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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 03-19-2011, 09:25 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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CCV replacement tips

I replaced the CCV on my M54 3.0 last week. Once I got the old CCV out and opened for inspection (i.e. destroyed) I found that the valve itself was probably OK, although I can't be certain. My "for sure" problems were these.

First
The heavy power lead running from the alternator to the starter had worn a hole in the drain hose. In other words, a sizable vacuum leak through the CCV system. It appears that some work was done before I bought the car & this heavy cable was positioned so it rubbed on the hose just at the CCV connection where the abrasion wore a hole.

I was careful to route the alternator cable away from a rubbing point at the CCV connection during re-assembly. Even if the cable does flex and droop over time it will move to contact the drain hose in a location away from the joint where it won't have a hard rubbing point to abrade.

Second
The drain hose and drain in the dipstick guidetube were plugged solid. In my case, I was able to remove the drain hose from the dipstick guide tube while in place. I used a small screwdriver pushed into the slip joint & ran it all the way around the circumference to break adhesion, then pulled the hose up & off the guidetube. It was the only hose that didn't crumble when disturbed during CCV removal.
From my experience, it would have been possible to remove this drain hose and dipstick guide tube for cleaning &/or replacement without replacing the entire CCV system.

I had terrible idle quality, 10 lean & mis-fire codes & the CEL lit. Crankcase vacuum was 100 mbar vs the spec of 10 to 15. I also had a new intermittent burnt oil smell in the engine bay with a wisp of smoke off the rear bank exhaust manifold, but no obvious smoke out the tailpipe, which I found puzzling with high crankcase vacuum rather than pressure. I'm baffled by the high crankcase vacuum given the leak in the crankcase side of the CCV system although this vacuum leak does explain the idle quality, codes and CEL.

Anyway, idle is again so smooth that I have to check the tach, all the codes are gone & the burnt oil smell is no more.

Sorry for the lack of "in place" pictures. By the time I found these problems my hands were so grimmy with oil muck that I didn't dare pick up the camera.

Regards
RDL
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  #2  
Old 03-19-2011, 10:10 AM
edjack edjack is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. Most don't take the time to do it.
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2011, 06:33 PM
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Every time RDL posts, I'm impressed with his knowledge.

I'll add this thread to the bestlinks so that others will see the nice photos and observations.

- CCV FAILS: crankcase ventilation valve diaphragm tears, freezes (1), &/or clogs (1), necessitating CCV replacement (M54,M54,M54, M54 observations) (M52,M52) (M52TU) (M62,M62) ('99 528i) ('98 528i); raising pressures, often causing the OFH oil filter housing to leak (1) (2) (3) (4); frequently blowing the VCG valve cover gasket (1); and sometimes the head gasket (1) (2); often causing vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3).
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:49 PM
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very well writing, the pictures are a plus. i might have to take a look at mine after you posted this, thank you.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The heavy power lead running from the alternator to the starter had worn a hole in the drain hose. ... The drain hose and drain in the dipstick guidetube were plugged solid.
I'm trying to put together a comprehensive discussion of the CCV (everything except a CCV R&R DIY, which already exists) over here:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

One of the tasks is to identify the 'proper name' of each of the components.

May I ask for a clarification in the quoted text above.

By "drain hose", do you mean the "vent hose"?
And, where is the "drain in the dipstick guide tube" in the drawing below?

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  #6  
Old 04-12-2011, 04:28 AM
timarnold timarnold is offline
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Just one more tip on CCV replacement. If you are going to replace the oring on the dipstick tube, use some oring lube (my favorite is Nylog A/C oring lube) on the oring prior to trying to insert the dipstick & oring assembly into the block. It will be nearly impossible to install without cutting the oring otherwise. If you don't feel a distinct detent while pushing down, the tube is not in position.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:53 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I'm trying to put together a comprehensive discussion of the CCV (everything except a CCV R&R DIY, which already exists) over here:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

One of the tasks is to identify the 'proper name' of each of the components.

May I ask for a clarification in the quoted text above.

