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

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

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!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 08-07-2010, 05:03 PM   #1
TitaniumCranium
/// Limitless
 
TitaniumCranium's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Seattle / Sequim
Posts: 3,195
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330Ci
DIY - Rear Main Seal

This DIY assumes you already have the transmission out for some other reason; transmission swap, clutch replacement, torque converter replacement, etc. I posted this up because I couldn't find one but I saw a few people asking for one.

---

The rear main seal is super easy to do. The kit that BMW provides has everything you need; the seal, which is already installed in the frame it goes into, the bolts, the gasket, and a plastic guide cone so that you can easily and without damage install the seal. The ETK refers to the kit as "set of covers" and the part number is 11141438274. The part I referenced covers all E46's from M52's to M54's (Z3's and 5er's too).


^ The first thing you have to do is get the 8 x grade 10.9 bolts out so that you can remove the flywheel. Lock the flywheel in place as shown so that you don't need to buy the special BMW tool that is used for this purpose. I used a breaker bar and a 1/2" drive socket to pull these out as they are tight and difficult to break loose!


^ With the flywheel off you can now get to the rear main seal. The seal before I replaced it.


^ With the cap removed and surface clean. Note the two oil pan bolts that come in to the bottom of the RMS frame.


^ New cap (with seal) ready to go in with white plastic guide cone (included in kit).


^ New RMS installed. Note - I used a thin film of Permatex copper high temp silicone gasket sealant on the bottom of the cap to ensure that no oil leaks from the oil pan gasket as you're not replacing that piece at the same time.

Difficulty level 2 out of 10.

If you are in the process of replacing the clutch you already dropped the tranny and that is definately the hardest part. Now you just need to remove the 8 x grade 10.9 bolts that secure the flywheel to the output shaft of the motor. Then pull the flywheel off and the rear main seal is right there. Remove the 8 bolts that hold it on, six on the front (rear of the motor) and two from the bottom. I removed the six upper bolts first, then I backed off the bottom bolts just a few turns. I tapped them just a bit with a hammer and the cap popped off from the block. Don't use any force here - all you're doing is breaking the cap from the gasket a bit, you don't want to bend the hollow dowels that align everything.

Installation is too easy - the kit comes with the gasket. You line it up with the bolt holes on the block and it just fits over the hollow dowels. Smear a thin film of Permatex copper high-temp gasket sealant (or other appropriate sealant) on the bottom of the cap. Lightly lube the seal with oil. The kit also comes with a plastic guide cone that you place inside the seal - I put a film of oil on this too. Place the assembly up to the outbut shaft of the motor, push evenly and not very hard. It will slip right onto the output shaft and all you have left is to bolt it up.

The bolts all come with thread locking compound on them already. I think you have to reuse the long ones on the bottom so I used a little bit of blue threadlock gel on them. I bolted the bottom up just barely snug first. Then I put the four 10mm upper bolts in first and also just snugged them up. I put the remaining two 13mm bolts in and also just snugged them up - I don't know just a few inch pounds of torque. There are no clear instructions for this anywhere that I found so I went with logic. I tightend the bottom bolts to 6 ft/lbs to bring the cap down to the same level as the rest of the engine on the oil pan (fractions of a mm). I figured the 13mm bolts would pull the cap to the crush gasket with ease even with the bottom bolts installed because I can put 16-18 ft/lbs on them and the cap should sit where it is supposed to. After that I just tightened all the bolts to spec and you're done.

Cheers and GL
__________________

/// MODS
/// Auto => 6-Spd Manual Conversion | Apex EC-7 | Koni/Ground Control Coilovers | Vorshlag Camber Plates | Meyle HD LCA | PowerFlex bushings | GruppeM rep CAI | Shark Injector | 6000k HID's and Fogs | BMW European MTechII | BMW Performance Shifter | ACS Mirrors and Rear Spoiler ///

Last edited by TitaniumCranium; 08-07-2010 at 08:11 PM.
TitaniumCranium is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 08-07-2010, 05:10 PM   #2
Poorboyz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Orange Park, Florida
Posts: 893
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
great write up. I have 140k on original clutch and ill be placing the clutch soon and will be doing he rear main being it is easy to do.


