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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 01-22-2013, 07:35 PM
Mirawho Mirawho is offline
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Location: US
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 325i
It's like that one, Mrmaico. But, instead of purchasing the single wrench from Amazon for $17, you can get the 5 piece set from Harbor Freight for $27. I am hard on tools and I have large sets of Craftsman and Kobalt sockets and wrenches, but the ones like this set that I purchased from Harbor are not too bad, considering even the more expensive ones you purchase are Made In China. And the Harbor ones are lifetime warranty. Anyway, another each to his own when it comes to tools. But that little 10mm you have there will prevent you from having to lower the tranny or remove the intake manifold. Here is a link for the full set

http://www.harborfreight.com/5-piece...set-68953.html


And Iskoos, I try to spend as little time under a car as I can too, you never know when something is going to give. Normally, when I have a car on stands, I have the floor jack on one side so in case of a problem, I can get out of there safely.
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  #27  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:15 PM
01E46er 01E46er is offline
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Location: Laguna Beach, Ca
 
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Mein Auto: 01 330i Sedan
Thumbs up Great Post

Great Post . I'm about to experience this .
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  #28  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:41 PM
Mirawho Mirawho is offline
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Hey, good luck with that change there, 01E46er. Try it the way I posted and you might find it pretty easy. Might be worth the drive to Newport to get that set if you don't have one. It will make quick work out of it. Here is the sequence I used:

1: Disconnect battery and raise car

2: Remove splash pan (philips) and skid plate (16mm)

3: Remove exhaust flap vacuum canister (13mm). While you are there, check the vacuum lines going into the canister. One of mine was rotted. I think it was 5/32" line.

4: Disconnect battery connection to starter

5: Deal with the top bolt first. Get your 10mm flexhead ready. Reach up around the bell housing and about 11 o'clock you will feel the top bolt. If you run a finger to the starter plate, you will feel the other end of the bolt. Slide your hand up with the 10mm and when you get the ratchet on the bolt, bend it just enough so you aren't rubbing your hand on the firewall. When it is moving freely, remove the wrench and try turning it with your fingers. This way you don't lose either the wrench or the bolt on top of the tranny. If you do, don't sweat it. (I always have aluminum 1" flatbar laying around for other projects) Just get something like flatbar and reach over the tranny with it. It will drop right off.

6: Do the bottom bolt. You will need to almost 90 the flexhead to do it but it is easy.

7: Really Important Here! When you are removing the starter, be careful. There are vacuum lines that are a PITA to replace there and also, your Crank Position Sensor wiring is right below it. If you nick a wire pulling it out, you could send a CPS fault to the ECM and then the fun starts!

Rock the starter just a little, enough to get the bottom bolt area away from the bell housing, and use a large screwdriver to pry the starter away.

8: Bring the starter down facing you so you can remove the remaining two solenoid connections.

9: Before reinstalling the starter, goose out the guide hole a little. Find a bit that is just oversize of the hole. This way it will remain fairly tight but you will be able to use hand force to put it back. Just reverse the process and you are done.

10: Before installing vacuum canister, do a final look for anything you might have accidentally unplugged or damaged.

That's it. You know, it is a little tight down there, but, big but here. The only thing that really seems in the way is the control arm. I am not sure why, since you already have the car up, you wouldn't unbolt the control arm and get it out of the way instead of dropping the tranny or removing the intake manifold. Anyway, just me and the way I think. If the arm wasn't there, you would have a lot more working room.

Good luck guys!




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  #29  
Old 01-24-2013, 03:04 PM
01E46er 01E46er is offline
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Location: Laguna Beach, Ca
 
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Mein Auto: 01 330i Sedan
Thanks for all the info !!!! I wonder if it is a little easier removing the intake manifold and doing it from the top ? I installed Dinan high flow throttle bodies a few months back but never looked to see if i can even see the starter .
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  #30  
Old 03-11-2013, 08:32 PM
iturboh iturboh is offline
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Location: Woodbridge va
 
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Mein Auto: 99 328iC e36& 99 323i e46
Well going to replace this along with the driver side control arm tomorrow! :/ thank god I came upon this otherwise I would replaced the control arm and took apart the top of the engine lol. Now I just have to get those wrenches you said would help and hopefully this will all go by nicely. Thank you everyone
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  #31  
Old 10-16-2013, 04:40 AM
logle logle is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 530, E53 X5, E46 330c
More questions.

