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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 06-02-2012, 03:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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How to test, clean, & redesign the original BMW dipstick guide tube (CCV vent clogs!)

Since I was replacing the holed boot to the ICV/TCV, I decided to check the oil dipstick guide tube and, much to my dismay, I found the concentric ring was clogged solid.

I checked the CCV thread which shows they redesigned it to eliminate the troublesome concentric tubes - but this thread is for those many of us with the original dipstick guide tube.

Since it's in my hands - and since I have ZERO experience with this problem ... I ask for all who are similar:
Q1. How do those with experience suggest we clean our dipstick guide tubes?

Q2. I lost the o-ring while blowing garden hose water on the dipstick; do you think the exact right size matters? BMW has the o-ring in stock ($3.83) but I'd have to button it up to get there. I can fit a garden hose washer on for now. Does it stand a chance of working?

Q3: How can we test whether our dipstick guide tubes are clogged or not - WITHOUT removing them from the vehicle like I did?

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Last edited by bluebee; 06-19-2012 at 09:56 PM. Reason: Changed title. Title was: How can we clean out a clogged oil dipstick tube (connection to CCV)?
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2012, 03:59 PM
Axialflow Axialflow is offline
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I would use some brake cleaner to try and wash that gunk out.

When I did my ccv It seened like the o ring needs to sit inside the hole fro the dipstick tube. I had a hard time getting the new one in so i lubed it up with some oil gave it a tap with the hammer and it sliped in. I guess what im getting at is if it fits and doesnt leek It should be fine.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2012, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axialflow View Post
I would use some brake cleaner to try and wash that gunk out.
I tried gasoline in a big plastic bag - but I think I need something mechanical to loosen it a bit. I will keep trying things - but ideas are always welcome because I want to try to do this before heading back to the dealer for the o ring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axialflow View Post
It seemed like the o ring needs to sit inside the hole for the dipstick tube.
Yikes! If the o-ring fits INSIDE the top of the oil pan housing, my garden-hose washer likely won't go inside (it will sit on top). That will change things!

Called Stevenscreek BMW (they're open 'till 5pm). They have the o-ring (19,5x30 in stock, P/N 11431740045, $3.83); but they don't have the dipstick guide itself ($117).

Also, I broke the plastic clip on the side of the dipstick guide - but I don't see a part number for it (#17 below). In fact, I don't even see a non-ENDED part number for the oil dipstick guide tube.

But, the most important question is what happens (now that my dipstick is clogged) if I put it back?

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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-02-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2012, 04:39 PM
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Thought you sold your bimmer. No posts from you in ages. Use compressed air. That will get every out.
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2012, 04:52 PM
Axialflow Axialflow is offline
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[QUOTE=bluebee;6872491]
Yikes! If the o-ring fits INSIDE the top of the oil pan housing, my garden-hose washer likely won't go inside (it will sit on top). That will change things!

[QUOTE]

at least I think it does. I tryed it on top and the screw wasn't lining up

Last edited by Axialflow; 06-02-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2012, 05:02 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Spray brake cleaner in there and if you can't get it clean with that--try some pipe cleaners or guitar strings to pry around and break up the gunk and then spray some more--
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2012, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
No posts from you in ages
Nah. I just took Bill's advice (540iman) and stayed away from casual reading & OCD cross posting in a vain attempt to help everyone out as much as I could. Looks like people eventually find their answers and the board does jiust fine w/o me (which was Bill's point all along).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Use compressed air. That will get every out.
I wish. I tried blowing air from a hand gun hooked to the compressor. No go. The crud is jam packed in there. It's like solid sand was compressed inside - it's that packed.

It's soaking in gasoline as we type. I've got the CCV side tube clear almost to the main tube ... dark brown stuff ... now I'm digging out the concentric space from the bottom of the main tube. It's tiny in there (I'm using 20 AWG wire but it bends a lot).



Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
try some pipe cleaners or guitar strings
I have some piano wire ... I'll try that and report back. I missed the 5pm closing time for the local dealer for the o-ring too. Sigh.

