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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 03-20-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
kyle808
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Oil Filter Housing Gasket DIY w/ some pics

I just replaced the $6 gasket recently and decided to take a few pics. This is my first time doing the job and it was fairly easy. My car was leaking oil about 1 quart every 2500 miles.

1. drive car on ramps or put on jack stands.

2. remove bottom engine splash shield

3. remove air filter box and remove the 2 nuts holding up the power steering reservoir. Put it to the side.

4. Remove fan and fan shroud

5. remove upper radiator hose (optional step, it just help clear up some room)

6. remove the alternator belt.

7. disconnect the negative of the battery first before messing with the alternator. (added by SSM1991)

remove alternator at these locations. I think the 2 bolts are 13mm. pull the electrical connector and unscrew the red battery terminal (13mm). Also remove the lower air 3 inch duct.



8. with the alternator out, its time to remove the 6 bolts (13mm) that holding the oil filter housing to the engine. Important: Remember the locations of each bolt because they're different lengths. It will help alot when it's time to re-install the housing. Also remove the oil line at the top near the radiator hose and remove the electrical connector to the oil housing.





9. Pull the housing away from the engine. as you can see there are small collections of oil nearby. I didn't completely removed the housing, I just pull it off enough to remove the gasket.



10. picture of gasket that's harden and brittle. it's cracking in a few spots.



11. replace with new gasket and reverse all steps to finish.

12. top off coolant and some oil. Oil doesn't really leak out at all when you pull the housing off.
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Last edited by kyle808; 03-31-2009 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
muniz_ri
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Nice job!
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:00 PM   #3
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good diy, thanks
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:49 AM   #4
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I suggest cleaning everything up before putting everything back together. Easier to see future leaks if everything's nice and tidy.

Just make sure you don't get any dirt in the upper chamber since it's post-filter. Put rags or paper towels there before cleaning the surrounding area.



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Old 03-26-2009, 03:14 AM   #5
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You cleaned it up well.

I removed the power steering reservoir, I see that you didnt. Did you have sufficient space?
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Old 03-26-2009, 04:21 AM   #6
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There's more than ample space without removing the PS reservoir. Good thing its hoses are long and flexible enough. Was able to just set it aside without anything spilling out. Check the OP's 3rd photo above.

Last edited by ssm1991; 03-26-2009 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 08:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ssm1991 View Post
There's more than ample space without removing the PS reservoir. Good thing its hoses are long and flexible enough. Was able to just set it aside without anything spilling out. Check the OP's 3rd photo above.
Yea, you don't need to remove PS reservoir. Just move it to the side.

You did a hell of job cleaning up the oil filter housing and surrounding areas. I did clean it up some after I put the housing back on but no where near what you did. Your's look factory new. Was your housing leaking before too?

I didn't bother to completely remove the housing because there were too many brackets attached to it from the bottom. I was getting tired in the hot sun, so I just pull it off enough to swap the gasket.
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Old 03-26-2009, 11:09 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by kyle808 View Post
... You did a hell of job cleaning up the oil filter housing and surrounding areas. I did clean it up some after I put the housing back on but no where near what you did. Your's look factory new. Was your housing leaking before too?
The top part of my engine is pristine, but the bottom part from the gasket down was a mess just like yours before I did this DIY. Can't imagine how an oil leak goes everywhere.

I usually clean everything I can get my hands on when working on the car. With the alternator, engine belt and tensioners out of the car, I was confident enough to put a garden hose in there after finishing off a can of degreaser. The rest is done by hand using dishwashing fluid, Simple Green and a sturdy old microfiber towel.

Wasn't able take a pic of the before but here's another one after putting the cleaned housing back in:

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Old 03-26-2009, 01:52 PM   #9
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wow, that is one hell of a cleaning job!

Great DIY, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has found just about every surface below the intake manifold covered in oil. It really is amazing how the oil manages to disperse all over the entire compartment. I think I'm going to be tackling this job this coming weekend.

Did either of you (SSM1991 & Kyle808) find any other source for your oil leaks or was it just the housing gasket? I've done a ton of work on my car....everything from a full clutch/flywheel replacement, through a complete cooling system overhaul, and on and on...but diagnosing this leak has proven to be a real bear simply due to the pervasiveness of oil on so many components.

Lastly, SSM1991 which engine degreaser did you use, solvent-based or citrus-based? Was it easy to rinse off the cleaner after it soaked on the surfaces or was it still stubborn?
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Old 03-26-2009, 02:31 PM   #10
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wow, that is one hell of a cleaning job!

