In order for an engine to function, it needs engine oil to lubricate reciprocating parts. This means engine covers need to have seals to prevent engine oil from leaking out. One of the most common jobs to perform is the valve cover gasket replacement.
BMW uses a rubber seal to form the valve cover gasket. This seal can shrink as a result of the heat cycles the engine generates as the car is used.
This will allow engine oil that is thinner from engine heat to seep past the seal. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace the valve cover gasket. In order to remove the valve cover gaskets you will need to remove the ignition coils. See our tech article on ignition coil removal. It will also help to remove the engine wiring housing. You can see how to remove these housings by reading the procedure on removing the intake manifold.
In the photos you will notice the intake manifold has been removed. You do not have to remove the intake manifold. It was removed for photographic purposes. Large Image Extra-Large Image. Once unclipped, lay on left side of engine out of your way. Then remove secondary air vacuum hose from holder and lay aside. Then thoroughly clean valve cover sealing groove. Remove sealing grommets from valve cover fasteners and replace with new. Install new valve cover gasket into sealing groove in valve cover.
Place valve cover on cylinder head and install all fasteners finger tight. Then tighten fasteners in a cross-cross pattern. Reinstall ignition coils and install and route wiring harness as previously installed.
Start and idle engine, inspect valve cover and surrounding areas for oil leaks. Once complete, reinstall engine covers. Sometimes the stud stays inside the cylinder head green arrow sometimes the stud will be removed with the 10mm cap yellow arrow. Be mindful of this during installation. Someone has applied silicone to the valve cover gasket surface but this is not necessary with a new valve cover gasket. Clean the valve cover gasket of any oil and prepare it for installation.
Installation is the reverse the installation procedure. Fit the new gasket on both valve covers and place the valve covers on the cylinder heads. Tighten down the fasteners and verify the gasket is sitting properly on the cylinder head. Install the positive jump terminal to the left side valve cover and secure both the mounting bolts and positive terminal nut in place.
Got more questions?The BMW E83 X3 6-cylinder M54 engine cylinder head is covered with a plastic cylinder head cover, also known as the valve cover. The ignition coils are mounted in the top surface of the valve cover and the spark plugs are installed in deep wells in the valve cover, one spark plug beneath each ignition coil. The electrical harness to the ignition coils is routed along the top of the valve cover as well.
The crankcase breather hose is clipped to the front left of the valve cover. The valve cover gasket is one of the most common places to have an oil leak. If you have an oil leak down the exhaust side or front of your engine, start at the top and replace the valve cover gasket. When the valve cover gasket leaks, it can create quite a mess and seem much worse than it is.
On M54 6-cylinder models, engine oil can also leak into the spark plug holes in the cylinder head, contaminating the ignition coil boot. You will have to repair the oil leak and replace the ignition coil boot or ignition coil. Inspect the valve cover itself once the gasket has been removed. In particular, the plastic ones can crack from heat or impacts.
I sometimes find cracks around the grommet sealing holes. If you find a crack, you will have to replace the valve cover. Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle.
If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users.
Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information. The ignition coil cover, the intake manifold cover and the intake air duct blue arrows all need to be removed in order to gain access to the valve cover.
Remove the engine covers and microfilter housing. See our tech article on engine cover removing. The secondary air pump red arrow should also be removed. See our tech article on secondary air pump replacing. Large Image Extra-Large Image. Remove the intake air duct from the radiator support.
Start by removing the four T25 Torx screws red arrows.
E46 valve cover tightening sequence
Next you will unclip the five air filter housing retaining clips. Lift them up and unhook from the lid of the intake air housing. Start with the two near the mass air flow sensor. Then release the front clips red arrows. Once you release all the clips, lift the intake air duct blue arrow and pull it out of the air filter housing lid red arrow.View My Garage. Hi Guys, I thought I would get ambitious and replace the valve cover gasket on my 04' X3 2.
