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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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  #51  
Old 06-12-2011, 09:56 PM
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nyclad nyclad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
On another note: I am thinking about cutting the gasket in different places than I mentioned above.
If you make the cuts on the "high side" (remember the motor is titled toward the passenger side, then the oil pan junction's driver side sits higher than the pass side), it makes sense because this "high side" sits above oil level.

Plus you only apply sealant at where the cuts are. Basically about 1 cm in length of sealant in 2 locations.

Anyway, it is your call and worth a $28 experiment (the oil pan gasket is $28)!

Here is what I think where the cuts should be:


I'm guessing you're making the two cuts because you need to clear the sprocket to the front and the suction tube to the rear.

For my situation where I can lower the pan enough to clear the front sprocket, what do you think about only cutting the gasket on the rear cut? I would have to bend/manipulate the gasket a little, as it had to go around the suction tube, which is about 1 inch in diameter.
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  #52  
Old 09-22-2011, 06:42 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
If you look at Thread #26 above, the gasket comes off in one piece, so no worry about bits and pieces falling inside.
This is because the rubber is bonded to the metal frame.
Yeah I just did this and the rubber was so old and stiff it all fell into the pan when I removed the old gasket. It just flaked apart when I worked the old gasket out. I cut the old gasket to facilitate removal but pieces fell in both when I cut it and when I tried to remove it.

I'm going to have to go the entire distance now and finish dropping the subframe completely in order to fish out the bits of dead rubber.
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  #53  
Old 09-22-2011, 09:24 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
Yeah I just did this and the rubber was so old and stiff it all fell into the pan when I removed the old gasket. It just flaked apart when I worked the old gasket out. I cut the old gasket to facilitate removal but pieces fell in both when I cut it and when I tried to remove it.

I'm going to have to go the entire distance now and finish dropping the subframe completely in order to fish out the bits of dead rubber.
Remove the Oil Level Sensor, you will have access to the bottom of the oil pan and scoop out the rubber junks.
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  #54  
Old 05-30-2012, 01:25 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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Has anyone tried just the sealer in lieu of a new gasket. I have two cars leaking and am thinking about this. The Ford Focus (Zetec engine) has no gasket and the pan is completely filled with oil. So it obviously works. The question I would have is do the bolts bottom out in the holes if you don't have the thickness of the gasket present. By chance did anyone check this when they were changing gaskets?
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  #55  
Old 05-30-2012, 02:46 AM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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JayMac - the M52 gasket has a steel rim that spaces the rubber properly and allows you to torque the bolts down correctly. If you're going to go to the trouble of taking the oil pan off, then I would get yourself a new gasket and put it in - they only cost about $30 or so.

Even if you have to cut it and join it using gasket sealant, you'll still get a better result than trying to just use sealant.

It's 6 months since I did the pan in mine and it's still bone dry even where the join is. The cut and join method is a winner as long as you do it right.
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  #56  
Old 05-30-2012, 04:04 AM
Bob530iPA Bob530iPA is offline
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I had my car in BimmerWorks yesterday and talked to the owner a good bit, mostly about my transmission. I also talked to him about oil leaks because his tech reported oil dripping between the engine and tranny. The service advisor said it was likely a rear main seal leak. The owner told me he has never seen a leak on the main seal on an M54 engine. He also told me that the only legitimate oil pan gasket leaks he has seen have been when people have worked on the oil pan. That lip between the oil pan and engine keeps a lot of oil from leaks higher on the engine. The most likely culprit is you oil filter housing gasket, which by 130k miles has completely shrunk into the groove leaving that as a metal on metal connection.
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  #57  
Old 05-30-2012, 08:27 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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After posting I forgot about reading that the driver side is higher and not sitting in oil so the cut method would be much easier and cleaner. I had the rear seal replaced when i put in a new clutch. On the first car, I am installing a M#3 Euro housing and a cooler so that gasket will be replaced, leaking or not. I have oil along the front passenger side. The block is dry on the driver side and I am guessing that gravity would have shown me the leak but to no avail. I 'll put it back on the lift and see what I can find. Thanks for the replys!
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  #58  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:33 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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I will be working on this project this weekend. Looks like lots of little leaks and may not be the pan as some have pointed out when looking for leaks. If anyone needs any pictures of anything let me know I will shoot and post them as I go. I did read where people discussed cleaning up the crap on the block. A couple of cleaning tips:
WD 40, soak, rinse with Simple Green and water