Great DIY, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who has found just about every surface below the intake manifold covered in oil. It really is amazing how the oil manages to disperse all over the entire compartment. I think I'm going to be tackling this job this coming weekend.

Did either of you (SSM1991 & Kyle808) find any other source for your oil leaks or was it just the housing gasket? I've done a ton of work on my car....everything from a full clutch/flywheel replacement, through a complete cooling system overhaul, and on and on...but diagnosing this leak has proven to be a real bear simply due to the pervasiveness of oil on so many components.

Lastly, SSM1991 which engine degreaser did you use, solvent-based or citrus-based? Was it easy to rinse off the cleaner after it soaked on the surfaces or was it still stubborn?
I've already replaced the valve cover gasket at 100k, and now this at 144K, so let's wait and see what the engine looks like after 2k miles with the new oil filter housing gasket. I cleaned up surrounding areas near the housing and underneath the engine too so it'll be easy to spot leaks. I'll report back later if there's any more leaks.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #11
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Did either of you (SSM1991 & Kyle808) find any other source for your oil leaks or was it just the housing gasket?
I cleaned up the engine bay a bit at first to isolate the source of the leak. Initially I thought it was the power steering hoses/pump like most others.

There's another excellent DIY by beberle here that has more photos. I edited one of his photos to show how to verify if the oil filter housing gasket was the oil source:



If that circled area is wet with oil, then for sure you need to change the oil filter housing gasket.

Once you have the alternator removed, you can spray, hose, clean everything else in that area to your heart's content, especially the power steering pump. Other leaks if any will show up eventually.


Quote:
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Lastly, SSM1991 which engine degreaser did you use, solvent-based or citrus-based? Was it easy to rinse off the cleaner after it soaked on the surfaces or was it still stubborn?
I've learned to use non-solvent based cleaners more. The foaming type degreasers work best on large greasy areas. But manually cleaning parts with a sturdy rag, dishwashing fluid and Simple Green is the way to go.

Solvent degreasers and brake parts cleaner have their uses too.

For stubborn grime, an assortment of scotch brite, brass and nylon brushes work well. Wear safety goggles by the way to avoid splashes to the eyes.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:22 PM   #12
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Nice job, I did it with help of a mechanic friend, no more oil burn smell, no more oil leaks.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:12 PM   #13
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Gasket

Does any one know if this is covered under the CPO warranty or am I going to have to get dirty this weekend?
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:04 AM   #14
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Does any one know if this is covered under the CPO warranty or am I going to have to get dirty this weekend?
I'll be surprised if the CPO warranty doesn't cover something important like an oil leak. Why don't you call the dealer to find out for sure?
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:08 AM   #15
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Hello,
I am perfectly inclined and able to do this DIY, but I just got done doing a coolent overhaul and just dont feel like messing with it. My local Indy Shop quoted me $250 to replace the gasket, which is getting worse, I am now leaving puddles of oil when parked over night. My question is, is it worth paying the $250 and have it done professionally, or just do it myself? There are just some things I would rather pay someone to do, and this one looks like a good one to have someone else do.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:31 AM   #16
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Hello,
I am perfectly inclined and able to do this DIY, but I just got done doing a coolent overhaul and just dont feel like messing with it. My local Indy Shop quoted me $250 to replace the gasket, which is getting worse, I am now leaving puddles of oil when parked over night. My question is, is it worth paying the $250 and have it done professionally, or just do it myself? There are just some things I would rather pay someone to do, and this one looks like a good one to have someone else do.
I don't think the job is hard at all really, probably will take 4 hrs. The hardest part is trying to pull the alternator out and putting it back in. You have to align it just right. Just need some patience here.

You rather lose $250 or 4 hrs?
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:42 AM   #17
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Glad to see you got it done yourself. Nice write-up.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:02 PM   #18
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I don't think the job is hard at all really, probably will take 4 hrs. The hardest part is trying to pull the alternator out and putting it back in. You have to align it just right. Just need some patience here.

You rather lose $250 or 4 hrs?
Good point. I already have the gasket at home. Looks like I'm going to be getting my hands dirty soon.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:08 PM   #19
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I think there's some confusion on the process. You do not need to remove the upper radiator hose, so you don't have to refill your coolant again.
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:14 PM   #20
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My own tips:

- It is critical that you disconnect the negative of the battery first before messing with the alternator. So just start off with that.
- You do not have to remove any coolant hoses
- It's much easier to just remove the banjo bolt of the VANOS oil hose on the VANOS unit side (front) than on the oil filter housing side (down and back).
- Clean, clean, clean, clean everything you can ....
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