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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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  #26  
Old 07-29-2010, 11:13 PM
bernoccoZHP bernoccoZHP is offline
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Thanks Starless!

Your DIY was the driving source behind my success in doing my coolant system service. Your documentation is accurate, articulate, detailed and trustworthy.

Thanks again, eric
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  #27  
Old 07-30-2010, 07:18 AM
2bms 2bms is offline
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[QUOTE=Starless;5360004]I do not remember all the details but there is a slot for that clip at the very base of the exp. tank and the same corresponding slot on the mount plate. You can not miss it. It fixes the expansion tank in it's place from the bottom basically.

See the picture in red box - at the very bottom, there is a slot in the wall of that big orifice:

Thank you so much - problem solved.
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  #28  
Old 09-13-2010, 08:11 PM
Der Bimmer Der Bimmer is offline
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Location: Rolling Hills, California
 
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So i assume you also changed your water pump at some point? Did you use a Stewart pump? What parts did you change. Did you also change the the fan clutch, idler pullys and belt tensioners?
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  #29  
Old 09-13-2010, 08:34 PM
jzwu jzwu is offline
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At that mileage, the idler pulley and the tensioner should be changed as well. Also change the belts while you are there. I got 75k miles and the idler pulley is making noise.
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  #30  
Old 09-13-2010, 08:35 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Bimmer View Post
So i assume you also changed your water pump at some point? Did you use a Stewart pump? What parts did you change. Did you also change the the fan clutch, idler pullys and belt tensioners?
Good questions. No I did not do the complete cooling system overhaul all at once.

1. At 72K I did belts, pulleys, tensioners, water pump and coolant flush. As to the pump I installed regular pump (HEPA brand) with all metal impeller.

2. At 80K I did expansion tank. Geniune BMW
3. At 93K I did coolant sensor o-ring. Genuine BMW

I'm at 93K right now

4. At around 100K I'm planning to do the thermostat and upper and lower radiator hoses.

It's not in my plans to do the fan clutch. I cleaned it though really well (it was awfully dirty with grime)

I'm doing it gradually 'cause I can not afford to buy everything at once otherwise I would.

Last edited by Starless; 09-13-2010 at 09:02 PM.
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  #31  
Old 09-14-2010, 06:23 AM
Hefavitzen Hefavitzen is offline
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Exclamation

Hey there, I know this is a moderately old thread, but it is on the topic I am concerned about.

I have a 2003 325Ci convertible with 139,000 miles on it. It has been running rougher and rougher over the last 2 years and lately has been stalling when attempting to reverse or to gently pull from a stop.

This last weekend I did a cooling system overhaul (thermostat, water pump, pulley, expansion tank, upper and lower radiator hoses, temp sensor and fluid) and I may have *hosed* up.

When pulling the expansion tank I attempted to disengage the hose all the way at the bottom of the tank that actually is attached to the piece that the expansion tank fits onto. I wasn't able to remove the hose connection, but I did turn it just ever so slightly. All other hoses came right off. I am thinking that this hose is to the heater core or the block water inlet?!?!

Anyway, now that all is back up and running (car runs smooth as silk now BTW) I have a leak. In 24 hours I lost about a half gallon of fluid and it appears to be either coming from the bottom of the expansion tank or the hose on the part the expansion tank fits onto.

My question: Anyone ever replace that hose? I am thinking that I broke some seal between the O-Ring in the hose end and the fitting and now will have to replace the whole hose (not looking forward to that one bit) or that I just don't have the expansion tank seated all the way, though it feels like it is when I run my fingers around it.

I will have to put it back on ramps this evening, but if anyone has any ideas or info, it would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jeff
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  #32  
Old 09-14-2010, 08:21 AM
topher18 topher18 is offline
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What about the radiator? Isn't it also a weak point that should be replaced with the tank?

