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      01-28-2013, 10:31 PM   #91
Diamond Geezer
mlifxs's Avatar

Drives: Jet Black 2007 328i Saloon
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Florida

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Thank you OP and all who made helpful comments and shared their experience.

I just did this, but I did manage to strip the star bolt head closest to the fan. I was using an 8mm box wrench and was able to break the bolt on top and under the intake, no problem. The third bolt stripped and I made the mistake of trying to force it on, just stripped it more. I was totally bummed, thinking I'll be heading to a shop to get it done (along with taking out the stripped bolt). Decided to search and see if there is such a thing as a E-torx box and.....YES!

Got this wrench, put it on the stripped bolt, and it wouldn't go on. Was ready to give up, then tried the E-12 side of the wrench and it broke it free. Cool. Went to the dealer and bought a replacement bolt.

From there, the job was pretty easy.

Drained two quarts coolant. If you are careful with the drain plug, you can drain without completely removing the plug. Once I had two quarts out, taking the housing off was completely mess free. I think partially draining the coolant is a great idea, guess it helps if you've changed your coolant before as I did recently.

Removed the air intake snorkel. Removed the three bolts, and the sensor connector. Didn't remove the oil filter, really didn't need to keep anything from spilling or making a mess. Used a large screw driver to prop the housing out fo the way. My gasket was still in one piece and came out easily.

The E-torx box ratchet is an excellent tool for this job. It makes a very tight bite on the star. $15 bucks avoided a major PITA.

One thing I thought of (I'm a noob, maybe some of you do this all the time) was tethering the wrench for the bolt under the intake. Maybe it's just psychological, but the tether just seem to make my hands feel more dexterous since I wasn't concerned with dropping the wrench. Also, when you're loosening the bolt under the intake, just pull on the rope to un-thread and let gravity ratchet it back.
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Last edited by mlifxs; 02-12-2013 at 09:50 PM. Reason: ratings