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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I looked through at least a dozen different coolant flush DIY's including the very good ones in the Bentley guide and BMW330ci.net before attempting mine. When I got under my car I stumbled across something I hadn't seen in the DIY's that I had read.

My engine block drain plug is different to the one in the Bentley and BMW330ci.net one. Mine is a hex key style plug and the others were a 6 sided bolt. I tried using a hex key to undo it but had no success because it was super tight and the key is only 3 inches long so I couldn't get any leverage.

I'm sure it's the right plug because I've crossed checked it multiple times but it obviously has a different bolt.

Do any of you guys have this same hex key bolt and do you have any ideas on how I could remove this plug?

Mine:


Bentley manual:


BMW330ci.net:
 

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Looks like a fill plug on my Getrag 6 speed.

Engine coolant drain plug should be a 13mm if I'm not mistaken.

Keep looking.
 

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Mine looks just like yours, a hex plug. What you're going to need to remove it is a hex socket. This way you can also use some socket extenders and it really makes the job a lot easier. Good luck.
 

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I didn't think that looked right, but it was hard to orient myself. I saw the tie rod boot and thought you were too low. IIRC just directly below #2 cylinder...and whatever bolt you consider loosening...you ought to be able to see the crush washer beneath it...if that ain't there, it's the wrong bolt.

HTH...be careful and good luck!

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys for the responses. The first and third pictures are probably the most correctly oriented for your reference.

I'm 95% sure it's the right bolt but it just looked different from the Bentley and BMW330ci.net guides.

Unless there's anyone who says otherwise, I guess I'll have to get some allen key sockets and give it a go!
 

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dan 1337 - Good luck. Just be careful when you remove the bolt. Coolant will come gushing out. Safety glasses would be helpful. Try not to get it on you. I used a 2 inch vacuum flexible hose that had 1 ft straight piece attached to it. Removed the plug and attached the pipe to the outlet. The other end of the was draining in a container. Very little spillage.
Dont forget to replace the crush washer. Inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks mp333. I purchased 4.5L of BMW coolant, a new crush washer and a can do attitude on the weekend but was shattered to see that I couldn't get the first bolt off.

In saying that, I will probably take the hex bolt to the store and try to find a proper six sided bolt which will be easier to grip and have less chance of having its insides stripped by a hex key.

Seems like everyone gets hit with coolant the first time and unfortunately I probably will too...
 

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Had one come into our shop with a grenaded WP... of course me driving the 3 series BMW at the Ford dealer got to do all the work on it. Anywho it had a hex to it as well... can't remember what size it was but with hex socket it was easy to get out. Just be sure to fit the largest one you can as you may think you have the right size when in actuality it's one larger. Don't want to strip that bugger. Good luck with your service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, at least I know that I'm not the only one with a hex bolt!

Unfortunately I didn't take much notice while I was under there on the weekend but I'm really hoping that the threads haven't been stripped as from that one pic it looks like it has been touched before. These hex bolts are so easy to strip it isn't funny...
 

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coolant flush

Hey Dan, I'm from Melb also & recently did a coolant flush on my 330. My car has a standard plug, that hex one on yours is really unusual. When you get it out, take it to a BMW dealer & get a standard one & crush washer.
I had a hose/drain plan in place, but when I actually checked out the space available to work in, I chucked the hose & just drained it straight into a bucket, catching most of it. Do it outside, not in your garage - that way any spillage will just wash down the driveway ;)

Good luck with it mate :thumbsup:
Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Steve. I purchased the crush washer but not the bolt as I thought I'd be able to reuse the current one.

Does the bolt thread and size look like a standard size that I could pick up from any Bunnings/Mitre10 or is it a special BMW one? Just don't really fancy a 25 min drive to BMW just to pick up a bolt when there's a Bunnings 10 mins away!
 

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^^^ I'd definitely get am OEM bolt, that way you know it'll work. Sounds like a pain to drive there & get one, but worth it in the long run :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just for completeness, I went to the BMW dealership today and asked for the drain plug that doesn't have a hex screw thing.

They gave me the part number but told me that it's still the same hex screw and not a six sided bolt. I looked it up on ECS and surprise surprise, it's a six sided bolt.

Looks like I'll be ordering one soon. For future reference, here's the p/n and link:

07119904539
http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/07119904539/ES14588/
 

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You should have no issues at all with stripping the hex-bolt as long as you use the proper size hex socket. Don't sweat it, use the original bolt.
 

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Hey I have the same problem. It took me forever to find it. Because the whole time I was looking for a bolt lol but mine is a hex key and I couldn't get it loose with my Allen keys. So I guess I have to go out and get a 8mm hex socket.


Sent from my iPhone using BimmerApp
 

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Thanks for making this thread Dan. I'm doing a cooling system overhaul this weekend so I took a peak at the engine drain block tonight and mine is also a hex screw. I have a 2000 323ci 5-speed. Build date 12/1999.

Are we sure this is an 8mm hex? I regretfully didn't fit an allen key into the bolt when I had the car up on ramps today because the engine block was still pretty hot. I'd like to buy the proper size hex socket so I can torque the bolt down properly when finished, if my torque wrench will even fit in the space :eek:
 
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