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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-21-2012, 10:13 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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M54 Engine Oil Leak

Guys, I have M54 engine in my E60 and it has a leak which is very annoying since I am loosing 500ml about every 2-3 weeks. Here are some pictures of where I can see the oil.

1. First - There is oil getting accumulated in a puddle around the 1st and 2nd spark plug start from driver side.
2. Second - There few drops of oil between wiping it clean around 4pm and 12pm next day morning. The picture is of the bottom front left corner straight under the vanos areas.
3. Third - there is slight leak under the cover of vanos, but also the two electrical connector on the left of vanos appear to be leaking oil. Can this oil leak slip down to the second pic.

Which part is leaking that I need to fix is what I need to know considering the pictures. Is it the cylinder head gasket that is gone? Or something else.

Any suggestions are welcome.
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  #2  
Old 09-22-2012, 07:37 AM
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Sounds like it`s time to replace the CVV.

(VCG and new plugs should be done at the same time)
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  #3  
Old 09-22-2012, 10:17 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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If a new set of valve cover gaskets doesn't stop oil from seeping to the top of the valve cover, then the valve cover is likely warped and will need to be replaced.
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2012, 05:29 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Sounds like it`s time to replace the CVV.

(VCG and new plugs should be done at the same time)
Listen to Fast Bob here.....VCG leak is a symptom and not always due to dry VCG gasket in our cars. In many, many cases it is a sign that the pressures in your engine are high due to a malfunctioning Crankcase Ventilation Valve assembly....CVV- the root cause!

Change the valve if you never have, along with the two vent hoses and the drain hose that goes down to the oil dipstick tube.

Then change your leaking gaskets caused by this failure-which can also blow you OFHG, and/or oil pan gasket. The weakest link - usually VCG- is going to blow when CVV is inop.
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2012, 09:03 AM
Grouper Grouper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
Listen to Fast Bob here.....VCG leak is a symptom and not always due to dry VCG gasket in our cars. In many, many cases it is a sign that the pressures in your engine are high due to a malfunctioning Crankcase Ventilation Valve assembly....CVV- the root cause!

Change the valve if you never have, along with the two vent hoses and the drain hose that goes down to the oil dipstick tube.

Then change your leaking gaskets caused by this failure-which can also blow you OFHG, and/or oil pan gasket. The weakest link - usually VCG- is going to blow when CVV is inop.
Can anyone point me in the direction of a DIY for this fix. I think I will replace the above Before I get into my valve cover leak, But I dont have a clue what these parts look like, or where there located, or anything like that.....
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Alan
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:29 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Originally Posted by Grouper View Post
Can anyone point me in the direction of a DIY for this fix. I think I will replace the above Before I get into my valve cover leak, But I dont have a clue what these parts look like, or where there located, or anything like that.....
Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Alan
This is the step-by-step I used when I did mine in our old e46 back in 2010. It's rather a pain in the a$$ job. Just think of a whole day for completion.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=643639
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Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 10-03-2012 at 11:30 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-22-2012, 10:39 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Looks like the leak I had in my m54 a fee weeks ago. The valve cover gasket was dry and brittle. A new one fixed the problem.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2012, 08:58 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Thanks Guys, will let you know how it went.

Also, I read that with VCG, one should change the spark plugs. The spark plugs were changed 36K's before on 100K service and it is sitting on 136K's. Should I change the spark plugs? What is the lifetime on BMW spark plugs?

Is there any specifications on spark plugs? BMW or OEM? (I know this is debatable, but just share your experience here guys)

Last edited by kskane; 09-23-2012 at 01:59 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2012, 05:27 AM
ckeith ckeith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Thanks Guys, will let you know how it went.

Also, I read that with VCG, one should change the spark plugs. The spark plugs were changed 36K's before on 100K service and it is sitting on 136K's. Should I change the spark plugs? What is the lifetime on BMW spark plugs?

Is there any specifications on spark plugs? BMW or OEM? (I know this is debatable, but just share your experience here guys)
Well they do recommend changing plugs every 100k miles. This is definitely valve cover gaskets and the vc spark plug gaskets. Mine was so brittle that when i took them off, just the pressure of my fingers would break the gasket into pieces. This caused oil accumulation on my exhaust manifold and just a tiny bit around my spark plugs. These should be changed every 80k miles (recommendation at least). Mine were changed at 88k.
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  #10  
Old 09-25-2012, 05:07 AM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Boys, I need some help. While I was about to bolt the new gasket in, I !@#$#@#@!@#$ the first screw on torque.

WHAT torque do the bolts on valve cover gasket needs to be? I read somewhere 7ft-pound and I was bolting it to to 7, but cracked/ripped the nut from engine assembly (don't you laugh at it ). Much to my luck, that screw on the engine is not part of the engine (now I will have to ask the $stealer for replacement and car is going to be out of action for few days). So please help with torque values.

Also, while I was changing the gasket (still am with the car in garage and engine open with missing bolt), I checked the spark plugs and they are NGK. I have attached picture of contact points. Do you think I should change it?
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  #11  
Old 09-25-2012, 07:26 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Boys, I need some help. While I was about to bolt the new gasket in, I !@#$#@#@!@#$ the first screw on torque.