By "drain hose", do you mean the "vent hose"?
And, where is the "drain in the dipstick guide tube" in the drawing below?

When I mentioned "drain hose" I was refering to pt#4 in the diagram, the "vent hose."

By "drain in the dipstick guide tube" I meant the path indicated by the orange dotted arrow labelled "liquid oil" in the vicinity of the arrowhead.

BTW, my M54 does not have pt# 6 "vacuum hose" although RealOEM indicates it is supposed to be present.

Regards
RDL
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  #8  
Old 04-12-2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
BTW, my M54 does not have pt# 6 "vacuum hose" although RealOEM indicates it is supposed to be present
Interesting.

I have a M54B25 which is what I listed in that realoem diagram (2002 525i).

However, like you, Fudman's M5430 also has the vacuum port capped:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cute little trick to diagnose blocked CCV

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
All I know is that the M54 3.0 does not have this vacuum hose. I believe rdl's experience mirrors mine.
On the other hand, Aioros' 99 528i clearly has an orange-striped vacuum line as shown in these pictures in his CCV DIY:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator

So, I'm confused as to whether my M54B25 has the vacuum line (realoem is 'usually' right, but not infallible) and what is the purpose (and direction) of the vacuum for those E39s which 'do' have the vacuum line.

It would be helpful if I could identify the 'other end' of that vacuum line (since the CCV itself is basically buried from casual view).


Last edited by bluebee; 04-12-2011 at 10:42 AM.
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  #9  
Old 04-12-2011, 11:58 AM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

... stuff deleted ...

It would be helpful if I could identify the 'other end' of that vacuum line (since the CCV itself is basically buried from casual view).

I like your understatement. I'll say the CCV is "buried from casual view." What a design - something Rube Goldberg could be proud of.

BTW, so the unwary will not be misled, the picture has an error. The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS.

Regards
RDL
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  #10  
Old 04-12-2011, 12:06 PM
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doru doru is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I like your understatement. I'll say the CCV is "buried from casual view." What a design - something Rube Goldberg could be proud of.

BTW, so the unwary will not be misled, the picture has an error. The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS.

Regards
RDL
Here is a pic from Beisan. It shows where it attaches (the lower left hose in your pic)

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  #11  
Old 04-12-2011, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS
Interestingly, that confused me because Aioros' routing points conflicted with cn90's information (valve cover) and that of realoem.

So, I went with the cn90 & realoem end points when I annotated the diagram and cn90's picture (which we both annotated) as shown below.

RDL: For those E39's that 'do' have the vacuum hose, can you hazard a guess as to WHAT it does and whether the direction of vacuum is IN or OUT?

Normally I'd 'assume' the direction of vacuum is OUT but there are two huge hoses within inches of that vacuum line which are connected directly to manifold vacuum (not to the VANOS) ... so that's why I ask if the vacuum is inward or outward in that small line.

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Old 04-12-2011, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Here is a pic from Beisan. It shows where [the vent pipe] attaches
Thanks. The CCV is shrouded from view - out of sight - but never out of mind.

So it behooves us to understand it in as few canonical threads as possible.

Here's a Fudman view of that "vent pipe" (using the BMW term) from above:
- DIY: CCV Replacement on an M54

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  #13  
Old 04-12-2011, 12:58 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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What if anything inside the CCV itself fails? Does it simply get clogged up, and is not uncloggable with the usual solvents?

I looked at all the hoses leading out of mine and they seem fairly pliable and undamaged. Makes me wonder if they haven't already been replaced. But I'm going to check the dipstick tube next, hope I find no surprises.

