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Tearing into the E46- Alternator replace, etc...


SteveJ
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Any E46 gurus here?

Our 1999 328i made some noise the other day. Started up in the morning and it was pretty bad. Checked/topped all fluids, then restarted. Determined noise was most likely an alternator bearing going bad, so left it parked. Wife had to drive it 4 miles to Drs appointment. Said she heard a metallic clunk and later smelled burning. Took it easy and parked it at home.

Looking at the Bentley book, I am also thinking it could be a belt tensioner. Might explain the metallic clunk and the burning smell.

Going to do some exploratory this weekend. Any hints/Ideas?

Background- 12/98 E46 328i auto. 180k miles. Well overdue for a w/p, t-stat, serp belt, etc... I need to put together a shopping list for all this.

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holy crap, you are overdue for maintenance. As an exE46 owner, I would go ahead and replace all your cooling components while you check your belt tensior, your idle pulley, alternator pulley, and your AC belt tensioner. Do you have a mechanics stethoscope? After having to replace everything external/vanos internal on these cars, it's easy to master that engine bay. Let me know if you need any help.

good luck.

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Thanks everyone.

I do have a stethescope and a borrowed Easy-up for rain shelter. The E30M3 on jackstands has been the garage queen for several years, so the other cars get wrenched on in the driveway.

I got the tii running (head gasket replaced, fuel leak fixed, oil still leaking though.) and pulled the E46 into the triage area. I'll probe around and see if it is the tensioner or the alt that was making the squealling.

Shopping list so far:

water pump, thermostat, serp belt, tensioner, A/C belt & tensioner, oil filter, anything else?

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fan clutch and there is also an idler pully for the serp belt that you should do while you are in there. the scope make it obvious what is shot, but replace it all anyway. you don't want to take it all apart again. BTDT....

Listen to Marshall (LOL)....you definitely don't want to remove that fan and fan clutch twice in one weekend - let alone try to change the valve cover gasket.

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Valve cover gasket... Been there, done that. Whoda thunk that replacing spark plugs would take two and a half hours on a car?

Those crafty German Engineers love to hide half the engine under the cowl and make reinstalling the cover difficult for us '02 owners. Hope you didn't pinch the wires running along the exhaust side of the cover.

Don't take this the wrong way - I love working on any car, especially Bimmers.

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fan clutch? Aww fail that means it's automatic... I hope your reverse in your tranny hasn't gone out yet!!!

also, if you're into a good DIY weekend, buy a replacement expansion tank(it will blow eventually) and throw it into the trunk, oh yeah.. and order these for your vanos

http://beisansystems.com/

they make a huuuge difference in the way the car responds.. then of course your O2 sensors need replacing eventually, and your crankcase vent, oh yeah and your intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors... then you should be good for another 150k rofl

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We're on the second transmission. The first one gave it up around 120k.

I just remind myself that these trannies are using the lifetime fluid. As soon as the tranny fails, well, that was it's lifetime.

I do need to install the upgrade part for the output shaft. That's the one that causes the 'clunk' when you start to back up.

And then there is the surging at idel from the intake vacuum transfer valve dohickey thingie that's located under the intake manifold.

And then the front rotors that are giving a nice shimmy, again.

But those are all for another day.

Is it any wonder why I chose to replace the cylinder head gasket on my 02 before any of this?

I gotta get going on the M3 soon so I can have my garage workspace back.

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I just read through the info on the double vanos rebuild. I immediately sent a paypal payment to get those seals on order. $60 bucks for orings is steep, but coupled with the ridiculously detailed online instructions, it's a bargain. I'll gladly give the guy his dues for doing all that work to show me the way.

Workbench is cleared- possibly tear into this weekend.

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i'd bet your idle surging is more because of your intake boot or your ICV(Idle control valve). While you are under there, you might as well replace your CCV(Crank Case Vent) because if those get too gunked up, they can cause excess pressure in your block and cabooooom!

steep price? For the gains you receive from the car(2-3mpg better), it's well worth it in the long run. Just remember that the vanos piston bolts are reverse threaded if I remember rightly

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