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Old 12-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
Johnsmyname
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Replacing Oil Filter Housing Gasket

Hello all, I noticed an oil leak from the front of my engine. Looks to be from the oil filter housing. I ran a search and found some good info, but have a few additional questions.

1. Is this usually just the gasket, or does the housing itself ever need replacing?
2. I've read the book says 3 hrs, but a good mechanic can do it in 2 hrs, does this sound right?
3. While I'm replacing this is there anything else I should replace while getting in there?

For reference the vehicle is a 2003 330Ci with 82,000 miles.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
bratliff
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I did mine at the same time as doing a complete cooling system overhaul as well as belts and pulleys. You're already working in that general area anyway. I seriously doubt your housing is bad as it's basically a big hunk of metal and I don't think it'd ever be exposed to enough heat to warp (maybe if your car caught on fire). The other things down that way are your intake boots CCV, etc. It's really going to depend on what needs to be done and what you are willing to do. And 2-3 hours sounds about right. It added maybe an hour to the cooling system job when I did it.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:59 PM   #3
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I took my time and checked my engine over and cleaned the splash shield. It took me about 4 hrs (I'd say 2.5 on the housing)- my gasket was hard,but also stuck to the housing. Mine came out in about 50 pieces (and that was only by using a small pic and a screwdriver handle to tap the pic with), I then had to clean all the small pieces out of the valley. It would have been faster if it came out nicely...but, you know how that goes if you work on cars much.


P.S..... deffinitely use a torque wrench!!!! also replace the 4 crush washers for the vanos line.

Last edited by dirty vert; 12-04-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:03 PM   #4
Johnsmyname
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Thanks guys.

I have read Mango's cooling system overhaul, but the money for it is way more than I can spend right now. I'm thinking about just doing some of it while I'm in there like the reservoir tank, thermostat, etc...
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:07 PM   #5
bratliff
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Originally Posted by Johnsmyname View Post
I have read Mango's cooling system overhaul, but the money for it is way more than I can spend right now. I'm thinking about just doing some of it while I'm in there like the reservoir tank, thermostat, etc...
If it's too much right now, start buying parts and wait until you have them all then do it all at once. For one thing, if you do it a little bit here and there, and then have a problem you'll never really know what's at fault. Shop around for parts (use the links Mango provides) and look for coupons, sales, etc. I'm assuming here that you don't have any cooling issues at the moment.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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Replace your vanos oil line. Its a 10 minute job with the access you'll have created to do the ofhg.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
Johnsmyname
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Originally Posted by oafmanwpr View Post
Replace your vanos oil line. Its a 10 minute job with the access you'll have created to do the ofhg.
Thanks oafmanwpr, I will look into this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bratliff View Post
I'm assuming here that you don't have any cooling issues at the moment.
The radiator light comes on and off, but coolant level and temp are normal
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:45 PM   #8
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The radiator light comes on and off, but coolant level and temp are normal
Could be the temp sensor going on you. Start gathering the parts for a complete overhaul and just do it all at once. So long as you aren't losing coolant, you are probably still ok, but, it does sound like (to me at any rate) you are due.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:50 PM   #9
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Could be the temp sensor going on you. Start gathering the parts for a complete overhaul and just do it all at once. So long as you aren't losing coolant, you are probably still ok, but, it does sound like (to me at any rate) you are due.
Thats what I was thinking too (temp sensor). Not a bad idea to just do it all at once, last thing I need is to have it overheat and warp a head.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #10
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If it's too much right now, start buying parts and wait until you have them all then do it all at once.
I actually suggest the opposite. For most inexperienced person (we all start from zero), the first time is always the hardest. I remember it took me a good 2-3 hours just to take out the fan! One reason is I don't know what's the proper way to place the pulley holder (and I found out there was only one way) or which side. The other reason is the first time job everything is so tight, and makes you wonder whether you need to use even more force or you're working the wrong way. But after that, the same job becomes so easy. Now I don't even need the pulley holder and only need 2 minutes to take out the fan.

