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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 03-19-2017, 09:57 AM   #21
jmo69
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Axle replacement isn't that hard, parts are about $600 for good replacement (GKN). The control arms don't need to be replaced unless they are bent. The inner ball joint is a separate part from the arm and the outer joint can be replaced but you need to do both sides at the same time. There are DIY's on these repairs, try looking on the xi forum, I've found plenty of help there. If you were anywhere near east central Wisconsin I'd say come over and I could help with most of your repairs.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:19 PM   #22
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Axle replacement isn't that hard, parts are about $600 for good replacement (GKN). The control arms don't need to be replaced unless they are bent. The inner ball joint is a separate part from the arm and the outer joint can be replaced but you need to do both sides at the same time. There are DIY's on these repairs, try looking on the xi forum, I've found plenty of help there. If you were anywhere near east central Wisconsin I'd say come over and I could help with most of your repairs.
I would've loved some help man. But, we live kind of far from each other. The thing that scares me the most about replacing the OFHG is the amount of parts you have to remove from the engine it's kind of intimidating so I probably have to write it all down and draw it on paper before I started the job.

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Old 03-19-2017, 01:29 PM   #23
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I would've loved some help man. But, we live kind of far from each other. The thing that scares me the most about replacing the OFHG is the amount of parts you have to remove from the engine it's kind of intimidating so I probably have to write it all down and draw it on paper before I started the job.

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The OFHG is not bad. If you can remove your fan and belts it's very easy from there. Biggest tip is the remember to disconnect your battery anytime you are dealing with electrical connections like the alternator. Also use a torque wrench upon installation to avoid stripping threads in the aluminum block.

I do recommend having a 1/2" impact driver to work on the axels. The axel nut is torqued around 200ft-lbs and is extremely difficult to remove with a breaker bar.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:53 PM   #24
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Those are some outrageous prices!


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Old 03-19-2017, 02:21 PM   #25
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lol at "im hella broke"

This car is not for you. Get a reasonable car and be responsible.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:31 PM   #26
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The key to the OFHG is to keep track of the bolts that hold it in place. I drew the outline of the housing on some cardboard and put the bolts in slits cut into it in the appropriate location. There are plenty of DIYs around to get you through it.
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Old 03-19-2017, 02:41 PM   #27
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I would've loved some help man. But, we live kind of far from each other. The thing that scares me the most about replacing the OFHG is the amount of parts you have to remove from the engine it's kind of intimidating so I probably have to write it all down and draw it on paper before I started the job.

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The OFHG is not difficult at all. Just take your time. Take pics before you take things apart. It helps. The videos online are great. If you get lost, get on line and ask. I did. You can do this.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:25 PM   #28
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I would've loved some help man. But, we live kind of far from each other. The thing that scares me the most about replacing the OFHG is the amount of parts you have to remove from the engine it's kind of intimidating so I probably have to write it all down and draw it on paper before I started the job.

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And take lots of photos as you go so you know where the parts go back and what order to put them back in. Keep all the parts organized in containers, especially the nuts, bolts, clips, screws, etc.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:40 PM   #29
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Just wanted to chime in as a fellow new DIYer; I started out in a very similar situation to you, didn't have many tools nor had I literally ever worked on a car before. My best advice is to use the resources available to you (youtube DIY videos, this forum, google) as much as possible, re-watching/reading DIYs to try and memorize them along with referencing them as you go. Always do lots of research. As long as you keep track of everything you take apart you shouldn't have issues. I'm actually replacing my lower control arms as well this Tuesday, from what I've gathered it isn't terribly complicated. Good luck to ya man.

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Old 03-20-2017, 01:18 AM   #30
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I agree with Spanner, I would take the list to a few surrounding independents and see who has the best to offer if you feel something is out of your league.
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:47 AM   #31
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Agree with everyone on the OFHG repair, just did it yesterday. It took me about 4-5 hours because I ran into problems removing the alternator and also spent a good amount of time cleaning the block as there was a bunch of oil leaking. Nothing particularly difficult about it though, just need to track all the bolts and take your time.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:15 PM   #32
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Do the OFHG yourself and see how it goes. I just replaced my alternator yesterday and it took me 2-3 hrs. I actually wish I had the part on hand to do OFHG at the same time, but it was a hard unexpected fail and I have work today

You don't even need to jack up the car. Just get the 32mm wrench and fan removal tool from Amazon and a standard ratchet+socket set. The fan can be a SOB to get in/out, but I didn't have any trouble with the alternator that others have mentioned.

Everything I learned came from Youtube and this forum. If I can do it, you can too.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:45 PM   #33
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I've had my alternator in and out so many times I can get it out in about 20 minutes, the trick is the threaded fastener that's pressed into the case. Before you re-install the alternator you have to move the fastener towards the rear of the case. When you tighten the bottom bolt it will draw the fastener up to center the unit in the mount. It makes it a lot easier to get it in place too.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:37 PM   #34
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UPDATE: So I went to the only shop that works on BMW'S around here and here's their estimation.

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Old 04-17-2017, 04:57 PM   #35
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So I brought my car in to the dealership yesterday
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Stop right there.....you're screwed!
Ha!

Yeah, sadly, this is the case -- and as the others have said, a reputable indie shop will charge you far less.

When I took my wife's 325 for the airbag recall, the dealer performed an inspection and they listed the engine and tranny mounts as needing replacement (they did), as well as a leak coming from the oil pan. The labor alone was 12.5 hours at about $300/hr, not counting parts (so, easily $3000 + parts)...

Cost at my mechanic's: less than $500 (including the $150 in parts that I ordered).
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:05 PM   #36
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UPDATE: So I went to the only shop that works on BMW'S around here and here's their estimation.
That's much better...

See if they're cool (they usually will be) with you bringing in your own parts -- some of that stuff you could get a little cheaper and/or upgrade (e.g., polyurethane bushings, or Meyle or ZHP control arms, that kinda stuff).
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:31 PM   #37
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That's decent pricing. I would DIY the control arms and bushings if you are able. But I would definitely leave them to do the axles. Axles suck.
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Old 04-17-2017, 05:43 PM   #38
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OP the quote you have from the shop is totally wrong: it is not the proper part number for control arms and bushings. You have an XI, these are the part for the RWD e46! But ... parts for the XI are usually more expensive than this.
I suggest you double check on realoem.com ...

$240 labor to change the coil spring is outrageous. :/ Someone here has a nice DIY for it
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:20 PM   #39
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OP the quote you have from the shop is totally wrong: it is not the proper part number for control arms and bushings. You have an XI, these are the part for the RWD e46! But ... parts for the XI are usually more expensive than this.
I suggest you double check on realoem.com ...

$240 labor to change the coil spring is outrageous. :/ Someone here has a nice DIY for it
Good call. Also the FCAB + bracket part number is different for Xi models as well.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:08 PM   #40
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You can do everything yourself aside from the alignment. Tons of places to get parts with decent prices (ecs, partsgeek, fcpeuro...)
There's basically a diy video for all the stuff you need to do. I'd try tackling some of the small stuff first and then work your way up. Learn how to work on it yourself, you'll save a ton of money, and you can give the dealer a big F-U every time you drive by.
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