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Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

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

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Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby Johnny323 » Sat, 18 Feb 2012 15:35:39 UTC

Chaps,

I changed the thermostat on an 316 E36 and while back, fairly easy job. This obviously gave be false confidence to tacke a 323 :cry: .

I can't find all the thermostat bolts on my 1998 323 E36. I managed to find 2 of them. One was easily accessible 13mm on top the other was hidden underneath (and was a 10mm!). Have clipped houses and remove air filter to get better access (dont have a tool to remove the viscous fan). There is some plastic housing above the theremostat that looks a possibility, although I can see a bolt thread coming out of it. I dont want to keep striping the car on the off chance so I had to abandon the job half done as its started raining heavily. My E36 Haynes manual isnt helping as it doesnt show my model.

Any tips or a pointer to a specific DIY (the E46 dont help)?

cheers
John
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby Johnny323 » Sat, 18 Feb 2012 16:06:34 UTC

I found two more, but the last two seem to need a very narrow 10mm socket that I dont yet have.
Guess I'm making life harder by not removing the fan.
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby beemer k » Sat, 18 Feb 2012 18:01:40 UTC

ive changed my thermostat quite recently, although its an E39 and not an E36 i had to remove the fan... i couldnt see no other possible way to get to the thermostat otherwise.. makes life alot easier with the fan off.
I would suggest you take the fan off, the special tool from bmw costs £18 or so and is well worth it. i have read that people have used a mallet and a 32mm wrench to do the job also. I for one wasnt very keen on using a mallet so ended up getting the tool. There are members who have also made their own tool using scrap metal, but this all depends on how good you are with metal work.
good luck :wink:
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby Johnny323 » Sat, 18 Feb 2012 19:23:18 UTC

I managed to remove the thermostat with the fan insitu (afer getting narrow 10mm sockets) but I am having grief trying to tighted things up. You are right fam must come off.

I bought a 32mm spanner and it fits. The problem now is that as its an automatic, the spanner just spins the pulley. I assume the special tool must get around this problem somehow. The Haynes manual just mentioned a special spanner being able to fit?
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby beemer k » Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:43:42 UTC

yes the special tool holds 2 of the bolts on the pulley, whilst you use the 32mm wrench to undo the fan clutch.

This is how to undo the fan clutch using a 32mm wrench and mallet, although its for an E46 the method should be the same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCxYYk8a2rk

and this is using the special tool and 32mm wrench

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Hr3Geh5HjA

hope this helps :lol: :wink:
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby beemer k » Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:49:38 UTC

If you do decide to get the special tool the part number is 83300491046 it will come up as ' brace '
good luck
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E39 530i Sport,Titanium silver,navigation-system prof,Xenons,heated memory comfort seats,comfort windscreen,auto-dim+dip folding mirrors,sunroof,bluetooth,folding seats,18"para's
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Re: Help changing thermostat on 323i E36

Postby Johnny323 » Sun, 19 Feb 2012 12:36:42 UTC

Thanks very much for your help beemer k. A quick whack on the 32mm spanner worked, the fan is free! :D

Latest problem is that part of the plastic thermostat housing has broken off. So close yet so far and nowhere you can get one on a Sunday. :(

There is a reason it broke and I hope this will help others. I got 2 thermostats from Euro Car Parts, as I didn't know if it opened at 88 degrees or 92 degrees. Mine was the 92 one. The 92 part came with a square profile sealing ring which seemed unusual but I assumed it would sort itself when tightened, big mistake a piece broke even without much force as the overlarge ring didn't seat right. Having a look in the Euro Car Parts bag I found a small plastic bag with a normal type sealing ring. There should be a warning somewhere.

I already know the answer to this this but wondering if anyone has had any success using Araldite the casing, even as a temp fix?
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