Do not fear repeated work. Repeated work on the fan/belt area is very easy. Try only tackle the problem, one at a time, to make sure the problem is fixed then move on to others. And if thing goes wrong, you just narrow it down to what you've changed. This will build up confident pretty fast.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:06 PM   #11
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You have to remove the alternator / PS pump which necessitates removal of the accessory belts and deflection pulley. If these haven't been replaced, they may be in need (and they are relatively cheap). At least for the belts, you can inspect them before you start to decide if you want to source new parts. Similarly, with the VANOS oil line, you can tell if it is weeping at the crimps before you start. Other than that, the PS suction hose often leaks, now would be a good time to replace that. There is a plethora of maintenance items right there. However, most - if not all - of them aren't as deep as the OFHG. So pick and choose what you can afford / needs to be addressed now and don't stress over the rest. Chances are, while you're in there you'll find new projects to be added to the list.

Good luck,

Luke
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #12
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I actually suggest the opposite.
I totally disagree. Especially with the cooling system, unless you've got a specific failure and not enough money to get back on the road, do it all at once. Each and every time you need to work on this system, you need to drain coolant, and refill and bleed the system. It's a pain, is messy, and gives you one thing that many here screw up (bleeding) to do that could cause even worse problems (a small leak could turn into an overheat because you bled it incorrectly). Do it once, and take your time. If you are new to working on cars, budget an entire day for that 2 hour job and then follow the Bentley guide and have a couple of different DIY write ups to refer to.

There are so many threads here where people just replaced "whatever" part and now it's even worse! Usually it was because they rushed it or forgot something, etc.

Take your time. Since the OP isn't experiencing a failure, why introduce one by picking and choosing one part to replace in the hopes it solves his issue? Working on cars, IME, is only hard if you fail to do your research and try and rush through a job because the "book says it should only take 2 hours." Take your time, be methodical, label things as you pull them, keep screws with the parts they go to, and read the manual!

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Old 12-04-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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If you are doing the OFHG then you seriously need to do this as well.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=643639

You have everything removed doing the OFHG anyways.

Next item is doing the cooling system...........
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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I finished the OFHG a month ago and it was a pain. The gasket had become brittle and didn't come out as a single piece. I had to use a pick as others have described. Be careful if you have to use a pick. I envisioned a piece of the brittle gasket flying off and going into one of the oil passages on the side of the engine. Luckily I covered up the oil passages because sure enough a few minutes later a piece came flying off and bounced off some crumped towels I had covering the hole. Remember to take your time and make sure you have the proper tools and all your parts in advance.
As far as doing other preventative maintenance tasks, there are a bunch that could be done. Other have already posted a lot of them. You have to consider your budget though. If you had the funds, I would suggest doing as many as possible. Your car will be rock solid for miles to come. But if you simply don't have the funds, pick and choose your battles. I would definitely suggest cooling items like expansion tank, water pump, upper and lower radiator hoses, and themostat in that order. Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:30 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Johnsmyname View Post
Thanks oafmanwpr, I will look into this.



The radiator light comes on and off, but coolant level and temp are normal
If the yellow radiator light is going on/off, particularly when you turn on the heat.. you're low on coolant. Follow the proper bleeding procedures and add coolant.

Or the coolant level sensor is going bad.
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Old 12-04-2012, 08:04 PM   #16
pawelgawel
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i did my ccv and ofhg together.. 6 hours without reference. fairly straight forward.. just time consuming.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dirty vert View Post
P.S..... also replace the 4 crush washers for the vanos line.
Any idea what size crush washers so I can get them ahead of time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jakksfor20 View Post
If you are doing the OFHG then you seriously need to do this as well.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=643639

Next item is doing the cooling system...........
I will look into this with the cold weather upgrade, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
I would definitely suggest cooling items like expansion tank, water pump, upper and lower radiator hoses, and themostat in that order. Good luck.
Good to know, I will look into these as well as my cooling system is 10 yrs + & 80k miles + old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by My325XI View Post
If the yellow radiator light is going on/off, particularly when you turn on the heat.. you're low on coolant. Follow the proper bleeding procedures and add coolant.
I will try this over the weekend, is bleeding the system a PITA, does it need to be burped?
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsmyname View Post
Any idea what size crush washers so I can get them ahead of time?
14 X 20, part number 32 41 1 093 596.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:05 PM   #19
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14 X 20, part number 32 41 1 093 596.
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