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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 03-07-2014, 09:59 AM   #1
phildobaggins
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Phildo's Clutch/Flywheel Replacement Tracker

I purchased a 2001 325xi wagon a few days ago and will be putting the car up on jack stands this weekend to start a clutch and possibly flywheel replacement job.

I have never owned/worked on a bmw but it should be a fun learning experience. I'm assuming its going to be pretty close to the same as what I have seen online for a rwd 325 transmission removal with the exception of the shift linkage and the front output shaft removal process.

I want this car to be my daily driver but I do have a newer motorcycle as a backup as needed when its down for maintenance. Right now mechanically the car feels great with the exception the clutch will slip a bit then catch itself under moderate throttle in the torque band.

I have looked at numerous how to's and DIY's, it doesn't look that bad. To prep I'll aquire a trans jack and female torx sockets along with an electric impact gun to speed up the process of removing stubbon bolts and fasteners.

I want to take pictures, maybe some video of tricky spots or unique issues the xi transmission/transfer case has over the rwd transmissions. I will use this thread to track parts purchases, tool purchases and the overall process.

I'm exited to rip apart this new to me car.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:39 AM   #2
Kubica
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The hardest parts will most likely be getting the exhaust down and the tranny back up. Try and get the car as high as possible if you are doing this on jackstands.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:41 AM   #3
phildobaggins
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I will have a strapped transmission jack for this. I agree. I will only be able to lift the car about 15 inches or so with my current race jack. Maybe another inch or two with a small block of wood or the hockey pucks I ordered for the jack stand points.

If the front cross member / subframe jack point is lower than I think it is I can probably get it up to 18-19 inches safely. If not I guess I will have to just make due. I plan on taking as much time as I need to accomplish this since I have another vehicle to ride. I am giving myself realistically a weekend to take the trans out / down and to inspect for leaks, issues. Then a week to order any/all extra parts I need or tools. Then the following weekend to get it back together. If the flywheel is still springy I may just leave it in if I don't have any evidence of rear main leakage. I will probably feel different when its apart though and just replace it all.

I haven't been under the car yet but i'll assume I can tie up the drive shafts after breaking the loose the transmission. Then at worst I can free the transmission and move it back 8-10 inches and lower it to the min jack height (I think that is 7inches) so in total it should be about a foot down and a foot back. Its definitely going to be tight.

Last edited by phildobaggins; 03-07-2014 at 10:48 AM.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:02 AM   #4
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I agree about the exhaust. Hopefully I wont be drilling out any exhaust studs. I plan on soaking everything in penetrating oil and if need be hitting it with a torch.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:25 PM   #5
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Welp I started.

I got the car about 15-16 inches off the ground, not much but thats what I could manage with the gear I have.

I took off the 3 under trays and found alot of oil coating on the oil pan and transfer case. I'll look at that issue another day.

People are right, you really need to lift the car about 20-22 inches to have a real chance at this project. I'm thinking of returning my jack stands and jack since I have not had them that long and picking up some heavier duty items.

Anyways I was able to get the 3 covers off. I removed the 2 cross members behind the transfer case. Removed the 2 exhaust bracket in the transmission area. I then removed the left bank nuts after soaking them in penetrating oil.

One came off pretty easy with my 120v impact gun. The other reallllllly faught me but came off smoking.

On the right bank i soaked them a few times. I the lower right bank nut sheared right off instantly. the upper right bank nut stripped down a size.

At this point I'm calling it a night. I'll probably just drill out the lower stud and i'm not sure on the upper, maybe heat it up / hammer on a socket. Not sure, advice is very welcome.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:06 PM   #6
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Heat it up as much as possible and hammer it out.
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:53 PM   #7
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Update.

Exhaust is off. Yey. I went to home depot and got 2 2"x12"x8' board s had it cut into 4 4' sections to get the jack high enough. Side skirts are close to 23"off the ground. Suddenly this project is out of nightmare mode.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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Calling it for the night. I got most of the drive shaft bolts off.

I'm using harbor freight 6 ton jacks with a max 23.5" height.

