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Rahulk 06-08-2013 08:13 AM

E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
4 Attachment(s)
Okay I know a few of you asked about this. I recently did this on my 2004 E53 with an n62.

Is the job time consuming and tedious - yes. Not much gratification, because most people don't even pay attention to the oil consumption or the smoke show it creates when they are in the car.

Symptoms - after engine warms up and it idles for a few minutes, if you give it some gas, you will get tons of smoke. And actually if you drive with the trunk hatch open you can smell the exhaust (it stinks)

Tools -
Valve Compressor - I included a Picture of what you need
Timing Tool kit - you can get one on ebay or amazon
E-Torx set basically you need 2 sizes one, for the cam position sensor, and one for the upper timing cover.
Different size socket sets, some deep/ some shallow
Torx socket set
Allen Hex socket set (metric) - long reach
An air compressor
A torque wrench
A box of 100 zip lock bags
Some zip ties
blue masking tape and a sharpie
pad and a pen
Computer programs - TIS/ Bentley Manual and INPA
adjustable wrench or wrench set with large sizes 25 -32 mm size)
magnet stick, magnetic screw drivers
I think that's it

Valve Cover gaskets sets (both sides)
Upper timing cover gaskets (both sides)
vanos o-rings 8 total, 2 different sizes
cam position sensor o-rings (4)
eccentric shaft sensor gasket (2)
vacuum pump o-ring
Recta-rings (8) these are at the end of the cam shafts
4 cam shaft to sprocket bolts (80 nm torqued bolts)
2 oil gaskets - fit under the chain tensioner above the can sprockets
40 cam bearing bolts 9 $0.40 cents each why not...
( I would recommend changing some bolts out now while you have a chance, like the vanos holder bolts (4) and possibly the upper timing cover bolts (16) and the cam position sensor and eccentric shaft bolts (8) , valvetronic allen head bolts - 8. Use BMW parts, not just home depot bolts, as the wrong bolts can cause galvanic corrosion
(My ground straps were seized on to the valve cover bolts so I had to cut the end and buy new valve cover nuts (4) and I need new ground strap lugs and some heat shrink tubing, I also used SS allen head bolts in place of the torx bolts, these were the only non-bmw bolts I used (these thread into the valve cover nuts)
2 sets of valve seal kits
RTV sealant

(There are multiple manufacturers of goods, I used victor reinz, bmw and erlinch when I could. For the valve seals I went with victor reinz as I didnt trust OEM, BMW since I suspect they were nitrile rubber based vs fluoro-carbon based.) I also used permatex oil resistant gasket sealer as my rtv

Additional spare parts

Valve Spring keepers (10) they are cheap, you shouldn't loose more then a few, i lost them in the engine bay, dropped them into the corners

I changed by vacuum pump too, I tried to reseal it, but it was sweating oil.

Basic procedures

Remove airbox, fan, engine cover air condition filter unit, left and right A/C filter unit mouths (They are around the brake fluid reservoir and ecu box, I believe.)

The Mass air flow sensor should just have been removed, label that connector.

Okay here is the first fun part, cover the engine with a garbage bag or a large tarp. Remove the windshield wiper reservoir. expect to loose tons of fluid. make sure if you took off parts they are away from the car as the liquid will leak all over.

You should have had to remove the level sensor of the reservoir and the 2-3 pumps depending on your model.

label all the loose hardware - zip lock bags
label all the connectors with the tape and some words
write notes on how thing fit together, and anything else -notes always help

engine should be dry now time to finally get to it.

remove the 8 pencil spark plug coils - some people label them some don't

work on a bank on a time

Bank 1 Bank 2

4 8
3 7
2 6
1 5

Front of Car

Remove the valve covers and the upper timing covers for both sides on bank 2 you will need to remove the idler pulley on the alternator, otherwise it will hit the power steering pulley and chip it.... ask me how I know. Bank 2 is slightly more complex. Both sides can be removed in about 3 hours. I am leaving out tons of detail - FYI

You should have bagged and tagged all the connector and bolts at this point. bag or box the solenoids (6) and the sensors too. note their locations. Connectors should have been labeled too. a vanos solenoid plugged into the wrong connector will give you all types of crazy codes.

back to the engine work at one bank at a time. Remove the oil line , 1 bolt and many clips. put it aside.

Lock the engine into TDC with the cam lobes pointing in the correct direction. FYI - for each rotation of the crank shaft, the cam shafts turn 180 degrees. So TDC actually has 2 cam shaft positions. Make sure you lock it in the correct position per TIS.

check with the timing tool to see how everything is timed, take pictures, as you will need to get back to this.

