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Old 01-22-2013, 10:08 AM   #1
tmr931
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oil leak, need help finding source

ok last night, while replacing my alternator, i found a fairly severe oil leak. there was oil puddled up in the crevices/fins on the drivers side of the engine block, near the front. picture where the alternator sits, now picture it removed and the oil is on the block, right behind the alternator. the last time I had my car at the shop, they said there was a slight oil leak coming from my oil filter housing. I am assuming they meant where it attaches to the block. If it were coming from that, would I see oil pooled up where I do? Im assuming it is just a rubber o ring that seals the filter housing to the block? does anyone have a part number for that seal, and how hard is it to replace? I would like to get this resolved today, so any help would be appreciated. I do have some pics of the oil, but they are not very good. If anyone needs to see them to help diagnose this, Ill be happy to post them. But hopefully my description is descent enough that pics arent needed. Thank you
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Oil filter housing gasket, yes. I'm almost positive that is the issue.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
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do you have a part number for this part? Is it an easy fix?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #4
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Would help if you added the year to you "my ride" information for future reference so we can get the right part number.

Anyways, they're all the same number and it's 11421719855

It involves removing the alternator and takes about two hours and a lot of oil.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthr...light=ofhg+diy

http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthr...light=ofhg+diy
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:51 AM   #6
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i just did mine last Sunday. Took me about 3 hours. I was going slowly and deliberately.
This youtube clip is excellent.
Now, that I know what I am doing I think it would take me under 2 hrs. Cleaning the oily mess alone took me about 20-30 minutes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=Jy0EKjuxlpY
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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Dam you guys are good help
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #8
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Dam you guys are good help
Not all of us are trolls
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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It is not an ring, rather a complex rubber gasket that is more square about 4x3 in.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:15 AM   #10
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But of course before he does the work he should get two/three cans of Brakleen brake parts cleaner, completely clean out ALL of the oil, drive a bit and see if fresh oil starts to develop in that honeycomb area behind the gasket.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:42 AM   #11
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Also seal the plug located on the side of the OFH. It is the side that faces the firewall and contains the temp and pressure sensors. The plug is either a metal plug or a torx bit round plug. I use HT RTV to seal it.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:40 PM   #12
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Also seal the plug located on the side of the OFH. It is the side that faces the firewall and contains the temp and pressure sensors. The plug is either a metal plug or a torx bit round plug. I use HT RTV to seal it.
Good advice^^

I would like to clean up the oil, run it for a while, and see if it returns. My issue is that I need to do an oil change like right now, and I didnt want to change the oil and then lose it all during the repair. Someone above mentioned that you dont lose much oil, if any. Can someone else confirm that?
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:42 PM   #13
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It's a high pressure area so after each drive it will leave a few drops of oil on the ground.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #14
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While you're down there, you should replace the VANOS line, and the 4 washers it uses to connect. It's going to be very accessible when you're down to the oil filter housing.

In addition, if your oil filter housing gasket is bad, your valve cover gasket is probably bad too.

On my 330xi, the VANOS line is part # 11 36 1 705 532, and the four copper sealing gaskets are part # 32 41 1 093 596. Might be different for your car, so be sure. autohausaz had the VANOS line for $19 and the rings for 25 each.

Last edited by NCLee; 01-22-2013 at 12:49 PM. Reason: added part numbers
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:19 PM   #15
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:13 PM   #16
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While you're down there, you should replace the VANOS line, and the 4 washers it uses to connect. It's going to be very accessible when you're down to the oil filter housing.

In addition, if your oil filter housing gasket is bad, your valve cover gasket is probably bad too.

On my 330xi, the VANOS line is part # 11 36 1 705 532, and the four copper sealing gaskets are part # 32 41 1 093 596. Might be different for your car, so be sure. autohausaz had the VANOS line for $19 and the rings for 25 each.
can you get away buy just replacing the 4 washers? will be doing this in a few weeks when it warms a bit but i dont have a leak on mine just the OFHG..

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWCaptain View Post
Also seal the plug located on the side of the OFH. It is the side that faces the firewall and contains the temp and pressure sensors. The plug is either a metal plug or a torx bit round plug. I use HT RTV to seal it.
you have a picture how it looks & where it's located? ive checked a few DIY and no mention of this..

edit: found image below from this thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=900804


Last edited by mikeetastic; 01-22-2013 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:30 PM   #17
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can you get away buy just replacing the 4 washers? will be doing this in a few weeks when it warms a bit but i dont have a leak on mine just the OFHG..
Probably not. The VANOS line gets old and brittle because it degrades in the heat and elements. The washers have to be replaced just because you're disconnecting the OFHG from the VANOS, and for the other end of the VANOS. My fear would be that just being down there and handling the brittle old tube would damage it enough to aggravate a leak. I think that's what happened to me when I replaced my OFHG a few weeks ago and my leak remained.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:33 PM   #18
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:05 AM   #19
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Good advice^^

I would like to clean up the oil, run it for a while, and see if it returns. My issue is that I need to do an oil change like right now, and I didnt want to change the oil and then lose it all during the repair. Someone above mentioned that you dont lose much oil, if any. Can someone else confirm that?
If you open your oil filter cover and let the oil drain down into the pan, you willow loose too much oil. There will be a little loss due to oil stuck in some of the chambers. If you need to do the OFHG, then don't worry about the minor oil loss.
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