EDIT: Ok. The first wire I used was far too soft ... but the second wire (what I erroneously called "piano wire") was just the right diameter and it was very rigid (for wire). This feeding wire came with the tent-pole elastic string from REI or Western Mountain Sports that I used to fix my camping tent poles). Nice and rigid and thin and long.

That feeding wire allowed me to scratch away at the crud, which was packed, starting two inches from the bottom, all the way to about two inches from the side opening to the CCV drain hose.
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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.
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-03-2012 at 08:53 AM.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

But, the most important question is what happens (now that my dipstick is clogged) if I put it back?

]
Nothing catastrophic. The return allows oil condensate from the CCV to return to the sump. Over a long period of time, you would experience oil consumption. But in the near term, you can drive the car as is.
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2012, 07:45 PM
rdc8118 rdc8118 is offline
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I used wd40 and compressed air to clean mine. If it's really bad, you might be better of chucking it and buying a new one.

For the o-ring I just stuck the old one back on till I got the new one. Of course that was a month ago and the new 0-ring's been sitting on shelf since then collecting dust

Last edited by rdc8118; 06-02-2012 at 07:49 PM.
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  #10  
Old 06-02-2012, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdc8118 View Post
I used wd40 and compressed air to clean mine. If it's really bad, you might be better of chucking it and buying a new one.
It 'was' really bad. I can't imagine too many people having the patience to clean this thing every few years. Now I know why the new redesigned dipstick guide tube exists. I would have gotten it, had the dealer had it in stock (and could I have gotten to them).

Alas, I started digging for about 20 minutes, scratching away with the (not piano) wire. It was working - but verrrry slowly.


Then the idea hit me to use a drill!


But the wire was too short - so I used a longer wire. Viola! Finally I could blow through the tube from the CCV drain hose end to the bottom out the concentric tube!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdc8118 View Post
For the o-ring I just stuck the old one back on till I got the new one. Of course that was a month ago and the new 0-ring's been sitting on shelf since then collecting dust
I didn't have an o-ring (I don't have any idea where mine went because the last I saw it was when I was washing in the grass with the garden hose set to forceful blast.

For now, all I had was a washer for the garden hose. It seems to work - but how would I know if it wasn't working?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The return allows oil condensate from the CCV to return to the sump. Over a long period of time, you would experience oil consumption. But in the near term, you can drive the car as is.
I'm sorry but I don't understand.

If the vapors condensed in the CCV tried to drain into the oil pan but couldn't drain because they were blocked ... wouldn't they just back up into the CCV?

Would the pressure burst the CCV drain hose?

Would the liquid finally back up higher and higher (filling the CCV?) or would it drip out?

Q1: Where does the liquid oil go if the CCV concentric drain is totally blocked?

Q2: How often do we need to clean the CCV concentric drain?

Q3: How does the dipstick guide tube work anyway (for example, why the hole)?


EDIT: EDIT: This isn't piano wire. I just realized it's leftover wire that came with the REI or Western Mountain Sports kit to replace the elastic in the tent tube poles for camping.
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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

Last edited by bluebee; 06-03-2012 at 08:53 AM.
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2012, 05:05 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Is there a Fastenal Store near you? They would have the diameter ) ring that would do the job.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2012, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
Is there a Fastenal Store near you? They would have the diameter ) ring that would do the job.
I would have had no problem buying the o-ring, but I needed the o-ring to get to the dealer - so - now that it's in - if it's working - I do NOT want to open it all up again!

One question that was brought up earlier in this thread:

Q: With the proper o-ring ... does the o-ring itself, once in place, sit ABOVE or INSIDE the oil tank?
Q: What will happen if it's not there in the right place? (i.e., what should I look for?)

PS: I think my garden hose washer is 'outside' the oil tank.

