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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 11-30-2012, 07:56 PM   #161
Stinger9
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Originally Posted by alhayek View Post

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!
Real pain!
But I'd fly against the wind on this one and recommend never to use a torque wrench here. I go in with a 1/4" drive and lightly turn these nuts down until you can just feel the bolt bottom out and stop. I leave it at that! No more 1/8 turn or torquing or whatever. Tight enough to hold against that big flat rubber washer and the tension of the rubber is not going to let them vibrate out. Go gently on this one. No more required.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:30 PM   #162
regalzr7
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Developed very bad leak about 8 mos after vcg. Valve cover has a small crack.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:24 AM   #163
pocojo68
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I recently did my VCG.I did the same as Stinger9 no torque wrench, 1/4 dr. new washers no leaks so far 5000mi.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:35 AM   #164
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while not the valve cover gaskets themselves, this is a testament to VR's shoddy quality. Sad that its made in the usa. give us a bad name. how they claim to be an oe spec provider is beyond me

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Originally Posted by peerless View Post
Hello guys and gals,

I wanted to share some information I think you turbo folks might be interested in. Basically I have had 2 come backs/failures on Victor Reinz head gaskets and I wanted to share a few thoughts and a picture. Neither one of these vehicles are boosted, 100% stock, but I still want to pass on what I found since you guys are pushing the limits of design with some of your turbo setups.

First failure was on a 93 E30 Cabrio. The block surface was pristine as the cooling system had been well taken care of. The head was surface and a new Reinz gasket was installed. The original failure was oil pouring down the side of the block from the main oil feed to the head.

Failure. After only 9 months its started pouring oil again, but not only from the main oil feed, but from every oil return passage. Installed a BMW factory gasket, no leaks so far after several hundred miles. And the owner is very anal and wipes his engine down with white rags!

Second failure was on a 89 325is. The cooling system had been neglected in its lifetime and suffered some nasty corrosion of the deck surface. I warned the customer that a head gasket may not seal. The original failure was coolant soaked into the composite gasket weakening it all the way to the fire ring, combustion pressure was pushing the coolant out the side of the block on the exhaust side.

Failure, after only 200 miles, the gasket failed to hold, but much worse thent he original failure, there was now water and oil mixing. The cylinder head was both pressure checked and surfaced. A new gasket was installed and more feedback will follow by the end of the week.

In both cases a OEM BMW Factory head gasket was used. The difference in quality is amazing. It also comes at a premuim price, that I will gladly pay in the future. The gasket alone is $96 list, a complete head set is $240. Regardless the head gasket is worth the price of admission.

As you guys know I have built a few engines now with success. I have used most manufactures known, Victor Rienz, Elring, Goetze, BMW. Now there seems to be some confusion out there that the dealer sells aftermarket head gaskets, well those who state such things are full of it.

Goetze I beleive is the OEM for BMW head gaskets. But even there aftermarket offering is much less then the BMW gasket, yet still superior to the other offerings. The BMW gasket is the bees knees, the cats meow, the cream of the crop, simply the best quality you can purchase.

Below is a picture of 3 head gaskets,

The top one is a Elring brand. I had purchased this gasket to use, but due to very poor packaging and zero protection of the gasket itself, the metal edging of the exhuast manifold gaskets rubbed through the silicone imprinting on the head gasket. This gasket was never used. In addition to a trans seal I got that said 'Made In China', I will never be using the Elring brand in any work that I do. Also Elring changed their labeling to say 'Made of Foreign Goods'. FAIL

Next one up is the Odelay Victor of the Reinz. As you can see this gasket is used. It is from head gasket failure #2 above and has roughly 200 miles on it. The first thing you will notice is that the silicone imprinting is all but completely gone. At was only a wisp of a imprint to begin with. In addition, in my research it appears that Ford faced a class action lawsuit based on head gasket failures. What to guess who the gasket manufacture was? Good Victor and his buddy Reinz. I will no longer be using Victor Reinz gaskets. FAIL.

The last gasket down is pretty self explanatory. This is a genuine BMW head gasket. Part # 11-12-1-722-734. First off notice that there is not only a double bead of silicone, but a much thicker bead of silicone, as well as the holes for the head bolt and oil feed are seperate. Also notice quite clearly around the oil feed hole how wide the silicone is. And what you can not see in the pciture is how much thicker/taller the bead is. On the other gaskets, the bead might rise .005", on the BMW gasket you can FEEL the difference and I was guess its about .015-.0020" thick. And as a added bonus, if you have a sharp eye you will notice that the gasket appears to be 'yellow'. Yes well that would be a factory coating similar to the copper coat you spray down the cheap gaskets with. Yes sir, already pre-coated from the factory. WIN

Also if using stock head bolts, I recommend the factory bolts, part# 11-12-1-726-478, $43.02 list

I hope this little presentation has been informative and educational.

C/Ya


Last edited by kaboo0m; 12-01-2012 at 01:37 AM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:42 AM   #165
SteadyMobbin
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Hmm, I used no sealant at all...lol. Just replaced and tightened. No leaks that I know of...knock on wood
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:40 AM   #166
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Lay your VC on a flat surface (kitchen formica worktops are pretty flat) see if it rocks at all. If it does its warped. If the warp is significant replace it. If its just a sliver then you might get away with tightening down on that spot first on refit ie: accommodate it when tightening. But you really need to replace the gasket after every removal regardless of how old it is.

Last edited by RayPooley; 12-01-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #167
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Lay your VC on a flat surface (kitchen formica worktops are pretty flat)
My kitchen counter is warped!
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:00 AM   #168
RayPooley
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My kitchen counter is warped!
http://www.diy-kitchens.com/laminate-worktops/

It will make a chnage from fixing your car and your other half will love you for it.

(You know? Searched Google for DIY kitchen suppliers in NY. Can't find any. No wonder your worktops are sguiffy.)

Last edited by RayPooley; 12-01-2012 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:06 PM   #169
alhayek
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well , i just replaced the actual valve cover with a genuine cover, and genuine gasket. i used a sealant, and tightened the cover using the start pattern at 8 ft lb. it leaked. im freaking pissed , this is the 10th+ time i did this! is my engine head warped ?! im getting really frustrated!
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:40 PM   #170
Stinger9
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Leak from the same place each time?
What gasket do you use?
Check VC for cracks or misalignment previously?
Use new rubbers washers each time?

Last edited by Stinger9; 01-01-2013 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:34 AM   #171
alhayek
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Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
Leak from the same place each time?
What gasket do you use?
Check VC for cracks or misalignment previously?
Use new rubbers washers each time?
I used a Genuine BMW gasket this time. I replaced the VC completely (even though the old one seems fine to me) and I did use new washers (not everytime, but the last couple of times).

Now, I might have over reacted and maybe the smell of burnt oil was a residue from the prior leak. I haven't smelled anything yet. If all goes well then I will include my full recommendations about doing this job since I became an expert in VCG replacement (15 times! I can claim that I am an expert now!)
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:18 AM   #172
Stinger9
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Of course you know only real check is not smell, but running your fingers around a cold head to see if you're getting any oil residue.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:36 AM   #173
WDE46
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Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
My kitchen counter is warped!
Just get one of these:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#surface-plates/=kvi4ii

hahaha. these are freakishly flat. You know you made a flat object when it vacuum sticks itself to this surface.
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