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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:18 PM
boost7 boost7 is offline
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valve cover gasket replacement time

So I had my car at the dealer for an oil change and they told me the valve covers are leaking oil. They quoted me 1500 for parts and labor, but I figure parts are under 100bucks ordered online if I decide to do it myself.

Would you guys suggest changing anything else out for preventive maintenance while I'm tackling the valve covers?
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:21 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 525it
$1500? Wow, I guess somebody is behind on their boat payment!
The secondary air valve vacuum line is going to have to be moved. It gets brittle with age and heat. I got a CEL for secondary air system shortly after I changed my valve cover. I replaced the valve and vacuum line, but I suspect the valve was fine, but I probably cracked the vacuum line when I was working on the valve cover.

Some people will tell you to do the VANOS seals while you have VC off, google Beisian and see if it's something you want to tackle.
Some people will tell you to do spark plugs, depending on mileage. I'd rather wait since that's not something that will leave you stranded, but it's up to you.
There's not much else that I can think of that requires removal of the valve cover to access. When you buy/order the valve cover gasket, make sure you get the bolt grommets with it.
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:43 PM
boost7 boost7 is offline
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The secondary air pipe has been changed already in Feb. but I'll double check it when I'm in there.

Vanos? does that apply to the N62 motors also? Sorry I forgot to add that this is for an 05' 545 - ( you were probably reading my user profile which had E46, updated )

Last edited by boost7; 11-21-2012 at 04:45 PM.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 06:33 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
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Yeah, not as familiar with the N62, but $1500 still sounds high. Are you sure all they were wanting to do is the valve cover gaskets?
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 08:23 PM
boost7 boost7 is offline
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ok, i just read it over again and that also included the timing cover gasket replacement, which I still feel is pretty high
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  #6  
Old 11-22-2012, 02:56 AM
Mac Hadley Mac Hadley is offline
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Location: Olney, Md
 
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Have you had to add oil to the engine? And if so, how frequently did it need oil?
If there is a leak and it is significant, you will be adding oil.
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  #7  
Old 11-22-2012, 06:39 AM
VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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I say go ahead and replace plugs if you are going to replace gaskets. I absolutly would not pay $1,500 for this. I did a Vanos replacement on e39 and experienced better responsiveness in my engine, but I did this at 160k miles so I would not dig into this if it is applicable
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  #8  
Old 11-22-2012, 08:16 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Location: Liv'n where I am
 
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Mein Auto: 330i, Z3 2.8L, 545i
I replaced the RH valve cover gasket set about 2 years ago. It took me about 10 hours. The gasket set contains the cover gasket, Vanos solenoid gasket and bolt bushing gaskets. I paid about 80.00 for the RH side. This was on a '04 545i.

If I had to do again I could probably do in half the time. Once I figured out what had to be removed to get the cover off.

Basically the main item to remove to get clearance a the rear over the cam position sensor is to remove the air duct collector.

At a high level, items that I removed to get to the cover and get it off.

1. Fuel line at disconnect.
2. RH injectors as a set
3. Strut tower cross brace
4. Of course all the cabin filter plastics and windshield wipers
5. The cabin air intake duct cowling ( This was the item that allowed clearance to get the cover off of the rear cam solenoid connector)

After replacing the RH gaskets the next major oil leak happened about a month later; the alternator bracket oil gasket. For US based cars there is a blanked off area created by the bracket to the block with a $0.80 (yes cents) o'ring gasket. For Europe there would be an oil cooler attached.

1. Remove fan shroud
2. Remover alternator
3. Remove P/S pump ( I just unbolted and move tot he side)
4. Remove RH motor mount ( 1 bolt for the bracket is under the motor mount bracket at the block) I supported motor with floor jack under the oil pan ( this was easy)
5. removed the bracket and cracked brittle o'ring.
6. Reinstalled new o'ring
7. put everything back together.

I could do again in about 4 to 5 hours.
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  #9  
Old 11-22-2012, 08:40 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Location: Greensboro, NC
 
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I need to replace about every gasket on mine, lol

(Actually mine may be the oil sensor more than anything, not sure yet)

Last edited by schpenxel; 11-22-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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  #10  
Old 11-22-2012, 09:06 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Good to hear from someone in the Triad area. On my 545i with the alt. bracket gasket leaking I had a mess. This has direct oil pressure on it and it leaked about a quart per week.
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  #11  
Old 11-22-2012, 10:14 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hogie View Post
Good to hear from someone in the Triad area. On my 545i with the alt. bracket gasket leaking I had a mess. This has direct oil pressure on it and it leaked about a quart per week.
Wow, mine isn't that bad.. I lose about a quart per 5K miles, but with 182K miles on mine, there's no telling where it's going.

