View Full Version : General information on what should be done

02-16-2017, 04:06 PM
Hello, 1997 318ti. work will be performed in my home's garage, have metric wrenches sockets, Haynes and 3 series service manuals in the mail now, M44 engine (1.8l 4 cyl) Purchased extremely inexpensively with several issues.

First, when checking it, there was no heat from the heater but gauge was reading hot, and partway through diag, something on the firewall side of the engine blew (steam, coolant everywhere, etc). Shut off engine immediately. So I imagine the heater valve is bad, and a hose or one of the plastic fittings gave to pressure.

Towed home using a two wheeled Uhaul dolly (rear off the ground), now have a reasonably troubling oil leak, unknown origins. Also, the front sway bar, all mounting bolts are sheared/missing from the stabilizer supports (was like this before the tow). Sway bar just hanging there.

And there are the numerous little things: brakes, rotors, window issue, radio repair, spoiler off, etc.

For the repair of the coolant issue, my thoughts were to remove the upper intake manifold, and replace all hoses/components for coolant system, knock sensors, temp sensor, crank and cam position sensor, clean the injectors/replace the o-rings, water pump/thermostat. I will investigate the oil filter unit as the source of the leak and replace if needed.

I have 6 months to complete all repairs, will be doing them in steps starting with the engine issues, and will do most of the work myself (unless you think it is too much for someone that has never done it before)

Is this too much for a novice to do?

Am I missing anything in my parts list to replace while I have the manifold/fuel rail off the engine?

I appreciate any and all feedback that you have on this. Thanks!

paul somlo
02-16-2017, 10:03 PM

I don't know that I would replace the crank, cam, knock, and temp sensors. They're all passive and have a low failure rate. And the dollars can really add up, even when you're doing it yourself. Thermostat/hoses/plastic coolant connectors definitely, unless you know the car's history. There's another plastic coolant connector attached to the back of the head, as well. Water pump? Maybe. You could remove the current one, if it has the plastic impeller, you might replace it. Otherwise just check it for noise/play in the bearings. There's a good DIY here on the forum for the cooling system with part numbers, etc.. There's lots of DIY on the oil filter housing leak, in fact, pretty much every issue you mentioned is detailed somewhere on the internet. I've gotten to the point that I reach for the keyboard before I pick up my Bentley manual, because there's so much info out there.

If you're yanking the intake manifold, you'll want to replace the associated gaskets. There's also a short section of rubber fuel hose that connects the hardline to the rail - if it's hard/cracked and you replace it, make sure you use fuel injection hose.

Check for leaks all around the valve cover gasket, and pull the spark plug boots out, make sure there's no oil on the ends of them.

The business with the stabilizer mount studs is the only thing that gives me pause; someone may have done a little "four wheeling" there. You may be doing a little welding/fabrication there. Everything else is just turning wrenches. You didn't say whether you had experience working on other cars or not. Six months is plenty of time to get all this sorted out, and when you're done, you won't be a novice any longer. I would encourage you to press on, ask questions, buy tools as needed.

'96ti 233,000 mi.

02-17-2017, 02:22 AM
Thanks For the reply,

I have some experience with older domestic US brands, limited Asian, and have turned a wrench on the Mercedes a scant few times. Mostly all experience are alternator/starter swaps, thermostats, belts/hoses, brakes and shocks. The removal of the manifold is a little daunting to me.

The suspension, yeah, it looks like someone ran it up hard onto something. I am going to leave that work to an expert when it comes time. I have a body shop that will weld new stabilizer supports on. The sensors/starter replacement idea, I had read since the manifold will be off anyway to change those out so I wouldn't need to go under there again any time soon. I do have a code for the cam position sensor already, so will definitely replace that one, and will probably replace everything rubber that is fuel related as well.

I do have a great deal of paper on the car since about 2010. it has been regularly serviced, oil changed religiously, and the interior is immaculate.

Thanks again for your reply!

edit: and yes since writing originally, I found that the Filter housing is the source of the oil leak. I have the gasket already and waiting on o-rings