BMW sells a replacement cold-weather package for the CCV + hose hardware, with insulation added. Wouldn't that be the better choice regardless of where you live?
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
BMW sells a replacement cold-weather package for the CCV + hose hardware, with insulation added. Wouldn't that be the better choice regardless of where you live?
If you live in a hot climate, it's not necessary. BMW "upgraded" the CCV kit with the insulated one in an attempt to avoid condensation on the pipe walls, and the forming of mayo - the mayo can get hard and can freeze. This will destroy the CCV or can lead to catastrophic engine failure. It's some sort of bad engineering aknowledgement from BMW (and these are not many).
Also, the new dipstick guide has a new design, where the internal drip "tubes" of the oil are much bigger. These bigger internal drip tubes seem to be directly related with the price BMW sells the new and improved dipstick guide....
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
What if anything inside the CCV itself fails?
Good question! I hope someone answers that with a good explanatory CCV autopsy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
the new dipstick guide has a new design, where the internal drip "tubes" of the oil are much bigger
Interesting.

Do we have a side-by-side picture of the 'old' and 'new' "dipstick guide tube" drain slots?

Here, for example, must be the old one from this DIY:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator, 99 528i, by aioros

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Old 04-12-2011, 02:29 PM
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Champaign777 posted on the "other" forum his CCV saga/replacement. At that time he mentioned that his BMW department friend told him that the new CCV cold climate retrofit is not complete without the new dipstick guide, which at that timewas around 200 bux!!! (see post)

The original dipstick guide (withe the 3 tiny holes) was p/n 11431433496
This is the pic of the new and improved dipstick guide (I use Champaign777 pjoto - I hope he does not mind). p/n was 11437565437 (photo below). The new design does not have the 3 holes, but I believe it has a big openeing where it mates with the larger lower guide.



The new dipstick guide is now listed at around 40 bux and has again a different p/n 11437531258
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
What if anything inside the CCV itself fails? Does it simply get clogged up, and is not uncloggable with the usual solvents?
I believe there are two primary failure modes in the CCV:

1. The CCV and/or hoses get clogged with the condensate which prevents proper flow of crankcase vapors back into the intake and/or liquid oil back into the sump.

2. The diaphram within the CCV fails creating a vacuum leak. Oil vapors get sucked into the intake creating the black smoke. If liquid oil goes into the intake manifold, you can have a very big problem (hydrolock).
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:17 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Does the diaphragm material get damaged or does all the gunk inside merely prevent it from performing as designed? Is it a film or other flexible membrane, or a sprung valve controlled by crankcase pressure? Amenable to washing out with a solvent (say, gasoline)?

I just flipped through my Bentley manual and couldn't find anything about maintaining or replacing this thing.

Last edited by pleiades; 04-12-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:20 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
The new dipstick guide is now listed at around 40 bux and has again a different p/n 11437531258
That does seem to be the price of this thing on RealOEM. Usually if I buy something from the dealer, their price will be very close or the same. Just searched a couple of online vendors though and it was double or more.
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Old 04-12-2011, 07:48 PM
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For the record, I added everything recent from Doru, Fudman, & Pleiades just now to the nascent CCV diagnostic (but not DIY) thread:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

CCV system 'failure' modes, so far, now edited, at least anecdotally from the threads, appear to be:

Quote:
Physical Failure Modes:
  • The CCV sticks in the open position (1) due to the diaphragm tearing (2)
  • The CCV hoses clog, causing pressure buildup, especially during cold weather & short trips (1)
  • The CCV hoses deteriorate, causing vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3)
  • Water freezes inside the CCV below -15C cold starts causing misfires, hard starting, & blown valve cover gaskets (1)
Are there other failure modes (or more information about the listed failure modes)?
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:24 PM
rdl rdl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Interestingly, that confused me because Aioros' routing points conflicted with cn90's information (valve cover) and that of realoem.

So, I went with the cn90 & realoem end points when I annotated the diagram and cn90's picture (which we both annotated) as shown below.

RDL: For those E39's that 'do' have the vacuum hose, can you hazard a guess as to WHAT it does and whether the direction of vacuum is IN or OUT?

Normally I'd 'assume' the direction of vacuum is OUT but there are two huge hoses within inches of that vacuum line which are connected directly to manifold vacuum (not to the VANOS) ... so that's why I ask if the vacuum is inward or outward in that small line.

The vacuum hose is a mystery to me. Maybe to BMW as well, since they deleted it in later versions.

