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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 04-01-2010, 01:01 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Cute little trick to diagnose blocked CCV system...

I just came across this interesting little trick for diagnosing blocked CCV in the Volvo forum:

With the oil cap sealed, engine on, stick a balloon over the dipstick tube and see if it inflates. If it inflates you need to service the PCV system.

...Lee


I think he meant with the dipstick removed, so the balloon goes over the dipstick housing.

No balloon, no problem, get an old dish washing glove, cut a "finger" off and tie it with rubber band.

http://www.matthewsvolvosite.com/for...hp?f=1&t=28322
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2010, 01:38 PM
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How long should you wait for the inflate?
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Old 04-01-2010, 02:37 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Any pressure will become evident as soon as the engine is turned on--what they are pointing to, is that
the pressure to just partially inflate the balloon is evidence the pvc system needs work.
I would guess that when trying this procedure on our cars--if the ballon trys to be sucked into the
dipstick hole just a little that all is OK--if it's being sucked in at a high rate though the ccv could be going bad.

Last edited by poolman; 04-01-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:27 PM
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On the VANOS repair site (Rajaie) posted this trick

"The crankcase vent valve and 4 associate hoses fail and cause a vacuum leak. The valve gets stuck open and the hoses crack. These last 70-120k miles and usually fail 80-90k miles. Here are a couple diagnoses.
At warm idle, place a small plastic freezer storage bag on its side over the oil fill hole. If the bag sits on top or gets slightly sucked in, ~1", the valve is good. If the bag gets significantly sucked in the hole the valve is stuck open and bad.
With the engine off and cold, carefully remove the hose at the valve cover front corner. Blow hard into the hole. You should hear oil bubbling in the oil pan. If you don't hear the bubbling the top or bottom hose is likely cracked. The bottom hose often breaks just below the valve connection. There can also be cracks in the other two hoses."
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2010, 07:50 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
..if the ballon trys to be sucked into the
dipstick hole just a little that all is OK--if it's being sucked in at a high rate though the ccv could be going bad.
Poolman,

Dipstick housing represents crankcase prssure, so it is almost always high from blow-by combustion. The dipstick can never suck in.

Vacuum exist in the Intake Manifold only.
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2010, 09:01 PM
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Not sure who is right here but Gtxragtop (Dave) did a test on my dipstick tube to determine CCV function by measuring the amount of vacuum pulled (I can't remember but I think the proper amount is 3"-6" of water). Not sure where this test came from (TIS?). No/low vacuum meant a CCV problem. My understanding is this test measures the amount of vacuum in the crankcase. But I am not sure how the pressure in the sump translates to the pressure in the crankcase. According to this test, the sump should have negative pressure and pull on the balloon, if the CCV is functioning properly. If it inflates the balloon, there is definitely a problem as that would indicate positive pressure in the sump. In addition, positive pressure in the sump should also blow the dipstick out of the hole. In theory the CCV is supposed to keep the crankcase from a positive pressure condition and that a failed CCV will create a positive pressure situation by keeping the crankcase from venting gases. If I sound confused, it is because I am. All I know is that I replaced the damn thing and I have stopped burning oil.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:00 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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In a nutshell, the crankcase always produces pressure from blow-by. The CCV is simply a "middleman" controlled by Intake Manifold Vacuum.
This way the positive pressure from the crankcase is removed by the CCV which separates oil and vapor:
- Oil goes back down the crankcase
- Vapor goes back into the Intake manifold.

This is why the CCV is also called "Oil Separator" in the Volvo language.
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Old 04-01-2010, 10:10 PM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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it's also called an oil separator on our website, for those who cannot find it.
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  #9  
Old 04-02-2010, 06:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
In a nutshell, the crankcase always produces pressure from blow-by. The CCV is simply a "middleman" controlled by Intake Manifold Vacuum.
This way the positive pressure from the crankcase is removed by the CCV which separates oil and vapor:
- Oil goes back down the crankcase
- Vapor goes back into the Intake manifold.

This is why the CCV is also called "Oil Separator" in the Volvo language.
Got most of that. Someone correct me if I am wrong. I refer to the real.oem diagram for the CCV. The oil and vapor from the cylinder head (positive pressure) goes into the CCV through the vent pipe (2). The CCV "separates" the liquid from the vapor and returns the vapor portion back into the intake manifold (negative pressure) using the connecting line (3) and the return pipe (7). The liquid oil condensate flows back into the sump via the vent hose (4).

If the previous is correct, is the sump at negative pressure, ambient or positive pressure? The dipstick vacuum pressure test suggests it is at negative pressure.

