X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
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E53 N62 Valve Stem Seal Replacement DYI
Okay I know a few of you asked about this. I recently did this on my 2004 E53 with an n62.
Is the job time consuming and tedious - yes. Not much gratification, because most people don't even pay attention to the oil consumption or the smoke show it creates when they are in the car.
Symptoms - after engine warms up and it idles for a few minutes, if you give it some gas, you will get tons of smoke. And actually if you drive with the trunk hatch open you can smell the exhaust (it stinks)
Valve Compressor - I included a Picture of what you need
Timing Tool kit - you can get one on ebay or amazon
E-Torx set basically you need 2 sizes one, for the cam position sensor, and one for the upper timing cover.
Different size socket sets, some deep/ some shallow
Torx socket set
Allen Hex socket set (metric) - long reach
An air compressor
A torque wrench
A box of 100 zip lock bags
Some zip ties
blue masking tape and a sharpie
pad and a pen
Computer programs - TIS/ Bentley Manual and INPA
adjustable wrench or wrench set with large sizes 25 -32 mm size)
magnet stick, magnetic screw drivers
I think that's it
Valve Cover gaskets sets (both sides)
Upper timing cover gaskets (both sides)
vanos o-rings 8 total, 2 different sizes
cam position sensor o-rings (4)
eccentric shaft sensor gasket (2)
vacuum pump o-ring
Recta-rings (8) these are at the end of the cam shafts
4 cam shaft to sprocket bolts (80 nm torqued bolts)
2 oil gaskets - fit under the chain tensioner above the can sprockets
40 cam bearing bolts 9 $0.40 cents each why not...
( I would recommend changing some bolts out now while you have a chance, like the vanos holder bolts (4) and possibly the upper timing cover bolts (16) and the cam position sensor and eccentric shaft bolts (8) , valvetronic allen head bolts - 8. Use BMW parts, not just home depot bolts, as the wrong bolts can cause galvanic corrosion
(My ground straps were seized on to the valve cover bolts so I had to cut the end and buy new valve cover nuts (4) and I need new ground strap lugs and some heat shrink tubing, I also used SS allen head bolts in place of the torx bolts, these were the only non-bmw bolts I used (these thread into the valve cover nuts)
2 sets of valve seal kits
(There are multiple manufacturers of goods, I used victor reinz, bmw and erlinch when I could. For the valve seals I went with victor reinz as I didnt trust OEM, BMW since I suspect they were nitrile rubber based vs fluoro-carbon based.) I also used permatex oil resistant gasket sealer as my rtv
Additional spare parts
Valve Spring keepers (10) they are cheap, you shouldn't loose more then a few, i lost them in the engine bay, dropped them into the corners
I changed by vacuum pump too, I tried to reseal it, but it was sweating oil.
Remove airbox, fan, engine cover air condition filter unit, left and right A/C filter unit mouths (They are around the brake fluid reservoir and ecu box, I believe.)
The Mass air flow sensor should just have been removed, label that connector.
Okay here is the first fun part, cover the engine with a garbage bag or a large tarp. Remove the windshield wiper reservoir. expect to loose tons of fluid. make sure if you took off parts they are away from the car as the liquid will leak all over.
You should have had to remove the level sensor of the reservoir and the 2-3 pumps depending on your model.
label all the loose hardware - zip lock bags
label all the connectors with the tape and some words
write notes on how thing fit together, and anything else -notes always help
engine should be dry now time to finally get to it.
remove the 8 pencil spark plug coils - some people label them some don't
work on a bank on a time
Bank 1 Bank 2
Front of Car
Remove the valve covers and the upper timing covers for both sides on bank 2 you will need to remove the idler pulley on the alternator, otherwise it will hit the power steering pulley and chip it.... ask me how I know. Bank 2 is slightly more complex. Both sides can be removed in about 3 hours. I am leaving out tons of detail - FYI
You should have bagged and tagged all the connector and bolts at this point. bag or box the solenoids (6) and the sensors too. note their locations. Connectors should have been labeled too. a vanos solenoid plugged into the wrong connector will give you all types of crazy codes.
back to the engine work at one bank at a time. Remove the oil line , 1 bolt and many clips. put it aside.
Lock the engine into TDC with the cam lobes pointing in the correct direction. FYI - for each rotation of the crank shaft, the cam shafts turn 180 degrees. So TDC actually has 2 cam shaft positions. Make sure you lock it in the correct position per TIS.
check with the timing tool to see how everything is timed, take pictures, as you will need to get back to this.
Starting at the intake sprocket, remove the bolt, you will need to use the the wrench to hold the cam shaft. A breaker bar is useful here. the bolt can be removed, the sprocket wont fall.
okay now what you have to do is wiggle the sprocket out and at the same time support the timing chain. if it is to tight, there is a plastic red chain tensioner you can pump to loosen the chain. You dont need to remove the actual chain tensioner on the cylinder head.
