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E46 Engine Swaps
Replacing your motor? From direct replacements to more exoctic engines, if it's going under the hood of an E46 3 Series this is the forum to discuss it.

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Old 12-26-2016, 01:54 PM   #1
shellback
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Engine removal technique

I've done a BMW engine swap in the past by removing the engine and transmission from the top using an engine hoist/crane and leveler.
I would really like to do the same but dropping from the bottom.

After I've disconnected all fuel/cooling/ac/e-box engine harness connections, reverse switch plug, exhaust and drive shaft....

My questions are:

1) Besides what I have below, what else do I need to loosen before dropping engine from the bottom:

- strut assembly (3 nuts)
- control arm bolts attached to frame (lollipops)
- sway bar
- steering rack?
- or leave steering rack attached to sub-frame?
- will an engine crane work to keep engine supported prior to loosening sub-frame. I do not have that specific engine support tool that spans across the fenders.

Anything else?
Any tips or lessons learned will be greatly appreciated.
I've done searches but I can't find a step-by-step guide using this bottom drop procedure.
Thanks
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:10 AM   #2
Phillips0417
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Interested in this as well since I'm looking at doing this soon. I purchased a set of headers for my car and got under to see if the exhaust flanges would mate up and discovered either a leaky oil pan gasket or rear main seal. So I have decided to pull my engine from the bottom and replace the oil pan gasket, rear main seal, clutch and install the headers while out of the car.

The only other thing I can think of to be removed is brake calipers. I also would like to know if the steering rack stays on the subframe or just remove the tie rods.

I would support the engine/trans and subframe with a jack and raise the car with a lift, or jacks and blocks if you don't have a lift.

Does that sound about right? Hopefully someone with some experience can chime in.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:53 AM   #3
mikeetastic
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see this post https://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1119398

picture in post #1.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:51 PM   #4
shellback
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Looks like having a lift is the way to go.
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Old 01-07-2017, 01:54 AM   #5
bobnagga
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Sorry for the late reply, but it looks like chilton recommends dropping the engine out from under the car. You'd still be using a cherry picker, just to set it down rather than lift it up. So, it can be done... I don't know that I'd feel safe under there unbolting the subframe while a chain holds the engine above my head, but that's just me.

Now, I don't know if you're set on doing it that way, but I had great success in taking the entire front clip off. You need less height to get it out that way.

Pics here...
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1110330

It's less work that it looks like. There are only six bolts and some screws/plastic holding the bumper on. Don't take it off in pieces, just one big whole. The hardest part was literally the throttle cable. Everything else comes off real easy. Except for those damn torx and star headed bolts. I hate those things.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:01 PM   #6
Phillips0417
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I will be removing mine from the bottom with a lift. I'm not removing my radiator, condenser, etc. My AC works really well and I don't want to break into a working system. I have the equipment to do it at work, I just don't want to evacuate it then recharge it if I don't have to.

Which brings me to a question, can I remove the AC compressor and leave it in the engine bay? Of course I'll support it somehow but since I'll be dropping everything from the bottom, will there be enough room to facilitate removal with the compressor still in the car?
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:33 PM   #7
Gbro
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My lesson: Secondary air pump valve doesn't clear the frame rails when dropping the subframe out haha! GL, hope everything goes well.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:31 AM   #8
shellback
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some good pointers. Thanks!
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