Great write up and information. Im going to do the starter r/r this weekend on an 02 330i but have a couple questions. Is the procedure the same regardless of the type starter used? I know there are two types depending on year. One with threaded holes and one without threads. I assume the one with threads means the bolts point to the rear and screw into the bell-housing while the one with threads the bolts point forward as in the pictures here. I'm also very curious how you got the bolts out with a stubby wrench? I know these are on very tight and wondered how you got them free. Can you elaborate? Thanks!
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  #32  
Old 02-15-2014, 06:08 PM
jasonhwells jasonhwells is offline
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Location: Reno< NV
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330ci
I have my intake manifold off for some other maintenance (DISA valve needed replacing and it let go of its pin...had to go searching for it in my intake manifold which totally sucks. The good side is that I could replace the remaining vacuum hoses and components under my manifold, because I am at 90k and they are not looking good.)

I am wondering if I should spend the money on the starter now while I have this off. It's expensive with the solenoid, but I am wondering now.

Also, it's seems like coming from the top is easier after doing this job from what I am seeing here. Maybe it's just that I am familiar with what i just did and this job looks daunting and tedious.

Feedback?
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  #33  
Old 06-01-2014, 11:47 AM
KendallB KendallB is offline
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Mein Auto: 325xi
Mirawho -

I was able to get the driver's side starter bolt off OK. How do you reach the opposite one (toward the pass side?). I have the flex-head wrenches and an E12 socket

Sounds like you got those bolts from the "top" of the engine. I have been working from underneath, and have everything disconnected and accessible, except the far side starter bolt. So far on top, I have pulled the air filter cover, intake hose, and dip stick assy/bracket to get better access. What else did you take apart on top in order to reach the far-side starter bolt? Trying to do minimal disassembly, and NOT planning to remove the intake. Did you take cabin air filter assy. out in order to gain access? Let me know ASAP, if you read this - working on car today and looking for guidance on how to best reach this last bolt. Thanks.
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  #34  
Old 06-01-2014, 12:29 PM
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iskoos iskoos is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
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Mein Auto: '02 - 325ci
I hope Mirawho sees this Kendall but looking at his statistics, odds aren't in your favor. He only posted 6 times on this forum.
Maybe someone else with the answer gets back to you. I never worked on a starter replacement and never wish to do so...
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  #35  
Old 06-01-2014, 12:54 PM
jasonhwells jasonhwells is offline
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Location: Reno< NV
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 330ci
Starter Bolts

As you probably read, I took the intake manifold for other reasons. I have read many other people who have gotten the bottom bolt from underneath and it sounds like you have already done that. Others have managed to get the top bolt without removing the manifold, but it's tough. You'll need to remove the cab air filter and housing which takes about 5 minutes. Remove as much as you can on the top...you might need to remove the intake boots (upper and lower) that is connects Idle Control Valve and the throttle body.

The other option is using a flexible wrench attachment to get it from the underneath...I actually got my top bolt that way, because it was too close to the fire wall. I got the lower bolt (sounds like that what you have done already) from the top after the intake was remove.

If you were able to get the lower bolt removed from underneath (and i got the upper bolt remove with a flexible wrench attachment), then you may be able to do it that way.
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  #36  
Old 06-01-2014, 11:32 PM
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Freakusaurus Freakusaurus is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 325Ci Convertible
I just did this job last weekend and it definitly involved removing my intake manifold... The hardest part of it all was removing one bolt, that can not be seen, from under the intake manifold that holds the manifold on. . . Once that is off, the starter is right there and easy as can be to do. . . .

When removing everything though, 3 of the CVV hoses broke while trying to move things around. I found the hose kit online for around $110 . . . . BUT I went to Pepboys and got some fuel rated hoses cut to lenght and some hose clamps for about $13 . . . much better than the solid plastic hoses.
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  #37  
Old 06-05-2014, 04:02 AM
Sam_1986s Sam_1986s is offline
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Location: Arizona
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 Eclipse GT
Thank you very very much for the excellent DIY. I am looking to buy a 2005 330CI convertible and i am searching for the basics can be done on these cars (E46). So far i don't see any problem with doing most things myself except changing the Air Conditioning Evaporator (that seems to be a hell of a job).

Thanks again

Sam.
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