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E46 Header Installation Guide

Parts needed:

Aftermarket Headers (be sure you have the right one that fits your car)
OEM header gasket (Tischer BMW or local dealership)
Spark Plug Non-Foulers (found at local Auto store): http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=486937&highlight=spark+plug+non-fouler
Threadlocker or Loctight (found at local Auto store)
WD-40 (for loosening rusted nuts/bolts)
Masking or Blue painter’s tape (for labeling 02 sensors)


Tools needed:

Allen wrenches
Phillips screw driver
Rachet
10, 11 (short & long drive), 13, 16mm socket
11 and 22 mm open/box wrench
Pliers or Adjustable wrench
OEM Jack and/or Hydraulic Jacks
Jack stands



(modified version of dubplaya’s install guide)


1. Place your front wheels on ramps or jack stands.

----- Jack stands (especially for lowered vehicles): Use your OEM jack (or Hydraulic jack) to jack up either side of your car using the front jack point underneath the side skirt.
----- Now locate the center jack point underneath (There should be a circle indentation located in the front of the car right in the middle).
----- Once you find it use your second jack to lift the front end high enough in order to place the jack stands securely underneath the front jack points (underneath the side skirt)

(courtesy of berserker)
<a href="http://www.rasmus.ca/bmw/jacking_front2.jpg">
<img src="http://www.rasmus.ca/bmw/jacking_front2.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

2. Remove the engine covers (four 10mm bolts), cabin filter and housing (four allen wrench bolts)

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0045.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0045.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0046.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0046.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0055.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0055.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

3. Remove the secondary air pump (three 10mm bolts). There’s two on the top and one on the bottom. Remove the connected plug.

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0052.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0052.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0053.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0053.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

**** At this point you can remove and label the top two 02 sensors (22mm) you see above with blue/masking tape (ex. L1, L2, R1, R2)


4. Remove the underbody tray cover (six screws with Phillips head). After you remove it, slide the cover towards the rear of the car.


(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0051.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0051.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

5. Remove the metal subframe brace (eight 16mm bolts)

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0044.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0044.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

6. Support the bottom of the motor with a jack and 2x4

7. Unbolt the connecting ground wire from the car coming from the engine mount (13mm)


(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0049.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0049.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

8. Unbolt the passenger side engine mount (four 13mm bolts)

9. Remove the bolt holding the passenger engine mount (16mm)

10. Remove Passenger Side engine mount.

**** At this point, you can label and remove the remaining two 02 sensors (22mm) you see below on the headers (ex. L1, L2, R1, R2)


11. Remove the OEM headers and gaskets(sixteen 11mm nuts, eight on each header)

----- You will be spending most of your time here at this point.
----- Start first on the header (longest one) closest to the front of the car.

**** At this point, you can take a break to soak the nuts and bolts w/ WD-40 removing the rust.

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0048.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW%20Headers/2008_0217Image0048.jpg" width="265x200" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

12. Install the new OEM gasket and aftermarket headers.

----- Start with the header closest to the front of the car because it will be easier to maneuver the second header in.
----- Make sure you apply Threadlocker or Loctight on the last couple of millimeters of thread before tightening.
----- Be sure to have a paper towel (or Q-tips) handy to wipe off any excess that forms around the hex nut because the product will harden. Do not get any of this stuff in your hair or eyes.

13. Re-install the 02 sensors and spark plug non-foulers in the correct locations

14. With the passenger engine mount, use a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench to remove the excess heat shield. This will help with header clearance.

15. Reverse steps 10 thru 1

----- If you’re having trouble getting the engine mount back in, start with one end (the side w/ four bolts) coming in towards the front of the car then turning it.
----- If you’re having trouble bolting the engine mount back on, start with two bolts in at first tightening them down one by one. Be sure not to strip any threads.
----- After you re-install the passenger side engine mount and ground wire. Start up the car to check and see if you have any leaks.
----- You will see some smoke rise off the headers at first from the Threadlock/Loctight, which will burn off after a few minutes.
 

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this has been greatly anticipated!! Thank you for taking the time!
 

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A great writeup. I will be linking to it from my "everything you need to know about eBay headers" thread.

Great job again!
 

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I didnt use loctite but i did use this all over the new:

gasket 2 Engine

header 2 gasket

header ends 2 gasket

gasket 2 Exhaust

hope that made sense

this stuff suppose to seal all leaks ( I hope)



I was speading this stuff like a fat kid spreading cream cheese on a bagle :p

ps. got these too

Need two

Need two


oh while i was at it I also replaced the motor mount of the passenger side...but got lazy and tired and still need to do the driver side...GD know when it will be the next time i take of the motor mount braket!