I ask because my previous e39 (which Gtxragtop tested) tested OK for negative pressure even though the car demonstrated some of the classic symptoms of CCV failure (oil consumption, burning oil, etc.). My current e39 appeared to burn oil (occasional black exhaust smoke in cold weather) but was never tested. I changed the CCV and that has gone away. It would be great to have a reliable test to verify proper CCV function as it is a PITA to change out. At this point, I am not so sure the dipstick vacuum test is that reliable of an indicator.
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  #10  
Old 04-02-2010, 09:09 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Fudman,

The best way to look at this is:

1. "A" is the crank case pressure. It is the same whether you measure it at the Top Valve Cover Outlet or the Dipstick because the Top part of the Engine Cam Lobes area connect to the sump via some air channels (this is how crankcase air goes from the sump upward into the cam lobes area).

2. "B" is the Intake Manifold Vacuum.

The following numbers are arbitrary just to illustrate the concept.
Sea level air pressure is 760 mm Hg or 14.7 psi. But let's set this as zero as a point of reference purpose.

And let's say the CCV is designed such that when there is a differential of 3, it opens the spring allowing vapor to return to the I.M.

Scenario A: car warm and idling at 700 rpm:
- Atmospheric air "zero"
- Intake Manifold vacuum = "- 1"
- Crankcase Pressure: goes slowly from "1" to "3" (from blow-by)

At "-1" and "1", the difference is only 2, so the CCV is closed, but at -1 and 3, the difference is 4 so the CCV is open allowing vapor to return to the I.M. At the same time, liquid (oil) is allowed to flow back down the crankcase drop by drop (basically dripping, not a full flow).

Scenario B: you are driving at 3000 rpm:
- Atmospheric air "zero"
- Intake Manifold vacuum = "- 3"
- Crankcase Pressure: goes slowly from "3" to "5" (from blow-by)

In this case the CCV is always open because the min difference is still 6.



Maybe one of us can get a birthday balloon and play with it this weekend and report back (assuming your CCV is fine)?
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2010, 03:27 PM
Calicoastin Calicoastin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmako View Post
On the VANOS repair site (Rajaie) posted this trick

"The crankcase vent valve and 4 associate hoses fail and cause a vacuum leak. The valve gets stuck open and the hoses crack. These last 70-120k miles and usually fail 80-90k miles. Here are a couple diagnoses.
At warm idle, place a small plastic freezer storage bag on its side over the oil fill hole. If the bag sits on top or gets slightly sucked in, ~1", the valve is good. If the bag gets significantly sucked in the hole the valve is stuck open and bad.
With the engine off and cold, carefully remove the hose at the valve cover front corner. Blow hard into the hole. You should hear oil bubbling in the oil pan. If you don't hear the bubbling the top or bottom hose is likely cracked. The bottom hose often breaks just below the valve connection. There can also be cracks in the other two hoses."
This bag trick is messy on the 540i because the oil fill location is on top of the timing chain, which when the engine is running will whip oil through the oil fill hole. I think the ballon trick would be best for the V8's.
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  #12  
Old 04-03-2010, 03:20 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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CN90--don't know about you M52--but my M54 has always had vacuum at the dipstick as well as the valve cover oil cap--on the later engines there is a vacuum directed into the crankcase via the valvecover gasket
the oil dipstick tube has two different channels in it to allow oil to drainback and the dipstick itself.
One of the big problems that must be watched out for when doing the ccv valve work on the M54 engine
is to make sure the dipstick tube 0 ring is seated properly when doing the reinstall and ensureing there isn't a vac leak there. Vacuum is introduced into the crankcase from the distribution unit--then to the ccv and from there to the valve cover.
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  #13  
Old 04-03-2010, 04:41 PM
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The crankcase, valve cover, dipstick tube are all connected by wide open space. Remember, the oil on the camshaft has to drain back down to the sump. According to the TIS, the vacuum should be between 3-6" of WATER no Hg (mercury) which is the measurement used on a typical vacuum gauge. 3-6" of H2O is not very much. The goal of the CCV as others have stated is to maintain a slight vacuum under all conditions.
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  #14  
Old 04-12-2011, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The best way to look at this is ...
Hi Cam,
Looking at this diagram (to figure out how the CCV works), did I draw the directions of the pressure (orange) and vacuum (yellow) in the M54 engine correctly?

Notice you do not show the direction of the thin line called "vacuum hose", so I 'guessed' at which direction the flow is going.

Likewise, the Realoem diagram for my M54 engine seems to have the "return pipe" reversed, so, that adds a bit of confusion.

Can someone correct this diagram so that we have the correct directions for the M54 CCV?


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Old 04-12-2011, 04:55 AM
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Good post Bee.
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  #16  
Old 04-12-2011, 05:16 AM
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BB:

Your flow directions are correct except for the vacuum hose. The RealOEM parts diagram is INCORRECT. There is NO vacuum hose. When you remove your old CCV, you will see that the vacuum hose connector is capped and the new replacement CCV is also capped.
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Old 04-12-2011, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Your flow directions are correct except for the vacuum hose. The RealOEM parts diagram is INCORRECT. There is NO vacuum hose.
Now that's interesting.