I'm trying to decide whether to attempt this DIY on my car (98k miles) or pay my mechanic about $200 labor to do it. He quoted the radiator, hoses, tank. I already had him do the water pump at 60k.
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  #33  
Old 09-14-2010, 08:32 AM
Hefavitzen Hefavitzen is offline
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I think if you can get it all done for $200 labor and are not overly mechanically inclined/own the tools/feel you can be patient as you work through the process of replacement; then $200 is a pretty good price. I think there is no shame in paying someone, especially if you can get a good price on the labor.

I embarked on this because we needed a thermostat replaced and they wanted $500 for that one job and it's a $65.00 part.

It took me longer to figure out the bleeding process than it did to do the work. Crazy.

The radiator in my car looks great and the leaking is clearly coming from the expansion tank area vs the radiator. Thank goodness as the radiator is a bit more expensive.
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  #34  
Old 09-14-2010, 09:56 AM
Der Bimmer Der Bimmer is offline
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Thanks very much for the info!. I think with the general quality of modern automotive parts I should be able to expect longer service from some of the parts that are not rotating at high RPMs. Based on your great articles and feedback, I think I will change the pump (TBD BMW or Stewart), belts, tensioner's, pulleys, thermostat, temp sensor O-ring and new BMW coolant (this way I should not need to pull the front of the engine apart again for 60k miles). I will clean and inspect the fan clutch, expansion tank, hoses and temp sensor and only replace them if needed at this time. Next time I do a radiator flush, 1.5 to 2 yrs from now, I will see about replacing the remaining parts but not the fan clutch unless it shows deflection when tested or is making noise. If I need to change the fan clutch at a later date, it is independent of the cooling system and I don't have to mess with fluid.

BMW recommends longer maintenance to calculate lower cost of ownership but also, catastrophic failures result in higher repair costs or new car purchases sooner and parts houses recommend more frequent service to sell more parts. That said, I do agree with most of the early maintenance guidelines especially on Plugs, rotating assemblies and fluids (rotating assemblies are metal particle generators and the more often we change fluids the better). Even with synthetic fluid, which does last much longer and has a 100 degree higher breakdown temperature than conventional oil (synthetics higher breakdown temperature and superior lubrication properties are key for me not the longer life). Many people think that key property in synthetic is a longer service life and while it will, the rotating assemblies we use this fluid in still generate metal particles and little particles generate bigger particles so CHANGE FLUIDS OFTEN….even synthetics!
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  #35  
Old 09-14-2010, 10:43 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefavitzen View Post
Hey there, I know this is a moderately old thread, but it is on the topic I am concerned about.

I have a 2003 325Ci convertible with 139,000 miles on it. It has been running rougher and rougher over the last 2 years and lately has been stalling when attempting to reverse or to gently pull from a stop.

This last weekend I did a cooling system overhaul (thermostat, water pump, pulley, expansion tank, upper and lower radiator hoses, temp sensor and fluid) and I may have *hosed* up.

When pulling the expansion tank I attempted to disengage the hose all the way at the bottom of the tank that actually is attached to the piece that the expansion tank fits onto. I wasn't able to remove the hose connection, but I did turn it just ever so slightly. All other hoses came right off. I am thinking that this hose is to the heater core or the block water inlet?!?!

Anyway, now that all is back up and running (car runs smooth as silk now BTW) I have a leak. In 24 hours I lost about a half gallon of fluid and it appears to be either coming from the bottom of the expansion tank or the hose on the part the expansion tank fits onto.

My question: Anyone ever replace that hose? I am thinking that I broke some seal between the O-Ring in the hose end and the fitting and now will have to replace the whole hose (not looking forward to that one bit) or that I just don't have the expansion tank seated all the way, though it feels like it is when I run my fingers around it.

I will have to put it back on ramps this evening, but if anyone has any ideas or info, it would be appreciated.

