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Old 04-15-2012, 06:06 PM   #1
mcopenha
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DIY Intake Removal, Cooling System, Oil Filter Housing, Oil Separator, Vanos, OMG!

All of this work has been documented before of course, but thought I'd share a few bits of wisdom for my time tearing into my 2001 325xi. It had developed serious problems leaking all kinds of fluids -- coolant, oil, power steering -- so it was time to just do everything. The car has 150K. First a few pics so you can see how bad everything was.

First pic looks like classic VCG leak or Vanos seals.



Oil Filter housing gasket was leaking:



The oil separator was in terrible shape, especially this hose on the bottom of the CCV. Oil was pouring on to the side of the engine and I could smell burning oil inside the car, especially when going up hills.



The radiator had also developed a leak:



The following three threads were all very useful, particularly the first one with it's detailed instructions for removing things. The third thread also had some critical pictures that helped with removing the intake.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=536123
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=576124
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=901967

I'm not going to debate the pros/cons of removing the intake for replacing the CCV. That's been discussed enough, but I think it's worth mentioning that removing the intake makes it much easier to address any possible vacuum leaks. There are two systems in particular that probably require attention.

The first is the secondary air pump (SAP) vacuum control:



Trace the line that runs from the SAP valve (#1) all the way to the intake. Mine was broken in two places -- once at the valve itself and once near the firewall on back of the intake manifold. Most of the line is made of a hard plastic tube, but there are flexible tubes at the ends that have probably corroded.

The second system I'm not very familiar with: user dslboomer showed this one to me. It controls some kind of exhaust flap in the rear muffler. I checked the vacuum line (#8) from the back of the intake manifold to the vacuum canister (#9) and sure enough, it was broken in two.



The CCV kit from Turner comes with a length of vacuum tubing that's useful for replacing these lines. I actually found the supplied tubing a little short though. You'll probably want to go out and buy some longer sections; it makes assembly much easier when you can hook up the lines to the intake and have some room to maneuver things.

Here's a list of parts I used to rebuild the intake itself:

- CCV kit from Turner
- vacuum tubing
- generic hose clamps
- rubber ICV grommet
- intake manifold gasket
- throttle body gasket

Some pictures of the rebuilt intake manifold:



You can see two vacuum lines dangling down (the longer ones). The one of the left goes to the vacuum canister and the one of the right goes to the SAP valve.





One quick note on reassembly: I would install the ICV prior to putting the intake on the car. The new rubber grommet made it surprisingly difficult to put the ICV on afterwards. Not a big deal, but hey.

People have asked about what to do while the intake is off. There are a lot of things that you could replace -- things that are only possible to get to with the intake off. This includes, knock sensors, starter, plastic heater tubes, heater hoses, crankshaft sensor -- all clearly visible with the intake off:



I went ahead and replaced my heater hoses. Dmax helped me remember which ones go where. If you label the three hoses in the picture A - C, from left to right, then A goes to the bottom of the heater valve; B goes to the expansion tank; and C goes to the top of the heater valve.




Intake back on the cylinder head. It was difficult getting it to seat properly. There's a lot of stuff you need to make sure doesn't get caught on the intake. I torqued the nuts to 11 ft-lbs on top first, then tightened the lone bottom one.



Also did new VCG, Vanos seals. This time I made sure to buy the recommended Red Permatex and put it in the right places:



I was lucky enough to start the car on the first try, but it ran quite rough for a while. I also didn't properly bleed the cooling system, so I was battling that, but things have smoothed out considerably. I think it really just needed to be driven to settle the Vanos seals. Generally, I'm really pleased: the engine is quieter than it's ever been and has a little more power than what I remembered. Very smooth and quiet. Waiting to see over time how this pans out, but I'm optimistic. Oh, and I also finally got rid of this damn P0174 code which was caused by vacuum leaks.

I know this isn't a step-by-step DIY, but hope the information helps someone. It was not an easy job by any means. Lots to keep track of. I think it took me 3 weekends total to finish everything.
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Last edited by mcopenha; 04-15-2012 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
BeMyWhip
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Not a Diy, but its always cool to share; I bet it was the new intake gasket that gave you a little more pep. That Doug comes in handy when you need him lol. The links are always useful, and good job.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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You haven't got a parts list by any chance do you?
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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Holy christ, man! Cheers to your patience...I would of been having nervous mental lapses
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:46 PM   #5
lmr2wil
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Nicely done! I have a number of these projects on the docket - albeit as preventative maintenance. I'm glad to see it went essentially smoothly.

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:57 PM   #6
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Nice! I'll be doing intake mani for the first time to get to my cooling pipes. Hopefully I'll have this Doug guy around to help! I'm not sure I can trust him, though. You know he uses ignited gasoline to shave his legs with?

BTW, hadn't seen red permatex recommended for vcg. I used blue. Not good? My shop uses black I think.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Nice! I'll be doing intake mani for the first time to get to my cooling pipes. Hopefully I'll have this Doug guy around to help! I'm not sure I can trust him, though. You know he uses ignited gasoline to shave his legs with?

BTW, hadn't seen red permatex recommended for vcg. I used blue. Not good? My shop uses black I think.
U should try BBQ starting fuild; works great. Will be seeing you thursday you jokster.
I used the red also... its high temp and works fine!
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:12 AM   #8
mcopenha
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Nice! I'll be doing intake mani for the first time to get to my cooling pipes. Hopefully I'll have this Doug guy around to help! I'm not sure I can trust him, though. You know he uses ignited gasoline to shave his legs with?

BTW, hadn't seen red permatex recommended for vcg. I used blue. Not good? My shop uses black I think.

hey Doug. yeah, thanks again for your (quick!) helpful responses. Are your cooling pipes leaking? I didn't touch them, and I'm sure like most things on this car, it will come around to punch me in the balls.

It looked like from the beisian site that they used red permatex. I guess the difference is with temp? Should have done more research, but I used black last time and that didn't hold up so hot.
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:22 AM   #9
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I have a minor loss of coolant and other than the heater core (no smell or evidence of that leaking), the only things it could be are one of the two pipes and the hose coming off of the one facing the rear of the car. Although I might get by with just 0-rings...that plastic has been in for 230K miles, so it has to come out.

I'm sure my car will be much happier also with new intake mani gasket after all this time! I'm actually eager to get into this stuff already. She needs a little something...and is pissed at me that I couldn't get two of its speakers working...

Anyway, mine is undoubtedly higher in miles than yours, so I'm sure those pipes won't give you an issue for a while!
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:11 AM   #10
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wow thats quite a mess before you started. mine was not that bad apart from the common leaking VCG and OFHG.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:19 AM   #11
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yea wow that ccv line was particularly awful! good work I'm sure it's much happier now.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:18 PM   #12
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OP---Thanks so much for the comments along with the beautifully revealing pics! These are immensely helpful in my arsenal.
You did an amazing job of cleaning things up too.
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