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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!

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Old 01-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 153
My Ride: '04 330CI, M package
DIY: Starter Replacement...Finally!!!

So ever since I have been having issues starting my car on the first try I have been in search of a DIY to replace the Starter in my 04 330CI. After only finding threads talking about dropping the Transmission or removing the Intake Manifold I was almost ready to take it into the shop. I finally came across some very vague instruction on the process to get to the Starter, I decided to tackle this one. Knowing how helpless I felt without a good DIY I decided to make one for us. Now keep in mind I'm not a Mechanic or E46 expert, but I do love working on my car. If your car has a Manual Transmission or is an XI things might look a little different under the car. This is how I changed my Starter on my 330CI with an Automatic Transmission so use this as a guide but not repair manual.

I just want to take a second to give a shout out to you guys on E46Fanatics and Bimmerfest that got my pointing in the right direction. I hope Paraklas doesn't mind I stole a couple of his pictures as I forgot to take them. Thanks they helped a ton too.

Now lets get started:

Step 1:
Park the car on solid level ground with the E brake full applied. Having some blocks of wood behind the rear wheels to stop the car from rolling when you jack it up. Go ahead and disconnect the battery, don't worry E46 radio do not need any code to reactivate them. I disconnected the negative cable and just tucked it under the carpet.

Step 2:
Remove the Cabin Air Filter Cover buy turning the three plastic clips 90o CCW. They just pop out with a spring, don't worry they wont fall off the cover. Its a good idea to lay things out as you pull them off so you can keep track of what you took off.

Step 3:
Pull out the Cabin Air Filter, it just sits inside there so pull it forward and up.

Step 4:
Remove the Cabin Air Filter Housing. Using a T30 Torx bit remove the 4 gold screws. These screws will stay in the holes so only undo them enough for the Housing to pull out.

Step 5:
Pull the weather stripping from the drivers side corner of the engine bay. This goes around the Brake Reservoir. You can also slide off the two hoses that pass through with the rubber grommets. Just watch the little plastic tabs between here that hold the weather stripping as the break off easy.

Step 6:
Turn this plastic clip 90o CCW, this will free the plastic guard that goes around the Brake Reservoir. The guard has three tabs on the bottom that hold it in places so just pull up. you have to fight with it to get it right out, but it will come. I flexed the bigger hose a lot to get this out to the point where it leaked out air. So don't worry if you hear air, just don't break the hose.

Step 7:
Remove the cover to the Blower Motor (the one that blows AC and heat into the car) This will give you more room to work behind the engine. Two T30 Torx screws.

Step 8:
Standing on the driver side of the car and looking down in the area where you just removed all these parts you will see the Four Heater Core Hoses. I took a long tywrap and tied them out of the way. This should give you enough room to see the two mounting bolts for the starter. You wont be able to see the starter very well from here. The yellow line shows where the Return Fuel line was tywraped to the black holder. This holder is mounted using one of the E12 Torx bolts for the Starter. The green lines show the two E12 Torx bolts for the Starter. The blue line points to the front of the car.

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