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Discussion Starter #1
Hey yall,

I'm 1/2 way through with a cooling system overhaul meaning I've taken everything out and will be putting things back together tomorrow. It's really not a bad DIY if you take your time and are patient.

Alright, so two questions. The first one has to do with the water pump. When I pulled the water pump out, it had aluminum impellers. I know the stock ones come with plastic ones and usually thats the part that fails if i'm correct. I bought my car used and through all the paperwork that I looked through I can't find anything on a cooling system overhaul. It only had 75k miles on it, unless it failed why would he? My question is though, should I replace the waterpump with a different one, since it is aluminum?

The second one has to do with the coolant block drain. Any one have any advice for this one? I've tried a small socket wrench, a long one with a movable head and can't seem to get any leverage. Any advice?
 

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If you already have a new waterpump, might as well put it in. Even though the impeller might not be broken, the bearing could be worn.

For the engine drain bolt, use a long extender on a socket wrench. One of those socket elbows might help too. You may also want to have a piece of hose handy to route that coolant down to your drain pan, else, it'll just go everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I haven't purchased the parts yet (my procrastination might have paid off). Any way I can check and see if the bearing is bad? Aluminum impellers aren't stock. I plan on selling the car within the next year. Would a bad bearing cause any sort of catostrophic failure?
 

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Hey yall,

I'm 1/2 way through with a cooling system overhaul meaning I've taken everything out and will be putting things back together tomorrow. It's really not a bad DIY if you take your time and are patient.

Alright, so two questions. The first one has to do with the water pump. When I pulled the water pump out, it had aluminum impellers. I know the stock ones come with plastic ones and usually thats the part that fails if i'm correct. I bought my car used and through all the paperwork that I looked through I can't find anything on a cooling system overhaul. It only had 75k miles on it, unless it failed why would he? My question is though, should I replace the waterpump with a different one, since it is aluminum?

The second one has to do with the coolant block drain. Any one have any advice for this one? I've tried a small socket wrench, a long one with a movable head and can't seem to get any leverage. Any advice?
I think you should use a current OE one...think Wahler, but I'm not positive. Whatever it's made of is fine. I don't think that metal is aluminum for the impeller...probably stainless, but in any case, me, I'd rather have plastic pieces break and travel in my engine than metal ones! If the metal are on AM pumps, I'm not trusting them, except maybe the Stewart, and it's quite a bit more expensive and really isn't necessary unless you're tracking the car...and frankly, even then, when working, our system keeps us cool through anything the earth can throw at us...as in Death Valley!

On the drain plug...I got to it from below...and I don't have a swivel head ratchet, so it was either my favorite, a 14" breaker bar, or a smaller 10" 3/8" ratchet. In any case, once you loosen it, you can get something else in there to remove it easily. Did you try from below? I'm sure there's not a lot of room, but I figured it out, so I'm sure you can!
 

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It's easiest to tell with the waterpump still mounted to the block and the pulley still on. Grasp it in your hand and check for play. You don't want any. Check also for "rough" spots as you turn the pulley.
 

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They shipped with both aluminum and composite impellers. BMW may have multiple suppliers. Change the pump or always wonder. The bearing/seal will fail as time continues. Buy a quality replacement.

Get you hand up there with just your 3/8 socket handle. Worm around the front end parts, looks impossible but actually easy with a couple attempts. You get on the bolt and break the thing without any fiddly extensions or universal swivels. You can even place the bolt back in with your hand and start the threading. I felt stupid after messing around with extensions and what-nots for 20 minutes.
 

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It's possible to have an aluminum impeller from the factory. Replace it. Mine was aluminum and it sheared off and completely failed recently.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have the car up on ramps (takes forever to get them on them without lo pro ramps) and I've crawled up under there and used both types of sockets and can't get that stupid bolt to budge.

Thanks for the clarification on BMW using both plastic and metal, kinda put my mind at ease. I've looked at the top of the impellers and it has BMW etched into the metal. I would guess that it is OEM factory.

The heads up for me that nothing has been changed was the lower radiator hose. It was freaking on there. I'm 6'1, 195 and had to muscle the crap out of it to get it off.

I do work for a BMW center and can get a discount $20 cheaper than what tischer advertises, but just ran across ECS tuning's level 1 kit. Anyone have luck with this one over OEM? It's like $60 cheaper than I can get it for at BMW.
 

