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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 04-02-2010, 01:40 PM   #81
LeontiyZHP
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Good write up!!
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Old 04-14-2010, 02:38 PM   #82
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Expansion Tank

Very nice write up, however I had a quick question. I recently tried to replace the expansion tank on my E46 automatic. After the new tank was installed I followed your instructions for refilling it with coolant. I set the ignition to ON (engine off) position, and ran the heater on the highest speed and temp setting and poured coolant into the expansion tank until fluid emerged from the bleed plug. After replacing the plug I turned on the engine and about 5 minutes later the expansion tank blew and coolant poured out of one of the seams. What did I do wrong and how do I prevent that from happening when I replace the expansion tank again?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2010, 03:05 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomahawk448 View Post
Very nice write up, however I had a quick question. I recently tried to replace the expansion tank on my E46 automatic. After the new tank was installed I followed your instructions for refilling it with coolant. I set the ignition to ON (engine off) position, and ran the heater on the highest speed and temp setting and poured coolant into the expansion tank until fluid emerged from the bleed plug. After replacing the plug I turned on the engine and about 5 minutes later the expansion tank blew and coolant poured out of one of the seams. What did I do wrong and how do I prevent that from happening when I replace the expansion tank again?

Thanks!
Did you put the Cap back on the tank? You should let the cap open for a few minutes after you start the car in case of pressure build up in the tank from air trap inside the system.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:09 PM   #84
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I'm currently in the process of changing my entire system and am having a problem with the expansion tank. Has anyone ever had a problem connecting the expansion tank to the mount on the radiator. I have an OEM expansion tank mount, but a Meyle Expansion tank. I've tried pretty much everything and can't get them to mate. If I use any more force I feel like the mount is going to snap. The only thing I can think of is that the Expansion tank isn't as high quality and I should get an OEM tank.

I guess my question before buying another tank is: How much force is required putting the tank onto the mount?

Thanks,
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:01 PM   #85
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The tank should slide to the mount, are you sure it's properly aligned? Did you lube the tank's neck with some undiluted coolant?
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:41 AM   #86
Brooklyn 3
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I did, but the fitment is not even close. I'm guessing that it's just a bum expansion tank. I suppose I'll just buy a new OEM one. I was just hoping that someone might have had this problem before. Thanks.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:52 PM   #87
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I'm thinking of doing a cooling system overhaul this spring for a little peace of mind at 100K km (60K miles) and also because there is some white residue on around the upper rad hose. I'm not seeing any overheating problems and the fluid levels seem fine but I'd rather not get stuck at the side of the road.

My question is what parts should I replace? Here is my current parts list.

Thermostat/Water Pump
1) 11-51-7-527-910 Water Pump (Stewart)
2) 11-51-1-711-484-M17 Water Pump O-Ring
4) 11-53-7-509-227-M322 Thermostat
5) 11-53-7-509-357 Thermostat Gasket
11-51-7-831-099-M17 Water Pump Gasket (not shown)



Hoses
1) 17-12-7-510-952-M21 Upper Radiator Hose
3) 11-53-1-436-408-M21 Lower Radiator Hose
5) 11-53-1-436-410-M21 Water Hose
6) 11-53-7-502-525-M9 Water Pipe
7) 11-53-1-435-808-M104 O-Rings (x4)
8) 11-53-1-705-210-M9 Heater Inlet Pipe



Expansion Tank
2) 17-11-1-707-818-M9 Drain Plug
3) 17-11-7-573-781-M58 Expansion Tank
5) 17-13-7-553-919-M9 Coolant Level Sender
6) 17-11-1-742-231-M148 Radiator Cap



Other
82-14-1-467-704-M9 Coolant

I've already replaced the belts and pulleys.

Is this overkill or worthwhile preventative maintenance? Am I missing anything?

I've only had the car for a few months and I plan on keeping it for ~100K km or more if it will last that long.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:00 AM   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn 3 View Post
I did, but the fitment is not even close. I'm guessing that it's just a bum expansion tank. I suppose I'll just buy a new OEM one. I was just hoping that someone might have had this problem before. Thanks.
Some aftermarket Expansion Tanks have fitment issues, mostly from the small nibble next to the upper radiator hose intake on the E.T (which is a problem I experienced). I was trying to put some much pressure onto the upper rad. hose just trying to get it to reconnect, I thought I was going to snap something off.

Anyways, the bottom socket of the E.T. may be slightly off alignment too - anything is possible - causing it to be difficult to mount.

