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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:13 PM   #1
EmFiftyFour
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 487
My Ride: 03' 330xi auto, 167k
Why BMW? Why?

Was it so hard to put the bolts for the starter facing the person working on the car? Why the need to put them facing the firewall? Judging by the design, it looks like if I were to reinstall the starter, I could put the bolts in coming from my side and not the firewall side. Honestly I dont even know how Im gonna go about getting these tough bolts off. Not much room for a hand, let alone the leverage to push that wrench forward thanks to those fuel lines there. I'll first try a hammer then a pipe if I find one.





I mean wasn't it enough that you made the starter so hard to get to on the xi models that the intake manifold has to come off? I mean who the hell does that? It took me 15 freakin minutes to replace the damn starter on my Nissan. Do they do all these troublesome things on purpose so we end up taking the cars to them? Thats not very nice BMW.

Of course they decided to use E12 bolts on the starter. Anyone know if its okay to use the multi-point side of the 10mm wrench I have in the pic above to remove the bolts? Seems like it's gripping, but I just dont want those bolts to strip after I hammer the wrench. I think it should be okay. I was making such good time with all the repairs today, that I thought maybe just maybe I may have it up and running in the next few days. Thanks to this starter design, I dont even know if I can finish.

On some positive things, I've removed the intake manifold so many times, Im thinking of making a write-up for express removal. I know alot of guys dread this DIY, but it's my fourth time already in the last year on this wonderful car, so I got pretty good at it. I know how to cut some corners here and there. Had it off today in about an hour and a half. First time took me over 3 hours.

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
silentguy
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Washington
Posts: 48
My Ride: 2003 BMW 330 Xi
I feel your pain.

On my acura, I couldnt get enough leverage to get the starter bolts loosened,
so I put a big pipe on the wrench and that worked.
The bolts were rusted stuck.

It doesnt look as hard as what you have to do though.

Though I did have to remove the air cleaner, and some of the coolant hoses to get to the starter.

I guess I will be in the same boat some time too with my BMW,
so let us know how it works out.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:43 AM   #3
EmFiftyFour
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 487
My Ride: 03' 330xi auto, 167k
^

Yeah, I'll let you know how it goes. I shoulda posted this in the general section. This section seems dead. Then again, the RWD guys can do this from underneath the car if I read correctly, so this doesn't concern them. What sucks is that it will probably be pretty cold again for the next few weeks, so I may not have a chance to have a crack it for awhile
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:24 AM   #4
scottz
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Raleigh NC
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My Ride: 2001 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmFiftyFour View Post
I shoulda posted this in the general section. This section seems dead. Then again, the RWD guys can do this from underneath the car if I read correctly,

If dead you mean just the Xi guys.

I'll put mine up on the lift this weekend, it looked to me like it could be gotten from underneath. But not by laying on your back...
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
Kubica
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
I like to DIY, but I had a shop put my starter in when it went this summer.

They actually dropped the front subframe a few inches and dropped the tranny a few inches to get at the top starter bolt.

It's a crappy job anyway you slice it, but at least the waterpump and alternator are easy to get at on this car.
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:17 PM   #6
EmFiftyFour
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 487
My Ride: 03' 330xi auto, 167k
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
I like to DIY, but I had a shop put my starter in when it went this summer.

They actually dropped the front subframe a few inches and dropped the tranny a few inches to get at the top starter bolt.

It's a crappy job anyway you slice it, but at least the waterpump and alternator are easy to get at on this car.
Wow thats alot of work to just get to one bolt. With a lift and powertools I bet its alot easier then messing with that troublesome manifold. I agree with their route now that I think about it.

Waterpump and alty are a breeze thankfully.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:09 AM   #7
pjaneiro
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 231
My Ride: 2004 330IX
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmFiftyFour View Post
Was it so hard to put the bolts for the starter facing the person working on the car? Why the need to put them facing the firewall? Judging by the design, it looks like if I were to reinstall the starter, I could put the bolts in coming from my side and not the firewall side. Honestly I dont even know how Im gonna go about getting these tough bolts off. Not much room for a hand, let alone the leverage to push that wrench forward thanks to those fuel lines there. I'll first try a hammer then a pipe if I find one.





I mean wasn't it enough that you made the starter so hard to get to on the xi models that the intake manifold has to come off? I mean who the hell does that? It took me 15 freakin minutes to replace the damn starter on my Nissan. Do they do all these troublesome things on purpose so we end up taking the cars to them? Thats not very nice BMW.

Of course they decided to use E12 bolts on the starter. Anyone know if its okay to use the multi-point side of the 10mm wrench I have in the pic above to remove the bolts? Seems like it's gripping, but I just dont want those bolts to strip after I hammer the wrench. I think it should be okay. I was making such good time with all the repairs today, that I thought maybe just maybe I may have it up and running in the next few days. Thanks to this starter design, I dont even know if I can finish.

On some positive things, I've removed the intake manifold so many times, Im thinking of making a write-up for express removal. I know alot of guys dread this DIY, but it's my fourth time already in the last year on this wonderful car, so I got pretty good at it. I know how to cut some corners here and there. Had it off today in about an hour and a half. First time took me over 3 hours.

Bwahahahahah, I'm not laughing at you, don't worry, just at the situation, If you read my earlier posts, i strongly beleive BMW hires small monkeys as engineers and little tinkle bells as mecanics, I've had so many issues "getting" into places in the bay, that for the most part i end up using mirrors, magnets and still end up with bloody knucles, i'm sure whoevers ends up with this car will freak out at the amount of dna that's been left behind in teh engine bay...

I FEEL YOUR PAIN...
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Old 02-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #8
EmFiftyFour
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: NY
Posts: 487
My Ride: 03' 330xi auto, 167k
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjaneiro View Post
Bwahahahahah, I'm not laughing at you, don't worry, just at the situation, If you read my earlier posts, i strongly beleive BMW hires small monkeys as engineers and little tinkle bells as mecanics, I've had so many issues "getting" into places in the bay, that for the most part i end up using mirrors, magnets and still end up with bloody knucles, i'm sure whoevers ends up with this car will freak out at the amount of dna that's been left behind in teh engine bay...

I FEEL YOUR PAIN...
Haha @ small monkey engineers and tinker bell mechanics. Thanks for sharing the pain man. It does get pretty tight sometimes, but most of the time they aren't too bad compared to whats out there. I just cant stand stupid ideas like this when they know the person working on the car will struggle, but they could careless. I've done the head gasket on this car so definitly alot of DNA will be left behind for sure. And honestly, this starter is the worst thing I've come across so far. There were a few instances when special tools needed to be used and that can get pretty annoying always needing to buy a new tool to finish a job.
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