Starting at the intake sprocket, remove the bolt, you will need to use the the wrench to hold the cam shaft. A breaker bar is useful here. the bolt can be removed, the sprocket wont fall.

okay now what you have to do is wiggle the sprocket out and at the same time support the timing chain. if it is to tight, there is a plastic red chain tensioner you can pump to loosen the chain. You dont need to remove the actual chain tensioner on the cylinder head.

Wiggle it out, and at the same time support the chain and zip tie it the chain to some higher point. If you mess this up, the chain can fall off the crank shaft sprocket, and you are eff'ed.

Do the same thing to the exhaust sprocket, supporting the chain. It might be easier to remove the top chain tensioner prior to removing the sprockets. this chain tension that you remove has a gasket that needs to be replaced. take a look at it.

So the top chain tensioner and the sprockets are removed. (toss out the old sprocket bolts, they are one time use only)

get the pad out and the camera, take pictures of how the cam top bearing are placed (with numbering and orientation.) starting on the exhaust cam remove all the cam bearing nuts in a cross pattern, bag the oil line clips that will be loose with the individual cam bearing, I numbered them 1-5 and the bank number.

remove the intake cam assembly - actually very easy remove the single bearing and the bottom bearing, not orientation in notes and by pictures, drawing help too.

When you pull off the assembly the eccentric shaft comes with it too. turn it upside down and see the levers. - make sure everything is still clipped in, if you accidentally hit the eccentric shaft gear, you can unclip every single lever - ask me how I know, I had to use a crows foot to put them all back it, its easy so don't worry if one gets knocked off.

remove the lifters and the rockers, * don't mix up the locations they are location specific. bag and tag, and notate bank number and intake/ exhaust. (these just pull right off.

Some of mine were falling apart i.e. the rocket was not locking into the lifter, pinch the rockets metal wire spring a little, and it will hold the lifter snug again.

The Cylinder head should now be bear. remove the spark plug tubes one at a time, don't let oil get into the spark plug holes - if you haven't replaced the spark plug tubes by now 100K+ miles, probably need to change them, if you recently changed them, then no need to change them. I had recently changed mine.

remove each spark plug, and cover the opening with a paper towel.

ok get out the spring compressor use the air compressor and the spark plug adapter to hold the valves up. 90 PSI should be fine for the air compressor. You are not going to have a 100 seal, so ear protection is a must, as the air compressor will kick on every few minutes, I have a 26 gallon compressor, a smaller one may not work as well.

Note - cylinder 1 is in TDC, so you cant drop those valves, but others you can, remember that, if you drop a valve, you are now rebuilding a cylinder head!

Work 1 valve at a time, compress the springs, remove the collets, and lift off the spring and the spring retainer.

using some type of pliers grab the old valve seal, twist and lift, some were easy to remove some were a PIA. clean up and install a new seal.

Some seals come with a collet grove protector sleeve some don't I used a common 6 mm straw, cut to length, I just oiled it and slipped it over and then slipped the new valve seal on. This just gives peace of mind that the new seals didn't get torn up during installation.

After it is installed use a 16 mm spark plug socket to tap the seal in, it acts as the spring seat too, so it needs to sit flush.

do this 32 times ( for both sides - I think once I got good at it, I could do 1 every 30 minutes or so maybe every 20 minutes. It is tedious, and a lot of times you have to position the compressor tool at a slight angle to get leverage. I also had to use spaces - a bunch of washers to get it set at the right height. The A/C lines on one side and the brake lines/ steering knuckle are in the way, but you can work with them.... that was the tough spot.

Installing the collets is not easy either, I lightly greased them on the inside so the would stick better, make sure you install them correctly - taper down.

I tried to use the bluepointe valve spring compressor for this job, tons of youtube video's, but they don't work. not enough space.

put everything together in revers order, double check the lever are still intact, and when installing the cam shafts make sure they are close to the correct installation position, if you have to rotate it more that 20 degree's you risk the chance of bending valves.

Time up the engine, when installing the sprockets don't bolt them down until the top chain tensioner is installed. also Verify timing is correct, by spinning the crank shaft 2 revolutions 720 degrees and rechecking timing. it should sit flush or 0.5 mm off. basically flush, now the chain has some play to it, so make sure if it is off a little, push the timing tool down, remove it and recheck, if it now sits flush, you are good, if the chain sprang back and it still sits up, you need to re-adjust.

Remember that time both sides at the same time, as TDC has 2 positions for the cams, I made that mistake and it it took me some time to get to that concept......

reinstall everything in reverse order.... should be easy with everything marked off. If your car sat for a few weeks during this project, recharge the battery prior to firing up the first time, and also, stick the key in and in position 2 for 1 minute prior to starting to relearn all the values that may have changed.

