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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 10-14-2013, 10:20 PM   #1
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

I replaced my valve cover gasket about a month ago when I was checking out the condition of my vanos and when I tightened the cover back down I started at a corner and jumped around to every corner to try to get even pressure but now my valve cover gasket is leaking and I have to rip it apart and redo it. Any advice on which pattern to tighten with and tips on making sure it doesn't leak again?


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Old 10-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #2
Entropyyy
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinchxvx View Post
I replaced my valve cover gasket about a month ago when I was checking out the condition of my vanos and when I tightened the cover back down I started at a corner and jumped around to every corner to try to get even pressure but now my valve cover gasket is leaking and I have to rip it apart and redo it. Any advice on which pattern to tighten with and tips on making sure it doesn't leak again?


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Why don't you check bmw specifications


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Old 10-14-2013, 10:36 PM   #3
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

Make sure to torque the bolts to the correct specification to prevent leaks from happening again


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Old 10-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #4
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Where is it leaking.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #5
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

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Originally Posted by Entropyyy View Post
Why don't you check bmw specifications


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Can't find any, I'm assuming going corner to corner would be fine but I want to make sure. I didn't use a torque wrench last time but this time I will forsure


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Old 10-14-2013, 10:40 PM   #6
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

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Where is it leaking.
From the passenger side of the engine in random spots, not from any of the half moons or anything.


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Old 10-14-2013, 10:59 PM   #7
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I'll tell you how I did it last year. Started from the middle and worked my way out. It's a compression gasket. The key is to do multiple passes and compress the gasket evenly. I use a torque wrench on everything, but not this. You will feel the fastener bottom out. Turn the ratchet slowly by while holding it by the head. When you feel it bottom out STOP.

I also use small amounts of rtv at any gaps or sharp corners. If you do decide to use rtv use it sparingly.
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Old 10-15-2013, 08:16 AM   #8
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
I'll tell you how I did it last year. Started from the middle and worked my way out. It's a compression gasket. The key is to do multiple passes and compress the gasket evenly. I use a torque wrench on everything, but not this. You will feel the fastener bottom out. Turn the ratchet slowly by while holding it by the head. When you feel it bottom out STOP.

I also use small amounts of rtv at any gaps or sharp corners. If you do decide to use rtv use it sparingly.
So when you say multiple passes you mean I should go ahead and tighten them all down a little starting from the inside and then do it again for a final bottoming out of the bolts? I'm also using red rtv at the corners and gaps again. Surprisingly my local dealership has the gasket for $54 so I'll be picking it up today with maybe a quart of tws to top off my engine.



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Old 10-15-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
choxor
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By multiple passes I mean do one pass where you tighten down a little. Then another where you tighten down a little more. Check the gasket in between passes to make sure it's compressing flat. Strong flash light and an inspection mirror help a lot. On the final pass you should be bottoming out all the fasteners at once.

Be sure to get all the old RTV out, too. And use a very very small amount. Too much RTV can interfere with the seal.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:32 AM   #10
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
By multiple passes I mean do one pass where you tighten down a little. Then another where you tighten down a little more. Check the gasket in between passes to make sure it's compressing flat. Strong flash light and an inspection mirror help a lot. On the final pass you should be bottoming out all the fasteners at once.

Be sure to get all the old RTV out, too. And use a very very small amount. Too much RTV can interfere with the seal.
Alright got it, thanks a lot. I'll post back when I get it all finished up.


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Old 10-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #11
Grinchxvx
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What pattern to tighten valve cover bolts with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
By multiple passes I mean do one pass where you tighten down a little. Then another where you tighten down a little more. Check the gasket in between passes to make sure it's compressing flat. Strong flash light and an inspection mirror help a lot. On the final pass you should be bottoming out all the fasteners at once.

Be sure to get all the old RTV out, too. And use a very very small amount. Too much RTV can interfere with the seal.
All finished up and I think It was definitively a cleaner job this time. Smeared rtv red on the corners and necessary items with my finger and then tightened with multiple passes. I noticed that my intake hub has some writing scratched into it anyone know if this indicates a dr vanos or beisan vanos? Click image for larger version

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