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Old 08-03-2014, 11:56 PM   #1
camrydriver111
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VGC Replacement w/o Torque Wrench?

Is it possible to tighten the valve cover properly so it doesn't leak without a torque wrench?


It looks like my el cheapo maximo Canadian tire torque wrench is ****ed. I don't use one very often so I don't know if spending big bucks on a new one is justifiable.
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:31 AM   #2
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I'd definitely get it replaced since it is from Canadian Tire, they come with a lifetime warranty. Anyway, every now and then they are half-price ($50) so it's always worth it to get a new one if the first method fails. You'll be happy to have one when you really need it!
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Old 08-04-2014, 12:33 AM   #3
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You'll get mixed opinions on this, but my advice would be to use a torque wrench if you're not comfortable going by feel. If going by feel, you should stop tightening once the nut starts to bottom out. People have had success both ways, and here's some good threads with others' opinions:

VCG Replacement w/o Torque Wrench?

You think I can do the valve cover replacement without a torque wrench?

Should I buy a torque wrench for VCG work?
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Old 08-04-2014, 02:29 AM   #4
Antti
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It is possible to do with small 1/4" ratchet by feel. You have to tight bolts in correct order and do not overtight.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:10 AM   #5
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Make sure you buy the 15 or so small grommets that the bolts go through, otherwise you will be having issues with the valve cover leaking and tightening the bolts up. There rubber grommets get hard and compress with age and are really important for a problem valve cover replacement. I also highly suggest you get the gasket set directly from BMW rather than use any of the aftermarket options. This is one gasket set I really recommend using the BMW parts for.

I kind of agree that most people seem to use a 1/4" ratchet and go slightly tighter than snug with good luck.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:39 AM   #6
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Yes you can do it without a torque wrench. I've done a few this way with no leaks. Use the pattern for tightening in Bentley...basically from the inside out. Tighten in stages...at least three. When you do the final tightening, go down to the stop...and then stop. That's when all the screws get broken here...and most often from guys using a torque wrench. (And I second the motion to use new grommets!)

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Old 08-04-2014, 07:46 AM   #7
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Many have done the VCG job successfully without a torque wrench. It all depends on how comfortable you are with delicate valve cover studs. If you decide to use a torque wrench, know that the specified tightening torque is very low, IIRC 7ft-lbs. Double check to make sure your torque wrench can handle this. Many standard 3/8" torque wrenches bottom out around 12ft-lbs or so.

I agree with jfoj and recommend buying new rubber grommets and a Genuine BMW valve cover gasket. This is a ~75,000-90,000 mile job, so paying extra $$$ for the original parts is no big deal. Note that the new rubber grommets may be a slightly different shape than the original ones, but they should work just fine.

While you have the valve cover off, now would be the perfect time to replace the VANOS piston seals. Check out besiansystems.com for parts and a complete guide. Note that this job definitely requires a torque wrench capable of 6ft-lbs.
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Old 08-04-2014, 04:03 PM   #8
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OP, hope you don't mind a slight tangent, as this doesn't directly apply to your question, but it might help others out in your situation regarding torque wrenches and the VCG/VANOS. As LeMansteve points out, torque for the VCG is around 7ft-lbs (10Nm/89in-lbs) and is also a great time to take care of the VANOS seals. Not only does that job require a 6ft-lbs torque wrench, but that it be reversible, as well.

I had a difficult time finding a reasonably priced, quality torque wrench capable of measuring that low of a torque setting for both left and right-hand threaded bolts. If anyone else is looking for a solution/recommendation, here's what I discovered and is an "unofficial" workaround from the manufacturer.

I bought a Tekton 1/4" drive 20-200in-lbs torque wrench for $40 on Amazon that only measured clockwise torque, or at least torque in one direction (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...R62OAQPZ252GP5). Needing to torque the left-hand threaded VANOS bolts, I found you can take apart the head and flip the ratchet wheel over (T8 Torx required). The wrench still measures torque the same way, except that by flipping the head around, it now measures counter-clockwise.

Obviously the above doesn't apply to all torque wrenches, but with this particular model and the way it was built, it's an extremely easy and inexpensive way to have a versatile, low-range, reversible torque wrench. Might be something worth considering.
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Old 08-04-2014, 05:56 PM   #9
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I'm debating doing the VANOS as well. On my 2005 with 95k miles I am not getting the 3k rpm bog down or idle issues though. It seems smooth. The Canadian winter is not kind to our cars so I don't know if I want to make everything perfect. Still need to do the tranmission, diff fluids, shocks/struts and cooling system in the near future.

In the Besian Systems kit I think there is a few parts missing to do the job? The VANOS gasket and a few washers? I will also need to remove the clutch fan?

Thanks for the suggestion. I only used my torque wrench once and it's been in storage for over a year. I thought I would lubricate it by testing it on the spark plugs on the lowest setting, but it wasn't clicking. I tested the wrench again and it seems to be working now.

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Old 08-04-2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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As pointed out, the bolt bottoms out with the stud. That can easily done without a torque wrench, but don't go nuts either.

