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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #26  
Old 02-06-2011, 10:55 AM
noego noego is offline
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if your engine had been over heated before you bought the car wouldn't the head gasket show signs of leaking? like a puddle of coolant under the car? my question is based on an experience with a blown head gasket caused by a failed thermostat on a GM v-8. and, yes, lots of leaking and compression on one cylinder of that engine was down. so, no blown gasket = no compression problems...or is it different with a BMW engine?

thank you for taking the time to share this with the board. your project is encouraging to those who are willing to try about anything.
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  #27  
Old 02-06-2011, 11:14 AM
littleE46 littleE46 is offline
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Yeah, I'm hoping it was not a blown head gasket. No white smoke out the exhaust. I'll do the compression test just to be sure. Besides at this age the plugs need replacing anyways.

Thanks for the encouragement. I'll keep posting the work I do. It's not really that hard, I think anyone with a little time could do this with a little patience.
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  #28  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:15 AM
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timfitz63 timfitz63 is offline
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Well done write-up!

Hope this gets "stickied" at the top of the forum!
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A sports sedan disguised as an SUV...
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  #29  
Old 02-07-2011, 07:51 AM
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CleanKM CleanKM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleE46 View Post
Thanks man. I'm not done yet and it's almost taking me as long to write up as it was to do the job. This was my second M54B30 cooling system overhaul. This time I kinda just jumped in and did it from memory. I like taking all the pictures because it slows me down and makes me think about every step. Less likely to make mistakes that way.
I figured you weren't, but wanted to get my thanks in! Really appreciate you taking your time to do all that.
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Prod Date: March 2, 2007
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  #30  
Old 02-27-2011, 08:33 PM
szee1 szee1 is offline
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Great write up, just replaced the water pump, expansion tank etc. Easy job and actually pleasant to work on.
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  #31  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:30 PM
littleE46 littleE46 is offline
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Originally Posted by szee1 View Post
Great write up, just replaced the water pump, expansion tank etc. Easy job and actually pleasant to work on.
Thanks...I hope this helped. The X3 has been running great ever since. It's snowing here now so I'm leaving the head gasket/spark plugs/compression test until spring when it's warm again.
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  #32  
Old 03-03-2011, 07:26 PM
pburnett pburnett is offline
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Many thanks! Used this last week to redo the coolant system (kept the same radiator though) when my expansion tank developed a pinhole leak. Sure am glad I did because the car was filled with non-BMW coolant, it was green. it turned out perfectly! Needs to be stickied. Thanks again!
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  #33  
Old 03-03-2011, 08:18 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Thanks for the write-up and good job! I will sure use this when the time comes...Make sure you add a link to this thread to the sticky so it easier to find
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  #34  
Old 03-03-2011, 10:42 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Any thoughts on the change in part no. for the expansion tank?

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-17...-x3-x5-30.aspx

The original part no. 17 13 7 787 039 is still being sold by most other online sources.
The $38 one is probably a Meyle or a Behr?
Concerns have been expressed about some Behr expansion tanks with incomplete castings (if that's the right word in plastics) or other faults.

See: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=509104

In the E46 community, separating the expansion tank from its mounting plate seems to be tough - maybe not so for the X3.
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  #35  
Old 03-04-2011, 07:55 AM
szee1 szee1 is offline
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It was a bit of a struggle to pull the tank from the mounting bracket/plate. When you reach down it's pretty easy to find the release for the hose but the tank did not release easily (the tubes that connect to the bottom of the tank have o-rings which are a snug fit) and I had to turn it back and forth (by only a couple of degrees as the tank also has a mounting pin which slides into a grove on the radiator and doesn't allow for much rotation).

I think after you have done it once and are confident that you have released the bottom clip, this would be an easy process but initially I was reluctant to pull too hard for fear that I may have missed disconnecting something critical. The next time should be a breeze, presuming I remember what I did.

As for the tank itself, bought mine from Pelican and it was aftermarket (Uro parts) however in comparing the two, the replacement looked great. Who can tell, appearances probably don't reveal much.
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  #36  
Old 03-05-2011, 12:27 PM
didymos didymos is offline
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how often coolant replacement should take place, is it 2 years? I think I read that somewhere.
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  #37  
Old 03-05-2011, 01:03 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by didymos View Post
how often coolant replacement should take place, is it 2 years? I think I read that somewhere.
Every 4 years according to my 2004 Warranty & Service Guide.

For later years ('06 on ?) the factory coolant is implied to be "lifetime" or at least "long life".
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  #38  
Old 03-05-2011, 03:07 PM
littleE46 littleE46 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
In the E46 community, separating the expansion tank from its mounting plate seems to be tough - maybe not so for the X3.
I found the expansion tank equally tough to separate on both vehicles. That's the reason I remove the rad with the expansion tank and then separate them off on the bench.
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  #39  
Old 04-20-2011, 11:45 AM
pdx-x3 pdx-x3 is offline
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I replaced the expansion tank of my wife's 2004 X3 3.0i last night. I didn't do the bleeding part right and the engine overheated during my test drive. So, I re-did the bleeding and everything is ok now.

This morning, I saw a small section of hard plastic tube under the car. Then, I realized that it was from the expansion tank thermostat. The top section in the 3rd picture:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...4&postcount=15

At this moment, I have the spring wrap around the metal thing (w/ the needle in it) and the lock from the expansion tank doesn't do anything since the holder / the top section from the expansion tank thermostat is missing.

Obviously, I need to replace the expansion tank thermostat. Is it dangerous to drive while I'm getting the part? It seems that I only have some internal parts of the thermostat. Not sure if anything else is missing.
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  #40  
Old 04-23-2011, 08:45 PM
littleE46 littleE46 is offline
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If it were my I'd park immediately. Replacing all the cooling system is far cheaper than overheating the engine and replacing the head.

