E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Yet another "Replaced Valve Cover gasket and still Leaks"
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Old 06-28-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Serbia
Posts: 818
My Ride: 330Ci
My case:

Attempt no.1: no-name (or unknown brand) VCG (probably some Turkish or Chinese sh!t) + 15 rubber seals. I did it myself as per TIS, except I waited more than 10 mins. for red RTV to dry. (on the box it says 5-10 mins., it must have been at least 30 after I put the VC on). Result: leak (visible)

Attempt no.2 (day-2): Same as above except I cleaned VCG thoroughly, I cleaned VC, it was 100% dry and oil-free, again as per TIS, I was as quick as possible after appplying red RTV (again I couldn't do it in less than 10 mins. because there are 10 damn spots you have to apply it, and you have to be careful not to put too much and not to put too little and to put it in the correct area. Result: leak (visible and at the same spots...basicly the whole perimeter of the passenger side of the engine was wet to touch), except now the leak was smaller and slower.

Attempt no.3: went to a great mechanic's shop, I have trust in this guy (when I'm around), he is not BMW specific, he is not cheap either, but he has a lot of experience. By now I have already decided to throw away cheap VCG and bought OEM one. He put RTV along the whole perimeter of the engine cover (similar to what you did in your attempt no.5), except now he used black rtv, he said something about my red one (I brought it with me at the time) that red one is not capable to bond with rubber elements, and that for that particular application, the black one was actually the correct one because it makes good bond with rubber. I said "OK" (I know this is not what TIS recomends and I know TIS also doesn't recomend to put rtv along the whole contact surface, but at that point I was too desparate, so I didn't give a f***, I just wanted non-leaking VCG). Result: non-leaking VCG, but I still smell that oil burning smell to this day. I don't have any visible leaks, except my hand is not perfectly clean when I touch the rear part of the VC (the one that's hard to reach). All the other areas are bone dry. I have to mention that this back area is also not "leaky", just dirty to touch, so it might be leaking there, or it might be just the residue.

I am not sure where the smell is coming from. OFH is bone dry and CCV was completly replaced 20K miles ago. I have to notice that after ANY of those 3 attempts I didn't (and I don't) have oil burning smell inside the cabin with ventilation on, I can only smell it when I go outside near the hood, opened or closed. Unlike with the old, original VCG that I replaced, in which case I could smell burning oil inside too (common VCG failure).

Last edited by daki_bmw; 06-28-2012 at 12:15 PM.
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