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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 12-31-2012, 08:14 AM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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N52 water pump and t-stat change

I have two other friends/family that have N52 motors with the electric water pumps and both of them failed once they got to about 80k miles. Since this is something that generally disables the car, I thought it might be a good idea to replace it on my wife's X3 that just turned 80k last month. I had done the replacement on my daughters E90 earlier this year and it took about 2-2.5 hours and there were great instructions on the net to do the job. However,as hard as i searched, I couldn't find any such instructions for the X3. Since the water pump and t-stat are in the same place on the engine, the instructions should apply to both cars, right? WRONG.

For those contemplating this job, better be prepared to get out every device you have to get into small places. It seems that BMW decided to put the sub-frame of the X3 directly below the pump and t-stat and there is almost no room to get at all of the hoses, clamps and screws that must be unfastened and re-fastened to do this job. I've never been so frustrated trying to do so many what sound like simple things. Everything must be done at an angle--nothing is straight on. Lots of things are done by feel as you can't really see some of the screws very well. About half way through, I went and got one of those flexible hose clamp drivers just to remove some of the hose clamps. I never knew how difficult it was to get a bolt in straight until I tackled this job. Ultimately, what should have been a 2 hour job turned into a 6+ hour job. After I got done I started wondering how a dealer would do it and I just don't see how it can be done much easier--short of pulling the engine out to do it. What a royal PITA.

The good news is I now have piece of mind that the pump won't go out for another 80k . Thanks for putting up with my rant.
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  #2  
Old 12-31-2012, 09:27 AM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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I hear ya!
a few months back I had to change out my girlfriends 07 X3 thermostat because of the SEL (at 88,125 miles). The piece was approximately $100.00. The labor was indeed a royal PITA!
I didn't flush the coolant out, so as soon as I pulled one of the hoses I was drenched in coolant (of course I did this with the engine cold!). It didnt take that long for me since I only changed out the thermostat.
I wanted to post a DIY but it I couldn't get good pictures because of its location...
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  #3  
Old 12-31-2012, 09:36 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhughett View Post
The good news is I now have piece of mind that the pump won't go out for another 80k . Thanks for putting up with my rant.
Commiserations. Those of us with the M54 engine and a mechanical water pump should be happy.

I am hoping that clues or signs of impending failure will be gradual (drip, noise, etc.) unlike an electric water pump which just stops dead.
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  #4  
Old 12-31-2012, 09:38 AM
x3brian x3brian is online now
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Argh...I was hoping for 150k out of that electric water pump before I replaced it. Now you have me a bit worried (at 107k now). I am going to push it though . That's the engineer in me.

Sounds like I will have fun replacing it when the time comes in addition to the part itself costing an arm and a leg.

Last edited by x3brian; 12-31-2012 at 09:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-2012, 11:01 AM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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It was a tough call as to whether to replace now or wait for failure. However since my wife goes out of town a lot, I just knew that it would go on one of her trips, get towed to a dealer and then I'd get soaked for about $1200 for the repair (which is what dealers charge for this). By the way, the best place to get a pump is to check on ebay as several BMW dealers sell these for about 60% of list price and usually have free shipping as well. I think I got my pump for $335 and the t-stat for about $65-$70.
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Last edited by mhughett; 12-31-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2013, 10:06 AM
suss1173 suss1173 is offline
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Anyone know how long BMW quotes to replace the water pump, T-sat, and expansion tank on an E 83 (2006-X3-3.0) Not looking at price of parts, just amount of time/ labor.
Thanks
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2013, 08:47 PM
mekaneck mekaneck is offline
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mhughett - how difficult was the water pump replacement? I just did the thermostat, but I didn't take the time to see how the water pump was bolted in. Are the bolts difficult to get at? And for what it's worth, when I did the t-stat, I used an 8mm ratcheting wrench to remove the hose clamps, and it worked quite well. I'm not sure how it would've been possible using a screwdriver or nutdriver (even with a flex extension).

Suss1173 - you may want to ask that question in a different (or new) thread, the M54 engine is a completely different job than the N52 engine. I've replaced on all 3 on an M54 but couldn't tell you how much time a dealer would charge.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:37 PM
suss1173 suss1173 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mekaneck View Post
mhughett -
Suss1173 - you may want to ask that question in a different (or new) thread, the M54 engine is a completely different job than the N52 engine. I've replaced on all 3 on an M54 but couldn't tell you how much time a dealer would charge.
Thank you for the note.
A friend (who is a tech) helped me do the job yesterday. It took us a bit less than 2 hours to do everything.

