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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 01-08-2006, 07:26 PM   #21
teamdfl
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Notes on thermostat replacement

I just replaced the thermostat on a friend's 2001 325ia and wanted to share some photos and information. This thermostat thread spans the longest amount of time of the 1.21 gazillion thermostat threads I found with a quick search so this is the one that gets the pics.

I did not keep track of the tools used so I cannot offer a detailed DIY proccedure but here is a quick rundown. Note that some manual transmission cars have an electric fan rather than a mechanically driven fan so the procedure will be slightly different.

The thermostat was $51 at http://www.performancepartsstore.com/. It was manufactured by Wahler which is exactly what the thermostat we took off the car said.

1. Drain the coolant out of the car. The radiator drain plug is at the bottom left side of the radiator. The block drain plug is in the front of the right side engine mount.

2. Remove the air intake hump that sits on top of the radiator by pulling the center pin up and out of the 3 plastic retainers. Unclip the latches that hold the upper air filter box from the lower air filter box and move the upper half to the left to allow better access to the radiator and fan shroud.

3. Remove the fan shroud screw on the top right side of the shroud and the plastic rivet retainer on the top left side.

4. Using a set of fan clutch tools (thin 32mm wrench and thin steel plate tool to grab two water pump flange bolt heads to keep the water pump from spinning), loosen the left hand thread fan clutch nut from the water pump shaft. Lift out the fan and fan shroud.

NOTE: The fan clutch nut was very stubborn on the car. We ended up pulling the fan shroud out first by pushing it towards the radiator from underneath. We had to remove the lower splash panel to do this. The end result was a partially cracked, but still serviceable fan shroud. To remove the fan, we removed the 3 torx head screws that secured it to the fan clutch. This gave us enough room to remove and replace the water pump. The bad news is that the car needs new belts so I'm going to have to try to remove the fan clutch again very soon.

5. Unplug the electrical connector from the thermostat. Pull the wire bail out of the two hose connections and pull/wiggle the hoses off the thermostat housing inlet and outlet. If you drain the coolant you should drop very little to no coolant as you pull off the hoses.



6. Clean off the thermostat housing to avoid dropping dirt or debris into the engine block. Remove the 4 screws. 4 10mm head and 1 13mm head, that secure the thermostat housing to the block. Clean the sealing surface of the block.





7. Installation is the reverse.

8. Reinstall the block and radiator drain plugs. Loosen the radiator bleed screw on top of the radiator inlet hose fitting. Fill the radiator with a 50/50 mix of the proper coolant and distilled water.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...t=coolant+tech
You will hear air bleeding out of the bleed screw as you fill the system. Tighten the bleed screw and start the car to let it heat up. After the car is warm, loosen the bleed screw to release any trapped air. Top off again with coolant. You may have to perform several blled/fill cycles to purge all the air.

A few photos:
http://e46touring.com/gallery/thermostat
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Last edited by teamdfl; 01-08-2006 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 01-08-2006, 07:35 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silroc
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
very easy. I did it myself and I dont know much about cars.

Anyhow, your best bet is search www.pelicanparts.com for DIY with pictures
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:28 PM   #23
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Since I have been PMed twice with the same questions...

We used a little less than three of the 1.5 L bottles of coolant. We also used one gallon of distilled water but have a second one on hand just in case. Pulling the block drain as well as the radiator drain gets rid of most of the coolant but certainly not every single drop. As long as you change coolant every two years with the good stuff, you will be fine. You can get the Pentosin blue stuff for $10/bottle at Performance Parts Store. Search for the Pentosin part # G001100.
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Old 02-23-2006, 01:17 AM   #24
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I don't have any problem with my thermostat, but i see some builtup around the thermostat gasket, see pictures below. does this mean the thermostat is starting to leak? should i replace it before it fails?

i have a 2000 328i with about 65K miles.

thx.
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Old 02-23-2006, 08:15 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by rangkasa
I don't have any problem with my thermostat, but i see some builtup around the thermostat gasket, see pictures below. does this mean the thermostat is starting to leak? should i replace it before it fails?

i have a 2000 328i with about 65K miles.

thx.
Yep, its thermostat time.
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Old 02-23-2006, 12:33 PM   #26
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Thanks for the response. The independent dealer quoted me about $200 parts and labor. I'll get this fixed right away.
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:15 PM   #27
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Guys I replaced the thermostat today according to recommandations in this thread. I didn't take off the fan housing, which I probably should have done
since I used about 30 min to get the pipe houses off the old thermostat since the engine room is so tight, some plastic broke from the old thermostat in my frustration trying to get the pipes off.

Well everything went good when fitting the new thermostat, but when I was about to thighten the last screw on it, the freaking hosekey felt off the tip of the wrench!, I thought it felt to the bottom floor under the engine, but I'm now worried it actually felt into the fan behind the radioator. I drove a little with not filling up the radiator with water, and went fine then after 15 min the engine bolied (stupid I din't fill it up right away), so I stopped and filled up, then it held normal tmeprature and it have done with about 1-2 hour driving afterwards.

But my question is I live in Norway and the weather was about 3degress celcius today, and I stopped to check the fan about 3 times while test driving to see if the fan was working but it never was, should it go around in this kind of weather? I'm worried the hosekey felt into the fan and broke it, is it possible, what should I do and how do I remove the fan house? and where is the drain plug for the radiator??
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:50 PM   #28
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lol... i thought this kind of threads don't exist anymore..



