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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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  #51  
Old 08-24-2007, 09:37 AM
backdoc backdoc is offline
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I'll be doing this this weekend if I can find the NGK's, went with Bosch last time and it actually did feel a little different (hesitant). Maybe psychological but we'll see.

Thanks for the write-ups. On my 2000 323ci there is a grounding wire that needs to be disconected, do you not have this on later e46's or just skip it?
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  #52  
Old 08-24-2007, 10:55 AM
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silverbimmer3 silverbimmer3 is offline
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  #53  
Old 09-04-2007, 03:43 PM
Rick Friddle Rick Friddle is offline
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Great article & excellent pics! Good beer too. Thanks Kris. I'm going to apply what you've given here to my 2000 528i because what you've shown looks pretty similar. Anyone have any suggestons (especially on how the coil connections may differ)?
Thanks!
Rick
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  #54  
Old 09-04-2007, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backdoc View Post
I'll be doing this this weekend if I can find the NGK's, went with Bosch last time and it actually did feel a little different (hesitant). Maybe psychological but we'll see.

Thanks for the write-ups. On my 2000 323ci there is a grounding wire that needs to be disconected, do you not have this on later e46's or just skip it?
Whenever you go from old spark plugs to new, regardless of brand, it may feel a little different. Just like you can't compare old tires of brand X to new tires of brand Y... tires always perform significantly different at the end of their life...

We don't have the grounding strap on later E46s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Friddle View Post
Great article & excellent pics! Good beer too. Thanks Kris. I'm going to apply what you've given here to my 2000 528i because what you've shown looks pretty similar. Anyone have any suggestons (especially on how the coil connections may differ)?
Thanks!
Rick

Rick,
Here's a write-up on changing the plugs on an E46 with the older coil design:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65380
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  #55  
Old 09-05-2007, 09:39 AM
banddr2 banddr2 is offline
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Excellent write up, Thanks Kris. I like the tape on the extension trick, that's what it is all about, saving money and improvising to save more. Special tools can nickel and dime one to death.
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  #56  
Old 09-08-2007, 02:56 PM
peanut_man peanut_man is offline
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Took a bit of time, but replacement of the spark plugs on my 330i went pretty smoothly this afternoon. The only thing was that little clip of the wire loom makes it a little hard to remove the wire loom from the cabin filter tray.

Happy engine. I can tell it's running smoother now. Was surprised to even feel the difference. hehe...

Thanks!
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  #57  
Old 09-08-2007, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peanut_man View Post
Took a bit of time, but replacement of the spark plugs on my 330i went pretty smoothly this afternoon. The only thing was that little clip of the wire loom makes it a little hard to remove the wire loom from the cabin filter tray.

Happy engine. I can tell it's running smoother now. Was surprised to even feel the difference. hehe...

Thanks!
Great! How many miles are on your car, by the way?
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  #58  
Old 09-08-2007, 03:56 PM
peanut_man peanut_man is offline
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Great! How many miles are on your car, by the way?
77k miles. 2 more things on my list, Koni FSD dampers (already ordered ) and I budgeted for new brake set (just abt done) next month.

Which reminds me, can someone recommened a set of good aftermarket brake pads that has minimal dust? Thanks.
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  #59  
Old 09-09-2007, 09:07 PM
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Deepak Deepak is offline
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Step 4: This step isn't necessary, but I like to check the condition of the engine at any opportunity. It'll also give me a chance to clean under there. A clean engine is a happy engine. Remove the first (top) plastic engine cover. To do this, use a flat-bladed screwdriver to pull out the two covers... then unscrew the bolts with your 10mm socket. Then lift it right off. :





Step 5: Remove the left plastic engine cover. To do this, you'll have to remove the oil cap. You can then pry out the covers and remove the nuts (not bolts this time) with your 10mm socket. Lift the cover right off and place aside, then put your oil cap back on - after all, you wouldn't want to drop anything down there.


Great writeup Kris!

I just wanted to note that the M56's engine cover doesn't have bolts. It's secured by four prongs, and snaps off and on of them with a little pressure. Removing the oil cap isn't necessary.
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  #60  
Old 09-09-2007, 09:15 PM
JCM96 JCM96 is offline
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Wow. This just saved another unnecessary trip to the stealership.
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  #61  
Old 10-02-2007, 08:38 AM
justinkmin justinkmin is offline
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Thank you so much for great information
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  #62  
Old 10-02-2007, 10:33 PM
buhbyyy buhbyyy is offline
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Excellent write up Kris! Does anyone know a good place to get the "special tool" for the water pump? Do I need to have the special tool to replace just the belts?
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  #63  
Old 10-03-2007, 06:01 AM
Rick Lee Rick Lee is offline
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The special tool is on eBay all the time for around $17.
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  #64  
Old 10-03-2007, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by buhbyyy View Post
Excellent write up Kris! Does anyone know a good place to get the "special tool" for the water pump? Do I need to have the special tool to replace just the belts?
Yeah, here's both the fan clutch tool and a thin 32mm open ended wrench that you'll need:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Water...ayphotohosting
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  #65  
Old 10-03-2007, 07:57 AM
buhbyyy buhbyyy is offline
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Excellent. Thanks!
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  #66  
Old 11-07-2007, 11:20 AM
jnbmw jnbmw is offline
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spark plug replacement E64 330xi

At what miles do you recommend to change spark plugs?
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  #67  
Old 11-07-2007, 02:55 PM
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At what miles do you recommend to change spark plugs?
60k
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  #68  
Old 12-20-2007, 01:10 AM
rfmcmurran rfmcmurran is offline
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Great Write Up.....Forgot Something Though!

