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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 07-27-2007, 07:57 PM   #1
NicB.
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Exhaust Side Camshaft Position Sensor - DIY

All right, so my car threw code P1397. After a few hours of sitting it went out. Today on the way to pick up a new expansion tank, the code came back, so while I was at BMW, I picked up a new EXHAUST SIDE CAMSHAFT POSITION SENSOR aka Pulse Generator (Part #12 14 7 518 628). The part runs $124, but I picked it up for $100 even from BMW. You will also need a little rubber o-ring (Part #12 14 1 748 398) - costs about $1. I have heard that non-OEM CPS are bad, so be sure you get the real deal.

Here is my DIY with pics, cuz if you are like me, pics help.

1. The exhaust side camshaft position sensor is located on the passenger side of the engine towards the front. It is held in place by one bolt that requires a 5mm allen wrench to remove.

2. Wait until the car cools so you don't burn your hand. Unclip the wiring harness connected to the CPS. Lay it out of the way.

3. Use your 5mm allen wrench to turn the screw loose. It may be stuck, as BMW put a drop of blue loctite on it. Also use extreme care not to drop the bolt into the bottom of the engine bay.

4. Once the bolt is out, just pull/shimmy the old position sensor out. Note that on older cars, the new part itself will look physically different (see pics). This is okay.

5. Now you need to install the new part. First, clean out the hole where the old part went. Make sure you remove any gunk. Next, put a drop or two of oil on your rubber o-ring and slide it over the CPS. There is a small lip at the bottom of the part and the o-ring will but up against it. Additionally, there is a notch for the o-ring cut out of the engine (like a little lip it sits in).

6. Next, push in the CPS. Use your allen wrench to line up the screw hole on the CPS with the one on the engine. CAREFULLY slide the bolt back into place and tighten. Don't drop the bolt or it will suck to retrieve.

7. I tightened mine by hand with the allen wrench until it felt snug. I am told the correct torque is 3.5 lb-ft, but I cannot confirm nor deny. I have also heard to put a drop of blue loctite on the bolt, again don't know for sure. I actually put a drop of oil on mine because it was such a bear to get the bugger out and was still very difficult to put it back in.

8. Once the CPS is installed reconnect the electrical connector.

9. Turn the key to the on-position to see if the code goes away, it may not. That is okay though, go ahead and start the car. Listen to see how it sounds and check to see if any oil is leaking. The o-ring helps keep the pressurized oil from leaking out.

10. Drive the car. I personally recommend taking her up to 5.5-6k rpm, but that is up to you. If the light doesn't go out within a minute or two. Stop the car, turn it off. Turn the key to the on position for 30 seconds, turn it off for 30 seconds. Start the car, your light should go out. If not...maybe you need to clear your code using an OBD scanner.

Anyway, that is it. Pretty detailed for a simple task, but if someone wrote this before I did it, I would have saved myself some time.

Good luck,
NicB.
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:46 AM   #2
fmzip
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Great....need to do mine today.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #3
Blinky330xi
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AWESOME writeup, thanks for taking the time. I'm going to attack this over the weekend.

2001 xi 5spd. with 73k on the ODO.
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:03 PM   #4
fmzip
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did mine! code gone! car runs much stronger it seems
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
thfrazer
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Excellent write up of an easy DIY project! Thank you!

I haven't gotten the Service Engine Soon light to go out, but the Bentley manual says I need to use the reset tool for that. If the light doesn't go out then I've got other issues to deal with.

Thanks again.

Tom
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:05 AM   #6
Morten M
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I need to do this on my 323 Ci 2000. Thanks for the DIY.

Is the exhaust side sensor more difficult to do than the other one?
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:35 AM   #7
weisiong123
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No..the exhaust side is the easy side...the intake is the harder 1..
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:05 AM   #8
weisiong123
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Just did this...seems car is stronger..lol may well be an halo-effect..

That 1 screw took me ages to remove...8 years untouched plus there was loctite...it required a huge amount of strength ...

Mostly its hard to remove because of the space you can work in..using the allen key in such a confined space didn't give much leverage
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:05 AM   #9
weisiong123
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Just did this...seems car is stronger..lol may well be an halo-effect..

That 1 screw took me ages to remove...8 years untouched plus there was loctite...it required a huge amount of strength ...