I realize YOU have the same M54 that I do, and that you already replaced your CCV, so you should know:
- DIY: CCV Replacement on an M54 & Replacement of the CCV on M54, both by Fudman

However, from reading all the DIYs, I do know 'some' CCV's have a black orange-striped vacuum hose:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator, 99 528i, by aioros

So, the question is, if realoem is wrong, how do we know, ahead of time, WHICH ccv's have the vacuum hose and which don't?

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Old 04-12-2011, 06:10 AM
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Not sure. All I know is that the M54 3.0 does not have this vacuum hose. I believe rdl's experience mirrors mine.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
the M54 3.0 does not have this vacuum hose. I believe rdl's experience mirrors mine.
I have a M54B25 but I'll wager it's similar (since it's an M54).

Certainly Aioros' 99 528i has the (orange-striped) vacuum line connected to the CCV.

In 'that' case, which direction is the vacuum?
  • Is the vacuum in that line a 'result' of the huge (in comparison) lines connected directly to the intake manifold?
    • In which case, the arrows should point INTO the CCV
  • Or is the vacuum in that line a 'signal' to the CCV from some other vacuum source
    • In which case, the arrows should point AWAY from the CCV
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:39 AM
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Based on Fudman's comments, I searched for RDL's comments and found where he also confirmed his 530i also does not have the orange-striped vacuum line that Aioros has on his 99 528i.
- CCV replacement tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdl View Post
BTW, my M54 does not have pt# 6 "vacuum hose" although RealOEM indicates it is supposed to be present
Here is the realoem diagram for a 11/2001 production month 530i showing the vacuum hose that isn't there.

Of course, that realoem diagram also shows a #8 which isn't described; and it shows the #7 return pipe reversed ... so, it's not infallible!

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  #21  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:58 PM
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This thread is so confusing! To test, if I put a rubber inflatable device over the dipstick tube, am I going to get it to expand or contract? And why are there incorrect, if they are, diagrams here? And it seems different years had different hoses, correct? What is the simple test(s)?
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielz40 View Post
if I put a rubber inflatable device over the dipstick tube, am I going to get it to expand or contract?
Details here:
- How to test the crankcase ventilation (aka CCV, CVV, PCV, CPV, & OSV) pressure regulating valve system (1)


Quote:
Originally Posted by danielz40 View Post
And why are there incorrect, if they are, diagrams here?
Ummm... because the diagrams are (slightly) incorrect. But, unless you want us to draw new ones, we're stuck with the incorrect ones.



Quote:
Originally Posted by danielz40 View Post
And it seems different years had different hoses, correct?
They're mostly the same. AFAIK, the key difference is that the CCV itself looks different depending on the model year, and, the orange-and-black vacuum hose is not on the newer models.


Quote:
Originally Posted by danielz40 View Post
What is the simple test(s)?
For my M54, I simply placed a plastic bag over the oil filler hole:
- Pictorial DIY for an M54 spark plug replacement on a 2002 BMW 525i E39 with 95K miles

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Old 05-25-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post

... stuff deleted ...

They're mostly the same. AFAIK, the key difference is that the CCV itself looks different depending on the model year, and, the orange-and-black vacuum hose is not on the newer models.


For my M54, I simply placed a plastic bag over the oil filler hole:

The balloon test over the dipstick tube can be useful since if you find any pressure (i.e. inflating balloon) the CCV has failed.
OTOH, I think the plastic bag over the oil filler is not precise enough to measure a failure on the too much vacuum side. From my experience it pays to do the test with accuracy - and pay attention to the results .

For instance, I sarted getting a bit of a rough idle. I tried the baggy test & passed. I assumed the CCV was OK. Then I measured crankcase vacuum accurately & found 9 inches of water column vacuum; well outside the 4 - 6 inches specified by BMW. I knew the CCV was going south, but took a chance and hoped it would be "OK enough" until warmer weather arrived. A few months later I had ~45 inches w.c. (!) vacuum and most of the symptoms listed for a failed CCV. And weather around 0 F.

Here is a link describing how to measure CCV operation accurately, cheaply and in about 10 minutes.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...42&postcount=8

Since there have been so many questions on the topic of CCV operation and failure, here is a description of how I think the CCV operates using Bluebee's picture for reference.

The vent pipe, swirl labyrinth chamber and vent hose are always at the same pressure or vacuum - there is no valve or obstruction between them. The swirl labyrinth is the lower part of the CCV assy that the vent pipe & vent hose connect to. Further, they connect to the valve cover & crankcase without restriction and are at crankcase pressure/vacuum.

