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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 03-28-2007, 02:22 PM   #1
jnbroadbent
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Diy: Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Guys, I've torn my car apart before replacing stuff but this has definitely been the most difficult and frustrating. I don't have pictures because it's quite simple and when you are so pissed off you don't care about DIY's posted on forums but here's the jist of it.

Car on jacks (I did it with the front end only because I could only find 3 stands)
Wheels off
Remove cross member
Remove front sway
Remove control arm bushings from frame (good time to replace them)
Remove engine brace from engine and frame

Make sure you have a jack or stand support the engine

Now I just left the steering rack and engine brace with control arms connected on and has it resting on a stand/jack. Now here's the part that frustrated me the most and why I couldn't get the pan to fall completely. Take off the power steering pump and it's brace and have it set on something. This requires to take off the fan, airbox, thing around the fan to access the belt tensioner then take the belt off.

Next take all the bolts out of the oil pan that go into the block and then the three bolts that go into the bell housing. With some effort the pan should fall down. You have to move the front of the pan (front as portion closest to the front of the car) down and then towards the front bumper so you can clear the bell housing.

Clean both surfaces with brakes cleaner, new gasket, silicon, put back on, torque down to 22 ft lbs. Put everything back on and call it a day.

I have to finish up but I will post more details in a bit.
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:43 PM   #2
Greg@UniqueDesign
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Thanks for the tips. I will be dropping my oil pan in a week or two. What exactly is the reason for removing the power steering pump?

Also, did you happen to get the ft.lb. numbers for the tranny to oil pan, and subframe to frame?

Thanks,
Greg.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:09 PM   #3
jnbroadbent
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg@UniqueDesign View Post
Thanks for the tips. I will be dropping my oil pan in a week or two. What exactly is the reason for removing the power steering pump?

Also, did you happen to get the ft.lb. numbers for the tranny to oil pan, and subframe to frame?

Thanks,
Greg.
The power steering pump is simply in the way of the pan. It's only held on with two bolts and a brace. I just now finished up washing it, kind of a rough start when I fired it up, but hopefully the leak is gone. If not, I'm paying someone else to do it.

Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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when you take off the cross member, does anything fall down? i think ill cherry picker the engine at it's normal height just to be safe, but you used the jack to hold up the cross member right? not the engine? if it was the engine where did you put the jack to hold it up without breaking anything?
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:50 PM   #5
Marshall
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I have a oil leak either comming from my oil pan gasket and/or oil separator. I just finished replacing the valve cover gasket. With a little bit more detail, I would attempt to finish this project. But I am at the point that I am just about ready to trade in this car. It's been a major PITA.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:46 AM   #6
Rotha
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well i did this and it was pretty straight forward. it was just a ***** taking out the pan after motor mounts were off and the sbframe bar thing was hanging around.

my oil pump nut was no where lose when i was taking it off. but i replaced it with a one with a line on it anyway. so it's all good.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:29 PM   #7
sergio
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Guys, how many hours for an experienced BMW mechanic to replace oil pan gasket? My local BMW mech, mentionned it's a 8-12 hour job, and may need to lift engine, a real PITA job. He told me to get rid of my 330xi fast.....

Please let me know....
Thanks...
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Last edited by sergio; 06-03-2009 at 08:24 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:12 PM   #8
Rotha
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Originally Posted by sergio View Post
Guys, how many hours for an experienced BMW mechanic to replace oil pan gasket? My local BMW mech, mentionned it's a 8-12 hour job, and may beed to lift engine, a real PITA job. He told me to get rid of my 330xi fast.....

Please let me know....
Thanks...
Sergio
honestly, under a lift, with a dead man to hold the engine up, and all the tools i needed on the box, i can get the oil pan out in 45 minutes. and then probably an and hour and a half to put it back on, reassembly is always slow with me cause im too careful and i have to torque everything properly.
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Old 11-06-2009, 01:45 PM   #9
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my mechanic told me the oil pan gasket leaking is not a common problem, is this true? and what could cause it?
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Old 01-09-2010, 06:18 PM   #10
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When removing the cross member or reinforcement plate as well as undoing the CABs, does it affect the alignment? Did anyone replacing their oil pan gasket get her realigned?
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:10 PM   #11
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I thought I had a leaking oil pan today. The family member helping me today is a Ford master mechanic and looked it up on his work computer today. Showed as a 4.6 hour job (E46 330 non-M) and I seem to remember a note that said alignment was not necessary. I may be wrong about that.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg@UniqueDesign View Post
Thanks for the tips. I will be dropping my oil pan in a week or two. What exactly is the reason for removing the power steering pump?

Also, did you happen to get the ft.lb. numbers for the tranny to oil pan, and subframe to frame?

