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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 05-01-2013, 09:36 PM
supercruiser supercruiser is offline
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Question Broken Oil Tank Bolt

Hi everyone,

I changed oil on my 325i, and I broke the bolt when I tightened it. The threaded part of the bolt is now inside the oil tank. How bad is it? Do I need to take it to the dealer to have the bolt removed?

Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:20 PM
cvx5832 cvx5832 is offline
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Do you see the hollow shaft to the bolt (assuming OE bolt)? If so get an Easy Out of the appropriate size. There should be little to no tension now that the head is broken.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:26 AM
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ahull ahull is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supercruiser View Post
Hi everyone,

I changed oil on my 325i, and I broke the bolt when I tightened it. The threaded part of the bolt is now inside the oil tank. How bad is it? Do I need to take it to the dealer to have the bolt removed?

Thank you.
The bolts are made to break when overtightened so you don't ruin the pan. If you don't have a torque wrench, you should finger tight down onto the *new* crush washer and then go 1/8 to 1/6 of a turn more - no more.
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
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Last edited by ahull; 05-02-2013 at 05:28 AM.
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2013, 07:47 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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I wonder if you could fish it out thru the disptick tube hole using a magnetic wand... having just had mine apart to replace my CVV, the hole is large enough that I think it would work if you could get a long enough magnetic wand in there.

You'd need to remove the intake parts to the throttle body to get access, but it's not too difficult. A new seal for the dipstick tube will be needed also.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:11 AM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
I wonder if you could fish it out thru the disptick tube hole using a magnetic wand... having just had mine apart to replace my CVV, the hole is large enough that I think it would work if you could get a long enough magnetic wand in there.

You'd need to remove the intake parts to the throttle body to get access, but it's not too difficult. A new seal for the dipstick tube will be needed also.
Isn't it easier to just remove oilpan and take piece out and then put oilpan back?
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2013, 09:30 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
Isn't it easier to just remove oilpan and take piece out and then put oilpan back?
No.

Removing the oil pan to change the gasket rates anywhere from a difficulty of 7/10 to 9/10 from many DIY's I have seen online.
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:51 AM
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ahull ahull is offline
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Originally Posted by OfTheLost View Post
No.

Removing the oil pan to change the gasket rates anywhere from a difficulty of 7/10 to 9/10 from many DIY's I have seen online.
Agree. Dipstick hole is a good suggestion - at first I was thinking jvr meant dipstick tube which is too small, but the hole in the "top" of the pan after removing the dipstick tube should be large enough as stated.

If that doesn't work, my other thought was put in a magnet or a magnetic plug so that the bit will eventually find it and stick and then take it out whenever the pan has to be removed for a new oil pan gasket. It's not like the chunk could get sucked up in the pump due to the screen on the uptake.
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DIY E46 Merit Badges: Sunroof resurrection, CCV, OFHG, VCG w/ VANOS seals, DISA, Cooling Refresh I, steering giubo, window regs, Magnetic Infandibulator (see wiki)
DIY On deck: Rear Diff bushing. UUC SSK, clutch job eventually, Wavetrac LSD
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2013, 07:58 AM
supercruiser supercruiser is offline
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Thank you, all, very much for your replies. I'll work on the car this weekend and try your suggestions.
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  #9  
Old 05-07-2013, 07:29 PM
Lbert Lbert is offline
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I suspect the oil pan bolt stem is likely still attached to the oil pan housing so fishing it out is not an option. I doubt the bolt stem is floating inside the pan.

As someone already mentioned with the head part of the bolt detached there is not much tension left on the bolt stem.

Your best option is to get this tool: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-piec...set-40349.html

Use a punch before drilling so the drill bit does not dance. After you drill the hole, engage the extractor and turn to the left.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2013, 12:23 PM
supercruiser supercruiser is offline
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Wink

Finally had time to attend to the problem. It wasn't that bad at all. The bolt (plug) was still in the housing, as few of you have mentioned. The bolt is hollow inside, as cvx5832 mentioned, and that made it very easy to drive it out. All I needed was a $2.99 Easy-Out tool (see attached pix). Since the bolt had hollow shaft, I slid the EO tool in and tapped it very lightly, then I used an adjustable wrench and started turning the EO tool CCW. From there on, it took me almost no effort to loosen and remove the bolt. I also purchased a new drain plug with hollow shaft and a crush washer to replace the broken one. My Bimmer is up and running .

Thank you all for your help!!!
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2013, 06:47 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Nice happy ending.

Now consider gettng a vacuum pump to change the oil thru the dipstick housing.
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2013, 09:59 PM
supercruiser supercruiser is offline
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Haha... Actually haven't thought of a vacuum pump, but I did get myself a nice torque wrench.
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