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  #1  
Old 03-10-2019, 07:46 PM
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Serpentine Belt for 2003 E53 4.6is

Does anyone know if this is the correct serpentine belt that goes on the alternator pulley?

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ve-belt-7k1623

I'm getting parts together for a planned alternator replacement job.

First time doing the replacement so wanna make sure i've got all the parts needed.

So far I've purchased a premium reman Bosch alternator. Getting the fan clutch removal tool from FCPEuro: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...cta-tools-a886

The BMW coolant: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...ze-82141467704

Been reading up on the various threads for the diy procedure. Just got the reman Bosch today. It's so heavy you need to hold it with 2 hands. Can't imagine how i'll be able to wiggle the original out of the housing with that tight of a space.

Anyway, any suggestions welcome, but please help me determine if this is the correct replacement belt.

Figure I'd replace the belt while the old one is out.

Much obliged and have a great rest of the weekend!

p.s. Can you use any antifreeze brand from Autozone or Oreilly's?

Theo
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:10 PM
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Realoem with your VIN should show the exact model of serpentine belt.

I have no quams using the universal green prestone mostly for the convenience of availability anywhere. I was using the premix European prestone for wife's X5 but you can't get the concentrated version in stores so I think I'll be using green in both our X5s from now on. It's just silly to pay nearly double the price for premix.
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:15 AM
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I use the universal green prestone too. For 6 years now. No apparent issues. Replaced my alternator about 6 months ago. The step-by-step at Pelican's site helped. Was not too bad. Did it at night on the street where the tow truck dumped my car after the old alternator died. Was worried I would not be able to remove the alternator without tearing half the car apart but it just barely snaked out. Not nearly as bad as I expected.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:32 PM
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So I got up the courage and started working on the removal of the water-cooled alternator this week. Took me the better part of yesterday to complete the removal and reinstall.

Tools used:

8mm, 10mm sockets to remove the large plastic underbody dirt shield.

13mm socket to remove the frame that attaches the suspension pump.

10mm socket to remove the negative terminal from the battery.

long nose plier to remove the 4 clips holding the air intake housing.

flat blade screw driver to pop up the clip holding the intake air box, as well as the various radiator hoses.

32mm wrench and clutch holder to remove the clutch fan bolt.

13mm socket to remove the tensioner pulley.

50mm torx bit to remove the 2 pulleys.

10mm socket to remove the 6 bolts holding the alternator to its housing.

17mm socket to remove the negative cable to the alternator.

Fun times. Taking out the airbox and intake was a breeze and took around 10 minutes. Removing the water hoses was pretty straightforward as well. The next step, however, is where I got stuck for 2 hours: removing the 32mm clutch fan bolt.

I used a combination of hammering on the bolt, blasting the joint slit with lubricants, and the bmw fan clutch tool (clutch holder and 32mm wrench). The force required to break the bolt lock is very considerable!

Once the bolt is out (swing the wrench righty loosey and lefty tighty for this bolt), I unclipped 2 wire connectors to the left of the fan shroud, then removed the fan along with the shroud.

The rest of the steps are time consuming but uneventful. Took out the tensioner pulley, 3 x13mm bolts, 2X 50mm torx on the pulley, removed the serpentine belt, and finally access to the alternator!

The steps are very similar to a regular 540i/ 740i with m62, except the design of the radiator are a little different.

I'm not sure if the 4.6is has the exact same water hose and radiator design as a 2001~2003 4.4i. Can anyone confirm?

Anyway, I do have a few questions that I hope the E53 gurus here can answer for me:

1. Should I be concerned that my original coolant fluid is a light orange color? It reminds me of a rust color (please see attached). Very different from your regular neon green/ or bmw light blue.

2. The clutch fan has been on constantly since the alternator replacement. Is this normal? I remember it was hardly ever on before the replacement.

3. My friend with some auto repair experience helped me with installing the tensioner pulley as well as tightning the belt tension (1/2" play when you push on the belt). I see him adjusting the 2 13mm bolts on top of the pulley mechanism and that seemed to do the trick. Can anyone elaborate on the correct procedure to tension the serpentine belt?

4. adding coolant. The blue plastic valve on the bottom right of the plastic radiaor housing pretty much shattered upon impact with a flat blade screw driver when I attempted to remove it to drain the coolant. Half of the valve remain stuck on the housing so it's still sealed, I think. I don't know how to remove the rest without damaging the thread on the radiator, so I tried to seal it better with bunch of silicon gulking and then left it alone. I will probably need to revisit this situation, depending on when I need to drain / flush the coolant or when the rest of the valve decides to give up!

