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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 01-29-2010, 06:05 PM   #81
E-rock
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Yep. I don't see how you could comfortably remove/install the alternator without removing the fan. I have an auto, so the mechnical fan is tricky to get on and off, but I'm getting better at it. It's not that big of a deal, really. Spend the 5 minutes it takes to remove the fan. It'll make everything that much easier. If you have an auto, buy the tool off eBay for cheap. Mine have already paid for themselves as far as I'm concerned. If you have any other questions about the procedure, feel free to drop me a PM. GL!
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:19 PM   #82
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Thank you. Will do.
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:54 AM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n2Bimmer View Post
You know thats intresting that you brought that up. Few months ago i had a BMW shop change out my belts (3 years after my DIY, Got lazy) they did remove the fan however he only used one tool, which was the 32mm, he just spun it and the fan came loose. I did notice that he used a hammer and hit it on the head of the wrench, then spun it. dono why, but he got it off by using one tool
A trick you learn after losing the special "tool" bav auto sells for 32 bucks.

Instant torque breaker = whack it with hammer once, then you can just untighten the REVERSED THREAD fan nut off the crank.

Think about it....it aint rocket science. But BavAuto likes selling the damn useless ( I say useless cause its not really necessary) tool.

Nice to HAVE the tool, makes it less traumatic and feel more like your doing it "right". I guess you COULD maybe warp the end of the crank and cause some harmonic imbalance.... I suppose???!!
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #84
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using the tool that holds the 10mm pulley bolts could be detrimental. there was once a fan on so tight. that it ended up bending those screws/
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Old 02-01-2010, 10:54 AM   #85
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Okay so i finally did this over the weekend. I didnt remove the fan, i only removed one side of the upper hose, The side that connects to the thermostat. Coolant did spill out but not alot, maybe 2-3 cups worth. Anyways it was not a hard job but a pain it the butt due to tight spaces. Removing and putting back the alternator was the EASIEST part of the job, no joke. To remove we stuck a crow bar between the block/housing and the alt then you just move it and BAM its out, thats it. Putting it back only took us 2 minutes, You have to wiggle it and move the bolt then it will fall into the threads. Id have to say the harderst part was putting the belt back on, i dono why, it just didnt want to work, keep in mind the fan was not removed. I used two cans of brake cleaner and one can of Engine degreaser (non Foaming) and scrubed the block with a stiff brush. Got it cleaned and put it back on. Thank you very much for this DIY post
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #86
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Okay so i finally did this over the weekend. I didnt remove the fan, i only removed one side of the upper hose, The side that connects to the thermostat. Coolant did spill out but not alot, maybe 2-3 cups worth. Anyways it was not a hard job but a pain it the butt due to tight spaces. Removing and putting back the alternator was the EASIEST part of the job, no joke. To remove we stuck a crow bar between the block/housing and the alt then you just move it and BAM its out, thats it. Putting it back only took us 2 minutes, You have to wiggle it and move the bolt then it will fall into the threads. Id have to say the harderst part was putting the belt back on, i dono why, it just didnt want to work, keep in mind the fan was not removed. I used two cans of brake cleaner and one can of Engine degreaser (non Foaming) and scrubed the block with a stiff brush. Got it cleaned and put it back on. Thank you very much for this DIY post
Good work

The alternator was also an easy step when i did this DIY. The Belt also took a while for me to put back on. Frustrated the heck out of me. Lol.

Good job though.
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Old 02-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #87
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Ya, tnx for the help.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by n2Bimmer View Post
Okay so i finally did this over the weekend. I didnt remove the fan, i only removed one side of the upper hose, The side that connects to the thermostat. Coolant did spill out but not alot, maybe 2-3 cups worth. Anyways it was not a hard job but a pain it the butt due to tight spaces. Removing and putting back the alternator was the EASIEST part of the job, no joke. To remove we stuck a crow bar between the block/housing and the alt then you just move it and BAM its out, thats it. Putting it back only took us 2 minutes, You have to wiggle it and move the bolt then it will fall into the threads. Id have to say the harderst part was putting the belt back on, i dono why, it just didnt want to work, keep in mind the fan was not removed. I used two cans of brake cleaner and one can of Engine degreaser (non Foaming) and scrubed the block with a stiff brush. Got it cleaned and put it back on. Thank you very much for this DIY post
Great to hear! Props for getting it done without removing the fan, though I'd still recommend taking five minutes to remove it. I'll be pulling the air box this weekend and checking the engine block for any leaks. I drove pretty hard yesterday and didn't get any burnt oil smell, so I'm confident all is well.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:22 PM   #89
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Great to hear! Props for getting it done without removing the fan, though I'd still recommend taking five minutes to remove it. I'll be pulling the air box this weekend and checking the engine block for any leaks. I drove pretty hard yesterday and didn't get any burnt oil smell, so I'm confident all is well.
Smell?? The side of my engine block and the under side looked like poop fest for over a year, I have never smelled anything.
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Old 02-04-2010, 12:48 PM   #90
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Question IMPORTANT QUESTION before I DIY this

I am getting ready for this project but had a couple of questions.

