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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 12-22-2004, 07:27 PM   #1
silroc
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Thermostat DIY with pics ?

Sup Guys,
Need to change my thermostat. Dealer wants $336 !!

LMFAO !!!



Hell no - I can do it myself (i think)- but I need help

Where is it ? Any step by step instructions ?

I did a search, but the pic was too zoomed in for me -


car is 2000 manual 323ci
thanks
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:17 PM   #2
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It's almost worth having the dealership do it, since it's such a hassle.

You'll also need a torx bit set (M6 and M8).

1. Drain radiator and engine block coolant.
2. Remove air intake duct and cooling fan.
3. Disconnect electrical harness for thermostat housing.
4. Remove retaining clips and pull hoses off housing.
5. Unbolt thermostat and remove.
6. Install new one with steps in reverse.
a. Don't get oil on sealing faces.
b. Use new sealing gasket.
c. Fill coolant back up, and be sure to bleed system.

Torques:
Engine block drain plug 18 ft-lb (25 nm)
Radiator darin plug 18-27 in-lb (2-3 nm)

Have fun
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:35 PM   #3
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Thank you !!!!!!

ps

Do you have any pics ?

(I am not thaaaat mechanically enclined, but my pops is tha man)
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Old 12-22-2004, 09:48 PM   #4
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Nope no pics, it's pretty easy to do actually, just draining/bleeding the coolant is a hassle.
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:02 PM   #5
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If you don't even know where the thermostat is then it's worth paying somebody else to do the job for you, 'cause you will do more harm than good.
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Old 12-23-2004, 03:26 AM   #6
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Silroc, this is easy DIY. I cheated by not draining the entire block - just unclipped the 2 radiator hoses from the therm unit and them topped the fluid up later. Refer to some posts that I have put in, this shouldn't take you more than 30min. the pic attached has some questions on it but that was just me trying to get help from thsi forum. all u need to do to remove the nunit is to remove the metal clips using a flat screw driver, pull the hoses off, unscrew the 4 bolts from the therm and you're done
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Old 12-23-2004, 01:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stock323iSaloon
Silroc, this is easy DIY. I cheated by not draining the entire block - just unclipped the 2 radiator hoses from the therm unit and them topped the fluid up later. Refer to some posts that I have put in, this shouldn't take you more than 30min. the pic attached has some questions on it but that was just me trying to get help from thsi forum. all u need to do to remove the nunit is to remove the metal clips using a flat screw driver, pull the hoses off, unscrew the 4 bolts from the therm and you're done
I just replace mine yesterday. Just use a flat head screwdriver to pry the metal clips out (both end of the thermo), they will stay on the hose end. Then disconnect the thermo from the hoses. Do not touch the clamps. You need to also get rid of that zip strip. Then just pull the hoses from the Thermostat. It'll be a little easier to remove the Thermo from Engine block first. That'll give you more room when you are trying to disconnect the hoses from the thermo (I had to use a flat head screw driver to carefully pry the thermo off the hoses.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-12-2005, 10:10 PM   #8
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I just did it

It took me about 45 minutes total. Be careful not to nick the radiator when you pull the fan unit module up and out and then when reinserting it. The hardest part was working the rubber hoses off of the hard plastic collars that are attached to the old thermostat. As the Weekend Mechanic would say, "I give the project a 2 on our intermediate level scale of 1 to 5."
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:47 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-15-2005, 04:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zazo
You don't need to take the fan out to replace the thermostat/thermostat housing. And like rock328 said, you don't need to remove the locking clips from the thermostat heater electrical connector or the hoses ends. Took me about 2 hours start to finish, including jacking the car and cleanup.
Zazo, how the hell did u take 2 hours by doing less than what I suggested?
A) taking the fan out (3min job) will give u access space to get to the the therm unit and to lift out the therm unit without damaging other parts (e.g.radiator). You're just making the job more difficult by not taking the fan out.

B) How do u replace the thermostat unit WITHOUT taking out the hose clips and removing the hoses?

As other member have said, it should take 30min tops even for a DIY novice like me. Donno why u took 2 hours but I wander how u managed to change yours without removing clips/hoses etc.
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Old 02-16-2005, 02:35 AM   #11
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Ah... I see I mislead you. Sorry bout dat. You are right, the hoses must come off of the thermostat housing, both upper and lower. What I was trying to say, quite poorly I might add, is that the metal locking clips on the end of the hoses do not need to be _removed_. They DO need to be unlocked, by prying them up with a flathead until they seat in the unlocked position. My intention was to ensure that no one here actually thought that the metal locking clips had to be removed from the hoses. In fact, I have yet to come across a metal locking clip anywhere on my car that requires the clip to be removed to unlock whatever it is securing. I only make a point of saying this because the first time I came across one of the electrical connector metal locking clips, I took it off... and proceeded to lose it into the depths of the engine - underneath the fuel injector rail... waaaay underneath. While I'm thinking about it, solder wire makes a great easily moldable hook for getting to, er, things, if you don't happen to have one of those long fancy grabby hookey things with the finger operated grabbing mechanism.

That said... yes, it did in fact take me about 2 hours to perform this job. Partly because I am not very intelligent, and I had to be extra careful since I didn't remove the fan. You might say that I am equally shocked that it only took you a half hour. Hell, it takes me a half hour to motivate myself to go into the garage!
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:41 PM   #12
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THemostat replacement

HOw can you get to teh four screwes that hold the therm without removingthe fan ? How do youo remove the fan?
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Old 06-19-2005, 12:45 PM   #13
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HOw can you get to teh four screwes that hold the therm without removingthe fan ? How do youo remove the fan?
Go to the GARAGE section of www.my330i.com and look at the installation of the VT1 and TX2 supercharger installation. There is a desription on how to get the fan out, for my 01' 330i, it is one torx head screw and one plastic rivet along with 2 wire connections to disconnect. Total time, 3 minutes.
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:20 PM   #14
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are you taling aboubt the front small fan or the BIG fan?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekubiaks
Go to the GARAGE section of www.my330i.com and look at the installation of the VT1 and TX2 supercharger installation. There is a desription on how to get the fan out, for my 01' 330i, it is one torx head screw and one plastic rivet along with 2 wire connections to disconnect. Total time, 3 minutes.

Are you taling about the fron small fan or the BIG fan on teh engine?
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:24 PM   #15
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THis does not tell me much

http://www.my330i.com/mod41.php

Looks liek I ma only able to remove the plastic casing aroundtha fan that is connected to teh engione - do you need to takte hte fan off o the engine block?
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Old 06-19-2005, 01:47 PM   #16
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OK i see what you mean - I got that far, but I have steptronic and it looks liek the shroud is getting caught by the fan itself and is a little hard to pull out - I will keep trying .. thanks
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Old 12-10-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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What is this connector??

Stock323Saloon posted a picture above of the plastic thermostat housing (#6) and you can see a shielded wire zip tied to the hose. This wire goes to a connector on the thermostat housing and I have a small coolant leak from that connector. What IS this connector? If I unclip it and pull it off will antifreeze gush out? Thanks for info in advance.

Mac
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:56 AM   #18
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It seems I have a leak coming from that same area. Is there an o-ring or gasket to replace or will this repair include replacing the thermostat housing?
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:04 PM   #19
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There is a gasket, yes. Likely that it has lost it's original seal. Just buy the t-stat and gasket and replace both now. Might as well while your there.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:12 PM   #20
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The t-stat and housing were replaced at 72000. I'm at 80000 and it seems to be leaking from around the temp switch, not the seal between the cylinder head and the housing where I know there is a gasket. Will removing the temp switch drain any coolant?
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