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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:38 PM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Replaced oil pan gasket

I did it! I changed my oil pan gasket w/o dropping the sub-frame or lifting the motor. I had to cut the gasket to get it in.
I ran the motor for a little while yesterday. NO LEAKS. But time will tell!!
I’ll keep you posted whether it leaks or not.
It was not that difficult of a job. It would be much easier on a lift instead of rolling around underneath on a creeper with only a couple of inches of head room.
I spend most of the time studying where to cut the gasket in order to (1) be able to get it in and (2) have it in a position where it was accessible enough to get a good dose of gasket maker around the cut lines.
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2011, 12:47 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Nice going. This could save a lot of people (I6 owners--I get to gloat for a moment) a lot of time and pain. Where did you cut it?
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:19 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Hey Mudbone,

So it was worth the $28 experiment, correct LOL?
I had a STRONG conviction that this would work and this was exactly what I suggested to Mudbone to do.
And Mudbone proved it.
Did you have to move the Steering Rack or not?
Any pictures?


------
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Nice going. This could save a lot of people (I6 owners--I get to gloat for a moment) a lot of time and pain. Where did you cut it?
bobdmac,

The issue of where to cut the oil pan gasket was discussed in this thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=527228

This was the location that I suggested "Mudbone" to cut:

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  #4  
Old 04-05-2011, 05:57 AM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Hey Mudbone,

So it was worth the $28 experiment, correct LOL?
I had a STRONG conviction that this would work and this was exactly what I suggested to Mudbone to do.
And Mudbone proved it.
Did you have to move the Steering Rack or not?
Any pictures?


------


bobdmac,

The issue of where to cut the oil pan gasket was discussed in this thread:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=527228

This was the location that I suggested "Mudbone" to cut:


Whether it was worth it or not will only be answered through time!
Day 2 no leaks!
I did not remove the steering rack. It would have been easier if I had. But I weighed that effort against what good might be gained, and decide to not.
I didn't take any pictures.
i have marked up your picture from your previous post to illustrate where I cut the gasket. I cut it at the green lines.
The harmonic balancer in the front and bell housing in the rear create a problem for getting the new gasket in.
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  #5  
Old 04-05-2011, 06:51 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mudbone,

Thanks for the update. I can assure you that you will have no leak for the next 80K miles. This is because my Volvo oil pan gasket uses what Volvo called "liquid gasket" (basically similar to RTV gasket), and at 110K no leak at all.

I think your fix is a permanent fix.

BTW, let's say you already cut the gasket and know what to do, how long did it take you?
1h or 2h?
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  #6  
Old 04-05-2011, 07:08 AM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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I believe I could do it again in 2 hrs including raising and lower the car and cleaning up.
If I had access to a lift, I could do it in an hour (not including the note below).

However, if I were to do it again, I would drain the oil the night before and let it continue to drain through the night. That "little bit" of oil that just kept creeping onto the gasket surface was aggravating.
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2011, 01:25 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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The only downside is that you were unable to inspect the bottom of the pan for dead mice, etc.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:23 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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I remember that discussion, cn90, and as I recall, you originally suggested cutting in a different location, but Mudbone didn't say whether he followed your above suggestion.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2011, 02:51 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Here is the thread that precipitated this wonderful ground-breaking teamwork (cn90 & Mudbone) solution:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Who has replaced their oil pan gasket?

Since this is such a quantum leap in our knowledge, I'm adding this link to the bestlinks because it's the first proof of concept (although ... we really need some pictures of the gasket cut, the gasket with the sealant on it, and the method of 'wriggling' the gasket into place).

- How to identify & fix an oil filter housing (OFH) leak (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to identify an oil pan gasket leak (1) & how to remove & replace the E39 V8 oil pan gasket (1) (2) or the E39 I6 oil pan gasket (1) (2) & hints how to replace the rigid metalized I6 oil pan gasket without removing the subframe (1) (2) & if you do remove the subframe, how to build or buy your own hoist & engine-support tools (1) (2) & how to fix broken or stripped oil drain pan plug bolt threads (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) (16) (17) (18)

Last edited by bluebee; 04-05-2011 at 03:52 PM.
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  #10  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:14 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Ahhh,

I drive the car up the ramp and slide myself on top of a cardboard (the UPS shipping box stuff) on concrete floor.
The creeper itself adds height to it (probably another 5-6 inches in height) and that is why I don't use it.
This is why I slide under on top of a cardboard LOL.
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2011, 09:26 AM
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I'm curious why you cut the gasket in two places.

The uninitiated (me) would think that one cut would be sufficient to wiggle it around. I guess the reason is that the metal-reinforced gasket, even cut once, is still too rigid and too large to get around the obstacles.

