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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!

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Old 06-28-2012, 07:25 PM   #41
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IDK if it was replaced before, car is fairly new to me.
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:34 PM   #42
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Glad I stumbled across this thread, was going to do the VCG this weekend.

Think this cover might be warped Gent's :Attachment 458452

This is turning into a $300.00 oil leak
You've got a $40K car that's like ten years old. It requires maintenance. Or get a newer car.
Cover might indeed not be warped. Check the inside to see the reinforcing web. It's pretty substantial.
You won't know what you're dealing with till you pull it off to see if the gasket might be pinched.

Don't be too intimidated by all the problems here. Most VCG jobs go OK and don't leak.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:01 PM   #43
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You've got a $40K car that's like ten years old. It requires maintenance. Or get a newer car.
Cover might indeed not be warped. Check the inside to see the reinforcing web. It's pretty substantial.
You won't know what you're dealing with till you pull it off to see if the gasket might be pinched.

Don't be too intimidated by all the problems here. Most VCG jobs go OK and don't leak.
It was $40k in the States, in Europe, it's a Camry/Taurus.

Not my 1st rodeo with the Marque, & not intimidated by any means. Don't care what the web looks like, I can move the cover with my thumb, bolts are tight. simply poor design.

While they might be "The Ultimate Driving Machine" they're far from perfect.

That won't stop me from buying more
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:12 PM   #44
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I had a feeling back in the early 90's when BMW announced all the plastic that would be bolted to the engine, that in the long term it would be a problem.


But the car is LOOOOOOOOOOOONG out of warranty, so my "poor design" statement probably needs to be retracted, it did it's job for the expected lifespan.

Just old enough to not think of a valve cover as a maint item.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #45
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Boots,

You gott'a upload that thumbnail so my old eyes can read it!
Here you go.....
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:00 PM   #46
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Just old enough to not think of a valve cover as a maint item.
All the rules have changed my friend. The rest is just memories now.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #47
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If all this doesn't work, check your CCV. Pressure regulator valve might be crudded up.
I already replace that 18 months ago, so I hope that's out of the question.
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:19 PM   #48
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Here you go.....
NICE!
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:51 PM   #49
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K , it took a while, but I have the pictures of my valve cover. Either I didn't notice any warping , or my attention to detail is a testimony of my gender.! Please take a look at these pics and let me know what do you think. Is it warped ?


Here is the link to the pics

http://www.flickr.com/photos/2518550...7630398377060/
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #50
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Next to impossible to tell. All camera lenses more or less have some degree of distortion inherently built into them. From what I can see though it does look somewhat warped. The warping mine had is barely enough to see if you stare at it. If you keep having problems with leaks its the actual valve cover for sure. Here we are a month later and mine is dry as a bone still. Definitely happy to have fixed that. i'll see if i can post a picture of mine...
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:10 AM   #51
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OP: I noticed that in your original attempt to replace the VCG, you mentioned that you didn't replace the 15 rubber seals. You mentioned that in your latest attempt, you were going to replace them. Have you done it yet, and is your VCG still leaking? Just wondering as failure to replace those seals can sometimes lead to leakage problems.

Last edited by josephi; 07-03-2012 at 03:12 AM.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:04 AM   #52
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Next to impossible to tell. All camera lenses more or less have some degree of distortion inherently built into them. From what I can see though it does look somewhat warped. The warping mine had is barely enough to see if you stare at it. If you keep having problems with leaks its the actual valve cover for sure. Here we are a month later and mine is dry as a bone still. Definitely happy to have fixed that. i'll see if i can post a picture of mine...
Please do post some of your pics. I'm a little confused about my valve cover the warping (if any) is not nearly as visible as bshinn's.

Any recommendations as to where to get the cover from ? I looked a bunch of placed and they're all roughly $200
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #53
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OP: I noticed that in your original attempt to replace the VCG, you mentioned that you didn't replace the 15 rubber seals. You mentioned that in your latest attempt, you were going to replace them. Have you done it yet, and is your VCG still leaking? Just wondering as failure to replace those seals can sometimes lead to leakage problems.
I haven't done it again yet. I'm not sure if its the seals since the leak didn't come from there. would not replacing the seals cause a leak from the gasket? Speaking of the seals: How come the seals I ordered have a shorter neck than those installed on my car ? I used RealOem.com and made sure to use the same part number! Any ideas ?
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:09 AM   #54
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OP, all you have to do is take a ruler or flat piece of glass and run it along the flat portion of the valve cover (emphasis at the front as this is where the warping typically happens) your front corner where it meets the vanos will be wavy and lifted up. If you see any gaps or light poking through, you'll know its warped. I'll try to upload my pic by lunch.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:46 PM   #55
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I haven't done it again yet. I'm not sure if its the seals since the leak didn't come from there. would not replacing the seals cause a leak from the gasket? Speaking of the seals: How come the seals I ordered have a shorter neck than those installed on my car ? I used RealOem.com and made sure to use the same part number! Any ideas ?
I don't think that oil would normally leak from the seals themselves. The seals, and metal washers, sit between the upper flange of the cap nut and the valve cover. Since the cap nuts fit through the valve cover and bottom out, there is a space between the flange on the cap nut and the valve cover. The metal washer and the rubber seal fill that space at the proper thickness so that when you tighten the cap nut down, the rubber seal compresses and provides a certain amount of pressure down on the valve cover and gasket to keep it tightly sealed. Over time, the rubber seal may harden and stay compressed, so that it no longer creates enough pressure for the gasket to seal properly. This may be why it is usually recommended that the 15 rubber seals be replaced along with the VCG, especially if yours are the originals. This is my understanding of it, based on what I've read and what I've seen while replacing my own.

Now, I can't say that this is the problem in your case, and it may very well be that your valve cover is warped, or some other problem exists. but I think it is good practice to replace those seals anyway.

As far as the neck, I think it just fits down into the hole in the valve cover, perhaps just to keep it in place? I'm not sure, but I don't think a shorter neck would make any difference. Perhaps someone else has more insight as to the above and can add to it.

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Old 07-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #56
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Any recommendations as to where to get the cover from ? I looked a bunch of placed and they're all roughly $200
Just bookmark www.furiousmethod.com and use it with your part number to explore the offerings.
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:30 AM   #57
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Well, my job just got a more difficult. I stripped the threading in the engine where the stud bolt (part 11121718856, or item #10 in this graph http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...13&hg=11&fg=15). So now I will need a time sert!

Why the heck is this happening ? I didn't over-tighten the bolt! why the heck would these threads strip ? This is the second time this happened to me! . I always use the freaking torque wrench!
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:10 AM   #58
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Sorry to hear you'll be time-serting!

Hope that fix goes well.

My advice would be not to use a torque wrench on small nuts this size. I've had bad results with them myself. I don't see the point.
I'd rather see you use a 1/4" drive ratchet where you'd have a great feel for what is going on, and stop twisting when the nut bottoms out against the new washer you'll be using. Did that myself when I did the VCG and no problems, no leaks.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #59
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I just replaced mine about 2 months ago and it is still leaking. After about 3 weeks of driving my yellow oil light will come on and I have to pour a quart in. It is really annoying I must say and I do not know what else to do.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:37 AM   #60
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This is why I say do not bottom out. Besides the bottom bolt that screws into the head is supposed to just remain there tight. you're not supposed to mess with that...unless you guys are bottoming the nuts out which in turn bottoms out the bolt. I told you guys not to bottom these out!
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