E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-28-2009, 02:06 PM   #1
MrJinx
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Posts: 20
My Ride: 325iT
E46 wagon cooling system replacement

Did my E46 wagon cooling system replacement last weekend, these are my DIY notes on what turned out to be not a fun job:

I bought a nice E46 wagon last month. It's a puff, with 57K miles, leather interior, pretty much like new. Bought all the parts (from RMEuropean, they do a great job and I got free next day shipping), had everything ready for Saturday morning (I've gone this before on my Z3 Coupe, so I know the routine).

I jack up the car, remove the cover on the bottom, drain the coolant and then get down to remove the nut on the fan clutch (it's an auto trans). On my old Z3, which was original, that nut came off with my 32mm wrench and counter wrench to hold the pulley with one knock from a steel hammer. I put the wrenches on and hit it a few times. Nothing. So I smack it some more, Nothing. I'm using a 2.5 pound steel hammer, so I'm thinking this should be off by now. Yes, I'm trying to remove it clock-wise, so that's not the problem.

Spent afternoon pounding, the wrench was getting deformed and I could see the pulley mounting nuts where getting some serious wear on the heads. At one point, after accidently hitting my other arm with the hammer. I stopped and put ice on it for 20 miutes, that turned out to be the smartest thing I did that day. I'm thinking maybe this ladder sitting in my garage can help? I propped up the ladder in front of the car and with the counter wrench handle resting on a 2x4 I had carefully cut and placed in the engine compartment. I climb up, lean over the engine compartment and put my foot and full weight on the wrench. Surely, my weight (180 pounds) will loosen this nut? But no, it didn't budge one bit. In retrospect, this whole climb on the ladder and jump into the engine compartment was a lame idea and precarious at best. Luckily, I didn't destroy anything on the car or injury myself further. It's about 95 degrees in my garage and I'm getting pretty pissed off by this time. Finally, I admitted defeat and I called a friend and asked him what I should do. "You need an air chisel, what are you thinking? I'll bring mine over tomorrow". So, the next day, he comes with his air hammer, which just looks like steel shaft (he couldn't find the chisel bit) and his compressor. As my friend was just about to put the hammer on the nut he said with minimal confidence "I don't think this will damage the engine. You are replacing all this other stuff, aren't you?" I was, so no problem there. I figured the engine would be ok. 10 seconds with the air hammer and the bold spun off. The water pump pulley was cracked clear through and the mount bolts were all bent and partially stripped.

My theory is that some misguided mechanic replaced the thermostat and thought it would be an awesome idea to tighen up that fan clutch nut with an air chisel (there was a funny mark on the old nut that suggested that). Here's what I say, if the factory can install this part without an air chisel, so should anyone else. Don't use Loctite either, it's not needed here. Just hand tighten with your 32mm and counter wrench good and tight and you'll be set.

After this fiasco, the rest of the job seemed like nothing at all. I replaced the old water pump with the Stewart Components version. It's a great pump, well worth the money. I did buy a new aluminum water pump pulley, so that was good and all the typical parts that need to change at this time.


Things that I would recommend replacing in addition to water pump, radiator, belts, hoses, thermostat & housing, expansion tank and coolant:

Transmission cooling thermostat (my expansion tank came out easily, even so this thermostat underneath must a one use item as it literatly fell apart with almost no pressure on it as the expansion tank was removed.

Convert to hydraulic belt tensioner (probably not a big deal, but I figured might as well since I have it all apart)

Replace idler pully

Replace lower radiator temp sensor (there is no way the old O-ring will keep a seal, you need to replace the switch or the o-ring if you can find it)

The way the automatic transmssion cooler connects to the radiator assembly is in opinion, flimsy and not the greatest design I've seen. It simply plugs in and has one metal hose clip in the center and is all that separates your engine from dumping out all its coolant. If you run an autmatic transmission, I would recommendthat you replace the two O-rings any time you need to pull the cooler off the radiator.

Also, just an FYI wagon owners- the 325iT Wagon uses a heavy-duty core radiator that's thicker than the sedans and other 3 series cars.

Everything is back together and running fine. Thanks to the previous posters that describe the change in detail and offered photos.
MrJinx is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use