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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently noticed a squealing noise from around the fanbelt area after starting the car. There is no squeal from the belts if I rev up the engine so I do not think the belts are bad. I oiled the rusty bolt that holds the main pully on the fanbelt, but the noise still persist. Could a particular pully need replacing? I think there are 3 pullys. Since I bought the car two years ago, I have no idea if the belts have been replaced. The car has only 45K miles on it and is a 2001. Any guess as to what it might be and is there anyway that I can check it out myself before taking the car to a technician??
 

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tire consumer
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I noticed that just recently a squeeling noise from around the fanbelt area. I oiled the rusty bolt on the front of the fanbelt but the noise still persist. Could it be that the belts are old and need replacing or that a pully is going bad and needs replacing? Since I bought the car two years ago, I have no idea if the belts have been replaced. The car has only 45K miles on it and is a 2001. Any guess as to what it might be and is there anyway that I can check it out myself before taking the car to a technician??
Belts are the cheapest fix. My guess is a tensioner pulley.

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I had that issue on my 2002 2.5. I replaced the thermostat which was bad, as well as the water pump as a precaution. When I did that, I put in new belts because it was just the parts cost for the belts. That cleared up the noise. The BMW dealer had recommended replacing the tensioners with a hydraulic tensioner system to solve the problem, at a cost, as I remember of around $500. If you do a little research, you'll find that it's probably a good idea to replace the water pump at your mileage. When BMW water pumps fail, they cause major damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
replacing tensioner pulleys

Can I replace the pulleys myself?? If so, do I need any special tools..like a torque wrench? Since I do not have a lift, would jack stands be sufficient and would they allow me enough room to access the pulleys? Exactly where is the H2O pump located on this car? The last pump that I replaced was on a 1970 Ford Torino and there was so much room in the engine compartment, I could have crawled inside...lol. If anyone out there has done this, we need to talk before I tackle the job. I would greatly appreciate the help. Thanks Much!!!!
 

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Can I replace the pulleys myself?? If so, do I need any special tools..like a torque wrench? Since I do not have a lift, would jack stands be sufficient and would they allow me enough room to access the pulleys? Exactly where is the H2O pump located on this car? The last pump that I replaced was on a 1970 Ford Torino and there was so much room in the engine compartment, I could have crawled inside...lol. If anyone out there has done this, we need to talk before I tackle the job. I would greatly appreciate the help. Thanks Much!!!!
Purchase a BMW TIS repair disk from EBAY.
 

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I just replaced mine on a 2000 Z3 Roady, Followed the Bentleys manual, could not get the fan blade nut off it kept slipping on the belt due to the tensioner, worked all day Saturday, on Sunday took out the radiator (very easy job) got a belt pipe wrench from Harbor Freight to hold the water plump pulley (I took off the belts) turned the nut clockwise (left handed threads) with a whack on the wrench and off it came removed the water pump nuts, screwed in the removal bolts and out it came in less then a hour. replaced every thing and was done in less then 2 hours. I always replace the tensioner pulley every time I replace a serpentine belt. Cheap insurance!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Can a Bentley's manual be downloaded on line or do I have to purchase one (on ebay) maybe?? Is it absolutely necessary that the radiator be removed? I'm guessing this will allow the room needed to remove the water pump...right? Did you replace the pump with another stock pump? I might be able to RENT a pipe wrench, so when asking for the wrench do I specify a "belt pipe wrench"?? Are there any other "special" tools needed? This is my first attempt at replacing the infamous water pump, and since I am not a technician, all help is greatly appreciated.

Ron, how does the cd compare to the Bentley Manual?? Wouldn't I need a laptop nearby to view the information to replace the pump when I made the repair? Sorry, but I am very new to this!!!!
 

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Ron, how does the cd compare to the Bentley Manual?? Wouldn't I need a laptop nearby to view the information to replace the pump when I made the repair? Sorry, but I am very new to this!!!!
TIS is way better than the Bentley. You can print out what your doing.

Bentley is a poor copy of the TIS with errors.
 

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Rod's advice is right on. I got a set of discs on Ebay for around $10.00. Search on BMW ETK/TIS. The discs were new BMW factory service discs. The discs include parts and service info. The BMW service is no longer provided on discs, but is online. The last Z3 was produced before the BMW service info went online, so these discs are for all practical purposes all you will need. Now, as to the water pump, I got a new pump from the BMW dealer, and it was an updated version which had a different part number than the one referenced in the discs. I mentioned I replaced the thermostat. The thermostat also was updated and had a newer part number. The thermostat was around $35 and it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it at the same time. The BMW service disks call out a special wrench, which I got from Bavarian Auto on special order. I hadn't thought of removing the radiator. Just order the discs from Ebay to start. Look through them and see if it all becomes clear.

I jacked the car up and put it on four jack stands to do the job for easy access. All I did was use a 3 foot length of 2x4 under one side to lift it enough to put the jack stands under that side, then moved to the other side and repeated. Just rocking from side to side and lifting while adjusting the jack stands lifted the car nicely in a few minutes.
 

