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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 09-20-2013, 01:18 AM   #221
gintohewoo
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I am doing this this weekend and was wondering what the best cleaner for the valve cover would be? Brake cleaner? (chlorinated so it doesn't damage the plastic cover) other suggestions welcome! :-D

Also, someone had a pretty badly gunked up engine earlier, what is the best method for cleaning all that gunk out of the engine? I cannot imagine spraying brake cleaner INTO the top of the engine is a good idea, granted you would have to do an oil change but is there an oil additive or an engine flush process that would clean all that crap out?

Thanks ahead of time!
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:58 AM   #222
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I used brake cleaner, first sprayed on paper towels. In my case I didn't see a lot of residue on the gasket surface.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:13 PM   #223
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I just finished this DIY and overall, it was pretty easy and went as planned. The hardest part was probably removing the old gasket which had hardened to a plastic.

A couple suggestions to those attempting this DIY:

When you remove the hose that runs from the valve cover to the oil separator, be very careful. Mine was old and brittle, which I didn't notice until I had ripped it off. I bought a new hose that I will replace when I tackle my leaking VANOS oil line and oil filter housing gasket. Until then, I taped it up with electric tape. Not a good long term fix but it works for now.

When removing the oxygen sensors, wires, etc from the clips to the left of the valve cover, be very careful not to break the vacuum hose coming from the check valve on the secondary air pump. Again, mine was old and brittle and I didn't notice I had broken it until I was putting everything back together. I picked up replacement hose from a local auto parts store and it was an easy fix but I would have rather avoided it.

After you remove the valve cover, look for any bits of the gasket that may have broken off and been left behind on top of your valvetrain. I found a few pieces of the plasticized gasket here and there that I would assume could have been a problem were they not removed.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:49 AM   #224
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Originally Posted by pauliez13 View Post
be very careful not to break the vacuum hose coming from the check valve on the secondary air pump
It's a good idea to replace those hoses if they are original...
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:33 PM   #225
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Easy job, thank you! May cause back stiffness...
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:51 PM   #226
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Hi Guys,

About to do this along with my spark plugs. Trying to buy the gasket from Pelicanparts, but I'm confused by 2 possible choices. http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...pg3.htm#item19

I have a 2001 330CI. There are two different tables. One saying through 8/02 and one saying from 9/02. I get easily confused as you can see. I think I'm supposed to get the first one 11-12-9-070-990-M42?

True? Thanks!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:12 PM   #227
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Your 2001 330CI had to be built before August 2002. You can confirm this on the door plate on the drivers side, which has the build date on it. That would say the first one would be the one you want.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:39 AM   #228
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Originally Posted by avneet View Post
Hi Guys,

About to do this along with my spark plugs. Trying to buy the gasket from Pelicanparts, but I'm confused by 2 possible choices. http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...pg3.htm#item19

I have a 2001 330CI. There are two different tables. One saying through 8/02 and one saying from 9/02. I get easily confused as you can see. I think I'm supposed to get the first one 11-12-9-070-990-M42?

True? Thanks!

Just call Pelican if you are unsure. I have a 2002 330ci and the helpful lady on the phone told me that pre-8/02 models are 2002 models.

Post-9/02 are 2003 models.

You should call them, but probably need pre-8/02.
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Old 10-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #229
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BMW E46 3-Series DIY: Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

I NEED THE MECHANICS OUT THERE'S OPINION:

In doing this project tomorrow. VCG, spark plugs w boots, testing fuel pressure, fuel filter change, oil change with filter, and VANOS seals..

I also have an oil leak that appears to be from the VANOS Solenoid o-ring... Or it looks like it. It's slowly dipping down that plastic wire cover. It's been happening for a whole with no change in oil level at all. So I'm changing all the o rings & fillister bolts on each camshaft sensor ect.. HOPEFULLY it solves the leak.

Also, ill be changing the VANOS Oil return line, the "German Auto Service's (GAS's) DISA o-ring" since my car is the "non-serviceable" one , and both pre cat o2 sensors since I'm there..

A lot of work for a non-experienced non-mechanic lol.. I have all my directions and pictures lol.. Im hoping one of tesr may sole my lean code. ive checked alot of things; But do not know how to check my CCV hoses except for doing the bag over the oil dipstick and oil filler hole . I do not have a manometer.. My dad says maybe he could make one from scratch LOL

But what I don't know is:

BUT if I'm doing all this, where should I start first?

1. Since im doing the fuel filter, have the tank on empty?
- but will this effect my fuel pressure rating?

2. Let all the oil out of the car next. But don't do oil change yet..?

3. Proceed with the vanos seals (since its the hardest & longest for me)

4 When finished & reassembling, replace the new o rings and bolts & then install new vanos oil return line w new washers & bolts.

5. Install new spark plugs & boots

6. Install new VCG & put the red RTV on the moons front & back

7, Reassemble Engine Covers

8. Replace Fuel Filter & Check its' hoses

9 Oil & Oil Filter

Does that sound like a practical order to the mechanics out there?

Obviously I left out the depressurization after the fuel pressure check.. But I don't know where that should go in all this... If anyone call tell me..


