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Thread: Valve Cover Gaskets

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    37

    Default Valve Cover Gaskets

    Anybody out there have a procedure for replacing the valve cover gaskets on a '95 540i? Leaking pretty bad. Looks easy enough, but I'd thought I should ask first. Especially with the coils over the plugs and such. Any suggestions? Thanks all.

    Curt
    '95 BMW 540i 6-spd
    '87 Porsche 928S4 5-spd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    29

    Default

    I recently removed the valve cover off mine and it's a no brainer. After that it's simply a matter of slapping in a new rubber seal. The ABS pump on the left hand side makes it a bit difficult, but no biggy. Just jump in head first on this job. I don't seem to remember any particular tricks.

    HTH,
    Jake Larsen

  3. #3
    Unregistered Guest

    Default

    I just did the valve cover gasket on the right hand side of my 95 540i last month. The only "trick" was getting the cover off around some (metal, stiff) coolant lines. Just make sure you're keeping your eyes open for any scraping of the cover across the bolts, as I don't think metal shavings sprinkled on your camshafts are very desirable :-)

    -- Shaun (too lazy to login)
    1995 540i/6 - 79,000 miles

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, PA.
    Posts
    571

    Default i did mine a few months ago.

    found the previous mech. over tightened the valve cover bolts & stripped the threads out of the cam caps. i ended up installing heli-coils. the previous mech. must have tightened the bolts to try to stop the leak. cheap & lazy i think. make sure you tighten to torque spec. you might want to replace the plug boots also.
    tim s.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
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    14,709

    Default

    anyone have pics of this on the V8s?
    95 E34 530I V2.34
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    UK
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    29

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    anyone have pics of this on the V8s?
    I have a ton of pics but I don't know where to host them. I've been meaning to put up a site for awhile but I just don't have the time. I can send them to you when I get home tonight if you like.

    HTH,
    Jake Larsen

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    A few notes on this. First, make sure your covers are flat. Take them off and hold them against a sheet of glass or other "perferctly" flat surface and check them. If they are not flat, have them milled.

    Second, following my indy's good advice, I used some Permatex Anerobic Gasket Sealant on both sides of the rubber gasket. A thin bead is all that's needed, don't go overboard. I had already replaced them dry and it wasn't 20k mi. before they were leaking again. And then the next time too. The Permatex is the latest effort in fixing this issue. Shop around for it because it ranges in price from about $6 a tube to $15 a tube and you will need two tubes of it.

    Third, when you put them back on, torque everything to 10Nm. This is a really light torque. I have an "Inch-Pounds" torque wrench for things like this. Unequal torquing will lead to leaking and/or warping.

    I would make the effort to do this the best you can, or you WILL be back in there again soon. I have learned all this the hard way.

    Search the archives for a writeup that I posted a while back on the M60 valve cover gaskets. Or if you don't find it, ping me directly and I'll send it to you once I get back to the house.
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
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    Default

    Thanks all. I'll tear into it next weekend. Gotta wait till the snow melts and I can get my 928S4 out, then put the 540i's new gaskets in. Sounds relatively easy. Just gotta find the in/lb torque wrench and the gasket sealant. I have the high temp red RTV. Should I use it, or do I look for the anerobic stuff (just like me in winter, Anerobic ha ha ha ha, I crack myself up sometimes)? Sorry just the Engineerd in me. Thanks again all.

    Curt
    '95 540i 6-spd
    '87 928S4 5-spd

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default Write-up for you (long)

    Here is the basic proceedure I wrote up for another lister a while back. I don't go into the issue of the gasket sealer (yes, use the anerobic stuff!!!) or the covers being true. Anyhow here you are:





    Read all this before you start and sort of look at the engine bay and read it once too before you ever lay a wrench on it. Alright, thatís just how I do it! Some of this stuff might be obvious, but better to err on the side of caution. Oh, and donít quote me on any of this because it is strictly from memory and it is late.

    Not sure how you are fixed for tools, but, I would want to have on hand a ľĒ ratchet with the necessary sockets (maybe 10mm, 12mm, etc.) and a couple different extensions for it. Get some ďdentistís picksĒ with different twists in the end. You can buy a set of them. You might need a screw driver or two, but I donít remember exactly where. Also will need a 10 lb. sledge hammer. You wonít use it on the car put you can wield it at the wife or whoever starts to bug you as you are trying to get the injector electrical connections loose. More on that later.

