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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 06-05-2007, 08:12 AM   #61
Canuck328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianLeveille View Post
All,

I followed the 'easy' route and did not drain the radiator or the block. I just removed the fan (I have an electric fan, so that took 60 seconds to remove), removed the thermostat (some fluid came out), unclipped and removed the hoses, then reversed it all when installing the new thermostat. Took less than 1 hour.

My question: I didn't bleed the coolant system after doing this. Do I now have air bubbles in my coolant system? Can I just bleed the system to remove any bubbles?

Thanks,

-BL
Yup, shouldn't be a problem.

If possible, do the following with the front end elevated - bleeding tends to go a bit easier due to the angle.

Do when cold: Key to ignition (not started/running), temperature and fan on high/full (to open valves). Remove bleed screw (on top of hose fitting next to fill cap), then slowly fill until fluid comes out bleed screw. Continue filling until NO bubbles of air come out. Put back together and done.

Mark
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:05 AM   #62
BrianLeveille
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Before bleeding the system, I definitely had air bubbles. Following these instructions, with the car running, I was getting no heat from the air vents inside the car with the heater set to 91 and the fan on full.

Leaving the car running, I opened the bleeder screw and the expansion tank cap and added 50/50 mix until I saw liquid coming from the bleeder screw. By the time I put the screw back on and the cap back on, there was heat inside the car, so obviously the bubbles were gone.

Taking the car for a short drive shows no leaks.

However, I have noticed that the temperature gauge now registers a hair above 12 o'clock. With the previous thermostat, the needle would stay exactly in the middle; now it's just a hair above that. I'm guessing that has something to do with a slight difference in the thermostat and should not be an issue, right??

-BL

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck328i View Post
Yup, shouldn't be a problem.

If possible, do the following with the front end elevated - bleeding tends to go a bit easier due to the angle.

Do when cold: Key to ignition (not started/running), temperature and fan on high/full (to open valves). Remove bleed screw (on top of hose fitting next to fill cap), then slowly fill until fluid comes out bleed screw. Continue filling until NO bubbles of air come out. Put back together and done.

Mark
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:35 PM   #63
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I feel your pain. Just replaced mine today, bleed it but the gauge reads just below centerline. From what I've seen in other forums, this isn't anything to worry about. The quote I always see is "the temp gauge is not the tell all" so I'm assuming it's ok. But everyone knows what assuming does...
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Old 07-05-2007, 08:38 AM   #64
Canuck328i
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I wouldn't worry too much about the needle position. It is set by the ECU more than by the temp sensor anyway as the 12 o'clock position actually has a very wide range. When my WP failed a couple months ago I ran with the lpatop and OBDII rig for a few days to read the temperature right from the ECU - during warm up just before the meter is at the top, the temp was about 165F. When it began moving past center (my WP was not moving fluid), the actual temperature was past 225F. So your engine could be any temperature inbetween when the meter is at 12 o'clock.

Mark
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Old 07-05-2007, 09:59 AM   #65
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I check the temperature using the On-Board Computer (OBC) Hidden Codes routine: Easter Eggs Collected.

I set the code to 7.0 after engine startup and just drive on. My reading shows 95degC (203degF) when fully warmed up and the needle is in the middle, and usually just hovers between 93-97degC (199-207degF) during my daily commute of combined heavy traffic and short highways.

Can you guys try it out too on your daily drives and post here? Curious what others would show. I think 95degC is the optimal engine temp, but I think I read somewhere that our cars elevate it a little on long highway drives to preserve fuel.
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Old 08-20-2007, 06:32 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by zazo View Post
You don't need to take the fan out to replace the thermostat/thermostat housing. You also don't need to drain the block, although it keeps the mess down. And like rock328 said, you don't need to remove the locking clips from the thermostat heater electrical connector or the hoses ends. The hose end clips get pried up (use a flathead screwdriver), and the electrical connector you push in while pulling out of it's socket. But like thekubiaks said, be very careful not to smash into anything. Also, make sure you clean all of the old gasket pieces from the block before reinstalling the new one.

Took me about 2 hours start to finish, including jacking the car and cleanup.
I'd like to see pictures of how you do this without taking out the fan. Until that happens, I'm going to say this is bull.
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Old 12-06-2007, 06:57 PM   #67
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so is there a why to change the thermostat/thermostat without taking out the fan??? I need to change my soon... ok now..
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:07 PM   #68
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so is there a why to change the thermostat/thermostat without taking out the fan??? I need to change my soon... ok now..
I did this over the weekend. I had everything except the FAN CLUTCH 32MM tool; I thought I could do it without it but I was dead wrong. I ran to Autozone, Pepboys, and Kragen trying to borrow/buy the 32mm tool but none of the places had it.

