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Old 07-29-2010, 02:00 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
The first question should be: Do you really need to replace the CCV. Some say yes, I say maybe. Partly because I never want to replace parts unless it is really necessary. For instance, I will wait until my oil filter housing actually leaks before replacing the gasket. Why? Because I have better things to do than fix my car. Here are the typical CCV failure modes:

"The CCV also has two failure modes. The most serious failure mode occurs during sub-freezing temperatures and is the result of a mixture of oil mist and condensate (water) combining and freezing the separator solid so it can't do it's job. In the other failure mode the integral diaphragm in the CCV cracks and creates both a vacuum leak and a path for oil vapor to be sucked into the intake manifold and later burned. The result is usually a rough running engine and lots of blue smoke billowing from the exhaust. If this occurs it will most likely be associated with a check engine light (CEL) due to the vacuum leak and misfires that are the result of the contaminated fuel mixture. In a worst case scenario, if sufficient oil is sucked into the manifold the result can be a hydrolocked engine and a very large repair bill. For this reason I believe replacement of the $80 CCV is cheap insurance while you are under the hood to replace the ICV. " Ref: Doug's Domain e36

Being a CA car, you probably don't have the former issue. If you inspect the pipes/hoses, if you find a yellow/white mayo like substance inside, then you have the former problem. If you have the latter issue, you will know it (CEL or smoke in your exhaust). So, unless your diaphragm has failed, replacement may not be needed immediately. But since the total cost for replacement, including the 4 pipes/hoses, is around $140, you may want to do this for the access while everything is out and for peace of mind. It kind of depends on how long your commitment to this car is.

You cannot clean the CCV itself because you cannot open it. It is possible to clean the "mayo" like gunk out of the pipes/hoses but the plastic connectors get brittle over time and typically break when you remove them. Most folks just replace all the hoses. If the diaphragm has failed, it cannot be fixed because you can't access it. So, if this is on your agenda, you should just buy all new parts.

The CCV parts are located on Real.OEM in section 11 15, Engine - Cylinder Head. BMW recommends you should replace the old dipstick tube with the $250+ new BMW "special" dipstick tube. I say whoever says that IS a dipstick. Clean out the tube with compressed air and you're good to go. A new o-ring gasket is all you need there.

In my original DIY post on the CCV, go to post #36 and look at the picture #8, the one with the dipstick tube, wiring box and lower intake boot identified. That view is from the driver side, looking sideways (reference the alternator position). The CCV is hidden directly behind the wiring box, which must be removed to replace the CCV. In post #37, the old CCV is shown in photo #13 and the new one is shown in photo #18.

One thing. The technical difficulty of replacing your CCV is about a 3-4 on a scale of 1- 10. No real skills or experience are needed (look, I DID it! With minimal assistance!). The key is to be methodical and label everything that gets disconnected. However, the PITA factor is an 8-9 due to limited access. Since you have everything out of the way, the PITA factor should be go down to a 2-3. This may be a deciding factor on whether to do this job or not.

These are the parts and tools, taken from that DIY:

T-40, T-27 & T-25 Torx
6mm, 10mm, & 13mm sockets
Ratchet -1/4" & 3/8
Extension bars, various lengths - 1/4" & 3/8
drive handle
Small mirror (absolutely necessary!)
Assorted flat blade screw drivers in different lengths
Magnetic pick up tool (optional)
Small blade knife or cutter (for old hoses)

11 61 7 533 400 Pressure Regulating Valve - CCV (insulated)
11 61 1 533 398 Vent Pipe (insulated)
11 61 7 533 399 Connecting line (insulated)
11 61 7 532 629 Vent hose (insulated)
11 61 7 504 536 Return Pipe (insulated)
11 43 1 740 045 O-Ring, Oil Dip Stick Tube to Oil Pan

Hope this helps. Adding another fairly major task to your growing list of things to do is somewhat daunting but when you get through these jobs, your engine will be extremely reliable.

You'll then get the itch to replace your Vanos seals because you'll want to restore all that available power and torque...

Of course, then you'll want to replace your worn suspension components, because you're now outrunning your suspension...

This is why I try not to fix anything until it is broke. I have spent more $$ at Harbor Freight in the past year than I care to count.
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