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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 11-29-2011, 10:01 AM   #141
Stinger9
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Good Deal Lair

But you did not mention getting a new temperature sensor that plugs into the lower rad hose. This leaks if you try to transfer to the new hose without a new O-ring, and that part is only sold with a new sensor. Relatively cheap part for the insurance.

downtown where
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:31 AM   #142
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I also did this recently



But thought i would share that i hae an early build (11/98) 323 that is a manual but had a mechanical fan! One outside the rad and a mechanical one inside the bay that i wasnt prepared to see! Anyways i ran down and grabbed the neccesary tools

And off she came anyways nice write up.


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You sir, just thread jacked the sh!t out of OP.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:58 AM   #143
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probably a stupid question but its the same DIY for the m3's right?
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:05 AM   #144
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replaced my pulleys and belts this week but the noise did not go away....end up removing the tensioner by the alternator. found out that the mechanical tensioner has a broken piece in the back. ordered new one from Autohausaz and replaced it today....problem solved!! Great DIY!! thanks!!
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:14 AM   #145
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Did You?

Did you replace the mechanical tensioner with the hydraulic one?
BMW does not supply the mechanical one any longer.

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replaced my pulleys and belts this week but the noise did not go away....end up removing the tensioner by the alternator. found out that the mechanical tensioner has a broken piece in the back. ordered new one from Autohausaz and replaced it today....problem solved!! Great DIY!! thanks!!
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:26 AM   #146
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Autohausaz.com sells the mechanical tensioner for $53.95.....the hydraulic kit will cost you almost $100.....both were made by INA....OEM supplier for BMW.
The first pic shows where the piece broke off causing some noise and vibration on the engine.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:58 AM   #147
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Yeah, I know the aftermarket still sells

the factory part. My point was that BMW deems it so undesireable that they replaced the part with an improved hydraulic unit and stopped selling the spring version. But it will carry you another 50K miles or so.
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:13 PM   #148
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Spent 3.5 hours installing everything tonight. Had no real problems (except for the bottom plug & hose on the tank). I only installed the waterpump, the ex tank, the radiator, and upper/lower hoses.

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Better get an ATT to in case you break it off while taking the expansion tank off. A lot of guys seem to break it. I did not but my tank came off very easily. Its at the bottom of the tank. The write up talks about and has part number.
My manual trans car has a plug in the bottom where the big hose for the auto trans cars goes. I had no trouble removing it. I thought the tank was supposed to be blank on the bottom, so I had a moment of panic when I saw the giant hole in the bttom of the tank. The pics on RealOEM don't show the bottom of the tank, so they look like two different tanks.

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But you did not mention getting a new temperature sensor that plugs into the lower rad hose. This leaks if you try to transfer to the new hose without a new O-ring, and that part is only sold with a new sensor. Relatively cheap part for the insurance.

downtown where
I didn't get this in time, so i reused the sensor with its OG o-ring. I'll check it tomorrow on my extended test drive and replace it if it leaks.

I'm in lovely Birmingham, AL.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:11 PM   #149
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Home of Vulcan The Iron Man up on the hill

Client used to take me up to The Club. SO seriously, Food at The Club was incredibly embarrassing. Had to fake liking it! Food from a can would have been better. But beautiful setting, and I'll happily park my own car!
Beautiful city.

Just wanted to let you know so you'd watch the lower hose. And messy to change after you fill.

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I didn't get this in time, so i reused the sensor with its OG o-ring. I'll check it tomorrow on my extended test drive and replace it if it leaks.

I'm in lovely Birmingham, AL.

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Old 12-01-2011, 12:36 AM   #150
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Client used to take me up to The Club.
Beautiful city.

Just wanted to let you know so you'd watch the lower hose. And messy to change after you fill.


It's not a bad place to be, but when I moved here it was a cultural wasteland. It's grown up nicely.

The Club is now called The View. Same place, slightly different look. Might even be the same menu. I went there for the first time 25 years ago, and was voted 'best-looking date' at my g/f's company Christmas party. She was an accountant, and she had some seriously ugly co-workers. I think about that night every time I hear the name. The valet couldn't drive a manual, so I had to park my own car.

Thanks again for the heads-up. I hope it doesn't leak.
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #151
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Doing my expansion tank now and the upper radiator hose will not disconnect from the radiator. Sprayed with wd40 and it will wiggle but won't come off, the clips are up ofcourse and it won't slide back. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #152
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Do more than pull the clip up. Take it off to be sure.
Then you will be able to pull with conviction.
Not the first time I've heard of one sticking.
Wiggle, wiggle and pull hard.

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Doing my expansion tank now and the upper radiator hose will not disconnect from the radiator. Sprayed with wd40 and it will wiggle but won't come off, the clips are up ofcourse and it won't slide back. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:59 PM   #153
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Finally wiggled off, thanks for the help! You guys on here are all very helpful
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #154
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Just referred to this thread again when I replaced my alternator - to verify that my belt routing was correct.

Thanks, OP (and e46fan, too)!
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Old 03-22-2012, 11:46 PM   #155
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this was very helpful but I need a step by step only on radiator flush. Help please, just a woman trying to save myself from getting ripped off by dealer.
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Old 03-23-2012, 01:56 PM   #156
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this was very helpful but I need a step by step only on radiator flush. Help please, just a woman trying to save myself from getting ripped off by dealer.
There is no way to prevent getting ripped off by a dealer. They own the house.
Find an indy that will do the work who knows e46's.


Basically follow this thread and leave out all part replacements.
Basically open the radiator drain port and the engine block drain plug while at the same time removing the ET cap.
Let all old coolant drain out. If dirty, flush from top to bottom with clear water. If clean, just close openings and fill with proper mix thru the ET to proper level.
Learn to bleed your system properly, then do it.

Also look up DIY's on this board for flush, or all the individual tasks.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:39 PM   #157
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Hello- Help me confirm this please as I'm getting ready to flush the coolant. I thought 50/50 already contains water and actually has
a message on the container to "do not add water" yet this write up suggests that we take 50/50 and mix that with 50% water? am I reading this correct? I want to make sure I'm not adding too much water. And it's distilled water correct? Is this the most updated DIY for engine coolant flush?
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:27 PM   #158
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Are you using BMW coolant? I haven't seen that pre-mixed, which is why you see directions to dilute with water.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:07 PM   #159
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I got it..I misread it. Thanks .I'm trying to get a better idea of where the bolt and washer on the engine block is located. Guess I'll have to just get under there and look. Do you guys recommend running some type of radiator cleaner through it first and if so which one? From DYI below looks like he recommends running distilled water through it to flush any old coolant.

http://www.impee.co.uk/radiator_flush.htm
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:21 PM   #160
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When I did my cooling system refresh, I just drained all the coolant out that would come out, then refilled with fresh BMW coolant (mixed with distilled water). Some like to fill it up with water, then drain that ... seems like alot of work, to me.

The bolt is located on the passenger side of the engine towards the front, above the suspension. One of the DIYs has a picture of it.
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