Hi Kris,
Great information and photos! Just noticed that you didn't put dielectric grease in the ignition coil or on top of the spark plug (you can buy a small package at any autoshop for a couple of dollars). This added step will ensure you will not have a moisture problem from the spark plug wire to the spark plug. It will make the next time you repeat this process alot easier. The ignition coil should and will pop off the spark plug with alot less effort.
Also, I am a big fan of anti-seize, and I have used it for 10 years....never had a problem. I believe it has actually avoided problems, because if one spark plug gets stuck the head of your engine due to heat, your looking Hundreds(maybe even a thounsand) of dollars to have it removed by a local machine shop, that is of course, if you can pull your own engine out! I think the added cost of $1-3 for the anti-seize is a good insurance policy when you change the plugs, considering the alternative of following BMW's recommendation (read it in a posting) of not using it. Just a thought!
Keep it up! Rob
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  #69  
Old 12-20-2007, 01:13 AM
rfmcmurran rfmcmurran is offline
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Great Write Up.....Forgot Something Though!

Hi Kris,
Great information and photos! Just noticed that you didn't put dielectric grease in the ignition coil or on top of the spark plug (you can buy a small package at any autoshop for a couple of dollars). This added step will ensure you will not have a moisture problem from the spark plug wire to the spark plug. It will make the next time you repeat this process alot easier. The ignition coil should and will pop off the spark plug with alot less effort.
Also, I am a big fan of anti-seize, and I have used it for 10 years....never had a problem. I believe it has actually avoided problems, because if one spark plug gets stuck the head of your engine due to heat, your looking hundreds(maybe even a thounsand) of dollars to have it removed by a local machine shop, that is of course, if you can pull your own engine out! I think the added cost of $1-3 for the anti-seize is a good insurance policy when you change the plugs, considering the alternative of following BMW's recommendation (read it in a posting) of not using it. Just a thought!
Keep it up! Rob
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  #70  
Old 12-20-2007, 07:57 AM
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jsc jsc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfmcmurran View Post
Hi Kris,
Great information and photos! Just noticed that you didn't put dielectric grease in the ignition coil or on top of the spark plug (you can buy a small package at any autoshop for a couple of dollars). This added step will ensure you will not have a moisture problem from the spark plug wire to the spark plug. It will make the next time you repeat this process alot easier. The ignition coil should and will pop off the spark plug with alot less effort.
Also, I am a big fan of anti-seize, and I have used it for 10 years....never had a problem. I believe it has actually avoided problems, because if one spark plug gets stuck the head of your engine due to heat, your looking hundreds(maybe even a thounsand) of dollars to have it removed by a local machine shop, that is of course, if you can pull your own engine out! I think the added cost of $1-3 for the anti-seize is a good insurance policy when you change the plugs, considering the alternative of following BMW's recommendation (read it in a posting) of not using it. Just a thought!
Keep it up! Rob
Although anti-seize is generally a good idea on bolts in a corrosive environment, it is generally not advised on spark plugs and wheel bolts/nuts due to the torque specs being determined for dry threads. In the case of spark plugs you risk over torquing and a poor ground contact.
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  #71  
Old 01-01-2008, 03:27 PM
Meat Meat is offline
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Hey guys, gonna let you in on a little secret:

BMW includes a spark plug tool in the toolkit that came with your car.

It looks like a long metal tube but if you look in one end there's a nifty little plastic insert that fits over the spark plug to hold it securely.

You use it with the little metal rod that's also in the toolkit.

Have a look in your trunk!
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  #72  
Old 01-01-2008, 04:08 PM
MightyY MightyY is offline
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I don't think the spark plug tool is standard in the US toolkit. Some cars will have a spot in the toolkit for it, but no tool.
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  #73  
Old 01-10-2008, 11:05 AM
FSUmac FSUmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post

Rick,
Here's a write-up on changing the plugs on an E46 with the older coil design:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65380
Kris,

Thank you very much for the excellent write-up.

I had a couple questions:

1) Can you tell what coil design you have based on year model? I have a 2001 330i.

2) Isn't there some issue with the coil packs on e46s?

3) Do you have any extra franziskahner for me?

Cheers!
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  #74  
Old 01-10-2008, 11:16 AM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUmac View Post
Kris,

Thank you very much for the excellent write-up.

I had a couple questions:

1) Can you tell what coil design you have based on year model? I have a 2001 330i.

2) Isn't there some issue with the coil packs on e46s?

3) Do you have any extra franziskahner for me?

Cheers!

1) 2001 is probably the older design. It's just a few more bolts, 5-10 extra minutes overall.

2) There was a recall on coil packs on certain years (2003 was one of them). It's listed in the wiki.

3) No. I drank it all.
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  #75  
Old 01-10-2008, 11:22 AM
FSUmac FSUmac is offline
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
3) No. I drank it all.
sonofa....

Last edited by FSUmac; 01-10-2008 at 11:30 AM.
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