Anyways, I cleaned up the valve cover but I noticed quite a bit of engine sludge underneath the valve cover. I tried to use a flat head screwdriver to get some of it out. By doing this way, I will spend the entire 2 weeks cleaning it up. What can I do to clean this up before I put the cover back on?
Please advise, thanks in advance! Remove Advertisements. Here is how its done on audi's. I followed that Audi link and doubt it addresses the issue valve cover sludge. I too am about to replace my leaking VCG and also anticipate the yellow sludge folks say is due to water condensing out of the oil vapors normal.
I think I've read on the "fest" that copious quantities of aerosol brake cleaner blasts will dislodge the goo. I plan on saturating the part, waiting a few minutes, then get "after it" with a parts cleaning brush, then repeat process until clean.
Carb Cleaner might work too??? Solvent in the the eye is never good. I'll let you know how it goes. If you want a quick trip to divorce court, pop it in the dishwasher. That might clean it up in a jiffy.
Last edited by CyberWes; at PM. I talked to the headwerks machine shop locally. The guy there told me told to touch it and do not disturb it!! He said, to put in back on and drive it. This is a classic case where the PO went to K miles before an oil change. I've changed the oil at every 5K miles with full synthetic since I bought the car. He also said, since I disturbed a bit with the parts cleaner, just to vacuum the loose particle and that is it and hope none of that stuff fall into the wrong area as he stated.Hello There, Guest!
Login — Register. Thread Rating: 16 Vote s - 3 Average 1 2 3 4 5. Threaded Mode Linear Mode. So I have been meaning to get around to this for ages and have had all the parts needed to do this for quite a while now.
This included the Beisan Systems Vanos seals which I of course bought from Sean, the valve cover gasket set, the Vanos gasket, Vanos oil hose washers, the 15 rubber grommets, and just for good measure the oil filler cap gasket.
What I should have also replaced are the two left hand thread Vanos piston bolts - more about this further down. After a short battle I got the valve cover off, but then it took me a fair amount of careful persistence to get the remaining hardened gasket off in the various places where it was still stuck. I am actually somewhat impressed at what it looks like in there - not super clean, but considering the car has k km on the clock I don't think this is bad at all.
Still running Castrol Magnatec Professional 5W30, but change every 10k km or once a year. In fact, the car is due for a service, so actually perfect timing for this! Following the Beisan Systems Procedure, I cleaned the Vanos, removed the old seals and replaced with the new set.
This was actually fairly easy, but it is important to have a sharp hobby knife like they show on their page - you have to slice the old seals quite thoroughly but such that you don't scratch or damage the surfaces of the pistons.Part 1- Replacing a BMW 6-cylinder valve cover gasket
Fitting the new O-rings and seals was actually very easy. Then just a case of coating with oil and test fitting a few times into the chambers so that the seals can properly compress - just followed their instructions with this. With the Vanos reassembled I set about refitting it, and all went well until I got to those 2 Vanos piston bolts! Now these are left hand thread which I knew when I started this DIY, so when removing you actually loosen and remove as if tightening, and then vice versa when refitting.
They really don't need to be very tight, 8 Nm is hardly anything, but stupidly I assumed that my newly bought 6 - 30 Nm torque wrench measured in both direction since it was a both direction ratchet type, wrong! So as careful as I was, I was turning and expecting the torque wrench to click, but it just never seemed to feel as if it was getting tighter. I set the torque wrench to the lowest setting and even that was not clicking.
Knowing that these are "easily breakable" parts, I stopped and jumped onto google to see what other DIY's have said, and all indicate the same 8 Nm spec. So stupidly I continued until all of a sudden I noticed that the bolt was feeling as though it was become more loose - at this point I realised that I was very close to snapping the bolt, so decided to remove it. Sadly as I did so it snapped! The other bolt was also then well on the way to being stretched, but thank goodness I was able to remove without it snapping too.
