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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 12-30-2011, 07:22 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Doing VCG tomorrow

After looking for a DIY on the 540, the link I found was dead. It seems to be a pretty straight forward job visually. Any heads up or tips???

Went with Victor gaskets and necessary hardware. How much time should I alot myself to do this job on both sides? I feel fairly confident on my mechanical ability. Well as confident as a armchair forum mechanic can be.


I will be taking pictures of the job. Mostly for the purpose of "Where the F did this go".

While I have your guys attention, I am sure there is going to be oil in the spark plug wells. Any effective ways of cleaning them out?

Last question. Besides the smell of burning oil, are there any other signs I should look out for if the job is done improperly???

Thanks guys.
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2011, 08:49 PM
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IEbimmerguy IEbimmerguy is offline
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I did this job in August along with my valley pan gasket and cooling system replacement.
Pretty straightforward, and taking pics is a great idea.
My advice would be to use a few dental pics to remove the fuel injector clips. I also had a magnet placed under them to catch the clip of it fell off.
As far as the oil in the plug wells, I have seen pics of people using a shop vac with a straw or small diameter hose at the tip to fit in the opening.
Go slow and take pics like you said and you'll be fine.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:04 PM
Calicoastin Calicoastin is offline
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Found a DIY for you:

http://bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/124059

It's on an E38 but still same engine (M62TU).

Last edited by Calicoastin; 12-30-2011 at 09:10 PM.
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:07 PM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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I just got done doing mine and im running into the problem of needing to find an air leak, that happened during the process. To clean the oil out of the spark plug wells i used paper towel and a screw driver, because i dont have a shop vac. Good luck
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2011, 09:54 PM
filon102 filon102 is offline
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Good luck bro... there are a total bitch on v8s
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  #6  
Old 12-30-2011, 10:07 PM
avu3 avu3 is offline
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I've done it on much harder cars. Popping the injectors was kinda tedious. I'll just pop up the whole rail next time.left was hard to maneuver at the back. I broke the sucky jet cause I wasn't patient. I did both sides slowly in about 5 hours.

Make sure your upper timing cover gaskets aren't leaking. You have to pull the vc to get to them.

S
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  #7  
Old 12-31-2011, 07:08 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Thanks for all the info guys. I am sitting here like a kid at christmas waiting for them to be delivered. I am contemplating on changing the plugs or not. I am certain they are the originals with 110k on them. Hopefully it will be a good start to a new year.
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  #8  
Old 12-31-2011, 07:32 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt540 View Post
I just got done doing mine and im running into the problem of needing to find an air leak, that happened during the process. To clean the oil out of the spark plug wells i used paper towel and a screw driver, because i dont have a shop vac. Good luck
I know what you mean on the air leak. I am just too ignorant to get a smoke test done. Ignorant meaning no time and dont want to spend the money on it as there is a lack of funds.

After I finish up with the intake gasket and ccv next week and the issue is not fixed, then I will get the leak test done.
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:41 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I envy your courage!

I've been scared timid by my obvious valve cover gasket leak ever since I started smelling the funky burning smell like no other, especially when I idle on an uphill slope.

Please 'do' take pictures, if for no other reason, than to give the timid such as I the courage to tackle the job!

This is what a search for /vcg gets me in the bestlinks:
- How to replace the V8 valve cover gasket (1) & for the I6 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & which VCG brand to buy (1) (2)

Unfortunately, that V8 link has an errant space accidentally added between the 'p' and the 'df' in the ending ".pdf" so 'this' is the proper correction.

Even so, that nicely written PDF is for the E38 BMW 740i, and not the E39. Attached is that same 740i VCG DIY PDF just in case bimmerboard goes down. Credit goes to ArbysNight, aka "mreilley@hotmale.spelled.correctly.com".

Upon further inspection, I see this PDF is embedded in the forum thread that Calicoastin provided already, so there's no extra value for you in what I just did.

Doing a Bimmerfest-only E39-only search for V8 VCG DIYs nets not much but maybe the tidbits will be helpful.

