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Old 06-12-2007, 03:38 AM   #1
_ml_
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Exclamation Oil leak in spark plug tube#2 (broken cylinder head)

I have a broken M54 cylinder head on my 330 xi 04.

It all started with that I discovered allot of oil around and inside spark plug tube on cylinder #2. I immediately replaced the valve cover gasket, but when I checked the leakage one week later there was oil up to the top of the spark plug.
Knowing that the gasket was 100% I started to search in BMWs service bulletins.

I found this!

******************
Service round the table subjects Torsdag 16 december 2004.
Situation
All Vehicles with M54 engine.
Low milage valve cover leakage, multible replecments of valvecovergaskets.
-Oil filling up spark plug tube up (often cylinder 2)
Cause
Porosity between oil passage and spark plug tube in cylinder head.

Product quality update.
Replace cylinderhead
Report all cases in PuMA.

January 2004
******************

Is there anyone that ever heard of this problem? And what did BMW do about this very poor quality issue?

Attached some pics where the crack is marked and where the oil is coming out.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:10 AM   #2
\\\VLADA
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It happens to people who rev the engine like crazy on cold mornings. Very poor maintanance could also be the cause, by the time you get to 200.000km the head cracks.

Otherwise, I have never heard of this problem.
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Old 06-12-2007, 04:42 AM   #3
_ml_
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Car has excellent service records all done by authorized BMW dealer.
Mileage is 115000 km.
In the service records there is no spark plug replacement so I assume that no one ever have loosen the top plastic cover.
There is no huge oil leak so I would say that the amount of oil that was there when I discovered the leakage must have been built up over a very long time period.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:05 PM   #4
lkstaack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _ml_ View Post
I have a broken M54 cylinder head on my 330 xi 04.

It all started with that I discovered allot of oil around and inside spark plug tube on cylinder #2. I immediately replaced the valve cover gasket, but when I checked the leakage one week later there was oil up to the top of the spark plug.
Knowing that the gasket was 100% I started to search in BMWs service bulletins.

I found this!

******************
Service round the table subjects Torsdag 16 december 2004.
Situation
All Vehicles with M54 engine.
Low milage valve cover leakage, multible replecments of valvecovergaskets.
-Oil filling up spark plug tube up (often cylinder 2)
Cause
Porosity between oil passage and spark plug tube in cylinder head.

Product quality update.
Replace cylinderhead
Report all cases in PuMA.

January 2004
******************

Is there anyone that ever heard of this problem? And what did BMW do about this very poor quality issue?

Attached some pics where the crack is marked and where the oil is coming out.
What was the solution to this problem. I too find my #2 Spark Plug recess filled with oil after having replaced the valve cover gasket 1,000 miles ago.
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Old 01-31-2010, 03:59 PM   #5
Fooljam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post
What was the solution to this problem. I too find my #2 Spark Plug recess filled with oil after having replaced the valve cover gasket 1,000 miles ago.
You need a new cylinder head (costly operation, even used) or good used engine to be safer.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:42 PM   #6
BodyMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by \\\VLADA View Post
It happens to people who rev the engine like crazy on cold mornings. Very poor maintanance could also be the cause, by the time you get to 200.000km the head cracks.

Otherwise, I have never heard of this problem.
You must of not read the entire post, it's a FLAW in the casting of the head. It has nothing to do with maintenance.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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Anyone with this problem in the USA I would first contact bmw na and see if they will take care of it. The next step would be to contact the attorneys who handled the sub-frame lawsuit!
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:10 AM   #8
Riedewaan
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Hey guys i wants to know if i can replace the cylinder head gasket myself, a friend told me that it is a complicated task and that i need to take it to a BMW mechanic.
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Riedewaan View Post
Hey guys i wants to know if i can replace the cylinder head gasket myself, a friend told me that it is a complicated task and that i need to take it to a BMW mechanic.
Read this:
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/04/35/70

If it seems complicated, then better look for a professional to do it for you
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:35 AM   #10
flashmeow
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for those with the oil leak, did you install your VCG dry or did you lube it with oil before install them? you are supposed to install it dry or else the gasket will not do a good job at sealing
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Old 08-01-2011, 07:37 AM   #11
Riedewaan
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Thanks paraklas, i will do that. i was thinking of the diy
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:10 PM   #12
lkstaack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
Read this:
http://tis.spaghetticoder.org/s/view.pl?1/04/35/70

If it seems complicated, then better look for a professional to do it for you
Do you thing anyone incapable of mastering the search function could R&R their own head gasket?
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:06 PM   #13
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ml, what did you end up doing about the broken cylinder head?
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:22 AM   #14
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interesting just put in new cams and i had leakage in a cylinder cant recall if it was #2 but i had some done and my vcg has 1000k on it
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:53 AM   #15
lkstaack
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Originally Posted by monkeyhead View Post
ml, what did you end up doing about the broken cylinder head?
I know you didn't ask me, but here is my story: I've been aware of my leaking #2 spark plug tube for 2 1/2 years. I haven't found a BMW mechanic that is familiar with this problem. There is no BMWNA Service Bulletin on it. It doesn't affect my compression, but my coil misses under load occasionally.

An experienced but skeptical independent BMW mechanic replaced the VCG as well as the valve cover, but it didn't help. I tried coating the outside of the spark plug tube with JB Weld, but that didn't help either.

It seems that the only solution is a new head. I've been putting off the expense because it doesn't cause too many problems. I pull the plug and let the oil drain about twice a year (I let the engine sit for about a day and pray that I don't hydro lock my cylinder). If I don't, oil will run out of the tube and burn.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:05 PM   #16
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The bulletin was issued January 2004, I wonder if the factory had a fix for this for cars built after that date.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:03 PM   #17
lkstaack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klax View Post
The bulletin was issued January 2004, I wonder if the factory had a fix for this for cars built after that date.
Perhaps. However, I have yet to find anyone that can confirm this "bulletin". Both the Dealers and Independents I have gone to indicate that it is not a normal bulletin found within North America. Maybe it is unique to Europe. In any case, I haven't found anyone besides me and _ml_ who have this condition.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:20 PM   #18
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I've heard of this as a common thing from a friend who worked at BMW and now runs his own shop... usually cyl-2
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by lkstaack View Post
I tried coating the outside of the spark plug tube with JB Weld, but that didn't help either.
That's what I would have thought of doing too because where else wouid the oil be coming from. I Probably would have researched a specialty epoxy with high temperature and flexible properities to fit the application.
See High Temperature: http://www.mcmaster.com/#two-part-epoxies/=hs0ug2

Have you seen any trace of the JB Weld cracking anyplace?
Which # JB Epoxy did you use?
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:25 PM   #20
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lkstaack, I have been reading that it's the valve cover, once replaced others swear the problem went away. Can I ask you if your mechanic used RTV to seal the valve cover?
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