I ended up biting the bullet and paying $127 for an O.E tank from a local stealership and everything just connected without any effort.

So, just get an O.E. one, makes life easier... that's my 2 cents.

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 05-10-2010 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:58 PM   #89
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I just did this last week and from hearing of problems about expansion tanks, I bought the genuine BMW tank from Pelican Parts ($90.00 I think). It popped right in. All the other parts I bought were less expensive OEM but had the same names (Wahler, Ina, Reutter, etc) stamped on them as the parts coming off the car! Saved lots of money and got the same, quality parts for the cooling system.

Great write-up by the way, thanks!
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:20 AM   #90
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Hey guys i think my thermostat has gone bad, engine struggles to even get to opertaing temperature, usually hangs out below the first white line. It was manufactured 12/2000 and has done almost 150k miles (coupe if that's important). I'm going to take this oppotunity to do some preventative maintenance and do a cooling system overhaul, but i have some questions.

1) I have been on realOEM and looked at the diagrams for the parts i'm going to be swapping (thermostat, WP, expansion tank, hoses, belts). I can't make 100% heads or tails of which pullies/tensioners/deflectors i would need. Do i need to swap these and if so which ones? If i put a new pulley on the WP and a new belt do i need new tensioners/deflectors (whats the difference)? Then does the alternator need a new pulley?

2) Is running the car cooler than it usually is bad for it (oil not being as warm etc)? Do i need to get these parts ASAP or is it ok until i have a free weekend?

3) If the thermostat was stuck open, should i get any error codes or lights? Or is there a chance it is the temp sensor?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help!

Scott.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:22 AM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott87 View Post
Hey guys i think my thermostat has gone bad, engine struggles to even get to opertaing temperature, usually hangs out below the first white line. It was manufactured 12/2000 and has done almost 150k miles (coupe if that's important). I'm going to take this oppotunity to do some preventative maintenance and do a cooling system overhaul, but i have some questions.

1) I have been on realOEM and looked at the diagrams for the parts i'm going to be swapping (thermostat, WP, expansion tank, hoses, belts). I can't make 100% heads or tails of which pullies/tensioners/deflectors i would need. Do i need to swap these and if so which ones? If i put a new pulley on the WP and a new belt do i need new tensioners/deflectors (whats the difference)? Then does the alternator need a new pulley?

2) Is running the car cooler than it usually is bad for it (oil not being as warm etc)? Do i need to get these parts ASAP or is it ok until i have a free weekend?

3) If the thermostat was stuck open, should i get any error codes or lights? Or is there a chance it is the temp sensor?

Sorry for the long post and thanks for any help!

Scott.
If your thermostat was stuck open you would get a check engine light and a error code of 19 - A8. I just replaced mine last weekend for the same issue.

I would check your temp guage instead.
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Old 05-14-2010, 09:32 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlegti View Post
I'm thinking of doing a cooling system overhaul this spring for a little peace of mind at 100K km (60K miles) and also because there is some white residue on around the upper rad hose. I'm not seeing any overheating problems and the fluid levels seem fine but I'd rather not get stuck at the side of the road.

My question is what parts should I replace? Here is my current parts list.

Thermostat/Water Pump
1) 11-51-7-527-910 Water Pump (Stewart)
2) 11-51-1-711-484-M17 Water Pump O-Ring
4) 11-53-7-509-227-M322 Thermostat
5) 11-53-7-509-357 Thermostat Gasket
11-51-7-831-099-M17 Water Pump Gasket (not shown)


Hoses
1) 17-12-7-510-952-M21 Upper Radiator Hose
3) 11-53-1-436-408-M21 Lower Radiator Hose
5) 11-53-1-436-410-M21 Water Hose
6) 11-53-7-502-525-M9 Water Pipe
7) 11-53-1-435-808-M104 O-Rings (x4)
8) 11-53-1-705-210-M9 Heater Inlet Pipe



Expansion Tank
2) 17-11-1-707-818-M9 Drain Plug
3) 17-11-7-573-781-M58 Expansion Tank
5) 17-13-7-553-919-M9 Coolant Level Sender
6) 17-11-1-742-231-M148 Radiator Cap



Other
82-14-1-467-704-M9 Coolant

I've already replaced the belts and pulleys.

Is this overkill or worthwhile preventative maintenance? Am I missing anything?

