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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 12-15-2010, 01:56 PM
SC4ME's Avatar
SC4ME SC4ME is offline
BMW by necessity
Location: San Diego
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 387
Mein Auto: 2004 330i ZHP 6spd
Nice write-up.

But the best part is the awesome choice of beer (aka nectar of the gods).
That is the only brand (avail in the US) that comes close to a real Weiss Bier.

Three pedal ZHP
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:52 AM
AndyK AndyK is offline
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Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 330xi 2002 Sport
Recommendation for cleaning prior DYI

First, I really appreciate the postings, thank you.

How to clean or what solvent is recommended for cleaning the dirt and oily surfaces?
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:22 AM
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johnnygraphic johnnygraphic is offline
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Location: Bay Area-California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 853
Mein Auto: 330i Performance Package
Depends on what surface you're cleaning. For only the metal parts of the engine, I would use brake cleaner if you have it. For plastic parts, I would use Simple Green 50:50 solution. If you're talking about your entire engine compartment, I know that there are several people on this forum who detail engines for a living, so I will let them chime in.

Imola Red 2004 330i ZHP, Sunroof, Cold Weather Pkg, Assist, Navi & Leather. Upgrades: Front & Side Clear Lens, Clutch Stop & CDV Delete. 10.2006-Differential Swap to 3.46! 12.2006 - UUC SSK, DSSR and Tranny Mounts (Red).
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:15 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,721
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by johnnygraphic View Post
Depends on what surface you're cleaning
Over in the E39 side of the house, we've covered the fluids to clean the engine bays:
- Engine cleaner: External engine degreaser, engine bay cleaning & engine compartment detailing (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)

See also this M54 very detailed hightly pictorial spark plug DIY, which shares engines with you guys on the 3 side:
- One user's pictorial DIY for replacing the BMW M54 engine spark plugs (1)

Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
While all the photos are mine, many of the informative TIS & NGK attachments and diagrams will be recognized from a variety of sources in the Bimmerfest spark-plug archives.

