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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 01-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #1
da Vinci
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My Ride: 2003 BMW 330i ZHP
Oil pan, VAC Baffles, VAC oil pump upgrade

I have read several threads on taking out the oil pan, but I think I found some shortcuts worth sharing.

My car is a 2003 330i ZHP

Support the engine from above.

Remove the obvious stuff; front wheels, plastic splash guard, aluminum reinforcement plate, and swaybar.

Remove the front control arm brackets / FCABS / lollipops.

Remove the lower nuts for both engine mounts. If the engine is supported/lifted enough, it should move up a bit when you take off nuts.

Take out the bolt that holds the steering column to the coupler joint (flex joint / rag joint). BTW if your coupler joint is loose you can squeeze the rivets a little with a hydraulic press and make it work like new again. If the rubber is wasted you need a new one.

I used two nylon straps wrapped around the engine mount brackets and sub frame to keep it from from dropping too much. You just need it low enough to get the pan off. Leave the steering rack attached to the subframe, this way you should not need an alignment when you are done and you do not need to remove the tie rods.

Break all four front subframe bolts loose and start to back them all out a little to make sure the engine is supported well enough. If everything looks good, take all four out.

Remove the bolt for the dipstick bracket. I see reason to remove the oil wiper hose from the bracket.

Remove the steel angle bracket for the power steering pump, and loosen the other two ps pump bolts but leave the pump and belt in place.

Remove all the bolts that hold the oil pan to the block and the oil pan to the transmission. Remember there are two oil pan bolts that you access through windows in the bottom of the transmission. These two are longer than the others.

Pull the pan off. You may need to remove the upper / long bolt that holds the power steering pump in place. I did not need to remove the bottom bolt.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #2
da Vinci
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Installing the baffles was pretty straight forward. I spent a half hour with a belt sander and rat tail file to do a little tweaking to make it fit a little tighter.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:09 PM   #3
da Vinci
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The VAC oil pump shaft also went in without a hitch. The shaft is longer than stock, but the extra length sticks out on the opposite side as the sprocket and made it easy to rotate the shaft to line it up with the sprocket. I drilled and safety wired the bolt because some people have reported the bolt loosening.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
da Vinci
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Putting everything back together is pretty simple. When you install the oil pan it is a good idea to tighten the bolts in stages because you have vertical and horizontal bolts. Start by installing all the vertical bolts finger tight. Next install the three horizontal bolts through the transmission and tighten them to pull the oil pan toward the rear. Snug the vertical bolts a little more, especially the bolts at the front of the engine, furthest from the transmission. Loosen the horizontal bolts and torque all the vertical bolts to 10nm and finally torque the horizontal bolts.

The trickiest part was aligning the steering column to the coupler joint and the left side engine mount while bolting the subframe in place. This is a good time to have a friend with you.

You may want to install the FCAB brackets while the subframe bolts are loose and the subframe is still 2 to 4mm from the frame. Otherwise you have to pry them into place.

That's it. May your oil pressure always be where it should be.
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Old 01-22-2012, 06:21 AM   #6
gsbmw
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Thanks for your tips and contribution to the oil pan DIYs. Many will appreciate this.

There are of course DIYs on removing oil pans, some of which purport to have found an easy way with minimal removal of the subframe and other heavy parts under the car. I looked under my car, and although I would like to do it an easy way, it would seem very difficult (due to lack of space) to do it any other way than the hard way (ie, subframe removal etc as you have done da Vinci, but your shortcuts should help). Here are some threads for the curious who haven't found them:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=6128311
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=548118
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=6392833
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=5971059
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=532166
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=5975257

Just wish I had access to a lift like yours. I'll just have to figure how to get some decent clearance under the car. I'll undoubtedly need some better jack equipment.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
blurin03
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Anyone know the torque spec for the oil pump bolt?
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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Nevermind.... found it on bimmerfest.
Think it was 25Nm.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:10 AM   #9
330Hero
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I just received my VAC oil pan baffle. Can anyone tell me why there are 2x hinged flaps on the underside of it? I cant work out why they would be there!?
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