Wiggle it out, and at the same time support the chain and zip tie it the chain to some higher point. If you mess this up, the chain can fall off the crank shaft sprocket, and you are eff'ed.
Do the same thing to the exhaust sprocket, supporting the chain. It might be easier to remove the top chain tensioner prior to removing the sprockets. this chain tension that you remove has a gasket that needs to be replaced. take a look at it.
So the top chain tensioner and the sprockets are removed. (toss out the old sprocket bolts, they are one time use only)
get the pad out and the camera, take pictures of how the cam top bearing are placed (with numbering and orientation.) starting on the exhaust cam remove all the cam bearing nuts in a cross pattern, bag the oil line clips that will be loose with the individual cam bearing, I numbered them 1-5 and the bank number.
remove the intake cam assembly - actually very easy remove the single bearing and the bottom bearing, not orientation in notes and by pictures, drawing help too.
When you pull off the assembly the eccentric shaft comes with it too. turn it upside down and see the levers. - make sure everything is still clipped in, if you accidentally hit the eccentric shaft gear, you can unclip every single lever - ask me how I know, I had to use a crows foot to put them all back it, its easy so don't worry if one gets knocked off.
remove the lifters and the rockers, * don't mix up the locations they are location specific. bag and tag, and notate bank number and intake/ exhaust. (these just pull right off.
Some of mine were falling apart i.e. the rocket was not locking into the lifter, pinch the rockets metal wire spring a little, and it will hold the lifter snug again.
The Cylinder head should now be bear. remove the spark plug tubes one at a time, don't let oil get into the spark plug holes - if you haven't replaced the spark plug tubes by now 100K+ miles, probably need to change them, if you recently changed them, then no need to change them. I had recently changed mine.
remove each spark plug, and cover the opening with a paper towel.
ok get out the spring compressor use the air compressor and the spark plug adapter to hold the valves up. 90 PSI should be fine for the air compressor. You are not going to have a 100 seal, so ear protection is a must, as the air compressor will kick on every few minutes, I have a 26 gallon compressor, a smaller one may not work as well.
Note - cylinder 1 is in TDC, so you cant drop those valves, but others you can, remember that, if you drop a valve, you are now rebuilding a cylinder head!
Work 1 valve at a time, compress the springs, remove the collets, and lift off the spring and the spring retainer.
using some type of pliers grab the old valve seal, twist and lift, some were easy to remove some were a PIA. clean up and install a new seal.
Some seals come with a collet grove protector sleeve some don't I used a common 6 mm straw, cut to length, I just oiled it and slipped it over and then slipped the new valve seal on. This just gives peace of mind that the new seals didn't get torn up during installation.
After it is installed use a 16 mm spark plug socket to tap the seal in, it acts as the spring seat too, so it needs to sit flush.
do this 32 times ( for both sides - I think once I got good at it, I could do 1 every 30 minutes or so maybe every 20 minutes. It is tedious, and a lot of times you have to position the compressor tool at a slight angle to get leverage. I also had to use spaces - a bunch of washers to get it set at the right height. The A/C lines on one side and the brake lines/ steering knuckle are in the way, but you can work with them.... that was the tough spot.
Installing the collets is not easy either, I lightly greased them on the inside so the would stick better, make sure you install them correctly - taper down.
I tried to use the bluepointe valve spring compressor for this job, tons of youtube video's, but they don't work. not enough space.
put everything together in revers order, double check the lever are still intact, and when installing the cam shafts make sure they are close to the correct installation position, if you have to rotate it more that 20 degree's you risk the chance of bending valves.
Time up the engine, when installing the sprockets don't bolt them down until the top chain tensioner is installed. also Verify timing is correct, by spinning the crank shaft 2 revolutions 720 degrees and rechecking timing. it should sit flush or 0.5 mm off. basically flush, now the chain has some play to it, so make sure if it is off a little, push the timing tool down, remove it and recheck, if it now sits flush, you are good, if the chain sprang back and it still sits up, you need to re-adjust.
Remember that time both sides at the same time, as TDC has 2 positions for the cams, I made that mistake and it it took me some time to get to that concept......
reinstall everything in reverse order.... should be easy with everything marked off. If your car sat for a few weeks during this project, recharge the battery prior to firing up the first time, and also, stick the key in and in position 2 for 1 minute prior to starting to relearn all the values that may have changed.
Its a lot off work, but i would not pay $8 for it, would I pay $2,500 for it.... if It can get done in a few days yes, and you are getting new v/c too, with a warranty sure!
Last edited by Rahulk; 06-16-2013 at 08:39 PM. Reason: typo
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