I didnt get Spark Plug Non-Foulers...i was just going to wing it and get teh AA chip

but I didnt get a light either...is it too soon!?
 

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*note:

before making the headers super tight on the engine side...make sure to screw in the header (ends) to the exhaust not all the way but instead tread a few MM and move around to all the bolts and nuts

i made this mistake and i had to use a screw driver in one of the holes from the exhaust and stuck it through to the headers end to line it up while i screw in the bolt on the oppisite end.

would help to have an extra hand to line it up while you bolt them in.

I hope my experince is helping...cause I just finished it sunday night at 1am
 

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I didn't see it written, but it is highly advised that one runs the car to full operating temperature for a while, then re-tighten the bolts. Metal will expand at high temperatures and cause the bolts to loosen up. So don't miss this step.

Awesome write-up BTW :thumbsup:
 

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I just did this last night, without your diy.

It took me 12 hours, and my exhaust and headers still wont match up.

Im going to a muff shop to get him to cut and weld me flanges in the correct place. Has anybody else had a problem with this on their ebay headers? I bet if i would have tried what autobot said i could have gotten it to work, but i am too tired at this point.
 

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I just did this last night, without your diy.

It took me 12 hours, and my exhaust and headers still wont match up.

Im going to a muff shop to get him to cut and weld me flanges in the correct place. Has anybody else had a problem with this on their ebay headers? I bet if i would have tried what autobot said i could have gotten it to work, but i am too tired at this point.
You must of received the wrong set of headers. There are differences between the 323/328 and the 325/330 headers, and it's in the flanges. It's not a big deal if you're willing to get a shop to cut/weld. Who was the seller you bought from?
 

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so it sounds like its not a total mis match just need a little alignment. how far apart are they?

the muff shop can def. take care of your problem..but I really think you should save a few bucks and try my soulution. Better yet have someone angle it for you while you thread them through.

there is enough play from the X-pipes to have it move around.

if you bolt it, you have less of a hard time putting new cat backs.
but if you weld...then you have to do it all over again if you decide on new cat backs

just options and things to consider.

good luck
 

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I didn't see it written, but it is highly advised that one runs the car to full operating temperature for a while, then re-tighten the bolts. Metal will expand at high temperatures and cause the bolts to loosen up. So don't miss this step.

Awesome write-up BTW :thumbsup:
yea...i drove a few miles and went back to the nuts...yea a few of them were not tight at all.

wearing long sleeve and a workers glove...didnt get burned till my sleeve rolled up a little and i touched the header with my wrist...

ouch. but it def. helps to get back and check the install after a warm engine
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just did this last night, without your diy.

It took me 12 hours, and my exhaust and headers still wont match up.

Im going to a muff shop to get him to cut and weld me flanges in the correct place. Has anybody else had a problem with this on their ebay headers? I bet if i would have tried what autobot said i could have gotten it to work, but i am too tired at this point.
I had the same problem as well. It was slightly off on one of the pipes by a few mm or so. Take it to an exhaust shop and they should be able to line it up for ya.

I took mines to Midas and they told me that the bolts were on backwards?? (funny that I had tried them both ways and it didn't work) but they didn't charge me a dime. It's good to know a few people :)
 

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Nice. I do appreciate the write up, it helped me and my friend get this done in under 6 hours from the minute i popped the hood.

Problems we came across..

my car has 167k miles so the bolts connecting to the flanges were severely rusted to the point we had to cut them off.

PLEASE dont forget to label the 02 sensors.. luckily I got them back in correct order first time.. after 20 minutes of staring and trying to use logic.

buy the oem gaskets, i got mines for 25ish bucks..each.. mine came with individual gaskets, and it would have been a headache trying to get them in... good thing i read this thread..

I'm going to double check the torque on the bolts tomorrow after running if a few times.

I don't know if you guys header flanges are the same, but mine had thread on the flanges of the header, so no need for nuts.. the bolts were installed the other way around so that the bolt starts on the mid pipe side of the exhaust, the head of the bolt is on the mid pipe flange and it's screwing the header flanges into the midpipe flange.. dunno if it make sense.. but normally the bolt starts on the header side, with a nut on the midpipe flange side and clamps them together.

Please have plenty of PB blaster/WD 40 handy along with a flex head/swivel socket handy...
 

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ack.... what happened to the pictures... :( Can someone repost this?!

Thanks!
 

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Hope this works!

