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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 04-04-2013, 08:30 PM   #21
Krod1982
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GREAT!!!1 DIY thanks ..
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Old 04-21-2013, 02:11 AM   #22
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bookmarked for later
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Old 04-21-2013, 03:25 AM   #23
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DIY - Oil pan (sump) gasket replacement

Just found out my oil pan is leaking today, so I will definitely use this later thank you.


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Old 04-22-2013, 06:29 AM   #24
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Thank you for sharing
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Old 06-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #25
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Wow amazing DIY, MAJOR kudos to the OP.

I just got diagnosed this issue on my 2000 323i with $139K miles. Indy shop that has previously worked on my car quoted me $520 plus tax, 5.50 hrs of labor. Gotta see the way to cough up the money since I definitely do not have the luxury of time or enough tools to complete this PITA job.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:57 PM   #26
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Thanks OP...sheesh, this was one time consuming job. I hope to never have to do that again. I'm kicking myself for not doing it in the first place when I did my engine swap. The place I got the engine from stated that they run all engines on the dyno and check for leaks. I guess they didn't check hard enough because I had 4 or 5 bolts that leaked on the rear of the engine.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:11 PM   #27
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I am using a local shop that has lifts you can rent to do this, what do you recommend doing with the subframe if you have this up on a lift while doing the work? Should i tie it up or just let it hang? I do not want to put undue stress on the power steering lines if possible. Thanks ahead of time.

http://handsongarage.com/ <== these guys are awesome, you can rent a lift, comes with a set of tools and pros are on staff if you run into problems that require some professional advice or assistance.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:05 PM   #28
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gintohewoo,

You're definitely right in picking up that if you keep lowering the subframe with the car on a garage lift, the power steering hoses will be stressed with the weight of the frame & PS unit, before the control arms start taking the load. The combined subframe & PS unit is pretty heavy (~100 lb from memory).

Once you've lowered the subframe to gain sufficient clearance to the oil pan, you will need to suspend the subframe (using chains or good quality rope) either from the engine supporting brackets and / or the engine support bar (depending on how much clearance you have and where you can attach the chains / ropes). You'll really need to do a good job in securing those ropes / chains... if they come loose and the PS hoses snap, it'll get messy.

Alternatively, you might need to get creative and figure out a way to support the subframe from underneath the car, while it's up on the garage lift (a couple of adjustable step-ladders perhaps and a bunch of phonebooks? stack of milk crates?)

Hope that helps... Keep us posted on how it goes!
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Old 09-17-2013, 02:02 PM   #29
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Thanks for the update!

Another side note, I went to the BMW Dealer today to order the requisite parts that i could not find elsewhere and when they looked up the bolts for the frame (i have a frame rather than a plate) the number you provide here:

Front end reinforcement to frame rail / suspension sub-frame bolts (number of bolts depends on whether your car is equipped with a reinforcement bar or plate) (P/N: 31-10-6-772-199)

did not come up in the computer, possibly a different part for my car as i have a 2000 323i Sedan, however the same number as the control arm bushing bolts that you provide (p/n: 33-30-6-760-652) came up in their computer for my car. So I ended up ordering 12 of those (4 for bushings and 8 for the frame). Also, 31-11-6-781-023 were $7.17 a piece coming to $28.68 for four of them, just a heads up for anyone else.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:39 PM   #30
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OHHH, quick question before I attempt this this weekend, any bolts that should be loctite-ed and any that should be anti-seized? Conversely, are there any that should def not have either done to them?
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:01 AM   #31
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A light application of Loctite blue is used on the oil pan bolts. I don't recall anti-seize being used anywhere. Note there is some order to tightening the oil pan bolts (as I recall, the rear ones are done last ... check the Bentley manual. If you can find BMW TIS directions, that would say too).
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:42 AM   #32
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Great write up man!
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:26 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by gintohewoo View Post
OHHH, quick question before I attempt this this weekend, any bolts that should be loctite-ed and any that should be anti-seized? Conversely, are there any that should def not have either done to them?
The Bentley manual doesn't specify that you have to loctite any of the bolts that are removed in this DIY. I certainly didn't use loctite in replacing the oil pan gasket on my car (12 months later, still no leaks). The only bolt that you would use loctite on is the steering column coupling bolt, if you are reusing the original bolt and not replacing with new.

As per Sansho's comment, there is an order to tightening the oil pan bolts during reassembly. Taking your time during this stage and getting the torque balanced is very important in preventing leaks. Since each oil pan bolt only carries minimal load, loctite on the bolts would certainly provide additional peace of mind that the bolts won't loosen from thermal expansion / contraction and vibration over time. However, degradation of the rubber seal on the actual gasket appears to be the most common failure mechanism. I think you'll find that if the bolts are tightened correctly to begin with, the gasket itself will fail, before the bolts (with or without loctite applied) vibrate loose and cause the oil to leak.

I don't remember applying anti-seize anywhere, other than onto the wheel studs. Then again, I live in a warm, very dry climate, so corrosion (and subsequent bolt seizure) is the least of my concerns. You may need to exercise discretion, based on the climate conditions of where you live (I'm guessing it gets cold in Wisconsin). In your position, I would probably only apply anti-seize to bolts that are showing signs of moderate corrosion along the thread. Since the Bentley manual doesn't specifically call up use of anti-seize, I wouldn't apply it anywhere else.