WHAT torque do the bolts on valve cover gasket needs to be? I read somewhere 7ft-pound and I was bolting it to to 7, but cracked/ripped the nut from engine assembly (don't you laugh at it ). Much to my luck, that screw on the engine is not part of the engine (now I will have to ask the $stealer for replacement and car is going to be out of action for few days). So please help with torque values.

Also, while I was changing the gasket (still am with the car in garage and engine open with missing bolt), I checked the spark plugs and they are NGK. I have attached picture of contact points. Do you think I should change it?
I would. This is a while you are at it type of thing. BMW does recommend new plugs every 100K, so you would be following their specs. Make sure you are using an accurate torque wrench.
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  #12  
Old 09-25-2012, 08:15 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
WHAT torque do the bolts on valve cover gasket needs to be? I read somewhere 7ft-pound and I was bolting it to to 7, but cracked/ripped the nut from engine assembly
7 ft-lbs isn't far from the actual spec; it's listed in the Beisan Systems double VANOS repair article. With an accurate inch-pound wrench, you feel the "click" when you tighten the nut to just a little bit beyond the point where it bottoms out on the threaded stud.

If the valve cover gasket was previously replaced, it's possible that whoever did the work overtorqued and weakened the studs in the cylinder head. Fortunately, replacements aren't expensive.

Also, remember that a torque wrench is most accurate in the middle of its range, and it is least accurate at the limits of its range. A 5 to 45 ft-lbs range, for example, isn't the best choice.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2012, 09:13 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kskane View Post
Boys, I need some help. While I was about to bolt the new gasket in, I !@#$#@#@!@#$ the first screw on torque.
I got the M6/7x29.5 bolt that I broke above. Now what I realise next is that the bolt side M7 that goes into the engine side would not tighten, once it is fully screwed in, it just keeps rotating seems like the threads are gone or lose or something (but if I try to pull the bolt it does not comes out). I did some finding and it appears that I need helicoils. Does any one know if following is that I need?

Part number 07 14 6 958 587

Otherwise, for M7 bolt, would I need a 7mm helicoil or a 8mm helicoil. Also, what is the thread size on the bolt M6/7x29.5 bolt, 1mm or 1.?? mm or 0.?? mm

For further details, the bolt with part number: 11121718856 is going into the engine assembly and is free i.e. the thread on the female part which is in the engine assembly needs repairing for which I need helicoils. But what size of helicoil is what I need to know.

Last edited by kskane; 09-27-2012 at 10:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old 10-02-2012, 06:37 AM
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Cool, thanks. Everything went well!
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  #15  
Old 10-02-2012, 04:49 PM
mr.miriclewhip mr.miriclewhip is offline
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kskane did you only change your valve cover gasket? or did you also change your cvv? i have the same exact problem. my pictures even match your first two in the first post. i had the valve cover gasket replaced less then twenty thousand miles ago. and was just about to change the cvv, but was curious if maybe its more so the gasket. was going to still change the cvv but would rather knock two birds with one stone.
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  #16  
Old 10-08-2012, 05:14 PM
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kskane kskane is online now
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Originally Posted by mr.miriclewhip View Post
kskane did you only change your valve cover gasket? or did you also change your cvv? i have the same exact problem. my pictures even match your first two in the first post. i had the valve cover gasket replaced less then twenty thousand miles ago. and was just about to change the cvv, but was curious if maybe its more so the gasket. was going to still change the cvv but would rather knock two birds with one stone.
mr.miriclewhip, sorry for the late response, I first changed the OFHG, and then the VCG. I still have the leak in the second image which is from oil sump. I have not done any replacement of CVV, but guess I will be looking at that next (although, my breather hose that goes into the dipstick was recently replaced before i started all this DIY).
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  #17  
Old 10-03-2012, 08:06 AM
mr.miriclewhip mr.miriclewhip is offline
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for sure i am i was just wondering if i will need to re replace the vcg it was replaced recently, but was wondering if the cvv just being replaced would stop the extra pressure causing the leak. i dont mind if i have to re replace the vcg i just didnt know how fast it would take for that to fail because i stopped driving the car once i had the slightest sign of it acting strange. just didnt want to replace the cvv, and not redue the vcg and that cause it to still be at fault. you know? i say this because i know me and my friend change the vcg and vanos rebuild less then twenty k ago.
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2013, 06:07 PM
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ahull ahull is offline
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Actually that does look like the ofhg is leaking. The gasket is several inches below the bottom of the filter. The leak will be visible several inches below that. Oil on the "waffle" pattern is a sure thing. The whole housing is like a foot and a half long.
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  #19  
Old 10-16-2013, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahull View Post
Actually that does look like the ofhg is leaking. The gasket is several inches below the bottom of the filter. The leak will be visible several inches below that. Oil on the "waffle" pattern is a sure thing. The whole housing is like a foot and a half long.
I took a further look based on your description and some more searching, and there is oil residue in the taletell places on the engine block below/behind the oil filter itself.

Will probably get this done in combination with the driver's lower control arm; ball joint is worn.
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