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General E46 Forum
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
matabamatt
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Starter help

i need to replace my starter on my 2003 325 and i dont want to spend a grand to get it done at BMW. i read a diy online but do i need to go from the bottom of the car or can i just replace it going through the top?
any help will be good
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
OrientBlau
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From top and bottom, I believe. Personally, thats something I'd have a shop perform. Find a good indy and it will be a lot less than the grand you were quoted at BMW.
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Old 10-12-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
jdstrickland
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Most makers put the starter on the bottom right of the crank, but BMW puts it on the top left. At least part of the reason to do this is that the exhaust can go in the space that most other engines fill with the starter.

You should find a local shop that will do the starter for you. While it can be done at home, it is not an easy job -- especially when compared to most other inline-6s.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:20 PM   #4
matabamatt
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i have done the alternator radiator vcg icv and waterpump how much harder is the starter? i know the starter is all the way in the back by the firewall i would really like to know if i can just get to it from just the top?
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:44 PM   #5
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I believe the transmission needs to at least partially come out in which case I could name 74,000 parts you might as well replace while you're in there.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:54 PM   #6
matabamatt
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the transmission has to be removed?
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:11 PM   #7
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the easiest part to replace the starter is to remove your intake manifold. doing so will be extremely easy and will only take you less than 2 minutes to replace the starter but removing the intake manifold will take you several hours. however, you can replaced the starter without removing the intake manifold. it will just be harder. you don't need to remove your transmission. you just need to remove a single tranny bolt. the starter and tranny share one bolt.

if you don't want to remove your intake manifold then I recommend the following:

remove carbon filter and housing
remove intake system.
remove intake rubber boot
remove tranny support bracket (so the engine can raise a few inches higher in the engine bay thus making the removal of the tranny/starter bolt a little easy)

good luck!
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Old 10-12-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
flashmeow
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here is my picture of my starter with the intake manifold removed. see how accessible the starter is if you remove the manifold?

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...9&d=1311805974
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #9
matabamatt
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damn thanks man going to be doing it sunday so need as much info as possible
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:38 AM   #10
Ophidian_PR1M3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flashtwosix View Post
here is my picture of my starter with the intake manifold removed. see how accessible the starter is if you remove the manifold?

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/attachm...9&d=1311805974
I'm currently working on a starter swap and since you've been down this road, I gotta ask, what's the trick to getting the manifold off? It lifts up but it just wont come off! I can't see anything that might be holding it. Unless the throttle body is hiding something but the body should come off with the manifold shouldn't it?

I would appreciate any advice you can give me
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ophidian_PR1M3 View Post
I'm currently working on a starter swap and since you've been down this road, I gotta ask, what's the trick to getting the manifold off? It lifts up but it just wont come off! I can't see anything that might be holding it. Unless the throttle body is hiding something but the body should come off with the manifold shouldn't it?

I would appreciate any advice you can give me
There is a nut on the bottom of the intake that secures it to the side of the block. You probably haven't removed it yet. That nut, the 9 nuts that secure it to the head, some vacuum lines, and the electrical harness are all that hold it in. Once you get that nut off, you should be fine.

Number 9 in this drawing

Oh, and I forgot the starter cable as well. The one that crosses over the engine goes through the intake to connect to the starter. That might be your hang up. Needless to say, you should disconnect the battery to do this.

Last edited by manaman22; 04-14-2012 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:17 PM   #12
Ophidian_PR1M3
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Cool man thanks. I'm about to start working on it hopefully I find it and can get this done today. Sucks not being able to drive my Bimmer
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