DIY: A/C expansion valve replacement - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 01-02-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,489
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
DIY: A/C expansion valve replacement

Just've done it. Easy enough, everything is doable from the engine compartment, no need to remove dash or do anything from cabin at all. First, discharge the system at nearest shop, don't discharge it into air, please.
Remove cabin filter carrier and so called 'heater bulkhead' (the piece of trim in between the engine and the firewall). So, you'll see this:

Remove the bolt that holds low pressure port.
Detach two bolts which attach two pipes to round double pipe port:

Now you need to close the flap that hides the valve. In TIS they recommend to pull the lock up and feed the flap out. I tried but the lock didn't want to be pulled up and I didn't want to break anything. So, I just turned ignition key on and on A/C unit in cabin I selected 'recirculation' mode: this caused flap to close.

Detach the double pipe assembly:

You may remove the center stud from the valve by using E6 external torx socket for convenience.
Now need to remove the two bolts which are holding the valve in place. For some reasons people drill them out (I read it in several DIYs). No need to drill out at all, just use 3mm hex bit socket and unscrew them:

Basically, this is all about removal. Installation is the reverse of removal. Don't forget to replace all the O-rings by the new ones.

It is a good idea to replace the dryer as well (at least I will, along with a condenser).

After assembling everything, go to the shop to evacuate and re-charge system. I'll do it myself with a vacuum pump and gauges later, but this is out of scope of this DIY.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 06:30 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: 15 acres on the river
Posts: 1,679
My Ride: 325Xi
Excellent DIY... You may also want to replace the schrader valves before you fill too... (High and Low pressure sides) That's where you get A LOT of leaks eventually! Cheap insurance and it doesn't get any easier for a DIY... Since you have the system evacuated anyway! They are about .25 cents each... At the most!
Foxtrot_Uniform is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,489
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
A good idea, agreed! Will do.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 09-29-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Sydney
Posts: 2,190
My Ride: slow and steady
Nice write up.... I may need to do this before summer starts here.

Did you do a DIY for the condenser and dryer?

I can help with
* Reading Codes / Coding your car
* R&R FCAs, Tie Rods, Sway links....

Need an RTAB tool? Or clutch fan and water pump tools? PM me.
Ballistic325 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,489
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
Condenser and dryer are easy to replace. For condenser you must remove the radiator first and then it will become obvious how to replace it. For dryer - remove the front right wheel and the fender liner to access to the dryer's bracket and unbolt it. But before this detach two hoses from the top of the dryer. As simple as this.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:59 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.