Most of the coolant that drained from the system came out when I pull out the hose that connected to the top of alternator housing. I must have drained at least 6 quarts of that light orange colored fluid.

Do you guys think it's correct to add the fluid into the expansion tank until the red stick floats up?

Do I release the bleeder valve next to the expansion cap half way while I add the fluid? Or do I release the valve and then start the car, and wait for the air bubbles to show up?

The first time I added fluids yesterday, (using bmw light blue coolant), I added slightly more than 1 gallon, then I started the car. Low coolant warning showed up so I switched off and added another 1/2 gallon.

The low coolant warning came up again today, So I added another 1/4 gallons with the bleeder valve open 1/2 way. The red stick floated up again, so I stopped right there.

So far i've added 1 3/4 gallon of bmw coolant. I will continue to monitor the level but right now I don't know if i've added too much or not.

I did not see any coolant leak yesterday nor today, so that's a plus.

Please kindly provide the correct procedure on filling coolant fluids, as well as any bleeding procedure that applies!

5. Charging. I have a cigarette bluetooth adapter that tells battery voltage. The voltage was a dismal 12.2 v or lower before the replacement. The sound system would cut off and all the lights would dim, so on Tuesday while driving to work I turned off all accessories: a/c, radio, daytime running light, etc and crossed my fingered as I navigated the scary last 10 miles on my way to work.

After the replacement, I tested the charge under load today. Turned on the a/c, the radio, and even the dvr that's connected to the cigarette lighter under the glovebox. The voltage was a constant 14.1+V.

Does this mean my new alternator is working correctly? What's the best way to test the functionality of an alternator?

Will attempt to add some work photos later on today.

Much obliged to any comments/ suggestions!

Theo
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Last edited by Maruzo; 03-14-2019 at 07:19 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:07 AM
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Bump for comments on the coolant refill and drain plug questions!
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  #6  
Old 03-16-2019, 08:17 AM
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That stuff looks nasty. I would flush that stuff out as thoroughly as possible before refilling. I don't know how difficult it is to remove the block drain on a 4.6 (it's not too bad on a 3.0), but that would be your best bet.

Remove the block drain to get as much of the old coolant out as possible. Fill the system with distilled water, bleed and run it with the heat controls on high (fan on low) until warmed up (heat coming from heater inside car).

Drain and repeat. Should be pretty clear by now. There still is some water trapped in the system, so look up the system capacity and add half that amount in pure antifreeze first. Then you can fill the system the rest of the way with distilled water.

If removing the block drain is not feasible, then you'll need to do several more drain/fill sequences before adding antifreeze. On the 3.0, draining the radiator doesn't even drain half the capacity of the system. If the 4.6 is similar, then you may have to do your last fill/drain sequence using antifreeze in order to get enough antifreeze back in the system.

FWIW, I'm in the camp of using BMW antifreeze in my BMW's. I find it's not much more expensive than generic antifreeze and I'm not a chemical or metallurgical expert. I also use Toyota antifreeze in our Toyotas. Anything is going to be better than the crap you have in there now!

AM.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:01 AM
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To flush a system I like to remove the lower radiator drain and run the vehicle while continuously feeding it distilled water as the it goes down in the expansion tank. Also give the engine an occasional rev and have the heat set to full with the blower on. Takes a long time to flush (about 30 minutes) but it should get most of the old gunk out. I'm sure there are better/quicker ways, but this has always done the trick for me and gotten even the most corroded and rusty system to pass clear water by the time I am done.

Like AM, I also only use BMW blue in my cars unless doing a flush or test of the cooling system's health.
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:24 AM
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That's a very thorough method. I think I'll try that


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  #9  
Old 03-16-2019, 11:58 AM
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Thank you AM and Crystalworks! That’s very good tip!

I drained out over 6 quarts of that light orange liquid and refilled with roughly the same quantity of Bmw antifreeze.

The thing is, I poured it straight without any dilution.

Is this a bad idea?
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maruzo View Post
Thank you AM and Crystalworks! Thatís very good tip!

I drained out over 6 quarts of that light orange liquid and refilled with roughly the same quantity of Bmw antifreeze.

The thing is, I poured it straight without any dilution.

Is this a bad idea?
I'm not sure if it's "bad," but it's expensive. Should be diluted 50/50. Also not sure how much of the old gunk you got out as the system's capacity is higher than that I believe.

You thought yours was bad? This will make you feel better. That flushing method helped rescue this 1987 325e that I bought out of a field. The m20 was filled with straight water at some point and then it sat for years. Block plugs were popped from winter freezes and then the system sat open for who knows how long. Engine had about 400,000 miles on it at the time I sold it. Still ran just fine but had a lot of piston slap and sounded like a diesel.



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Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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