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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 10-02-2012, 06:52 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Location: Panhandle of Florida
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 919
Mein Auto: 328i, 330ci, R1200C
Vacuum tubing behind intake

330ci was running pretty good but I was plagued for over six months now with the idle dropping off fast between shifts, sometimes even stalling, especially when it was hot? not sure why the heat affected this but found the problem to be cracked vacuum tubing behind intake manifold.

It set a code but cleared when I changed the crack tubing right next to the number 1 valve, but the symptom of quick idle drop off plagued me.

Besides #9 cap, and #7 and #4 tubing being cracked and totally useless there is also another tube that connects right next to the cap, that is about a foot long and runs down to some sort of cannister just above and in front of the starter.

You only need to remove the air cabin filter, its housing and the plastic heat shield from around your brake system to access these vacuum lines. However, my right arm is bruised from jamming it between firewall and intake during scraping off the old tubing from connectors and believe it or not I did most of it by feel with my left hand behind the intake and my head outside of the left front fender.

1.3 hours to change all tubing on both sides of the check valve (#6) and the electric valve #5 and down to that cannister. Nowhere near as easy as it looks on the diagram but doable without removing intake manifold like I thought when I first looked at all of that cracked tubing with an inspection mirror and flashlight....your best friend on this job!

Now I need to look at the 323i.

BTW it takes 3.5MM vacuum tubing which is the same as .127 inches (1/8th is .125). I had some laying around but nobody local (advance, Oreilly's, or Auto zone) carry the stuff?
I ordered one meter, 3.28 feet, of this to do my 323, but found the cap (#9) in the help needed section in Advance auto parts.
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Last edited by QAfred; 10-02-2012 at 07:17 PM.
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