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  #81  
Old 02-24-2016, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by N0tt0N View Post
... Sung naked on a rocker on the porch staring at a rusty hulk with the engine in boxes...
you been at my house again boy-o???

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  #82  
Old 02-25-2016, 07:20 PM
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Behold, the undertray of the E46. This thing was a PITFA to find - seems like a good many of these cars have not made it through their 17 years with these still attached. I got this on in a junkyard for almost nothing, which is good because that's pretty much what it's worth. A new one is $250. This one was $10. Only problem is the giant crack in it (see red arrows). Any suggestions on a fix? My thinking was to sandwich it in between two pieces of sheet aluminum and rivet the shit out of it. Drill out the end of the crack to stop it from spreading. Maybe scuff it up with 60 grit sandpaper and layer it up with some fiberglass before sandwiching? I don't know - open to suggestions.

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  #83  
Old 02-25-2016, 08:11 PM
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Mine broke off, I replaced it, then broke it again. I have not had one in years. But for some reason seemed a little smaller, maybe because mine is an XI?
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  #84  
Old 02-26-2016, 12:48 AM
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Mine broke off, I replaced it, then broke it again. I have not had one in years. But for some reason seemed a little smaller, maybe because mine is an XI?
I think because it's newer. They changed the under tray design in 2000-2001 sometime to a two piece design. The front part is a smaller plastic pan and the rear part is a metal plate that bolts in under the oil drain plug and back to the transmission. Mine is the earlier design with no metal plate and a longer plastic pan. BTW, this information is NOT obvious by looking at part catalogs and forum searches. I found pans on early and late cars and bought them both and learned the hard way.
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  #85  
Old 02-26-2016, 01:55 AM
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Not a ton of progress tonight, but I think I'm to the point where I'm done taking shit apart. Last thing remaining from earlier was the valve cover. The gasket was leaking a lot of oil, so that's on the replacement list. So here it is, all stripped down. Things look pretty damn good under there, to be honest. No sludge, cams look great. BMW makes a hell of an engine.

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The valve cover gasket was definitely shot - especially the inner grommets and parts around the spark plug holes. Those were hard as rocks and leaking pretty bad. The outer grommets and gaskets were better, but still pretty hard. Apparently if you get a genuine BMW replacement gasket they're Viton now instead of Buna, so they won't harden. Now when I was looking up the DIY for the valve cover gasket (I knew there was RTV used, wasn't sure where) I found DIYs for the VANOS seals. Great - I didn't even know that was a thing. Apparently it is a thing. A thing you should do... everybody together... while you're in there.

Damnit. Fine. I ordered new VANOS seals from Beisan Systems and they should be here tomorrow. I pulled the VANOS off using thier DIY guide and started cleaning it up. Got pretty far along before I just couldn't take the fumes any more:

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I'll finish the rest tomorrow. After I get back from BMW of Rockville, that is. You see, I have a thing where I simply must forget to order one small yet important thing despite making at least 6 different parts orders in the last week. This time it's a new o-ring for the cam position sensor. The sensor is in the VANOS housing so I pulled it to clean the housing. The o-ring, like all the other seals, is brittle, hard and leaking. I ordered replacements for every other damn o-ring on that engine except that one. C'est la vie. Luckily its a pretty common part so getting one should be a simple matter of paying 2x the MSRP at the dealer tomorrow.

Other fun activity for the night getting the broken sections of water pipe out of the block. There are two hard plastic water pipes that exit the block up by the number 1 cylinder:

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Where they exit (red and green arrows) they press fit into the block with two o-rings. I unbolted the old ones, gave them a tug and they popped right off. Wow, that was easy! Well, or not. Turns out the plastic is so old and brittle that most of the end of the pipe just broke off in the block:

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Ugh. Extraction was a slow and tedious process as I had to be careful not to drop debris inside the block. The plastic was so brittle that prying on it with a screwdriver just broke it into little pieces. I ended up sitting there with a shopvac pointed at the hole, running and sucking out the bits as I scraped them out with a pick. Fun times. The red arrow water pipe was a lot more stock and more critical to not drop anything into the block, so that was fun. The green arrow pipe leads to the thermostat, which was removed, so any debris that fell backwards as I was scraping just came out of the front of the block.
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  #86  
Old 02-26-2016, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Jazzbass View Post
Behold, the undertray of the E46. ... open to suggestions.
Can it be melted? Either via heat or solvent? That would allow one of the two types of welding. Failing that, I think your idea of using aluminum and rivets is a sound one. I'd use one sheet on the inside and just use the large flange head rivets designed for thin stuff/plastic.
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  #87  
Old 02-26-2016, 01:15 PM
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An article on repairing plastic underbody panels can be found here:

http://pedrosgarage.com/Site_3/Repair_Under-Panels.html
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  #88  
Old 02-26-2016, 02:59 PM
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If they are heat meltable (like that pedrosgarage link shows), then a FAR better tool than a soldering iron is a hot air gun for plastic welding. Just like metal welding will be as strong/stronger than new. If you have access to a chip desoldering hot air rework tool it works just as well
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  #89  
Old 02-26-2016, 03:52 PM
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maybe something similar to this

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  #90  
Old 02-26-2016, 03:54 PM
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How's your daughter like driving the new car Wow.. you sir, have much time and resolve to tackle all these challenges. On the plus side, you'll have a really nice car when done up!

Secretly, it makes me wonder what could be going bad on my 10+ year old daily driver.. for me though, ignorance is bliss!

And as said by others, these write ups are great!
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