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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:18 PM   #281
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Originally Posted by genuity View Post
What kind of oil have you been using? It looks great. My engine block internals looked a bit dark brown and red but still no sludge.

I use M1 0w40 now. Don't know what the PO for the last 30k used.
That might actually be a good color, Genuity.

I forget who I read this from, but probably in 'my' oil thread (M1 5w/30) where I learned that synthetic forms a film that acts to coat and protect engine...but only forms this film after many thousands of miles. If you change too early, don't think you'll get this benefit.

I'm considering upping my oil change interval to 30K miles, as I've read here is the way to go...from a highly unreliable source... (don't you dare do that unless you're a moron...of the total fn kind! ).

I've got m1 0/40 now...but am going to be looking for another soon...I know there's a 5/40 that's approved...maybe Elf...maybe Agip...but will figure it out when the time comes. I'm sure I'll take a slight hit on mileage, but I'm also hoping for a bump in mileage too (translation: worse mpg but for more overall miles)!

@2003 325i...thanks for the props, but I was just passing on what I learned from someone else...too many here for me to thank or remember who taught me what...except, I'll always remember Nathan Carter for teaching me what torque is...and wish I'd see his posts more...haven't heard from him in a while! Nathan...where you at?)

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Old 10-20-2010, 07:48 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
@2003 325i...thanks for the props, but I was just passing on what I learned from someone else...too many here for me to thank or remember who taught me what...except, I'll always remember Nathan Carter for teaching me what torque is...and wish I'd see his posts more...haven't heard from him in a while! Nathan...where you at?)
Nathan Carter's home is at bimmerforums.

About the oil change, I have done over 14k with over 1 year with Amsoil 0w30 (plus one of their Ea filters) on a Toyota 2RZ-FE 2.4L v4, and checked for sludge but saw 0. I guess it helps to high rev it all the time, but I did have it analyzed by BSL and they said it looks fine and they are not surprised by the time on the oil.

Granted, I hear the oil filters for the bimmers tends to disintegrate after 7k and with how finicky these engines and DMEs are, I'll just change it about every 7k.

I changed my oil recently with just 6k on it and found some super fine granite like granular stuff on my magnetic oil pan bolt. BLS thinks I should do the next change after 8k. I forgot to mention this to them that I had a magnetic oil pan bolt and that I found some stuff on it. Before, I was running with a regular bolt, albeit not for that long before the 7 month maintenance overhaul.

Anyone else running with a magnetic oil pan bolt and finding granular crap on it at every change? If this is what I see on the magnetic oil pan bolt, I wonder how much of it is stuck inside the oil filter? Engine purrs like a kitten and acts fine, even though it's rounding 10 years.

Last edited by genuity; 10-20-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:59 PM   #283
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What kind of oil have you been using? It looks great. My engine block internals looked a bit dark brown and red but still no sludge.

I use M1 0w40 now. Don't know what the PO for the last 30k used.
Mobil 1 5w20 in the beginning and switched to 5w30 after the mileage starting to add up. Always changed at 5000 mile intervals.

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Old 11-10-2010, 09:37 AM   #284
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Whoa nice! That's what I wanna find when I do mine. 83,000 miles on her.... Still get excited walking up to my car in the parking lot. Gonna do this one VERY soon....

Awesome inital write-up, and I'm enjoying this thread.
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Old 11-14-2010, 12:13 PM   #285
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Did mine today. She's an '04 ZHP with 167,000 miles. Pretty clean I thought.

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Old 11-20-2010, 06:32 AM   #286
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Excellent DIY... this is EXACTLY what I was looking for! Thanks man!
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Old 12-28-2010, 08:53 AM   #287
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The kit on Bavauto.com doesn't come with the bolt seals so you have to add on $15 for a total of $44.95. Does the kit for $31.74 on trademotion.com come with these? I know someone posted a pic of what they received from I believe trademotion and it had a whole bunch of new seals, fasteners and so on but don't know if they bought all of those items seperately.

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Old 12-29-2010, 09:10 PM   #288
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This might help

I used a heat gun to soften the old gasket to make removal easier. Very few broken chips.
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Old 01-29-2011, 04:26 PM   #289
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So pleased to see this DIY and thread -- thanks to all who contributed wisdom. I've had a burning oil smell for a couple weeks and discovered today that it's likely the VCG as oil has run down all over what I think is the A/C pump, etc. and ultimately onto the floor under the car. I'll be ordering parts soon to do the VCG at a minimum.

The car is an '01 with 65K on it so not entirely sure about doing the Vanos -- I wish the weather was a bit nicer so I'd be more inclined so spend extra time with the car taken apart -- just did my coolant bottle in an unheated garage (around 50 degrees with the door down and the outside temp in the 20s) and the misery index was definitely elevated.