100 Cycle cleaner

My favorite, brake cleaner, cut through everything and dries fast.
Car is e36 but some of the info might be relevant.
Jay
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  #59  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:47 AM
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adjmcloon adjmcloon is offline
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I have done this job, and let me just say, take it to your trusted indy and let them do it. It's worth whatever they will charge!
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  #60  
Old 06-02-2012, 11:59 AM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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I appreciate the advice but I am just stubborn and stupid enough to try this myself. I am also planning on installing a Euro filter housing on one of the other cars so i need to do some research anyway. With up to 15 years of gunk under there I might not get any farther than cleaning it up to find the leaks this weekend. From what I see so far the pan my be okay. It could be a combo of weeping ps lines and oil cooler housing so that is not too much work.
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  #61  
Old 06-02-2012, 12:13 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMac View Post
I appreciate the advice but I am just stubborn and stupid enough to try this myself. I am also planning on installing a Euro filter housing on one of the other cars so i need to do some research anyway. With up to 15 years of gunk under there I might not get any farther than cleaning it up to find the leaks this weekend. From what I see so far the pan my be okay. It could be a combo of weeping ps lines and oil cooler housing so that is not too much work.
I HAD the exact same thing (oil on front pass side of the oil pan), glad I did the OFH Gasket first!
The leak came all the way from the OFH!
Use only BMW dealer gasket, not aftermarket.
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  #62  
Old 06-02-2012, 01:16 PM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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I do seem to have an oily mess from up top on the driver side. There is just so much crap on there it will take a a while to get clean. If it were the pan gasket, I read that the e36 is not doable by cutting the gasket. I can't find anyone to confirm that but will keep looking. As has been my previous experiences with oil....it's never coming from where you think and a little leak makes a huge mess.

Last edited by JayMac; 06-20-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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  #63  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:36 PM
M500E M500E is offline
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Thanks to everyone for this thread. I just did my OFH o-ring, Vanos, and rear subframe bushings on my 232K touring, all last weekend! I was dismayed to see that my oil pan was my biggest oil leak, leaking virtually everywhere on the passenger side pan/block junction. I will properly drop the front subframe and remove the pan entirely at some point when the control arms and motor mounts need replacement. However, I wanted to present yet another option to fix this problem, and NO disassembly is necessary (other than splash shield)!!

There is a product available at many auto parts stores (and Home Depot last time I was there) called Seal All Adhesive. It's the only adhesive I've ever seen that is truly gas and oil resistant. This stuff is NO JOKE. I have used it successfully on a leaking gas tank with 100% success. I figured if it can seal a leaking gas tank, sealing a leaky oil pan gasket would be a no-brainer. I was right.

I cleaned the seam between the pan and block very thoroughly with brake cleaner. I then squeezed about half a tube of Seal All into a small container and "painted" the length of the pan/block junction with the Seal All. I used it very generously, but you shouldn't need to lay it on as thick as I did (I used only a few thin coats to seal the gas tank). I let it sit overnight and there have been no leaks since!

It dries quite hard, but you can chip it off easily with a scraper in the future if you have occasion to remove the pan and replace the gasket. I highly recommend this product! It makes a great adhesive as well.

