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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-10-2014, 03:06 PM   #1
mitchstade
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 25
My Ride: 2002 325xi
replacing waterpump (some info for DIY's)

so the other day i was driving to work and quite enjoying myself because the first nice day had arrived and i had finished all my finals.

i thought the day couldn't get any better and of course it didnt... it got worse. As i was driving my battery light came on and because i have a new interstate battery i immediately thought "great my alternator is toast". Then my power steering stopped working and having an Xi it was a bit more tough then ive experienced before (no power steering in other vehicles). As i was getting closer and closer to work i watched my temp gauge rise at a reasonable rate and as soon as it hit the red and the background light came on i IMMEDIATELY pulled over and turned the car off.

After opening the hood i could see the belt was where it wasn't suppose to be pretty much on top of the radiator. I was actually relieved thinking a belt isnt going to be too much and i can surely fix that. went to the stealership (i know rip off and a half) to get a replacement because its never busy and it will be the right one and i know it will be quality so $57 later (for a belt, ouch). i went to go replace the belt but before doing so i decided to feel around for maybe a sharp pulley that caused it or whatever the culprit was. i felt a lot of play in the water pump in comparison to the all the other pulley which were solid in there place and werent wobbly.

so damn, not gonna fix this today at the side of the road and called a buddy with a car hauler to bring my car home (thanks Adam). thankfully my car started (interstate battery worth the $300 in my opinion). I quickly drove it up the car hauler and turned it off (must of been 10 seconds) and again to get it off the car hauler and into my garage.

anyways back to the water pump, the dealership wanted $280 for a new pump and pulley (beat up the old pulley because it was seized to the pump) and it was back ordered by 2 days. so i just ordered them from ECS tuning for almost half the price and 2 day FedeX shipping, had some bad experiences with UPS shipping.

i have the water pump out now and just waiting for the parts to arrive and just wanted to give some advice for others about to tackle this project.

first of all i think this project was easy and im not mechanic (do my own oil changes and follow other DIY) but what helped a lot in my opinion is removing the the fan and shroud (shroud especially) i have an electric fan because i have a manual but it was very easy to take out. one torx that was a bit bigger than T25 and a bit smaller than T30 (sorry not sure what it was) so i just went slow. Along with one of these center pull pins and the electric fan just slides right out (awesome). and make sure you unhook the 2 plugs on the left before you pull it out.

This provided A LOT more room and allowed more light to get in, i sneaked the pulley off with the fan shroud on but i dont think the water pump would come out with it on. I believe that being lazy especially with the vehicles just ends up costing you more

the water pump is really stubborn to come out but you really want to take your time and go slow as not to damage your radiator. I read on another DIY to put a towel to cover your rad, i used the lid of a large bucket in case the water pump shot out and dented the rad (rad's are very fragile). Also the O-ring on the water pump is very stubborn when it comes time to pull the pump out (when you pull it the o-ring sucks it back in) so i used the bolts from the pulley to screw into the 2 sides of the pump to help squeeze it off which i believe is why they are there.

after the bolts were in i slowly moved it around and it popped out and started leaking coolant out. i didnt drain it because i didnt think that much would come out and because im lazy and a hypocrite. i will clean it up with brake cleaner after the install because coolant is corrosive

ive attatched some pictures just give you an idea of what it looks like and also the 4 liter bucket thats half full is how much coolant came out.

the video is what i thing is wrong with the water pump, the bearing. if you follow the 60,000km maintenance interval for the cooling system then my car is just coming up to the 3rd change. i currently have 173000km and from the condition of the pump it very well may have never been replaced.

its hard to tell in the video the play in the bearing and maybe there isnt even anything wrong with it but its still good to replace cooling components on these cars.

its not very much info but i believe in putting in what you take out and ive taken a lot from this community and am really thank full

and by all means contribute to this discussion with your helpful information


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Old 04-10-2014, 03:21 PM   #2
WDE46
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Yes, those two holes on the side of the pump are specifically for assisting removal. The bolts from the thermostat fit in them.

I don't think it's possible to remove without taking the electric fan out. I work on my car hot, so I take the fan out and drape a towel over the inside of the radiator so I don't burn my arms on it.

Coolant is specifically made to NOT be corrosive so don't worry about it too much. The most I do to wash coolant off is rinse with some extra distilled water just to keep it from evaporating and leaving the white crap behind.

This seems like a pretty standard story of WP failure. Replace it every 75,000 to 100,000 MILES and you'll be fine.
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Old 04-10-2014, 03:42 PM   #3
bee-em-dougle-u
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You can thread in those two bolts to work as a 'puller" for the WP, but I just tapped lightly on the pump (sideways, on the pulley hub) with a hammer and it came right off. Saves a few minutes this way.
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Old 04-10-2014, 04:39 PM   #4
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bee-em-dougle-u View Post
You can thread in those two bolts to work as a 'puller" for the WP, but I just tapped lightly on the pump (sideways, on the pulley hub) with a hammer and it came right off. Saves a few minutes this way.
Pretty sure my original pump just pulled right out.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:13 PM   #5
mitchstade
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Also i forgot to mention that lots of DIY's are reasonable easy and straight forward especially if you take your time and are somewhat mechanically inclined. the only problem i think is the amount of confidence someone has in them self and if they trust their work or not.
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Old 04-10-2014, 05:28 PM   #6
BMW323ciDriver
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Yeah for me, Water pumps are easy to install. I did two of them before without the bmw special tool. The only pain was getting the fan and shroud back on.
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