E46 Header Installation Guide

Parts needed:

Aftermarket Headers (be sure you have the right one that fits your car)
OEM header gasket (Tischer BMW or local dealership)
Spark Plug Non-Foulers (found at local Auto store): http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=486937&highlight=spark+plug+non-fouler
Threadlocker or Loctight (found at local Auto store)
WD-40 (for loosening rusted nuts/bolts)
Masking or Blue painter’s tape (for labeling 02 sensors)


Tools needed:

Allen wrenches
Phillips screw driver
Rachet
10, 11 (short & long drive), 13, 16mm socket
11 and 22 mm open/box wrench
Pliers or Adjustable wrench
OEM Jack and/or Hydraulic Jacks
Jack stands



(modified version of dubplaya’s install guide)


1. Place your front wheels on ramps or jack stands.

----- Jack stands (especially for lowered vehicles): Use your OEM jack (or Hydraulic jack) to jack up either side of your car using the front jack point underneath the side skirt.
----- Now locate the center jack point underneath (There should be a circle indentation located in the front of the car right in the middle).
----- Once you find it use your second jack to lift the front end high enough in order to place the jack stands securely underneath the front jack points (underneath the side skirt)

(courtesy of berserker)
<a href="http://www.rasmus.ca/bmw/jacking_front2.jpg">
<img src="http://www.rasmus.ca/bmw/jacking_front2.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

2. Remove the engine covers (four 10mm bolts), cabin filter and housing (four allen wrench bolts)

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0045.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0045.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0046.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0046.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0055.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0055.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

3. Remove the secondary air pump (three 10mm bolts). There’s two on the top and one on the bottom. Remove the connected plug.

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0052.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0052.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a> <a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0053.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0053.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

**** At this point you can remove and label the top two 02 sensors (22mm) you see above with blue/masking tape (ex. L1, L2, R1, R2)


4. Remove the underbody tray cover (six screws with Phillips head). After you remove it, slide the cover towards the rear of the car.


(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0051.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0051.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

5. Remove the metal subframe brace (eight 16mm bolts)

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0044.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0044.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

6. Support the bottom of the motor with a jack and 2x4

7. Unbolt the connecting ground wire from the car coming from the engine mount (13mm)


(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0049.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0049.jpg" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

8. Unbolt the passenger side engine mount (four 13mm bolts)

9. Remove the bolt holding the passenger engine mount (16mm)

10. Remove Passenger Side engine mount.

**** At this point, you can label and remove the remaining two 02 sensors (22mm) you see below on the headers (ex. L1, L2, R1, R2)


11. Remove the OEM headers and gaskets(sixteen 11mm nuts, eight on each header)

----- You will be spending most of your time here at this point.
----- Start first on the header (longest one) closest to the front of the car.

**** At this point, you can take a break to soak the nuts and bolts w/ WD-40 removing the rust.

(courtesy of Minnoe07)
<a href="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0048.jpg">
<img src="http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n161/Minnoe07/BMW/Headers%20Install/2008_0217Image0048.jpg" width="265x200" width="265x200" border="0">
</a>

12. Install the new OEM gasket and aftermarket headers.

----- Start with the header closest to the front of the car because it will be easier to maneuver the second header in.
----- Make sure you apply Threadlocker or Loctight on the last couple of millimeters of thread before tightening.
----- Be sure to have a paper towel (or Q-tips) handy to wipe off any excess that forms around the hex nut because the product will harden. Do not get any of this stuff in your hair or eyes.

13. Re-install the 02 sensors and spark plug non-foulers in the correct locations

14. With the passenger engine mount, use a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench to remove the excess heat shield. This will help with header clearance.

15. Reverse steps 10 thru 1

----- If you’re having trouble getting the engine mount back in, start with one end (the side w/ four bolts) coming in towards the front of the car then turning it.
----- If you’re having trouble bolting the engine mount back on, start with two bolts in at first tightening them down one by one. Be sure not to strip any threads.
----- After you re-install the passenger side engine mount and ground wire. Start up the car to check and see if you have any leaks.
----- You will see some smoke rise off the headers at first from the Threadlock/Loctight, which will burn off after a few minutes.

I hope this works!
 

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You must of received the wrong set of headers. There are differences between the 323/328 and the 325/330 headers, and it's in the flanges. It's not a big deal if you're willing to get a shop to cut/weld. Who was the seller you bought from?
They are the right headers. My cousin bought them and he recieved the wrong set for his car (330) so he sold those to me (323) and ordered another set. I know I have to right one, It is just that the flanges where the exhaust meets the header is off a few mm's.
 

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I had the same problem as well. It was slightly off on one of the pipes by a few mm or so. Take it to an exhaust shop and they should be able to line it up for ya.

I took mines to Midas and they told me that the bolts were on backwards?? (funny that I had tried them both ways and it didn't work) but they didn't charge me a dime. It's good to know a few people :)
Exactly I got mine fixed for 10 bucks.
 
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