BMW M3 Forum
BMW M3 Forum BMW M3 Gallery BMW M3 Reviews BMW M3 Social Groups BMW M3 Chat M3Forum Sponsors >>

Mobile M3forum
Go Back   BMW M3 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) > BMW M3 Discussions > E46 M3 (2001-2006)
Tire Rack Buy Winter Tires Now!
Not a member? Register Now!
Register Gallery All Albums Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Calendar FAQ

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.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old Fri, Jul-20-2012, 03:40:16 PM   #1
Piraña Powered
SYT_Shadow's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3,681
Reputation: 0 SYT_Shadow is on a distinguished road
Location: CT/NY


Cool DIY: Oil pan removal + engine mounts

Ok so here we go.

This DIY is useful when you've dropped something inside your engine (for example a wonderful vanos tab) and now have to fish it out. It also covers engine mounts as I changed them while I was down there.

In part it's a continuation of the previous DIY: Vanos and bolts, as you will have to do this one if in the Vanos one you dropped something into the engine. This is why I recommend you block every nook and cranny with rags... trust me.

This was a very frustrating job, but mainly because I was an idiot and tried to take shortcuts. I didn't want to drop the subframe brace and tried to work around it. DO NOT DO THIS. Do it the right way which is explained here, it's much quicker and you won't go

I used a car lift at home for this. It isn't necessary, but it does make things easier.

We will not touch the timing at any point, so there's no need to pop the valve cover off.

Disclaimer: These instructions are what I did. In no way does this guarantee you similar results. Opening your engine and fooling around with the timing can damage the car, the engine and you.
If you plan on following these steps, read the DIY several times to become familiar with it before starting.

Note 1: This won't be as thorough as the Vanos DIY, simply because I had the M dismounted for almost a month while I worked on it in my 'spare time' (during exams, not so much!) and by the time I finished I reaaaally wanted to turn it on

Note 2: I don't mention any part numbers in this DIY. I get all my parts through Mike Kent at thebmwpartstore and never have to look up PNs, so I don't know what they are.

Note 3: I don't post the torque values because I didn't use a torque wrench and don't have access to the TIS or the Bentley manual. Even if I did, I don't trust an uncalibrated torque wrench with my engine parts, I would prefer using blue loctite if a bolt is keeping me up at night.
As a general guideline, bolts marked 8.8 are weaklings and will break or strip with any hint of 'tight', so be careful with them. They're usually threaded into aluminum or iron and that will not take much pressure before stripping.

Note 4: the bolts that hold the oil pan are garbage, 8.8 rated. I bought an entire new set and as some of the other big bolts I opened up were corroded I also got new ones. This isn't necessary but makes me happy, so I do it.

Note 5: there are a few different lengths of bolts that are involved in this. I suggest you take a pic every time you remove a bolt so you know what goes where.
Failure do to so will result in multiple attempts at putting bolts of different lengths into holes where they thread but they are too short/long

Note 6: this DIY calls for disassembling a lot of parts. It seems tedious and perhaps unnecessary, but I first tried to just crack open the oil pan to fish out the tabs and I cannot stress it enough: DO NOT DO THIS. Ask me why I know

Note 7: although one could think by looking at the oil pan from the outside that you can fish things out of the oil pan by dismounting the circular part on the bottom of the oil pan, in reality this is not so. The oil pan has all kinds of surfaces in it and will not allow access. Ask me why I know

As soon as you get under the car you'll notice a black plastic tray which goes right under the engine. We want to remove this. I bought new bolts as the old ones were severely damaged.

In this first pic we see the center jacking point again

You'll notice the fan shroud gets in your way constantly. After removing it here I will not reinstall it, it takes way too long to mount/dismount this thing every time I open the Vanos up.
It's held on by 4 torx screws, two in the top, two in the bottom.

The shroud and the fan need to be removed at the same time. You'll notice they interfere in each others ways and are quite annoying. The oil cooler also manages to get in the way, but unlike the other two it's quite simple to remove.

To make our lives more interesting, BMW engineers decided to put a part of the shroud (a small part on the right) in between a cooling tube. This means it can't be removed and just stays there annoying you as you try to remove the fan shroud. I suggest you cut a portion out to be able to install/uninstall at will.





