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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 05-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #1
iHappy
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My Ride: 2002 325xi
2002 325xi Oil pan gasket replacement HELP..

Hello everyone,

I have a oil leak coming from the oil pan gasket on my 2002 325xi with 133k, which I just confirmed today by a mechanic. I also confirmed that he would charge $600 to replace it...FML. I've been chasing this oil leak for a while and in the process I've changed the Valve cover gasket, OHFG, Dipstick O ring. At first I was thinking it the CCV, but he check it out and its fine (Hold 4.5 to 5 pressure) kinda wish it was (easier then the oil pan). But after we saw leaks its coming from the front and rear. So it not the rear main seal (Well I won't know until I replace the oil pan gasket). I'm losing oil way to quickly for me to wait around to get the money. I would say at least quart or so a every couple of days.

I did my research on how to replace it, I've found DIY's on 325i but no XI. If anyone knows how to do it and have a step-by-step guide with pictures that would be great (I'm not a tech, but I can def get the job done..hope?). Also what tools will I need to complete the job, hours? etc...

Any advice would be great.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:51 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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First thing you should do is to clean it up down there and then retorque all the oil pan bolts to the right spec. Sometimes they come loose and will leak oil.

If that doesn't work then the short version is this:
1.) Jack car (If you can't do this then stop now)
2.) Remove wheels (Ditto to above)
3.) Remove front axles (DIY available)
4.) Remove front driveshaft
5.) Jack engine up and support (DIY available)
6.) Lower front subframe (DIY available, make sure you replace the bolts)
7.) Remove front diff (4 bolts and it comes off)
8.) Remove oil pan (DIY available)
9.) Reverse to install

Hopefully tightening the oil pan bolts will help though.
Torque Spec: 8.8 grade: 89 in-lb, 10.9 grade: 106 in-lb

Last edited by SamDoe1; 05-13-2013 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:55 PM   #3
Marqpc
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2002 325xi Oil pan gasket replacement HELP..

Doing this project now on my 330xi ,I'm stuck on the reinstall of the four bolts for the front differential to oil pan. I have searched everywhere for the torque specs but can't find them . I was going to use the general specs but the differential is about 40lbs so I'm not sure if it needs more torque than normal . Any help on getting this finished would be appreciated also the specs for the 4 bolts on the passenger side output shaft to oil pan , those look to be M8 8.8, and differential ones are M10 8.8. Thanks guys , just finishing an engine swap.

Last edited by Marqpc; 11-01-2015 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 11-01-2015, 05:27 PM   #4
starvin marvin
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My 325xi oil pan leak

My 03 xi had 97k on it when I bought it 2 yrs ago and had a rear pan oil leak. I paid $600 dollars to correct(9 hours). But while the BMW local mechanic was doing it, he replaced, for more money of course, breather hoses, crank seals, vent valves, rusted bolts and cleaned up alot of carbon build up. It has run like a dream ever since. So, like a previous comment made, the point is, while you are focusing on the pan look around and do all you can to areas that need attention.
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Old 11-10-2015, 10:32 PM   #5
Jon2846
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Marqpc, I just looked at the ISTA repair instructions for the differential removal/replacement/reinstall and BMW said its 55nm for all four of those bolts. The AZD number is 31-50-01 Hopefully this helps even though you probably have the car put back together by now.

Jon
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Old 11-11-2015, 02:03 AM   #6
Marqpc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon2846 View Post
Marqpc, I just looked at the ISTA repair instructions for the differential removal/replacement/reinstall and BMW said its 55nm for all four of those bolts. The AZD number is 31-50-01 Hopefully this helps even though you probably have the car put back together by now.

Jon

Thanks for the help, it's perfect timing . I haven't got it on yet but Hopefully I can get the engine started this weekend and then it's off to the muffler shop for the finishing touches.
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Old 11-11-2015, 07:08 AM   #7
starvin marvin
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Here's another question. While brakes applied, at a stoplight, right passenger door vibrates. When put in neutral it stops, with foot off the brake it stops. Must somehow be linked to the brakes. If I push against the door the vibration reduces 50%. Ideas?
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Old 12-11-2015, 10:10 PM   #8
tomsawyer85
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iHappy,

This will probably come too late to be of much help to you, but just in case. I'm almost done with the oil gasket replacement on my 05 325xi wagon. My local indie said the job would run about $1000. In retrospect, I almost wish I'd just forked over the cash instead of doing this myself. I knew it was going to be difficult going into it, and I've done a fair amount of work on the car over the years, but this is by far the most frustrating and physically difficult project I've ever gotten into. If you do decide to attempt the repair yourself, here is what I've learned so far that I don't remember coming across in the other DYIs.