Here is the snapped bolt along with the one that was just stretched: I had to remove the Vanos, but luckily I was able to get the piece that stayed behind out. This meant that I had to order two new Vanos piston bolts as well as another Vanos gasket since it had already been torqued up and it's a crush type gasket.
While I had to wait a day for the parts to arrive I had to investigate as to why I had these bolts stretch and the one snap on me even though I was taking the necessary care in terms of the correct torque value.
It was then suggested that my torque wrench may not be capable of measuring in both directions. So feeling pretty stupid, I decided to test it on one of the wheel nuts, and sure as nuts excuse the punit clicks when tightening, but not when I applied the same force to loosen!
So this meant that I actually had no way of properly tightening these left hand bolts and if you study these bolts, they are designed to snap pretty easily rather than strip the thread which would be a much bigger problem!
Also, when I had to remove the broken piece out I was terrified that it was going to be a b1tch to remove, but I then noticed that it was pretty loose inside, so in the end all it took was for me to insert the other part of the bolt into the whole and patiently turn the broken piece out as much as possible. This got the piece closer to the surface, but after a while this method stopped working.
I then found that a small blob of prestik was able to turn the piece out further so that I could get to it with my finger tips and remove! Big sigh of relief!The BMW E60 6-cylinder M54 engine cylinder head is covered with an aluminum or plastic cylinder head cover, also known as the valve cover.
The ignition coils are bolted to the top surface of the valve cover and the spark plugs are installed in deep wells in the valve cover, one spark plug beneath each ignition coil.
The electrical harness to the ignition coils is routed along the top of the valve cover as well. The crankcase breather hose is clipped to the front left of the valve cover. The valve cover gasket is one of the most common places to have an oil leak. If you have an oil leak down the exhaust side or front of your engine, start at the top and replace the valve cover gasket. When the valve cover gasket leaks, it can create quite a mess and seem much worse than it is.
On M54 6-cylinder models, engine oil can also leak into the spark plug holes in the cylinder head, contaminating the ignition coil boot. You will have to repair the oil leak and replace the ignition coil boot or ignition coil. Inspect the valve cover itself once the gasket has been removed. In particular, the plastic ones can crack from heat or impacts. I sometimes find cracks around the grommet sealing holes.
If you find a crack, you will have to replace the valve cover. Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.
Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste.
Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.
Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users.
Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below.
When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information. The ignition coil cover, the intake manifold cover and the oil filler cap all need to be removed in order to gain access to the valve cover.
Remove the engine covers and microfilter housing. See our tech article on engine cover removing. Working at the left strut tower, remove the two Phillips head screws. Then remove the plastic expanding anchor by pulling them straight up green arrows. Unclip the plastic cover yellow arrow from the strut tower. Large Image Extra-Large Image. Remove the strut tower plastic cover from the vehicle.All Search Everything. We've gathered a vast collection of useful articles to help you repair many items on your BMW.
Save money by avoiding your mechanic and perform the repairs using the information we've provided here. Can't find what you're looking for? Try our Search Engine, or hop over to our Technical Bulletin Boardand ask your question to the thousands of members who post messages there every day. Looking for a different BMW? Not sure where the air filter is or how to change your oil and filter?
Check out this simple article. Changing the cabin air filter is literally a snap with our handy replacement guide. The most common procedure, jacking your E Applies to: iiiiiixxixiixiii Replacing your battery is becoming a little more complicated as vehicle technology expands.
While the task of physically changing it remains similar, the battery replacement now has to be programmed into the vehicle computers. See what it takes with this easy to follow tech article. Applies to: iiiiixxixiixiii This tech article shows you how to replace your engine oil and how to check your oil level on engines that do not have a dipstick.
This tech article explains the latest method BMW uses to determine what service items are required for your vehicle. Some items originally monitored under CBS have been updated. This tech article keeps you up to date. You will need access to the top of the engine for many repairs. This tech article shows you how to remove the engine covers to give you just that. Steve Vernon outlines the basics in detailing your car with this step-by-step article.
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M54 Engine Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
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