Having said that I think my expansion tank thermostat had exploded for who knows how long before I realized there was a problem.
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  #41  
Old 05-02-2011, 11:19 AM
pdx-x3 pdx-x3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleE46 View Post
If it were my I'd park immediately. Replacing all the cooling system is far cheaper than overheating the engine and replacing the head.

Having said that I think my expansion tank thermostat had exploded for who knows how long before I realized there was a problem.
Finally drained the coolant and replaced the thermostat, the expansion tank thermostat, and a few other little things Friday night. It took me a few hours. The car runs great right now.

I will try replacing the radiator, the water pump, and some other important parts in a year or two. I know I should have replaced everything. However, I was not as confident as I am now --- I believe I have learned a lot from the partial coolant work.
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  #42  
Old 05-02-2011, 11:28 AM
pdx-x3 pdx-x3 is offline
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Forgot to mention that I had the ignition at Position 2 while draining and re-filling coolant. The two big lamps in the front (not the main headlamps) were on all the time. I ended up with a drained battery and had to jump-start the car. Any suggestions? Obviously, I don't want to have the same problem next time servicing the cooling system.
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  #43  
Old 05-03-2011, 10:42 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdx-x3 View Post
Forgot to mention that I had the ignition at Position 2 while draining and re-filling coolant. The two big lamps in the front (not the main headlamps) were on all the time. I ended up with a drained battery and had to jump-start the car. Any suggestions? Obviously, I don't want to have the same problem next time servicing the cooling system.
Don't know why the DRLs come on with ignition but engine not running.

Not sure if it's a BMW thing, or general.

In the early days of DRL, this was not the case - they really were "running" lights because the module was energized by the HT plug wires.

Anyways, to avoid running down the battery when doing a coolant service, consider why having the heater fan running is necessary.

Presumably, it's just to make sure that the coolant in the heater core drains effectively.

Not sure it's that important while refilling - the heating system can prime itself later on a test run and you can top off the expansion tank as needed.

And for draining, if you have just run the heater immediately before starting the job, and left the temp. control in the hot position, that might suffice.

Otherwise, only have the ignition on for a short time while you are actually draining the coolant.

Avoiding a drained battery is more important in my view than being obsessive over how much old coolant is drained.

And BMW's bleeder screws are perfectly able to take care of air bubbles when refilling, in my experience.
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  #44  
Old 05-04-2011, 03:52 PM
pdx-x3 pdx-x3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Don't know why the DRLs come on with ignition but engine not running.

Not sure if it's a BMW thing, or general.

In the early days of DRL, this was not the case - they really were "running" lights because the module was energized by the HT plug wires.

Anyways, to avoid running down the battery when doing a coolant service, consider why having the heater fan running is necessary.

Presumably, it's just to make sure that the coolant in the heater core drains effectively.

Not sure it's that important while refilling - the heating system can prime itself later on a test run and you can top off the expansion tank as needed.

And for draining, if you have just run the heater immediately before starting the job, and left the temp. control in the hot position, that might suffice.

Otherwise, only have the ignition on for a short time while you are actually draining the coolant.

Avoiding a drained battery is more important in my view than being obsessive over how much old coolant is drained.

And BMW's bleeder screws are perfectly able to take care of air bubbles when refilling, in my experience.
Thanks for the suggestions. I was concerned that the lights would drain the battery and sure they did. I was thinking to find the fuse and pull it out. However, the manual warned not to touch the fuse box. I probably should have got a cable and programmed them off. Not sure how the OP kept the lights off.

Now, I understand more about the heater stuff. I was afraid of overheating the engine and simply followed the DIY instructions.
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  #45  
Old 05-10-2011, 07:54 AM
ragamuffin ragamuffin is offline
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Parts

Hi
Thanks for the very helpful coolant overhaul DIY. I am looking to do this as well and was wondering where you purchased your parts. Like you I am in Canada as well. Ottawa. Thanks.
Paul
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  #46  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:06 PM
Gee3 Gee3 is offline
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In step 5 did you just put the 45 Torx in the AC pulley and pull to the right to "loosen" the pulley? I ask because I was watching the serpentine belt replacement on the BavAuto website and they removed one bolt and loosened another bolt to loosen the AC belt tensioner.

Your way seems a lot easier and less trouble. This is for my 2004 2.5i X3 if that means anything.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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  #47  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:18 PM
littleE46 littleE46 is offline
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I found this method on E46Fanatics and have used it for my 330Ci and the X3 (same engine). It works great especially if you are just replacing belts. The 2.5 should be the same.
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  #48  
Old 03-07-2012, 09:53 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Originally Posted by Gee3 View Post
..... on the BavAuto website and they removed one bolt and loosened another bolt to loosen the AC belt tensioner.
Isn't that because they were going to put in a new A/C belt tensioner along with the new belt?

Can't get to one of the 2 tensioner retaining bolts once the tension is released, so they removed it first.
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  #49  
Old 03-07-2012, 11:37 PM
Gee3 Gee3 is offline
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Thanks for the replies!

Yeah, I believe you're right! So that just made my install much easier! Thanks!

Last edited by Gee3; 03-08-2012 at 06:33 PM. Reason: misspell
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  #50  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:36 PM
Gee3 Gee3 is offline
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You guys rock! I just replaced the belts and it was really easy! Definitely removing the fan assembly made all the difference in terms of space to work. Then pop off the covers on the pulley wheel to get access to the T-45 Torx bolt and with the aid of a breaker bar, removing both belts and installing the new ones was super easy! It took more time to remove the air cleaner stuff and fan than it did to do the belt change!

Thanks all!
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