My X3 has 80k on clock. The expansion tank had a crack, so I did everything but the rad. We put in a new water pump, t-stat, and upper and lower hoses as furure prevention. If anyone want my old t-stat, water pump, or hoses, they are welcome to come and take them,
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2013, 06:54 PM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mekaneck View Post
mhughett - how difficult was the water pump replacement? I just did the thermostat, but I didn't take the time to see how the water pump was bolted in. Are the bolts difficult to get at? And for what it's worth, when I did the t-stat, I used an 8mm ratcheting wrench to remove the hose clamps, and it worked quite well. I'm not sure how it would've been possible using a screwdriver or nutdriver (even with a flex extension).

Suss1173 - you may want to ask that question in a different (or new) thread, the M54 engine is a completely different job than the N52 engine. I've replaced on all 3 on an M54 but couldn't tell you how much time a dealer would charge.
Suss1173, your replacement of the M54 components is pretty typical for that engine. I've done several of these and they are very straightforward and easy to get at. However that is not anytting like the N52 engine.

Dealers charge about $1,100 to do the water pump replacement and I'm not sure if this includes the thermostat or not. This means that they have about $500 in labor for the work. Of course they have the advantage of using a lift as well as having detailed instructions and tools from BMW. I tried to use my TIS disk for instructions but for soime reason it didn't work for the X3. I had a diy for a 325i with N52 but it has much better access and I was able to do my daughter's car in about 2-3 hours. My dealer warned me that the X3 is a bear for the N52 water pump and he was right.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2016, 11:14 AM
ZZ4444 ZZ4444 is offline
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Hi!

Does anyone have detailed instructions for the X3 w/ N52?

Thanks!
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  #11  
Old 04-03-2016, 11:40 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Yes. I made one a year ago. Search for it.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2016, 02:44 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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elec coolant pump/thermostat/hose change diy ...bavauto quality

a good generic but not X drive specific .....covers lots of the basics





coolant bleed etc on an X drive


Last edited by swampX3; 04-04-2016 at 02:48 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2016, 07:18 AM
Dale Conrad Dale Conrad is offline
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Thanks for the heads up Hughett. I have this task in front of me this week. I also looked on the net/youtube for X3 electric water pump instructions to no avail. Replaced the starter two weeks
ago - also real PITA.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2016, 04:28 AM
abscate abscate is offline
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Great write up by dukedkt442 from March 2015, revived thread the other day. Linked below

He very nicely documents how you don't have to remove all the crap at top,of this post, if you use the right tools.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=832463

Last edited by abscate; 04-07-2016 at 07:19 AM.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2016, 06:08 AM
Lauralai Lauralai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhughett View Post
I have two other friends/family that have N52 motors with the electric water pumps and both of them failed once they got to about 80k miles. Since this is something that generally disables the car, I thought it might be a good idea to replace it on my wife's X3 that just turned 80k last month. I had done the replacement on my daughters E90 earlier this year and it took about 2-2.5 hours and there were great instructions on the net to do the job. However,as hard as i searched, I couldn't find any such instructions for the X3. Since the water pump and t-stat are in the same place on the engine, the instructions should apply to both cars, right? WRONG.



For those contemplating this job, better be prepared to get out every device you have to get into small places. It seems that BMW decided to put the sub-frame of the X3 directly below the pump and t-stat and there is almost no room to get at all of the hoses, clamps and screws that must be unfastened and re-fastened to do this job. I've never been so frustrated trying to do so many what sound like simple things. Everything must be done at an angle--nothing is straight on. Lots of things are done by feel as you can't really see some of the screws very well. About half way through, I went and got one of those flexible hose clamp drivers just to remove some of the hose clamps. I never knew how difficult it was to get a bolt in straight until I tackled this job. Ultimately, what should have been a 2 hour job turned into a 6+ hour job. After I got done I started wondering how a dealer would do it and I just don't see how it can be done much easier--short of pulling the engine out to do it. What a royal PITA.



The good news is I now have piece of mind that the pump won't go out for another 80k . Thanks for putting up with my rant.

Omg! This was me last month! I feel your pain.
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2016, 01:51 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good outpost diy tips for electric water pumps on X's

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...placement.html

So the job is finished! In all it took about 7 hours for me to do and the X runs like new now.

A few take aways for anyone considering to do this job.

