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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 06-29-2007, 10:21 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Inspection II part III - Man, what a day! (Uber long)

Edit: All 3 parts are online:
Inspection II part I: Changing your spark plugs
Inspection II part II: Cleaning MAF & replacing power steering fluid
Inspection II part III: Water pump, thermostat, belts, hoses, fuel filter




First of all, I apologize to the entire Bimmerfest community for not photo-documenting this whole process. After you read about my day, I think you'll understand why I didn't have time/patience for the camera .

First, I jumped in my wife's S2000 (she's out of town this weekend) and went up to Kragen to dump the old oil out of my 5 gallon container. I figured I'd check the price of oil there - $6.19 for Mobil-1 0w40 (another oil which meets BMW's LL01 standard). Too much for me, I proceeded a few miles north to BMW of Fremont.

With the BMW CCA discount, I picked up 7 quarts of 5w30 for only $4.58 each! That's a great deal. I already had a filter at home from a bulk purchase awhile ago.

I got home and got the car "up on all fours" (4 jack stands). Since I installed coilovers, I have to pull the car up on 'jackramps' (mini ramps) to fit my harbor freight racing jack under the front of the car to the center jack point. I got the front of the car up in the air, then placed the jack just in front of a rear wheel and jacked up the rear from the rear jack point (the U just in front of the diff). All good so far.

Last time I changed my oil (7500 miles ago), I used the Motive Oil Extractor which pulls oil out of the dip stick tube. Unfortunately, when I was using this on the S2000 a few months later, the pump broke... so I'm stuck doing it the old fashioned way (which is faster anyway, especially now that the car is up). I proceed to empty the old oil, refill with ~6.5qts of the German refined lube-juice, and swap the filter. No problems.




Time to proceed to the fuel filter. I basically followed this great how-to (also in the wiki, of course). The only thing that was different were the screws on the little hose clamps - they hand angled heads such that you can use a flat-bladed screwdriver to loosen them - but not to re-tighten them. They do have to flat sides which I was able to grip with some vise-grips to tighten. By the way, the author of that DIY was not kidding when he says that gas goes everywhere. You have to pull quite hard to get the fuel lines out of the rubber hoses. I recommend using some vise-grips to gently rotate the rubber lines to break them free.





Now - what's this? There's some wet oil around my drain plug. I must not have tightened it enough! I put my 1/2 17mm socket on there and give it a little turn - I wasn't feeling much friction... then I heard the dreaded POP!. That was the sound of the bolt head shearing off! If you were unaware, these bolts are hollow. Luckily, the bolt head stayed in the oil pan which allowed me to go thoroughly clean out a bucket. I then removed the bolt head and let the brand new oil drain into a bucket.

I already had a bolt extraction drill bit. Why? Because I did this same thing with my E30 about 4 years ago. D'oh! I guess this answers the question Torque specs, how important?. I went to autozone, luckily they had an M12x1.5 bolt - $1.99. I used a new copper crush washer from one of the other oil filters I had in the garage.

I dumped the oil from the bucket back into the engine and re-checked the level. Almost no spillage, bonus.





Time to change the air filter and the cabin filter. These took 30 seconds each and I had no issues. One thing that alarmed me - my car's build date is 03/03. The air filter that was in the car (quite dirty, mind you) had a date stamp of 02/03! Now, either the dealer had an old stock of air filters (Inspection I was done on 4/26/2005), or what seems more likely - they forgot to change it during Inspection I. Not cool. The cabin filter was quite dirty too - but no date stamp.




Now, time to start the real work. I remove the belly pan and proceed to drain the coolant per the instructions found here. The author of that page was right, coolant gets everywhere when you unscrew the engine block drain bolt. One thing that was different - I did not need a socket with a flexible head - I was able to easily remove it with a regular socket with a 6" extension on it.





Next, I read these water pump directions. Luckily, since my car is a manual transmission, I don't have the mechanical-driven fan and I didn't need the 'special tool' to hold the water pump pulley in place while unscrewing the fan clutch.