This thread warns about stripping the #8 stud:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > VCG Replacment Stipped Bolts

This one warns about proper installation of the half moons (whatever they are):
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2000 540i 3 VCG jobs in less than a year

This one suggests BMW Gummi Pfledge/Carbaflo (apparently aka glycerin, available at the local pharmacy for about $5 a bottle) so that the V8 VCG goes on smoothly and RTV at the half moons:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > glycerin? Carbaflo?-VCG

This one suggests adding the upper timing chain cover gaskets to the replacement mix:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > oh no, x_X smoke again.. VCG? overheating?
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:49 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Blue, the link to the V8 DIY (1) is a dead link
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  #11  
Old 12-31-2011, 08:55 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
Blue, the link to the V8 DIY (1) is a dead link
Thanks. It had a space between the "p" and the "df" in "pdf". I fixed it in the latest post of the bestlinks so that others can find it more easily in the future.

Plus, Steve530 just appended a Roadfly E39 V8 540i VCG DIY to those threads I appended just now above to get added value for you.

So, here's the improved list of V8 valve cover gasket DIYs (just two DIYs so far):

- How to replace the E39 V8 valve cover gasket (1) (pdf) (2) & VCG DIYs for the E39 I6 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & which VCG brand to buy (1) (2) & what VCG lubricants to use (1)


Good luck. Hopefully, many others with the V8 will benefit from whatever the team comes up with for you in this thread!

Happy New Year!

Last edited by bluebee; 12-31-2011 at 09:04 AM. Reason: I added steve530's roadfly V8 E39 DIY
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  #12  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:12 AM
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I was looking for the air leak this morning, and couldnt come up with anything. I called my indy and told him that my car was acting funny and that I just did the VCG on the drivers side," because that was the only one that was leaking, why fix something thats not broken." I got her to the shop after stalling at every red light, and my indy took a look at it and saw that the drivers side VCG had poped out causing the crank case pressure to drop. He asked if i used glue and I said no because my DIY didnt say i needed to and I didnt think anything of it. Just to give you a heads up before it happens to you I would now highly recommend gasket glue, to save you the headache I have now.
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Last edited by matt540; 12-31-2011 at 09:14 AM.
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  #13  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:13 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Thanks Blue! I still have not pulled the trigger on doing the job yet. I have a buddy that works in a well known machine shop who has offered to media blast the valve covers for free. He also mentioned the use of "Alumisheild" . From what I get , it will provide a cleaner surface to the valve covers to ensure a more efficient job. I still need to research more on the pros and cons of this treatment.

I have an idea of preventing the metal clips from falling off the injectors while doing the passenger side VC's . This is related to the use of the metal coat hanger. I was just going to magnitize the hanger by using the method of rubbing a magnets on the metal. I have not viewed the "Roadfly DIY" yet.
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  #14  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:15 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt540 View Post
I was looking for the air leak this morning, and couldnt come up with anything. I called my indy and told him that my car was acting funny and that I just did the VCG on the drivers side," because that was the only one that was leaking, why fix something thats not broken." I got her to the shop after stalling at every red light, and my indy took a look at it and saw that the drivers side VCG had poped out causing the crank case pressure to drop. He asked if i used glue and I said no because my DIY didnt say i needed to and I didnt think anything of it. Just to give you a heads up before it happens to you I would now highly recommend gasket glue, to save you the headache I have now.
Did you have your valve cover media blasted before reinstalling it? What was your method of cleaning them?
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:21 AM
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matt540 matt540 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
Did you have your valve cover media blasted before reinstalling it? What was your method of cleaning them?
No i didnt have my media blasted, I used engine degreaser a wire brush and a scrub brush.
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  #16  
Old 12-31-2011, 09:57 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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No i didnt have my media blasted, I used engine degreaser a wire brush and a scrub brush.
Gotcha
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2011, 10:12 AM
DH540 DH540 is offline
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I found the VCG job to be pretty straight forward. I did the passenger side first. Like others I struggled with the injector clips so the job took longer then I anticipated. I did the driver side a few days later. I needed to repair the threads in the aux battery connection as they came out with the bolt upon removal. I will be doing the job again soon because I should have changed upper timing chain cover gaskets.
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2012, 02:03 PM
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sainda210 sainda210 is offline
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I had to do mine three times..the third time, I was able to redo everything in about 45 minutes. The hardest part is the un-clipping of the injectors..take your time and it helps to have a mangnet tool to get the clips if they fall into small cracks.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:24 PM
markg540i markg540i is offline
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Vcg

