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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 03-22-2011, 03:34 PM   #101
chetured
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MP333 thanks for the reply. Sorry for the frantic post- I did not have the radiator hose on completely and hence the sucking noises.

While I was doing all this I did do the oil filter housing gasket too, belts and tensioner s as well ! 98 K and runs alike a charm !

By the way the autozone test , showed that the alternator was fine, I could not really hear any bearing noise with a stethescope . But as soon as I replaced the alternator the Battery light went away... Phew..! (voltage reg and alternator are too close in price not to just change the whole thing) Also Autozone guys don't know much about Bimmers - More than one perosn asked me if my alternator was a turbo after I told them it was an 01 Bimmer.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:42 PM   #102
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Great write up. I will be doing it this weekend on my wife's car. Wish me luck.
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Old 04-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoVaDreier View Post
Who did the job in D.C. for $396?
No. The question should be who the hell was charging $980 to replace a $6 gasket next to the alternator?

What did you go in there wearing a helmet and mittens with a dead mouse in your pocket?
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:23 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by delmarco View Post
No. The question should be who the hell was charging $980 to replace a $6 gasket next to the alternator?

What did you go in there wearing a helmet and mittens with a dead mouse in your pocket?
LMAO
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Old 04-09-2011, 06:22 PM   #105
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I got mine replace this afternoon; thanks for this DIY.

I did discovered a small leak on the oil pan.
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Old 04-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #106
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I did discovered a small leak on the oil pan.

uhm...please clarify. Exactly what that does that mean? that there is another leak?
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Old 05-08-2011, 12:22 AM   #107
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I have read several oil DIY and none of them mention what the torque for the bolts on the main housing is. I would assume there is one???
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:20 PM   #108
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After doing my OFHG this weekend and having the same question I consulted the Chilton Manual that I have for my 325i. It listed the torque spec at 22 nM or 194.175 inch pounds. I torqued the bolts to this spec and had no leaks when the job was done. Please do this at your risk, I am not a certified mechanic...........legal disclaimer out of the way!!!!!!

To the OP and all the others who have posted on this thread and the others DIY threads I want to say thank you. Having this DIY and others have saved me a great deal of money while working on my car.
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:39 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by bamaguy View Post
After doing my OFHG this weekend and having the same question I consulted the Chilton Manual that I have for my 325i. It listed the torque spec at 22 nM or 194.175 inch pounds. I torqued the bolts to this spec and had no leaks when the job was done. Please do this at your risk, I am not a certified mechanic...........legal disclaimer out of the way!!!!!!

To the OP and all the others who have posted on this thread and the others DIY threads I want to say thank you. Having this DIY and others have saved me a great deal of money while working on my car.
Torque specs are based on the bolt size and tensile strength rating.

22Nm is about right for a 8.8 class bolt.

Whenever I don't have a spec handy I just check the bolt grade and then look at a chart like this:
http://www.imperialinc.com/pdf/A_Fas...rqueCharts.pdf

Are they an 8.8 bolt or a 10.9? I can't remember if they have the mark on them or not but generally they should be marked.

10.9 bolts can handle more torque than the 8.8 can. Either way 194 in*lbs (16 ft*lbs) isn't really very tight and if you overtorque them you could snap the bolt off (which is the biggest concern).

They might also be on the loose side of the spec so that there is no risk of damaging the aluminum block that they are screwing into.

-Rich
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Old 05-09-2011, 02:01 PM   #110
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rbryantaz:
I would not worry about tourqueing the head off of the 8.8 hardened steel bolt in this application. I would be more worried with blowing the threads out of the Aluminum Engine Block. Let's face it, the aluminum of the block is a softer metal and will give before the head does on the bolt.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:03 PM   #111
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Originally Posted by bamaguy View Post
rbryantaz:
I would not worry about tourqueing the head off of the 8.8 hardened steel bolt in this application. I would be more worried with blowing the threads out of the Aluminum Engine Block. Let's face it, the aluminum of the block is a softer metal and will give before the head does on the bolt.
The torque on the boss distributed across 5-6 threads where you are torquing directly on the bolt.... Given that I don't think it is clear that the aluminum would strip out first.

I would actually expect that the boss would twist off before the threads would give up (for the holes with a boss that sticks out on the block). In my experience, generally bolts snap off near the boss.

IMO Either way you could have to wrench pretty hard to break either. Only a true amateur would snap one off. I didn't use a torque wrench when I the job, I just used judgement and basically tightened it with my wrist instead of using my whole body.