I removed the a/c belt from underneath the car - pulled the cover off of the tensioner pulley, stuck in my Torx T50 bit, and turned it clockwise. Easy. I then did the same for the main drive belt (except this time from above the car - only the a/c belt has to be done from underneath). I proceeded to replace both the main belt idler pulley and the main belt tensioner pulley. One thing I noticed - the belt tensioner pulleys do do not actually use a Torx T50 as described in the instructions linked above. It's actually a hex socket. While my Torx T50 did work fine, it doesn't quite fit in properly. I recommend finding the right size hex instead (10mm maybe?).



I removed the water pump pulley, then the water pump itself (tip: loosen the water pump pulley bolts before removing the main drive belt - it'll be much easier without the pulley spinning). I replaced it with a new water pump with a metal impeller. I was very careful to torque the water pump nuts to 7 ft/lb as listed in the Bentley manual. Unfortunately, when I got to the fourth nut.... it wouldn't tighten to even 7 ft/lb!! I back it off - yep, the nut is stripped. !@#@%#@$*#@$@@! It was 5:25 and most dealers' parts departments close at 6. I call BMW of Fremont parts - no answer. I call Stevens Creek BMW - they say they have 127 in stock. I get there in 20 minutes and buy 4 of them (might as well replace them all, right?). $3.25.


I get home and am able to tighten all four to 7lb/ft. Score. I also install the water pump pulley and tighten those bolts to the same torque specs (I had to use a rubber mallet to get the pulley onto the water pump straight)


Time to replace the thermostat and hoses on either side of it. Took me awhile to get the hoses loose, but removal was uneventful. There's a temperature sensor right on the hose that comes out of the bottom of the radiator into the left side of the thermostat. This sensor is part of the hose coupling, so it has to be transferred from the old hose to the new (once again, easy, just clips out). I installed the new thermostat and hoses easily.



I then put the main drive belt on the crankshaft pulley (has to be done first), then installed the new A/C belt. Easy. I then looked at the diagram I drew for the main drive belt (it's recommended in the water pump DIY linked above, and I concur with the recommendation) and installed it as well. Once again, easy, no problems.



I mixed coolant with distilled water and filled the radiator as described in the second half of the radiator flush DIY linked above.




I reinstalled the airbox (I had removed it for easier access to, well, everything) and the electric fan, and started the car up. Oh $hit.... I've got a coolant leak . Turns out it's coming from that lower radiator hose temp sensor I mentioned above. I played with it a bit (each time I pulled it out, coolant went everywhere, as expected.. ugh) and discovered that it had more friction in the old hose than it had in the new. It's got a little gasket on it that appears to not have a part number of its own (the sensor is only $21, still not bad). I wanted to get the car finished tonight so I went ahead and cleaned then re-installed the old hose. Re-filled the car with coolant (catching as much as I could in a bucket underneath) and voila - no leaks. I guess the new hose just has a *bit* looser tolerances? I'll probably buy a new hose *and* new temp sensor from the dealer soon just to have done everything right.




I then re-installed the front air snorkel and belly pan and took the car for a ride around the neighborhood. Made sure the car was warmed up properly (LeatherZ oil temp gauge read about 200F, which is fully warm). Returned to my garage and found no additional leaks. Right now the car is cooling so I can re-check the coolant level.




Took about 7 hours total I think - it took me 1 hr to get to the dealer and back in traffic - what a day!



I had to shower to get all the antifreeze out of my hair .

I'm currently enjoying one of these:


Hint: It's not the small one in the picture.


Delicious.



6/30/07 Addition: I also figured I should mention the condition of the parts I removed.

The water pump looked good.
The thermostat had some gunk on the inside area of the seals.
The a/c belt looked good.
The main drive belt did not look good - it had cracks all along the ribs!
The tensioner pulley and idler pulley looked OK, but the new ones felt much tighter.
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Last edited by KrisL; 07-02-2007 at 05:50 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2007, 10:40 PM
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///M3lissa ///M3lissa is offline
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Ouch. That sucks Kris.

Enjoy the Chimay
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2007, 10:41 PM
venky venky is offline
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Glad all is okay and ended well. That was one long day for sure...
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  #4  
Old 06-29-2007, 11:09 PM
Rick Van Bimmer Rick Van Bimmer is offline
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Fantastic write up...very helpful for those of us who might like to take on this job for ourselves.

Sounds like having a selection of nuts and bolts specific to the car would be a great way to avoid frustration doing this service.

