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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 02-13-2013, 04:55 PM   #1
mxiong
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Expansion tank won't seal to bracket!!

My expansion tank blew up on me so I ordered a new one from bma and installed it. Now the expansion tank won't seal to the bracket and slowly leaks. I have taken it apart twice and it still won't seal properly. I did lubricate the expansion tank and bracket before installing. When I open the expansion tank I can hear air coming out. So it seems like its holding pressure, just leaking.

Background on the car: 2003 325xi with 83,000 miles. Therm and top hoses replaced.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:14 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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Did you replace the bracket? Is the expansion tank original equipment manufacturer? I suggest you remove the bracket and install the expansion tank on the bracket outside the car. Then install the subassembly back in the car.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:36 AM   #3
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Yes, take out the bracket and install the Exp Tank outside the car. I also use silicon grease to install cooling parts. They go on very easy with it. You can get it at big box stores in plumbing dept for about $3.
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:58 AM   #4
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The expansion tank is a meyle brand which mango said isn't oem. I'll take the bracket out and reinstall. Is the bracket difficult to remove?
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:27 PM   #5
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The bracket can be difficult to remove if you are not taking the radiator out of the car.

IIRC there are only torx bolts holding the bracket to the radiator. The lower one can easily be reached from below if the car is on ramps. The upper one is more tricky as it is at the top on the right side of the radiator, blocked by the headlight assembly. I had to loosen the radiator and pull it towards the engine to expose the bolt. Even so there wasn't much room to get a screwdriver or torx socket there. A torx allen wrench would make it an easy job.

Even with the bracket off the radiator I had to use a large clamp to gently press the new ET onto the bracket. It really seemed like something in all that plastic would break, so I did it slowly and carefully, moving the position of the clamp to ensure and even fit. Really it was only a 30 minute job and I've had no leak in the two months since.

good luck.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:51 PM   #6
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If you have a 1/4inch driver with the 1/4 torx bit,you can try to take the side torx bolt out. Remember, you have to take out the bolts, then pop out the bottom section of the bracket, and then push it up. If you do not pop out the bottom first, you will not be able to push it up and out. Good luck.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:52 PM   #7
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I'll make sure to do that. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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Auto transmission? If you have that, did you replace the thermostat on the bracket? Mine was broken. After buying a replacement and installing it, it sealed right away. Make sure you see the clip on the bracket click in too.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
mxiong
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Manual transmission. Clip is on good
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:10 PM   #10
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Fixed! I had to use a 18" clamp. Clamped the bottom bracket and fill cap. No more leaks

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Old 02-28-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update.
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:53 AM   #12
tattedsmitty34
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Would you have a picture of what you did? I'm having the same issue and broke too many brackets haha.

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Old 01-17-2014, 12:40 PM   #13
xi-xi
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Originally Posted by tattedsmitty34 View Post
Would you have a picture of what you did? I'm having the same issue and broke too many brackets haha.

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I'm not sure, but I think he's saying that he used a large clamp to push the tank onto the lower fitting. It probably just wasn't seated correctly.

I had a similar problem when I did mine. It wouldn't seat at all, and I thought I was going to break the lower fitting. So I propped a short piece of 2x4 between the ground and bottom of the lower fitting then whacked the top of the tank hard as hell, and it popped on.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by xi-xi View Post
I had a similar problem when I did mine. It wouldn't seat at all, and I thought I was going to break the lower fitting. So I propped a short piece of 2x4 between the ground and bottom of the lower fitting then whacked the top of the tank hard as hell, and it popped on.
This sounds a bit like the way I did mine. I think I used a long prybar to pop it off initially, and some version of place-whack-done to get the new one on. I do not recall needing to sit something under it, though.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #15
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Remove the "bracket" on which the ET sits. Install the ET onto the bracket and then install the ET + bracket into the car. Much easier that the "typical" process. The bracket is held in with a couple of decrees, I think.


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Old 02-02-2014, 10:07 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
Remove the "bracket" on which the ET sits. Install the ET onto the bracket and then install the ET + bracket into the car. Much easier that the "typical" process. The bracket is held in with a couple of screws, I think.

Corrected.
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