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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-30-2011, 04:59 AM   #1
Hecs21
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 124
My Ride: 2001 325i
Big repairs on the horizon...

Ok guys here's the deal, I have an 01 325i with almost 160k miles on it. I have owned the car for about 7 months. I was a bit rambunctious with the purchase and am paying for it now. That said Im fine with taking that responsibility. I found out shortly after purchase that I had an oil leak. Thought it was a badly replaced valve cover gasket. Found out when I was getting brakes & oil done that it looks more likely to be oil pan gasket. Ive done my research on that so Im aware of what it entails. Recently Ive started getting some slippage in the clutch in 3rd & 4th at mid RPMs. Bright side is a LOT of the labor cost are for the same things so I figure I shouldnt be looking at TOO much more $ to have everything done at once.

Now for the odd and mostly un-answerable questions that I hope some of you can maybe just provide some insight to. I am already prepared that leak may be rear main seal or possibly both so I plan on getting all seals replaced that need it. It was brought to my attention though that if it is RMS or just that the leak is SO bad, that oil could be finding its way into the bell housing, on to the clutch and causing the slippage. SO.... I have seen on what Ive read that oil would still compromise the clutch and need replaced still but my question is, if its oil on the clutch could that mean my flywheel could be salvageable? Also could a rear main seal leak give a similar appearance to an oil pan gasket?

Im very concerned right now about the flywheel cause as we all know it greatly increases the cost of the job. I plan on inspecting the flywheel closely and am inclined to do the smart thing and replace it, but it pushes the cost from hurtful to very hard to manage for me. It would be the difference of having it done in a shop or someones driveway.

Thanks for any insight you guys can provide> Really trying not to too much right now and get a game plan goin!

- Dan
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:24 AM   #2
jasonbimmer
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5,686
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330xi
could be just a leaking oil filter housing gasket. do that first before digging into your pan.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:38 AM   #3
lsteg
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Gettysburg, PA
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My Ride: 2001 330ci
even if the oil leak is causing clutch slippage, if it's the original clutch I would think about replacing it anyway if you plan on having this car for a while.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:22 PM   #4
Hecs21
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 124
My Ride: 2001 325i
Thanks guys. Yeah I plan to check the filter housing to be sure but with the impending clutch replacement, I figure I may as well replace everything I can. The flywheel cost is kind of my main concern at this point. I'm thinking about going with the F1 kit from Gripforce just for the savings. I don't like the idea of the chatter that comes with it as I'm not really looking for performance value but the cost difference makes it an attractive choice.
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