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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 07-07-2010, 06:18 PM   #21
mvrk10256
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thanks man and i'll keep that in mind. I'm going to try to wake up early one of these weekends and just knock it out in a day but worst comes to worst, i will stretch it out across both days. Good luck with your re-install!
thanks. i am gonna start around 10am and plan on being done around 6pm, it litterally goes from being a 12 hour job to a 6-8 hour job when you have the shopping list above.
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:16 PM   #22
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Keep us posted on tips you've learned from your install
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Old 07-07-2010, 11:18 PM   #23
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Keep us posted on tips you've learned from your install
absolutly. i am gonna go to bed soon. a good nights sleep is important.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:45 PM   #24
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So I started at 9 am today and got done at about 8.30pm. There were two of us. First big thanks to Alex (dakkon) for letting me use his tools, his garage, and his expertise. Also thanks for putting together the wiring harness while i was under the car. A lot of what we learned today has already been added to the OP. But basically doing the wiring took almost as long as putting the headers themselves in. But the effort is definitely worth it.

Basically this is a 2 day or 2 person job. Of course you could totally do the headers and put a set of o2 sensors in and leave the electronics till a later day, and just live with the codes.

I am sure Alex will come into this thread and contribute some more. Thanks to all for your attention.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:31 AM   #25
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the Header DIY says that you can use spark plug non-foulers to keep from getting a cel... THIS DOES NOT WORK, I tried it, and FAIL....

if you have ratcheting wrenches USE THEM. I've done this with and with out ratcheting wrenches... I'll let you guys guess which way sucks REALLY bad...

if you don't have the correct size ratcheting wrench, then go buy one before you start this project.

others have asked for the torque spec for the header bolt, there is no way to measure this torque, so just make it pretty damn tight. if you had the motor out of the car, then it might matter....

Get the car as high in the air as possible. I have 12 ton jacks, and that is what Mak used, you can do it with 4ton jacks, but you will be MUCH more cramped and your going to be under the car for a LONG time.

oh, and you might need to use a blow torch, to break your 02 sensors loose from your stock headers, i had to do this on my car, and also on Mak's as well, a propane torch from home depot or lowes for 20$ will work. Heat it up until you can see the metal change color slightly, it doesn't need to be red, or glowing, but does need to be hot (maybe 30 seconds to 1 min of heat per sensor).. i put the header in a vice, hit it with heat, then used a 22mm wrench right away, while the sensor was still hot. either grab the sensor by the wire, or have a buddy hold the wire, while you break it loose with the wrench.

Last edited by dakkon; 07-09-2010 at 12:54 AM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:51 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by mvrk10256 View Post
So I started at 9 am today and got done at about 8.30pm. There were two of us. First big thanks to Alex (dakkon) for letting me use his tools, his garage, and his expertise. Also thanks for putting together the wiring harness while i was under the car. A lot of what we learned today has already been added to the OP. But basically doing the wiring took almost as long as putting the headers themselves in. But the effort is definitely worth it.

Basically this is a 2 day or 2 person job. Of course you could totally do the headers and put a set of o2 sensors in and leave the electronics till a later day, and just live with the codes.

I am sure Alex will come into this thread and contribute some more. Thanks to all for your attention.
thats awesome man! I'm doing the install tomorrow with the help of another fanatic - EXCITED since I've been waiting soo long to get this mod done.

I literally printed out your post and brought it to the stealership today. Bought the 4 gaskets because I figured I could re-use the bolts...$107! and thats with the BMWCCA discount. The OEM gaskets are clearly better than the cardboard sh1t you get from ebay though.

I feel like installing headers = joining a brotherhood on this board...there's one hell of an initiation process!
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:17 AM   #27
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thats awesome man! I'm doing the install tomorrow with the help of another fanatic - EXCITED since I've been waiting soo long to get this mod done.

I literally printed out your post and brought it to the stealership today. Bought the 4 gaskets because I figured I could re-use the bolts...$107! and thats with the BMWCCA discount. The OEM gaskets are clearly better than the cardboard sh1t you get from ebay though.

I feel like installing headers = joining a brotherhood on this board...there's one hell of an initiation process!
ya. have fun. drove around for a while. car runs great but threw p1182/83 code randomly near the end of my cruise when i let it coast in neutral. will look into it tomorrow.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:47 PM   #28
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READ THIS BEFORE INSTALLING (it can save you hours)

OK. so after an unnecessarily long install, I have some advice in regards to this DIY (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...16#post7891216)...

