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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

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 01-25-2012, 01:49 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 420
My Ride: 330 CiC, 330i
Project: M54 engine

Links to parts of the project

Disection of an Idle Control Valve

Versatile Torque Wrench


Pistons and Conrods

Hydraulic LIfters

Rear Crankshaft Oil and Seal

Timing Chain Cover

Vibration Damper, Front Crankshaft Oil Seal

Oil Pan and Pump


Coolant Pump and Thermostat


Timing Tools 1

Timing Tools 2


Engine Timing


Idle Control Valve (ICV)


Intake Manifold

Knock Sensors

Oil Separator

Valve Cover

Oil Filter Housing

Fuel Injection Rail

Power Steering Pump

Starter Motor

Hi all, I'm about to start a project.

I'm currently living overseas, and the plan is to stay here for the next couple of years. My beloved 330 convertible is in storage back home, and I'm going a bit crazy not getting my hands dirty.

I have read my Bentley manual for both my car and my wife's over and over just to keep myself busy, but I just need to get my hands on something.

So I've bought myself something to play with.

I stumbled across an old M54 engine (2.5L). My plan is to pull it to bits. It came with a few accessories, which I plan to pull to pieces as well.

In the past when I did any work to my car, I'd take a bunch of photos and write all over them in photoshop so if I ever had to do it again, I would have some instructions.

I'm planning to do the same thing with this engine.

So what do I want to do?
1.Find out how it all works.
2.Pull it apart and put it back together numerous times so that I can find out which way I think is the best way to do it.
3.See if I can come up with some alternatives to the numerous BMW tools that are required to do the job.

My intentions are not to steal anyone else's glory by taking their ideas as mine. Obviously there is a mountain of information on this site and others that is fantastic.
A lot of it I have read and have no idea where to find it again. So I just want to create bunch of photos and notes for later.

If people are interested I'm going to put it all up here.

This is going to take some time so don't expect the crankshaft out in a month. I'm expecting it to take at least a year, if not more. When I finish a particular job, I'll post it up.

Below are a couple of initial photos I took of it with components marked. This may be of some help to some who are just starting to work on their E46.

What is obvious to me is that working on an engine that is on an engine stand is much easier than one that is in a car's engine bay. That being said, some of what I might write as being the way to do it may be bollocks because of the issues when the engine is installed. Feedback will be appreciated. Also, I'm sure I'll be asking for some help along the way. Thanks in advance.

Finally, just for clarity, I'm not going to talk driver/passenger side. I'm an Australian, and I drive from the right hand seat, so things would get confusing very quickly. Also right/left depends on where you are looking from. I'll just speak about the intake side, and exhaust side.

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Last edited by jjrichar; 09-01-2015 at 04:32 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old 01-25-2012, 04:30 PM   #2
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Great idea. Keep them pictures coming
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:15 PM   #3
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These are awesome, read all three, keep them coming....
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Wow great pictures and very informative. I will reference your pix for my project

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:57 AM   #5
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awesome stuff
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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Keep coming! coolant drain plug on the block. :0 did not now!

More info..info..read..^_^


Great write up OP! GJ...
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:27 AM   #7
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possible sticky? tons of info and its great to have it all in one place
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lakedude90 View Post
possible sticky? tons of info and its great to have it all in one place
Seconded, great idea.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #9
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good stuff. ive been wanting to do this too.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #10
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Outstanding annotated photos and descriptive text. After reading a few of the articles, I now know 10x more about by 325 than I did yesterday.

What a wonderful collection of work! Thank you. I'll continue reading with great interest.

Sticky, yes!
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Old 04-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #11
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Dude, you are the man. If only I had a garage, engine stand, and worthy engine, I would be doing the exact same thing.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:47 PM   #12
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Great thread, thanks for all the hard work!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #13
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excellent friend thanks for all.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:25 AM   #14
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Thank you, thank you for all your hard works putting these DIY thread for us. I plan to do oil separator and oil filter housing gasket replacement, your DIY really give me confident to tackle these jobs or other jobs. Godbless!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #15
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awsome thread man, good shet

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Old 02-22-2013, 07:04 AM   #16
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thank you
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:44 PM   #17
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2002 330i 5spd

VIR Oktoberfast 2013
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Old 08-30-2013, 05:29 PM   #18
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Had down time all day at work today and read all of these.
Bookmarked. Thank you good sir for your time!
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:32 PM   #19
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Dude nice thread....It will help me learn more about my 330CI
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:52 PM   #20
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Bump for great thread

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