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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 Wed, Dec-03-2008, 02:05:51 AM   #211
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It's no issue to take the plate off.
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Old Wed, Dec-03-2008, 02:19:27 AM   #212
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Sounds like it could be the rear main seal (in between trans and engine). Which will require the removal of the trans. Do you have warranty?

edit: nvm I see your car is a 01. Gluck with the repairs.
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 03:37:38 PM   #213
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Is there any sort of consensus regarding whether the water pump and/or t-stat should be done preventively? It's a pretty expensive job even just for parts so if it's not necessary maybe I'll just try my luck and hope it doesn't overheat on the freeway (or elsewhere)...

Also, my belt is squealing a tad. I have BHS LTW pullies, though. What's the replacement procedure in that case?
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:06:40 PM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohnoes View Post
Is there any sort of consensus regarding whether the water pump and/or t-stat should be done preventively? It's a pretty expensive job even just for parts so if it's not necessary maybe I'll just try my luck and hope it doesn't overheat on the freeway (or elsewhere)...

Also, my belt is squealing a tad. I have BHS LTW pullies, though. What's the replacement procedure in that case?
I haven't seen failures on our w pump/t-stats like those on previous generations. For the most part they're a fix it when failed item(s).

Have you gotten the chance to see the layout of the belt? As in it's installed flushed with the pullies. Even if it's off a tiny bit it can cause a noise. Also take a look to see you have the updated hydraulic tensioner.
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:24:47 PM   #215
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I haven't seen failures on our w pump/t-stats like those on previous generations. For the most part they're a fix it when failed item(s).

Have you gotten the chance to see the layout of the belt? As in it's installed flushed with the pullies. Even if it's off a tiny bit it can cause a noise. Also take a look to see you have the updated hydraulic tensioner.
Great to know regarding the w-pump/t-stat. That was going to be a $700 job easily. And the radiator is similar in that it isn't preventative maintenance? So the cooling system can remain untouched until something breaks (except for regular flushes).

I haven't checked the belt, but I will. I don't even know basic info about our belt drive system, since I've never had to deal with it. Is it just one serpentine belt? And to replace the tensioner/belt you gotta remove the fan clutch? I don't think the tensioner has ever been replaced, and it's a 1/2002 car, so I probably don't have the updated one...
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:39:04 PM   #216
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Great to know regarding the w-pump/t-stat. That was going to be a $700 job easily. And the radiator is similar in that it isn't preventative maintenance? So the cooling system can remain untouched until something breaks (except for regular flushes).

I haven't checked the belt, but I will. I don't even know basic info about our belt drive system, since I've never had to deal with it. Is it just one serpentine belt? And to replace the tensioner/belt you gotta remove the fan clutch? I don't think the tensioner has ever been replaced, and it's a 1/2002 car, so I probably don't have the updated one...
I think it was Ian who stated he'd like to replace the radiator at around 100k miles but I don't see a need for it. I've worked on many e46's with over 100k miles without a problem. With that said though if there is a problem be prepared to replace everything in the cooling system. The phrase "sh1t rolls down hill" comes to mind.

Removing the fan/fan clutch is not hard. You'll need a 32mm wrench and a hammer to give it a good whack to crack it loose (reverse thread "righty loosey"). If the nut is seized on you'll need either a long flathead screw driver or the bmw special tool to hold the nuts in place while you try and loosen the fan nut. You have a serp belt and an accessory belt. Removing the fan shroud requires I believe a T20 (25 maybe?) torx bit (on each corner of the shroud [4 total]). if you're unsure if you have a hydraulic or the old mechanical style tensioner post a picture.
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:41:20 PM   #217
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The hydraulic tensioner looks something like this



Special tool for the removal of the fan looks like this

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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:46:08 PM   #218
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Quote:
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I think it was Ian who stated he'd like to replace the radiator at around 100k miles but I don't see a need for it. I've worked on many e46's with over 100k miles without a problem. With that said though if there is a problem be prepared to replace everything in the cooling system. The phrase "sh1t rolls down hill" comes to mind.

Removing the fan/fan clutch is not hard. You'll need a 32mm wrench and a hammer to give it a good whack to crack it loose (reverse thread "righty loosey"). If the nut is seized on you'll need either a long flathead screw driver or the bmw special tool to hold the nuts in place while you try and loosen the fan nut. You have a serp belt and an accessory belt. Removing the fan shroud requires I believe a T20 (25 maybe?) torx bit (on each corner of the shroud [4 total]). if you're unsure if you have a hydraulic or the old mechanical style tensioner post a picture.
I did say it, and it wasn't based on anything e46 related. I'm really just concerned because we still have the alu/plastic radiator that BMW has been using for years and never (possibly until now) seems to work well in the long term.

On the e36 it seems to be a combination of millage and age that makes them fail, but I have to agree that was still haven't seen anything like the failures of the e36 yet. Still... if it does go, it can do a lot of damage if you don't notice instantly.

... in short, I'm still debating, but probably going to replace preventatively ~100,000 miles in my car.
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:57:41 PM   #219
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I love those special tools. More often than not, they're just expensive pieces of metal shaped and fabricated in certain, fairly straightforward ways. The RTAB removal tool, for instance, should not be anywhere near $500 or whatever it costs. Just kinda funny... I'll probably stick with the screwdriver.

Thanks a lot for the awesome info, dude. I'll see if I can get a pic. Otherwise, what's the significance of having either tensioner? If I have the new one, would the squealing more likely be caused by a belt, and if I have the old one, by the tensioner?
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Old Thu, Dec-04-2008, 04:59:30 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohnoes View Post
I love those special tools. More often than not, they're just expensive pieces of metal shaped and fabricated in certain, fairly straightforward ways. The RTAB removal tool, for instance, should not be anywhere near $500 or whatever it costs. Just kinda funny... I'll probably stick with the screwdriver.

Thanks a lot for the awesome info, dude. I'll see if I can get a pic. Otherwise, what's the significance of having either tensioner? If I have the new one, would the squealing more likely be caused by a belt, and if I have the old one, by the tensioner?
lol correct on both paragraphs.

ps.. i don't own that tool. I own a long prybar, lol.
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Discussing e46 M3 Maintenance Thread 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)