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Faults, Fixes and DIY Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix!


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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 07:43:20 AM   #1
///M3AN ONE
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Default DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

I will take more pics as I knock out more installs coming up! Now that I have written down all of the steps, I know what pics I need! I used some pics from other DIY threads, sorry!

If this is your first time doing headers give yourself at least 8-10 hours. It's not hard, it's just time consuming! Take your time and make sure everything is hooked up correctly.

Tools needed:

A ratchet and metric set consisting of 8mm through 16mm sockets
An open ended wrench set consisting of 10mm through 14mm
1 swivel socket in whatever size your other sockets are
4 sizes of socket extentions in 12", 10", 8" and 3" (whatever sizes to make a long extention!)
30 torx bit (for cabin filter)
Needle nose pliers
Rubber mallet
Drop lights
Floor jack and jackstands (optional Rhino ramps)
Box of rubber latex gloves
1 large plastic container box to catch coolant fluid
Jug of OEM coolant and distilled water
WD-40
Zip ties for the 02 wires
Silicone adhesive (optional)
HIGHLY RECOMMEND an impact ratchet either air or battery operated
Constant pressure valve (optional if you haven't replaced)


Parts needed:

Set of headers!


CRT or Rasp terminator (Optional, but CRT is needed if you plan to pass smog!) You can also buy some 400 or 200 cell cats and weld them into your section 1 for a fraction of the price!


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is an OEM BMW E46 M3 Header Replacement Hardware/Gasket Kit. Kit includes 18 manifold studs (07129900298), 18 manifold nuts (11721437202), 6 header gaskets (11627830667), 4 header to exhaust bolts (11621318568), 4 header to exhaust nuts (18301317898), and 2 header to exhaust gaskets (11627830668).

If the headers have the thicker flanges like mine then you will need 18 E36 manifold studs (11121744057) instead of the E46 ones

1. Jack up the front of the car and put your stands in place. Either use Rhino ramps or low profile jack to reach front center jack pad. If you want more room just put your car on all 4 jacks. It can be done with just the front up.

2. Open hood and remove strut brace using a 13mm socket


3. Remove cabin filter and assembly using 30 torx screw on the 4 screws behind fillter.


4. Go underneath car and remove black plastic diaper using an 8mm socket on 7 screws.

5. Using a 16mm socket remove the metal underplate.

6. Using the 8mm socket remove the 2 black plastic covers under the tranny.

7. Spray some WD-40 on ALL the bolts and nuts connecting the headers to section 1 and section 2. Let them soak!

8. Back in the engine bay. Remove the left plastic engine heat shield. Remove coolant overflow tank. This requires pulling a single 10mm bolt out of the right fender. There is also a small sensor underneath the tank so be careful! Unplug sensor and set aside.


9. Remove overflow hose from the coolant return pipe by using some needle nose pliers on metal retaining pin. This will spill coolant all over the place so have the large plastic container ready underneath - and cut the finger off one of the rubber gloves to seal off the coolant return pipe. Stupid, but it works well. Lift up on the coolant overflow tank and let it drain. Lift tank up and out of the way and set aside.


10. Remove EGR expansion hose by pressing in on the tabs. Remove EGR valve from the side of the block. It sits just above the top heat shield, in its own little cutout. Use a 10mm open wrench on two nuts.


11. Unbolt silver metal heat shield. It's an aluminum plate that is secured by 4 bolts-one 10mm and three 13mm. The 02 sensor wires are attached near the rear so be careful and slide them out before taking out the heat shield. Slide the shield to the back, up, and out!

12. Remove the six 10mm nuts holding the valve cover. Take off the oil filler cap and plastic hose. Pull off the valve cover, then put the filler cap and plastic hose back into the head to prevent crap from falling into that sacred valvetrain.


13. Look at all the wires under the cam cover. Mark all the wires with tape and number for reference. Those are your O2 and EGT wires. They're loomed nicely under that plastic retainer. The two sensors closest to the firewall are the pre-cats and the three sensors along the bottom of the valve cover are the EGT and post cats. MARK THEM!!!!!


14. Go underneath the car and loosen the bolts holding the forward exhaust section (aka Section 1 or "S" pipe) to the US headers. You will need a 10mm open wrench and a 14mm open wrench.


15. For the rear resonator section (aka Section 2 or "X" pipe) you will need a 12mm open wrench and a 13mm open wrench. This pic is of a Euro section 1 for reference. Your OEM US spec section 1 will look different.


16. Drop the forward section 1 and set it aside.

17. Now it's time to start unbolting the stock headers. You will need the swivel extention and an 11mm short socket and long socket for adjustability as well as an 11mm open wrench. Here is where you will need various lengths of extentions to reach all the nuts. Take off as many nuts as you can reach from the top. I usually have trouble with the bottom nuts on cylinders 1, 2, and 6 so I get those from the bottom using a very long extention socket and swivel. Here is where the impact ratchet is worth more than GOLD!!!! If you use just the ratchet/open wrenches that's fine...it will take you SOME time though!


