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From digest.v7.n1366 Tue Mar 24 12:25:28 1998
From: "Alan Alfano"<>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 1998 08:54:55 -0400
Subject: <E30> Fixing 325iX Oil Filter Housing Leak (Long)

By: Mark E. Robertson and Alan Alfano

Owners of the E30 325i/C/S are able to accomplish this repair while the filter housing is on the car.
In car replacement with a 325iX is not possible. Even if in car replacement is possible, in many cases, it is easier to work at a bench than under a car with your hands in the air.

The factory bulletin states:
'Just' loosen the AC compressor and lay the compressor out of the way (lines remain connected to the compressor).

The 325iX has a modified front cross member and as a result, there is too much stuff in the way.
Do not attempt an in car replacement with a 325iX.

In car replacement in a 325iX was not successful. Mark received advice from: Concord Motorsport, Concord, NH.

This is the procedure that Mark and Al used:

  1. Buy the standard kit as per the service bulletin. (11 42 9 059 338) ( less than $5 )
  2. Also buy all the other o-rings. These o-rings include: 2 oil cooler hose, housing to block, housing mounting bolt.
  3. Consider doing this repair while the engine is cold, as you will be working around the exhaust manifold.
  4. Jack up the right front side of the car and use jack stands.
  5. Remove the under engine splash guard.
  6. Remove the oil filter. Keep a bucket handy, there will be an oil mess. Do not let the oil drip onto the RH engine mount. On an iX, it is possible for draining oil to become trapped in a cavity within the right motor brace. Spirited driving, such as high speed cornering, can displace this trapped oil giving the false impression of engine oil leakage.
  7. Remove the oil cooler lines and move them aside. More oil...
  8. Remove bolt between housing to engine block, and remove the filter housing.
  9. Remove the oil housing spring clip and cap. Careful its spring loaded! There is not much give when compressing it. Some people have successfully used a C clamp to do this. It was easier to use a vise and a socket over the cover. Remove clip with a scribe and a small screw driver. This step may require multiple setups in the vise to get the housing into the optimal position to access the small notch for removing the clip.
  10. Remove the housing from the vise. The assembly here can be difficult. Insert the new o-ring then lubricate it with oil. Insert cap into the housing. Hold cap, socket and new clip in place and place housing into the vise. This will also require multiple setups to get the housing into the optimal position. Compress the new clip using right angle needle nose pliers. Ensure that the clip is fully seated into the clip groove. You do not want this to come apart when the engine is under pressure !
  11. Replace the oil cooler and mounting bolt o-rings. The mounting bolt will come out with a little force. There is nothing holding it in but the o-ring.
  12. Place new housing to block o-ring onto housing with some grease to hold it in place. Tighten housing to the engine a little more than finger tight. Place the oil filter on. Make sure that the housing is at the correct angle for easy oil filter replacement. Tighten the housing to the engine block.
  13. Insert and tighten the left/back oil cooler line into the housing.
  14. Insert and tighten the right/front oil cooler line.
  15. Make sure that the oil filter is tight.
  16. Replace the under engine splash guard.
  17. Start engine and check for leaks.
  18. Stop engine, check and top off oil level
  19. Test drive and recheck for leaks. Recheck oil level.

The factory bulletin states that this repair will take 7 FRU. A FRU is flat rate unit. There are 10 FRUs to an hour. 7 FRUs = 0.7 hours

It took both Mark in New Hampshire, Al in Connecticut between 2-3 hours. This included cleaning up the previously leaked oil with a degreaser like, Simple Green or P21S Total Auto Wash (citrus biodegradable).


Mark E. Robertson
BMW CCA # 89520

Alan Alfano
BMW CCA #30492

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