Mostly its hard to remove because of the space you can work in..using the allen key in such a confined space didn't give much leverage
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Old 10-10-2008, 12:18 AM   #10
Dannyncc
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goin to do mine tomorrow.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:48 AM   #11
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lol is easy ...
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Old 10-14-2008, 10:58 AM   #12
im2stupid
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screw came off easily with a bit of force, but removing that electrical cable with two tabs on the left and right was a PITA to get off (picture #7). I couldn't do with with my fingers no matter what, so I just grabbed it with a large heavy duty plier, aimed it carefully to squeeze the tabs, then gently wiggled it left and right until it came off. Think I scratched up the plastic a little but no real harm done...

Also make sure you fish out the old o-ring, mine was still lodged in the hole when I pulled out the sensor. I almost put in the new sensor with its own brand new o-ring, don't think you want two o-rings in there side by side .

great & easy diy post.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:46 PM   #13
lce46
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I was curious as to how you guys managed to remove the bolt. It looks damn near impossible to get to. I just took the harness off of mine right now, and i could barely stick my hand in to fit the allen wrench, much less turn it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:00 PM   #14
MPower7
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Originally Posted by lce46 View Post
I was curious as to how you guys managed to remove the bolt. It looks damn near impossible to get to. I just took the harness off of mine right now, and i could barely stick my hand in to fit the allen wrench, much less turn it.
For me, the wiring harness was the hardest for me to get off. It took me forever because it was so awkward and I wanted to get this **** done because my light has been on forever so I did it when the engine was hot. I put the allen wrench in and turned it 1/2 turn. Took it out then put it back in and repeated until the bolt was out. I can't stress enough to be careful and work slowly as to not drop the allen wrench or screw. My friend managed to drop the allen wrench and delayed the process a day further.

On a positive note, I do notice and increase in performance. It seems like my car DEF. tacks faster than it did before.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:11 AM   #15
beberle
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Thanks for the writeup!

After 165,000 miles, it was no fun getting the 5mm hex bolt out. I almost stripped it using an allen wrench. I suggest using a 3/8" drive hex-bit socket if you have it.

Steeler charged me the full $124 list-price. Another reminder why I almost always shop online!

PS... it's been 2 days and I can't believe the throttle response/acceleration that I've gained. Also, it seems that the transmission is shifting much better. I just rebuilt the transmission a couple months ago and thought that it was developing problems already. I've got one happy BMW again!

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Old 02-14-2010, 01:47 PM   #16
dorkus
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Thumbs Up another thanks

... for the terrific write-up. made it super easy, took me half hour tops while taking my time. i don't think i was using a metric allen key (probably the closest english equivalent, maybe 3/16) but it was close enough.

the bolt was pretty stiff, but i used pliers on the end of allen key to get extra leverage (and pressing the key into the bolt with my other hand to make sure i didn't strip it), and got it off without too much effort. the wiring harness was stiff too, but there is a trick - use adjustable pliers as someone suggested to grab it by the tabs, and instead of trying to yank it out with brute force, rest the pliers against the engine block and use a gentle lever action. popped right out with minimal effort... as my dad always told me, levers are your friend.

i did drop the bolt despite all your warnings, but fortunately it wedged itself between a hose and the windshield fluid reservoir and was easy to retrieve. i also dropped the allen key (hey, it's pretty cold out). that made it all the way to the bottom, but i had a spare so didn't bother retrieving.

otherwise, everything went smoothly, and i saved a lot of money DIY'ing. (i bought an original sensor from Circle BMW for $110 or so.) thanks again!
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by im2stupid View Post
Also make sure you fish out the old o-ring, mine was still lodged in the hole when I pulled out the sensor. I almost put in the new sensor with its own brand new o-ring, don't think you want two o-rings in there side by side .
great point - my o-ring didn't come off with the sensor, and had you not mentioned this, i probably would have put the new o-ring on top of it. had to stick my finger in and pry the old ring out. thanks for the tip!
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:48 AM   #18
shauny2times
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great thread!! i finished it in no time flat, an it was a piece of cake..i also am certain that the car has a hair more pep and is just running alot smoother. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:08 PM   #19
paulney
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I suggest taking out the fan shroud to give yourself more room to work in. It is an extra 5 minutes of work (for electrical one), but totally worth it for the rest of the project. Don't know if I could stay sane working that bolt 1/4 turn each time.
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Old 08-28-2010, 08:36 PM   #20
stapler12345
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part #12147518628 is $33.72 at autohausAZ
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