Its a lot off work, but i would not pay $8 for it, would I pay $2,500 for it.... if It can get done in a few days yes, and you are getting new v/c too, with a warranty sure!

tolyag 07-24-2013 05:27 PM

interested to buy.
Hi Rahulk,

Thanks for your post.
I am interesting where you bought the compressor kit, and what is a part number?


Rahulk 07-24-2013 08:42 PM

Valve Spring compressor
Do a search on Amazon or ebay with 'overhead valve spring compressor kit' and you should find a few different valve spring compressors, all about the same, but with different trade names.

tmvE39/E53/Z32 07-25-2013 08:07 AM

Thanks for the DIY. I hope you don't mind me posting a link to this on Xoutpost. Many facelift X5 owners suffer from this issue.

Rahulk 07-25-2013 09:13 AM

E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
Go for it! It's here to help everyone.

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tmvE39/E53/Z32 07-26-2013 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by Rahulk (Post 7732003)
Go for it! It's here to help everyone.

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:thumbup: You should go on there too. Lots of X talks.

Michael201193 12-21-2013 04:28 AM

Where did you attach the brackets for the Valve spring compressor?

Rahulk 12-22-2013 09:14 PM

E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
You attach them to the cam shaft bearing cap thread rods... You have to use spacers and washers... To get the right height..... And so you don't have to screw down the nuts like crazy.

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BrookeX5 12-31-2013 04:30 AM

Blue smoke

I just bought my x5 and was told that this is what's wrong, they want a lot to fix and DIY is beyond me. Any suggestions? How do I know this will fix problem? Could the blue smoke mean something else?


Rahulk 12-31-2013 04:45 AM

E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
Where in Fl are you located?

And it would be white smoke... The symptoms are after the car has warmed up and you idle for about 1 minute... Hitting the accelerator will cause a big cloud of white smoke - the oil is leaking thru the exhaust valve stem seals.

If you get a light blue smoke, it probably is the oil separator... Easier fix.... What year/engine do you have?

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Michael201193 12-31-2013 04:51 AM

Sorry got my subscribed threads mixed up. haha

BrookeX5 12-31-2013 07:51 AM

it is a 2006, lakeland, maybe it is white I thought it was a little blue. if I sit at a light, drive thru or just idle and then drive I get huge puffs depending on how long its idled. I swear I can taste it YUCK!
Deal did a pressure regulator repair kit (replaced both oil separators) hoping that would help, but no!
they suggested: valve stems

Engine 4.4 DOHC, not sure what else you are asking, I don't understand the E and N numbers people use when talking about their BMW how would I find this?

Rahulk 12-31-2013 08:17 AM

E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
Yah that's the valve stem seals....

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doru 08-27-2014 10:46 AM

Here are some pointers if interested to do the valve stem seals

tony745li 08-22-2015 08:21 AM

*I got the aga secondary air cleaner kit for rent* and the aga valve stems kit for rent as well
Call or text* 414 5172179 tony
Or u can add me on Facebook* at

donohue419 10-02-2015 04:57 PM

2007 BMW 550 - n62
Thanks for the excellent write-up. I have followed all your directions and have set the timing on the camshafts. However, I cannot rotate the engine two full revolutions. It gets stuck about 60 degrees from TDC. Do you have any ideas what I have done wrong? Thanks!

Bmwaudivwdude 11-29-2016 06:22 AM

If the engine is not rotating fully, check the rocker arms and lifters very carefully to ensure that they are on straight. They can sometime not be mis-aligned and it will cause this problem. It is more than likely one of the top ones. Also, rotate the engine and look at the rockers and lifter as you rotate the engine. You should see the one that is the problem.

Bigodom 12-03-2016 08:10 PM

oil on plastic cover under radiator
Should there be accessibe oil on the plastic cover connected to the radiator after geting a vavle stem job

Bmwaudivwdude 12-04-2016 09:19 AM

They could have wasted oil out of the oil cooler and my have not cleaned it up. Doing the valve stem job oil runs down from the heads on the Cats and oil leaks from the oil cooler hoses. You have the clean it up once the job is completed.

Bmwaudivwdude 12-13-2016 06:48 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Putting band aids on the problem will only cost you in the long run because all the oil can damage your cats and they are about $1000 each. Here is a pic of valve stems that I pulled off compared to a new one.

Sheena57 02-01-2017 02:15 PM

Valve stem seal replacement
Would you also resurface the cylinder heads with this job?

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