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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 01-20-2008, 05:00 PM   #21
bombguy
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Just to let everyone know, not all of these cars have an electric fan. I just tried doing my belts and got 2 steps into the DIY and couldn't go any further. If you have a belt driven fan you will need a special fan tool or you may possibly be able to use a 32mm wrench and get it off that way. I will be postponing my DIY because I don't feel safe doing it the "ghetto" way.

Just a "heads up" for my fellow DIY'ers!!
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Old 01-20-2008, 05:59 PM   #22
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I am changing the belts right after some replacement power steeering hoses done.When I went under the car,I could reach the A/c belt from there and the other belt tensioner did not seem that far from there either.Is there any reason why these can not be done from there, instead of removing all these mentioned?
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:02 PM   #23
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great write up but small snag...

...my fan is directly attached to the pulley unlike the pictures. The shroud is not a fan combo and hung up on the fan.

I have a 2001 330i sedan. I'd appreciate any ideas?

Oh nevermind. Gotta find a fan tool now.

Last edited by X-vert; 01-21-2008 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:58 AM   #24
KATO
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I just replaced by my belts and thermostat this weekend. I followed the DIY and everything went very smooth. Thanks
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Old 02-03-2008, 03:25 PM   #25
BMWPLT
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Kredden:
I have a slightly different set up with my E46 325i (2001). The shroud is separate from the fan. My dilemma is that I don't know how to remove the fan (which I assume must be removed first). Any ideas?

pt
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #26
grafiksguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astor View Post
I am changing the belts right after some replacement power steeering hoses done.When I went under the car,I could reach the A/c belt from there and the other belt tensioner did not seem that far from there either.Is there any reason why these can not be done from there, instead of removing all these mentioned?
I believe it's actually pretty easy to change the bottom tensioner for the AC belt without removing the fan. To do the whole magilla, I doubt you can get enough front to back clearance to properly access the nuts to remove the upper pulleys.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:18 PM   #27
richards330i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bombguy View Post
Just to let everyone know, not all of these cars have an electric fan. I just tried doing my belts and got 2 steps into the DIY and couldn't go any further. If you have a belt driven fan you will need a special fan tool or you may possibly be able to use a 32mm wrench and get it off that way. I will be postponing my DIY because I don't feel safe doing it the "ghetto" way.

Just a "heads up" for my fellow DIY'ers!!


Any updates? I am trying to take off the fan right now... can't seem to get it off using wrench and hammer.. .
'01 330i.
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:45 PM   #28
X-vert
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It was easy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by richards330i View Post
Any updates? I am trying to take off the fan right now... can't seem to get it off using wrench and hammer.. .
'01 330i.
Surprisingly so...with my auto 2001 330i. Taking the fan off was just a large screwdriver and slim 32mm and pop. What took the longest was to figure the belt routing because we took it off so fast forgot to note pattern.

Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:07 PM   #29
richards330i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X-vert View Post
Surprisingly so...with my auto 2001 330i. Taking the fan off was just a large screwdriver and slim 32mm and pop. What took the longest was to figure the belt routing because we took it off so fast forgot to note pattern.

Good luck!
Word.

I actually did what you mentioned... took me a while to figure this out (shoulda just sat by computer waiting for reply. LOL)

I attached an MSPAINT sketch of what I'm talking about.

A few lessons learned:
- You can use the 17mm (unsure) hex on tensioner to remove belt. I seemed to get more leverage here.
- Don't forget to put the caps back on!
- If you use the screwdriver approach to take off fan, make sure that you re-tighten bolts. Mine loosened up a bit.
- This DIY is much easier than it seems... taking the Fan off was the hardest part... a good exercise for when your pumps/alternators need to get replaced in future.

X-vert, thanks for the quick reply
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:25 AM   #30
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do you guys know if the procedure is about the same for an 02 e46 M3?


thanks!
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:41 AM   #31
kwikieman146
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also can anyone comment on the quality of those belts purchased from KO performance...i mean is there anything they lack...since they are considerably cheaper? or those oem parts?
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:43 AM   #32
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your diy is awesome! but i might have a correction. You donīt need the torx 50 socket, the belt tensioner have a hex shaped thing to put a 15mm hex socket on it and release the pressure to take the belt apart. Like in the AC belt, you donīt even need to pop off the little black cover from the belt tensioners.