Be very careful removing the pinch bolts on the strut. One of mine came out easily, but on the driver's side the head snapped off the bolt without too much help from me. Drilling that out was not fun. Proceed with caution, PB blaster, heat, or whatever tricks you have to coax the bolt out. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence.

16 and 18 mm ratcheting wrenches will make getting the control arm bolts out (and in) a little easier - you won't be able to get sockets on them and removing them with non-ratcheting wrenches is slow going.

The Harbor Freight engine hoist that everyone seems to buy for this job, or another one like it, is a necessity.

You'll want Female/Reverse torx sockets for the three bolts on the transmission bell housing, and for the bolts that attach the drive shaft to the front diff. I think I ended up using the E10, E12 and E14 sockets each at least once. The bolt on the steering shaft coupler is also a torx.

The third bolt holding the power steering pump mount in place is behind the pump itself and tucked almost below the alternator. For some reason it took me a long time to figure that out - the picture in the Bentley manual was no help at that point.

Having more than one floor jacks on hand to support the subframe, and at different points in the assembly/disassembly process the oil pan itself and the differential is a good idea. The differential is heavy and there isn't a lot of room to maneuver when you're trying to match it back to the oil pan, and it takes some finesse to get the oil pan positioned as well.

The subframe will drop down pretty far, but lower it gradually to make sure it isn't bringing hoses or anything else with it that it shouldn't.

You might as well replace the motor mounts once you've got the subframe dropped. Bentley also recommends replacing the subframe bolts, the bolts used to mount the control arms to the subframe, and probably a couple of others.

I'm sure there's more, but for now I hope this is helpful.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:07 PM   #9
Rickna
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starvin marvin View Post
Here's another question. While brakes applied, at a stoplight, right passenger door vibrates. When put in neutral it stops, with foot off the brake it stops. Must somehow be linked to the brakes. If I push against the door the vibration reduces 50%. Ideas?
Sounds like motor and/or trans mounts.
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Old 12-13-2015, 09:19 PM   #10
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomsawyer85 View Post
iHappy,

This will probably come too late to be of much help to you, but just in case. I'm almost done with the oil gasket replacement on my 05 325xi wagon. My local indie said the job would run about $1000. In retrospect, I almost wish I'd just forked over the cash instead of doing this myself. I knew it was going to be difficult going into it, and I've done a fair amount of work on the car over the years, but this is by far the most frustrating and physically difficult project I've ever gotten into. If you do decide to attempt the repair yourself, here is what I've learned so far that I don't remember coming across in the other DYIs.

Be very careful removing the pinch bolts on the strut. One of mine came out easily, but on the driver's side the head snapped off the bolt without too much help from me. Drilling that out was not fun. Proceed with caution, PB blaster, heat, or whatever tricks you have to coax the bolt out. Apparently this is a pretty common occurrence.

16 and 18 mm ratcheting wrenches will make getting the control arm bolts out (and in) a little easier - you won't be able to get sockets on them and removing them with non-ratcheting wrenches is slow going.

The Harbor Freight engine hoist that everyone seems to buy for this job, or another one like it, is a necessity.

You'll want Female/Reverse torx sockets for the three bolts on the transmission bell housing, and for the bolts that attach the drive shaft to the front diff. I think I ended up using the E10, E12 and E14 sockets each at least once. The bolt on the steering shaft coupler is also a torx.

The third bolt holding the power steering pump mount in place is behind the pump itself and tucked almost below the alternator. For some reason it took me a long time to figure that out - the picture in the Bentley manual was no help at that point.

Having more than one floor jacks on hand to support the subframe, and at different points in the assembly/disassembly process the oil pan itself and the differential is a good idea. The differential is heavy and there isn't a lot of room to maneuver when you're trying to match it back to the oil pan, and it takes some finesse to get the oil pan positioned as well.

The subframe will drop down pretty far, but lower it gradually to make sure it isn't bringing hoses or anything else with it that it shouldn't.

You might as well replace the motor mounts once you've got the subframe dropped. Bentley also recommends replacing the subframe bolts, the bolts used to mount the control arms to the subframe, and probably a couple of others.

I'm sure there's more, but for now I hope this is helpful.
All good advise.