- Be prepared to get dirty and be ready to get antifreeze everywhere, even on you. Even with strategically placed buckets, you can't prevent it. You can try to minimize it by stuffing paper towels in the hoses. Also be prepared to get nicks and bruises. There is alot of stuff in your way doing this job plus it is a very confined space...my forearms are still sore.
- Getting the X up in the air was more complicated than I thought. Use a normal pump style jack at the front jack point under the engine area (as shown in the manual) to get it lifted. Quick note here, be sure that you remove at least the plastic "skid plate" before lifting. Otherwise, when you have it lifted at that jack point you will have to lower the jack to get the plastic plate out. Then you can use the jack pads on the left and right for jack stands. There are really only 3 lift points in the front and if you try to jack it up on the sides, you will not have any place to position the jack stands (you see what I mean when you get into it).
- You will want to remove the pass side tire so make sure you loosen the studs before you get it in the air.
- I can comfirm that you do not need to remove the radiator but you do in fact need to remove the electric fan. When you remove the fan, just below the rad hose on the driver side, there is a piece that folds back into the fan assembly. It will be hard to fold back. I didn't understand how it worked so I ended up just disconnecting the the top rad hose and slide it out.
- You need to remove the metal brace/shroud that goes across the front of the engine bay. It is only held on by 4 bolts but you need to disconnect the small return hose on the rad expansion tank to be able to move them out of the way to remove the brace.
- I would recommend buying the service manual if nothing else, I referred to it several times to see the orientation of the hoses during reassembly. The manual that I bought was terrible in that it didn't show clearly a start to finish DIY for water pump but it was a useful reference otherwise. Ie. It did not take you through the entire procedure of removing the skid plates, elect fan, or anything else. It just assumes you are already there and need to R&R the water pump.
- Having short and long VE12 sockets was useful.
- You will need to use a long extension and universal joint to get at some of the bolts as descriobed in the above mentioned posts.
- The hose clamp bolts are a mixture of 6mm and 7mm sockets (I think). A long handled, flat head screwdriver is extremely valuable here too...at least 16" long.
- Pay attention to how the wiring harness is routed and where the metal clips that hold it are located. I had to remove the pump once to reroute the line because I wasn't sure.
- The front most radiator hose is difficult to push on and clip in. I used vise grips to pull up one side and used a long socket extension with leverage from the frame, I put the square head of the extension on one of the nubs on the rad hose to to force it on.
- Make sure you connect the top hose of the water pump before you bolt it up otherwise the hose it too short and will get jammed out of place once bolted in.
- When in doubt that you can't get to one of the hose clamps, do not under estimate coming through the wheel well.
- You might as well change the oil while you are here. If you find yourself needing to change the water pump then most likely you either got the warnings that the engine temp is increasing or an Overheat. BMW has gotten smarter over the years....If this happened in an E30/E36 then you most likely needed to replace a head gasket and had coolant mixed in your oil. The X is smarter than that and knows that we are stupid and will drive it until the engine blows up. So yes, it shuts down before that can happen but I guess there is still a chance that a head gasket blew (or worse). Since the X doesn't have a dipstick to look at the oil consistency, it's already up in the air and you are laying under it anyway so you might as well change it and look at it as it's coming out. Luckily for me, all was ok.

This is my submission to the forum, I hope that it helps the next backyard hack mechanic like me. I've worked on older BMW's for years and when we bought the X I never in a million years saw myself laying under a $60k car repairing it. Up front warning....if you buy an X be sure to buy the extended warranty. This job ended up costing me just about $500 and 7 hours of labor with almost a week downtime before I could get to it. If I had the foresight to buy the extended warranty, I would have definitely used it here.

Good luck to you, when you think you can't do it...take a break and come back to it. Keep pressing on and you will get it done.

Thanks and props to both guys who contributed the stuff in the links above. This job would have been 100 times more difficult without them. To me this is what this forum is all about.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2016, 01:58 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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good tip on radiator pop out and flush

ref the above post 16......another great tip .....

Just wanted to add to this post since I have done this repair twice (don't ask). Anyway, I strongly suggest take the extra step tp remove the radiator, its only 4 additional screws and 2 more hoses to remove. By taking out the radiator it made it MUCH easier to access and get leverage on the top water pump bolt, and I was able to manipulate the hoses onto the thermostat much easier. Also, if you remove the radiator, you don't have to take off the passenger front tire and cover for the wheelwell which was a HUGE PIA the first time I did it!! This also lessens the chance you will puncture the radiator which trust me is NOT CHEAP!!