I can occasionally smell a little bit of a burnt oil smell where it's leaking on something hot, but evidently isn't too bad if that's all the oil I'm using

I can see a build up of oil ending up on the power steering rack, but I haven't lose any steering fluid so I'm assuming that's still oil. I'll look harder sometime but I bet a lot of it is that oil sensor that's down in that area.

I really hope I don't have to do the alternator seal anytime soon. What in the heck were they thinking with the quality of seals in this engine anyways? Geez.

Where you located?

Last edited by schpenxel; 11-22-2012 at 10:16 AM.
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  #12  
Old 12-15-2012, 06:10 AM
eagle sailor eagle sailor is offline
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Location: connecticut
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 545i sport
I have the distinct burning oil stink come into the cabin at slow speed and the proverbial oil spots where I park every night. I don't know exactly where the leak is but I am assuming that its from the Valve Cover Gaskets. The dealer wants to wash it and then tell me the cost be he stated that if it was the VCG I should also do the Upper timing chain cover gasket the book calls for 10 hours for the VCG and an addition 3 each for the timing chain gasket for a whopping total of around 2500.00 Thankfully I found a local guy master tech who treats me good but, still a big job oh and by the way the car only has 67,000 mile your right schpenxel what is wrong with these gaskets.
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2012, 07:29 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Yeah, it's pretty ridiculous.

I had a 1995 civic with well over 200K miles that leaked less oil than that.

The bad part is the seals that let go are like $8 parts (except for valve cover which are more like $80). They could have gone with a $18 part from the beginning I bet and saved a lot of people a lot of headaches
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  #14  
Old 12-26-2012, 01:10 PM
myates3 myates3 is offline
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I'm getting ready to tackle the same job on my '06 550i. Planning to replace valve cover gaskets on both sides and the alternator bracket gasket. Should be fun (sarc)...
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  #15  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:12 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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It is not an easy job at all. At work, I just had to change both valve cover gaskets as well as the alternator bracket gasket. It took me almost 8 hours with a lift and proper air tools.
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  #16  
Old 12-27-2012, 08:13 AM
Stephen Max Stephen Max is offline
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Speaking of the vanos, don't bother with the Beisan kit. The N62 has a totally different vanos configuration that does not use the o-rings provided by Beisan. From what I hear, they are not rebuildable.
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  #17  
Old 01-01-2013, 04:37 PM
myates3 myates3 is offline
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Regarding the alternator bracket gasket...Any tips on accessing all 4 bolts where the motor mount attaches to the engine? After a solid 5 hours I successfully removed everything, but the motor mount is being a serious PITA. I stripped the heads on the front 2 bolts (upper and lower so that's a whole other problem), was able to loosen the top rear, but can't seem to find an angle to get a socket and torque on the rear lower bolt. What's the secret to this?

BTW the 550 has an oil cooler so oil actually travels through the gasketed ports of the bracket. I can't believe BMW designed a component that seems to always result in a bad case of appendicitis for the models without the oil cooler.

I'll jump on the cylinder cover gaskets next weekend...if I can ever get past this dang motor mount.
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  #18  
Old 01-01-2013, 05:06 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myates3 View Post
Regarding the alternator bracket gasket...Any tips on accessing all 4 bolts where the motor mount attaches to the engine? After a solid 5 hours I successfully removed everything, but the motor mount is being a serious PITA. I stripped the heads on the front 2 bolts (upper and lower so that's a whole other problem), was able to loosen the top rear, but can't seem to find an angle to get a socket and torque on the rear lower bolt. What's the secret to this?

BTW the 550 has an oil cooler so oil actually travels through the gasketed ports of the bracket. I can't believe BMW designed a component that seems to always result in a bad case of appendicitis for the models without the oil cooler.

