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Old 07-29-2007, 04:20 AM   #1
erniep
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Default Oil filter housing leak fix how to (long)

I have been putting off fixing an engine oil leak coming from what appeared to be the oil filter housing on our '96 M44. Saw a number of write ups on various boards concerning o'ring and gasket failures, and stopped at the dealer for the o'rings and gasket in anticipation of finding the time to do it. I did it last weekend, absolutely no problems at all.

First I disconnected the battery. Then I removed the fresh air tube and air cleaner box and associated covers, and disconnected and set aside the MAF boot with MAF still attached to give me access to the alternator and then the alternator/power steering pump mounting bracket. Removing the two wires connected to the back of the alternator and then the two thru bolts holding it to its mounting bracket gave me access to the four bolts holding the mounting bracket. I did not remove the power steering pump, but I did remove the attaching nuts for the power steering pump reservoir and set the reservoir aside (I did not remove the hoses). Then I removed the six bolts holding the oil filter housing to the front cover and the oil pressure warning light sender wires. I pulled the housing out of the block, it lost very little oil. Of course it was oily there anyway so I didn't care. The gasket came off mostly in one piece, and the round adapter that has the two o'rings on it came out with the housing. Those o'rings were very brittle and flat where they seal against the housing and front cover. Definitely the source of the leak.

Here's where I could have done things a little differently. I should have removed the oil filter cover and oil filter before I loosened up the housing. Why? The inside of the housing where it bolts to the front cover needed to be cleaned, and although I intended to change the filter anyway, I did not want to get any cleaner or dirt onto the filter. The point is it's easier to remove the cap on the car than on the bench.

Before reassembly I cleaned up the remainder of the gasket from the block and housing, replaced the two o'rings on the round adapter, and cleaned up the area between the housing and the front cover using brake cleaner. Although I knew I would be changing the oil, I was careful not to get too much brake cleaner in the oil passages in the front cover. There's a couple of passages in the housing that I made sure were not obstructed.

Reassembly was the reverse of disassembly - I oiled the o'rings, put the adapter into the housing, then pushed the adapter/housing assembly into the front cover. The 6 bolts went back in, then the alternator/power steering pump mounting bracket, the alternator, and then the belt. I don't know how to make installation of the alternator any easier - it's a very tight fit, it took some patience and a plastic dead blow hammer to gently ease it into place. Reinstalling the power steering pump reservoir and air box and related parts was no problem. It fired right up after reconnecting the battery. Plus, all that work fixed the leak!

The hardest part of the whole job was relieving the pressure on the tensioner enough to remove the alternator belt. The Torx 50 hole in the tensioner needs to be a tad deeper in my opinion - I got it to retract, even managed to put a pin in the tensioner to keep it retracted for ease of reassembly. But a deeper hole would help prevent scratched knuckles and possibly a damaged Torx bolt.

It took me about 1 1/2 hours total, including the extra time to remove the oil filter on the bench vice using a couple of pieces of wood to protect the housing. Wrenches/sockets included 10mm (air box, power steering pump reservoir, oil filter housing, small wire on the rear of the alternator), 13 mm (alternator mount bolts, large wire on the rear of the alternator, battery cable), 15 or 16 mm (I can't remember) for the alternator thru-bolts, Torx 50 for the belt tensioner, a nail to pin the tensioner, a screwdriver for the MAF boot, and the oil filter cap wrench.

Hope this helps someone who needs to do this.
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Old 07-29-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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sounds and looks like a great write up. You could post this in the Knowledge base section under the How To:
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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I need to do this to my ti as well, seems like it wasn't as bad as i originally thought. Only saying that beacuse of the price a shop gave me to do it, if i recall inbetween $600-$800 range. Maybee on a nice cool wekend i'll get the chance..
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erniep View Post
Hope this helps someone who needs to do this.
Thanks for the post, it was helpful. Thought the leak was the oil pan and/or main seal so this was put off for a long time and was going to sell it. Made the fix this weekend. The tensioner had a 16mm (5/8") hex instead of a 50 Torx. Will keep the ti for another 182K!
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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There is already a write-up in the knowledge base here:
http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20854
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Old 09-14-2011, 02:11 AM   #6
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Seen it, but I have a M44. Directions were quite clear even w/o pics.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:12 PM   #7
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Default oil pressure

I did this job and I wonder how long does your oil light stay on? I got really nervous after about 20 seconds and turn the car off due to the oil light on. No oil at this point had reached the housing (the filter was still dry). Should I have ran this for a minute or two? I remember changing oil and the light staying on but I can't remember how long.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:28 PM   #8
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i am pretty sure that the oil light turns off right away. i know when i did an oil change one time, the oil filter had broken into 2 pieces (small top of it was stuck in the base of the holder) i had no idea, and when i put the new filter in, it would not get all the way in. seemed okay though, tightened the lid and the oil light came on right away. i was worried so i looked. removed the filter part and replaced and when the car start, no oil light anymore. pretty sure it checks for it instantly. you must have a flow problem or pressure problem. maybe someone can shed some light for you. this is for the M44 motor, not sure about the older m42
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinatl70 View Post
I did this job and I wonder how long does your oil light stay on? I got really nervous after about 20 seconds and turn the car off due to the oil light on. No oil at this point had reached the housing (the filter was still dry). Should I have ran this for a minute or two? I remember changing oil and the light staying on but I can't remember how long.
I would disable the fuel pump and the ignition coil and crank the engine until the oil pressure registers or the oil light turns off. If you can remove the spark plugs, it will be easier on the starter and battery.
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