I've only had the car for a few months and I plan on keeping it for ~100K km or more if it will last that long.
I don't think this is overkill, just very thorough. Usually, a basic visual inspection of hoses can verify if they need replacing. Sounds like you are being very smart though in taking the initiative versus waiting for an issue to happen!

Are your hoses cracked, or look old/worn? If the answer is yes, I'd replace. If no, I wouldn't personally.

When I did my coolant system I just did the coolant + water pump + T-stat. My car threw P0128 and my temp gauge would swing backwards whenever I drove, but would stabilize in the middle when I arrived at a stop. I got my coolant and pump (with metal impeller) from BavAuto and my T-Stat from AutoZone (Haters gonna hate lol). Below is a comparo shot (AZ T-Stat in the background).
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Old 05-16-2010, 07:59 AM   #93
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I just did a cooling system overhaul on my '03 330CiC (5 spd) yesterday, which went off without a hitch thanks to great write ups like this and having a Bentley on hand. One thing I would highly recommend while you're in there is to spend another 10 minutes and pull the radiator. It's amazing how much crap and crud collects between the condenser and the radiator. While you've got the radiator out, you can back fllush it with a garden hose, and use compressed air or the hose to blow years and miles worth of leaves, bug bits and debris from the fins. You can do the same thing to the condenser, although compressed air is the way to go unless you want to soak your garage...

Unfortunately I didn't have a camera handy, but R and R is covered pretty well in the Bentley manual, or I bet there's a DIY on here too. Basically it's two plastic 'bolts' that hold it in from the top, although the manual does miss one torx bolt near the upper hose neck that helps secure it. Take those three out, tilt back from the top and lift. That's it.

Well worth the effort.
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Old 05-16-2010, 09:30 AM   #94
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@Scott

Here's a quick reference of what you are looking at, regarding idler (Deflector) and Tensioner pulleys:

At 150K miles you should definitely have them replaced. They should have been replaced back at ~70K, if they are originals.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:50 PM   #95
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Excellent write up. I just did mine today and everything went really well and took me 4 1/2 hours to do water pump, thermostat, upper and lower radiator hoses and expansion tank. The only issue I had was when I intalled the Uro expansion tank, it did not feel like it was in all the way - but when I put the new coolant in I did not have any leaks. The Stewart pump looks way better engineered than the stock water pump. BTW this was a 2000 323ci with 120k on it. Temperature gauge looked slightly lower than usual when I took it out on the freeway tonight.
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:17 PM   #96
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I was wondering if there are any fanatics that have done a cooling system overhaul up here in Canada? Where do you get your parts? I've looked at autopartsonlinecanada.com but the prices are outrageous. I've ordered from Pelican a number of times, but I always pick it up in the US and declare it at the border. That's fine for $100-$200 but might be an issue declaring $600-$800.

Anyone tried shipping to Canada from Pelican? How bad is the duty?
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:56 PM   #97
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Originally Posted by littlegti View Post
I was wondering if there are any fanatics that have done a cooling system overhaul up here in Canada? Where do you get your parts? I've looked at autopartsonlinecanada.com but the prices are outrageous. I've ordered from Pelican a number of times, but I always pick it up in the US and declare it at the border. That's fine for $100-$200 but might be an issue declaring $600-$800.

Anyone tried shipping to Canada from Pelican? How bad is the duty?
Use Pelican and ask them to mail it to Canada. The duty is 5% GST and $8 brokerage for Canada Post to clear customs. I prefer Pelican because they always identify the supplier and most are OEM suppliers to the E46.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:59 PM   #98
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Paraklas, thanks for including this pic,



it really helped me to pull out my old expansion tank
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Old 09-07-2010, 11:51 AM   #99
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my expansion tank has been cracked for a looong time possibly almost a year but i realized it only recently because my thermostat never showed abnormalities and my coolant indicator would be on/off an i was told it was probably the sensor acting weird. anyway, i was about to replace just the expansion tank but should i replace all these components as well? my car has 117k
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:34 AM   #100
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Well done Paris for the excellent DIY!!!

I realized that my temperature gauge was going backwards when cruising at 80-100km for a while and when the wheather was a bit cold this days (at night) in Greece..

So it's my thermostat stuck open as i understand for the replies that i ve read..

Do i have to change my water pump also..??

My hoses are ok and i just changed my coolant fluid.. Expansion tank is ok, belts are new, new deflection pulley and i might get a new belt tensioner cause i think it makes some noise..
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