Replacing the Oil Breather on an E46 320td or 320d
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  1. #1
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    l16yd l's Avatar
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    Replacing the Oil Breather on an E46 320td or 320d


    Another thread, but this time on how to change your oil breather. If your like me and get worried about how your engines running, then this is a must.

    Before we start i need to say:

    *****I have performed the maintainace myself and i am comfortable with my ability to do so and i can not be held responsible if you damage your vehicle in an event to follow my guide.*****

    OK lets start:

    I bought the complete repolacment kit for around 40 from my local dealership:

    but you can buy the up-rated Vortex breather for 20.25 inc vat which would save you money and use the old cover, your choice totally.

    To start, you will need to take the pollen filter out first, which is located infront of the windscreen:

    There are three clips, one on each side and one on the front, turn them and they should pop up and they have springs supporting them. Lift the panel up:

    You will need to take the panel out, so be careful and pull from one side and it will come out. Once out, take the old filter out:

    where the filter was, you will see 4 T30 (Torx30) screws holding another panel in place:

    Unscrew the screws, they should stay within the panel once they have been unscrewed. Dont pull the panel out yet as you will need to un-clip the pipes running across the front of the panel. Put you finger under the cilp and put abit of leverage and pull away from the panel slightly and it should uncilp:

    Once you have done that, you can now take the panel out. Lift the panel first and pull from one side:

    You no need to take the engine cover off. There are 5 bolts holding the cover on. 2 at the front, 2 at the back and one on the right side near the coolant cap.:

    Push the rubber gromet off and you will now be able to take the cover off. On the left side of the engine you will see the inlet pipe and the air filter cover. The inlet pipe is held on by one bolt and the air filter cover is held by 4 bolts:

    In the picture, you can see i have undone the pipe bolt and you can see first 3 air filter cover bolts. Unscrew them all and get ready to unscrew to last one which is around the rear of the cover:

    Once you have got it unscrewed, you will be able to lift the cover off and slide it under the pipes running across the engine:

    Next to the air filter you will see the breather cover:

    The cover is held down by by 3 5mm hex-head bolts, unscrew them:

    And slowly and carefully take the cover off, if you have the old style breather it will look like this:

    And next the the new on:

    On the engine, you need to replace 2 seals, they will have little tabs on them which you can see and use to take them out:

    New seals on the left, old on the right:

    Before i put the new seals in, i gave the holder a wipe down to get rid of any excess oil:

    In with the new seals:

    And slowly and carefully put the new breather and cover on:

    Screw the 3 bolts back in and reverse the guide to get the engine back to normal.

    Like all my threads, i hope this comes to some use and i hope you can benefit from my guide.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to l16yd l For This Useful Post:

    nutter426 (30-01-2014),Son of El Shaddia, (21-06-2015)

  3. #2

    Rayman's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    North Shields
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    3.0 Diesel
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    I have just changed mine for the vortex one on my 2001 3.0 diesel. When I put the vortex part into the new housing that came with it,it seemed loose , so I placed the vortex part into the manifold part & placed the new housing over the top . Just wondering if i had used a bit more force would it have clipped into the hosing.
    2001 x5 3.0 Diesel.

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