Can you post any other nuts/bolts that would be good to have (after the Chimay has disappeared, of course!)
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  #5  
Old 06-29-2007, 11:23 PM
Dinanify Dinanify is offline
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Kris, that SO sounds like my every attempt to work on my car, just tonight I F'd up a stud with my impact gun (sigh)...

Glad you were able to get through it mostly unscatched, and that you had spirits to recharge your crapp-Filter

How is that beer? (never had it)
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  #6  
Old 06-29-2007, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Dinanify View Post
How is that beer? (never had it)


It's awesome.



...but doesn't go well with Jack in the Box monster tacos.
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2007, 12:29 PM
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I just ordered the new sensor and hose from bmw-auto-parts-dealer. I also ordered the manual rear sunshade and rear side window shades.. so expect a DIY on those .
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  #8  
Old 06-30-2007, 01:37 PM
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Cool. The rear shade is tempting
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2007, 02:17 PM
SCOALE SCOALE is offline
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Fuel Filter

Kris, I replaced my fuel filter this morning. Although I removed the fuel pump fuse, as evidenced by the fact that my car sputtered and died when I turned it over a couple of times in order to relieve as much pressure out of the fuel out of system as possible, the gas just kept right on coming after I removed the hoses from the filter (I also found it a bit tough to remove them). I ultimately ended up hooking up the new filter while gas was still draining! I'm talking nearly a gallon of gas I collected in a bucket! Did I do something wrong??

Fuse back in, battery reconnected, no leaks, everything running fine - but I'm unnerved about the amount of gas.
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Old 07-01-2007, 04:51 PM
SCOALE SCOALE is offline
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I'm a moron

Fuel Cap
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2007, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOALE View Post
Kris, I replaced my fuel filter this morning. Although I removed the fuel pump fuse, as evidenced by the fact that my car sputtered and died when I turned it over a couple of times in order to relieve as much pressure out of the fuel out of system as possible, the gas just kept right on coming after I removed the hoses from the filter (I also found it a bit tough to remove them). I ultimately ended up hooking up the new filter while gas was still draining! I'm talking nearly a gallon of gas I collected in a bucket! Did I do something wrong??

Fuse back in, battery reconnected, no leaks, everything running fine - but I'm unnerved about the amount of gas.

Same thing happened to me. I wasn't unnerved .
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Old 07-01-2007, 05:27 PM
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nevermind
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:56 AM
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milobloom242 milobloom242 is offline
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Same thing happened to me. I wasn't unnerved .

Haha - same thing happened here.

Thanks by the way Kris, very nice writeups.
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2007, 08:16 AM
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Dude your a pimp!! So you saved about a grand in labor then??? Crazy!
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:27 AM
Getsmmr Getsmmr is offline
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Kris - Awesome write up. I'm guessing you are right at 60k?
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2007, 08:32 AM
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Kris - Awesome write up. I'm guessing you are right at 60k?
~59,500, yeah.
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Old 07-02-2007, 08:33 AM
The Barvarian The Barvarian is offline
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Kris,

Nice write up!! I am planning the same maintenenace soon....
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Old 07-02-2007, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
I remove the belly pan and proceed to drain the coolant per the instructions found here. The author of that page was right, coolant gets everywhere when you unscrew the engine block drain bolt. One thing that was different - I did not need a socket with a flexible head - I was able to easily remove it with a regular socket with a 6" extension on it.
Strange, I just did a coolant drain/refill on my 2003 330i and needed the flexible head socket wrench. In fact, tightening up that bolt to something approaching the recommended torque spec (so that it would stop leaking) was the worst part of the whole job because it was so tough to get to.

Actually, I think there was only one little bracket that was in the way so that the flexible head socket was needed. Anyway, I really needed it, and didn't have one, so I went out and bought one.

By the way, I used some tubing to minimize the mess caused by the coolant draining as described in this thread... http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...04&postcount=4 It worked pretty well, but I still had a small puddle to clean up. I can't imagine how bad it would have been without the tubing.
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilH View Post
Strange, I just did a coolant drain/refill on my 2003 330i and needed the flexible head socket wrench. In fact, tightening up that bolt to something approaching the recommended torque spec (so that it would stop leaking) was the worst part of the whole job because it was so tough to get to.

