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BMW E46 Engine Mount Replacement 325xi 330xi

Right around 100K miles pretty much all of the E46 325xi's and 330xi's need new engine mounts.  By doing a visual inspection it is easy to determine if the engine mounts need to be replaced.  Look at a picture below and note how the aluminum arm that is mounted to the engine block is resting on the aluminum housing of the engine mount.  BMW E46 engine mounts are oil filled so note how the failed engine mount also shows signs of oil leaking out of it.  Failed engine mounts can cause serious issues, one of the most common is engine cooling fan hitting the fan shroud and exploding during hard cornering or braking.  Fan failures like that are expensive!  Most of the time if the fan explodes you will end up replacing the radiator, the fan, the shroud and possibly repainting the hood because the flying chunks of the fan will dent it all up.  In this article I will show you how to replace the engine mounts on a 2001-2005 BMW 325xi or 330xi. 

Failed Engine Mount:

BMW E46 Failed Engine Mount

When replacing the engine mounts always unbolt one engine mount at a time.  If you unbolt both engine mounts at the same time, you won't be able to lift the engine up high enough to get the old mounts out and get the new mounts in. Basically what you are trying to do by not unbolting both mounts at the same time is to tilt the engine to one side or the other thus creating more clearance between the subrame and the engine mount arm.

1.  Remove the front and center underpanels. 

2.  Remove the air intake from the radiator support.

BMW E46 Removing the Air Scoop

3.  Remove the bolt on the right side of the fan shroud and a plastic rivet on the left.  Pull up on the fan shroud and make sure it is loose and will move up freely when you jack up the engine.  This step is pretty important or you will break the fan when the engine is lifted up.

BMW E46 Removing the fan shroud bolt

BMW E46 Removing the Fan Shroud Rivet

BMW E46 Removing the Fan Shroud

4.  Using a 16mm socket with a long extension remove the nut that holds the engine mount to the engine mount arm from the top.  You can probably get to it from the bottom of the car but it is definitely easier to do it from the top with a long extension.  Both right and left side engine mount top bolts can be accessed from the top.

BMW E46 Unbolting the Engine Mount

BMW E46 Unbolting the Engine Mount on the Left Side

5.  Remove the bolts that hold the engine mount to the front subframe.  Passenger side engine mount has two bolts and driver's side has just one.

BMW E46 Unbolting the Engine Mount from the bottom

6.  Now you are ready to jack up the engine.  I am using an engine hoist but you can also use a floor jack with a wooden block up against the oil pan.  I've done it with a jack a bunch of times and never had any issues but it does always make me a bit paranoid putting that much weight on an aluminum oil pan.

BMW E46 Lifting up the engine

7.  Note how much the engine has to be lifted up in order to slide the new mounts in place.

BMW E46 Installing a New Engine Mount

8.  This picture shows how much the old engine mount collapsed.

BMW E46 Comparison of new engine mount vs. old

9.  Slide in a new engine mount, drop the engine, bolt everything up do the same with the other side.

Always make sure you do whatever it takes to safely support the engine when you are lifting it up or jacking it up.  You don't want it to drop on your hands when you are trying to fit in the engine mount.

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