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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #1
DBrown
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Summer maintenance. Time to do water pump?

So I have a an e46 with the original water pump and expansion tank. I have a 167000 km on the car so I'm sure it's overdue for a new one. I don't have any problems for now. But I'm sure they will soon appear.

Based on what I've read, it sounds like I have to replace more than just the water pump. I've heard that I should also replace the expansion tank. If I replace the water pump and expansion tank. What parts will I need? New hoses? Any kind of clips or mounts? A new belt? If anything is prone to breaking when bring removed, then I will most likely break it. So my question is what parts do I need and how much will this run me for parts?
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:08 PM   #2
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Search for cooling system tutorial/diy. Lots of them on the site. It's a huge list of things you'll need.
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
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Okay, so I know I need a new water pump, expansion tank and hoses, plus I'll replace my belt at the same time. Is there anything I've overlooked? I haven't really found a diy that outlines exactly what parts I need and how much people have roughly paid for everything
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Old 04-20-2011, 07:35 PM   #4
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Okay, so I know I need a new water pump, expansion tank and hoses, plus I'll replace my belt at the same time. Is there anything I've overlooked? I haven't really found a diy that outlines exactly what parts I need and how much people have roughly paid for everything

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=634490
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Old 04-20-2011, 08:41 PM   #5
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Buy new idler and tensioner pulleys. Upgrade the Water pump pulley and power steering pulley to aluminum. A new belt will stress these parts. Buy a new Wahler thermostat.
Check what tools you'll need, esp to remove the fan if you have an automatic.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:03 PM   #6
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ECS Tuning and a couple of the other online places sell complete cooling system rebuild kits. You are definitely due I did mine last summer and it went just fine. Here's a link to the ECS Tuning Level 2 kit: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-325...ling/ES205298/.

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Old 04-20-2011, 10:00 PM   #7
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ECS Tuning and a couple of the other online places sell complete cooling system rebuild kits. You are definitely due I did mine last summer and it went just fine. Here's a link to the ECS Tuning Level 2 kit: http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E36-325...ling/ES205298/.

Neil
Great that's what i needed. I have an auto transmission is there anything else i need i was thinking of getting some pulleys which ones should i get? new water pump pulley and the two tensionners of course?

I'm used to working on machines, but I'm new to working on cars. What is the thing in picture 6? the thermostat? is that the part that usually breaks at the bottom of the expansion tank when it is removed?

and whats the orange gasket for?

Sorry for all the questions guys. new to repairing . (but i'm earning quickly thanks to this forum"
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Old 04-20-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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never mind, i have an e46 so i looked up what i needed. But i'm still confused on the thermostat and what pulleys. Here is the link http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...ling/ES263518/ all the diy's i've looked at don't show any aluminum thermostat. Just wondering how i swap this out. Ive never ordered from ecs, do they supply a basic instruction or diagram, or like every other company (open the box and it gives you a paper titled instructions and the first step is figure it out yourself)
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:19 AM   #9
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Stay away from aluminum thermostats. These are non-OE mostly Chinese and the heating element tends to burn out in 3 days. The car goes into will not turn over when starting after this happens.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:37 AM   #10
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All the parts I've bought from ECS Tuning didn't have instructions. Any instructions I've seen on part boxes were usually general and not specific anyway. Follow the DIY here and you won't have a problem.

Be careful when you remove the expansion tank. I had all the parts ready to install and when I removed the tank, the top of the ATF thermostat was broken off. So I had to wait over the weekend for the part to be shipped to me. It's not a part you absolutely have to buy, but just be aware of it when you pull the tank out.

Remember you need to remove the clutch fan with an automatic. In the least, you'll need a 32mm open end wrench. I remove it with the wrench and a long screwdriver to hold the water pump bolts steady. You may want to buy the fan removing tools to make easier.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:45 AM   #11
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Stay away from aluminum thermostats. These are non-OE mostly Chinese and the heating element tends to burn out in 3 days. The car goes into will not turn over when starting after this happens.
Full of sh!t. Mine is still working perfectly 3 months and counting.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:06 AM   #12
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Full of sh!t. Mine is still working perfectly 3 months and counting.
You could probably run gatorade in your cooling system for three months. I'm not sure that would yield the best results. +1 on the OEM Wahler t-stat.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:00 PM   #13
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Full of sh!t. Mine is still working perfectly 3 months and counting.
Did you unlock your OBC and monitor test #7 for your engine cooling temperature lately?
BTW, Chinese made unreliable electronics.
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:11 PM   #14
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OP,

You know now that cooling overhaul kits are around $300, depending on what you get in them.

