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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 10-12-2015, 02:38 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 11
My Ride: 2002 BMW M3
DIY: M3 Crankshaft Position Censor (Exhaust Side) P0017

So I got a SES code last week (P0017), and did the research to find out it was the Crank Position Sensor on the exhaust side going bad. Time to replace the little guy, and I looked everywhere for a DIY on how make it happen. I noticed there was some brief stuff in writing, but nothing too detailed. Maybe it's because it was actually pretty easy and everyone is figuring it out with no problem. I decided to do a writeup anyway for those of you who, like myself, aren't familiar with the S54 yet.

Things you'll need:
- 1/4in Ratchet
- 5mm hex (Helps if can be attached to ratchet)
- 10mm ratchet bit
- T-30 Torx screwdriver
- Blue Loctite
- Tiny hands
- Extra pint of blood

So I realize I did this on my '02 and don't have a stock Strut Tower Bar. This will have to be removed if you have one. Sorry I don't have photos of this, but I assume it's pretty easy.

First we need to remove the cabin filter box. Twist the 3 snaps and pull the top of the box up and out and remove the filter itself.

Next grab your T-30 and take out the 4 screws at the back of the box. They'll stay attached to the box, just back them all the way out.

Unsnap the 4 plastic snaps that hold the black plastic cable-minder. Pull the box right off, it should lift up with little resistance.

Next we're going to remove the head cover. There is a small hose that spans the head and the throttle bodies, Squeeze the clip around the hose and pull it off the head side (Its a bit stiff). Remove all six 10mm nuts keeping the cover on and remove the oil filler cap. I would suggest removing the 10mm nuts before taking the oil filler cap off to make sure you don't drop anything down there. That's serious bad news. After everything is off, the cover should pull straight up and off.

Now for the sensor. It's in the back left of the engine block. Almost between the block and the firewall. If you stand over the passenger side of the car and lean over past the strut tower, you should be able to see it. Squeeze the cable and pull the connector off.

So the second biggest big pain in the ass is getting your tool and hand down in that space to untorque the 5mm hex screw that keeps the sensor in place. The screw is just under the hole for the sensor. I used a small 1/4in ratchet with a 5mm hex attachment, but a regular 5mm hex wrench should work just fine as well. Just take your time and back it out slowly, and make sure you don't drop that little bugger. The only thing that really helps is getting your hand down in there to feel around to get a sense of the angle of the screw.

Once the screw is out (and you DIDN'T DROP IT DID YOU?!?) the sensor itself twists gently and pulls out. Read notes before you do this step!

- Make note of the position of the sensor. The absolute biggest pain in the ass was getting the sensor screw hole to line up with the screw hole in the block. Getting that little 5mm bastard back in is the real kicker.
- There may be a small amount of oil that leaks out, so take any precaution you deem necessary to keep oil stains off your floor.
- Make sure the O-Ring comes out with it. You can see in my picture the O-Ring didn't come out with the old sensor, so I had to pry it off the hole in the engine.
- The newer OEM sensors seem like they're bigger in size than the original. No sweat, I promise it fits. If it's not fitting properly, you probably didn't read note #3 and the old O-Ring is still stuck in the block.

I used a bit of fresh oil to lube up the new O-Ring. Pop it in the hold and rotate it to the position the old one was at.

Use a dab of blue Loctite before you put the screw back in to make sure it doesn't want to back out. Be paitent with getting the screw lined up and back in.

Go back up this list and do everything in reverse order!

Start that puppy up and listen to it purr while the SES light ****s off.

Bone Stock
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Old 05-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Sterling, VA
Posts: 2
My Ride: 2002 M3
Not sure if you're still around, but that was a great DIY. Thanks! Project for the night.
vpunitas is offline   Reply With Quote

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