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Gum, use a hairdryer on those "quick" connect fittings. I had a bugger with one and tried heat and it popped off like butter. I greased the o-rings with a silicone lube and applied heat refitting the nasty new ones. Watch those ECS kits, they have a low price on um, knock-off bits and a slightly higher price for the good stuff. Get the good.


I extended my left arm laced through front-end parts and was able to place a socket with a standard 3/8 drive handle on that drain bolt. It takes a slight contortion but is easy once mastered. I have an XI so I remember having my arm compressing the CV boot to reach it. You should have better clearance. You can experiment trying to touch the bolt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll purchase from BMW, then. I'll work on that freaking block drain today and see if I can't get it. I need an impact wrench, it would be so easy.
 

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I have the car up on ramps (takes forever to get them on them without lo pro ramps) and I've crawled up under there and used both types of sockets and can't get that stupid bolt to budge.

Thanks for the clarification on BMW using both plastic and metal, kinda put my mind at ease. I've looked at the top of the impellers and it has BMW etched into the metal. I would guess that it is OEM factory.

The heads up for me that nothing has been changed was the lower radiator hose. It was freaking on there. I'm 6'1, 195 and had to muscle the crap out of it to get it off.

I do work for a BMW center and can get a discount $20 cheaper than what tischer advertises, but just ran across ECS tuning's level 1 kit. Anyone have luck with this one over OEM? It's like $60 cheaper than I can get it for at BMW.
I would get the parts from Tischer as you know they will be all OEM. You don't want to be going cheap on this repair.

I am currently in the middle of this repair too. My only issue has been the engine block drain plug - mine is really on there. Other than that, everything is going smoothly.

Oh - when I removed my water pump, it was plastic. The new one I have is metal.

Ed
 

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Just out of curiousity. If the water pump is good, the car has only 75k, and you are selling within a year why are you doing a cooling system overhaul? Did something else fail?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
i bought the car at 75k, it has 100k on it now. I was reading through the papers to see if the guy before me changed everything out. It looks like nothing had been changed out. I'm going for OEM from my BMW dealership. I can get it for a little bit less than tischer and won't have to wait/pay for shipping.

I got the engine block bolt out. I used a 3" extension with an adjustable head socket wrench. The grip stuck out just below the rack/pinion steering unit. Took me two days to get it off. So if you get frustrated, wait till tomorrow and work on it again. It'll come off. I didn't think it would, but it will.
 

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I was lucky to have a friend with really skinny arms and a very small socket wrench. He somehow snaked his arm up in there and popped the drain plug right off - then got a nasty blue shower!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My dad also has a 330i but he has an auto trans. How difficult is it to pull the fan off of the front? I know you need a special tool but is it that much more difficult than a manual trans version?
 

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My dad also has a 330i but he has an auto trans. How difficult is it to pull the fan off of the front? I know you need a special tool but is it that much more difficult than a manual trans version?
You need, iirc (doublecheck) a 32mm wrench and either a sledge hammer (or an appropriate holder). Bimmerstools.com sells both.

I haven't done it, but I know the guys that do, get it off in five minutes. Like all things, once you know how, it's not difficult.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey guys. I completed my cooling system overhaul today and I have a couple final questions. After I filled the system back up w/ 50/50 mix. (I had the fan on the lowest setting w/ heat all the way up) I left the cap off and bleeder screw open for 10 min or so just to make sure there were no more bubbles. Now when I turned on the vehicle for the first time it was shaking pretty good and the rpm's were jumping. My assumption is that it was just the new coolant meeting the water pump and getting itself worked through the system.

I took the car for a drive and got it up to temp. The fan was blowing nice hot air and the needle didn't move past upright. I went back and checked for leaks and didn't have any but had the new smell of freshly heated plastic which i assume was my expansion tank and new hoses. Was the shaking engine normal?
 

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I did notice a slight vibration for several seconds when I first started it, but it could have been me being hyper sensitive to anything which didn't sound or feel normal.

If it's not doing it any longer then I'd say it's fine!

I also had the smell of heated plastic which I assume was either the new parts being heated or the old coolant which splashed over everything being burnt.
 

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I did notice a slight vibration for several seconds when I first started it, but it could have been me being hyper sensitive to anything which didn't sound or feel normal.

If it's not doing it any longer then I'd say it's fine!

I also had the smell of heated plastic which I assume was either the new parts being heated or the old coolant which splashed over everything being burnt.

Did your vibration go away? I'm going through the same thing right now
 
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