The oil cooler is also held on by four bolts, two per side

Hold the oil cooler onto the car with a cord so it doesn't bend too much

Now the shroud will be loose but it still won't come out as the fan is blocking it.

There's a special tool to remove this but I prefer the following method. Get a 1 1/4 open ended wrench.

Place it on the fan nut

Hammering time! We want to move the wrench clockwise. The pulleys make it hard to move in that direction, so by hammering it we'll get it loose. It usually takes several whacks and I suggest you first look at the path where you'll be hammering to avoid breaking stuff.

Success! However the fan is still stuck because of the shroud.

We disconnect the wiring harness from the fan shroud

And now we jiggle the shroud and fan around until we can take it out. The fan comes out through the top

And the shroud through the bottom

Now there's just that little piece of shroud that's held on by the cooling pipes

I used a hacksaw. If you do it like I did it you'll still be able to reinstall and use it. There's a push-pin on there to fasten it to the shroud, you don't want to saw it off.

Unfortunately I don't have any pics of this.
When you get under the car you can see the plastic plate under the engine and another plate that's shiny (aluminum) that comes right after it.

This plate is held on by 10-12 bolts which are supposed to be one-time use. Many reuse them, but to each their own.

Remove all the bolts and the plate comes right off. This might be a good time to clean it as it can get dirty.

Remember that once this plate has been removed you can't drive the car until it's reinstalled. Obviously I wouldn't jack it up/down either once removed.

If you have a lift this is very easy. Here's a pic of my brother and I.

This will give you more space to work and lessen the load on the front subframe once we start remove the subframe brace

This is on the passenger side and it attaches the chassis to the passenger FCA. Remove it as when we drop the FCA we'll break it

We don't want to dismount an oil pan that's brimming with oil. You do this by loosening a single bolt. Use care when rethreading as it's not a strong one.

This picture shows the center area of the oil pan removed. Ignore it.

This is the most important part. Go to Harbor Freight (or your preferred shop for one-use products) and buy this engine support. It's $60 and the only way to do this properly.

You support it on the sides of the engine bay as seen here

A chain is included in the box. You wrap it around the thermostat or you can insert the hook directly into the thermostat housing
As I don't trust these cheap things very much I attached the second hook for additional safety

Now, turn the nuts attached to the hooks on the engine so it 'lifts' the engine ever so slightly. Later on we will have to lift it more, I recall around 10mm.

There are 3 bolts that go from the tranny to the oil pan. We will remove all of them.

Here you can see two holes where there are bolts. Remove them. [Ignore the open part of the oil pan, that isn't necessary]

This can be a good time to replace it if it's necessary. This bolt probably has red loctite on it. If it doesn't, when you reinstall make sure to put some on. You do not want to lose steering by accident!
It uses a torx female or you can just use a 8MM socket which also works.

This is held on by two long bolts that you see attached to the subframe brace that go through it and are held on the top by two bolts. You'll need open ended wrenches for the top.
It fits 'inside' the subframe place. Once you remove the bolts you can slide it out.

Once loosened it's still attached to the PS pump and reservoir so it won't just move out of the way happily.
Placing undue pressure on the hoses that connect it to the car will make your steering rack very unhappy. I don't recommend it as those pipes are expensive.
Instead, unbolt the various banjo connectors which you see are causing the problem. PS liquid will leak out.

You don't have to remove the endlinks, just undo the 2 bolts per side that hold it to the chassis.
It will just hang lower as it's still attached by endlinks

It isn't necessary to dismount them fully, just these bolts on each side like if we were replacing bushings. Not a bad time to do this BTW

Next we remove the serpentine belt that attaches to the PS pump.
To do this, use a torx head to de-tense the tensioner and remove the belt.

There we go

This is necessary as there's an oil pan bolt which can only be accessed once this is removed.
The pump is held on by two bolts which are on its top side. Notice those bolts are 8.8. What does this mean? Don't tighten them like if they were a component of a bridge when reinstalling.

When you remove both bolts it will fall down and place undue stress on the pipes. Disconnect the banjo bolts to avoid destroying your PS system.
I also held it up using an octopus which I attached to the top of the radiator

You can also dismount the this part, which holds one of the PS lines in place and also conveniently blocks access to a couple bolts on the engine pan.

