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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 03-26-2009, 04:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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325i Oil Separator

Has anyone changed their oil separator, including the dipstick, valve cover and other hoses? I need to do this, and don't want to pay the $1000. The parts are not that expensive.
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Old 03-26-2009, 05:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh.man ! To change the oil separator on these cars you really must be mechanically inclined.Access to do it is a real bitch,if you have patience and right tools ,you can do it.
Here is how:
Besides basic handtools, you will need a torx to take the valve itself off. I want to say its a T25 (either that or a T20). A mirror and some good lighting are great also.
Before you begin, make note of the crankcase hose that goes from the valve to the valve cover. You can easily get it backwards, and it will put stress on the hose and cause early failure. Identify your new pipe, and mark if you have to.
Remove the entire intake from the filterbox down to the throttle body. If I am not mistaking, you will need to take the throttle body off too (EDK, whatever you want to call it).
Remove the fuel rail cover.
Also you are going to need to loosen the engine wiring harness bulkhead. There are 3 bolts holding it on, they are all a gold anodized finish. Once they are off, I believe all you need to do is remove it from the studs and let it hang.
Remove the oil filter cartridge. Place a rag in the canister to prevent any foreign matter from getting into an oil passage

With the steps above performed, you should be able to see most of the crankcase valve now.
One thing left blocking access to the crankcase valve.......the purge valve. Simply unplug it and slide the rubber mount off of the tab. Let it hang.

Leave the two bolts in the crankcase valve until you have removed all the hoses possible
Start at the top. There is the crankcase vent hose that runs parallel to the fuel rail......simply unscrew/unclip it from the 45 degree nimple (the connection towards the front)
Next remove the tube from the valve cover
Get a good set of pliers, and work the hose loose from the dipstick tube. It is more than likely bonded well from heat over time. Twist it, pull it, yank it.
You can probable reach down to the valve at this time and pull off at least two quick connect hose ends from the valve. Use a long thin screwdriver to help removed PITA quick connects.
At this point you might have one or two hoses still connected to the valve, but you can work it out (or just break the remaining tubes). There are two screws holding the valve to the mount on the bottom of the intake. Removed these screws and you should be home free

Note for reassembly
Put a small amount of lube (silicon or something) on each quick connect, including the tube that slides onto the dipstick. This will help assure a good connection when you are reassembling the hoses

The torx bolts are T25's, and the nuts holding the engine harness are 10mm.
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Last edited by zibby; 03-26-2009 at 05:51 PM. Reason: add some info
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks...! I can handle the mechanics, I restore old Ford Mustangs as a hobby. I was worried that I might need some unique, or expensive BMW tools. Sounds like a days work in the garage.

I am pretty unhappy with this 70k mile car, that this kind of stuff happens. Nothing like my old '88 535i

Thanks again.
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