The trick for me to get the 22+" height was to use hockey pucks stacked 3 tall on a 19" jack and raise the car so I could get it to about 15" safely on jacks.

I then went back and put 6" or so of wood under the jack and 1 hockey puck to lift the front and rear safely.

Now I have enough room to roll around under the car even being 6'4 and big.

The rounded nut came off after hammering a deep impact socket 13mm on it then using my impact wrench, spun right off. One rear exhaust/muffler hanger was easy, the other was a little trick but it came right off with authority, it weighs a bit and I will probably use a jack and some bricks stacked when reinstalling.

So far I can reuse 3 of the 4 head to exhaust studs, I will clean then up and anti seize them. The 4th will get torched and pulled tomorrow. I will source a replacement down the road.

I have found my drivers side steering rack boot riped but it still has grease. I will figure out how to replace that later, doesnt look to bad.

I'm going to assume that the front drive shaft will not come out until I pull the transmission back after unbolting it. Its a short shaft (thats what she said) with no center joint like the rear to pivot on. So far I havent really taken any photos since its nearly identical to the bavauto video.

Tomorrow:

remove bad stud
finish unbolting drive shafts
remove in cabin related shift linkage items (plastic, boots, weather/noise seals)
remove under cabin shift to trans linkage
remove clutch slave
remove any other linkage
support trans with my trans jack and remove the mounting brace
start removing bell housing bolts

If I can just get the trans separated tomorrow I will call it a win. Very exciting.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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Decided to take today off, i was simply to sore to wrench on the car. I was rear ended on a motorcycle last year and tore my rotator.

I did start tracing down possible oil leaks, looks like maybe the rear leak is the transmission drain plug, transfer drain plug. In the front there is gunk built up near the front main seal but its pretty dry. I suppose it could be the oil drain plug but its more in front of the plug. I'll keep tracking this down and leave everything apart until I find it.

I checked the power steering pump/res and oil filter housing both are dry. valve cover is totally dry. Dipstick is dry and the oil level is near full. Maybe all this oil is from an old issue that was resolved and just not cleaned up.
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
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On second though after reading through http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=659100 it could be my filter housing gasket. I didn't see that the housing went that far down. I'll add the gasket to my purchase list.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:50 PM   #11
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Welp it was 10pm and I got bored, my shoulder started to feel ok. I really wanted to at least have the shafts off this weekend so I can start monday with the shift linkage/starter/reverse light/clutch slave and get the trans mount off.

I had to wrestle with the front drive shaft, you have to get creative. the front shaft takes an E14 torx socket (female). I was running into an issue with the front diff taking the torque from my hands away when cranking and using the rear output bolts on the transfer case for leverage. I ended up using a pry bar slipped between the u joint on the front output since well the 14mm bolts wouldnt be so tight i would do any damage to the u joint.

I hit them with penetrating oil and they all broke clean and easy.

The output flange and driveshaft had a little bit of rust. I used my dead blow hammer to wack 360 degrees around the shaft and it popped free. I noticed an orange cone shaped seal in the center of the transfer case front output. I stuck it back up there for now. it wasnt oily or greasy i'm assuming it to keep dirt or rust from whatever is behind it.

I have the bentely manual but up until this point I have not needed it. I need to figure out what that orange peice is and does. I then need to figure out if I need to take off the transfer case or not before I take off the transmission.

I have read alot of posts about removing motor mounts to get the transmission at the right angle to remove the starter assembly. I think it is time to start consulting the manuals
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:07 AM   #12
phildobaggins
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after some further reading regarding the starter motor removal (2 bolts that are part of the 12 removed facing rearward on the bellhousing) and lowering the trans via jacking up the front of the engine my hopes are getting up for the transmission being separated in the next few days.

After consulting the bentley manual I also supported the rear driveshaft on some bricks and the front driveshaft is resting on a cross member so it should be fine.

