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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 01-09-2013, 08:01 AM   #181
hk_bimmer
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Mine smoked after I replaced it like months after n it was because a loose screw on the far firewall corner. I just torqued n solved the problem
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:38 PM   #182
denimdragon
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Awesome DIY guide. I was going to tackle this today but I think I will wait until next weekend and do Vanos, VCG, and new plugs. Any suggestions on the sparkers?
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:48 PM   #183
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Glad you are all utilizing this DIY!

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Old 03-30-2013, 07:54 PM   #184
ljsimms
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Fantastic DIY! A few other little things that might be helpful to some:

The symptoms on my 2001 330xi with 143,400 miles had started a year or so ago (at about 130,000 miles):
- Noticed burning oil smell when I got out of the car after normal running, sometimes a puff of smoke would come out when I opened the hood when the car was hot.
- Only place I noticed evidence of oil was on the passenger side just outboard of the black BMW valve cover on the 1-2" metal edge that protrudes from lower valve area (just above the back O2 sensor) as described above.
- Occasionally I would smell the smoke/ burning oil through the internal vent (recirc turned off) when stopped at a traffic light.
- Noticed most smoke/ smell if I started the car when cold and only ran for a minute or two (i.e. to back out of the garage), the next time then that I drove it (i.e. next day) it would smoke/ smell a lot as it heated up.
- I live up a steep road, smoke/ smell seemed to be worse when arriving home after going uphill. Did not smoke/ smell when arriving at work (level terrain)
- First noticed 1/2 quart low every couple months, got more frequent. Realized I had to do something after losing 1.5 quarts in 2 months.
- Never saw any evidence of leaking oil on garage floor or in skid pan, oil always seems to have been cooked on intake manifold/ exhaust pipes

When replacing VCG, it's also a good time to replace spark plugs.
- Parts from Pelican Parts:
-- (1) Ering 11-12-9-070-990-M30 valve cover gasket set $20.50,
-- (15) Elring 11-12-1-437-395-M30 valve cover nut seals $11.25 ($0.75 ea)
-- (6) Bosch 12-12-0-037-607-M14 "High Power" platinum plugs $36.00 ($6.00 ea)
- Wal Mart: Permatex gasket maker High-Temp Red RTV Silicone ($4.47) the 3 oz size tube was way more than I needed but they didn't have the smaller size.
- Old gaskets definitely needed replacement - were intact but hard and cracked immediately when trying to remove
- Old valve cover nut seals were probably OK but replaced them anyway
- Used a magnet on socket when removing 15 VC bolts to ensure I didn't drop them
- Gasket has 3 parts - large outer peripheral gasket, plus two two middle gasket pieces (each seals 3 spark plug openings)
- Started project when engine was very warm, probably helped in getting old hard gaskets out - chipped a few chunks out then got a good grip and was able to pull the rest out.
- Very difficult to clean off gunk on inside of valve cover, others may have suggestions on what cleaner/ chemical might work best but not damage plastic
- I've worked on a lot of different types of cars over the last 50 years. Still have trouble getting used to seemingly low torque required when tightening BMW bolts. If I didn't have a torque wrench, I would have certainly over-torqued the VC bolts if doing it 'by feel'. My torque wrench did not go down as low as 10 Nm, had to borrow one and was glad I did.
- Used red Permatex gasket seal spread in locations shown above. Followed Permatex instructions precisely - i.e. ensure surfaces clean, install valve cover when seal was wet and finger tighten bolts only, let dry 1 hour before then torquing bolts, then waiting 24 hours to harden completely before starting car.

NO LEAKS!

One concern:
I suspect that oil leaked most when engine was cold because the old hard gaskets probably expanded a little when hot (and maybe sealed a little better) but then contracted and left gaps when cold. Since the valve area is typically under a slight vacuum, when the old gaskets were leaking and no longer sealing properly, there probably were many opportunities for dust to get sucked into the engine directly without going through the air cleaner when driving on my dirt roads. I therefore changed my oil and oil filter immediately after this VCG replacement. Hopefully the oil filter had been doing it's job, but not sure how small the dust particles vs. filter design. Had I thought of this potentially negative consequence sooner, I probably wouldn't have waited so long to fix it. Others more knowledgeable should weigh-in on whether this is a concern.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:37 PM   #185
Pocket Rocket
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Used this DYI today so props to the OP! I think I have an idea why the Victor Reinz gasket is giving some people trouble. The flange on the Reinz gasket is about 3/16 taller than the OEM which makes the mating surface stand proud of the VC when it's in the slot. I'm sure it get compressed when the bolts are tightened but it may introduce some distortion at the mating surface as it comes together. I trimmed my Victor Reinz gasket so it would sit down on the VC mating surface. The spark plug well seals had the same problem. We'll see if it works in the coming months.
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:35 PM   #186
Chris3Duke
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Did my spark plugs today, and at least three of them had oil on the threads. There was some oil below the coils as well.