Sent from my Droid using BimmerApp
Poorboyz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2010, 04:42 AM   #3
JmAbshire
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Potomac Falls, VA
Posts: 302
My Ride: 01 330i Jet Black
Great write up.... This is next on my list of seals and gaskets that need to be replaced!
JmAbshire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
phamine
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,226
My Ride: 01 Orient Blue 330i
Send a message via AIM to phamine Send a message via Yahoo to phamine
nice writeup
__________________
phamine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2010, 09:56 AM   #5
steel330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Silverdale, WA
Posts: 352
My Ride: E46 330i & '90 318i
Well done Mark... now I just need a damn 6 speed tranny hahaha

Sent from my Droid using BimmerApp
__________________


My "Painting Your Interior Trim" DIY- http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=798917

E30's FTW!!!
steel330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #6
mystert
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 370
My Ride: 2003 330Ci
Make sure you put silicone on the bottom of the seal housing, especially in the corners where the oilpan/seal housing/engineblock come together. If not, it will leak like crazy and you will have to change the oil pan gasket.

Just ask me how I know all this..............
__________________

MysterT Huntington Beach, CA
mystert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 01:57 AM   #7
SweTurbo
Big Pimpin'
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Europe
Posts: 2,899
My Ride: 323i -98
Just did this , super easy to do if you're doing any clutch work

Though i forgot to oil the gasket :/
SweTurbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #8
bigjae1976
Registered User
 
bigjae1976's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Earth
Posts: 11,473
My Ride: A car
Send a message via MSN to bigjae1976
sub'd
bigjae1976 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 09:40 AM   #9
genuity
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: *
Posts: 1,404
My Ride: '1 E46
Torque specs I used according to bolt type and grade according to TIS for oil sump:

Two long bolts going through oil pan to bottom of RMS is 10 Nm. The four short bolts around the top of RMS is 10 Nm. The two 13mm bolts on the sides of RMS are 22 Nm.

The white cap guide cone is used as the seal installer and is used to widen up the inner seal (part that makes constant contact with crank) of the RMS. Use plenty of oil on the seal lip, crank, and also the plenty of it on the white cap. Do not under any circumstance let the inner seal of the RMS bend and watch and ensure that it clears the crank. It is quite an expensive mistake to make. As me how I know. Do not risk a bent seal even slightly. It's not worth it to have a leaking RMS.

If the RMS is stored without the white support cap for more than 6 months, the seal should not be trusted.
genuity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2012, 12:38 PM   #10
Nervous
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,483
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
TIS how-to: http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/00/32/53

Last edited by Nervous; 03-01-2012 at 06:37 PM.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
041x
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 8
My Ride: 325i 2001
What did you use for torque for the flex plate to crank. I've looked for hours and have not found a definite number. My bentley manual says nothing.

Thanks
041x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 11:22 PM   #12
Nervous
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,483
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
What is the 'flex plate'?
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2012, 11:27 PM   #13
041x
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 8
My Ride: 325i 2001
Its the flywheel for an automatic trans which on American car its called the flex plate.
041x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #14
Nervous
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,483
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
Seems to me it is 121 Nm: http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/00/32/56
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 09:35 PM   #15
041x
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 8
My Ride: 325i 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nervous View Post

Thanks for the link, I seen that also but do you think that applies to the M54 also?
041x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2012, 10:27 PM   #16
Nervous
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,483
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
I think so, yes. M57 is kinda 'diesel version of M54'. At least, flywheel and tranny is the same, so torques should be the same either.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2012, 09:18 AM   #17
Sweetness
E46 is strong with this one
 
Sweetness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,238
My Ride: '01 325i
I'm leaking minorly (no spots in driveway) but its from this
Sweetness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 10:26 AM   #18
Imola.ZHP
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mud Island, TN
Posts: 1,236
My Ride: Imola ZHP
Thanks for the DIY, I will be doing my clutch soon and might as well do this while I am there. I have a "ghost" oil leak somewhere an I am hoping this is the culprit...
__________________

-- '03 330i ZHP
-- Marcus
Imola.ZHP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 11:29 AM   #19
Nervous
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,483
My Ride: 01 330CI 6MT ZSP EU3
You can easily see if your RMS is leaking by just getting under the car and looking into the two openings in the tranny bell from underneath. If there are oil drops there then you found it.
Nervous is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2012, 12:07 PM   #20
Imola.ZHP
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mud Island, TN
Posts: 1,236
My Ride: Imola ZHP
^ thanks! Either way, I just added it to my order (and placed the order) for the clutch parts. This might be a dumb question, but do I need to drain the engine oil first? I will be due for an oil change before I get to installing the clutch, but might go ahead and put it off a couple of weeks (the oil change) if I will end up needing to drain it to replace this seal...
__________________

-- '03 330i ZHP
-- Marcus
Imola.ZHP is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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 12:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use