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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.
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-08-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2012, 11:37 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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It should sit on top of the oil tank to create a seal where vacuum doesn't escape---
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2012, 01:09 PM
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Please don't use gasoline as a cleaner or in open containers...way too dangerous.
Open container of gasoline (vapors), drill motor running and metal on metal cleaning...I see big chance of a spark and boom!
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-03-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2012, 04:12 PM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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Short term, there really isn't a problem. You probably will lose some crankcase vacuum & potentially, some oil could slosh out of the hole, but I kind of doubt it. With the right o-ring, it is really hard to push the dipstick in & get it fully seated without cutting the o-ring. I used some AC o-ring lube called "Nylog" and it popped in pretty easily. When it it fully seats, you will feel a definite pop.
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  #16  
Old 06-03-2012, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
It should sit on top of the oil tank to create a seal where vacuum doesn't escape---
Thanks. I think, with the garden hose gasket being so big, it's probably sitting on top (I can't actually see it though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
I see big chance of a spark and boom!
Now you tell me! I hadn't even thought of that - but you have a point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
With the right o-ring, it is really hard to push the dipstick in & get it fully seated without cutting the o-ring.
Oh. That implies the o-ring sits INSIDE the metal housing. ???

EDIT: This picture, taken a few days later, shows the garden-hose washer in situ. I can't tell if it's inside, or outside, or both???
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-10-2012 at 03:06 PM.
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2012, 01:13 AM
Dave @nz Dave @nz is offline
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Hi Guys,
I know you have been successful in un blocking it, this works well for vintage cars with blocked fuel lines.
Here is the answer to your problems, to un block the tube get a length of the iner speedo cable from the wreakers yard long enough for the to go down the blocked pipe and out the other end.
Attach said iner speedo cable to a battery drill and insert the end into the pipe and start drilling it through the gunk, some carb cleaner could be useful for a lubricant and to flush it out afterwards.
Dave.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:13 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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Yes, it very definitely sits down in the pocket. In fact, there is a groove in the bottom of the pocket that the oring fits into. The oring seating in it's groove is what gives you the pop when it is fully seated.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2012, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
If the vapors condensed in the CCV tried to drain into the oil pan but couldn't drain because they were blocked ... wouldn't they just back up into the CCV?

Would the pressure burst the CCV drain hose?

Would the liquid finally back up higher and higher (filling the CCV?) or would it drip out?

Q1: Where does the liquid oil go if the CCV concentric drain is totally blocked?

Q2: How often do we need to clean the CCV concentric drain?

Q3: How does the dipstick guide tube work anyway (for example, why the hole)?
I believe the answer is yes, the oil would eventualy back up and clog the CCV resulting in total CCV failure. I don't think it would burst as it is not under pressure. I believe what then happens is that the liquid oil then goes into the intake manifold, via the connecting line and return pipes, where it is burned during combustion. That is when you see the black exhaust smoke and higher than normal oil consumption.
I don't think driving it is a near term problem because this problem existed before you decided to pull the dipstick tube. Hence, it has probably been clogged for awhile. Have you been experiencing smokey exhaust or higher than normal oil consumption? Is there mayo in your vent hose? That would tell you things are backing up. If not, I am sure it is OK for driving as is. But the problem needs to be addressed at some point.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Thanks. I think, with the garden hose gasket being so big, it's probably sitting on top (I can't actually see it though).



Now you tell me! I hadn't even thought of that - but you have a point.



Oh. That implies the o-ring sits INSIDE the metal housing. ???
Drill motor, even cordless will produce sparks (internally) and if there are gasoline vapors.....well, don't even want to think about it....
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  #21  
Old 06-04-2012, 08:09 PM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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I guess you have not seen my thread...?
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...6#post23947156
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  #22  
Old 06-04-2012, 10:22 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave @nz View Post
to un block the tube get a length of the iner speedo cable ... and start drilling it through the gunk
Thanks Dave. The cable must be very thin - because it has to fit in between concentric pipes - and it must be rigid enough to handle pushing, drilling, and spinning.

I don't know what speed cable diameters are, but if it's the thickness of tent-pole repair wire, it should work fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timarnold View Post
there is a groove in the bottom of the pocket that the oring fits into
Drat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
the oil would eventualy back up and clog the CCV resulting in total CCV failure...the liquid oil then goes into the intake manifold... That is when you see the black exhaust smoke
Interesting. Makes sense because the oil has to go 'somewhere'!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
this problem existed before you decided to pull the dipstick tube. Hence, it has probably been clogged for awhile.
Very true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Have you been experiencing smokey exhaust or higher than normal oil consumption?
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Is there mayo in your vent hose?
The hose busted open and was filled with oil - but no white or yellow mayo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Drill motor, even cordless will produce sparks
I hadn't even thought about it. Luckily I was outside. But I did drill right next to the gasoline. Whew!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I guess you have not seen my thread...?