The connecting line and return pipe connect to the inlet manifold which has a vacuum of ~20 inches Hg (mercury) at idle; ~260 inches water column vacuum.

The portion of the CCV immediately beside the blue "CCV" label in Bluebee's picture is a vacuum regulator whose job it is to maintain 4 -6" w.c. vacuum in the swirl chamber.

When the engine starts, the labyrinth is at 0 vacuum (i.e. vacuum is less than 4" w.c.) & the orifice/valve in the regulator is open. The gases in the swirl chamber flow through the regulator into the connecting line (which is at high vacuum), on to the inlet manifold and through the engine. Soon the vacuum in the swirl chamber (also the crankcase to which it is connected) is sucked down to 4 - 6" w.c. vacuum and the orifice valve in the regulator closes.

The engine runs, more blowby gases from the combustion chamber enter the crankcase & raise the pressure (reduce vacuum) in the vent pipe & swirl chamber. The regulator opens again, allows manifold vacuum in the connecting line to suck them away until crankcase vacuum is back to 4 - 6" w.c. at which point the regulator closes again. And on it goes, cycling over and over.

As the blowby gas travels through the engine toward the CCV, it picks up microscopic droplets/mist of oil. We don't want this oil mist to go through the vacuum regulator, into the inlet manifold and be burned: high oil consumption and air pollution. Enter the swirl labyrinth; it causes oil droplets/mist in the blowby gases to stick to the wall of the labyrinth and drain down the vent hose into the dipstick tube and sump while the "cleaned" gases carry on through the regulator.

Now the problems that ocurr.
One
One of the CCV hoses ruptures with age and lets air into the swirl chamber. The regulator stays open in a losing battle to get down to 4" w.c. vacuum. Lots of air is sucked in through the hole, on to the inlet manifold and the ECU senses a vacuum leak - bad news.

Two
The regulator diaphram ruptures with age. Now it can't close the orifice and crankcase vacuum goes high. And/or the rupture is so large that we have enough of a vacuum leak the the ECU gets upset. Plus gaskets and seals are being pushed harder than designed may fail entirely.

Three
The CCV and hoses can get very cold in winter conidtions since they aren't heated or even insulated. Blowby gases have lots of water vapour as a product of combustion chemistry. If these gases get cold enough, the vapour condenses into water and we get sludge/mayo. The mayo/water can freeze and block the regulator orifice - either open or closed.
Stuck open - high vacuum resulting in damaged gaskets/seals (or at worst, hydrolock according to BMW)

EDIT 2 - had this sentence in the "stuck closed" paragraph:
Also, seals and gaskets can start leaking air into the crankcase - a vacuum leak according to the engine.

Stuck closed - high pressure resulting in oil leaks &/or blown out gaskets and seals. BMW warns pressure can get high enough to crack the valve cover.

Four
Again in cold weather, water condenses in the swirl chamber, sludges it up so it can no longer separate out the oil mist droplets. Then, the blowby with oil mist is routed straight to the vacuum regulator into the engine. High oil consumption and in the worst case, hydrolock.

Five
Again in cold weather, the oil draining down the vent hose toward the sump plugs up in the narrow channel of the dipstick tube. Perhaps with some mayo/sludge if the regulator isn't operating properly (see above) to get all the water vapour out of the swirl chamber fast enough before it condenses. The liquid oil backs up into the swirl chamber, oil gets sucked through the vacuum regulator into the engine. In the worse case, so much oil the engine hydrolocks.

Three, four & five being good reasons for installing the cold weather CCV kit & insulated hoses.

EDIT: six
I occurs that if the CCV fails as above, oil mist and water can condense out in the distribution piece that the connecting line attaches to on the way to the inlet manifolc. One could then replace the CCV but have enough sludge in the distribution piece that a slug of it is pulled into the inlet manifold after the repair when the CCV is perfect. Bad news.
Seems a good reason for at least checking the distribution piece when doing a CCV overhaul.

Regards
RDL

Last edited by rdl; 05-25-2011 at 01:20 PM. Reason: added fault six - distribution piece. Edit 2 - correct fault three desc.
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  #24  
Old 05-25-2011, 12:13 PM
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Great explanation, RDL! In plain understandable English, too. The best description of CCV function and malfunction I have seen to date. #5 also explains why BMW enlarged CCV return on the dipstick tube. Thanx.

Last edited by Fudman; 05-25-2011 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 07-28-2011, 11:44 AM
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interesting

i tried this method and 530 has more vacuum than 525i
both have the same recent new CCV + all staff




what i see is
525i : sucked in by ~0.25"
530i : sucked in by ~0.5"

normal ?

Last edited by champaign777; 07-28-2011 at 01:05 PM.
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