It is pretty straight forward, like everyone has told you its the clips that are the hassle but after that pretty easy did mine four mouths ago and no problems the glue or silicone that I used was from Auto Zone its grey in color don't know the name off hand but I put a small bead all the way around the cover before the gasket then covered the half moon part on the backside and let it sit 12 hours before starting it up so have fun and take your time its a good experience!!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:30 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Just got the passenger side off. Took me a little under two hours. All I have to say about that side is bleep those bleeper bleeping clips. However I only have $1.75 in the swear bucket.

A first glance the old gaskets appeared to be in great shape. That was until I started to remove them. I truley know what you guys are saying about them being brittle.


Just finished up with driver side removal. It was by far the worst side. I am glad I didnt put this job off any further.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:10 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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There is about to be a 540 for sale. I am about to set this car ablaze or roll it into a lake. That is how I am going to word that instead of going on a cursing rant that would be worthy of George Carlin himself. I did not think that getting to moons to seat on the head would be that much of a royal PITA x 5. Anyone have any personal tips on getting these !@#!$#@$ things to stay??? I have the driver side done (hopefully). Thank god I am working out in the middle of nowhere because I would have already had the police here from my light hearted words that have been exspelled from my mouth.

Taking a break from it before I break something. I usually have great patience on jobs like this but not this time.
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Old 01-05-2012, 10:57 PM
markg540i markg540i is offline
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A little dab will dou ya

Look maybe I wasn't clear on my reply but what I did was add that grey silicon that I got from auto zone in the groove before the the gasket for added seal and then on the cam half moons slip them and and 12 hours later fired it up and no leaks 8000 miles later and no leaks.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:04 PM
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Rami2001 Rami2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
There is about to be a 540 for sale. I am about to set this car ablaze or roll it into a lake. That is how I am going to word that instead of going on a cursing rant that would be worthy of George Carlin himself. I did not think that getting to moons to seat on the head would be that much of a royal PITA x 5. Anyone have any personal tips on getting these !@#!$#@$ things to stay??? I have the driver side done (hopefully). Thank god I am working out in the middle of nowhere because I would have already had the police here from my light hearted words that have been exspelled from my mouth.

Taking a break from it before I break something. I usually have great patience on jobs like this but not this time.
Hey bro, don't give up! Have some rest or good sleep and try again and again to put things back together. I know it's not an easy job. Especially when it comes to first time job, it's a nightmare. One day, I spent more than a day to only get the stereo cage out of its place and it really drove me nuts at that time. God knows how you feel and we are all here to help. Just give it some time and wait for some good fest members to respond. Worst to worst, have any independent mechanic come to your house and help you out with that. It's not the end of the world. People are being killed daily, houses are burning, earthquakes, hurricanes, wars everywhere, and so on. Always remember you have a family and a house and are living blessed. You need take a deep breath and focus on things smoothly with a fresh mind. And as a brother, I wish you all the best and good luck.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:12 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Thanks Rami, I went back out and things went smoother. As I started to torque down the nuts , I noticed that the spark plug valley gasket was pushing itself back out. I am done for the evening. Yeah I guess that was a little selfish going on this rant after realizing what you said about people dying and sick children.

I will get jump back on it tomorrow when I can roll the car outside and have better lighting and a clear mind. Thank you for the refreshing words.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:14 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg540i View Post
Look maybe I wasn't clear on my reply but what I did was add that grey silicon that I got from auto zone in the groove before the the gasket for added seal and then on the cam half moons slip them and and 12 hours later fired it up and no leaks 8000 miles later and no leaks.
Yeah I did read that mark. Unfortunately all I could find was the black silicone. I did apply a light bead in the grooves. I am just frustrated right now and need to regroup then start again fresh in the morning.


Thanks
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