Thanks, Jeff
Jeff,

I can not tell you over the internet if this is the hose in your case or the poor fitment of the exp. tank, but what I can tell you is that if you used an aftermarket ET, its poor fitment can be the source of the leak. I heard a few times people reporting this problem (even in this thread I think)
Let us know what it is when you figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by topher18 View Post
What about the radiator? Isn't it also a weak point that should be replaced with the tank?

I'm trying to decide whether to attempt this DIY on my car (98k miles) or pay my mechanic about $200 labor to do it. He quoted the radiator, hoses, tank. I already had him do the water pump at 60k.
Radiators can usually start leaking between somewhere 150K-200K. I'm not replacing mine till it actually goes bad or at least till 150K
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  #36  
Old 09-16-2010, 10:05 AM
Der Bimmer Der Bimmer is offline
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Location: Rolling Hills, California
 
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Hi ALex,

Did you replace the transimission thermostat when you did all of your work? What is your thoughts on this? I have not taken apart my cooling system yet and am wondering about the condition of the o rings in the hoses and other plastic parts that I will be taking off when I do my water pump. Any other nuggets you have regarding what your experience taught you when you did your system?

Thanks, Bob
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  #37  
Old 09-16-2010, 11:04 AM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Bimmer View Post
Hi ALex,

Did you replace the transimission thermostat when you did all of your work? What is your thoughts on this? I have not taken apart my cooling system yet and am wondering about the condition of the o rings in the hoses and other plastic parts that I will be taking off when I do my water pump. Any other nuggets you have regarding what your experience taught you when you did your system?

Thanks, Bob
Hey, Bob

I did not replace my tranny thermostat because I did not break the existing one but I had a new one just in case. Many people break it when removing the ET. I returned the new one to the seller (lost some money on the restocking fee, but it's ok)

If you just do the water pump you do not need to remove hoses as far as I remember, so don't worry about it. But if you can replace upper and lower hoses while doing the wp, it will be a perfect time to do it. Many people choose to do the complete overhaul while they are at it.

I did not run into any particular problems while doing the cooling system components so can't think of anything to share as far as my experience was. I used a couple of really good DIYs and it was a breeze. Everything has been discussed in such details that it's hard to screw up Here are some links:

http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...+refresh+hoses

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...sioner+pullies

There are more but that should be enough to get you started. Good luck
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  #38  
Old 09-16-2010, 12:18 PM
marlin1881 marlin1881 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
...

Radiators can usually start leaking between somewhere 150K-200K. I'm not replacing mine till it actually goes bad or at least till 150K
I really am glad that I have an E46 ZHP, as this car honestly is quite reliable. I will change out the radiator, pro-actively, when I hit 150K (~3 years from now).

The visions of my '95 540 is still burned in my brain, as I was driving it when the upper neck broke off the radiator, 100 yards from my garage door. It was a dandy little explosion and made a mess.
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  #39  
Old 09-16-2010, 08:54 PM
Der Bimmer Der Bimmer is offline
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Thanks Starless! The time and effort you put in annotating the pictures is really appreciated by a lot of Bimmer fans including me!!

BTW, what brand of ET did you use and from what source?

Regards, Bob
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  #40  
Old 09-16-2010, 11:49 PM
bernoccoZHP bernoccoZHP is offline
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Just a quick update:

I took my 04 ZHP into Rusnak today for the FREE technical one-on-one clenic they invited me to. I was able to hang with the wrench while he looked, lifted, tested and generally kicked the car around the lift. Now bare in mind that my car is used almost every day for business somewhere into the LA area for business and has 81K miles on it. As you can read I do my own maintenance and just did my cooling overhaul and dropped in a new battery.

Well, the bottom line is that the only recommendation they had for me was a brake fluid flush.... so I questioned why and the service writer told me (at this point the mechanic is walking away shaking his head) that it is what BMW recommends and he doesn't have a very good reason why. At least he was being honest. Anyway, they both complimented me on how good a condition the car was in and said that it seemed to be well maintained. So I told them at that point that I do my own maintenance. I was flattered to hear this from them and went away smiling.