This is why you need the engine support. Once this part is out the engine would be relatively free to drop to the floor. I say relatively because it's still partially attached to the tranny.
It's held on by two really fat bolts per side.

Aditionally, there's another smaller nut on each side which connects to your engine mounts. Remove them. This way the engine mounts will stay connected to the chassis.

Once the small nut is removed, completely remove the two big bolts on each side

The subframe will come right down

DISMOUNT OIL BREATHER (AKA pipe that goes from the mainfold to the oil pan)
You just pop this off both sides. Mine looked like it wasn't happy, so I bought a new one.

Only on the bottom of the engine. You can dismount the entire thing as it will be easier to reinstall the oil pan like that.
The dipstick's entrance to the oil pan is supported by a single nut. Remove it and you should be able to remove the dipstick tube.
By the way, this is a possible source of water entering the engine. It's not 100% sealed so be careful with those puddles!

Here you also see how you'd replace it if it's faulty: just undo those 3 bolts and it comes right out. Again, ignore that center part that's dismounted as it isn't necessary.

This is that hateful banjo bolt you have to dismount when you take out the valve cover. It's on the passenger side of the engine.
All you have to do is loosen the crimp-style connector you see in the pic. Later on you can reuse it.

There are 20 if I remember correctly. Remove them and note which long ones go where. There are two which are much longer, but just in the little ones there are two different lengths.

Once you've dismounted them all the oil pan should come off. If it doesn't, you've forgotten a bolt. Don't go apesh!t trying to pull it off, those 8.8 POS bolts will rip out
Now you should be able to easily fish out whatever you dropped in here in the first place.
A note of caution: the oil pan design changed sometime during the M3 run. This means that if you break it you need to update other parts too, with a cost approaching $1000.
This is what the evil oil pan looks like once dismounted

And this allowed me to find:

Once here, if you listen carefully you'll hear the rod bearings saying 'change me, change me'. I wanted to, but I had been M-less for almost a month and had had enough.
I will come back and do another DIY of the rod bearing change, it can't be that hard and as our cars are getting older it's a smart thing to do.

The oil pump!

I hadn't planned to do this, but I had previously observed that my engine mounts were 'not quite 100%'.

I considered the RE ones, but they told me they'd drive me nuts if used on a DD so I went back to OEM.

You may (and probably will) have to raise the engine a bit so these fit. You can do it through trial and error, just raise a bit, see if the subframe will fit on, if it doesn't raise a bit more. Remember, we're replacing old, smashed up engine mounts and they new ones are thicker.

Once you remove the front subframe brace as explained above you can see the engine mounts hanging around

The mounts are held on by a single bolt each. You can access it with your hands and with a socket wrench.

A quick comparison to the new ones shows they really were on their way out. This is a 2002 M3 with 103k.

We borrow the shield from the oil passenger side one and put it onto the new one we'll put in the passenger side. This is designed to protect it from the headers which are nearby.

Both engine mounts are identical. The ones you take off may not be though, as the passenger side one was more 'smooshed' than the drivers side.

You put the new ones in in the same way as the old ones. They use poke-yoke so it's hard to do it wrong.

Finally, a sneak preview of what it will look like once you mount it back up:

You will have to replace the oil pan gasket and use RTV sealant all around it.
I put a layer of RTV on the top of the oil pan gasket and 'stuck it' to the engine, then applied another layer of RTV to the bottom part of the gasket that mates with the oil pan. This way I was free to move the oil pan (which you'll have to do quite a bit to reinstall) without worrying about the gasket.
Mind you I did not wait for the RTV to dry on the top or the bottom.

Last edited by SYT_Shadow; Sat, Jul-21-2012 at 10:54:07 PM.
Jump to top SYT_Shadow is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Register now and remove these ads


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:42:13 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. and is in no way sponsored, endorsed or affiliated by or with BMW NA / BMW AG or any of it's subsidiaries or vendors.
BMW and M3 (E90 M3 | E92 M3 | E93 M3 | E46 M3 | E36 M3 | E30 M3) are registered trademarks of BMW AG.
M3Forum Terms of Service
Copyright ©1999-2017
Discussing DIY: Oil pan removal + engine mounts 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 (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)