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E46 vacuum pump

BMW forum 3 series car: E21, E30, E36, E46, E90, E91, E92, E93, F30, F31, F34, F35

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E46 vacuum pump

Postby am8631 » Tue, 09 Nov 2010 09:51:34 UTC

does anyone know if the vacuum pump that sits on the back of the engine is servicable? Mine is leaking and dripping oil onto the exhaust and making a nasty smell. I have had the O ring changed and also the valve cover gasket and it is def the pump as i can see a drop of oil on it :(

It looks like it is made up of two parts, are they bolted together (fixable) or is it welded or glued? Has anyone had one in their hands?

The reason i ask is because a new one is £272 !!

Any help appreciated guys.

Andy Mac
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby pjv » Tue, 09 Nov 2010 11:27:01 UTC

I assume you have the N42 or N46 engine, since I had the same thing happen. Fortunately while the car was still under dealer warranty.

Unfortunately my TIS and Haynes manuals do not give any information about dismantling the pump, they only describe removal and replacement. And RealOEM only shows the pump as a unit, so I think you may be out of luck. For parts have you tried Cotswold BMW who advertise on this site? Their prices are so good I found it well worth having things shipped all the way to Australia.

Good luck with it.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby am8631 » Sun, 14 Nov 2010 13:12:37 UTC

Just a quick update on this one. Using my inspection mirror i could see that the pump seemed to have a backplate that was fixed on with a few torx bolts and it was this that was leaking oil which was dripping straight down onto the downpipe. After much fiddling as it is really tight access i got the pump off and decided that i would try and fix it rather than spend a silly £250+ on a new one. It was easy enough to take the back plate off but you have to be careful as the internals of the pump are not actually attached to anything, so be careful. There is a large o-ring but you cant buy this separately!?!? So, i thought i would try some silicon gasket/sealer and put everything back together.

So far there are no leaks! So, a few hours work and a bit of sealant and ive saved myself £300 in parts and labour. So anyone that has that annoying burning oil smell with their N42 eninge i would give this ago if you dont fancy paying for a new pump.

regards

Andy Mac
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby pjv » Sun, 14 Nov 2010 22:51:09 UTC

Well done! Nothing like beating them at their own game, is there? I will definitely try that if it should happen again while I have this car, and I have seen at least one o-ring supplier here so I suppose one could take the old o-ring to them and see if they can match it.

Cheers.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby BMW Techy » Mon, 15 Nov 2010 22:03:32 UTC

your covering up the fault, the its leaking internally which probably means its getting sucked in the vacuum pipe and possibly the servo, the outer-casing is just that - casing. its not supposed to seal against oil.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby am8631 » Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:03:50 UTC

Are you saying that the unit is not supposed to have any oil in it at all?

Having taken one apart myself, the pump would need to be air tight to function as a vacuum pump no? That is why there is a rubber o-ring to help seal the back plate - so either it is supposed to be sealed or it is not? All i have done is to reseal the unit where the o-ring has now failed?

Any light you could shed on this would be nice?
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby pjv » Tue, 16 Nov 2010 21:03:47 UTC

Yes it would be interesting to know a bit more about this, especially where does all of the oil come from, since a fair bit of oil appears to come out of a relatively small component. Thanks for the advice, anyway.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby am8631 » Sat, 20 Nov 2010 14:32:43 UTC

Ah well, looks like the leak is back! At least i know i can swap the pump myself now. I might take a few pics when i put the new one in as i know a few people have this problem.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby rkn_1 » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 09:41:32 UTC

Hi, i have got a problem with my vacuum pump being noisy, found this thread, its really good, gives you a detailed step by step DIY for striping the pump. Only thing i would add it that you can buy o-ring by the metere, cut it to length and then it can be glued using super glue or the appropriate glue, easy peasy!
Hope this helps


BMW vacuum pump DIY
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby frederick » Sun, 16 Oct 2011 16:17:29 UTC

you can buy the o ring separate from bmw parts dept, check on realoem and look it is separate item to buy.
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby istiaquechoudhury » Thu, 20 Oct 2011 12:00:20 UTC

The vac pump on most BMW engines (I Believe) are cam driven, i.e. not by an acessory belt like AC or power steering.

Its running alongside the "wet" or oil side of the engine, but there should be a seal or gasket to minimise any leak, I would check part diagrams for usual locations of gaskets/seals to see if they are intact. Realoem.com or bmwfans.info are a good place to start!

I think the manufacturer for most are Pierburg if it helps!
Before you criticise someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticise them, you're a mile away from them and you have their shoes
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby need77carl » Wed, 09 May 2012 22:10:00 UTC

Hi, new to the forum.

(Sorry for bringing this old post up again)

I have a leaky vac pump on my recently purchased 2003 E46 318i.

The smaller 'O' ring is available from BMW part dept etc, but I have been searching for the size of the larger internal 'o' ring.
Has anyone ever actually measured the diameter in mm? others have asked the question, but I haven't found an answer?
If anyone knows, please tell me to save me stripping mine to find out. Then I can try to source a replacement of correct size. (my searches have indicated that that size is not available from anywhere, but I'd like to find out myself)

I have been told by an independant bmw mechanic (like many before me) that the whole vac pump must be replaced. (this could be because the smaller o ring seals the unit to the engine, and the larger o ring makes an air tight seal for the air produced (ie the vacuum). If oil is passing through the shaft into the vacuum side of the pump, then that problem won't be sorted by replacing both o rings??

There good photos here http://www.bimmerforums.co.uk/forum/f91/2002-e46-318i-n42-vacuum-pump-repair-t89903/ of a "repair" procedure, but I am not sure how successful this is, it may stop oil coming out of the vac pump seals for a while, but would oil still be getting into the air and therefore into the breaking system etc and come out somwhee else?

Any advise / opinions?
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby need77carl » Wed, 09 May 2012 22:25:53 UTC

Just found this viewtopic.php?f=4&t=134590&p=1128575&hilit=e46+vacuum+pump#p1128575 .
another repair, but on an E90, think its the same as E46, and says to use oil filter o rings
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby mat330i » Thu, 10 May 2012 11:25:01 UTC

I did the above tutorial so if you get stuck with anything just give me a shout, its a 100% fix... if you try and use only gasket sealer it will inevitably fail over time due to the high presure where as the oil filter o ring is a perfect fit, actualy better than the origional as it sits slightly pouder giving a better seal. When I was origionaly looking at a replacement Quarry advised the E90 and E46 vacum pumps are identical.

Cheers

Mat
2009 BMW 318i M Sport E90 Efficient Dynamics
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Re: E46 vacuum pump

Postby need77carl » Thu, 10 May 2012 22:50:48 UTC

Thanks Mat,

I did the repair today, and I think I'm convinced also that it a 100% fix.
I used the oil filter large o ring and some high temp gasket sealer as per the tutorial.
I did however re-use the old smaller o ring because can't get a replacement till tomorrow, but it looked in good condition, I'll keep my eye out for any further leakage.

Fantastic repair tutorial, and well within the capabilities of a DIY mechanic like me, all thats needed is some patience to remove and replace those fiddly bolts with your hands jammed down into the small space. (Mirror, torch and telescopic magnet pen do help)
Also I think its important to make sure that the groove which the large o ring sits in is well cleaned up before re-assembly, I used white spirit and a toothbrush and then a small corner of a rag to clean out the old black residue in there.

So I am confident I have saved £300 + by spending a few quid and a couple of hours... [:D] .

Thanks again, Carl.
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