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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 04-12-2013, 10:16 PM   #1
Bavaryan
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Motor Mount DIY

This was done on a manual transmission 330i. If you have an auto, you will need to remove the fan shroud and possibly the fan as well. Perform this at your own risk and follow all proper jacking procedures. I did not do a full picture DIY as I feel there is some real danger when doing this type of work on jack stands, and it is mainly designed for someone like me who would do it on their own anyways, but appreciates a little guidance. I take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong if you follow these steps, it is simply what worked for me.


1.Follow proper jacking procedure and get the front of the car secured on the jack pads with two jack stands. I used a combination of the OEM jack, a floor jack, and of course my two jack stands.

2.Remove the cover to the cabin air filter(twist the little screws and they pop up)

3.Remove cabin air filter

4.Remove the rubber hood insulator from around the cabin air filter assembly(just pull up)

5.Remove the cabin air filter box assembly (four torx screws connected to the firewall)

6.Remove the remaining two torx screws that hold the bracket that the box assembly screws to, twist off the "pop screw(unsure what these are actually called) near the brake booster separator, and pull straight up on this bracket.

7.Remove the vacuum line off of the SAP, remove the 3 10mm bolts that hold the SAP on. Lift up gently and remove the connector from underneath.

8.Remove both top engine covers(pop off the screw covers and use a 10mm socket/ratchet to remove the bolts(middle engine cover) and nuts(passenger side engine cover).

9.Remove the air box lid and set aside, remove air filter, remove two 10mm bolts that hold air box in to car. Lift up the back of the box first as it has an air intake that goes forward to the side of the headlight and you need to finagle that out.

10.Get underneath the car, remove the splash pan

11.Remove all eight bolts for the center support aluminum brace(16mm IIRC)

12.Remove the engine mount nuts. I found it easiest to use a couple of extensions with a flex adapter placed either in the middle of the extensions, or right down by the socket depending on the side I was working on. These are 16mm nuts.

13.Once all of the nuts are removed, place a block of wood on top of your floor jack, and jack up the engine by the oil pan. Be careful, and as soon as the engine stops going up and you start to lift the front end of the car STOP. You ABSOLUTELY do not want to support the car by the engine, and you sure as heck don't want to be crawling under there while it is like this. You will only be able to remove the driver's side motor mount initially.

14.Remove the driver's side motor mount, and install the new one. Lower the engine back down and LOOSELY (think about 3 turns on each nut, top and bottom) put the nuts on the new driver's side engine mount. Note: Pay attention to the orientation of the mounts. They have a tab that needs to be positioned properly, and it is NOT the one that is obvious to you while being under the car. Be patient, feel around, and you will get it right.

15.Jack the engine back up, it will grab on the driver's side mount and act as a pivot which will raise the passenger side up higher so you can get to it.

16.Tighten both motor mounts back up, installation of everything else is reverse of taking apart. Don't forget to put the engine covers back on before you re-install the cabin air filter box, or else you will have to get creative with a socket and a pair of vice grips like I did.


Once all was said and done the car actually feels more responsive, and it certainly idles much better. Before it was starting to feel like 2005 corolla at idle, and now it is so smooth you can barely tell it is running. My original mounts had 145k on them, the passenger side was compressed but relatively OK, the drivers side was in two pieces upon removal.



Any questions feel free to ask!
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Last edited by Bavaryan; 04-12-2013 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:53 AM   #2
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Great write up. How long did it take you?

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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Including an oil change about two hours. Spent about 30 mins trying to get the passenger side mount out before i figured it out.

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Old 06-09-2013, 09:52 PM   #4
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Motor Mount DIY

Great write up, I wish there were pictures though!
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:21 PM   #5
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Good stuff, +1 on pics
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:01 AM   #6
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Did you replace the eight bolts holding the aluminum chassis support, as recommended by BMW, since they are stretch bolts?
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #7
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I just did this, there is no reason to have to remove the cabin air filter, it was not in the way when I used the Harbor Freight Engine brace (which can be had for around $60-80 if you use a 20% off coupon). It can also be used when you need to replace the oil pan gasket and is surely a heck of a lot safer than risking jacking up the car by aluminum oil pan (which costs about $600+ or more new).
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:07 PM   #8
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How do you know if its time to replace them? Any specific mileage?
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:36 AM   #9
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Re: Motor Mount DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiig View Post
How do you know if its time to replace them? Any specific mileage?
Tell tale sign is power steering resevoir imprint on the hood pad. I also noticed more of a vibration at idle, and a rocking feeling at cold idle.

