I just completed the job in less than 10 minutes.
Needed: 10mm socket, 19mm (or 3/4") open ended wrench. That's it!
1] Remove airbox (2 10mm bolts)
2] Unplug electrical connectors on oil sensor and one other relay in your way
3] Reach down around the alternator leads and then up to lower Vanos oil line banjo bolt with a 19mm open-end wrench. You can easily get the bolt and crush washers off on a 323i at least. I have large hands and it wasn't a problem at all.
4] Reverse of above. Super simple folks!
That's it! Unless clearances are different for the newer motors, I can't imagine why anyone would remove stuff. The only reason I would ever remove the alternator and oil reservoir would be to clean that side of the engine. As it was, I detected the leak before it turned into an oil bath.
Last edited by RedFisch; 11-18-2012 at 03:57 PM.