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I started changing the belts and pulleys on my 2003 330i (88,000 mi, 60k on the belts). The bolt for the idler pulley felt cross threaded and was very difficult to remove. For better or for worse, I muscled it off and put on the new idler.

The bolt was difficult to put back as well, so i took it easy trying not to cross thread or strip it. I eventually got it back in, but couldn't get it to the 45 nm recommended in this thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=797147

Upon closer inspection i realized that the threaded part of the oil filter housing that accepts the idler pulley bolt had shattered. There is enough thread left that the bolt is not loose, it just wont tighten any more. I put it all back together and the engine runs fine for now with no squeaks etc.

I have read up until I know the general procedure for changing an OFHG, but I still have some questions:

Has this happened to anyone else? All the threads I have seen are about the gasket leaking...

Assuming I need to replace the oil filter housing, do I unscrew the oil pressure and temperature sensors and transfer them to the new one? or does the new one include new sensors?

I know you have to move the power steering reservoir, but do you need to drain it?

Do you need to drain the oil or just open the oil filter pod?

There are used housings on ebay for $50 to $100. I'm guessing its not worth the risk?

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! I'm always amazed by how much you guys know :bow:_a_
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