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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 01-20-2016, 06:31 PM   #1
Sigboi
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DIY: Getting to the heater core without removing dash

Hey everyone, I had recently tackled the heater core on my '03 325i and wanted to share a couple pics of how I got to it without removing the dash. Most DIY's I found had you removing most of the dash and I had read other threads that it wasn't necessary.

After removing shifter surround, remove storage compartments, then climate control and stereo.

So here's a few photos, it looks like it was designed to come out this way. Pretty easy.




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Old 01-25-2016, 12:44 AM   #2
fpa1974
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Great job

I was getting ready to remove the dash on my 05 330i. This saved me a lot of work

Other than the heater core itself what other parts (o-rings, clips, etc) should be ordered for the job?

Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2016, 12:58 AM   #3
Sigboi
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Glad this helped. You want to keep track of where the little silver clips that hold the lid on the heater core box, they're small and go flying when you pry them off.

Also, I ordered a behr heater core and it did not come with the two o-rings, so I had to run to the dealer to get them. Besides that everything went smoothly.

Cheers

Last edited by Sigboi; 01-25-2016 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:37 AM   #4
markusmarkus
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How corroded was the heater core?
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Old 01-25-2016, 10:17 AM   #5
Sigboi
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How corroded was the heater core?
Mine was actually in great condition, no corrosion w/ 220k miles, just had a pinhole leak that was causing that film on the windshield and that coolant smell was giving everyone headaches.

Last edited by Sigboi; 01-25-2016 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 01-26-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:14 PM   #7
EmFiftyFour
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Does anyone know which is the inlet and which is the outlet port on the heater core? I got the heater hoses mixed up, and need to confirm if im hooked up correctly. Pretty sure Im not but why do I still get heat? Please let me know, cannot find anything on google. The realoem diagram is retarded as well for this.
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Old 08-31-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
jamesbice
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Any chance the photos could be linked again?
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Old 08-31-2016, 10:11 AM   #9
markusmarkus
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Originally Posted by EmFiftyFour View Post
Does anyone know which is the inlet and which is the outlet port on the heater core? I got the heater hoses mixed up, and need to confirm if im hooked up correctly. Pretty sure Im not but why do I still get heat? Please let me know, cannot find anything on google. The realoem diagram is retarded as well for this.

I bet it doesn't matter!! The core is nothing more than a tube with aluminum fins. The direction of coolant flow won't matter.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:56 AM   #10
EmFiftyFour
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I bet it doesn't matter!! The core is nothing more than a tube with aluminum fins. The direction of coolant flow won't matter.
Thanks but I would love some confirmation. Cannot believe how impossible it is to find the right answer. This was one time where I wish I remembered how all these pipes sat before removing them
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Old 10-04-2016, 11:58 AM   #11
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Em, tried to PM you but your mailbox is full.

I hope this helps...

The hose that attaches to the left side (sitting in the car) of the heater core also attaches to the top, rear part of the water valve.

I remember when I did mine, one looked slightly scrunched and sure enough, I'd managed to reverse them somehow. In any case, hope that helps.

If it doesn't, come to my show this coming Sat. Oct 8, at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club at 6 p.m. (ticket's on me!) and I'll have my car nearby and after the show we can compare side-to-side so you can rest easy! 99 Macdougal St. Let me know if this helps!
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Old 10-04-2016, 12:34 PM   #12
EmFiftyFour
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Em, tried to PM you but your mailbox is full.

I hope this helps...

The hose that attaches to the left side (sitting in the car) of the heater core also attaches to the top, rear part of the water valve.

I remember when I did mine, one looked slightly scrunched and sure enough, I'd managed to reverse them somehow. In any case, hope that helps.

If it doesn't, come to my show this coming Sat. Oct 8, at the Greenwich Village Comedy Club at 6 p.m. (ticket's on me!) and I'll have my car nearby and after the show we can compare side-to-side so you can rest easy! 99 Macdougal St. Let me know if this helps!
Hey Dmax! Thank you so much for your help! Really appreciate it. So I was routed incorrectly after all if what you say is true because they are reversed at the ports. What's strange is they look legit either way you put them which is why I was confused. Either way, no overheat and I get heat from vents, so I won't touch it til the next time I do coolant work.. scared I may get some air in there.

Really appreciate the invite, but don't think I can make it. Good luck though, I'll check you out on YouTube

:beer:
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by EmFiftyFour View Post
Hey Dmax! Thank you so much for your help! Really appreciate it. So I was routed incorrectly after all if what you say is true because they are reversed at the ports. What's strange is they look legit either way you put them which is why I was confused. Either way, no overheat and I get heat from vents, so I won't touch it til the next time I do coolant work.. scared I may get some air in there.

Really appreciate the invite, but don't think I can make it. Good luck though, I'll check you out on YouTube

:beer:
You're welcome! Hope you can make it to a show someday...it'd be nice finally meeting you!
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:28 AM   #14
EmFiftyFour
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You're welcome! Hope you can make it to a show someday...it'd be nice finally meeting you!
Yep, same here I think our cars are the same color. 364 paint?

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Old 10-10-2016, 09:17 AM   #15
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Yep, same here I think our cars are the same color. 364 paint?
I think mine is 386, Fern Green Metallic. I didn't care about the color when I got it...I just needed a 3 and a manual! Years later, though, it finally grew on me when I realized no one in NYC is looking to steal anything in green.

Also, when the Apocalypse comes, I can hide well in a forest.
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Old 10-16-2016, 12:05 PM   #16
EmFiftyFour
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I think mine is 386, Fern Green Metallic. I didn't care about the color when I got it...I just needed a 3 and a manual! Years later, though, it finally grew on me when I realized no one in NYC is looking to steal anything in green.

Also, when the Apocalypse comes, I can hide well in a forest.
Haha good one.. I'll hide in the ocean
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