Mudbone: Having done it, do you still recommend TWO cuts? Why?

Also, in this thread, there's no mention of what 'gasket sealer' mudbone used (cn90 discussed "liquid gasket"). Mudbone: For future reference, I'm trying to anticipate the questions while the answers are still fresh in your head.

Mudbone: What gasket sealer do you recommend, if any?


Last edited by bluebee; 04-05-2011 at 02:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2011, 10:51 AM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'm curious why you cut the gasket in two places.

The uninitiated (me) would think that one cut would be sufficient to wiggle it around. I guess the reason is that the metal-reinforced gasket, even cut once, is still too rigid and too large to get around the obstacles.

Mudbone: Having done it, do you still recommend TWO cuts? Why?

Also, in this thread, there's no mention of what 'gasket sealer' mudbone used (cn90 discussed "liquid gasket"). Mudbone: For future reference, I'm trying to anticipate the questions while the answers are still fresh in your head.

Mudbone: What gasket sealer do you recommend, if any?

h

Bluebee your assumption is correct. I could not get the new gasket in place with one cut. It is one of those "you had to be there" moments. The locations were selected by observation.

Yes I believe two cuts are required (see above).

As far as recommending a gasket sealer goes, I'm going to wait to see if it leaks before I recommend anything. But for the record I used "Permatex Ultra Copper".
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  #13  
Old 06-09-2013, 09:36 AM
GabesJH82 GabesJH82 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudbone View Post
Bluebee your assumption is correct. I could not get the new gasket in place with one cut. It is one of those "you had to be there" moments. The locations were selected by observation.

Yes I believe two cuts are required (see above).

As far as recommending a gasket sealer goes, I'm going to wait to see if it leaks before I recommend anything. But for the record I used "Permatex Ultra Copper".
Hey mudbone what did you use to cut the gasket with by any chance? Im in process of doing this
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2013, 10:20 AM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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I used green aviation snips to cut the gasket.

Still no leaks - 2+ years later!!
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  #15  
Old 04-05-2011, 11:50 AM
559eddie559 559eddie559 is offline
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the tasate of victory never tasted so good right mudbone?!
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  #16  
Old 04-05-2011, 12:21 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Many people may not realize the significance of this thread.

1. To do it the "kosher" way, it is 9-10h of pain:
- Support engine through the hook (engine hoist needed = crane or wood support etc.).
It is difficult to find a hoist, you can rent it but it costs money.
- Remove subframe (this is a BIG job because a lot of nuts and bolts need to be removed).
- After the oil pan gasket is done, re-install the subframe.
- A wheel alignment is strongly recommended = more money

2. Doing it this way (Mudbone's way = cutting the gasket in 2 places and use RTV sealant) saves tons of time and money.
It may not sound "kosher" but it works great.

I have every confidence this will hold up very very well with time.

So Mudbone, if we don't hear from you for the 10 years, we know it is good news.
No news = good news LOL.


PS: That "Permatex Ultra Copper" is very good stuff, it will hold up at least 8-10 years, been there done that.
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  #17  
Old 04-05-2011, 03:09 PM
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If you are going to cut the gasket anyway is there really any benefit to the gasket at all? Or would one be just as well served to use an oil resistant gasket maker for the entire bead?
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  #18  
Old 04-05-2011, 03:13 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
If you are going to cut the gasket anyway is there really any benefit to the gasket at all? Or would one be just as well served to use an oil resistant gasket maker for the entire bead?
Trying to create a consistent bead around the entire perimeter could get messy, I think. With this method, you only need to apply a couple of dabs.
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  #19  
Old 04-05-2011, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
With this method, you only need to apply a couple of dabs.
You guys inherently have a feel for what to use (e.g., why not "Sealant HYLOMAR 100 g Tube for Oil Pan Gasket E39"?) and how 'much' to put on (like, what's a 'couple of dabs anyway').

Personally, I generally smear stuff on as thickly as I can (but, I suspect that would be wrong in this case).

I understand Mudbone didn't take pictures; so, may I ask the NEXT person who does this oilpan gasket repair to snap some PICTURES of the cut gasket and the sealant so we (who have never done it) get an idea of the steps to success.

Also, what sealant is best for the double-cut metal:rubber I6 oil pan gasket?


PS: I clued in the E46 (M54 engine) crowd just now with this thread:
- You 'can' replace the M54 I6 oilpan gasket WITHOUT disconnecting the subframe!
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  #20  
Old 04-06-2011, 01:46 PM
bobdmac bobdmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
You guys inherently have a feel for what to use ...and how 'much' to put on (like, what's a 'couple of dabs anyway').