1. Ratcheting wrenches are a MUST for the header nuts (smaller ones are better since you can get more of a turn per twist...combine a regular, longer wrench for tightening/breaking tension).
2. Eye protection, a towel to lay on, and your worst outfit are necessary for safety, comfort and sacrifice.
3. The passenger's side motor mount will require force and some prying (with a thick flathead) to remove and re-install (maybe its because we put my car on ramps instead of jack stands, since jacking the engine up simply pushed the car up, lol).
4. Before mounting each header, be sure to bolt on its respective pre-cat 02 sensor.
5. Re-assemble by bolting on the REAR header first. (that fvcking DIY took away 3 hours of me and my cousin's life by claiming the opposite).
6. Do NOT tighten anything unless you are completely positive that the next parts will have enough clearance for reassembly (with the exception being the rear header...just make sure the 02 sensors and plugs are installed before you do so!).

Lastly, get a towel to lay on because 85% of the procedure requires you to work from under the car. Mechanix gloves will also save you're knuckles and wrists from A LOT of punishment.

Edit: Also, the ebay headers most likely won't align perfectly with your exhaust, so expect to take your car to an exhaust shop so they can chop and weld on an adjustment...you do not want a lot of stress on the headers from trying to force the exhaust into place!

Take care fellas!

p.s. thanks again Maks, for making this thread!
-Keno
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #29
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Your absolutly right. did you have any issues with the sim? cause I am. Anyway you are absolutly right put in the short header first, i didnt realize the DIY i posted had the wrong information in it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:14 PM   #30
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I have yet to install the sim. I figure I'll live with the CEL and check the codes periodically. I am not really sure how to help you with that (other than clearing the codes to see if goes through okay).

Also, I revved the car pretty high and my dad said he saw some carbon shooting out of the exhaust...is that normal? Should seafoaming at every oil change take care of it?
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:16 PM   #31
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I have yet to install the sim. I figure I'll live with the CEL and check the codes periodically. I am not really sure how to help you with that (other than clearing the codes to see if goes through okay).

Also, I revved the car pretty high and my dad said he saw some carbon shooting out of the exhaust...is that normal? Should seafoaming at every oil change take care of it?
that is normal it will pass. there is residue that needs to burn out of the headers. I tried that and i tried resetting the ECU. gonna start messing with the sim till i get it figured out i guess.
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Old 07-13-2010, 10:42 PM   #32
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i have bought 323/328 headers both times.....
Right, just saying that the only difference is the length of the ends of the headers. The 330's headers extend longer. The exhaust is shorter. Inversely for the 328, the headers are shorter, and exhaust is longer. Manifold side of the headers are identical. This leaves options for customization. Like my future setup, 328 with 330 spec headers and exhaust.

Just tryin' to contribute as well. Didn't mean to sound rude.

Also, are there any OEM header gaskets that don't have the heat shield attached? I'd assume if there was one it would be significantly cheaper. I've been on Realoem for a while searching, but didn't see anything.

Part numbers for the header/manifold studs? Found the hex nut but 11621427586 is the only bolt I see on the diagram at $21 each! Seems a bit high for a stud/bolt.

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Old 07-15-2010, 02:15 PM   #33
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Right, just saying that the only difference is the length of the ends of the headers. The 330's headers extend longer. The exhaust is shorter. Inversely for the 328, the headers are shorter, and exhaust is longer. Manifold side of the headers are identical. This leaves options for customization. Like my future setup, 328 with 330 spec headers and exhaust.

Just tryin' to contribute as well. Didn't mean to sound rude.

Also, are there any OEM header gaskets that don't have the heat shield attached? I'd assume if there was one it would be significantly cheaper. I've been on Realoem for a while searching, but didn't see anything.

Part numbers for the header/manifold studs? Found the hex nut but 11621427586 is the only bolt I see on the diagram at $21 each! Seems a bit high for a stud/bolt.
Thanks for clarifying, I never could figure out what the actual difference was between them, I am sorry if I was rude. Unfortunatly the only way to get those gaskets is attached to the heat shield, it is one piece of stamped metal. Sucks bad cause it costs so much.

No the studs should be less than 1 dollar each. goto your dealer and ask. its easy.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:37 PM   #34
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How much would an air wratchet and an impact swivel joint help?
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:07 AM   #35
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How much would an air wratchet and an impact swivel joint help?
Hmm. that could probably help for those 3-4 bolts that offer lot of space (i.e. enough space to bolt on/remove easily with standard ratcheting wrenches). But i am not sure if you can get it to the bolts with the tight clearances. So, try it if you think it could work...but I don't suggest going out of your way/postponing your install for an air ratchet.