Thanks,
Greg.
like OP said its in the way of the pan falling down

Whoever does this in the future just dont forget about the rear bolts inside the trans bellhousing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sergio View Post
Guys, how many hours for an experienced BMW mechanic to replace oil pan gasket? My local BMW mech, mentionned it's a 8-12 hour job, and may need to lift engine, a real PITA job. He told me to get rid of my 330xi fast.....

Please let me know....
Thanks...
Sergio
XI is harder to do cause of the AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by brambimmer View Post
I thought I had a leaking oil pan today. The family member helping me today is a Ford master mechanic and looked it up on his work computer today. Showed as a 4.6 hour job (E46 330 non-M) and I seem to remember a note that said alignment was not necessary. I may be wrong about that.

thats cause fords always need new oil pan gaskets
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brambimmer View Post
I thought I had a leaking oil pan today. The family member helping me today is a Ford master mechanic and looked it up on his work computer today. Showed as a 4.6 hour job (E46 330 non-M) and I seem to remember a note that said alignment was not necessary. I may be wrong about that.
Thanks, I'll be praying that I don't have one...the job just looks like a major PITA. I have a leak from an oil filter housing gasket and then previous owner never cleaned up the crud left over from their VCG leak, so I have oil splattered everywhere (even some towards the back of the engine, on the tranny pan as well as some coming out of those holes in the bell housing (hoping it is not a rear main seal leak) and it is really hard to tell if it is the oil pan gasket. The space is really tight to get any cleaning done without removing a ton of parts, but I am cleaning it as I go along with this laundry list of items to replace. I guess once I have everything in place, I'll have to keep an eye on the oil pan gasket to make sure that is the last culprit of the oil leaks.
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Old 01-10-2010, 04:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by genuity View Post
Thanks, I'll be praying that I don't have one...the job just looks like a major PITA. I have a leak from an oil filter housing gasket and then previous owner never cleaned up the crud left over from their VCG leak, so I have oil splattered everywhere (even some towards the back of the engine, on the tranny pan as well as some coming out of those holes in the bell housing (hoping it is not a rear main seal leak) and it is really hard to tell if it is the oil pan gasket. The space is really tight to get any cleaning done without removing a ton of parts, but I am cleaning it as I go along with this laundry list of items to replace. I guess once I have everything in place, I'll have to keep an eye on the oil pan gasket to make sure that is the last culprit of the oil leaks.
The bottom of my engine looked like somebody had stood there with a bottle of oil with a small nozzle on it squirting oil everywhere. It was all over the oil pan, the transmission, all sorts of hoses, and even spreading out towards the suspension. I think mine is just a oil filter housing leak after looking at some of the posts about that particular gasket's problems. Hope your isn't too bad.

I've got 62K miles on the dial of an '04 ZHP Auto. The problem has started sometime in the last couple of months, so it's amazing how fast that oil spreads and how much "ground" it can cover in just a few thousand miles.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Greg@UniqueDesign View Post
Also, did you happen to get the ft.lb. numbers for the tranny to oil pan, and subframe to frame?
If the bolts from the tranny to oil pan are part number 23001222887, which are E10 and categorized as "M8" according to realoem, then the Bentley has those at 21 Nm (15 ft-lbs).

As for subframe to frame rails, realoem as these hex screws as part number 31116781023 with supplement "M12X1,5X100" and Bentley lists three options:
Quote:
Front subframe to frame rails (M12, use new bolts)
8.8 grade....................... 77 Nm (57 ft-lb)
10.9 grade.................... 110 Nm (81 ft-lb)
12.9 grade.................... 105 Nm (77 ft-lb)
Does anyone know what type of grade the bolts part number 31116781023 with supplement "M12X1,5X100" are? Typically you an tell in the supplement, but all of them are M12.

EDIT: TIS shows for the E36 and E46 with the thread as "M12 10.9" with specs at 110 Nm. So I guess I answered my own question.

Last edited by genuity; 02-28-2010 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 04-08-2011, 12:46 PM   #16
genuity
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Changing oil pan gasket w/o dropping the sub-frame or lifting the motor
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=532166
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #17
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Changing oil pan gasket w/o dropping the sub-frame or lifting the motor
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=532166
The link cited above is for the e39 oil pan gasket. Having found the clearances for other replacement projects - CCV, radiator, etc. - much more generous on the e39 vs. e46 - and not finding any posting of e46 owners doing the "cut gasket" method so far, I can only assume there is not enough room to do the shortcut on the e46. Any confirmation of that?
From looking underneath at the space between the subframe member and oil pan on my 2000 328i it looks like getting to some oil pan bolts would be tough without lowering the subframe.

Last edited by gscott2; 10-07-2013 at 07:07 PM.
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