Hey, this is a *great* DIY! It follows the Bentley procedure very well, which is reassuring.
I did this several weeks ago on my '99 E46 328i (Left Drive) and it worked great. Of course it was still a struggle. I had my son for help for most of it, which made it easier at certain steps. I only have a few comments:
1. When separating the steering coupler, do it at the top connection and you won't have any alignment issues. It is keyed and will only go in at 180 degree intervals, so you really have to try to get it wrong. BTW, this step is a royal pain in the A$$.
2. I did not replace the subframe or steering coupler bolts. I will replace the subframe bolts soon, as I intend to track the car. Otherwise, I'm not sure replacement would be necessary.
3. I was not sure about some of the torque specs to use. I could not tell what grade some of the bolts were, so I just used the mid or high spec.
4. I was able to get a torque wrench on all but two of the oil pan bolts. I checked them a second time, which is good because I missed a couple.
5. You do not need to separate the inner ball joints, but you must unbolt the front CAB's. For most of the time I supported the driver side of the subframe with a jackstand. During the pan removal and install steps, I let the subframe hang temporarily by the power steering hoses. That gave me enough clearance to get the pan out/in. Most of the weight is supported by the struts, so I think that's ok.
6. When removing the pan, you must clear the oil pump sprocket in front, and the pickup in the rear. Slide the pan forward to clear the trans bellhousing, then down to clear the pump, then backward and out.
So far, no evidence of leaks. I need to get it back up on jackstands and remove the plastic shield to inspect it again to make sure. Will update to let you know.
Update: After a couple of weeks of 50 mi/trip commutes I put the car on jack stands and looked it over. No leaks from the oil pan that I could see, but three wet spots on the bottom of the pan. The front one looks like PS fluid and I think the return line is leaking. The middle one I can't tell where it's from, and the rear looks like it might be the main seal. Wouldn't be surprised at 230K; will do it when I get around to the clutch (still original). Anyway, the oil pan gasket itself looks good!
2003 E39 M5 Lemans Blue: Truly an amazing car
1999 E46 328i Bone stock 5-speed: Beater and Track Car
Last edited by havnfun328; 03-08-2013 at 05:40 PM.