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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 06-04-2009, 11:30 PM   #21
easyIsle
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Originally Posted by Hartman View Post
For those scared of the alternator, it isn't hard at all, I'm not sure why others are complaining.
I know why.... Mine fit pretty darn tightly in the bracket in which it pivots. It took me a 5 or 6 tries to get it perfectly aligned so the large pivot bolt could fit all the way through to the threaded part of the alternator bracket.

It Definitely helped to have a mirror-on-a-stick to see which direction it needs to move it to make the holes line up

Again, Its not hard!! I thought it was just the most frustrating part of this EASY diy. Some alternators may be tighter then others, i guess. Nothing a little patience and finagling won't solve .. its not rocket science
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:38 PM   #22
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Nice write up now I know where my oil leak is coming from thanks.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:49 PM   #23
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Just was told today that this gasket was leaking. I was going to do it myself, but after seeing this the $300.00 price tag is looking worth it haha.
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:00 PM   #24
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Just did the oil filter housing gasket and the CCV...had a leak from both...only difficult part was replacing the alternator...that required some patience and a rubber mallet ...replacing the CCV is a lot easier with the alternator and oil filter housing out of the way...even managed to get the hoses off without breaking them...turns out that the oil leak from the CCV was due to a split in the vacuum hose...
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:18 PM   #25
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What causes your oil filter housing gasket to leak? I didn't notice this leak until about 2 weeks after changing my oil. Did I do something wrong to cause this?

Just curious....what are the estimates of getting this done at a dealership? 4 hrs x $80/hr = $320?? I'm not sure if this looks so easy??? Are the belts difficult to replace?
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:03 AM   #26
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What causes your oil filter housing gasket to leak? I didn't notice this leak until about 2 weeks after changing my oil. Did I do something wrong to cause this?

Just curious....what are the estimates of getting this done at a dealership? 4 hrs x $80/hr = $320?? I'm not sure if this looks so easy??? Are the belts difficult to replace?
if you are wondering if belts are difficult to replace, then im sorry cbang, im not sure if you should consider doing this. of course DIY saves money if you know how to actually Do It Yourself.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:55 AM   #27
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can you come over and take alook at it i dont know where my fuel pump is. i tried asking in the general e46 forum and they just told me to stop posting and to stick a steak in my engine
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:57 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Cbang View Post
What causes your oil filter housing gasket to leak? I didn't notice this leak until about 2 weeks after changing my oil. Did I do something wrong to cause this?

Just curious....what are the estimates of getting this done at a dealership? 4 hrs x $80/hr = $320?? I'm not sure if this looks so easy??? Are the belts difficult to replace?
The first thing to check is the o-ring on the filter cap. That is the most common leak source, especially since you just changed your oil.

The oil filter housing gasket starts to leak because the gasket itself fails; it becomes brittle and breaks. The replacement procedure is not hard for the average DIYer, but this is not a first-timer project by any means.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:28 PM   #29
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I've never taken belts off/on my engine before, but if it's only bolts, then I can handle that. I'm certainly not new to the DIY projects....I think I'll be okay. If I can swap suspensions, short shifters, intake/headers/exhausts....I can learn this one too. Everything I've learned in the past 5 years has been by just doing it. Why stop now!? haha.

I read here that using a crescent wrench to loosen/tighten your oil filter cap can cause leaking in the gasket...that's what I did. I don't see any leaking around the O-ring or on the upper area of the motor.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1070662

Last edited by Cbang; 08-18-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:37 AM   #30
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There isn't any 'movement' in the oil filter housing. It's held on by 6 bolts w/ metal-to-metal seating to the engine block. Removing the oil filter wouldn't loosen it and cause it to leak. You'll see once you remove the housing that the gasket is recessed; once it shrinks or breaks from heat and age, it allows oil through the channel. Seems like they start leaking around 100k miles and just get worse.

Anyone that is replacing the oil housing gasket should also replace the CCV/oil seperator and plastic hoses. If I ever have to replace another seperator, I'm yanking the oil filter housing 1st. I replaced a CCV before by working around the filter housing; one of the most challenging/frustrating DIYs ever.

The gasket is not a difficult DIY, you're just removing lots of easy parts. Great time for new belts and even the idler pulleys if you're over 100k.

Have fun!
Brian
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:41 AM   #31
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great write-up
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:35 PM   #32
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There isn't any 'movement' in the oil filter housing. It's held on by 6 bolts w/ metal-to-metal seating to the engine block. Removing the oil filter wouldn't loosen it and cause it to leak. You'll see once you remove the housing that the gasket is recessed; once it shrinks or breaks from heat and age, it allows oil through the channel. Seems like they start leaking around 100k miles and just get worse.