    Have you ever replaced the spark plugs? If so, you already know about the coils that are above each plug and how to get them off. Basically, go all the way down to that point on one side of the car. I would probably start with the right or passengerís side, and Iíd do one side at a time. Now that you have the four coils off, you can see that there are the four leads that hang down to where the coils were. They drop down off the black plastic wiring loom enclosure. We need to get that thing out of the way so that we can pull the valve cover.

    You will notice that there are a number of electrical connections that feed into it. There is the big round data connector on the firewall end. Disconnect it. There are two other little connectors between the back of the engine and the firewall. They are a few inches below the cylinder bank. Look down there with a flash light and wiggle your hand in there and disconnect them. I think one is white and one is black and there is a little spring-loaded metal clip that holds them to their mate. Remember how those went together if yours are not color coded. Toward the front of the motor is the connector for the crank position sensor, or maybe it is the cam position sensor, but there is one there and it looks just like the one on the other cylinder bank. Unclip it. Also unclip the knock sensors that look identical to each other and face one another. I think that is the majority of the electrical connectors that connect into that black enclosure, except for the four at the bottom of it that connect to the fuel injectors!!!! Oh, and youíll notice that there are a couple of nuts that hold down the black plastic enclosure (BPE, from now on!!) to the top of the engine. Youíll want to pull those off.

    Ok, now for the injectors. If you look below the BPE, you will see that there are the four connectors, one for each injector. These connectors have a little metal wire that is sort of a squared-off U-shape. Get a dentists pick (the one with a funny little twist in the end of it), (I got a set at someplace like Pep Boys, but a good hardware store or parts store will have them) and wiggle it in on one side of the U and pull that corner of the metal wire away from the clip, but leave the other side where it was. By doing this, you will see that the clip is now free to come apart. This is all a bit hard to describe, but let me know if you donít get it and Iíll go take some jpgís and send them to you. Now, you want to pull that wire askew on all four injectors. Youíll have to crane around a bit and some injectors are easier to reach from odd vantage points. Oh, and if you donít have a headlamp (like for camping, Petzl makes a good one) you might want one for this because you will want to be able to put some light right on each injector. Ok, I just really like to use my Petzl lamp!!

    Once you have all four wires on those clips undone, you should just be able to gently pull the BPE up and set it toward the centerline of the engine! There!!! Immediately put those little metal wires on the injector clips back in their proper spots so that one doesnít spring across the room never to be seen again.

    Now, I would pull the fresh air hose from the air filter hosing out of the way, and you might want the filter housing out of there too. These are pretty easy. Just loosen those hose clamps off the front of the throttle body and pull that end of the air hose off (watch out for that wire that runs under the fresh air hose). The filter housing has two bolts that hold it down. Not sure if you have to remove it though.

    From there, you should be able to loosen all the bolts (OK, some are some fancy nuts) around the perimeter of the valve cover, careful not to loose the washers under those nuts!!, and then pull it off. You might have to rap it with a rubber mallet, but it should break free. You will have to maneuver the cover around a little bit, but it will come up out of that spot. Oh, I hope you got the little rubber grommets that go with the valve cover gaskets, because you want to replace those too. I think there are 11 per side. I hope I didnít forget to mention them.

    Once you pull the old gaskets and grommets out, clean the little channels in the cover up and clean the mating surface on the top of the head. Be careful to clean up anything that falls down into the valve train, like loose paint or other crud. Once you have cleaned that all up, put the new gaskets in their groves and drop that cover back on there and bolt it down. Be sure not to capture that little ground strap that goes to the one coil. You want that thing free to be secured later. Try and tighten the valve cover a bit at a time, in an alternating pattern. The torque spec for those funny nuts is about 89 in. lbs. or like 7 ft.lbs. so it doesnít take much!! I only use a ľĒ ratchet on all this stuff and then get out my inch-pound torque wrench. Donít get over-zealous.

    Ok, the rest on that side is the reverse of the disassembly!!! The injector connectors on the bottom of the BPE will just snap down their mates. Nothing to that. I think the rest is pretty self explanatory. Make sure to reconnect all the electricals on that side before you start the other one, just to be safe.

    Other side is basically the same except there are some little feet that mount off the front corners of the valve cover. You will need different socket extensions to find which one works for which bolt. Electrical connections are fewer on that left side as I remember.

    Be careful not to drop the little funny nuts that hold down the valve cover. Or their washers.

    Not sure what else to tell you. Plus, I am out of time and have to help the wife. Damn look at all that crap I just typed out!!! Holy hell.

    Give me a call if something doesnít sound clear or you get in a jam.
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
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    Default

    nice thing to save to my ever growing BMW Repair folder!
    95 E34 530I V2.34
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

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