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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 10-23-2004, 08:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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My dumbass decided to change to synthetic oil after about 100k. miles. This was not a good idea, but since i have done this i might as well stick to it. Now to the question... i was wondering how hard it is to change a oil pan gasket. I already replaced the valve cover gasket, and the oil pan gasket looks like it is the only other place that is leaking
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Old 10-23-2004, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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if you've replaced your valve cover gasket then you should have no problem replacing your oil pan gasket. it realativley simple and straight-forward. From under the car you should first remove the bolts securing the oilpan to the transmission bellhousing. you should then be able to simply remove the bolts securing the pan to the block and drop the oilpan right off (at most you may have to loosen the dipstick's fastening bolt located higher up on the dipstick itself).
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Old 10-23-2004, 12:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It's not quite that easy. You need to remove the steering rack. Basically what we did was this.

Jack up car
Remove the bolts from front subframe and allowed the whole rack to collapse off the steering column.
Pulled off transmission bolts to oil pan. (There's 2 if I remember correctly)
Take out all the little bolts in the oil pan. Don't forget the two up through the bell housing.

If you need some help shoot me a pm. I don't think I found an online write up to help but it's pretty straight forward. Just remove what's in the way and MAKE SURE you match mark the steering column at BOTH SECTIONS.

We only marked the lower part of the steering column and it came apart at the second connection higher up so we had to eye ball it to try and line the steering wheel up.
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i was able to do it w/out dropping the rack/steering column...

i unbolted the engine mounts and lifted it 1.5-2 inches w a cherry picker and was able to work (be patient but FIRM) the pan out and the new one in.

Mark

EDIT: i forgot to say that when you put the new gasket on...use the silicon glue/gasket sealer called RTV (blue) & it will never leak again. i put it on both sides of the gasket, just a thin stripe around. be careful though...its really really messy.
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Old 10-23-2004, 02:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I changed to synthetic after about 100k miles and have had no problems so far. What is changing to synthetic supposed to do that's so bad? create leaks?
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Old 10-24-2004, 01:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it cleans out your system, so all of the gunk that is around the gaskets is worn out, and it will begin to let the new oil leak out. This wont happen until your next oil change.


Are there any special bolts, or is it just standard sizes
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A torque wrench with a fairly low torque setting. That's really about it. If you pick the engine up the 5 inches you're set, but if you don't then you have to support the engine with a jack or a stand on the bellhousing and might need some large sockets.

I don't remember very well. Make sure you've got some stuff to clean out the oil pan with so you can check for cracks as long as you've got itoff.
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Old 10-24-2004, 05:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I just did this a month ago, and its not an easy thing to do.

You need a lift, makes things a lot easier. And a few strong buddies.

-Take off the hole intake system to the manifold.
-Take out the dipstick and the pipe it does in.
-Take off the two nuts for the engine mounts. They are on top. (get to them from the top of the engine bay, not bottom.) One you will see after you take off the intake system, the other is open.
-You need something that can support and lift the engine. Because you are going to have to take off the crossmember piece. And the engine rests on that.
-The power steering fuild box thing... has a hose that goes to the bottom, I think there is two, but you need to just take off one. Its the one closest to you if you stand on the front left edge of the car... if that makes any sence.
-Take off the larger belt.
-You need to unbolt one of the bolts on the P/S pump and swing the pump up. Because the pan gets stuck on it when you take it off. You will see what I mean.
-Also you need to disconnect the steering joint. Mark how it was put in, so you dont have to get it alighned later.
-Have the engine supported and unbolt the 4 bolts (2 on eachside) where the control arm bushings are. After do the 4 main crossmember bolts (2 on each side) and it should all drop down.. Catch it though.
-Unbolt the pan, there is two treacky bolts in the tranny case, there is two holes on the bottom for them.
-Take off pan and make sure its very clean, put on new gasket and use a lot of sealant, espiecially on the back side.
-When puttin on the pan, use string to hold it down, so the gasket and the sealant stuff dont move around.
-Have it tigthen down by hand, and take out the strings. The engines are vacuum presured, so the gasket needs to be put in well.
-Put everything back in.

I don't think Im forgetting anything... except spend the $55 to get a Bentley manual, its worth it. This takes about 3 or so hours to do.

Good luck
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thats almost the exact procedure in the bentley manual... good post...

Thanks,

Les
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