I assume this is a valve cover gasket leak? I knew I had an oil leak somewhere, but thought it was probably an OFHG.

How important is this to fix right away?
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:05 PM   #187
merkme19
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Really helpful. I'm glad I found this mine just started leaking today
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:33 PM   #188
sdpaguy
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Great DIY post, love this site!

This weekend redid valve cover gasket, first replacement was at 150K and used Victor Renz gasket I believe, and within 8K miles was leaking all around as near as I can tell. oil was in 3/6 coil pack slots also, both front and back gaskets. This time around I used a gasket from dealership. The gasket with only 8K miles was suprisingly hardened, though I admit I don't have much to compare to other than 150K gasket which I had to chip off the cover. I also used the high temp RTV sealant as suggested on the Biesan site.

I'm noticing there is a gap between the cover and the gasket when properly torqued down to 10NM. Is that gap typical? Hopefully it's clear on the pic.

thx,
Rob

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Old 05-07-2013, 04:17 PM   #189
sdpaguy
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Another pic of the gap between valve cover and gasket:

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:57 PM   #190
Kafziel
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Just did mine today, using this DIY. Jesus, that gasket was brittle! Only problem I had on the DIY was with the black clips holding the spark plug wires in place; I was trying to open the case containing the wires (like you do with the battery wire) so I broke a couple of little clips before I watched a different video and saw the right clips. Would have helped to know I was looking for two black clips, not just black clips. Anyway, thanks for the DIY! Saved me a ton of money and headache.

PS - I know this is late, but in case sdpaguy is still watching this thread, I did not have a gap like that. Mine seated fully all the way around. Have you had problems with it?
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:57 PM   #191
Kafziel
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Just did mine today, using this DIY. Jesus, that gasket was brittle! Only problem I had on the DIY was with the black clips holding the spark plug wires in place; I was trying to open the case containing the wires (like you do with the battery wire) so I broke a couple of little clips before I watched a different video and saw the right clips. Would have helped to know I was looking for two black clips, not just black clips. Anyway, thanks for the DIY! Saved me a ton of money and headache.

PS - I know this is late, but in case sdpaguy is still watching this thread, I did not have a gap like that. Mine seated fully all the way around. Have you had problems with it?
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #192
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hey guys sorry to open this thread back up but i need to change my vcg and like it says on the first page. i am planing on ordering the "Valve Cover Gasket - Set" from " http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/Site...18833/ES18833/ " Part number : 11129070990 like it says in the beginning of the thread.

how ever i don't want to reuse my old "Valve Cover Grommets" so i tried looking up the part number on ecs tuning site and nothing came up. can someone please give me a link to a site where i can order the grommets.

only reason i ask is because few other threads i've read state that the grommets they have aren't similar to the old OEMs. I don't want to risk a leak b'cuz of a sleezy grommet so please help me out. Also I watched a video and the guy stated that the gasket has trouble going around the edges and there are weak points... so should i put a bit of sealant?


here is the video i watched, and chck it out at 16 mins and on...




tell me what u guys think.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:35 PM   #193
kowalzekc
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The grommets are a big yes for doing the job. You find them at the dealership all day long. Go to the diy on the form and it will tell you how/where to add sealant.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:31 PM   #194
Nyl777
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@sdpaguy How is it so far holding up with that gap? Mine has no gap like that. @Kafziel try this link http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...FYc7Mgodml4APg The best option though is to buy from the STEALership to make it sure lol
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:26 PM   #195
AudiEtr
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gonna need this diy this weekend.
Sub'd, Nice write up!
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:04 PM   #196
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I did mine today and found out that you need a 10mm deep socket for those inside nuts. I am guilty of waiting too long to replace the VCG and paid for it when I found it to be hard and brittle. I used Permatex Ultra Black Valve Cover and Gasket Dressing RTV and hit the corners and half moons. I will clean up the lower engine and take it for a drive tomorrow.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:26 AM   #197
Arpee
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Did mine today. Got a deep socket, but did not used it. Thanks for the write up made it easier for me. Checked the spark plugs... looks burnt and old. So I'll replace that tomorrow and finish everything. Next will be the leaky radiator. Found a crack by the upper hose while installing the retrofit projectors.

THANK YOU!!!
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:31 PM   #198
KillaaCort
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Any major differences with a 2003 325i I should know about? I'm changing mine myself in 2 days.
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Old 07-13-2013, 11:46 PM   #199
jizzzoe
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Did this and spark plugs today. THANK YOU!
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:27 AM   #200
scoon
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Hey there,

Getting ready to dig into this in the morning. I have purchased Permatex Ultra Blue for the gasketing seal. Has anyone used this before?

Thanks,

Skip
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