  • 2002 BMW 525i automatic, 95K miles
    • Cylinder numbering is 1,2,3,4,5,6 from front to rear
    • Firing order is 1-5-3-6-2-4
    • Ignition coils are Bosch PN 12131703228, $85.84
  • Spark plugs are NGK BKR6EQUP (aka NGK 3199)
    • B = thread diameter = 14mm
    • K = hex size is 5/8", projected tip (ISO)
    • R = resistor type
    • 6 = heat range (where 2 is hot, and 11 is cold)
    • E = thread reach is 19mm (3/4")
    • Q = quad, i.e., 4-ground electrode (i.e., 4 prongs)
    • U = firing-end construction is semi-surface discharge
    • P = center material is "premium platinum"
  • Torque specifications
    • NGK spark plugs should be dry (i.e., anti-seize is not recommended by NGK)
      • Bentley
        • 25 Nm (18 ft-lb)
      • NGK
        • 22 Lb-ft +- 2 Lb-ft
        • 266 Lb-in +- 27 Lb-in
        • 2.5 to 3.0 kgm
        • Or, 1/2 to 2/3 of a turn after bottoming by hand (for new plugs)
    • Coil bolts (M6X25-ZNNIV SI, PN: 07119905400)
      • Torque = 10 Nm (7.5 ft-lb)
    • Fuel supply plastic engine cover bolts (M6X12-Z1-ZNS PN: 07119900272)
      • Torque = ?
    • Cylinder head plastic engine cover nuts (AM6-8-ZNNIV SI2 PN: 07129904553)
      • Torque = ?
  • BMW spark plug application charts (1) (2)
  • The best plug to use (1) (2)
  • Deciphering key for spark plug codes(1)
  • Visually reading plugs (1)
  • The truth about torque (1) & gap (1) (2)
  • DIYs for replacing spark plugs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
  • Relevant pages from the 5-series BMW E39 Bentley manual:
    • Page 010-15, spark plug socket is 5/8", deep well
    • Page 020-9, Spark plug service interval, M54 engine, 100K miles
    • Pages 020-20 to 020-22, Spark plug R&R procedure
    • Page 113-17, torque specifications
      • Spark plug to cylinder head 25 Nm (18 ft-lb)
      • Ignition coils to cylinder head 10 Nm (7.5 ft-lb)
    • Page 120-9 cylinder numbering & ignition firing order
    • Page 120-11, ignition coil resistance specifications
    • Page 110-11 to 110-16, removal of plastic engine covers
Parts & Tools & Supplies:
  • Six (6) NGK BKR6EQUP (aka NGK 3199) spark plugs
  • 10mm socket
  • 5/8" spark plug socket (or 16mm deep socket)
  • 1/8" flathead screwdriver
  • 1/4" flathead screwdriver
  • 6" socket extension bar
  • 3" socket extension bar for 3/8" socket wrench
  • 1.5" socket extension bar for 3/8" socket wrench
  • Socket handle
  • Universal joint for 3/8" socket wrench
  • Dielectric grease (optional)
  • Anti-seize paste (optional)
Idealized DIY Steps:
  1. Optionally remove the passenger side cabin air filter housing and hose
    • Note I did not remove the cabin air filter nor the hose; the last spark plug would have been easier to remove & replace had I done so.
  2. Remove the oil filler cap temporarily.
  3. Using a 1/8th inch flathead screwdriver, pry off the two plastic passenger side cylinder head cover bolt caps and remove the two 10mm nuts with a 10mm socket wrench; pull the plastic cylinder head engine cover off by hand.
    • Note you may need a u-joint socket bar extension to remove the passenger side nut due to the proximity of the passenger side engine air filter housing hose.
  4. Replace the oil filler cap so that debris does not enter the engine.
  5. Optionally, using a 1/8" flathead screwdriver, pry out the two driver side plastic fuel-injection system engine cover bolt caps and remove the two 10mm bolts using a 10mm socket; pull the plastic fuel-injection system engine cover off by hand.
    • Note now is a good time to loosely replace the bolts removed so you don't lose them.
  6. Notice the long clip on the passenger side which holds the coil wires in place (it's optional to remove that clip to make coil removal slightly easier).
  7. Look around. Notice anything amiss or astray (e.g., different brand coils or mouse-chewed insulation like I had). Notice the two braided silvered ground straps, one at the #1 (fore) and the other at the #6 (aft) cylinder.
  8. Optionally, mark numbers 1 through 6 on the top of the coils with whiteout or other suitable marking.
  9. With a 10mm socket, remove the two bolts holding each coil in place.
  10. With a 1/4 inch flathead screwdriver, lift up on each coil's metal u-shaped harness connector clip and pull the harness connector toward the fender, away from the coil.
  11. By hand, wiggle each coil, and pull upward off the spark plug; the #6 coil will just barely make it out with the passenger side cabin air filter & hoses intact; but it will lift out.
    • Optionally loosely replace the coil bolts so you do not lose them.
    • Optionally test coil resistance as per the E39 Bentley page 120-11 (2002 edition)
  12. With a 5/8" standard spark plug socket & six-inch extension, remove each spark plug taking care to not apply any side forces while twisting it outward.
    • Note a five-inch long deep socket just barely makes it to the top of the engine.
    • Optionally number the plugs as you remove them (place a line in each of the six landings to label the six plugs).
    • If you did not remove the passenger side cabin air filter & hose, then the 6th spark plug will require a short 3" extension bar & a normal 5/8ths inch spark plug socket. Some use a length of fuel system hose, and/or a universal joint.
    • Note the old plugs were labeled NGK R5 BMW, while the new plugs are labeled NGK BKR6EQUP.
  13. Optionally, when replacing the plugs, some people apply a dab of anti-seize on the spark plug threads; however NGK advises against that because of the danger of over torquing.
  14. By hand, place the new plug in a rubber hose or in a rubber-seated spark-plug socket with extension bar sticking out (but no socket wrench yet), and turn the spark plug socket by hand in the counter-clockwise direction a few turns, and then clockwise, to avoid cross-threading.
  15. By hand, continue to turn the spark plug clockwise until you cannot turn it by hand any more. Then connect the torque wrench and torque to the figures listed above (1/2 to 2/3 turn or, about 180 to 240 degrees of rotation after you couldn't turn it by hand).
    • Note the #6 plug may require a deep socket, and/or a 1.5" extension instead of a regular socket and a 3"inch to 6 inch extension if you did not remove the passenger side cabin air filter housing & hoses.
  16. By hand, replace the coils & tighten the two 10mm bolts on each coil with a torque wrench.
  17. By hand, lift up on the u-shaped metal clip on each coil and insert the wire harness connector into each coil; when seated, push down on the u-shaped metal clip to secure the harness connector to each coil.
    • Optionally, apply dielectric grease to the female fitting of each coil harness connector.
  18. By hand, replace the driver side engine cover & 10mm bolts and plastic bolt caps if you had optionally removed it.
  19. By hand, temporarily remove the oil filter cap and replace the passenger side engine cover, tightening the nuts with a 10mm socket; replace the plastic bolt caps & the oil filler cap when done.
  20. Check your work area and start your engine to hear it purr!
STEP BY STEP PICTURES (removed for this post)...
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:36 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
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Location: Here, there, everywhere....
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 35,759
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Originally Posted by AndyK View Post
First, I really appreciate the postings, thank you.

How to clean or what solvent is recommended for cleaning the dirt and oily surfaces?
I like Castrol Super Degreaser. If you`re working under the hood, be careful ! No hoses under the hood !. Use a bucket of hot water and some rags. You want to avoid getting too much water on any of the underhood electrical components.
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