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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

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 01-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #21
sl_e46_ci
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Thumbs Up just finished replacing the gasket.

Thanks alot for the steps. There weren't any surprises at all, which was great. This is probably one of the best instructions (not limited to cars) i have ever come across...really appreciate the amazing details. Please keep up with the good work.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:43 PM   #22
Chris3Duke
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Ok, entry level questions here...

Any way to know if you need to do this, or is this simply preventative maintenance? What would be a good mileage to do it at? I'm at 115k.

Where are people ordering the parts? Tischer? Anyone have a parts list with #'s? How much are we talking here?
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:00 AM   #23
SeanC
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No need to do it unless you have an oil leak from the VCG. Great write up
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:13 AM   #24
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how long is this job?
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:47 PM   #25
ginpunk
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74,000 Miles About a 3 hour job going really slow.

Mine started leaking really bad.

This is the best DIY on this subject!!!!

Looks pretty good inside---running BMW approved Valvoline Synpower.

Thank you!
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:50 PM   #26
Alanz0
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Will be doing this next weekend! I see some oil residue by my vanos and around the sides of the gasket. This will be real handy when I'm doing the job! Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:43 AM   #27
sam1el
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I've had my car about 6 months. I noticed some pretty bad smoking when I first bought it and went looking for a diy and found this one pretty quickly. I'm not unfamiliar with a wrench. Being a fresh convert from old school chevy (traded my 55 Bel air for my 2000 323i) I was pretty intimidated at the thought of changing this gasket. Between this write up and my mechanical knowledge I was able to do this in under 2 hours. Best write up I have ever used. Thanks a ton.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:14 AM   #28
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Did this yesterday. I had someone helping me and it only took us an hour, then another hour waiting for silicone to dry. Great write-up!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:33 AM   #29
Tony3series
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Originally Posted by greenvert View Post
Great writeup! I just did this replacement today as mine was leaking oil like crazy (also had to replace oil level sender and do an oil change, but that's unrelated!).

Car drives fine - but after a 45 minute drive on the freeway the SES light came on with codes P0171 and P0174.... something about it running lean. I cleaned off the head and valve cover well before placing them on, used a small amount of RTV as indicated, and tightened the nuts well. Any thoughts as to why this is coming up? Car seems to be running fine!
Sounds like you've got misfires from a vacuum leak. Probably from valve cover. Did you torque it all down properly to spec?

I did my valve cover gasket while doing my Vanos seals. Afterwards I was getting misfires on all cylinders with my peake tool. I just built a smoke tester and ran it on my car. Found the valve cover was leaking. So I will be replacing it again.

When I did my valve cover gasket I put the gasket on the head first which is where I think I made my mistake. The little fin that runs around the gasket and fits into the cover itself most likely was smashed down in some spots, even though I was careful placing it on. Shoulda known better, it didn't seem right while I was doing it. My neighbor decided to come and hang out while he was drunk off his ass HaHa He ended up drivin me nuts while I was trying to finish the job. So I was rushing to finish so I could get rid of him.

Anyway, you could:

1. Check the torque on the bolts to see if some are loose. (Use a proper torque wrench if you didn't the first time.)

2.Spray starter fluid around valve cover where it meets head while engine running. If engine idle changes while spraying in an area then its probably leaking from there. (You might not be able to spray enough of the fluid in some spots, so you might not find all leaks this way.)

3. You can build yourself a smoke tester to REALLY find out where the leaks are coming from.


Great write up by the way!
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Old 02-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #30
Alanz0
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Do you guys recommend doing the vanos deals even if its not giving me a big problem yet? ( cold start idles with a slight rattle then goes away). Is it a hard job?
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #31
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nice write up very clear
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:14 PM   #32
IxIFelIxI
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I intend to do it during the upcoming weekend. Just wondering here... would it hurt to apply RTV Red High Temp Silicone around the whole perimeter of the head?
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:49 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IxIFelIxI View Post
I intend to do it during the upcoming weekend. Just wondering here... would it hurt to apply RTV Red High Temp Silicone around the whole perimeter of the head?
Some use RTV on just the half moons.
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Old 02-10-2012, 10:09 AM   #34
IxIFelIxI
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yeah i figured from the posts lol. it's just that i saw a few mechanics use the silicon all over the area where the gasket should sit. they argued that it is more reliable to apply silicon all over the area rather than selected spots. i saw them doing it on makes like Opel and Honda... so i am wondering .. would it hurt if we do the same to the BMW?
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:46 AM   #35
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Great write up just finished up
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:37 PM   #36
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This is a superb thread. I think I am going to attempt a VCG replacement sometime in the near future. I see the Vanos is also a logical thing to replace while you're in there. I was planning on doing spark plugs anyway, so there's that too.

My question is, if my VCG leak is not that bad, how long can it wait before repair?? Is there any danger in waiting a bit?

Reason I ask is that I see you need to drain the oil to do the Vanos seal replacement. I'd like to wait until my next oil change if that is the case, which isn't for another 2000 miles yet, or maybe a month or two for me.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:17 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloveofpower View Post
This is a superb thread. I think I am going to attempt a VCG replacement sometime in the near future. I see the Vanos is also a logical thing to replace while you're in there. I was planning on doing spark plugs anyway, so there's that too.

My question is, if my VCG leak is not that bad, how long can it wait before repair?? Is there any danger in waiting a bit?

Reason I ask is that I see you need to drain the oil to do the Vanos seal replacement. I'd like to wait until my next oil change if that is the case, which isn't for another 2000 miles yet, or maybe a month or two for me.
Just keep an eye on your oil level.
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:36 AM   #38
flying330ci
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To check for a vacuum leak what is the best way to do it? I am throwing a 171 and 174 code as well so it could be a vacuum leak somewhere. Thanks! great post you all!
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:53 AM   #39
Big Rick
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Originally Posted by IxIFelIxI View Post
I intend to do it during the upcoming weekend. Just wondering here... would it hurt to apply RTV Red High Temp Silicone around the whole perimeter of the head?
Yeah... As long as you never have to touch it again. If you ever have to take the valve cover off again... You'll want to put a gun to your head! That **** can be a ***** to take off!
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:30 PM   #40
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Awesome write-up, been putting off replacing mine for waaaaaaaay too long...
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