You could do radiator now, or maybe get a few more years out of it...mine went at 195K miles, and my OE ET failed after 9 years...so no real need to upgrade; no need for all aluminum, and the issue with therm isn't the plastic housing, it's the electronics inside.

Just don't overfill the system. I'd stay OE as I believe that BMW made a really nice car, spent millions over the years learning how to do it. Is it finely engineered? No doubt. But, can you more finely engineer it by piecing together pieces from many different AM suppliers each of which says they're better than OE? Probably not.

Seems like 9 times out of 10 here that when someone tries to best OE, they end up worse....not just in cooling system work either...all over our car. Just be careful in your choices about parts and whose advice you take. Trust me!
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:35 AM   #15
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The thermostat from ecs is the wahler one your talking about. If you look at the pictures closely you can see it says wahler, made in Germany on the bottom of the thermostat. Well if that is prone to breaking then I will probably break it. How much is the transmission thermostat roughly? Can I get it from ecs too?(I already searched and didn't find it, but I could be wrong.)
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #16
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The thermostat from ecs is the wahler one your talking about. If you look at the pictures closely you can see it says wahler, made in Germany on the bottom of the thermostat. Well if that is prone to breaking then I will probably break it. How much is the transmission thermostat roughly? Can I get it from ecs too?(I already searched and didn't find it, but I could be wrong.)
I got mine from ECS:
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...on_Thermostat/
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:22 PM   #17
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You can find everything you will need below...

BMW has been designing notoriously failure-prone cooling systems since the late 1980s. The coolant capacity in most BMW engines is not sufficient to accommodate any driving or overheating near red zone temperatures. After the gauge reaches this critical area, it is common for thousands of dollars in damage to occur.

Stop the problems before they arise. If you vehicle has 60,000 miles or more, replace all of these components to ensure that your vehicle stays healthy. To keep everything in top order, continue to replace these components at 60,000 mile intervals. Water pump failure, cracked plastic housings, and expansion tank leaks will not be a concern once all these problem parts are replaced.

Eliminate one of the weak links in your cooling system with the included aluminum thermostat housing. By installing this aluminum unit, you have no further worries of plastic housing failure.

Click HERE for more information.


Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

Best,
Joe
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #18
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So I've looked at everything and a bunch of diys. I'm gonna go the ecs route and buy the kit. While I'm at it I'm going change my oil filter housing gasket at the same time. But I was wondering if I should buy the tool to hold the pulley so I can remove the fan clutch? I've seen a lot of people who have removed it without the tool, but how do I tighten the fan back on without the tool after everything is done?
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Old 04-22-2011, 08:07 PM   #19
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So I've looked at everything and a bunch of diys. I'm gonna go the ecs route and buy the kit. While I'm at it I'm going change my oil filter housing gasket at the same time. But I was wondering if I should buy the tool to hold the pulley so I can remove the fan clutch? I've seen a lot of people who have removed it without the tool, but how do I tighten the fan back on without the tool after everything is done?
The clutch fan can be a pain to remove, you're better off buy the tool unless you're a handy and creative. Don't forget that the fan nut is reversed,"righty loosy" And if you can remove then you can put it back, you don't need to tight it too much it will by itself.

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:16 AM   #20
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I'm sure that there are bad parts and good parts. I've bought a few Chinese crap parts and regret it, in the end it just costs me more. I haven't heard of any problems with the ecs kit. All the parts are name brands that have been claimed to be reliable in different posts throughout this forum. I don't doubt your logic dmax, but any modifications that have been made to these parts seem to be logical and truth is I'd like to use BMW parts, but I just can afford them all the time.

I do think that aftermarket suppliers can provide a better product that oem because at the end of the day oem may cut costs in areas that they can get away with... I'm not saying that BMW does this, but I'm saying that you shouldn't be so close minded towards aftermarket products.
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