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Old 10-02-2012, 12:17 AM   #1
jamesbice
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 41
My Ride: 2001 M3
Valve adjustment Melb

Keen to have a crack at adjusting my valves, with 129K an adjustment is overdue. Had two main questions:

1. Is the valve cover gasket knackered if you check the valve heights and then replace the valve cover without changing the gasket. IE I would check which need adjusting and then try to order the shims individually and install them at a later date.

2. Best place to get shims. Should I just purchase a full shim kit or is there anyone in Melbourne/workshops that are willing to sell the appropriate shims to me? I have searched and found someone who can sell the set for 365 US, and I figure I need to purchase a gasket and the shim removal tool anyway from the US. So would do it all in one go

Also keen to have a look at my VANOS and see if its alright

Cheers for any help
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:38 AM   #2
[SeN]
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne, VIC
Posts: 188
My Ride: 2002 M3 Imola Red
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesbice View Post
Keen to have a crack at adjusting my valves, with 129K an adjustment is overdue. Had two main questions:

1. Is the valve cover gasket knackered if you check the valve heights and then replace the valve cover without changing the gasket. IE I would check which need adjusting and then try to order the shims individually and install them at a later date.

2. Best place to get shims. Should I just purchase a full shim kit or is there anyone in Melbourne/workshops that are willing to sell the appropriate shims to me? I have searched and found someone who can sell the set for 365 US, and I figure I need to purchase a gasket and the shim removal tool anyway from the US. So would do it all in one go

Also keen to have a look at my VANOS and see if its alright

Cheers for any help
Hey man,
Unless you really know what you are doing, I'd advised against DIY valve adjustments only because if you mess up, it could be a catastrophe. But if you do then it can save you lots of coin.

But to answer your questions:
1. No it wouldn't be but its not an expensive part to replace. I would replace it along with other seals as well whilst you are getting your valves adjusted.

2. I don't think anyone will sell you a shim. Best buy a shim kit and use which ones you require to fit the tolerance/clearance levels and that way in your next valve adjustment, you already have what you need. Plus like you stated you need the shim removal tool anyway.

Cheers.
[SeN]
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:14 AM   #3
M3_Maniac
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth WA
Posts: 74
My Ride: MY 4.5 M3 SMG
I have to agree with SeN, unless you have the mechanical aptitude to do this don't attempt it. Apologies for the bluntness of my next comment BUT if you have to ask if you should replace you valve cover gasket after inspection you probably don't have the experience to do this DIY. If you f#ck this up the result will be very expensive. You can buy the kits you need from Pelican and have it all fedex'd within 36hrs.

In a former life (yes I am that old) I built race car engines and have done valve adjustments and VANOS rebuilds on all the E46's I've had and it's certainly not the easiest DIY you could tackle.

If you do attempt it please make sure you take your time and have plenty of patience with it and if you get stuck dont guess, give a shout out and there should be someone around on the forum who can help you out.
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:24 AM   #4
jamesbice
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 41
My Ride: 2001 M3
Really appreciate the considered opinions. It's not something i would do half arsed. Might be worth getting some quotes for a pro to do it, even though I would like to get some DIY experience with my car. An M3 probably isn't the best place to start!
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Old 10-02-2012, 06:38 AM   #5
M3_Maniac
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Perth WA
Posts: 74
My Ride: MY 4.5 M3 SMG
James, it's great you want to get into working on your own car BUT valve adjustment and VANOS rebuilds are not the place I would start. The S54 is a complicated unit to work on even for experienced spanner monkeys. There are plenty of knowledgable people around the forums who will only be too willing to help out with advice anytime.
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