Again, ratcheting wrenches like these are what we used to bolt and unbolt the headers and they were PHENOMENAL. And do make sure the ratcheting wrenches have a slimmer profile because some clearances are so tight that you may not have enough space to click the ratcheting device with a thicker/longer wrench...you will use a thicker, standard open face wrench to tighten everything.

If you think you're going to be able to bolt on the headers from the top of the car, forget about it. The heat shield gets in the way and trying to stabilize the necessary socket extension on the nut is almost impossible with such limited clearances.

However, you can ruin the old heat shield and work from the top to take off a few bolts when removing the original manifold, but the rest of the work will be from underneath the car. Psyche yourself and accept the fact that your face, hair and clothes will be covered with metal shavings, dirt, grime, PB blaster/WD40 and a couple dead insects because the majority of the work will be from under the car....yes eye protection is also a must.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:44 AM   #36
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How much would an air wratchet and an impact swivel joint help?
The impact wrench is not a good idea, its not power its brains that are necessary. I used a swivel with extensions to get to the top nut on the motor mount, from above.

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If you think you're going to be able to bolt on the headers from the top of the car, forget about it. The heat shield gets in the way and trying to stabilize the necessary socket extension on the nut is almost impossible with such limited clearances.

However, you can ruin the old heat shield and work from the top to take off a few bolts when removing the original manifold, but the rest of the work will be from underneath the car. Psyche yourself and accept the fact that your face, hair and clothes will be covered with metal shavings, dirt, grime, PB blaster/WD40 and a couple dead insects because the majority of the work will be from under the car....yes eye protection is also a must.
The first part is wrong. If you remove the secondary air pump and the windshield wiper tank( 3 nuts and 1 screw respectively) you can easily maneuver your hands with a 1/4 drive wrench, 2 inch extension and deep socket and tighten all the upper nuts on the after market headers since it is very difficult to get to those from underneath. Just take your time and work around the shields. expect your knuckles to get fvcked up, part of life.

The second part your are absolutely right on, you will get dirty, super dirty, get used to it.
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Old 07-16-2010, 02:42 AM   #37
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Hmm. that could probably help for those 3-4 bolts that offer lot of space (i.e. enough space to bolt on/remove easily with standard ratcheting wrenches). But i am not sure if you can get it to the bolts with the tight clearances. So, try it if you think it could work...but I don't suggest going out of your way/postponing your install for an air ratchet.
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The impact wrench is not a good idea, its not power its brains that are necessary. I used a swivel with extensions to get to the top nut on the motor mount, from above.
Not trying to question you guys since I wussed out and paid someone to do my headers, just brainstorming this.

You would probably shear/round off a lot of studs if you just blasted it with an air ratchet. But I would think it would be ideal if you use a wrench or regular ratchet with a swivel joint to break the nuts and then an air ratchet with a swivel joint on a low power setting.

I imagine the tedious part is just turning the stud to remove it, not so much the initial loosening/breaking of it.

I will agree those ratcheting wrenches are money! I do plan to buy a set of harbor freight specials.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:39 PM   #38
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Not trying to question you guys since I wussed out and paid someone to do my headers, just brainstorming this.

You would probably shear/round off a lot of studs if you just blasted it with an air ratchet. But I would think it would be ideal if you use a wrench or regular ratchet with a swivel joint to break the nuts and then an air ratchet with a swivel joint on a low power setting.

I imagine the tedious part is just turning the stud to remove it, not so much the initial loosening/breaking of it.

I will agree those ratcheting wrenches are money! I do plan to buy a set of harbor freight specials.
The thing nothing in this DIY needs to be super tight, ie more than hand on a size 10 wrench tight. Might need air tools to get the lower nuts off header flange depending on how rusty it is down there.

Also get S wrenches, and ratcheting ones if you can find them
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Old 07-16-2010, 08:07 PM   #39
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Thanks! Great info and I will definitely refer to this when I take my headers off. I plan to get them coated at some point in the future.

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Old 07-17-2010, 03:08 PM   #40
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Thanks! Great info and I will definitely refer to this when I take my headers off. I plan to get them coated at some point in the future.
you can do it but personally I do not think it will make a real world difference.
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