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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 02-21-2012, 06:08 AM
daveking daveking is offline
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e46 heater core removal ?????

Hi
How easy or hard is it to remove the heater matrix.
I have been told the dash has to come out.
Has any body done this without doing that.
thank you.
dave king
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:49 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Originally Posted by daveking View Post
Hi
How easy or hard is it to remove the heater matrix.
I have been told the dash has to come out.
Has any body done this without doing that.
thank you.
dave king
Taking the dash out is quite easy really. I have never done it on an E46 without removing the dash. It might be possible, but that is one of those things where you will end up spending so much time working around the dash, it is far faster and easier to just pull it out.

On the X3's you can pull it without removing the dash, but that is pointless info.

I say go for it.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:07 AM
crackersmasher crackersmasher is offline
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I changed my heater core and the entire dash does have to be removed. The heater core is behind the dash under the air controls. There are DIY's out there that will walk you through it but it is not too bad at all.

I wasn't driving my car for a week so every night I slowly removed pieces. After I put in the new heater core (about a minutes time) it took about 45 minutes to put everything back. I would give yourself about 2 hours to remove everything the first time.

That's the difference between paying $1200 for a shop or doing it yourself for $85.

Just make sure you get all the air out of the coolant lines after you are finished or it will overheat.
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  #4  
Old 03-30-2012, 01:37 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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There are DIY's out there that will walk you through it ......

Really? where? I couldn't find it even after lots of googling

Btw seeing as you've actually done it maybe you could answer my question anyway?
I need to access the cold air blend flap controlled by the cable from the dial in the ctr vents (the flap is jamming & causing the dial's gears to slip), do you know if this is a heater core out job or can I access it by just removing some of the dash & a panel on the heater core?
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:37 AM
crackersmasher crackersmasher is offline
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Here's the link to the DIY

http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=628898

I am pretty sure that this will get you to your cable.

Don't let some of the pics scare you, this is a very doable job.
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  #6  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:40 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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God that's a lot of work! , but thanks for the link

Looking at those pics though, maybe I can get enough access by just removing the radio, climate ctrl module, & the 2 slot trays? This is more of what I had in mind, can you remember how much of the heater is visible with just that lot off? Is their an access panel on the heater that can be removed with the dash left in?
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2012, 06:31 AM
crackersmasher crackersmasher is offline
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For the heater core, you have to remove the entire thing. Once the dash is off it will be right in the lower middle. There is no other way to access it.

It looks bad, but just follow the steps and keep the pieces organized and you won't have a problem.

Remember, I was quoted $1,200 from a trusted mechanic but the part only ran me $80.

I would say you could have it off and back on in a half a day.
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:26 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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I don't think you read what I said in my 1st post properly, I don't need the heater core out as such, I just need access to the cold/hot air mixer flap.
Unless you're saying the only way to access that is to remove the core? (I did ask but you didn't answer me), if so then just say .
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  #9  
Old 04-05-2012, 11:51 AM
crackersmasher crackersmasher is offline
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Sorry about that. Yes, I think you can access that without removing the entire thing. I can't give specifics on what items or not that you would have to remove to get to that point.
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  #10  
Old 04-06-2012, 09:36 AM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Ah ok, no probs.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2012, 02:19 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Yes there is an access panel on the htr box which can be removed without taking the dash off, ( it's behind the stereo & CC module, find out what I had to take off to do it here http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/...32/#post980931 ).

Sadly you can't get to the hot/cold mixer flap there , gonna try taking the pollen filter housing & maybe the fan out next.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:39 PM
Barniclebill Barniclebill is offline
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No dash removal required

I had to replace my heater core...drilled through it ( don't ask). Read and watched DIY videos ..10 hrs...local mechanic 9 hrs. So I started the removal of everything. Luckily after removing, stereo, climate control, upper vents and plastic center console bracket..there sat the heater core in its black plastic pix. Removed the clips on the black case and there it was...removed 2 clips holding pipes. Slid right out. New one slid right in. Pipe clips were somewhat difficult to ttach but not too bad. Other then about 12 screws ,,,12 electronic connections that have to be pulled apart...easy !!! The electrical is simple because they can only attach back to where they were before. Only learning curve was how to pop out climate control and upper vents,,but theres release clips ..just have to search. I repeat the whole dash does not need to come out. I was prepared to remove airbags, steering wheel, dash seats. Thank god.
I could probably replace again in about an hour.
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  #13  
Old 07-10-2012, 02:44 PM
Assimilator1 Assimilator1 is offline
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Did you see the cold/hot mixer flap I was talking about?

I couldn't access it through the pollen filter/fan side, so as the pollen filter was out I sprayed a load of silicone into the fan whilst it was running & it seems to of freed off the flap enough that it works ok now .
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  #14  
Old 11-09-2013, 10:27 AM
Foxborough Foxborough is offline
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hooking heater core back up

Hi guys I've read this thread and it was super helpful in removing my heater core. The problem I have now is reinstalling. I have in in the box set in but I can not for the life of me get those 2 pipes to set into the new core. Any pointers would be much appreciated.
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:20 AM
crackersmasher crackersmasher is offline
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If I remember correctly you've got to force the pipes into the heater core, then with the clips to secure it you need to gently tap those in so they secure the pipes into the heater core.

The clips need to rest above the flange on the pipes to hold them in place. After you have the pipes in and the clips locked in place then bend the ends of the clips slightly so they don't rattle out over time.

Not a difficult job, but make sure the pipes are correctly secured into the heater core so you aren't doing this project over at another time.

Make sure you properly bleed the cooling system so it doesn't overheat.
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  #16  
Old 11-11-2013, 10:04 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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e46 heater core removal ?????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxborough View Post
Hi guys I've read this thread and it was super helpful in removing my heater core. The problem I have now is reinstalling. I have in in the box set in but I can not for the life of me get those 2 pipes to set into the new core. Any pointers would be much appreciated.
Orientation is everything. Make sure you have the pipes routed correctly and the core sitting correctly.



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