Personally, I generally smear stuff on as thickly as I can (but, I suspect that would be wrong in this case).
Bluebee, just for you, I've been struggling to come up with a definition for a "dab," an inherently vague term, and so here's my stab at it:
dab: A small amount of a non-discrete substance that is sufficient for its intended purpose without being excessive.

Last edited by bobdmac; 04-06-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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  #21  
Old 04-07-2011, 05:07 AM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdmac View Post
Bluebee, just for you, I've been struggling to come up with a definition for a "dab," an inherently vague term, and so here's my stab at it:
dab: A small amount of a non-discrete substance that is sufficient for its intended purpose without being excessive.

Bob,

I like your definition. However I think it appropriate to point out that while a “dab” might have been the correct amount, I used a “gob” at the “cut points” of the replacement gasket. It was done purely out of fear of another leak.

And now for Bluebee's sake, some “higher math” - Gob = 3X dab

Day 5 – NO Leaks
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2014, 03:15 PM
trickstar trickstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtec View Post
If you are going to cut the gasket anyway is there really any benefit to the gasket at all? Or would one be just as well served to use an oil resistant gasket maker for the entire bead?
I'm with you on this! Lose the metal and rubber gasket, go all RTV!!!!!!!!

Raise the car, and don't worry about the subframe. You won't need to do this for this job, if my estimation is correct.
Lower the pan a bit to cut out the old gasket, section by section, so that the rotten rubber pieces fall into the oil. Tighten the pan back up without a gasket kind of snug, snug enough so that you can open the oil pan drain plug, and, THEN let the oil drain out, carrying rotten rubber fragments with it. Take out the pan bolts all the way, allowing the oil to drain for half a day.
Wait wait wait for the oil to completely drain out.

Clean clean clean with Brake Cleaner

Put a nice bead of Permatex Ultra Black RTV gasket maker all along the flat edge (put this further toward the outside, not the inside edge on the oil side) of the engine or the pan, and around the bolt holes. Press the pan evenly up against the block, letting the gasket maker seep out all around. Tighten finger tight. Let the RTV touch both surfaces WET!!!

Let dry for an hour.

Then, one more 1/4 turn to torque.

Let chemistry do the work. Really let this dry for about a day before putting the drain plug back in. That pan will be stuck on there, with no future chance of rot or leakage, if you worked clean, didn't take shortcuts, and don't over torque the bolts. DON'T BREAK THE NEW DRIED RUBBER/SILICONE GASKET BY OVER TORQUING!!!!!!!!

When you think about it, you don't know if your block or pan have any warping, and the stock OEM gasket may not seal perfectly, because the surfaces may not be perfectly flat.

Let the RTV do your dirty work on the things that you didn't consider. Like uneven surfaces.

This will be how I'm doing it when/if I ever get a leak. Oh, yeah, by the way... Most of you have an oil filter housing leak. That's my best guess.

Jimmy

Last edited by trickstar; 07-13-2014 at 05:03 PM. Reason: clarification
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  #23  
Old 07-14-2014, 07:40 AM
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ForcedFirebird ForcedFirebird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trickstar View Post
....

Jimmy

So, you are basing this post on assumption, and have not done the job?

I own an Indy BMW repair/performance shop and have done hundreds of BMW oil pan gaskets, and I will agree with you on one point. The pans tend to warp causing leaks, even with a fresh OEM gasket. They are very thin rubber layers on a piece of sheet metal - so I NEVER use the OEM (or OEM style) gasket. Not long ago, we re-sealed a replacement engine for the e36 race car, and my tech used the OEM gasket - before it even made it to the first race, it was already leaking. No one likes to do a job twice, and he quickly realized why I always tell him to toss the OEM gasket out. Re-sealed it with Elastomeric and it has now completed three grueling 14hr races without a drop.

Room Temperature Vulcanization (RTV) is not a good choice for oil pans IMO. There is a far superior product called Elastomeric sold by the names of "Honda Bond", "The Right Stuff", "SpecSeal" etc. It allows you to apply, put the parts together and are immediately ready for service with zero cure time (if oil comes in contact with "wet" RTV, the RTV is compromised). I have been using it since about 2006 or so for all our race car builds, engine rebuilds etc, and have never had leaks.
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  #24  
Old 04-06-2011, 07:40 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mudbone,

You will be happy to see this thread, the RTV sealant trick holds up past the 150K in this E30:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...57&postcount=5

Quote:
..."m123":...I did the same thing my old e30 just used sealant in the cut b4 bolting it down and it worked fine drove it another 150k never leaked again; I made just 1 cut in the side middle area between 2 bolt holes.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:52 AM
BMR01530 BMR01530 is offline
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wow.. I was just under the car last night for another issue and was looking at this problem. This is fantastic..
- Job = $28
- value = priceless

This is the true value of the internet and forums...
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