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Can a Bentley's manual be downloaded on line or do I have to purchase one (on ebay) maybe?? Is it absolutely necessary that the radiator be removed? I'm guessing this will allow the room needed to remove the water pump...right? Did you replace the pump with another stock pump? I might be able to RENT a pipe wrench, so when asking for the wrench do I specify a "belt pipe wrench"?? Are there any other "special" tools needed? This is my first attempt at replacing the infamous water pump, and since I am not a technician, all help is greatly appreciated.

Ron, how does the cd compare to the Bentley Manual?? Wouldn't I need a laptop nearby to view the information to replace the pump when I made the repair? Sorry, but I am very new to this!!!!
What year and model do you have?
 

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I have the TIS (and ETK), and just looking over the water pump removal procedure to see how detailed it was. To the OP, it is quite handy, and seems more detailed than the Bentley (which I also have), as Ron noted. Plus, when the TIS references something else - like removing an associated belt or torque specs, for example - it links directly to that procedure rather than having to flip through the book to find it.

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edit: PM sent
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Ron, my car is a 2001 Z-3 Roadster 3.0 litre. I looked at the pics on the Pelican parts site. The removal & install of the pump looks relatively easy. (thanks R.J Coston). Greyish (who lives in Alabama like myself) has offered to burn the ETK/TIS discs and mail to me (what a guy!!) Thank you very much. As for the thermostat...any pics on that item? Pardon my ignorance, but exactly where is it located, guys? I have replaced that item before, but not on this car. WILL I BE ABLE TO DO THIS JOB WITHOUT REMOVING THE RADIATOR?? Looking from above...the area between the radiator and the fan looks very tight. When the car is on jack stands, will that make a difference? Remember, guys, this is my first attempt at this job, so please bear with me.

As for tools, it sounds like I will need: 1) torque wrench 2) belt pipe wrench 3) metric rachet set

Parts: 1) water pump 2) o-ring 3) thermostat 4) gasket 5) belts

I assume I can use existing pulleys?? I will check the hoses for wear and consider replacing them also. Looks like the radiator will need to be drained...right? Any advice there??

Please feel free to offer any advice/information. Your help is "greatly" appreciated. Thanks!!
 

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RealOEM has a good image of the thermostat. It's left of center (i.e. passenger side), black elbowed plastic housing.

In my opinion, you should at least get a few estimates on what the job would cost to have done. If you already had the tools and some similar experience, I'd say go for it, but I'm a little concerned you'll get things off and get stuck, or leave air in the system and overheat, both of which would require a tow to a shop. Add in the cost of buying the tools and it seems like it could get expensive.

Everyone has to start somewhere, I started with a Vanos swap, so it's not a crazy job to start with. However, I had tools already and a second car, and AAA (i.e. free tow), and an indie shop I trust, in case I got in over my head.

I'm not trying to scare you off the job, it will be very satisfying and educational, and cheaper, to do it yourself. Just cover your bases is all. Plus, there should be a DIY on here, right? (anyone?)

Good luck. :thumbup:

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Edit: Also, I would narrow down the squealing sound if possible. Otherwise you'll just have to take things apart again to replace whatever is causing the squealing, if it is not already on your list of parts to replace. If you have a spare car, it's not as big of an issue, as you can narrow it down after the belts are off (and my guess is that a sane BMW dealer parts dept. should have them in stock as they are common across many series/models). Pay attention to the tensioner pulleys to see if one is making the noise.
 

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Ron, my car is a 2001 Z-3 Roadster 3.0 litre. I looked at the pics on the Pelican parts site. The removal & install of the pump looks relatively easy. (thanks R.J Coston). Greyish (who lives in Alabama like myself) has offered to burn the ETK/TIS discs and mail to me (what a guy!!) Thank you very much. As for the thermostat...any pics on that item? Pardon my ignorance, but exactly where is it located, guys? I have replaced that item before, but not on this car. WILL I BE ABLE TO DO THIS JOB WITHOUT REMOVING THE RADIATOR?? Looking from above...the area between the radiator and the fan looks very tight. When the car is on jack stands, will that make a difference? Remember, guys, this is my first attempt at this job, so please bear with me.

As for tools, it sounds like I will need: 1) torque wrench 2) belt pipe wrench 3) metric rachet set

Parts: 1) water pump 2) o-ring 3) thermostat 4) gasket 5) belts

I assume I can use existing pulleys?? I will check the hoses for wear and consider replacing them also. Looks like the radiator will need to be drained...right? Any advice there??

Please feel free to offer any advice/information. Your help is "greatly" appreciated. Thanks!!
The left-hand column on the Pelican site has an index to their other tech articles.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/E36-Thermostat/E36-Thermostat.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Thanks Much....your concern is very much appreciated. The pelican parts site is very detailed and the pics are a big plus. All the information will be a tremendous help with this project. Although it might be a little while before starting this project, I'll keep everyone posted on my progress and results. Feel free to offer any adtional tips. Thanks to everyone for your advice/help.
 
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