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Old 05-23-2020, 08:03 PM   #1
316buc
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Oil Dipstick Tube PIA Roadblock

Hi all,

I'm in the midst of replacing my CCV system today (on 2003 325xi) and I have everything successfully removed besides the damn oil dipstick guide tube. I want to remove it completely so I can replace the o-ring where it meets the sump and blow out any peanut butter clogs in the tube that connects to the separator valve. No matter what I try though, it will only come up and out of the sump about 3" before it gets hung up on the strut housing wall, the coolant lines running along that side, or that black vac canister. That damn bracket on the dipstick assembly for clipping vacuum lines to is fouling everything up. Also it seems like my second tube for the ccv line is different than a lot of diagrams seen as it looks like more of a double 60 degree bend instead of a Y off the main dipstick tube.

Do you guys have any tips on how to pop this thing out all the way? It doesn't seem to be accessible from below either. Also, is it normal to be able to wobble the guide tube around a couple inches after unbolting the guide tube assembly bracket? Seems that it should be fairly rigid until pulling it out of the sump.
Thanks in advance, I hope somebody can provide some insight before I get back at it tomorrow.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-Df...ew?usp=sharing

Last edited by 316buc; 05-23-2020 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 05-24-2020, 03:39 AM   #2
LeverThis
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I think some wobble is normal once you unbolt it. The dipstick tube bracket gets hung up on everything back there, but since you've pulled it up out of its hole by 3" the only thing holding it in is the bracket catching on things. Make sure everything is unclipped from it of course and try rotating it some. Not sure if the awd cars are different than rwd.

Edit: looked at the picture more closely, that coolant hose in front of the bracket toward the right clips into a plastic bracket. See if you can pop that hose out of its bracket and move it rearward to give clearance for the dipstick tube to come out.

Don't stress about the diagrams being different than the actual part, so long as the part numbers are correct. Those diagrams are often more indicative than literal representations.
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20mm OD x 12mm ID x 4mm W : Viton O-Ring
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Old 05-24-2020, 07:59 AM   #3
io14
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316buc

I would lube up the o ring with some of the oil as well as the dipstick shaft then when installing the dipstick rotate the shaft slowly while increasing back pressure to get it seated,yes its a pain but you need some patience so stick with it.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:20 AM   #4
316buc
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Originally Posted by LeverThis View Post
I think some wobble is normal once you unbolt it. The dipstick tube bracket gets hung up on everything back there, but since you've pulled it up out of its hole by 3" the only thing holding it in is the bracket catching on things. Make sure everything is unclipped from it of course and try rotating it some. Not sure if the awd cars are different than rwd.

Edit: looked at the picture more closely, that coolant hose in front of the bracket toward the right clips into a plastic bracket. See if you can pop that hose out of its bracket and move it rearward to give clearance for the dipstick tube to come out.

Don't stress about the diagrams being different than the actual part, so long as the part numbers are correct. Those diagrams are often more indicative than literal representations.
Thanks for the suggestion. I will try to unclip all three of the larger coolant hoses and move them toward the engine and maybe then I can slip the dipstick assembly between those and the engine bay wall.
Yesterday I was able to pull the guide tube out far enough to clean off the lower bit and inspect the o-ring, which looks somewhat okay...a little firm but not cracked or frayed at least.
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Old 05-24-2020, 11:31 AM   #5
TobyB
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Change that o- ring!
It hardens up, so it'll never reseal well.

Yes, dipstick's an utter pain to get out. You need to take more things off-
the vac canister in particular is one bolt and one line (that will need replacing)
and gives you a LOT more room to wiggle. And wiggle is normal even when it's
seated- the o- ring shoulder and the bracket are all that locate it on the engine.

Keep at it.

t
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Old 05-24-2020, 12:01 PM   #6
316buc
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Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
Change that o- ring!
It hardens up, so it'll never reseal well.

Yes, dipstick's an utter pain to get out. You need to take more things off-
the vac canister in particular is one bolt and one line (that will need replacing)
and gives you a LOT more room to wiggle. And wiggle is normal even when it's
seated- the o- ring shoulder and the bracket are all that locate it on the engine.

Keep at it.

t
I have the o-ring so I may as well persevere! Thanks for the input, I was thinking already about looking up a diagram of how the vac canister attaches or looking to see if I can find the mounting bolt. It's another thing to deal with but if it gets me where I want to be, then worth it. It should probably be a part of the standard ccv tutorials out there, instead of a one sentence blurb about "move the conduit box aside and pull dipstick guide up and out". That's not reality!
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Old 05-24-2020, 10:07 PM   #7
TobyB
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Yeah, it just barely comes out with the engine in, and I think I end up distorting it a bit to get it to come out,
usually. German engineering at its finest. If you look at the vac canister from underneath, I think you can see the
bolt. I forget. I took it off our cars, plugged its line and zip- tied the exhaust flap open. One less thing to leak...

The oil level's really close to the dipstick seal, so it's pretty important that it seals well.

t
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Old 05-25-2020, 12:23 AM   #8
316buc
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Update

Success! It was pretty easy all-in-all to take out that vac reservoir, and it turns out I needed to replace that vac line from there to the back of the intake anyway so I got an extra half hour of hand contortionist practice
After removing that, the oil dipstick assembly came out with only a little grief and I was able to do all the maintenance I wanted to.
I've gotta say, that whole CCV replacement and air intake/control maintenance is a pain in the ass. Glad I have that done now and so far no codes or leaking so I must have done something right.
Should I immediately change the oil now? I'm planning on doing that in the next ~300 miles but with the prior presence of a small amount of peanut butter sludge maybe it would behoove me to run a little seafoam and change out the oil in a couple of days...

Last edited by 316buc; 05-25-2020 at 12:27 AM.
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