"ahhhhhh..... it was made in 2004... "
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Old 02-25-2006, 05:37 AM   #29
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bump
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Old 06-19-2006, 11:51 AM   #30
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I have a 325ci steptronic. How do i remove the fan? I checked my330i.com and it had the directions for a manual. Any ideas?



Quote:
Originally Posted by chetured
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 11-18-2006, 01:13 PM   #31
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F-ing BMW and their dryer lint sensors. I got a SES light today and pulled a P0128 code with my Actron CP9125 scan tool. I reset it but I'm sure I'll see the light again soon. After searching around a bit, it appears that thermostats do not last much longer than a year in my car. I wonder if there are any options other than the OEM Wahler brand.
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Old 11-18-2006, 01:52 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by teamdfl View Post
I wonder if there are any options other than the OEM Wahler brand.
I think the e36 had an aftermarket metal-thermostat. If anyone has info on an e46 version in metal, that'd be great!
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Old 11-19-2006, 06:50 PM   #33
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I think the e36 had an aftermarket metal-thermostat. If anyone has info on an e46 version in metal, that'd be great!
M52/S52 and earlier baby sixes had a separate thermostat and housing. M54s have an integrated thermostat and housing. The thermostat lifespan is so short, I don't thing housing failure will ever be a major issue.

It appears that Behr has a thermostat for about the same price as the Wahler piece. I'll order one as soon as the P0128 code comes back.
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:32 PM   #34
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FYI, I just replaced my thermostat a few days ago and only drained the the radiator and expansion tank. I wanted to see if I could get away without draining the block. I didn't leak any coolant at all when I pulled the hoses off of the thermostat.

It was a pretty simple job especially since I don't have a mechanical fan on the water pump that needed to be removed.
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Old 01-20-2007, 05:31 PM   #35
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Help!

I just finished replacing the thermostat on my car, and the top left and bottom right bolts kept turning and turning. I had my torque wrench set at 18 foot pounds per the Bentley manual, but these two bolts wouldn't trigger the torque wrench to break. The other two bolts are fine, and the torque wrench gave way when they hit 18 foot pounds.

I'm concerned that the holes are stripped. I reset the torque wrench, and it seems that they are tightened to about 14.5 foot pounds. I don't want to just keep turning them in case it makes it worse. Any ideas? Please help. Thanks.
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Old 01-20-2007, 06:45 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by EPBB View Post
I just finished replacing the thermostat on my car, and the top left and bottom right bolts kept turning and turning. I had my torque wrench set at 18 foot pounds per the Bentley manual, but these two bolts wouldn't trigger the torque wrench to break. The other two bolts are fine, and the torque wrench gave way when they hit 18 foot pounds.

I'm concerned that the holes are stripped. I reset the torque wrench, and it seems that they are tightened to about 14.5 foot pounds. I don't want to just keep turning them in case it makes it worse. Any ideas? Please help. Thanks.
Stripped, ugh! If you are desperately short of time, fill the stripped holes with JB Weld then drill and re-tap using the old thermostat as a guide. If there is enough metal around the holes, a Helicoil or similar thread repair insert is the best way to fix things.
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Old 01-20-2007, 07:50 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EPBB View Post
I just finished replacing the thermostat on my car, and the top left and bottom right bolts kept turning and turning. I had my torque wrench set at 18 foot pounds per the Bentley manual, but these two bolts wouldn't trigger the torque wrench to break. The other two bolts are fine, and the torque wrench gave way when they hit 18 foot pounds.

I'm concerned that the holes are stripped. I reset the torque wrench, and it seems that they are tightened to about 14.5 foot pounds. I don't want to just keep turning them in case it makes it worse. Any ideas? Please help. Thanks.
Umm..my Bentley does not say 18 Ft-lbs (Foot-lbs). But Inch-lbs as in 89in-lbs or 10Nm. I think you overtightened them.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:00 PM   #38
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Umm..my Bentley does not say 18 Ft-lbs (Foot-lbs). But Inch-lbs as in 89in-lbs or 10Nm. I think you overtightened them.
Crap... you are right. I just looked again (page 170-12), and I must have not read the Tightening torque for the "Engine block drain plug to block", and just thought is was for the thermostat... Wish I had done the water pump first, then I would have known to use the same torque.

Do you think I should loosen the nuts and re-tighten with 10Nm?
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:34 PM   #39
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Crap... you are right. I just looked again (page 170-12), and I must have not read the Tightening torque for the "Engine block drain plug to block", and just thought is was for the thermostat... Wish I had done the water pump first, then I would have known to use the same torque.

Do you think I should loosen the nuts and re-tighten with 10Nm?
I am afraid I'm not sure what's the best course of action to take now. I would think you should have them all the same..but if it's warped then that wouldn't be good. Maybe someone else has a better explaination.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:34 AM   #40
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You have stripped the bolt holes my friend. Any bolt that calls for in-lbs is going to be going into a soft material. 18ft-lbs is much greater tq than 18in-lbs. I made the same mistake on some cam-shaft brackets on my motorcycle. PITA.
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