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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 02:02:24 AM   #11
e46Dan
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

Not easy to get back behind the head

Last edited by e46Dan; Sat, Apr-21-2018 at 02:16:09 AM.
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 02:25:38 AM   #12
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

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Not easy to get back behind the head
Not at all, I pulled the cabin filter housing and used a clean paper towel to wipe the rear. I had a decent view with the trans out.

Once you clean yours, how long does it take for the leak to “show” again ?
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 03:28:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

I don't have the thread or the pic handy, but when I was chasing what I thought was another rear main or oil pan gasket, I found I pinched an intake cam sensor wire when I put the valve cover back on after vanos work. Half moons on vcg were dry, most of the vcg was dry. Leak went down into the bellhousing on intake side of the back of the block and also snaked around the head gasket a bit toward the exhaust side and then down into the bellhousing...was a bit of a pain...

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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 03:32:25 AM   #14
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

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Originally Posted by PITT M3 RR View Post
Not at all, I pulled the cabin filter housing and used a clean paper towel to wipe the rear. I had a decent view with the trans out.

Once you clean yours, how long does it take for the leak to “show” again ?
It showed up after about 5 miles of spirited driving this last time. You can kinda see the green line in this picture where the head meets the block by the transmission bolt.It's definitely been getting worse. I'll drive it a little tomorrow until it leaks and see if I can trace it better. All the plugs are present in the back of the head though I wouldn't be surprised if it was leaking around one of the freeze plugs.
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 03:34:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

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Originally Posted by mrgizmo04 View Post
I don't have the thread or the pic handy, but when I was chasing what I thought was another rear main or oil pan gasket, I found I pinched an intake cam sensor wire when I put the valve cover back on after vanos work. Half moons on vcg were dry, most of the vcg was dry. Leak went down into the bellhousing on intake side of the back of the block and also snaked around the head gasket a bit toward the exhaust side and then down into the bellhousing...was a bit of a pain...

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That's funny, I did the same where I pinched a wire from the fuel injector on the driver side. That leaked enough oil to get my attention fairly quick. The oil filter housing is next on my list of things to replace. It's seeping a little but not enough to explain the amount I'm getting on the bottom of the transmission.

Last edited by e46Dan; Sat, Apr-21-2018 at 03:41:59 AM.
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 01:01:37 PM   #16
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

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Originally Posted by e46Dan View Post
I thought they could be the problem after reading that thread. I pulled the transmission and redid the rear main seal and casing for it.

If this image was a s54, the red marked would be where I can see the oil coming from. The good news is it's not the rear main or oil pan gasket.


Did u find out your leaking already? Because i have a similar leak on that area too!


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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 02:17:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

Not yet, I need to find time to drive the car to get it leaking again. I'll post it up when I eventually solve it.
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 03:44:40 PM   #18
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

Real quick, is the oil at the bottom of the pan glowing too? I ask my because my slave was also leaking in my bellhousing BUT, I knew it was oil because it was glowing, it was just mixing.

I see a hint of color on the pass side of the block near where you were referring. He mentioned the pinched wire. Due to the angle of the motor, have you check anything along the driver side of head / block? Pull the intake? Oil is tricky shit.

Also did you use sealant on the moons and cover junctions?

Also I’m assuming no spatter on the back of the flywheel?
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 03:54:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

Yeah it glows. The slave cylinder is pretty new. The car has sat for a couple days so a lot of the oil was already cleaned up when I took that picture. When it leaks there's a visible stream from that spot on the head. I need to get the uv light and borescope around the backside of the head. I didn't put any sealant in the half moons this time around but they felt dry.
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Old Sat, Apr-21-2018, 05:08:54 PM   #20
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Default Re: The strangest oil leak

Ok bmw calls for sealant there. That’s the first thing I would do and you can also inspect the VC for cracks. That’s something cheap and easy to cross off before going further.
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Discussing The strangest oil leak in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)