Anyone that is replacing the oil housing gasket should also replace the CCV/oil seperator and plastic hoses. If I ever have to replace another seperator, I'm yanking the oil filter housing 1st. I replaced a CCV before by working around the filter housing; one of the most challenging/frustrating DIYs ever.

The gasket is not a difficult DIY, you're just removing lots of easy parts. Great time for new belts and even the idler pulleys if you're over 100k.

Have fun!
Brian
The list of items to replace along with this DIY just gets longer and longer. . .
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:28 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by beberle View Post

anyone that is replacing the oil housing gasket should also replace the ccv/oil seperator and plastic hoses. If i ever have to replace another seperator, i'm yanking the oil filter housing 1st.

The gasket is not a difficult diy, you're just removing lots of easy parts. Great time for new belts and even the idler pulleys if you're over 100k.

Have fun!
Brian
+1...
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Old 08-25-2009, 03:27 PM   #34
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Once the engine and splash guard gets messy with oil, usually it's quite difficult to pinpoint the source of an oil leak since it tends to creep everywhere.

So a tip below for figuring out if the oil filter housing gasket is the source of your oil leak.

Take out the air filter box (5 min), and point a strong flashlight into the area of the block circled below -- the waffled part of the block with 2 unused bolt holes. If it's wet with oil, then for sure the gasket is leaking. It's virtually impossible for a power steering leak to get there.


Photo reused from beberle.
Is this location for the leak 100% - As I have a leak that I can't pinpoint, and started thinking it was the Oil Filter Housing Gasket, but last night I took my air filter housing off to inspect, and I don't show signs of a leak where this poster indicated.

I seem to have a lot of leaking all over the intake manifold hose coming out of the power steering resevoir and some on the radiator return line - Do the Resevoir themselves ever go bad ?

This one has me purplexed
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Old 08-25-2009, 07:32 PM   #35
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I would run your engine and check your oil filter cap. I had an O-ring problem and oil was leaking out the top from there. Could be what you're seeing there too.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:09 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by mhallerbach View Post
Is this location for the leak 100% - As I have a leak that I can't pinpoint, and started thinking it was the Oil Filter Housing Gasket, but last night I took my air filter housing off to inspect, and I don't show signs of a leak where this poster indicated.

I seem to have a lot of leaking all over the intake manifold hose coming out of the power steering resevoir and some on the radiator return line - Do the Resevoir themselves ever go bad ?

This one has me purplexed
The power steering hoses connected to the reservoir are a major oil leak source, especially if your car is 10 yrs old and you still have the original clamps on it.

Clean it up first then drive for a few min then inspect again. It's the only way to be sure. Sometimes new clamps are all that's needed. And change the $2 reservoir cap o-ring while you're at it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:05 PM   #37
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just a tip ... PS fluid and motor oil will look, smell, and feel very different from each other.

Take a white paper towel and dab the liquid thats leaking on your engine.

Take another two paper towls and get some PS fluid from the reservoir on one, and motor oil from the dipstick on the other.

Compare and contrast ... it will tell you what kind of leak you have. While your in tehre, check your fluid levels. Which one is dropping more then it should?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #38
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The power steering hoses connected to the reservoir are a major oil leak source, especially if your car is 10 yrs old and you still have the original clamps on it.

Clean it up first then drive for a few min then inspect again. It's the only way to be sure. Sometimes new clamps are all that's needed. And change the $2 reservoir cap o-ring while you're at it.
Thanks - that I beleive is the problem
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:14 PM   #39
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just a tip ... PS fluid and motor oil will look, smell, and feel very different from each other.

Take a white paper towel and dab the liquid thats leaking on your engine.

Take another two paper towls and get some PS fluid from the reservoir on one, and motor oil from the dipstick on the other.

Compare and contrast ... it will tell you what kind of leak you have. While your in tehre, check your fluid levels. Which one is dropping more then it should?
Originally I thought I would easily be able to tell too, but the leaks on my ground have picked up all the gunk on my engine so by the time it hits the ground it looks like motor oil no matter what it is. A few months back I had a leaking valve cover gasket which I replaced but the remnants are still on the engine. My engine needs a good cleaning in order to be sure, but I did find a 2 loose clamps on the power steering hoses, and it might have fixed the leak now.

Thanks for all the advice everyone - I'm just glad I may not have to deal with the filter housing gasket right now.
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:34 PM   #40
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Thanks for a great write-up, worked like a charm. Appreciate the step-by-step details. Wish I had pictures to show you the 'leak'. It was massive. Alternator came off and went back in quite easily, which is good. The only thing I reversed was the removal of the oil line from the filter housing. I left it on the filter housing and removed the upper end. Took the opportunity to replace the belts as well, they were shot. The last thing I replaced was the oil-filter as a preventative measure to ensure that any debris from the removal got caught before getting tossed into the engine.
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