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Old 08-13-2013, 04:37 AM   #10
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Re: Motor Mount DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by trizzuth View Post
I just did this, there is no reason to have to remove the cabin air filter, it was not in the way when I used the Harbor Freight Engine brace (which can be had for around $60-80 if you use a 20% off coupon). It can also be used when you need to replace the oil pan gasket and is surely a heck of a lot safer than risking jacking up the car by aluminum oil pan (which costs about $600+ or more new).
I like this way better with the exception of having to buy an additional tool. If you want to spend the extra money then by all means go this way.

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Old 08-13-2013, 04:38 AM   #11
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Re: Motor Mount DIY

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sansho View Post
Did you replace the eight bolts holding the aluminum chassis support, as recommended by BMW, since they are stretch bolts?
No, reused them.

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Old 09-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #12
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No, reused them.

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BMW says they are a one time use only. Doesn't seem like it matters until you consider that the metal shield add rigidity to the body and is part of the structural stiffness of the car.
They are expensive here in S Florida, over $5 each. I would buy 2 sets if I could get them cheap enough.

Anyone ever try a group buy? One person could act as the buyer and everyone else could send PayPal money for their order plus shipping. USPS small flat rate box should do it. <$6 insured.
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Old 09-08-2013, 10:21 PM   #13
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Re: Motor Mount DIY

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BMW says they are a one time use only. Doesn't seem like it matters until you consider that the metal shield add rigidity to the body and is part of the structural stiffness of the car.
They are expensive here in S Florida, over $5 each. I would buy 2 sets if I could get them cheap enough.

Anyone ever try a group buy? One person could act as the buyer and everyone else could send PayPal money for their order plus shipping. USPS small flat rate box should do it. <$6 insured.

Still wouldn't buy them. Have had them off three times in past 50k miles. They torque down good enough for me.

Should you buy them? Sure if you have money to blow....


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Old 09-09-2013, 03:48 AM   #14
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A quick heads up about the bolts on the aluminium brace. They will break after a couple of times. A have had this happen on my car as well on my father in law's 545i (different shape brace but same spec bolts). I was a sceptic on the value of repacing them, but I always do it now.

On my car it broke on installation when torquing, and it didn't break all the way through, so it came out ok. On the 545i, it broke through completely on removal and left one half up inside the chassis. A nightmare to get out because it is a high tensile bolt, and close to impossible to drill a hole in it and use an extraction tool. Took about an hour to get it out.

The bolt itself, as per realoem.com is M10 x 35 10.9 ZN. Meaning it's a 10mm bolt (1.5mm pitch) that is 35 mm long, tensile spec is 10.9 (very high tensile) and it is zinc coated.

They are expensive from BMW, but you can get the same spec bolt from your local high tensile bolt dealer for a fraction of the cost. Here in Oz the BMW bolt is about $5.50 a piece. From the high tensile bolt dealer they are about 60c. I jut bought a bag of about 30 of them so I have them on hand ready to go if required. The only difference is that the BMW bolts have a big wide washer on them that you want to use so you have lots of surface area compressing on the aluminium plate. I used a grinder to remove the threads on the old bolts to remove the washer, and then opened the washer hole a bit using a 10mm drill bit. This is so the new bolt slip on easily.

Like I said, don't re-use the bolts. One day it will spoil your day.

Last edited by jjrichar; 09-09-2013 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 05:31 PM   #15
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Motor Mount DIY

Thanks for the heads up, solid contribution to the thread. Have you found them anywhere online for a good price?


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Old 12-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #16
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A quick heads up about the bolts on the aluminium brace. They will break after a couple of times. Like I said, don't re-use the bolts. One day it will spoil your day.
The bolts are stretch bolts, meant to be used once. The bolt runs $2 each from a US discounting BMW sponsor (The BMW Part Store).
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #17
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11.Remove all eight bolts for the center support aluminum brace(16mm IIRC)

Is this step absolutely necessary? I've read other DIY's and they make no mention of touching that brace.

TIA
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:24 PM   #18
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11.Remove all eight bolts for the center support aluminum brace(16mm IIRC)

Is this step absolutely necessary? I've read other DIY's and they make no mention of touching that brace.

TIA
The other DIY might have been done on a model that has the tubular brace like my 330i does. You have plenty of room to work around the tubular one while the plate style one will probably block needed access.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #19
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The other DIY might have been done on a model that has the tubular brace like my 330i does. You have plenty of room to work around the tubular one while the plate style one will probably block needed access.
I have the aluminum plate brace also. 2003 325i sedan

I guess if I decide to jack up the engine from below then that brace has to come off for access to the pan?

Thanks for the info.
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