-Rich
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:39 PM   #112
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It's amazing how we drive these ultimate machines but a simple rubber gasket is a pain in the butt. If e46fanatics never existed I would have coughed up a butt load of money for a simple fix. I can't wait to change this again in another 80k miles!!
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Old 05-15-2011, 06:27 AM   #113
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Is it a good idea to replace the voltage regulator on the alternator once you have it out?
And the hydraulic belt tensioner?

I see you can get just the "hydraulic belt tensioner" for about $112
But the "complete hydraulic belt tensioner" for $69
Realoem prices of course...
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...90&hg=11&fg=18

Last edited by Tele; 05-15-2011 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #114
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thanks for the DIY..just now finished replacing the OFHG wow was it PITA for us who have automatic BMWS. now i can breathe easy until the next thing that pops up haha
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:24 PM   #115
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SO i just finished the OFHG and the VCG, got everything back on and took it for a test drive. And the transmission indicator light now has a settings warning light the right of it and it shifted really rough and would jerk when it down shifted. I have an auto. All this hard work just to have the transmission go bad? I hope not.
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:32 AM   #116
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Thanks

Mine wasn't leaking as bad as 1 quart every 2500 miles, but it was bad enough. This really help to get it fixed on my own. I however took my splash shield and skid plate underneath the car to a car wash bay degreased them both and power washed them. They look better than ever and now no more leak!! The engine looks better, the undercarriage looks better, and best of all, I can park in peoples nice driveways without leaving a mess.
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:26 AM   #117
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Did last night in about 3 hours taking my time. Agree that the hardest part was messing with the alternator, but wasn't too difficult. To get the alternator off I whomped a few times with a rubber mallet and that did the trick. To get the alternator back on I put the top bolt in first and then swung down the alternator until the bottem bolt hole lined up when feeling with a long screwdriver through the hole.
Sad to hear people have stripped the block by over-tightening the OFH bolts, a reminder to definetely use a torque wrench set at 22Nm /16ft-lb.

During this job is a good time to replace belt pulleys -> very easy access.

-Rob
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:06 AM   #118
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I suspected that I had an oil filter housing gasket leak on my 2003 330i.

After reading all the great DIY's on this site I was going to do it myself (dealer wanted $433 plus and additional $95 for and oil change that was due - yikes!) - except that I knew that I was going to need my car today and time became an issue. Took my car to a local shop that I trust (not the dealer). Turns out the leak was most likely caused by a cracked filter cap. I should have known better after reading all the posts about that specific issue. Hopefully that has stopped the oil leak. I'm going to watch it for a while and see. So, a $68 dollar fix is better than $433 but if my leak indeed turns out to be the housing gasket, I'm going to replace it myself. Thanks for all the good posts and photos.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #119
deltaskyking
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BTW, during my research I found a pretty good youtube video of a guy doing a step by step replacement of an oil filter housing gasket on a 2004 E46 330i. You can find it here: . His car is a manual transmission, so for those with automatics you need to remove the cooling fan. The Chilton's manual that I have says you need a special 32mm narrow open-ended wrench tool (part number 11 5 040) to loosen the cooling fan hub nut, and remember to loosen it by turning it clockwise. Anybody have any helpful hints or things to avoid while taking off the fan on an auto transmission E46?
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:17 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by sdpaguy View Post
Sad to hear people have stripped the block by over-tightening the OFH bolts, a reminder to definetely use a torque wrench set at 22Nm /16ft-lb.
Advice - please use your torque wrench wisely. Set it at 22Nm/16ft-lb and trust in its capability. It does not seems like a lot of torque but its just plenty for those bolts. M8.8 are spec at 22Nm. Hell the oil filter cap made out of plastic has a higher torque rating (25Nm), go figure.

Lesson - I did not trust my torque wrench and I did over torque one bolt to the point it snapped off. I gotta say it was a sicking feeling when it happened. I thought I needed to re-thread the hole, etc. However, when I removed the housing, the bolt snapped with some thread to get a set of vise pliers on it to remove it.

Then I ordered an brand new set of housing bolts from the dealer and make sure they where all at 22Nm no more. Lesson learned.

Suggestion while you have half the cavity apart replace and clean if you can oil & temp sensors (easy with the tightening), vans oil line and banjo washers, throttle body gasket, cleaned the throttle body, ICV, and DISA valve and gasket. My starter was going and replaced it as well. (Throttle body elec connection is number coded and connect it before re-install.) Follow the Bentley manual and the advice in the forum!! No issues (EML, or Service Engine Soon) and feels like new.

Thanks OP!
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