Thank you Hexy27 for the tip on the oembimmerparts.com kit, that definitely helps.

I'm almost positive that I will not be needing everything on that list for the master cooling kit.
I've replaced the belts already less than 5k ago,
I already have the BMW antifreeze.

Are the belt tensioners something that are a normal replacement? It almost seems like they wouldn't go bad. Same with the water pump pulley, How would these parts go bad?

I've heard of the Idler pulley being a common replacement part though.

And a few other coolant related parts were replaced in this work order
Wow, you might puke when I tell you this, but I charge $200 for a complete cooling system overhaul. You got hammered on that repair! OUCH!
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:27 AM
Brobby87's Avatar
Brobby87 Brobby87 is offline
The Arch Bishop
Location: Minneapolis, MN
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 168
Mein Auto: 2003 325i, 1986 535i
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
But I'm beginning to think I should just buy the entire kit, and in the worst case I'll have extra replacement parts for the future.
You'll also have a little piece of mind knowing you have some spare parts to throw at it incase anything goes wrong.

Last edited by Brobby87; 01-16-2013 at 05:29 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-16-2013, 03:06 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
ok

I've purchased my Cooling Overhaul Kit at OEMBimerparts.com
Like I previously stated, I decided having extra replacement parts can't hurt. And I'm tired of trying to cut corners on my only source of transportation.
At $759.00 my pocket hurts, but I'll be happy to have piece of mind once I complete the labor.

I also bought the Fan clutch removal tools from an eBay seller (wrench & water pump pulley holder) at $35+tax and free shipping.

The kit and the tools should arrive around the same time.
I'm disabled, so I work at a snails pace. What should probably take 4-6 hours to complete, the job will most likely take me about 3 days or so. Especially since I'll be going back and forth from my car to my computer reading DIY threads.

Thanks to everyone who has offered information, it was obviously needed.

I'll provide an update after I'm done with the R/R & Bleeding, and let you all know how it went.
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-18-2013, 07:07 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
Everything came in today, I wrenched and tugged for about 3 hours.
Of course I didn't open the packages before I started.... And knowing my luck that will screw me in the end...

But I was able to remove upper/lower hose, ET, and Rad. Still have the pulley tensioners thermostat and water pump to go at tomorrow.

Boy were there a few pieces that just DID NOT want to budge! I spent about an hour trying to lift the ET from the lower fitting. And another removing the lower hose from the radiator. The rest was pretty straight forward and went without a fight.

The battle continues tomorrow!
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:53 AM
R. Cate R. Cate is offline
Registered User
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 53
Mein Auto: '01 330i
Congrats on your progress! Keep us posted.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-19-2013, 03:51 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
yay

OK.

So I spent another 3.5 hours this morning pulling the rest of the components. Everything else was relatively easy to remove, the water pump took me a second to to figure out. after I figured it out that was easily removable as well.

To my surprise. I had the metal impeller version of the BMW OEM pump.. I think I was leaking from the upper elbow of the old RAD.

I just had some Distilled water delivered to me and now I'm on my way back out to mix the coolant and do a bleed. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that I'll have no leaks.

Under my car is completely wet, and it will be difficult to see any leaks unless I can visually spot the leak. I can always place some cardboard under my car though.

Overall the labor was Easy to Very easy.

Just need a Torx bit set, a Ratchet, 10mm, 13mm, and 5/8in sockets.
Plus the Clutch fan removal tool 32MM wrench and Pulley holder tool.

Here I go to mix the coolant and pray for no leaks!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CAM00559.jpg
Views:	24
Size:	85.7 KB
ID:	358405   Click image for larger version

Name:	CAM00560.jpg
Views:	28
Size:	202.8 KB
ID:	358406  
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-19-2013, 04:56 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
of course....

Well as luck would have it. I have struck a leak!!!

To no fault of my own though, and I have figured out exactly why.
The Auxiliary switch temperature sensor that was sent to me is completely missing the little green gasket .

I saw where the leak was coming from and when I pushed down hard on the sensor the leak was slowed, but was not stopped, but when I removed my finger the leak continued.

I inserted my old sensor and it stopped the leak, but since it leaked so much before I found it I now am short on coolant . What I had in my trunk and thought to be a full bottle of BMW coolant is actually just the remnants of what the indy shop used when they replaced my expansion tank, and its not much...

I guess I'll have to wait until Monday to call Max and let him know what my problem is and hopefully he can come through and make things right.

Nothing ever goes right the first time around for me. It's the story of my life.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	CAM00563.jpg
Views:	25
Size:	37.7 KB
ID:	358425   Click image for larger version

Name:	CAM00564.jpg
Views:	26
Size:	38.5 KB
ID:	358426  
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:04 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
Well as luck would have it. I have struck a leak!!!

To no fault of my own though, and I have figured out exactly why.
The Auxiliary switch temperature sensor that was sent to me is completely missing the little green gasket .

I saw where the leak was coming from and when I pushed down hard on the sensor the leak was slowed, but was not stopped, but when I removed my finger the leak continued.

I inserted my old sensor and it stopped the leak, but since it leaked so much before I found it I now am short on coolant . What I had in my trunk and thought to be a full bottle of BMW coolant is actually just the remnants of what the indy shop used when they replaced my expansion tank, and its not much...

I guess I'll have to wait until Monday to call Max and let him know what my problem is and hopefully he can come through and make things right.

Nothing ever goes right the first time around for me. It's the story of my life.
You can get an o-ring from lowes or home depot.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-19-2013, 05:12 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
You can get an o-ring from lowes or home depot.
There is a couple of problems with that.. My only source of transportation is not running because of this O ring so I cannot drive to pick one up...