Actually, I think there was only one little bracket that was in the way so that the flexible head socket was needed. Anyway, I really needed it, and didn't have one, so I went out and bought one.

By the way, I used some tubing to minimize the mess caused by the coolant draining as described in this thread... http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...04&postcount=4 It worked pretty well, but I still had a small puddle to clean up. I can't imagine how bad it would have been without the tubing.


Interesting, I wonder what the difference in the cars is. Mine was super easy with nothing but the 6" extension.

I like the tube tip... next time...
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Old 07-28-2007, 10:24 PM
ratseal ratseal is offline
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Thanks for sharing this DIY experience. I turned all of my own bolts on the classic 60's and 70's cars that I owned. The ODO on my 2002 330Ci is at 57,000, and I am considering a DIY.

I can definitely do parts I and II. However, I would prefer to skip the drama that you good naturedly wrote about for part III. Do you know if dealers will do a 'partial Inspection II? It runs about $1100+ here in Cali.
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  #21  
Old 07-28-2007, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratseal View Post
Thanks for sharing this DIY experience. I turned all of my own bolts on the classic 60's and 70's cars that I owned. The ODO on my 2002 330Ci is at 57,000, and I am considering a DIY.

I can definitely do parts I and II. However, I would prefer to skip the drama that you good naturedly wrote about for part III. Do you know if dealers will do a 'partial Inspection II? It runs about $1100+ here in Cali.


My drama can be prevented by buying $10 worth of "consumable" bolts/washers ahead of time as well as the $20 temp sensor that goes in the lower radiator hose. Best to just replace them anyway. A dealer will do whatever you ask them to. An independent BMW mechanic will do it for half the price...
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:24 PM
flat6fan flat6fan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post

I reinstalled the airbox (I had removed it for easier access to, well, everything) and the electric fan, and started the car up. Oh $hit.... I've got a coolant leak . Turns out it's coming from that lower radiator hose temp sensor I mentioned above. I played with it a bit (each time I pulled it out, coolant went everywhere, as expected.. ugh) and discovered that it had more friction in the old hose than it had in the new. It's got a little gasket on it that appears to not have a part number of its own (the sensor is only $21, still not bad). I wanted to get the car finished tonight so I went ahead and cleaned then re-installed the old hose. Re-filled the car with coolant (catching as much as I could in a bucket underneath) and voila - no leaks. I guess the new hose just has a *bit* looser tolerances? I'll probably buy a new hose *and* new temp sensor from the dealer soon just to have done everything right.
Nice write up:

We must of been doing this work at about the same time. My write up in DIY http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=210589

I am right there with you on the lower hose. I purchased my hose from Autohausaz and did not return it. I figured on the next coolant change I would try a new temp sensor. Very depressing to see this leak after all the work. Old hose back on and working fine.

I also never removed the block drain plug. It looked like a recessed hex head on my 2001. I was not sure about it and left it alone. Those getting ready for this DIY should also look at the transmission thermostat I broke
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  #23  
Old 07-29-2007, 09:31 PM
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KrisL KrisL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flat6fan View Post
Nice write up:

We must of been doing this work at about the same time. My write up in DIY http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=210589

I am right there with you on the lower hose. I purchased my hose from Autohausaz and did not return it. I figured on the next coolant change I would try a new temp sensor. Very depressing to see this leak after all the work. Old hose back on and working fine.

I also never removed the block drain plug. It looked like a recessed hex head on my 2001. I was not sure about it and left it alone. Those getting ready for this DIY should also look at the transmission thermostat I broke
So you had the same problem with the hose? Interesting.

I've got a new hose from mileoneparts.com (oem) along with a temp sensor in my garage waiting to be installed.
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  #24  
Old 08-10-2007, 04:55 PM
Rick Lee Rick Lee is offline
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So, is there anyone in the VA/DC/MD area who would like to help me out with this project in the near future? I have lots of tools and beer, am very mechanically inclined, but would like an extra set of eyes for this one.
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  #25  
Old 08-23-2007, 08:39 PM
Providince Providince is offline
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Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
It's awesome.



...but doesn't go well with Jack in the Box monster tacos.

A little note on Chimay. If served correctly it will be served in a glass with a gold rim. I have no idea why. You just seem like the type of guy who likes to do things the right way so thought you might like to know.
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