Also, i might use part of your diy to write another about how to change the oil filter support gasket, which is known to fail and cause an oil leak.

Greetings!
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Old 04-02-2008, 12:55 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWPLT View Post
Kredden:
I have a slightly different set up with my E46 325i (2001). The shroud is separate from the fan. My dilemma is that I don't know how to remove the fan (which I assume must be removed first). Any ideas?

pt
I had the same trouble as you, but i resolved it easily doing this:

buy a 1 1/4 inch wrench on your nearest autozone shop (mine was great "something" brand) and a large flat screwdriver.

Loose the fan cover using the T25 torx drive to unscrew the bolt on the right side, and pop off the secure pin on the other side.

with the wrench, unscrew the fan from the water pump, in clock wise orientation (itīs a reverse screw, so, it looses the way you normally thight another screws). If youīre lucky, you donīt even need to use the screwdriver, with little effort, you will loose the fan and take it off.

If you need the screwdriver, use it to block the rotation of the water pump, placing it between two of the little bolts around the fan.

To put it back, reverse the steps, but be sure to not thight the fan too much, itīs just a little more from the point where itīs completely screwed. because the rotation of the fan thightens it with the direction of the rotation.

Greetings!
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:43 PM   #34
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many thanks

many thanks for the belt DIY. I went to the dealership to diagnose the cold start squeel noise, $140 for diagnosis, then they wanted $235 to replace the 2 belts. Looked at this DIY , bought the belts for $90 CDN, about 30 minutes to do the job in my driveway. Just regret the diagnosis charge but that is life, will now look to independants for repair work, dealerships lose you as customers when they want to charge almost $400 to replace 2 belts. And then they mail you a customer satisfaction survey.........
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:17 PM   #35
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Great DIY.. my '02 320i is different from both it seems though. The fan is on a fan clutch thing that looks like this..



So I had to put it back together as I need to go buy another hex socket for the 3 hex bolts I need to remove to get the fan off (which will be an absolute *****) bleh. I wonder if these 3 bolts will turn off counter clockwise or clockwise. I'm having no luck in finding what size I need either I think I might just return the two I bought and buy a set instead.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:52 PM   #36
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Just a tip on the tensioners. Generally, their springs hold up well and you don't need to replace the entire tensioners. However, you should check the pulleys on both tensioners as well as the idler pulley. Spin all three pulleys when the belts are off. They should turn smoothly and quietly but with a little resistance from the grease packed bearings. Replacing the pulleys is much less expensive than replacing the tensioners from the standpoint of both parts and labor. If the pulleys need replacing, save $ by not buying the parts from a BMW dealer. Instead, shop for replacement pulleys made by INA which cost less than half what BMW charges. INA makes the BMW branded pulleys so there is no loss of quality.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:53 PM   #37
Lbert
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You can also repack the bearings.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:06 PM   #38
magnuzza
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Great DIY, thank you! I decide to chnage my serpentine belt, But I'm having trouble to loosen the tensioner. I use T50 torx and try to turn it clockwise as instructed. The problem is that it's really hard to turn. I already use 75% of my power and it's not even moving a bit. Should I use 100% power? I'm afraid it will break. Any help would be much appreciate it.

Last edited by magnuzza; 06-23-2008 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 02:08 PM   #39
magnuzza
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If your car has fan clutch like mine, you need to open the bolt that attached to the fan and the water pump pulley with 32mm wrench (I got mine from sears). And apparently if the pulley is moving as you turned the bolt, you need a fan clutch holder. Go to O'reilley and ask them that you want to rent a "fan clutch holder". You need to deposit $76 (including tax). Once you have this thing, it's really easy to open the bolt. Anyway, Open the bolt with this thing, bring it back, and get your $76 back. Hope it helps

Last edited by magnuzza; 06-23-2008 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 06-25-2008, 12:00 AM   #40
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On some DIY's I've read, they said to use the T50 torx to loosen both of the tensioners. Does the 8mm hex bit works better vs the T50 for the alternator tensioner?
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