Happy wrenching,
Gregg
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Last edited by M500E; 06-20-2012 at 12:42 PM.
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  #64  
Old 11-19-2012, 12:39 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just for the cross-linked record, there are some nice oil pan pics for the I6 over here:
> 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003) > Changed that oil pan! Now this...
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #65  
Old 11-19-2012, 01:42 PM
brc5 brc5 is offline
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Quote:
I have done this job, and let me just say, take it to your trusted indy and let them do it. It's worth whatever they will charge!
Quote for me was north of $1k. Even if that is 10 hours worth of work under the car, it's like paying yourself $100/hr tax free. Plus you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself. It's one of those jobs that is messy and hard, but will make you feel like you really are on top of things when you get it done.

My gasket is not leaking where the cut is, but I do have another oil leak. The last person to put the car on a hoist said it was the rear main seal, but I'm not so sure about that. I probably torqued the bolts wrong - it's very hard to get a torque wrench onto most of the bolts.
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  #66  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:47 PM
Mudbone Mudbone is offline
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Still not leaking

And mine is still not leaking.
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  #67  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:03 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Mudbone,

Thanks for the update.

As you know, all along I am convinced that this technique (cutting the gasket and patch the cut areas with RTV etc.) works.

This is because some car mfgs (Volvo, Honda etc.) are doing away with this type of gasket, they use anaerobic liquid gasket and it works great.

While some people in this forum think this technique (cutting the gasket and patch the cut areas with RTV etc.) is a "repair hack job", I don't think so.
This is because by definition, a "repair hack job" is a procedure that bypasses safety, or substitute inferior products for the jobs etc.

This technique (cutting the gasket and patch the cut areas with RTV etc.) is simply a modification of the factory job using ideas from other mfgs (liquid gasket) to accomplish the same job while minimizing time/effort/money lost.

I guess I fix too many different vehicle brands, thus the different views I have on certain topics.
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  #68  
Old 12-07-2012, 08:36 PM
SeanMH-6 SeanMH-6 is offline
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who here thinks that their oil pan gasket failing was due to overheating? i know the e39 i bought has seen some warm temps. i understand that it the leak is usually from a different place but if its not the oil pan gasket, it deceiving for sure.

if in the next couple weeks after a couple cleaning sessions come to the conclusion it is the oil pan gasket, ill give this technique a shot and report back.
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  #69  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:00 AM
kgorczyn kgorczyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M500E View Post
Thanks to everyone for this thread. I just did my OFH o-ring, Vanos, and rear subframe bushings on my 232K touring, all last weekend! I was dismayed to see that my oil pan was my biggest oil leak, leaking virtually everywhere on the passenger side pan/block junction. I will properly drop the front subframe and remove the pan entirely at some point when the control arms and motor mounts need replacement. However, I wanted to present yet another option to fix this problem, and NO disassembly is necessary (other than splash shield)!!

There is a product available at many auto parts stores (and Home Depot last time I was there) called Seal All Adhesive. It's the only adhesive I've ever seen that is truly gas and oil resistant. This stuff is NO JOKE. I have used it successfully on a leaking gas tank with 100% success. I figured if it can seal a leaking gas tank, sealing a leaky oil pan gasket would be a no-brainer. I was right.

I cleaned the seam between the pan and block very thoroughly with brake cleaner. I then squeezed about half a tube of Seal All into a small container and "painted" the length of the pan/block junction with the Seal All. I used it very generously, but you shouldn't need to lay it on as thick as I did (I used only a few thin coats to seal the gas tank). I let it sit overnight and there have been no leaks since!

It dries quite hard, but you can chip it off easily with a scraper in the future if you have occasion to remove the pan and replace the gasket. I highly recommend this product! It makes a great adhesive as well.