Here's a picture from another member. This is the stud and the valve cover bolt together. Look at the interface, they bottom out against each other. All you have to do is reach that point, they maybe another 1/16.

image
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:03 PM   #11
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Here is my take on all of this valve cover mess.

1. Make sure the none of the studs in the cylinder head backed out at all when removing the valve cover bolts. If needed make sure all of the studs are seated correctly before you go to reinstall the valve cover. I think in some cases the studs may partially back out and be part of the cause of repeated valve cover leakage and cracking of valve covers.

2. I prefer to use 1/4 drive ratchets for things like valve cover bolts. I personally think that you are more like to break bolts/studs that are as small as the valve cover bolts and studs with a torque wrench as it does not give you the feedback when something is not correct. A 4-6 inch long ratchet handle allows you to be more in tune to what is going on compared to a 1 foot or longer torque wrench. If you get the wrong torque spec or set the wrench up wrong you will only know something is wrong once you hear the "snap"!

3. Pay attention to wiring and hoses that might get caught under the calve cover.

4. Make sure you seal the half moon cam releifs with a good quality silicon sealer, I like Permatex Ultra Black. Suggest you use brake cleaner or something to get all the oil off the silicon mating surfaces and allow the silicon to tack up a bit before tightening the valve cover bolts down.

5. Start ALL of the valve cover bolts and make sure you REPLACE all the bolt grommets. The bolt grommets probably have more to do with the valve cover sealing than the bolts do. Make sure you work in a bolt tightening sequence and do not try to tighten the valve cover bolts in a single attempt. In general, start with the center bolts and then work outward in a circular pattern and snug the valve cover bolts down in a series of at least 3 tightening attempts.

6. Make sure you get the studs for the coil grounds back in the proper location and make sure you reconnect the coil grounds.

7. HIGHLY suggest getting valve cover gasket set and grommets directly from BMW and not an aftermarket gasket supplier. This is one case where I WILL use dealer parts.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #12
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Also make sure the valve cover isn't cracked. Mine was.

Something else I've not seen brought up is the warping of the cover. Where it bolts down especially in the middle it makes the valve cover gasket surface uneven. I wonder if long block sanding it even should make a difference. You would not want the shavings in the cover though. At all

I didn't use a torque wench. It's easier to feel it bottom out

Do the complete vanos. The bearing and the seal. It makes sense to do it when doing the vcg
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Old 08-10-2014, 11:19 PM   #13
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Thanks for the replies.

Do I need new metal washers? I've heard people buy them or double them up so the bolts don't bottom out. Is it really necessary?

I'm going to do the VANOS as well. The VANOS cover bolts are on fairly tight (50 Nm (37 ft-lb)). Do they ever pose problems? All parts are ordered, I went with all Reinz gaskets/grommets and Beisan seals, hopefully it will be an easy job, and I can regain some power with the new VANOS seals.

My wrench won't click initially if it hasn't been used for a while. It seems to work if you exercise it a bit.

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Old 08-11-2014, 08:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camrydriver111 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

Do I need new metal washers? I've heard people buy them or double them up so the bolts don't bottom out. Is it really necessary?

I'm going to do the VANOS as well. The VANOS cover bolts are on fairly tight (50 Nm (37 ft-lb)). Do they ever pose problems? All parts are ordered, I went with all Reinz gaskets/grommets and Beisan seals, hopefully it will be an easy job, and I can regain some power with the new VANOS seals.

My wrench won't click initially if it hasn't been used for a while. It seems to work if you exercise it a bit.
I have never heard of doubling-up the metal washers. I don't think it's necessary and would not do it that way. You can re-use the metal washers since they are not sealing anything.

The VANOS screw plugs w/ allen head are on fairly tight. Just keep your wrench straight and make sure it doesn't slip while loosening or tightening.

You said you ordered Reinz gaskets. Does that include the valve cover gasket? Many people have experienced leaks with the Reinz VCG. You should heavily consider getting a Genuine BMW VCG.
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Old 08-11-2014, 08:28 AM   #15
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If you had searched you would have found the answers to your questions and avoided buying a Victor Reinz gasket. Have fun with that.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:46 PM   #16
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Do the vanos bearing while your at it.

I would also get genuine bmw gaskets in this case.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:59 PM   #17
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If you had searched you would have found the answers to your questions and avoided buying a Victor Reinz gasket. Have fun with that.
not quite. the old Victor renz was the reason why everyone kept leaking..it was very thin. the newer ones now are a bit thicker and more durable. i put a victor reinz into my engine and drove roughly 15,000km now with no problem *knock on wood * will post update if it starts to leak
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:53 AM   #18
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Sorry if I post to late but i did my without torqu wrench , just by feel. You need to go really slow when bolt is near to be done. You need to feel it. Also a good hint is to clean very good all holes from old sealant.


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Old 08-12-2014, 06:50 AM   #19
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My Victor Reinz VCG installed with no problems.
If your new gasket job leaks,

It's not the arrow,
it's the Indian.


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