18. Once you have all the nuts off the headers. Unplug the four 02 sensors and EGT sensor. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THEM MARKED!!!!!

19. Drop the headers. Make sure the 02 wires don't get caught on anything when you pull them out. Many of the old gaskets will fall off loosely...don't worry, that's normal!

20. Gently clean the exhaust ports on the head to remove any adhered gasket material. Its probably not necessary since the BMW gaskets are really high quality, but just give it a look to be sure.

21. With the headers out it's MUCH easier to swap out the CPV. Use a huge flat screwdriver to take off...simple!


22. Unscrew ONE 02 at a time from the stock headers and then plug back into your catless headers. This will help you NOT screw up your 02 connections. Here's a shot of the US spec OEM headers with all the 02's attached in order of how they are connected up top.


23. For the thicker flange headers you will need to swap out all the studs. Some of them should've came out when you unscrewed the nuts. For the ones that didn't come out I recommend threading 2 nuts on top of each other on the stud, tighten them toward each other to lock them down a bit, then unscrew both. Stud should come off very easily. Spray a little WD-40 on the ends of the longer E36 studs then screw all 18 longer studs into the engine block with your fingers. Make sure the studs are as far as possible into the block with hand tightening.


Installation is, as they say, "the reverse of the removal". Its a lot easier though because without the US cat-in-collector headers, you'll have a lot more room to work next to the block.

Tips for installation:

When you install the new 6 gaskets make sure the "shiny" side is facing the engine block. Here is where you can use a dab of the silicone adhesive to hold the 6 gaskets in place.

When you install the headers, try to line them up as best as possible from underneath by getting the longer headers on then the shorter headers. I usually screw on at least one nut on the longer header to keep it in place. I do the same thing for the shorter header.


With the headers loosely bolted on, put on the header gaskets. Some go on easy or you might need the rubber mallet to gently tap them on.

Make sure you plug all the 02's back in correctly up top!

When bolting the section 1 back on, I use vice grips to hold the headers and section 1 in place so I can bolt up the new bolts and nuts. Make sure the bolts and nuts are on loosely connecting section 2 as well. Once you have the section 1 bolted up loosely, tighten down the headers first! Then tighten the section 1.

Put everything back on in reverse and don't forget to add coolant!

Make sure you use the zip ties to hold the 02 wires away from the headers.

Keep in mind:

You shouldn't throw any codes if you install a CRT. If you DON'T install a CRT and just install all the 02's into the catless headers, you MAY throw some post cat related codes!

Depending on where your cats are located, front of the section 1 or rear of the section 1, you will most likely need to take the 02 wires from underneath the engine cover to compensate for the longer length to the cats. You will know what I mean once you get there! If your cats are located in the front of the section 1, you should have no problem extending your existing 02 wires.

If your cats are located to the rear of your section 1, you might run short in reaching to the rear of the section 1. I was able to hook up Euro cats and a euro section 1 by pulling all the post cat wires ENTIRELY from the valve cover to reach. You may have to splice in a longer wire in your post cats just in case...

Last edited by ///M3AN ONE; Sun, Feb-06-2011 at 01:49:12 AM.
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 02:35:18 PM   #2
adwal99
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

Subscribed! Thanks Chris, can't wait for warm weather so I can finally start this project!
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 02:49:57 PM   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

nice write up, Ill be using this
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 03:44:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

thanks for the DIY. You are the man.
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 04:05:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

Awesome write up Chris!
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 05:47:00 PM   #6
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Default hello!

I'm new here @ www.m3forum.net and want say hi to all the guys/gals of this board!
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 07:04:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: hello!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brazilchick1w View Post
I'm new here @ www.m3forum.net and want say hi to all the guys/gals of this board!


Install headers, get bigger breasts....
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Old Tue, Jan-25-2011, 09:25:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by brazilchick1w View Post
I'm new here @ www.m3forum.net and want say hi to all the guys/gals of this board!
Hello. You should put a picture in your signiture...
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Old Sun, Jan-30-2011, 09:25:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

Thanks for the writeup! It looks easy enough. Anyone have the recommended torques for the headers on both ends, the O2 sensors, and the CPV?
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Old Sun, Jan-30-2011, 04:52:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Rodriguez View Post
Thanks for the writeup! It looks easy enough. Anyone have the recommended torques for the headers on both ends, the O2 sensors, and the CPV?
Just hand tight... You can't fit a torque wrench with most of the header nuts. Same with 02's and cpv. I'll double check those to be sure...


Btw, how did breast enhancement come up with a header install?

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Discussing DIY: Aftermarket header and section 1 install in the Faults, Fixes and DIY Forum - Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)