From the picture, it appears to simply connect the inlet manifold to the crankcase via the vent pipe. This vacuum hose defeats the spring & diaphram vacuum regulator in the upper chamber when crankcase vacuum reaches the regulator's limit (lowest pressure / highest vacuum desired) The vacuum hose would continue to route blowby out of the crankcase to the inlet manifold and further increase vacuum (reduce pressure) while the regulator is trying to reduce vacuum in the crankcase. I can't think of a set of circumstances when this would be desirable.

I'm not sure what you mean by the direction of vacuum. Vacuum means that the pressure is lower than atmospheric, it doesn't have a direction. Here, the vacuum hose will have high vacuum (pressure much below atmoshperic) on the inlet manifold end and lower vacuum (pressure a little below atmspheric) at the port into the CCV. Blowby gases will move from the higher pressure area to the lower pressure; from CCV end to the inlet manifold.
FWIW, all the arrows point in the direction that gases in the CCV system move.

Regards
RDL
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:38 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Good question! I hope someone answers that with a good explanatory CCV autopsy!



Interesting.

Do we have a side-by-side picture of the 'old' and 'new' "dipstick guide tube" drain slots?

Here, for example, must be the old one from this DIY:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator, 99 528i, by aioros

See my thread:
Post #67.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1376457

Quote:
Originally Posted by genuity View Post
Here is your $200 dipstick (top p/n: 11437565437) versus the original $30 (bottom p/n: 11437531258) comparison. Now you wonder why oil gets sucked into the intake if your CCV is clogged (with the original dipstick guide tube), huh? What kind of retarded engineering is this?

I just did an overhaul job on my E46 that has an M54. OP, did you replace your starter and vacuum lines? I'd hate to do this job ever again. I went ahead and replaced everything under it--cooling pipes, hoses, and sensors.

Did you clean your intake manifold? It took me about a week or so to clean it. I know it was impossible to get it completely cleaned because of the design--the lobes that come down to form the throttle body opening probably still has a little but of oil grime in but I emptied over a dozen Berryman carb cleaner, a gallon of Purple Power and Simple Green, and about half a liter of Dawn dishwashing soap, and finally several gallons of water with a pressure washer for each of those items I used. Additionally, I also submerged it in baths of those items overnight.
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Old 04-13-2011, 08:05 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
See my thread
Ooooh. Very nice. Lovely, in fact.

This picture, alone, explains a lot but coupled with RDL's plugged dipstick guide tube and Airos' direction of flow arrows, the whole story is better illuminated.

So that all benefit from each of our actions, I'll add that photo (annotated with reference provided to the original) to the previous discussion of the CCV (started as how to test, but morphing into everything but a DIY).
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

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  #24  
Old 04-13-2011, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
The vacuum hose is a mystery to me ... I can't think of a set of circumstances when this would be desirable.
OK. I'll give up trying to figure it out (especially since I don't seem to have it on my M54 anyway).

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by the direction of vacuum. ...all the arrows point in the direction that gases in the CCV system move
That's what I meant. The arrows I added (based on cn90's original arrows) were meant to show the 'flow' of vapors and liquid oil.

BTW, in your clogged dipstick guide tube, I can't 'see' the two concentric rings of metal but I 'assume' they're there.

If the OUTER ring only flows the oil dripping down from the CCV and the inner tube simply holds the diptstick in a puddle of oil, why would a LARGER diameter dipstick guide tube have 'any effect' on the gunk formation?

Put another way, the bottom (how many inches?) of the dipstick guide tube is always in a pan of oil, so, why would the larger diameter diptstick guide tube gunk up any less than the smaller concentric-ring diameter dipstick guide tube? (I guess this one is for the engineers in Bavaria.)
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  #25  
Old 04-13-2011, 11:40 AM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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BMW designed a new dipstick which means they agree that old one is a crap
How much does it cost and why is another story but old dipstick is not in my cars anymore

one problem less for CCV
LOL

Last edited by champaign777; 04-13-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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