Happy wrenching,
Gregg

Just wondering how this is still holding up for you - Thinking of giving it a shot at $5 a tube.
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  #70  
Old 01-29-2013, 12:42 PM
JayMac JayMac is online now
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FYI, The Ford Focus had no gasket and came from the factory with silicone type stuff and the seal is below the oil level in the car. No issues.
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  #71  
Old 01-29-2013, 12:44 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Volvo uses the same stuff: it is called "anaerobic liquid sealant".
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  #72  
Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Volvo uses the same stuff: it is called "anaerobic liquid sealant".
Same thing with FIPG by Toyota (formed in place gasket).
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #73  
Old 01-30-2013, 02:46 AM
Dackelone Dackelone is offline
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Use Loctite #518 sealant. When it gets in contact with oil it will swell up and seal better.


http://www.amazon.com/Loctite-Flange...ds=loctite+518
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  #74  
Old 07-25-2014, 10:59 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the crosslinked record, as I consolodate the sometimes confusing set of bestlinks cites into fewer links, making more canonical with cross references, note that I changed the bestlink cite today for the oil pan gasket DIY ...

From;
- 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 by dropping the subframe (1) (2) (3) & hints how to replace the rigid metalized I6 oil pan gasket without removing the subframe (1) (2) & how to build or buy your own hoist & engine-support tools (1) (2)

To:
- How to identify an oil pan leak (1) & how to remove & replace the E39 V8 oil pan gasket (1) & how to replace the E39 I6 oil pan gasket by dropping the subframe (1) & the Mudbone / cn90 trick to cut and replace the rigid metalized I6 OPG without removing the sub frame (1) & how to substitute pure RTV (i.e., no gasket) for the 6-cylinder E39 oil pan gasket without lowering the sub-frame (1) & how to build or buy your own hoist & engine-support tools (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #75  
Old 07-25-2014, 05:13 PM
trickstar trickstar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brc5 View Post
JayMac -
Even if you have to cut it and join it using gasket sealant, you'll still get a better result than trying to just use sealant.
I completely disagree with this statement.

The metal/rubber composite OEM gasket has two components, one of which, the rubber, will rot at a certain point, due to heat, stress, and negotiation between dissimilar metals, aluminum and steel, which react differently to heat.

Not to mention, what if you have any warping or uneven surfaces? The metal/rubber OEM surfaces won't be able to compensate for these like the RTV can. And, without removing the subframe, you really won't be able to use a straight edge or other instrument to tell if the surfaces are perfectly flat and even.

The gasket sealant/RTV is a single component, between two similar metals, aluminum, and it will not rot anytime soon. I believe, from what I've read, that the silicon RTV will go longer without compromising than rubber.

But, the application of the gasket sealant must be done by the RTV sealant's instructions, not Bentley's, thoughtfully, and with attention to details AND a willingness to improvise, due to the small working spaces and lack of access. Basically, common sense will go a long way in avoiding a ten hour job.

I did it in a few hours. I was slowed up by dropping my drop light falling and breaking. I was working in compromised lighting. Once again, improvising by using other, less effective lights, and having to improvise on the fly, since the RTV was drying, and I had a limited window of opportunity to get those surfaces together while it was wet enough to touch everywhere that I needed it to touch.

I used a sealant with a longer drying time just because it's so difficult to reach all of the hard-to-reach places on this pan when doing it without dropping the subframe. However, I did it, and it's dry as a bone, as well.

Ask any hot rodder. A good, well executed RTV seal is as good as ANYTHING out there, when properly applied. Actually, some hot rodders will come back with other answers, like gorilla snot (weatherstrip adhesive), but I don't even think that it is as resistant to oil as a good Permatex RTV that has been selected for your use.

Good luck!!!

Jimmy, driving down the road with all of his oil leaks sealed for under 8 bucks, in just a few hours.
Some people spend $1200 dollars for a twelve hour job at the dealership, some people spend $800 on an indy 8 hour job, some people spend $80 dollars on the cut gasket job that they'll have to repeat when the rubber rots on the gasket, and some people spend $8 on a pure RTV job where nothing ever rots, and it never has to be done again.

Last edited by trickstar; 07-25-2014 at 05:16 PM.
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