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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 02-16-2013, 03:00 PM   #1
SeattleLSB
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Block Coolant Drain Plug

Can anyone provide me some guidance on how to reinstall it? I got it removed but I can't get it to re-thread. I tried for about 2 hours even brought my wife out with a smaller arms to try to squeeze through the front size. She can get it with a socket but she says it won't thread.

This has taken almost 3 weeks to figure out. Any insight or pictures would be helpful. I have tried most of the searched options.

Joe
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Old 02-16-2013, 03:43 PM   #2
bmwbob89
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http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=871538

Read post #5. I Googled it and a ton of hits came up.

I usually get them from underneath the car.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
e46alfonso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwbob89 View Post
http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=871538

Read post #5. I Googled it and a ton of hits came up.

I usually get them from underneath the car.
Nice find, now thank kubica for his helpful advice.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:34 PM   #4
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I've tried that method. I have the bolt out but I'm having problems getting the bolt back in.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #5
Dreamliner330
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I couldn't get it off. Oh well, life goes on.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:16 PM   #6
SeattleLSB
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Yeah I got it off, it came off really easy. Getting back in has been another story
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:25 PM   #7
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Did you try from under the car?
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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yeah I tried that way. I tried with extentions, swivel joint etc. I'm going to buy like a 14, 18 and 20 inch extention to see if I can get that to work. I even brought my wife out who has small arms but they are a couple inches short on getting it to the spot. I just can't get the bolt to thread unless it's perfectly straight. I can get the bolt to the hole but I can't get the angle I need to get it straight on.

I might just have to tow the car to BMW to get them to put it in lol! I swear everything is harder on these XI's!

-Joe
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #9
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I used 2 long extensions with a universal joint and socket at the end. The secret is to tape the drain plug to the socket to keep it from falling off. I just wrapped the socket and the edge of the drain plug a couple times with some masking tape.

You'll have to try threading it by hand. Car's jacked up with the right wheel removed, I assume. I believe i guided the extensions over the front sway bar. Once you're confident that it's threading properly, switch to a socket wrench to fully tighten, then pull off the socket and tape.

it is a pain in the arse, but with some patience you can do it.

Also make sure you clean the threads of the drain plug thoroughly. I used a wire wheel briefly.

Last edited by mcopenha; 02-18-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:59 AM   #10
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I'm going to give it a try once it gets a bit warmer outside. I have it on ramps and I am threading it the same way. I think I am going to try some longer extensions and go from there! I did tape the bolt to the socket much easier! I bought 4 new drain plugs so the threads are perfect!

joe
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:41 AM   #11
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This is why I didn't bother to drain the block. I just flushed the whole system with DI water and then refilled with the appropriate coolant.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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+1. I just skip the block then drain and fill w/ new 50/50 coolant mix once a year.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #13
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Well I'm glad I emptied the block guys. Someone must have put some stop leak in the system before I bought it because it came out with the water;-)

Joe
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:36 PM   #14
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It wouldn't come out if you drain/refill the system?
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:01 PM   #15
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I've installed quite easily twice. With the car in the air on ramps I used a 2' 3/8" extension with a knuckle and socket on the end. I inserted the bolt (you can dap some vasoline on it to make it stick in the socket) and set the knuckle angle by hand. Hand holding the extension just fit the bolt perpendicuarly into the hole. Twist lightly at first to make sure you have the threads lined up correctly and don't strip it. Good luck!
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:41 AM   #16
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I'm going to give it a go once it stops raining. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:41 PM   #17
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Wow, I had the same frustration dinking around with extensions, swivels, magic, etc.

I discovered (in desperation) you can simply thread it in by hand. From under the car (on ramps) facing the rear of the car on your belly, take your left arm and "thread" it through the gap between the passenger inner-axle boot and the rod above it. The boot will squish down allowing you to push your arm through past your elbow. Bend your arm slightly toward the drain hole and hand yourself the bolt now in your left hand. Put the sucker in by feel and sight. I then hand myself a box end wrench and pull her down to seat it. Don't be a moron and lean on it, it's aluminum. Drop the wrench and pull your arm out. Done.

Disclaimer: if you have a big-ol-chubby arm, don't come back saying it won't work. I have an average sized arm and it worked stupid easy for me.

Edit: oops I just spotted the link suggested for post #5 above was mine. I'm going to leave this post up for additional info. Try this method, you'll love it.
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Last edited by White_Knuckles; 02-21-2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:43 PM   #18
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I tried your method. I am going to see if I can try it again. You mention lay on your belly I was on my back so perhaps that is the difference. My arm is pretty small considering and I will give it a try once we get out of the freezing temps.

Joe
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:07 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by SeattleLSB View Post
I tried your method. I am going to see if I can try it again. You mention lay on your belly I was on my back so perhaps that is the difference. My arm is pretty small considering and I will give it a try once we get out of the freezing temps.

Joe
Hmmm, sort of a belly, right-side, crouch and contort kinda thing. I was on ramps so the clearance isn't too forgiving under there. I'm 5'11" 170 lbs. so average. Basically I poke my left arm through while adjusting to a comfort position. You can worm in there close to insert the bolt where you work yourself away from the bolt when removing it. I hate an anti-freeze bath.

You'll get it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:08 PM   #20
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I have it up on Rhino Ramps. You mean the area where the ground wire is right? That area correct?

Joe
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