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Old 01-29-2011, 05:25 PM   #290
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Did mine today thanks to this diy. Went very smoothly. Engine looked very clean but I was amazed at the old gasket, it was insane how brittle rubber can turn into, it was like plastic all the way around... Took a little over 2 hours but it was not very difficult besides all the damn bolts to remove. Thanks again
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Old 01-29-2011, 05:32 PM   #291
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Did mine today. She's an '04 ZHP with 167,000 miles. Pretty clean I thought.
Looks great for 167K !!
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Old 02-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #292
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Thank you for posting this!

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:15 PM   #293
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Did this today...I can say that running your car first for about 10-15 minutes is a very good idea. I went to the local BMW shop and bought the parts, then came back home. By the time I had assembled all of my tools and disassembled the engine parts, the valve cover was cool to the touch. The gasket just slid out, 100% solid. Took 15 seconds. 15 minutes later, after cooled, the gasket was plastic and almost crumbled in my hands.

MY suggestion is run your car first for a bit!!
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:52 AM   #294
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Okay, hold on a minute. Isn't that what oil looks like when you have a blown head gasket? Preliminary research tells me it is. Also, I see no reason for water vapor (let alone that much of it) to be inside your valve train in the first place, so even if it's cold and you drive it short distances you shouldn't have that kind of condensation build up...remember, water vapor has to be there in the first place.

Definitely check your head gasket, dude. After 140k my valve cover looked a little sludgey, but it was all very dark. I should also point out that there is no point spending lots of time cleaning that stuff off...it's just going to get covered again anyway, and it's not doing any harm as long as it's chilling there on the plastic. I like to clean just about everything, but with a little old crud like that on a part like a valve cover, it's more risk than it's worth to clean a little bit, and more trouble than it's worth to clean it all the way.

I'd be willing to bet on it though: I think you need a new head gasket.
The Winter, 2011 issue of Bavarian Autosport's "Fast Times" newsletter arrived yesterday, and it has a lengthy FAQ discussing replacing crankcase ventilation system parts. In several pictures, there is tan oil sludge running out of the various hoses attached to the engine once they're disconnected. It's just like what people are finding here. The Bavarian Auto article doesn't mention anything about the tan sludge being a source of concern; they just mention the importance of getting it all cleaned out of the hoses and valves. And, like some people have suggested here, they just attribute it to condensation. I suspect Bavarian Auto would let people know if that kind of sludge was cause for concern about leaking head gaskets, etc., (translation: I'm sure they'd like to sell people head gasket repair kits) but they're very matter-of-fact about the whole business. www.bavauto.com
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Old 02-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by jbost002 View Post
Did this today...I can say that running your car first for about 10-15 minutes is a very good idea. I went to the local BMW shop and bought the parts, then came back home. By the time I had assembled all of my tools and disassembled the engine parts, the valve cover was cool to the touch. The gasket just slid out, 100% solid. Took 15 seconds. 15 minutes later, after cooled, the gasket was plastic and almost crumbled in my hands.

MY suggestion is run your car first for a bit!!
There's often no substitute for working on a warm engine vs. a cold one. Oil changes are an obvious example, but changing O2 sensors, removing gaskets, etc. are other repairs where it can be much easier to loosen and remove warm parts rather than cold ones.
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Old 06-02-2011, 01:52 PM   #296
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I highly recommend you have at least one spare Cylinder Head Stud Bolt on hand (p/n 11 12 1 718 856 on my car, might be different for later models).

These snap at pretty low torque (6ft lbs?) when they're old, and even if you only break one you're pretty much up the creek. Just guess how I found this out.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #297
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I highly recommend you have at least one spare Cylinder Head Stud Bolt on hand (p/n 11 12 1 718 856 on my car, might be different for later models).

These snap at pretty low torque (6ft lbs?) when they're old, and even if you only break one you're pretty much up the creek. Just guess how I found this out.
same thing happened to me because of the STUPID BENTLEY manual gave conflicting torque spec. In one section it said "18ft/lbs" (this section was what I happened to read) and in other section it said 8ft/lbs.

thank god my local dealer had the studs ($0.32) so I ordered some.

here are my pix:


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Old 06-10-2011, 05:26 AM   #298
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Hi guys,

This is such a great DIY.


How long did this take most people to do this?





Thanks
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #299
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Took two total noobs being extra careful about 8 hours, including lunch, two trips to the hardware store, a trip to the dealership, and fishing out the negative terminal retaining bolt out from under the battery..
We could probably do it again in two hours or less.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:06 PM   #300
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Hi guys,

This is such a great DIY.

How long did this take most people to do this?

Thanks
A day if you are going at a relaxing pace. If you know what you are doing and have a nice tooling setup, less than 20 minutes could probably be done.
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