Last edited by swampX3; 04-07-2016 at 02:03 PM.
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  #18  
Old 04-07-2016, 02:05 PM
Lauralai Lauralai is offline
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I did not remove the fan, radiator, or the tire... It was hard to replace, but I was glad I didn't have to remove the other parts. My husband and I did the job in about 6 hours. It had to be done in my parent's driveway as it was where it died... And it started raining buckets after we finished installing it. Not fun by any means. We used lifts that you drive onto, way easier than jacking it up imo.
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  #19  
Old 04-07-2016, 06:04 PM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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N52 water pump and t-stat change

If you'd have taken 5 minutes to remove the fan (seriously it is 6 screws and a plug, why would you not), it would have taken 3 less hours to do the water pump job. BMW designed both the fan and the cabin air filter tray to be easily removable, because no job under the hood should be undertaken without removing either.

Def didn't see the need to remove the radiator though. Plenty of room with fan out, at least for me. Removing the wheel would have bought me a zero increase in ease, therefore I didn't remove it.
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  #20  
Old 04-07-2016, 06:10 PM
abscate abscate is offline
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Popping off the fan on the M54 makes the mechanical water pump job a lot easier. One screw, couple of plugs, and it's out.
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  #21  
Old 04-08-2016, 07:40 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is online now
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Yup. The six screws I mentioned included the 4 required to remove the air intake shroud.
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2016, 12:13 PM
Q4 Q4 is offline
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My 2008 X3 has 79,500 miles on it. I scanned it the about a month ago and got this code:


2E83: Electric Coolant Pump, Power-Reduced Operation.

Reset the code and it came back about a week ago. This morning I replaced both the thermostat and the water pump. I was really worried about the job after reading so many posts about how much of a pain in the ass it was.

Anyway it took me about 2.5 hours to do it start to finish which included draining the old coolant completely and re-filling/bleeding the system with brand new BMW coolant. It wasn't that bad. I think I could do it in about 2 hours or less next time.

I removed the radiator fan which gave me easy access to the two clip style hoses on the thermostat as well as the top water pump bolt. It also made it very easy to remove the water pump and thermostat once they were disconnected. They both slid right out quite easily. About half of the work was done from above and the other half from below. I HIGHLY recommend removing the radiator fan to do this job. It takes about 5 minutes to remove it.

For the screw type hose clamps I used an 8 or 7mm swivel socket (the socket itself has the swivel joint) along with a couple of extensions and all of the hose clamps were fairly easy to reach from various directions. I posted a picture of my swivel socket set below. They have proved invaluable for many projects.

The automatic system bleed is awesome!!!!! No screwing around with anything! Just fill up the expansion tank, run the auto bleed sequence and then stand near the expansion tank ready to fill it back up as the coolant level falls.
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Last edited by Q4; 04-29-2016 at 12:27 PM.
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2016, 12:25 PM
Q4 Q4 is offline
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I should also add:

1. I used car ramps. So much easier than jacking the car up.
2. There is no need to remove the wheel to do this. There is ample access to everything without doing so.
3. Drain the coolant before you do anything else. It makes for a much cleaner and easier job.
4. I have a set of deep and standard 12 point sockets (reverse torx). I used the standard depth on the bottom two water pump bolts and the deep socket on top.
5. It's easier to install the rear hoses on the thermostat BEFORE mounting it to the water pump. You can pull it around a bit and get access from up top which is much nicer.
6. It's easy to over fill the expansion tank due to how the level falls and rises during the auto-bleed process. I ended up removing some of it with a syringe to get it back down to proper level when I was done.
7. Assemble all your tools before you start and lay them out next to you!
8. Make sure the bleed screw on top is fully closed before running the auto-bleed sequence......

I did not remove any of the radiator hoses nor did I remove any braces on top of the radiator. Didn't see any foldaway flaps or anything when pulling the radiator fan out. Not sure what is going on in that post up there.

As far as disassembly:

Air intake assembly (but not the airbox. That's not needed). 8 screws which I believe were T30. Snorkel, plastic plate around the hood latch and then the intake bit the sits between that and the snorkel.
Radiator fan. One torx self tapping long screw on the passenger side. One plastic push rivet on the driver's side. The radiator fan needs to be unplugged as well as the AUC sensor plug.
Forward plastic engine pan underneath (about 10 or so 8 or 10mm bolts and two plastic push rivets at the rear edge)

That's all I had to remove to get access.
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Last edited by Q4; 04-29-2016 at 12:36 PM.
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2016, 01:43 PM
Bufalo Bufalo is offline
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From my experience doing this job in Oct 2013 (and my fuzzy memory now) the most complex portion of the job was getting the snake-pit of hoses running down around the pump and thermostat off and on again. When I had to replace the thermostat again 18 months later (I shouldn't have bought the cheapest one), it was much easier, as I'd lubricated all the slip joints and pointed all the hose clamp screw heads to where they were accessible.
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