That thread covers a lot. I don't think a coat hanger will work for 'my' dipstick guide tube though ... because it might be too thick to fit in the teeny tiny space between the concentrics.

Your picture (reproduced below) must either be for the redesigned dipstick guide tube or the clog wasn't in the CCV drain portion of the dipstick guide tube???

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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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  #23  
Old 06-05-2012, 07:17 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

That thread covers a lot. I don't think a coat hanger will work for 'my' dipstick guide tube though ... because it might be too thick to fit in the teeny tiny space between the concentrics.

Your picture (reproduced below) must either be for the redesigned dipstick guide tube or the clog wasn't in the CCV drain portion of the dipstick guide tube???
Try using heat/propane, and compressed air to get the gunk out of the tube.
Clogging at the base of the oil dipstick tube is the main reason why the CCV fails IMO.
That is why it is VERY important to make sure the oil dipstick tube drains.

Did you look at the page I linked?
Look here:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Yes.
The drilling was done to the old design tube.
Something for people that do not have a lot of money, and can not spend big money for miscellaneous items like the new dipstick tube design.

Also, I am not sure if you remember, but my car's dipstick had trouble being able to seat all the way down, so that the O-rings at the top would seal.
This happened right after my mechanic first did this mod to my original/older tube design.

However, today, when I visited my mechanic's shop, my mechanic took the tube I brought with me, and used a long rod-file that could be used to file the inside of the tube.
He says that sometimes when they drill the new hole, the sides/ out edges of the tube can be pushed in from the drill.
Hence, the dipstick would get stuck right where the end of the stick and the new hole was drilled.
So, my mechanic just used that rod-file, and bingo, the dipstick seats like it did before, perfectly.

So, by drilling the new hole on the opposite side of the small drain tube that connects to the CCV, and through the inner tube wall (wall between the weep holes and the large center tube hole, allows the CCV to drain it's oil into the larger diameter tube of the dipstick tube, instead of the trying to drain the oil through those tiny/skinny weeps along the sides of the dipstick tube base.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
While agree to some point, the modification to the original tube CAN be done just fine.

Yes, you will need to drill through both the exterior and interior tube walls to have a clear path for the CCV tube to drain into the larger dipstick tube base.
However, once drilled, everything is filed down.
A rod-file is use on the interior of the tube to remove any debris or weird metal edges, and I am pretty sure the exterior hole is welded shut, grind-ed, primed, and painted to match the existing.

Like I said before, the modification is not for everyone, however, it can be done easily, and patched by either your local mechanic, yourself, or a muffler shop.

If you have the ~$160 for a new dipstick tube design, then great!
However, I do not have that kind of money to throw away on a stupid oil dipstick tube...

Thanks!
Jason
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Last edited by Jason5driver; 06-05-2012 at 07:24 AM.
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  #24  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Given the hole is the modification - and given my dipstick guide tube 'has' a hole (yet I never modified it) ... how do I know if my dipstick guide tube hole is stock or if it has been modified?

Note: This picture is from the CCV test thread (and is not my dipstick):
(It shows the mayo clogs the CCV drain vent portion of the dipstick guide tube.)
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Last edited by bluebee; 06-08-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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  #25  
Old 06-06-2012, 07:52 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Location: Middle of a corn field
 
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Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Given the hole is the modification - and given my dipstick guide tube 'has' a hole (yet I never modified it) ... how do I know if my dipstick guide tube hole is stock or if it has been modified?
Pretty positive it is original...
How many people do you see modifying oil dipstick tubes...?
LOL!
IMO, in your case, you should just get the Cold-weather version oil dipstick tube.
Unless you are feeling adventurous...
LOL!
http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-525..._Tube/ES24265/
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