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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 09-18-2009, 07:45 AM   #21
delmarco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2001bmwe46 View Post
nice DIY. It'll help a lot of auto e46 owners. I'm glad I don't have to go through that since manuals don't need a fan tool
Yeah but I now realize that it is not any easier to remove the manual car's belt tensioner since you have to remove it via the torx 50 bolt on the tensioner wheel head.

I rather have just the fan to remove than playing with that T50 bolt
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Old 09-21-2009, 08:00 PM   #22
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Very nice write up delmarco man! I have bought the ac, timing belt and waterpump. I have few questions.

1). If I installed the belts and waterpump separately, do I kind of do the double work to reach the same place?
2). Do you still need to loose the belt to replace the waterpump?
3). Why didn't you replace the waterpump when you install the belts at the same time?
4). Do I have to replace coolant when I replace water pump?

Thanks
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:12 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330Lover_ View Post
Very nice write up delmarco man! I have bought the ac, timing belt and waterpump. I have few questions.
Thanks
1). If I installed the belts and waterpump separately, do I kind of do the double work to reach the same place? yes. but remember to replace the waterpump you also have to drain the coolant system.


2). Do you still need to loose the belt to replace the waterpump?
yes.

3). Why didn't you replace the waterpump when you install the belts at the same time?

oh...no reason, my car had like 45,000 miles on it at the time of the DIY so I didn't have to replace the pump. I was told that the Waterpump Replacement should happen between 60,000 and 80,000 miles on the E46.

4). Do I have to replace coolant when I replace water pump? You don't have to replace the coolant, but you MUST drain the coolant system as the waterpump also seals in coolant flowing thru the system. So removing a pump with a system full of coolant will spill coolant all over the place.

Here is the best DIY I've seen on the water pump.

http://www.bmw330ci.net/maintenance/completecoolant.php
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:45 PM   #24
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Great DIY, just one thing id like to mention. I had the car at a BMW shop to get the belts replaced along with some other stuff. He used the fan clutch tool and only used 1 of them. He put it on and un did the nut. The fan came right off. Very easy.
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Old 09-22-2009, 07:59 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by n2Bimmer View Post
Great DIY, just one thing id like to mention. I had the car at a BMW shop to get the belts replaced along with some other stuff. He used the fan clutch tool and only used 1 of them. He put it on and un did the nut. The fan came right off. Very easy.
Yeah.
If you are a pro and the car is fairly new (5-8 yrs) you can usually get the fan off with just the 32mm wrench. Clamp down on the the nut and yank at it fast and hard and it will loosen.

As a noob I didn't want to break anything serious whiles changing the belts.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:22 PM   #26
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Great DIY, just in time. The water pump just failed and even though I am a fairly good mechanic I was a bit confused on where to start, this got me started. The whack method worked to remove the fan and it was all over after that, now for the water pump kit and back together. Thanks again.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:55 PM   #27
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question guys....what's that pulley called above the main belt tensioner and above the alternator pulley? because i seem to be missing it on my car....
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:57 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by andypandy_e46 View Post
question guys....what's that pulley called above the main belt tensioner and above the alternator pulley? because i seem to be missing it on my car....
That is because you have a Manual Car?
The DIY is for Automatic Cars.

Aren't you the same guy that diagnosed my Moonroof screeching with my car being an automatic?
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:00 AM   #29
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Just out of curiosity, why does the fan have to be stored upright?
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #30
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Nice!
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Old 10-09-2009, 02:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Snox400 View Post
Just out of curiosity, why does the fan have to be stored upright?
Good question. I don't even know the answer to it, but I've been told by EVERYONE who done a DIY where fan removal was involved to never lay the fan flat on the ground.

"YOU MUST store it up right."

What happens is the blades lose integrity and break apart when you start the car back up thereby destroying your hood and everything in your engine bay including the engine.
(SEARCH: E46 BMW exploding fan)
I don't know how true that is, but I don't want to feel sorry for not listening. So I pass it on in my DIY.
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:35 PM   #32
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that's a great DIY, I'm saving it for future reference
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Old 10-09-2009, 04:59 PM   #33
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How do I know if I have mechanical or hydraulic tensioners (when replacing the belts)? I have an 04, 330i automatic.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:01 PM   #34
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Quick question, when you put the belt on do you need to use a tension gauge or will the tensioner apply the correct amount of tension? I noticed most of these belt replacement guides are all done without a tension gauge so I assume it is not not needed?
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:35 AM   #35
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Quick question, when you put the belt on do you need to use a tension gauge or will the tensioner apply the correct amount of tension? I noticed most of these belt replacement guides are all done without a tension gauge so I assume it is not not needed?
no, everything is self tensioning. you slip the belt on as the system is manually detensioned by you and once the belts are in place let you of the tension wheel (spring) and it will spring back into place locking the belts in.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:04 PM   #36
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no, everything is self tensioning. you slip the belt on as the system is manually detensioned by you and once the belts are in place let you of the tension wheel (spring) and it will spring back into place locking the belts in.
Thats what I thought, just wanted to be sure since this is my first time doing this on a BMW. Thanks for the guide and taking the time to answer.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:18 PM   #37
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I removed my fan clutch this weekend. I had a universal holder and 32mm wrench. The universal holder was a PIA to use and I almost decided to use the whack method when I finally got it to hold for a second or two. That was probably the hardest part out of the whole job. I replaced the belts, waterpump, thermostat, and of course flushed/changed the coolant.

Just wanted to note that I could not use the T50 on the serpentine belt tensioner. I had to use a number 8 allen type bit, not sure why it was different from all of the guides.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:06 PM   #38
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i used the ford fan clutch tool to remove my fan. its also flat like the one you have posted in the pics. the only thing is that i had to use my own 32mm wrench as the one that came in the ford tool kit was 25mm. also i noticed it was a lot easier to remove the fan nut with the upper radiator hose out of the way.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #39
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Because every DIY I've seen are for manual cars without the stupid fan in the way. This DIY is for the rest of us who own automatic cars. Also for everyone that is in need of possible pulling out their water pump since removing the fan clutch nut is the exactly what you will have to do on all cars (whether manual or automatic) to get the water pump out.

The belts DIY is easy in itself. The large pictures and crayola text within each picture below should give anyone with a brain the basic idea of what to do. I've changed belts on older BMW cars before without having to bother with the fan (like on the M44 engine) so the fan removal part of the M54 DIY was always a mystery to me and many with automatic E46 cars. Many of us followed all those website and forum DIYs, that was using manual cars for their DIY projects, up until we realized there was a big a$$ fan in there for our cars and couldn't go any further.

This DIY shows you how to safely remove the fan, belts, look at the inevitable water pump/thermostat failure regions and put everything back in.

My DIYs do not end in the middle, like most DIYs, and leave you stranded . I show you how to double check what you did and safely put everything back in there.

WATER PUMP and THERMOSTAT DIY QUICK INFO:
Only read this bit if you are interested in these tasks.
Said and done, if you can do this DIY then the water pump/thermostat DIYs will be not much more difficult, if not as easy. With the fan clutch out and shroud out and coolant drained, all that is left is removal of the bolts and bits that hold the water pump and thermostat in place. These are right there in front of you.

My car only has 49k on the clock, as of this writing, but it is still a 7-8 year old car so I plan of changing my plastic OEM pump and thermostat housing for the metal high performance water pump and an aluminum body thermostat housing over the next couple of months just to be safe.


HERE IS THE BMW M54 E46 Automatic Fan Clutch & Engine Belts DIY:

















PART 2




















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Last edited by delmarco; 11-08-2009 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 11-08-2009, 06:19 PM   #40
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PART 3


















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