I'll jump on the cylinder cover gaskets next weekend...if I can ever get past this dang motor mount.
I remove the plastic sheilds and use a 3/8 drive extension with a universal joint socket. I usually hammer on a 12mm (if I recall correctly) 12 point socket onto the rounded off bolts.
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  #19  
Old 01-01-2013, 05:44 PM
pcy pcy is offline
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As Jimmys_530i stated above, use 12-point wrench (appropriate size).
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  #20  
Old 01-02-2013, 04:25 AM
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Hogie Hogie is offline
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Location: Liv'n where I am
 
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Mein Auto: 330i, Z3 2.8L, 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by myates3 View Post
Regarding the alternator bracket gasket...Any tips on accessing all 4 bolts where the motor mount attaches to the engine? After a solid 5 hours I successfully removed everything, but the motor mount is being a serious PITA. I stripped the heads on the front 2 bolts (upper and lower so that's a whole other problem), was able to loosen the top rear, but can't seem to find an angle to get a socket and torque on the rear lower bolt. What's the secret to this?

BTW the 550 has an oil cooler so oil actually travels through the gasketed ports of the bracket. I can't believe BMW designed a component that seems to always result in a bad case of appendicitis for the models without the oil cooler.

I'll jump on the cylinder cover gaskets next weekend...if I can ever get past this dang motor mount.
You're probably done I hope, but I used a universal joint attachment and two long extensions and went up through the suspension components. This was a real pain. I did not know about removing the wheel well panels.
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  #21  
Old 01-02-2013, 06:19 AM
myates3 myates3 is offline
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Thanks guys. It ever dawned on me to try to remove the inner wheel well. This should do the trick particularly now that I have to hammer a socket onto the heads I stripped. I was using the appropriate 12 pt socket initially but I apparently couldn't get enough leverage/pressure/torque on the bolts hence the stripped heads. I'll give it another shot...
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  #22  
Old 01-03-2013, 05:30 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myates3 View Post
Thanks guys. It ever dawned on me to try to remove the inner wheel well. This should do the trick particularly now that I have to hammer a socket onto the heads I stripped. I was using the appropriate 12 pt socket initially but I apparently couldn't get enough leverage/pressure/torque on the bolts hence the stripped heads. I'll give it another shot...
I went ahead and bought the inverted torx set from Snap-On a while ago. Putting a regular socket on the inveted torx heads is risky.
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  #23  
Old 01-03-2013, 07:23 PM
racooper3 racooper3 is offline
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Location: Tampa
 
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Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 545i
Quote:
Originally Posted by vavet5308 View Post
Yeah, not as familiar with the N62, but $1500 still sounds high. Are you sure all they were wanting to do is the valve cover gaskets?
I have same year/model car. If you change out the valve cover gasket, you really (should) change the upper timing cover gasket at the same time. It is more work but you'll be satisfied to know that you prevented aggravation of not doing it when you had the valve cover off. I have a rule of not doing the same work twice within weeks of the first job.

Since I didn't know what the previous owner or Ft. Lauderdale BMW did with the car, I replaced every o-ring or gasket that I touched on top. Basically camshaft sensors, Solenoids and o-ring on camshaft actuator and vacuum pump. You "may" need to replace a spark plug boot if you see any burnt oil around the base of the spark plug. I didn't need to on mine and you likely won't either.

If you send me a private message with your email, I'll send you my custom PDF documents for this job. Listing all the tasks (TIS), and Parts (ETK). You'll really appreciate having that information. You will need to lower the alternator to get to the 5-8 cyl timing cover, which isn't an easy thing without a lift. Doable though.

Once you do this entire job, you will appreciate your skills and the money saved. You'll know why dealer says $1500 without a blink of the eye. I learned it was a real bi*ch of a job having my cars insides exposed and not sure about what I was doing or how I was going to get it all put back together. It was back breaking work if you aren't working out a lot. My hands ached for 3 weeks after I did this job. But, my wallet is fatter and my baby is loving me back.

Let me know if you want my Job guide for this one...

Bob

Last edited by racooper3; 01-03-2013 at 07:26 PM.
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  #24  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:31 AM
LDC5 LDC5 is offline
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Location: North of Boston
 
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Mein Auto: 545i
Hi Guys, on the N62 V8valve cover, what is the trick to loosening the cover? I have all fasteners removed, but it seems to be stuck where the spark plugs are. The cover being plastic, I'm afraid to pry too hard.

LDC
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  #25  
Old 01-27-2013, 10:38 AM
LDC5 LDC5 is offline
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Stuck on Valve Cover

trying to remove the valve cover on my '04 545i is a PIA. Everything is disconnected and all fasteners removed. The cover seems stuck along the spark plugs, but being plastic, I'm afraid to pry too hard. Anyone have a trick to loosening the cover from the spark area?


-LDC
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