E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 06-28-2012, 01:42 AM   #1
alhayek
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 111
My Ride: 2002 325Ci
Yet another "Replaced Valve Cover gasket and still Leaks"

So I replaced my VCG 8 months ago, and ever since then I just keep revisiting it trying to resolve the minor oil leak it had. So far I've revisited it 10+ times ! I'm getting really sick of this! This is what I did

Attempt 1: Installed the VCG without using an RTV sealant (Used OEM Reinz Gasket). I Oiled the gasket a bit and tightened the bolts to 10 nm.

Attempt 2: Re-installed, tried to replace rubber seals, but I noticed the ones I got are slightly different then those that were originally on the VCG (the neck of the seals I purchased is shorter than those on the car). I Broke a stud in the process, and decided not to replace rubber seals.

Attempt 3 : Reinstalled, replaced the broken stud and the bolt.

Attempt 4: Reinstalled applying a bit of RTV silicone sealant (Black) on the half moons

Attempt 5: (Getting pretty desperate here) Reinstalled and applied sealant to the entire contact surface of the gasket!

Attempt 6: Removed the old Sealant from the engine and the gasket (scraped it off) , used Red RTV sealant instead on half moons.

[FYI: there were various re-installation attempts between the above attempts]

Now, my next attempt will be this weekend. I figured I probably messed up something when I tried to removed the old RTV sealant from the gasket, so I got a new gasket! I'm replacing all rubber seals. I also always felt that some bolts didn't tighten as much as others, specifically the ones on the left side of the gasket, so I'm guessing oil must have leaked somehow to the studs and the lubrication was screwing with my torque wrench's measurement, so I will degrease the studs and the bolts this time! I will thoroughly clean the surface of the gasket and the engine!

Now, before I do this, and I am getting really really really tired already, are there any recommendations to solve this oil leak that has been driving me nuts and making my car smell like burned oil !
__________________
alhayek is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 06-28-2012, 01:55 AM   #2
postal
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 51
My Ride: E46
I'll be doing mine on the weekend - you're making me a little nervous.

Really dumb question, but have you thoroughly degreased the entire engine? If you're going off smell, how do you know there isn't a leak elsewhere? I ask because a) maybe you had a brain fart and the leak is elsewhere, or b) if you didn't have a brain fart, what did you use to diagnose where the leak was occurring if it isn't visible (as I may need to use your trick)?

Last edited by postal; 06-28-2012 at 01:57 AM.
postal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
Bimmer4Lyfe
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 129 West 81st St. 5A, New York, New York 10024
Posts: 2,442
My Ride: 02 325i
How soon are you starting / running / driving the car after installing the VCG ?

You are supposed to wait several hours if not 24 hrs before running the car when replacing VCG...
__________________

-j

Last edited by Bimmer4Lyfe; 06-28-2012 at 02:05 AM.
Bimmer4Lyfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:07 AM   #4
alhayek
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 111
My Ride: 2002 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by postal View Post
I'll be doing mine on the weekend - you're making me a little nervous.

Really dumb question, but have you thoroughly degreased the entire engine? If you're going off smell, how do you know there isn't a leak elsewhere? I ask because a) maybe you had a brain fart and the leak is elsewhere, or b) if you didn't have a brain fart, what did you use to diagnose where the leak was occurring if it isn't visible (as I may need to use your trick)?
I actually did degrease the engine the last time , not all of it though. I know its the VCG for three reasons A. I see traces of oil on the hose right below the VANOS, and B. after I re-install the VCG everytime I go ahead and clean the aluminum bay to the left, and when I check it later on (after I smell the burn) I can see remainders of burned oil. C. Sometimes I would open the hood and I will see smoke coming from the top left corner of the engine (right under the VC) so I'm confident its the VCG.
__________________
alhayek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:08 AM   #5
alhayek
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Utah
Posts: 111
My Ride: 2002 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer4Lyfe View Post
How soon are you starting / running / driving the car after installing the VCG ?

