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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

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 10-26-2012, 12:40 PM   #141
adaseb
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Did any of you need to use locktite on the bolts? The vibrations of the motor can cause them to untighten
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:04 PM   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adaseb View Post
Did any of you need to use locktite on the bolts? The vibrations of the motor can cause them to untighten
I didn't see any mention of it in the Bentley Manual.
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:07 PM   #143
adaseb
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Does anyone remember if the bolts where originally locktited from the factory?

Because for some reason mine was fine and started leaking again after 6 months
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:58 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by ssm1991 View Post
I usually clean everything I can get my hands on when working on the car. With the alternator, engine belt and tensioners out of the car, I was confident enough to put a garden hose in there after finishing off a can of degreaser. The rest is done by hand using dishwashing fluid, Simple Green and a sturdy old microfiber towel.
Me too! Simple green concentrate works great with hot water.

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Old 10-27-2012, 07:05 AM   #145
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I did this a couple weeks back. I could not believe how much of an oil mess this thing can create. All the different oil drips I had were coming from this lonely gasket. I was amazed and still in shock what this $10 gasket causes. As far as doing this repair. The hardest thing is taking out the fan. Alternator was super easy. It's a tight fit, but no way difficult like some mention. Total time give yourself at least 3 hrs.
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Old 10-29-2012, 12:09 PM   #146
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Thanks for the DYI. I am about half way through the job now. Changing a couple of pulleys and the oil today too. This guide is a great resource.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #147
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I just did my ofhg today, pretty simple procedure, not too bad, but I think something is still leaking. I see some oil in the same area, hopefully it just fell in that spot when I put the housing back in place, else I will be doing it all over again!
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:11 AM   #148
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Did mine yesterday and noted some oil after a test run. Looking into changing the VANOS oil line/pipe and banjo crush washers, perform another clean, and hope this corrects the leak.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:37 PM   #149
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Changed out the gasket and oil pipe on the xi as pm. Was familiar with this job having done this on the 323, but this DIY was a great refresher. At 89k, I was surprised how pliable the gasket still was. The oil pipe however started to leak at the housing connection. I opted to remove the housing this time and really cleaned everything up. No problems on the install until I was putting the belt back on. STRIPPED THE TENSIONER BOLT Thought I was screwed until I found the "ax" method ...
I've since picked up a replacement bolt and will work on swapping it out in the future.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:36 AM   #150
Big Show
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Thanks, I feel confident enough to tackle this one. I have the same problem of oil housing leak, I got the new gasket and the oil fitting with O-rings.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:25 PM   #151
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I am about to remove the 6 bolts to go in and replace gasket. From the pictures in this DIY it appears that there is space to add a thin bead of RTV like we do on the VCG(curves).

For those that replaced the OHFG could you identify the specific spot of the leaks?

Thoughts???
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:30 PM   #152
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As mentioned in previous posts, it's probably a good idea to change the banjo bolt washers since you'll have to remove the lower end of the VANOS oil line prior to removing the oil filter housing. I didn't do this and ultimately found a small leak at that location after the test drive.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:36 PM   #153
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Couldn't specifically locate the leak when I changed the OFHG. My old gasket was still intact, although, it wasn't as pliable as the new one. It was also slightly flattened on the right lower segment upon inspection.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:02 AM   #154
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Thanks for the tips jayriv72.
My OHFG was brittle with just a hint of flex to it. Came out in 4 pieces. I did notice a little plastic like propeller mounted inside the gasket area. I am going to go with a little bead of RTV.

My gasket was so flatten that it had little dips where I believe the oil was leaking out in several places.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:53 PM   #155
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Did mine today.... although my gasket was in one piece while it was on the housing, it didn't come off that way..more like about 50 pieces. Mine was completey stuck in the housing. I cleaned up the best I could and cleaned underneath the engine, plastic pan, power steering rack and just wiped anythng that had oil on it that I could reach. Next on my list is a cooling system overhaul..... to be continued...
Oh, I found out the alternator had also been previously replaced....although it was a remanufactured one.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:06 PM   #156
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I did this in about 1.5 hours. It was pretty straight-forward.

One tip to those who have issues putting the alternator back on:

1] (battery is still disconnected, right?) Screw down the positive lead on the alternator
2] Wiggle the alternator in place and align / loosely thread the top bolt. This will ensure that the bottom hole only needs to be adjusted on one plane (making life MUCH easier).
3] Insert a large tapered drift, a large phillips-head or a 1/4 ratchet extension to line up the bottom bolt hole with the bracket (you can tell that it is lined up when you feel no 'lip' on the inside when you move the drift in and out). I found that you could make minor adjustments in position by inserting a 1/4" ratchet extension and using a circular prying motion until no 'lip' was felt.
4] Insert lower bolt. If it still catches, pushing it straight in will make it tilt in the opposite direction of the 'lip' that is in your way. For example, if the lip is on the bottom the bolt will tilt up and the alternator needs to move slightly down. Repeat #3 and #4 until the bolt goes in.
5] Tighten down the bolts and plug the rear alternator connector in.

I was able to get the alternator back on in about 6 minutes using this method. I also found that cleaning the alternator thoroughly made it easier to slip into place.

Last edited by RedFisch; 12-18-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:42 AM   #157
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Great stuff guys!

Plan to tackle some leaks on my 530i over the holiday week including valve cover gasket and power steering lines. Decided to order the gasket since my guess is that I will be replacing this as well.

Busy week, tackling the vanos as well and popping in a new oil level sensor....

Going to try to pace myself as I have the whole week off! Man-time in the garage, sweet!

This cleanup job is amazing! As my car will be up on jacks in the garage, need to figure out a way to capture the water/simple green without it making a mess

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Last edited by fmzip; 12-19-2012 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:19 PM   #158
Ramm440
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Originally Posted by n2Bimmer View Post
Great DIY, thank you. I really need to do this soon, I have a few questions, What exactly do we have to replace for the Vanos bolt?? Do i really have to remove the fan (auto)?, Can i rent the tool at pepboys?. Thank you. Also i assume we need to drain the oil first, no one mentioned it.
are not bimmers a total POS in engineering to repair? I will never buy another go TOYOTA. I have probably done over 4000 dollars in repairs myself with the 2004 ultimate driving machine having 59000 miles. BMW kiss my US ass
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:34 PM   #159
RedFisch
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Originally Posted by Ramm440 View Post
are not bimmers a total POS in engineering to repair? I will never buy another go TOYOTA. I have probably done over 4000 dollars in repairs myself with the 2004 ultimate driving machine having 59000 miles. BMW kiss my US ass
Hmmm? My other vehicle is a Toyota Sienna and it's a MAJOR PITA to work on! I've owned many Toyotas and BMWs over the years and they are both good makes. Toyotas are utilitarian and BMWs are made to enjoy--both are well engineered to those purposes.

The only real hassle on an E46 is the starter motor... just did my Vanos and it was a breeze. 190K on my 323i and going strong!
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:39 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Ramm440 View Post
are not bimmers a total POS in engineering to repair? I will never buy another go TOYOTA. I have probably done over 4000 dollars in repairs myself with the 2004 ultimate driving machine having 59000 miles. BMW kiss my US ass
I don't think you're going to find many here that share that sentiment.
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