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Old 12-23-2012, 01:27 AM   #422
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Southern California
Posts: 247
My Ride: 2003 325i Sedan
So sorry I havent been posting a whole lot lately. I have been busy with Christmas shopping and what not. My car just struck 91,500 miles and I found my valve cover gasket starting to leak a little. So I picked up a gasket kit after work the other day and changed my valve cover gasket. I know there are DIY's on how to do valve cover gaskets. Its pretty simple, I thought I would just point out a couple tips along the way.

First of all I wanted to share I got a new thrust plate. It was crammed behind a ton of other old parts in our storage at work. Cleaned it up

Gonna take mine to my buddy and have him reinforce the **** out of it.

Then Got to work on the valve cover gasket. Removed he microfilter housing.

After you pull off the engine covers, next step is to remove the coil packs. For the push-down style coils like mine, here is a little tip to getting the coils out with ease. They can be a fight you trying to remove some times. First unclip the coils from the harness. Simply take a mid size screw driver, stick it through coil. Set the handle on something sturdy and pull up on the other side to lever it out.

A thing a lot of poeple dont think about is called PREVENTATIVE MAINTAINANCE. I'm not just talking about gasket and filters. Things like vacuum lines, hoses, coolant flushes, ect. All these things matter believe it or not and can easily leave you on the side of the road just as easily as a blown water pump. An example is, I change my spark plugs every 60K because newer plugs make your ignition coils work less. There for they will last a lot longer. You could change your plugs twice for less than the cost of one ignition coil. Not to mention the better performance/gas mileage/engine cleanliness spark plugs bring.

Basically it is always a good idea to keep your eyes peeled for little things that are easy to fix. A little work now can save you big headaches in the future. Trust me I see poor cars come through everyday that get so neglected.

I found a vacuum line starting to come apart at my secondary air valve so I went ahead and replaced it. A little trick to remove small air lines without damaging the line is take a metal 90 degree angle pick, lube it up with some wd40 or dry silicone spray. Gently slide it into the airline and work it around (careful not to damage the inside of the hose) so you can slide it off without breaking it. The line was brittle as hell, and came apart anyway! Glad I changed it

I have a habit of doing this. Mark and identify what is what when you have similar connectors.

Be very careful when pulling the valve cover off. Take your time and slowly let it detatch from the head. The heat from the engine can practically glue the valve cover on. So gently pry it up from multiple spots on a side of the valve cover to release it.

Clean all the mating surfaces very thoroughly. Install the new gaskets in the valve cover. Put RTV on the half moons of the gasket and where the upper front timing cover, head and valve cover meat (front sides of head).

Are you curious if your valve cover gasket is leaking? Take a look at the bank 2 exhaust heatshield. You will start to see oil accumulate there and it will look like this.

Thats all for now guys!! More to come
Front:18x10 et12 Rear: 18x10 et20
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Last edited by LoveBeingUseless; 12-30-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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