PS: in the interest of PM (preventitive maintenance) I did sign up for the brake flush at $161. I really can't do it any cheaper with time and materials not to mention the aggrivation of not having the correct power bleed system.

Just an FYI......

OH! One more thing that I will start a thread on...... check you SPARE TIRE FOR INFLATION. Mine had 20 pounds in it should have 60!! I wonder how many people ever think of checking this until they need it?

eric
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  #41  
Old 10-04-2010, 10:52 PM
kamran1174 kamran1174 is offline
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Expansion Tank Replacement

I have been lookin on the net for several days for detail info on replacing the Expansion Tank in 325. I could not find anything useful. Tonight, EUReKA!!! I can not thank you guys enough. Now ICan Go and Do It.

Thanks again,
KT
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  #42  
Old 10-05-2010, 09:38 PM
bernoccoZHP bernoccoZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamran1174 View Post
I have been lookin on the net for several days for detail info on replacing the Expansion Tank in 325. I could not find anything useful. Tonight, EUReKA!!! I can not thank you guys enough. Now ICan Go and Do It.

Thanks again,
KT
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We: Da People.

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  #43  
Old 10-12-2010, 10:35 PM
kamran1174 kamran1174 is offline
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It is done and complete. No leaks or any problems. Thanks
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  #44  
Old 11-21-2010, 07:11 AM
genuity genuity is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starless View Post
Does anyone know if those with manual transmissions models have to deal with this thermostat thing that always breaks when taking the ET out?
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  #45  
Old 11-21-2010, 03:18 PM
Starless Starless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genuity View Post
Does anyone know if those with manual transmissions models have to deal with this thermostat thing that always breaks when taking the ET out?
I *think* it's only for autos but lets hear from somebody who knows for sure :-)
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  #46  
Old 12-22-2010, 01:12 PM
johnhansen johnhansen is offline
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I hope this doesn't qualify as a thread hijack, but I have been following this diy to change out the expansion tank on my 01 325XI. I too am having trouble getting my tank to seat and an o-ring to go back inside a hose. It seems way too large. I posted a new thread with some photos here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=507512
Any help would be appreciated. I'm almost at the point of having it towed to a local shop. If anybody in the STL/Crestwood area could use a little extra Christmas cash and would want to stop by and take a look/offer some guidance I would be happy to pay...

Thanks in advance!
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  #47  
Old 12-22-2010, 02:25 PM
ThreeTwoFive ThreeTwoFive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genuity View Post
Does anyone know if those with manual transmissions models have to deal with this thermostat thing that always breaks when taking the ET out?
No, only automatics transmission cars have the automatic transmission thermostat. lol


Also, I just replaced my expansion tank and radiator. What I did was used a locking pliers and hoped on top of the cross member of the car and pulled straight up. Thermostat was perfectly fine but I replaced it anyhow.
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  #48  
Old 01-09-2011, 12:43 PM
mfosterjet mfosterjet is offline
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How do you get the auto transmission thermostat out of the mounting bracket that it sits in (for expansion tank)? By the looks of the replacement part, it looks like it should just could straight up. The ends of my thermostat are broken/brittle. But it looks like I am missing something in order for it to come out. Help please.
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  #49  
Old 01-09-2011, 12:44 PM
mfosterjet mfosterjet is offline
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Auto Trans thermostat Difficult to remove

duplicate. sorry.

Last edited by mfosterjet; 01-09-2011 at 12:45 PM. Reason: duplicate
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  #50  
Old 01-10-2011, 05:11 AM
tttomttt tttomttt is offline
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thermostat

It literally pulls straight out. Unfortunately it usually is very brittle so comes out in pieces. I ended removing the ET bracket to aid myself in the removal of the TSTAT plus the install of the ET however that opened another can of worms.
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