Hope that helps and good luck with the job this weekend!!!

P.S. Good pick-up on the bolt P/N for the front end reinforcement frame. I'll update the DIY accordingly.

Last edited by anonymous_coward; 09-20-2013 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Added additional comments
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:36 PM   #34
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While Bentley doesn't specify Loctite, I believe the BMW replacement bolts come with the dry thread locker on the bolts. Good pointing out Loctite on the steering column bolt if reusing (I replaced with new).
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:31 PM   #35
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OK, so I got balls deep into this project and realized that the issue was not with the oil pan gasket as there is oil (more than a little) on the block above the oil pan seam and it seems to only be on the uphill side of the pan, like under the intake and behind the power steering reservoir and Oil Filter. The oil I saw all over under the engine appeared to have been blown by wind. It had blown as far back as the transmission and could be found as far forward as the cross beam under the steering lines. It is not gear box oil and it is not power steering fluid, it seems to me very much like engine oil.

I did not see a break in the line coming down from the valve cover to the CCV module, nor the one from the module to the dipstick guide tube, but its pretty cramped in there and hard to see. Anyone know of someone with good photos of what it looks like when one of those lines go vs when the seal between the oil filter "holder" (sorry do not know the technical term and am too tired after doing all this to look it up) that mounts to the block and holds the filter, goes?

As I had already gotten a lot of the parts, and already had the car up on the lift with everything but the sub-frame removed, I did replace the motor mounts and front control arm rear bushings (MAN those suck). Also did the valve cover gasket in the hopes that it was leaking from there, it wasn't (although the gasket REALLY needed replaced, the ones around the plugs crumbled upon touching them). Got to play with some cool shop tools, had a parts washer vat that I cleaned the valve cover with, very cool solvent bath with brush that has solvent coming out of it. Got the oil cap and valve cover nice and clean, the cams did not look great and the stuff at the right end looked like cooked on tar. Took a rag and sprayed some brake cleaner on it (the rag, not the module) and wiped it down for all the good that did. Also, the guy helping me out checked the pressure and balance on my tires for me during his down time while I was reassembling stuff, rotating the tires at the same time too. :-)

So all in all a good day at the garage with the car up on the lift. Got a lot of good maintenance done on the car but not sure I determined what is causing the oil leak on the intake side of the block. Sorry no pics, when you are paying for a lift bay at a garage by the minute, documenting your steps took a back seat to getting stuff done.
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:21 PM   #36
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Your best bet is to clean the block real clean then drive around awhile to see where it's coming from. It's not uncommon that the oil filter housing gasket (what you didn't know the name for) leaks and needs replacement. Gasket isn't expensive, and if I remember correctly it's a 2-3 hour (taking your time) project. Does not require a lift.
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Old 09-21-2013, 06:05 PM   #37
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As per Sansho's comments, the symptoms you've described indicate that your Oil Filter Housing Gasket has failed. Because of the height of the oil filter housing and proximity to the air flow, it's not uncommon for the leaking engine oil to be pushed as far back as the transmission on the left hand side (that was certainly the case on my car). It's a very common source of engine oil leaks on the E46. I ended up replacing the OFHG first, then the oil pan gasket (turned out both were leaking).

The good news is that replacing the OFHG is well documented on these forums and is simpler than the oil pan gasket job. Here are some links you might find useful:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=882732

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=659100
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #38
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That thread on all common oil leaks is kind of amazing!

Judging by what I saw in those two links, it is DEFINITELY the oil filter housing gasket. Very soon there will not be much of this car I have not laid hands on or removed/replaced if possible. :-)

Ok, here is a question for you two, is it worth it to replace the line from the cylinder head cover to the oil separator and the one from the separator to the dipstick while in here? I ask because I have never been able to get a good look at them before this point and it appears to be a time consuming process to get this deep into this side of the engine.

Actually is there anything in this area of the engine compartment that will be exposed during this process that it would be a good idea to check out or replace due to the fact that I would already have the power steering pump reservoir out of the way, alternator out, power steering pump disconnected, and oil filter housing out?
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:21 PM   #39
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If you lived in the Southern states I might not recommend this, however, in the North you might consider getting one of the ccv/oil separator kits and replacing the hoses/ccv. Here's the DIY I used for it. Be sure and use brake, or other cleaner, to clean out the oil dipstick, from where the oil drainage hose connects, as if that gums up it can cause CCV issues. I also replaced the throttle body gasket, since you take it out. Some people install the cold weather version of the CCV, but I just went with the regular one. Making sure you drive long enough in winter to warm the engine up helps CCV longevity.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #40
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I can not seem to find the return line for the cold weather oil separator. (11617504536) Is there one? I have the rest of the pieces in my cart at AutohausAZ. Looks to be around $165 bucks for everything (w/o that cross hose). Anybody know if there is a cold weather version of that or if I can just use the standard one?

After doing motor mounts, front lower control arm bushings, and a valve cover gasket last weekend, I am not looking forward to doing another 8 hours of maintenance in the coming weeks. Why do we have to love our E46s so much that we put all this time into them? ;-)

Thanks again everyone!
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