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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-11-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
99_323i_Steve
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Engine Bay Noise...Shocking

Well, just a heads up on recent work done. Completed the full coolant flush and new thermostat,water pump, radiator, and ET around 85,000(I'm now at 101k).

Replaced vehicle with all new pulleys, belts, tensioners, and alternator also withinin the last 5k.

Sounds like it would be bad water pump bearings but...water pump is less than 16k miles used...so than i am assuming is it the water pump plastic pulley causing this noise? sounds almost like metal spinning oddly when sitting inside the car. Outside of the car its not as noticable because of the engine and belt noise.

When driving or accelerating it is noticable that its rotating faster, car has no over-heating issue as i followed mangos thread to the T on the coolant rebuild. any insight or people that have experienced something similar, feel free to chime in.
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99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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Possible alternator whine?
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:55 PM   #3
99_323i_Steve
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alternator whine is more of a high pitch noise I have more of a metal noise...

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
99_323i_Steve
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it sounds similar to the videos that have pulley issues but it's not the pulleys they are all brand new and so are the tensioners

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:03 PM   #5
328iguy24
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I had a similar situation.. i replaced all the pulleys water pump and belts to find out that it was the actual tensioner its self. But you had stated you replaced it already.

heres a video of what mine sounded like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=_EjWeGO4n6g
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
99_323i_Steve
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see that noise sounds almost exactly what it sounds like. Its odd tho because I've already replaced my mechanical AC tensioner but I don't have a tensioner for my serpentine belt...

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99_323i_Steve View Post
see that noise sounds almost exactly what it sounds like. Its odd tho because I've already replaced my mechanical AC tensioner but I don't have a tensioner for my serpentine belt...

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Are you sure? I have a 330 so I know our engines are different but if you don't have a tensioner how is proper tension maintained? This just sounds wrong but I don't know...
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #8
99_323i_Steve
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I know what the tensioners look like the 1 I was looking for a do it yourself on how to remove the serpentine pulley I couldn't find a single picture that matched what my engine looked like because I didn't have any type of tensioner in place there I just had a bolt. I'll take a picture and upload it soon but it's kind of odd.

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
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Good luck trying to guess his problem without hearing it first
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:56 PM   #10
99_323i_Steve
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it sounds like every other pulley or belt issue that these cars have under the engine hood hence my post title.

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:03 PM   #11
328iguy24
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If you seen my video and you said it sounds almost exactly like mine.. I would suggest replacing these parts, obviously figure out which tensioner you have.

Last edited by 328iguy24; 11-11-2012 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #12
99_323i_Steve
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Thank u those pictures are great. Could u audibly recognize the noise from inside? Looks like the bolt I was referring to is indeed the mounting bolt to a hydraulic tensioner. Common to have one of each type of tensioner in these early e46s? Because that is something I have NOT replaced. Any special instructions for installing. Any pre tensioning since its hydraulic?

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
99_323i_Steve
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also can i place a mechanical tensioner in place of the hydraulic or can they not be reversable for positions? my a/c pulley is mechanical and my serpentine pulley is hydraulic
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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:03 PM   #14
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Ah! Turns out you were missing a tensioner. I knew I wasn't crazy.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:37 PM   #15
99_323i_Steve
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i see the hydraulic tensioner is more efficient and thats why BMW switched to them but is it possible to use a mechanical? seems so much user friendly than a hydraulic would be.
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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:13 PM   #16
99_323i_Steve
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UPDATE: replaced the hydraulic tensioner today, pretty straight-forward job, the car does run and idle much smoother, the sound im listening for is still slightly there but definetely not AS loud as previously. thanks for those pics, they helped me identify that indeed while doing pulleys, belts, and tensioners that i missed one.
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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:40 PM   #17
328iguy24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99_323i_Steve View Post
UPDATE: replaced the hydraulic tensioner today, pretty straight-forward job, the car does run and idle much smoother, the sound im listening for is still slightly there but definetely not AS loud as previously. thanks for those pics, they helped me identify that indeed while doing pulleys, belts, and tensioners that i missed one.
No problem. I replaced all mine and i still have a slight noise but thats because my acutal tenionser is going bad. I repaced everything else and now have to tear it back apart and replace that. lol
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #18
99_323i_Steve
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Haha it never ends!

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I've learned some people think their a mechanic when they can do their own oil change. Don't always believe what you read.

99 323i. Factory:Harmon Kardon Hi-Fi, Winter Package w/ heated sport seats, and Sport package with Sport steering wheel and Sport suspension.

Aftermarket: 16" rims, LED Angel Eyes, LED license plate lights, LED tails, LED depos, Black kidney grill, and DICE Aux jack input, 20% tint.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:34 PM   #19
StrawburryYumYum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 328iguy24 View Post






If you seen my video and you said it sounds almost exactly like mine.. I would suggest replacing these parts, obviously figure out which tensioner you have.



How do you install the mechanical one in place of the hydraulic? The mounting of the hydraulic is flat and the mechanical is not??? I'm having trouble installing my new mechanical tensioner assembly.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by StrawburryYumYum View Post
How do you install the mechanical one in place of the hydraulic? The mounting of the hydraulic is flat and the mechanical is not??? I'm having trouble installing my new mechanical tensioner assembly.
I don't think you can go from hydraulic to mechanical tensioners. You can only upgrade from a mechanical to hydraulic, via a kit. But a downgrade to mechanical is not possible, and not really worth trying.
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