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Old 10-10-2013, 07:25 PM   #230
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I would split those projects up a bit.
VCG
Vanos
Put valve cover back on, replace sparks when reinstalling ignition coils.
then oil change
then fuel filter project.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:04 PM   #231
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BMW E46 3-Series DIY: Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Absolutely great tutorial. As a newbie in mechanics I was able to complete the tutorial. On a 2005 325i, there is no O2 sensor to move out of the way and there are also 2 grounding cables instead of 1. Apart from that, everything corresponds.

Be extremely careful not to tighten the bolts too hard, especially the 4 in the middle. When I was pulling off the coil gaskets I unscrewed one of the studs by mistake, only to screw it back on too tight, stripping part of the aluminum socket (the block). So in the end I had to tighten it by hand instead of 10Nm, I also put some super glue on the tread to prevent it from unscrewing. Hopefully it won't leak oil into the spark plug.

I'm open to suggestions on how to make the seal tighter without tightening the bolt or how to fix the tread.

Anyways, apart from that great DIY.
Thanks a lot for the clear instructions and the photos!


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Old 10-27-2013, 07:34 AM   #232
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Did VCG based on the tutorial/pics it went great. Thanks OP!
Added spark plugs as well. Sure it took me about 6 hours but that was with some breaks, doing some grocery shopping, and checking out the pictures to make sure I was doing things in the right order. It would have gone quicker if the previous owner wouldn't have tightened some of the nuts and bolts down with the force of a gorilla.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #233
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Hate myself so much right now. Only had a loose pair of latex gloves. I was trying so hard to make sure nothing fell into the engine that instead a screw fell down the side to the bottom of what I assume is the oil pan. The stupid loose gloves made me think I had it gripped when I didn't. Now I have to go get a telescopic magnet tomorrow to find it because I don't have a jack to take the oil pan off the bottom. Good times
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #234
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avneet View Post
Hate myself so much right now. Only had a loose pair of latex gloves. I was trying so hard to make sure nothing fell into the engine that instead a screw fell down the side to the bottom of what I assume is the oil pan. The stupid loose gloves made me think I had it gripped when I didn't. Now I have to go get a telescopic magnet tomorrow to find it because I don't have a jack to take the oil pan off the bottom. Good times
It probably fell down to the belly pan not the oil pan. You might be able to get it with a magnetic pickup, it's helped me many times. If not, use the stock jack, the crib it up with wood (2x4s, etc). The belly pan is easy to get to.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:36 PM   #235
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Good thought to check the plastic under-cover first, which is easily removed. Removing the oil pan is not just jacking the car up and releasing a few bolts. If it gives you perspective, my local BMW dealer wanted just under $1000 to replace a leaking $50 oil pan gasket. And while their labor rates are high, they aren't that high .... it's tedious to drop the oil pan.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:55 PM   #236
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It probably fell down to the belly pan not the oil pan. You might be able to get it with a magnetic pickup, it's helped me many times. If not, use the stock jack, the crib it up with wood (2x4s, etc). The belly pan is easy to get to.
Telescopic magnet found it, thank goodness. Spark plugs and gasket all done with no error lights or leaks. I almost feel like the car is a little more responsive, but I'm sure that is a placebo effect after all the work I did. At least I'll be getting better mileage because those spark plugs looked bad.
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauliez13 View Post
I just finished this DIY and overall, it was pretty easy and went as planned. The hardest part was probably removing the old gasket which had hardened to a plastic.

A couple suggestions to those attempting this DIY:

When you remove the hose that runs from the valve cover to the oil separator, be very careful. Mine was old and brittle, which I didn't notice until I had ripped it off. I bought a new hose that I will replace when I tackle my leaking VANOS oil line and oil filter housing gasket. Until then, I taped it up with electric tape. Not a good long term fix but it works for now.

When removing the oxygen sensors, wires, etc from the clips to the left of the valve cover, be very careful not to break the vacuum hose coming from the check valve on the secondary air pump. Again, mine was old and brittle and I didn't notice I had broken it until I was putting everything back together. I picked up replacement hose from a local auto parts store and it was an easy fix but I would have rather avoided it.

After you remove the valve cover, look for any bits of the gasket that may have broken off and been left behind on top of your valvetrain. I found a few pieces of the plasticized gasket here and there that I would assume could have been a problem were they not removed.
Everyone breaks both those hoses. I know I did.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:03 PM   #238
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:18 PM   #239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avneet View Post
Hi Guys,

About to do this along with my spark plugs. Trying to buy the gasket from Pelicanparts, but I'm confused by 2 possible choices. http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...pg3.htm#item19

I have a 2001 330CI. There are two different tables. One saying through 8/02 and one saying from 9/02. I get easily confused as you can see. I think I'm supposed to get the first one 11-12-9-070-990-M42?

True? Thanks!
Anyone ever figure out what changed between the early and late gasket?
I have searched the sight but can't find anything.
My production date is 8/02, and I got the early gasket, but I'm not sure if I trust the accuracy down to the exact transition month (after having an '88 535i for 16 years, that most parts books insist is an e34).
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Old 02-07-2014, 04:55 PM   #240
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Bump..Doing this tomorrow..

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