Tomorrow I will take off the transfer case after work, i'll try to document as much as possible since i couldnt find to much on it.
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Old 03-11-2014, 12:43 AM   #13
phildobaggins
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Monday night report. Took the wife to dinner, came home. starting working around. Cleaned up some of the tools/cords. Removed the microfilter and housing to prep for jacking up the engine. I started removing the front fan and related items.

Moved to under the car. Strapped on trans jack, removed transmission cross member. removed 4 transfer case bolts. Consulted the bentley manual, The transfer case would not wiggle/pry off. It has a little play but i suspect a 5th bold up top that i'm not seeing.

I have posted in another thread for assistance on that one. I took pictures of where the bolts go that I pulled out.

I like working on this at my own pace. An hour or two each night after work is nice, almost therapeutic. Tomorrow i'll take the hybrid, i didnt realize but my bikes rear tire is going bald right down the center (commuting), could have been all the clutch wheelies too...

Edit, also removed shift nob and related interior items.

Last edited by phildobaggins; 03-11-2014 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 01:55 AM   #14
phildobaggins
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Just remembered. I figured out where a majority of my oil leak is coming from....rear main seal. It was impossible to tell from the initial uncovering of the trans / engine pan / etc... but now that its been sitting on jacks its dripping decently from the bottom of the bell housing. I may not even have a completely worn clutch it may just be getting oily, but that is debatable and the clutch is getting replaced anyways.

Last edited by phildobaggins; 03-11-2014 at 02:04 AM.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:25 PM   #15
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I now have 2 2x4's cut 12" long for lifting the front of the motor via oil pan. I have taken a lot of pictures but haven't uploaded anything, been to busy. I may just track this and then put together something more formal afterward. Tonight I plan on removing the electric fan, its unbolted, just sitting there. Already removed cabin filter. Jack up the engine an inch or so and see if I can find the last bolt to the transfer case.

I'm also going take a second look at the exhaust studs or at least what I thought were studs. Hopefully I realize they are bolts and I can then just heat them up and back then all out and replace them.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:30 PM   #16
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Mr Baggins
If you haven't discovered already there is another plastic cover located below the cabin air filter tray at the back of the engine bay. Two bolts to remove this. It will give some more room to get to the top bolts and the starter bolts on the transmission. You may also wish to remove the motor mounts to lower the engine and transmission an inch or so. that way you will not rip your heat blanket in the transmission tunnel as you wiggle the trany out and make it allot easier to reinstall. Ask me how I know. BTW I had to replace all of my exhaust studs. What a royal pain that was. I had to replace my dual mass flywheel as well. Good Luck
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:11 AM   #17
phildobaggins
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DOWN TO JUST THE BELLHOUSING WOO HOO

I removed the top cabin filter cover, the filter (very old) and the metal pan that feeds into the cabin. I didn't look beyond that but now I will definitely take another look back there.

My initial thoughts are that I may have enough room with the front of the motor jacked up an inch or two without removing motor mounts. I can see the top of the bell housing but I really don't like putting that stress on the pan/engine mounts. I think I may run to harbor freight and pick up an engine support car and remove the mounts and replace anyways.

So far I can get the front the of the bell housing down almost 2 inches and the back came far enough down to easily see the top 2 transfer case bolts.

I have a question about the starter bolts, do they run rear to font in the bell housing or front to rear through the starter into the bell housing?

Thanks for everyones help, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 03-12-2014, 10:47 AM   #18
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Welp scratch the engine bar idea, my buddy is dropping off his engine crane/cherry picker tonight. Sounds like i'm also now gonna do my engine mounts since well i'll have a crane I really didn't want to do any damage to the oil pan by lifting the engine with it.
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:16 PM   #19
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answered my own question about the starter

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=732743
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Old 03-12-2014, 02:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phildobaggins View Post
Welp scratch the engine bar idea, my buddy is dropping off his engine crane/cherry picker tonight. Sounds like i'm also now gonna do my engine mounts since well i'll have a crane I really didn't want to do any damage to the oil pan by lifting the engine with it.
There's a screw on the top of the driver's side of the radiator that mounts it to the car. Remove that screw before lifting up the motor- otherwise it could take out the rad.
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