Like I said I now need more coolant because of this incomplete part
And I just want the "right" O ring that is supposed to come with the part.

Knowing me I would get one that fits the part but doesn't seal the gap or something.

Thank you for chiming in Smolck! I ALWAYS appreciate your advice!
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:29 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
if you want to see what I really wrote proceed to the quote in the next post by oembimmerparts.

But really I was being irrational.

All apologies.
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change

Last edited by stevenj; 01-19-2013 at 09:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:55 PM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
'Fest Sponsor
Location: San Antonio
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,532
Mein Auto: 2001 Z3
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
sooo... Max claims that the O ring should have been inside the box and not attached to the sensor. but I dumped he box into my hand and only one thing came out.

And he says I'm basically SOL on the fluid that was lost by installing the part he sent to me incomplete.

It looks like that was the first and last time I do business with Mr. Max over there at oembimmerparts.com

As far as I'm concerned, the loss of fluid was caused by him sending me an incomplete part. Therefore should be replaced by him. I am not pleased....

Really sorry you feel that way, As I said on the phone, I would have been more then happy to send you one out on monday and you would have had it the following day, Best I can do being thousands of miles away.
As I also stated the oring was checked by 3 people due to the common tactic of many customers claiming its not there and wanting there money back.
Im also sorry you did not know there should have been one for that connection and installed the switch anyway without it and then had a leak. Im sorry its easier for you to lay blame on someone else for you not knowing all there is know about working on a car.
Never did I say you were SOL on anything, When you eluded to the fact that you felt it was someone else responsibility to provide you coolant I declined as its not my or my companies job to follow behind you to make sure you know what you are doing when wrenching on a car. in the end, The oring was in the box when it left, As people claiming the oring was not in the box became a issue as they just wanted the seal with out paying for the switch, Belive me, You are not the first person to pull the switch out and toss the box losing the oring.

Max
__________________

Last edited by oembimmerparts; 01-19-2013 at 08:03 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-19-2013, 07:39 PM
bimmer765's Avatar
bimmer765 bimmer765 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: IL
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 405
Mein Auto: 325i
Ouch!

Sent from my SCH-R760 using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:23 PM
stevenj's Avatar
stevenj stevenj is offline
DIY Enthusiast
Location: Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 259
Mein Auto: 1999 323i ZSP
Quote:
Originally Posted by oembimmerparts View Post
Really sorry you feel that way, As I said on the phone, I would have been more then happy to send you one out on monday and you would have had it the following day, Best I can do being thousands of miles away.
As I also stated the oring was checked by 3 people due to the common tactic of many customers claiming its not there and wanting there money back.
Im also sorry you did not know there should have been one for that connection and installed the switch anyway without it and then had a leak. Im sorry its easier for you to lay blame on someone else for you know knowing all there is know about working on a car.
Never did I say you were SOL on anything, When you eluded to the fact that you felt it was someone else responsibility to provide you coolant I declined as its not my or my companies job to follow behind you to make sure you know what you are doing when wrenching on a car.

Max
You're right in the fact that I don't know everything about EVERY part on my car, and every project is a learning experience. I willingly admit that.

Since the O ring is such a common issue it should be made VERY CLEAR that it is not installed on the part, It stands to reason that it's a common issue because every other part in that kit has the Gaskets and or O rings pre installed.

One would think instead of checking the box 3 times for the part, why not just install the O ring be done with it, and no longer have the problem?

Sure I took for granted that the O ring would already be there. Just the same as your company taking for granted that your customers will be aware the O ring is not installed. And that is a two way street.

Being SOL on the coolant weren't your words, but you did tell me that I'm on my own as far as the coolant goes.

Everything else was just fine, and I have no complaints otherwise. I'm just upset that I've already paid $760 and now am going to pay another $22 for additional coolant. Right now my car is equipped with the old sensor and more distilled water than recommended because of my overlooking the absence of the O ring.

I pretty much typed that last post in the heat of the moment. I'm sorry Max. Your company shipped very fast and complete (aside from this O ring)

I'll have to eat the cost of the Coolant surely. But I still need an O ring to make my part usable.
__________________
If you keep on doing what you've always done
You'll keep on being what you've always been
NOTHING changes unless you make it change

Last edited by stevenj; 01-19-2013 at 08:25 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-19-2013, 08:41 PM
oembimmerparts oembimmerparts is offline
'Fest Sponsor
Location: San Antonio
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,532
Mein Auto: 2001 Z3
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
You're right in the fact that I don't know everything about EVERY part on my car, and every project is a learning experience. I willingly admit that.

Since the O ring is such a common issue it should be made VERY CLEAR that it is not installed on the part, It stands to reason that it's a common issue because every other part in that kit has the Gaskets and or O rings pre installed.

One would think instead of checking the box 3 times for the part, why not just install the O ring be done with it, and no longer have the problem?

Sure I took for granted that the O ring would already be there. Just the same as your company taking for granted that your customers will be aware the O ring is not installed. And that is a two way street.

Being SOL on the coolant weren't your words, but you did tell me that I'm on my own as far as the coolant goes.

Everything else was just fine, and I have no complaints otherwise. I'm just upset that I've already paid $760 and now am going to pay another $22 for additional coolant. Right now my car is equipped with the old sensor and more distilled water than recommended because of my overlooking the absence of the O ring.

I pretty much typed that last post in the heat of the moment. I'm sorry Max. Your company shipped very fast and complete (aside from this O ring)

I'll have to eat the cost of the Coolant surely. But I still need an O ring to make my part usable.
Please email me your order# and I will get a oring and gallon of coolant sent out monday and it should be there on tuesday. Please email your order number to admin@oembimmerparts.com and just ref. temp sensor seal / coolant in the email.
Max
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms