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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 01-21-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
tylerc
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small fire, VCG, bad idle.

So today I pulled into a driveway to park and noticed a buncha smoke coming from under the hood. Open the hood and see down on my exhaust. Best as I can tell oil leaked onto my headers (which have header heat wrap on them) and caused a torch when it got hot enough to ignite. Found a fire extinguisher at the house I was at quickly and avoided a disaster.

I believe it is a valve cover gasket that caused the leak, and by the looks of it it was leaking pretty bad. I also noticed some oil spray on the ac compressor/belt that I have never seen before.

The other thing that has been going on with the car is that it has been idling rough, and if I let it idle it will usually switch over to a 'limp mode' where it wont rev well and feels like its running on 4-5 cyls. I restart it and this resets it. Throwing misfire codes.

To try and fix the idling i had installed a catchcan and deleted the pcv/ccv system. This didn't make any difference with the problem. I did notice one of the vacuum lines was collapsed today when I opened the hood after all the smoke.

My hypothesis is that this crushed line caused the system to not apply vacuum to the crankcase, and furthermore it caused it to act as if it was plugged, building up pressure where it forced oil out through the already damaged valve cover gasket. I disconnected the vacuum line coming from the valve cover and plugged it before driving home. I noticed little puffs of hot air coming out of the hole in the valve cover (its like 5 degrees here) would this be normal?

Funny thing is, car idled fine/drove fine/was better then before the fire! So I am thinking maybe the vcg was leaking so bad it was causing a vacuum leak and causing the car to idle bad/throw codes etc. and now with the vacuum plugged before it hit the valve cover that fixed it

My plan:

Install a new valve cover gasket.

Rip that exhaust wrap off.

Either install a breather on the valve cover or metal line in place of the collapsed hose so it doesn't suck shut under vacuum.

Does any of this sound plausible/am I on the right path, or am I barking up the wrong tree? Could the VCG be bad enough it caused a vacuum leak making the car run funny?

Thanks in advance!
Tyler
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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I would assume it is cold in Iowa...could be your CCV is frozen? The blockage caused oil to spew out from your VCG.

So I would guess you need an updated CCV (cold weather version...BMW now only sells these apparently) and a new VCG. I would also order the valve cover bolts and nuts.
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Old 01-22-2011, 01:02 AM   #3
tylerc
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Well the ccv is deleted. I thought that was what was causing my bad idle so I replaced it with a catch can setup and that was the hose that collapsed, causing in essence what would be like a seized ccv.

Question is if the vcg could be a vacuum leak or not...
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Old 01-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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If you have oil spewing out from under the valve cover and your hose collapsed...then you have a bad VCG.

But why do you have a catch can vrs the OEM CCV?
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Old 01-23-2011, 01:16 PM   #5
tylerc
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I had it on hand and thought the ccv was going out, figured I would plumb it in and see if it fixed the problem.
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