That's a hell of a job. Probably the most difficult job on the xi. Nice work.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:21 AM   #11
starvin marvin
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Originally Posted by Rickna View Post
Sounds like motor and/or trans mounts.
It was the motor mounts, fried, good call.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:48 AM   #12
Carina2002
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I have to replace the front diff and oil pain in my 330xi. I assume the procedure is similar. Torqueing the bolts is very important once you are finished. If you don't have access to the information, I'd suggest a subscription to All data DIY.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:51 AM   #13
Carina2002
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Starvin marvin, if you haven't figured out the vibration yet, check the condition of the transmission mounts.
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Old 12-14-2015, 07:36 AM   #14
starvin marvin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina2002 View Post
Starvin marvin, if you haven't figured out the vibration yet, check the condition of the transmission mounts.
Thanks, you are correct, it was the engine mounts, long gone. Trans.mts.looked good.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:07 AM   #15
Carina2002
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Figured it was either one or possibly both. Glad I could be of help.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:51 PM   #16
Rickna
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Originally Posted by starvin marvin View Post
It was the motor mounts, fried, good call.
I have to do mine as well...
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Old 01-13-2016, 08:03 PM   #17
noah_karch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carina2002 View Post
I have to replace the front diff and oil pain in my 330xi. I assume the procedure is similar. Torqueing the bolts is very important once you are finished. If you don't have access to the information, I'd suggest a subscription to All data DIY.
I have an '04 330xi, what types of issues were (or are) you having that led you to diagnose the oil pan as the problem. Mine a while ago was demanding about a quart every month or so, but that was prior to my replacing the oil filter housing gasket which came out like brittle plastic more or less, and I haven't noticed very thick drips like I used to. Doing it in the cold didn't allow me to get rid of all the excess oil that dripped down, so I'm unsure if that's all that is making it's way down now onto the cardboard I set below it, or if maybe I have an oil pan leak ever so slightly. I checked the CCV pressure and it appears to be good in that respect.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:02 AM   #18
ith5005
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Originally Posted by noah_karch View Post
I have an '04 330xi, what types of issues were (or are) you having that led you to diagnose the oil pan as the problem. Mine a while ago was demanding about a quart every month or so, but that was prior to my replacing the oil filter housing gasket which came out like brittle plastic more or less, and I haven't noticed very thick drips like I used to. Doing it in the cold didn't allow me to get rid of all the excess oil that dripped down, so I'm unsure if that's all that is making it's way down now onto the cardboard I set below it, or if maybe I have an oil pan leak ever so slightly. I checked the CCV pressure and it appears to be good in that respect.

I have an 04 330xi with 130k miles. I was going through about a quart every 500 miles or so. I jacked the car up to see the whole bottom of the engine covered in oil the whole way to the back of the transmission. I could see it started in the front and moved its way back. So I cleaned it up really good with brake clean then drove it for ~50-100 miles jacked it back up and saw in the front passenger side the oil was grouping on the oil pan. I knew this because there was no oil above the pan so it was coming from the pan.

To the pan I re-tighted the bolts in the area i got about an 1/8 to 1/4 turn out of them and that was about 1000 miles ago and so far so good.

I plan on doing this in the spring, winter finally hit here in Indy so I am not about to do it on cold ground in the snow if the tightening will hold up a few more months.

RE-TORQUE OIL PAN BOLTS BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS. You may not actually need to replace it just tighten and see where that gets you.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:38 AM   #19
noah_karch
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Originally Posted by ith5005 View Post
I have an 04 330xi with 130k miles. I was going through about a quart every 500 miles or so. I jacked the car up to see the whole bottom of the engine covered in oil the whole way to the back of the transmission. I could see it started in the front and moved its way back. So I cleaned it up really good with brake clean then drove it for ~50-100 miles jacked it back up and saw in the front passenger side the oil was grouping on the oil pan. I knew this because there was no oil above the pan so it was coming from the pan.

To the pan I re-tighted the bolts in the area i got about an 1/8 to 1/4 turn out of them and that was about 1000 miles ago and so far so good.

I plan on doing this in the spring, winter finally hit here in Indy so I am not about to do it on cold ground in the snow if the tightening will hold up a few more months.

RE-TORQUE OIL PAN BOLTS BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS. You may not actually need to replace it just tighten and see where that gets you.
Okay this is going to come across as a really foolish question, but I know with brake cleaner it evaporates off fairly quickly, so do I just spray it and will it clean off by dropping down? Because it's winter we have our outside water shut off so cleaning the underside of the engine may prove to be difficult.
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Old 01-14-2016, 10:58 AM   #20
ith5005
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Jack it up spray it and run with a towel to remove everything you can. Once it's clean enough to be able to see if new oil is dripping and where
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