The OP mentioned "jacking up the car ... it'll help". Since I don't have ramps or jack stands, could someone who's done this tell me why I need to get under the car? The only thing I think might be the reason was an alternator bolt, but not sure. I've searched on this subject, but nobody seems to mention going under the car, unless I missed it.

I just want to be 100% prepared before I start this. Thanks in advance to whoever can help.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:08 PM   #91
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I am getting ready for this project but had a couple of questions.

The OP mentioned "jacking up the car ... it'll help". Since I don't have ramps or jack stands, could someone who's done this tell me why I need to get under the car? The only thing I think might be the reason was an alternator bolt, but not sure. I've searched on this subject, but nobody seems to mention going under the car, unless I missed it.

I just want to be 100% prepared before I start this. Thanks in advance to whoever can help.
Both alternator bolts can be easily accessed topside once the fan is out of the way. I got everything out without getting under the car, including the powersteering pump but I still jacked the car anyways. YMMV. Having an XI, I think the front drive axle was in the way of me accessing the rear PS pump bolt but it was easy to get to with a box wrench from the top. The biggest benefits for me jacking the car was to raise it up so I didn't have to bend over as much (comfort,) and to take off the splash guards so if I dropped anything, they would fall right through to the garage floor (convenience.)

PM me if you have any other questions. I thought this was a really simple DIY.
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Old 02-04-2010, 04:35 PM   #92
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Both alternator bolts can be easily accessed topside once the fan is out of the way. I got everything out without getting under the car, including the powersteering pump but I still jacked the car anyways. YMMV. Having an XI, I think the front drive axle was in the way of me accessing the rear PS pump bolt but it was easy to get to with a box wrench from the top. The biggest benefits for me jacking the car was to raise it up so I didn't have to bend over as much (comfort,) and to take off the splash guards so if I dropped anything, they would fall right through to the garage floor (convenience.)

PM me if you have any other questions. I thought this was a really simple DIY.
Thanks for the reply. Like I said, I just didn't want to get started, then It seems pretty straight forward, except maybe removing the alternator from what I've read.

I still consider myself a DIY noob, but thanks to this forum, I've changed pulleys & belts, spark plugs, intake boots and cleaned the throttle body, now I'm ready for this.

Thanks again E-rock, I'll take you up on PM offer if I have any other questions related to this.

Last edited by zwei e46; 02-04-2010 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #93
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Just jack it up using a jack, you will need to do it.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:07 PM   #94
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My car must be way different than yours because I never had to lift my car off the ground for this.
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:29 PM   #95
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i have replaced these housings and gaskets many times. I have had to raise the car (other than to lift it enough to decrease back fatigue)
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:57 PM   #96
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For what purpose?
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Old 02-05-2010, 09:59 PM   #97
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leaking gaskets and broken mounting points for the tensioner
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:23 AM   #98
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me and thomastudios knocked ours out this moring. after doing his it only took 45 mins to do mine+ clean up
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:51 PM   #99
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Silly question from a new member

In all the DIY procedures I have see on changing the oil filter housing gasket none of them document the need to drain the oil first? Is this a necessary step? A recent inspection at my dealer indicated I needed to change the valve cover gasket, the vanos tube (leaking), oil filter housing gasket, and cracked belts. I also need to change the fan clutch. I was planning to bite the bullet and block out a weekend to tackle all of these. BUT I just changed my oil and would hate to lose that investment but I don't want to wait too long to make the repairs. So the answer to the question and or advice would be appreciated.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:10 PM   #100
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In all the DIY procedures I have see on changing the oil filter housing gasket none of them document the need to drain the oil first? Is this a necessary step? A recent inspection at my dealer indicated I needed to change the valve cover gasket, the vanos tube (leaking), oil filter housing gasket, and cracked belts. I also need to change the fan clutch. I was planning to bite the bullet and block out a weekend to tackle all of these. BUT I just changed my oil and would hate to lose that investment but I don't want to wait too long to make the repairs. So the answer to the question and or advice would be appreciated.
Draining the oil is not necessary. There is a check valve in the housing itself. Worse case scenario is you have to top off the oil but when I did this procedure there wasn't much oil leakage at all.
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