There was NO WAY you could get the bottom two bolts without removing the fan. I ended up using a torx 25 (or 30, cannot remember) to remove the 3 torx bolts holding the fan to the fan clutch. In other words, I removed the fan and not the entire fan+clutch system. You're going to need an "L-shaped" torx tool in order to remove the three bolts and it comes off nice and easy.

And you most definetely need to remove the fan shroud. PM me if you need additional info.
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Old 12-13-2007, 10:24 PM   #69
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Okay, since this may benefit everyone I'm posting directions on how to remove the fan blades (as suggested above).

DIY: Removal Fan Blades (while keeping the fan clutch attached to the car)

1) Remove the fan shroud per DIY directions. On the top, there's one screw holding it on the LEFT and on the right there's no screw. No screws on the bottom. You're supposed to be able to just pull it UP and OUT, but you may have to get under and "push" the plastic to the inside so it can clear the fan blades and pull out. You'll see what I mean once you get under there.

From page 2 of the thread, posted by someone else:
"NOTE: The fan clutch nut was very stubborn on the car. We ended up pulling the fan shroud out first by pushing it towards the radiator from underneath. We had to remove the lower splash panel to do this. The end result was a partially cracked ( mine did not crack), but still serviceable fan shroud. To remove the fan, we removed the 3 torx head screws that secured it to the fan clutch. This gave us enough room to remove and replace the water pump. The bad news is that the car needs new belts so I'm going to have to try to remove the fan clutch again very soon."

2) Now you'll have some space between the fan blades and the radiator. Use a torx30 (or maybe torx25) L-shaped key (SEE ATTACHED SAMPLE PICTURE) and remove the three torx bolts holding the radiator. These bolts are in FRONT of the fan, hard to see but if you stick a flash light or your hand in front of the fan blades you'll feel/see the torx bolts attached to the fan clutch.

3) Remove it and the fan blade will pop out without a glitch. Now you're set to remove the thermostat!

********************************
You will also need this DIY since removing the thermostat will spill a lot of coolant:

DIY: Coolant change
http://www.bmw325i.net/maint_coolant_change.shtml

You can skip steps 12-16, no need to drain the coolant from inside the engine. The most important step is to air bleed at the end or else you will not get hot air!
********************************
The above DIY specifies how to do a cold coolant air bleed, if this doesn't work you can HOT air bleed.

DIY: Hot Air Bleed

To hot air bleed, drive the car until it warms up. Stop on the side of the road with the engine still fully running. Turn on the heater full blast to 91.

Open your hood, and open the air bleed valve slightly. Not fully. You'll see coolant flow out and spill to the floor. After about 30 seconds, close it and drive back home. You should now have hot air, if not, repeat this procedure. Sometimes it takes a few tries for the air to fully bleed out.

Do not open the radiator cap during this process! It will burst out fluid. Only refill the expansion tank when your engine has significantly cooled.
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Old 12-14-2007, 03:11 AM   #70
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I can confirm that the temp stays at 204degF - thats what my scangaugeII shows all the time. I have a manual 323Ci w/ original thermostat and about 65K miles. Getting ready to replace mine also during the radiator flush...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssm1991 View Post
I check the temperature using the On-Board Computer (OBC) Hidden Codes routine: Easter Eggs Collected.

I set the code to 7.0 after engine startup and just drive on. My reading shows 95degC (203degF) when fully warmed up and the needle is in the middle, and usually just hovers between 93-97degC (199-207degF) during my daily commute of combined heavy traffic and short highways.

Can you guys try it out too on your daily drives and post here? Curious what others would show. I think 95degC is the optimal engine temp, but I think I read somewhere that our cars elevate it a little on long highway drives to preserve fuel.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:08 AM   #71
KATO
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I just replaced by my belts and thermostat this weekend. I followed the DIY and everything went very smooth. I removed the fan, but I did not have to drain the coolant, although it probably would have made the job less messy. Also, like the others have mentioned, don't forget to bleed the air out of the coolant system.
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:20 PM   #72
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So as long as its apart how much more work is it to replace the water pump as well
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:38 PM   #73
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where is the engine drain plug on e46's?...

also...

DIY: Hot Air Bleed

To hot air bleed, drive the car until it warms up. Stop on the side of the road with the engine still fully running. Turn on the heater full blast to 91.

Open your hood, and open the air bleed valve slightly. Not fully. You'll see coolant flow out and spill to the floor. After about 30 seconds, close it and drive back home. You should now have hot air, if not, repeat this procedure. Sometimes it takes a few tries for the air to fully bleed out.

Do not open the radiator cap during this process! It will burst out fluid. Only refill the expansion tank when your engine has significantly cooled.

where is this HOT AIR BLEED valve?
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