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Water Pump Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Water Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 M3 Coupe/Conv (2006)
BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006)

Parts Required:

Water pump, hoses, engine coolant

Hot Tip:

Work with a cool engine

Performance Gain:

Car will cool down again

Complementary Modification:

Change serpentine belt, radiator hoses

Maintaining the cooling system so that the engine does not overheat is a significant step toward getting engine longevity. There are many components in the BMW Z4 cooling system:

  • Radiator and coolant overflow tank
  • Belt driven coolant pump bolted to the front of the engine block
  • Electric cooling fan attached to front of radiator - The cooling fan is controlled by the engine control module (ECM) via an output final stage.
  • Thermostat
  • Automatic transmission cooler or heat exchanger (if equipped)
  • 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 hoses and lines.

This tech article covers the S54 engine water pump.

When a water pump begins to fail, you'll notice that the car tends to overheat at low engine speed, such as sitting at a stoplight. When you accelerate, the engine temperature will drop. Now, this is not always indicative of a water pump, but a good starting point. You may also want to try squeezing the top radiator hose with the engine warmed up and running. You should feel pressure build up on the back of the hose and surge once it is released. If you feel no pressure, it's a fair bet that the water pump is failing.

Sometimes, you can also see a slight drip coming from the water pump housing itself. These weep holes are cast into the pump housing and allow excess coolant to drain out if it has leaked past the various seals in the pump. The bearing can fail creating a grinding noise or creating free-play in the shaft, also resulting in a coolant leak.

Be sure to work with a cool engine and confirm the cooling system lacks pressure before opening.

Do not remove the expansion tank cap or work on any other part of the cooling system while the engine is hot. Coolant or hot steam may escape and will scald you. To do any work on the cooling system, wait until the engine has cooled off.

To avoid marring the paint and trim, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out body or interior items.

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're 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.

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

Remove the engine cooling fan and radiator. See our tech article on radiator replacing. This step is not necessary, but it makes accessing the fasteners much easier. The article will show this procedure with the radiator removed.

BMW Z4 S54 6-cylinder models utilize a mechanical water pump, mounted below the thermostat (red arrow).
Figure 1

BMW Z4 S54 6-cylinder models utilize a mechanical water pump, mounted below the thermostat (red arrow). This tech article covers the S54 engine water pump.

Before removing the engine drive belt, loosen the four 10mm water pump (red arrow) pulley fasteners.
Figure 2

Before removing the engine drive belt, loosen the four 10mm water pump (red arrow) pulley fasteners. Do not remove them yet (green arrows). Remove the engine drive belt. See our tech article on engine drive belt replacing. You only have to remove the alternator belt. Just be sure to clean any coolant residue off the A/C belt with dish soap and water once the repair is completed.

Working at the throttle position sensor, press the wire release tab (red arrow) and pull the electrical connector straight off.
Figure 3

Working at the throttle position sensor, press the wire release tab (red arrow) and pull the electrical connector straight off.

To remove the upper hose: using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the upper radiator hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 4

To remove the upper hose: using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the upper radiator hose clamp (red arrow). Once loose, slide the hose clamp away from the radiator. Then disconnect the hose by pulling it straight off the thermostat housing.

To remove the lower hose: using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the lower radiator hose clamp (red arrow).
Figure 5

To remove the lower hose: using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the lower radiator hose clamp (red arrow). Once loose, slide the hose clamp away from the radiator. Then disconnect the hose by pulling it straight off the thermostat housing.


Remove the thermostat.
Figure 6

Remove the thermostat. See our tech article on thermostat replacing. Next, open and unclip (red arrow) the wire harness mount and remove the harness (green arrow) from the mount. Next, you have to remove the three 10mm thermostat fasteners. Remove the support bracket from the thermostat housing. Use a pry bar and gently lever the thermostat housing toward the radiator until the sealing O-ring for the rear pipe is visible. Remove the thermostat housing from the engine by lifting it straight up.

Next, remove the water pump pulley from the water pump.
Figure 7

Next, remove the water pump pulley from the water pump. Use a pry bar (red arrow) to gently lever the pulley (green arrow) off the water pump. While the pulley is off, inspect it for small cracks or damage. The pulleys can fail, although not that often, usually least when we expect it. My subject vehicle had a metal pulley. Some vehicles have plastic pulleys. I suggest replacing the plastic versions when removed.

Next, remove the bottom 10mm water pump (red arrow) mounting fastener (green arrow).
Figure 8

Next, remove the bottom 10mm water pump (red arrow) mounting fastener (green arrow).

I like to use a 10mm universal socket (red arrow) to remove the bottom fastener.
Figure 9

I like to use a 10mm universal socket (red arrow) to remove the bottom fastener. It helps with clearance past the crankshaft pulley.

Next, remove the two top 10mm water pump mounting fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 10

Next, remove the two top 10mm water pump mounting fasteners (red arrows).

Next, remove the two-left side 10mm water pump-mounting fastener (green arrows).
Figure 11

Next, remove the two-left side 10mm water pump-mounting fastener (green arrows). The top fastener (red arrow) was removed in the last step.

With all the fasteners removed, pull the water pump away from the engine to detach it (red arrow).
Figure 12

With all the fasteners removed, pull the water pump away from the engine to detach it (red arrow).

Rotate the water pump pulley toward the engine (red arrow).
Figure 13

Rotate the water pump pulley toward the engine (red arrow). Then lift and remove the water pump from the engine.

Once the water pump has been removed, clean the sealing surface (green arrow) and discard the old gasket (red arrow).
Figure 14

Once the water pump has been removed, clean the sealing surface (green arrow) and discard the old gasket (red arrow).

Before installing the new water pump, transfer the dowel pin over to the new pump if needed.
Figure 15

Before installing the new water pump, transfer the dowel pin over to the new pump if needed. Then, replace the coolant pipe sealing O-rings (red arrows). Before installing the new water pump, thoroughly clean the water pump mounting surface and check for debris inside the water pump cavity (inside timing cover). Then install the new water pump with a gasket. Install the water pump pulley and tighten the fasteners. Install the engine drive belt, radiator, and fill and bleed the cooling system. Once complete, check the cooling system for leaks, and top up the cooling system. 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:58:28 AM