Pelican Parts
BMW Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog BMW How To Articles BMW Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
View Recent Cars  |Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help
 >  >
M54 6 Cylinder Engine Coolant Pipe Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

M54 6 Cylinder Engine Coolant Pipe Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets 10, 11, 13mm, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-06)

Parts Required:

Coolant pipes, engine coolant, intake gasket set

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again or restore function of heater

Complementary Modification:

Change radiator hoses

BMW X3 models utilize an electrically-heated engine thermostat. Other cooling system components consist of:

  • Radiator and coolant overflow tank.
  • M54 and 6-cylinder engines: Belt driven coolant pump bolted to the front of the engine block.
  • N52 engines: Electric coolant pump bolted to the right front of the engine block.
  • Electric cooling fan attached to rear of radiator. The cooling fan is controlled by the engine control module (DME) via an output final stage.
  • Automatic transmission cooler (heat exchanger).
  • Heater valve and heater core (for climate control).
  • Coolant level sensor inside expansion tank.
  • Coolant temperature sensor at cylinder head.
  • Radiator outlet temperature sensor
  • Coolant hose and lines.

Under the intake manifold running along the cylinder head are two plastic coolant pipes. These coolant pipes can leak at the connection to the cylinder if the O-rings fail or the pipes corrode and break. If you have a hard to diagnose coolant leak, be sure to inspect the area of these pipes. Look for a leak down the left side of the engine.

In this article I will describe how to replace the coolant pipes in your M54 6-cylinder engine. Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening the cooling system.

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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Drain the cooling system. See our tech article on cooling system draining and filling.

Disconnect negative (-) battery cable. See our tech article on battery connection notes. Remove engine covers. See our tech article on removing engine covers. Remove the intake manifold. See our tech article on intake manifold removing.

Under the intake manifold running along the cylinder head are two plastic coolant pipes.
Figure 1

Under the intake manifold running along the cylinder head are two plastic coolant pipes. These coolant pipes can leak at the connection to the cylinder if the O-rings fail or the pipes corrode and break. If you have a hard to diagnose coolant leak, be sure to inspect the area of these pipes. Look for a leak down the left side of the engine. The upper pipe runs to the heater hose (blue arrow). The lower pipe runs to the coolant reservoir hose (red arrow).

Working at the top pipe heater hose connection, use a small flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the top pipe heater hose connection, use a small flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (red arrow). Be sure to pull the retaining clips out until they rest at the stop (blue arrow).

Working at the lower pipe reservoir hose connection, use a small flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the lower pipe reservoir hose connection, use a small flathead screwdriver to lever out the coolant hose retaining clip (red arrow). Be sure to pull the retaining clips out until they rest at the stop.

Place a drain pan under the left rear of the engine.
Figure 4

Place a drain pan under the left rear of the engine. Then pull the heater hose off the top pipe. Then pull the power pipe reservoir hose off, be prepared to catch leaking coolant in a pan.

Working at the oil filter housing, remove the 19mm VANOS oil line banjo bolt (red arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the oil filter housing, remove the 19mm VANOS oil line banjo bolt (red arrow). Be sure to replace the sealing washers when reinstalling (inset).

Cover the VANOS oil line and banjo fitting hole with lint-free rags to keep debris from entering the oil system.
Figure 6

Cover the VANOS oil line and banjo fitting hole with lint-free rags to keep debris from entering the oil system.

Next, cut the knock sensor harness tie strap (blue arrow).
Figure 7

Next, cut the knock sensor harness tie strap (blue arrow). Then remove the upper pipe 13mm fastener (red arrow).

Next, cut the knock sensor harness tie strap (blue arrow).
Figure 8

Next, cut the knock sensor harness tie strap (blue arrow). Then remove the lower pipe 13mm fastener (red arrow).

Then remove the upper pipe 10mm fastener (red arrow).
Figure 9

Then remove the upper pipe 10mm fastener (red arrow).

Then, follow the lower pipe the engine mount bracket and remove the lower pipe 13mm fastener (red arrow).
Figure 10

Then, follow the lower pipe the engine mount bracket and remove the lower pipe 13mm fastener (red arrow).

Once all the fasteners are removed.
Figure 11

Once all the fasteners are removed. Spray penetrating oil around pipes where they enter engine (red arrows).

To remove the upper pipe, lever it out of the cylinder head (red arrow) using a large flathead screwdriver or small prybar.
Figure 12

To remove the upper pipe, lever it out of the cylinder head (red arrow) using a large flathead screwdriver or small prybar. Be gentle and do not damage the engine. The pipe will likely break.

If the pipe broke, use a small pick or pick-up tool to remove all the pieces from inside the cylinder head.
Figure 13

If the pipe broke, use a small pick or pick-up tool to remove all the pieces from inside the cylinder head. I was able to get the O-ring (blue arrow) and the tip of the pipe (red arrow) out no problem. You may have to spend some time fishing all the pieces out. If you don't they can plug the cooling system. Do not scratch or damage the O-ring sealing surface, the new pipes will not seal if you do.

I like to rebuild the pipe to confirm I retrieved all the pieces.
Figure 14

I like to rebuild the pipe to confirm I retrieved all the pieces. The pipe, pipe tip (red arrow) and O-ring (blue arrow) were all accounted for.

To remove the lower pipe, wiggle it back and forth as you pull it out.
Figure 15

To remove the lower pipe, wiggle it back and forth as you pull it out. The pipe will likely break (blue arrow) leaving behind the tip and two O-rings (red arrow).

If the pipe broke, use a small pick or pick-up tool to remove all the pieces from inside the cylinder head.
Figure 16

If the pipe broke, use a small pick or pick-up tool to remove all the pieces from inside the cylinder head. I was able to get the first O-ring (red arrow) out no problem. I then had to break up the tip and get all the pieces out along with the second O-ring. Be sure to fish all the pieces out. If you don't they can plug the cooling system. Do not scratch or damage the O-ring sealing surface, the new pipes will not seal if you do.

Use emery cloth and clean the O-ring sealing surfaces (blue arrow).
Figure 17

Use emery cloth and clean the O-ring sealing surfaces (blue arrow). Be sure they are not scratched or damaged. Then install the new pipes with new sealing O-rings. Install the coolant hoses. Listen for an audible click to confirm the retaining clips have engaged. A small amount of new coolant can be used to lubricate the coolant hose O-rings. This will make installing the hose easier. Install the intake manifold and fill and bleed the cooling system. Remember to check the cooling system for leaks and top up the coolant when complete.

Bookmark and Share

QUICK LINKS
About Us
Careers
Pelican Parts, Inc.
1600 240th Street
Harbor City, CA 90710
Order Online or Call:
888-280-7799
CONNECT WITH US
NEWSLETTER
Sign Up for Pelican Pit Stop News & Special Offers
Page last updated: Tue 8/15/2017 03:24:57 AM