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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 09-27-2008, 08:54 PM
josenar145 josenar145 is offline
Registered User
Location: Orlando Florida USA
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: BMW 2002 E46 330ci
Thumbs down Broken oil plug

I was a little impatient this time while screwing my oil plug back in and paid the price. Now the bolt is resting on the bottom of my oil pan. I was woundering If it is possible to get the oil pan off the engine enough to slide my hand (or a magnet?) in to get it out. And if it is at all possible to do so without removing the suspension? also can I remove the oil pan and put it back without replacing the gasket?

One more question where can I find a oil plug for a 330ci around town on a Sunday? (Autozone?)

PLZZZZ Help!!!
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Old 10-07-2010, 09:29 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25,236
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by josenar145 View Post
Now the bolt is resting on the bottom of my oil pan.
Someone broke their oil drain plug today and he couldn't find any references on the topic, so I search for him (and found these which I'll post here as a cross reference).

Here is the search result for broken oil pan drain bolts:
- How not to change your oil in your E39 (stripped drain plug)
- Broke the plug....
- Oil Plug Stripped! Now What ??
- URGENT: engine oil drain plug broke
- Broken oil plug & Broken oil plug!
- I Literally Want to Cry....
- Broken Oil Plug 0n E39 1998
- Magnetic oil drain bolt broke in half

Here is the search result for stripped oil pan threads:
- Drain plug / oil pan stripped on 2.8 Z3
- oil plug bad
- '92 325i-- oil drail plug stripped HEEEELP!
- Oil pan stripped (use level sensor as a drain plug)
- Oil pan stripped (weld plate over hole)

Here is a good cn90 DIY on changing your oil the gravity feed way:
- DIY: E39 Changing engine oil made simple

And, read this BEFORE you select a vacuum extractor:
- DIY - BMW E39 Oil & Filter Change (vacuum extraction method)
- Why I don't recommend the Motive Vacuum Oil Extractor ...

Note the bevy of potential solutions:
- Use a 6mm wide screwdriver to spin the broken half out
- Use an EX-4 screw extractor (aka easy out) to spin the broken half out <-- recommended
- Reverse drill the steel broken half out of the aluminum oil pan
- Retap the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan (but generally the bolt breaks before the threads strip)
- Wrap teflon tape on the threads of a new bolt and screw it in abutting the broken bolt half
- Heli-coil the stripped threads in the aluminum oil pan
- Drop the E39 V8 il pan to access the bolt if it fell through (dropping the E39 I6 oil pan is a nightmare)
- Weld over the hole and use the MightyVac oil extractor from the dipstick forever more
- Weld over the hole and use the oil level sensor as the drain plug instead
- Access the broken bolt inside the oil pan through the leveling sensor opening
- Buy an aftermarket oil drain bolt (e.g., EAS Tuning magnetic, or ?)

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