You are supposed to wait several hours if not 24 hrs before running the car when replacing VCG...
Soon actually, I'll go ahead and follow your advice this Friday and have this baby sit for 24 hours.
__________________
alhayek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:12 AM   #6
Bimmer4Lyfe
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 129 West 81st St. 5A, New York, New York 10024
Posts: 2,442
My Ride: 02 325i
After that 24 hrs, you may get a little leakage initally but the VCG should cure ( melt / fuse) after driving for a while... Take it for say, a 1 or 2+ hour freeway drive to get & maintain the engine temp up to cure the gasket.
__________________

-j

Last edited by Bimmer4Lyfe; 06-28-2012 at 02:16 AM.
Bimmer4Lyfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
bighitbiker3
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle WA, or San Diego CA
Posts: 138
My Ride: Nothing as of yet.
I had to do it twice because I didn't tighten down the bolts correctly. Remember, you have to tighten them down in a cross pattern. First time I didn't do this and I still had a leaks, second time I did the cross pattern and it's been fine.
__________________
Black on Black 330CI - FK Coilovers - My Go-Kart
bighitbiker3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
daki_bmw
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Serbia
Posts: 817
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.
daki_bmw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 02:55 AM   #9
Bimmer4Lyfe
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: 129 West 81st St. 5A, New York, New York 10024
Posts: 2,442
My Ride: 02 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighitbiker3 View Post
I had to do it twice because I didn't tighten down the bolts correctly. Remember, you have to tighten them down in a cross pattern. First time I didn't do this and I still had a leaks, second time I did the cross pattern and it's been fine.
This is also correct.
__________________

-j
Bimmer4Lyfe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:55 AM   #10
ptrcd003
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 356
My Ride: .
Used orange RTV only on the half-moons, works fine, no leaks or anything. Make sure you tighten it down all the way.
ptrcd003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 08:59 AM   #11
jasonbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5,686
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330xi
also if your Vanos gasket is old, you might want to tighten Vanos bolts to spec too if its leaking under Vanos.
__________________
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2008 YAMAHA YZF-R6
jasonbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #12
Mango
Over 15,000 visitors
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,535
My Ride: M54B30
This happened to me as well. 6 times in one month per TIS, 4 new valve cover gaskets. 3 different sealants.

guess what the fix was? new valve cover. old one was visibly warped. I'm going to do a post on this soon with pictures.. haven't had time
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 09:33 AM   #13
Mango
Over 15,000 visitors
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,535
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Used orange RTV only on the half-moons, works fine, no leaks or anything. Make sure you tighten it down all the way.
no.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:23 AM   #14
ptrcd003
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 356
My Ride: .
Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
no.
Sorry, was "tighten it down all the way" incorrect? Should I go loosen my bolts?
ptrcd003 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #15
jasonbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5,686
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Sorry, was "tighten it down all the way" incorrect? Should I go loosen my bolts?
no
__________________
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2008 YAMAHA YZF-R6
jasonbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:27 AM   #16
Mango
Over 15,000 visitors
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,535
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ptrcd003 View Post
Sorry, was "tighten it down all the way" incorrect? Should I go loosen my bolts?
Yes and yes.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:37 AM   #17
Stinger9
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New York
Posts: 7,758
My Ride: '04 330Ci
This isn't rocket science.
Make sure our VC is sound without chips or cracks. Clean well and degrease with brake cleaner.
Wipe down the head surface with cleaner.
Use a name brand first line new gasket each time, and install it dry.
No need for a torque wrench. Use a 1/4" drive so as not to use too much muscle, and use a torque pattern similar to doing a head gasket.
Use the Beisan instructions for fine points. Use thin coats of RTV where directed.
Let the engine set for at least two hours before starting.

Last edited by Stinger9; 11-30-2012 at 05:03 PM.
Stinger9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:37 AM   #18
jasonbimmer
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 5,686
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by E46Mango View Post
Yes and yes.
no, you are an idiot.
if you follow the spec torque, you will know the bolts will be bottoming out and then maybe 1/8 of a turn in order to get to the spec torque.
__________________
2009 Mazda RX-8 R3
2013 Toyota FJ Cruiser
2008 YAMAHA YZF-R6
jasonbimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:38 AM   #19
Mango
Over 15,000 visitors
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,535
My Ride: M54B30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
This isn't rocket science.
Make sure our VC is sound without chips or cracks. Clean well and degrease with brake cleaner.
Wipe down the head surface with cleaner.
Use a name brand first line new gasket each time, and install it dry.
No need for a torque wrench. Use a 1/4" drive so as not to use too much muscle, and use a torque pattern similar to doing a head gasket.
Use the Beisan instructions for fine points. Use thin coats of RTV where directed.
Let the engine set for at least an hour before starting.
He did all that per TIS. Like I said, he needs a new valve cover. It's warped. Read my response again... I'm doing a thread on this soon.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #20
Mango
Over 15,000 visitors
 
Mango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,535
My Ride: M54B30
Also people remember that when you do this, you only need a TINY amount of sealant (permatex ultrablack). Just a slither. don't go all crazy on it.
__________________
A lifetime free of problems if you follow my guides
Cooling | Maintenance | Suspension | Vacuum | Supreme Reliability | Details

OVER A MILLION VIEWS
Mango is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use