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Removing the Engine Cover
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Removing the Engine Cover

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

**

Tools:

Set of sockets (10mm), T-30 Torx socket, flathead and Phillips screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 325Ci Coupe/Conv (2001-06)
BMW 325i/xi Sedan/Wagon (2001-06)

Parts Required:

engine cover/splash shield

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine.

Performance Gain:

Access to engine

Complementary Modification:

Replace mounting insulators

When servicing the engine on a BMW E46, you may have to remove the cabin microfilter housing and engine covers to access specific components. In this article, I will show you how to remove the covers, providing easy access to the top and rear of the engine.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove the cabin microfilter. See our Pelican Parts technical article on Replacing Your Cabin Microfilter for more information.

While working at the engine compartment bulkhead, open the wiring harness cover by releasing four retaining tabs (yellow arrows).
Figure 1

While working at the engine compartment bulkhead, open the wiring harness cover by releasing four retaining tabs (yellow arrows). Next, remove wiring harness from the bulkhead and the bracket.

While working at the engine compartment bulkhead, loosen the T-30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 2

While working at the engine compartment bulkhead, loosen the T-30 Torx fasteners (green arrows).

Once the Torx fasteners are loose, remove the cabin microfilter tray from the bulkhead by lifting it up and out.
Figure 3

Once the Torx fasteners are loose, remove the cabin microfilter tray from the bulkhead by lifting it up and out.

With the cabin microfilter housing out of the way, you can access the engine covers - there are two.
Figure 4

With the cabin microfilter housing out of the way, you can access the engine covers, there are two. You can remove each one independently although for certain repairs you will have to remove both, for example: Ignition coils you remove only the cover on cylinder head. Valve cover gasket, you would remove both covers (green arrow points to intake manifold engine cover, while the yellow arrow points to cylinder head engine cover).

To remove the E46 intake manifold side engine cover: use a small flathead screwdriver, pry out the trim covers and remove the 10mm fasteners (green arrows), then remove trim cover from your engine.
Figure 5

To remove the E46 intake manifold side engine cover: use a small flathead screwdriver, pry out the trim covers and remove the 10mm fasteners (green arrows), then remove trim cover from your engine.

To remove the cylinder head engine cover: First remove the BMW engine oil cap.
Figure 6

To remove the cylinder head engine cover: First remove the BMW engine oil cap. Then, using a small flathead screwdriver, pry out the trim covers, remove the 10mm nuts (green arrows), then remove your trim cover from engine.

With your cover removed, inspect the mounting insulators, there are two and only used on cylinder head engine cover (green arrows).
Figure 7

With your cover removed, inspect the mounting insulators, there are two and only used on cylinder head engine cover (green arrows). If insulators are worn, replace.

When installing, do not over-torque the fasteners and check that your BMW bulkhead seal is properly aligned. Install in reverse order of removal.
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Comments and Suggestions:
Hanh Comments: Hi I have e46 330ci 2002,gasket leaking oil.do I need any glue when replaced new one
June 15, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will need a new gasket, no glue. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
trini325i Comments: Hey
I just came across your tech blog, I found some useful reading will you please point on the articles to fill leaks and a p1020
please

Kelvin
May 13, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: All the E46 articles are here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/tech_main_e46.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  
rotorav8r Comments: FYI: The M56 engine cover does not have any hold-down bolts. The cover just pops off. If you pull up the edge of the left cover by the fuel rail, you can see the "mushroom head" stud and the rubber grommet on the cover that "snaps" into it. There are 4 total. Just give the cover a little tug and it'll pop loose.
January 21, 2017
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
scurtin3 Comments: Nick,

Its the bolt that holds on the engine cover. Do you have any idea what the part or name is?

Thank
January 6, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Could be the rubber insulator. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
scurtin3 Comments: On the cylinder head cover, I twisted off the nut on the rear mount. So my cover for that side is only being held on by the front nut. Is it safe to drive and how can I replace it if I need to?
Thanks
January 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: On the cylinder head cover, as in valve cover, or engine cover? If just the engine cover, as long as the cover is secure it should be OK. I would however replace whatever broke to properly secure it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pete Comments: Hi Nick- many thanks for your recent e-mail.Pleased to inform you that the problem has now been solved.
Kind regards
Peter
February 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
pete Comments: Hi Nick finally sorted the pics. hope that they prove helpful.
Peter
January 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We dont have that engine here in the US, but it looks like you have to remove the oil cap, then pull the cover off, starting in a corner. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
peter Comments: Tried again to send pics.
Peter
January 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks, got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
peter Comments: Hi Nick thanks for the info. i am now able to send pic. of the cover.
Peter
January 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks - Nick at Pelican Parts  
peter Comments: Hi Nick thanks for the info but i am unable to send pics. from my computer for some unknown reason.
Peter
January 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OK. thanks - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pete Comments: Hi thanks for the info have tried sending pics. but have been unsuccessful.
Peter
January 13, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the follow up. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
pete Comments: Hi I would like to thank you for a well structured response to my question. I fully understand all the steps involved but i am at a lose as to how to locate the plastic caps mentioned. I've checked the top of the ignition coil cover and i do not appear to have the plastic caps mentioned in your report. I'm at a lose to know how this cover is secured to the top of the engine.

My model is a BMW series 3 318i engine code E46 REG. 03
Kind regards
Pete
January 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Are you able to post a photo of the cover? I may be able to point you to the area it fastens to the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Sun 6/25/2017 02:19:23 AM