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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 08-27-2015, 11:15 AM
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VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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VCG leaks Vanos

2001 525 with 249k miles. I have a leaky valve cover gasket that is irritating me like crazy. Oil leaks on the exhaust manifold and basically down the whole passenger side of engine. I changed the gasket with all other gromments roungly a year - year half ago.

I intend to take it all apart and try again but I really am having a hard time understanding how the gasket can leak because it fits right in the valve cover, almost impossible to F it up.

1. Should I look at anything particular, I used some RTV at pinch points and I also was able to get the back left bolt torqued despite the headache of the location.

2. Should I do the Vanos Seals, I have already done this once about 5 years ago (not to difficult) My car still drives very well for the most part but it usually has hiccups in the winter. I guess the cold weather makes it harder on the engine to operate normally, idk..

3. I am going to do plugs even though they only have about 20k miles on them.

My real concern is the leak though and would love to get this thing back together with NO LEAKS. I will follow the Beisan System write-up. Suggestions, tips, or any information to help ensure I get this leak fixed would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2015, 11:56 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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I know that this one will start a fire storm, but here goes. Back over a year or 2 ago, BMW changed the material that these gaskets were made of. The older material would harden up and fail after 100 K miles or so and would need to be replaced. The newer gaskets will not harden and will stay pliable. I just replaced my Vanos seals a couple of months ago , this was on the newer engine I now have in my car. When doing so , I noticed that the gasket was of the newer formula and was still soft . I decided to do this , I used the permatex Gray type gasket maker (The Gray is lighter duty) , and put a Thin light coat over the area that the gasket would sit on the engine head , and then installed the gasket. Reason for doing this , I'm thinking that the gasket's are so soft, that they can leak air by them. Once the valve cover was in place, I let the engine sit overnight before cranking. I know that this is out of the box, but I don't think I'll ever have to have the cover off again. As for your seals, if you used Beisan seals, you should be A Okay. I got over 175k miles on my last set and things were still good, before burning a valve in cylinder 4. Good Luck, and hope that helps
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2015, 11:56 AM
Alika808 Alika808 is online now
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What kind of gasket you used? I have issue before, I replaced with aftermarket and it last only 6 months. Also, some edges of the cylinder head needs a small amount of RTV.

About the VANOS seals, If I were you, if you don't have the symptoms of bad seal VANOS as indicated here (see below), I will not replace it yet. I think the VANOS seal last longer than 5 years.

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

About the plugs, try to use the Bosch 4503 it last longer.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2015, 12:03 PM
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VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
I know that this one will start a fire storm, but here goes. Back over a year or 2 ago, BMW changed the material that these gaskets were made of. The older material would harden up and fail after 100 K miles or so and would need to be replaced. The newer gaskets will not harden and will stay pliable. I just replaced my Vanos seals a couple of months ago , this was on the newer engine I now have in my car. When doing so , I noticed that the gasket was of the newer formula and was still soft . I decided to do this , I used the permatex Gray type gasket maker (The Gray is lighter duty) , and put a Thin light coat over the area that the gasket would sit on the engine head , and then installed the gasket. Reason for doing this , I'm thinking that the gasket's are so soft, that they can leak air by them. Once the valve cover was in place, I let the engine sit overnight before cranking. I know that this is out of the box, but I don't think I'll ever have to have the cover off again. As for your seals, if you used Beisan seals, you should be A Okay. I got over 175k miles on my last set and things were still good, before burning a valve in cylinder 4. Good Luck, and hope that helps
Thanks for the info, I am going to use the same approach "let car sit overnight" and use the permatex.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2015, 12:05 PM
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VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alika808 View Post
What kind of gasket you used? I have issue before, I replaced with aftermarket and it last only 6 months. Also, some edges of the cylinder head needs a small amount of RTV.

About the VANOS seals, If I were you, if you don't have the symptoms of bad seal VANOS as indicated here (see below), I will not replace it yet. I think the VANOS seal last longer than 5 years.

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

About the plugs, try to use the Bosch 4503 it last longer.
I purchased the VCG from Bap-Geon Import Auto Parts out of Richmond, VA. To be honest I am not sure if it was OEM or aftermarket but the VCG did not leak the 1st 6 months after the job or at least I never noticed. I will pickup a kit from Richmond BMW this time. Thanks for the input
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  #6  
Old 08-27-2015, 12:44 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Don't do the Vanos again. Besian seals are good for the life of the car.

Redo the VCG carefully and be sure to replace all the rubber grommets. If you don't, there won't be enough pressure to seal the gasket. And it goes without saying but I'll say it-use a new OE gasket. Not some aftermarket junk.

Torque ALL the VC fasteners to spec in a criss/cross patern starting at the middle and proceeding outward.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2015, 12:54 PM
crazy4trains crazy4trains is offline
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Did you put sealant at the half moon locations? Are those the pinch points you referenced?

Buy your gasket from a dealer.
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2015, 01:54 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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The reason I used the permatex everywhere , the gaskets are so soft now, that I'm thinking they can start to have small vac leaks after a time,,along with oil leaks
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2015, 02:49 PM
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Flounderasu Flounderasu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnstern View Post
Don't do the Vanos again. Besian seals are good for the life of the car.

Redo the VCG carefully and be sure to replace all the rubber grommets. If you don't, there won't be enough pressure to seal the gasket. And it goes without saying but I'll say it-use a new OE gasket. Not some aftermarket junk.

Torque ALL the VC fasteners to spec in a criss/cross patern starting at the middle and proceeding outward.
+1 on pretty much everything above.

OE = go to BMW for the gaskets.

Plugs - the Bosch plugs tend to back out....just something to look out for.

Permatex only on the half moons.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2015, 02:54 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Verify via straightedge and feeler gauge that the valve cover gasket surface is not warped.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2015, 02:57 PM
Alika808 Alika808 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Verify via straightedge and feeler gauge that the valve cover gasket surface is not warped.
If the the valve cover gasket is warped, then it should leak right away when first replaced the gasket.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2015, 03:33 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alika808 View Post
If the the valve cover gasket is warped, then it should leak right away when first replaced the gasket.
It's my understanding that the VC are made of plastic. Why would a feeler gauge be warranted as a test for that?
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2015, 04:03 PM
Alika808 Alika808 is online now
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It's my understanding that the VC are made of plastic. Why would a feeler gauge be warranted as a test for that?
That's my point.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2015, 04:18 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is online now
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yeah, I never got why they would make that out of plastic, but I don't understand BMW whole view on plastic other than planned obsolescence. I can see if it was so severely deformed/melted that it would have to be replace. I did see one guy making one or buying one that was aluminium.. that was cool..
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2015, 04:20 PM
ca2014mp2 ca2014mp2 is online now
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I mean I opened up my front headlights and the adjuster just melted in my hand like ash.. but my air couling, right next to it is perfect.. Or the pad that hold my hood alarm sensor.. crumbled as it were made of sand.. WTF and what's up with that????
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Series E39 Vehicle code DP63 Model 528ITA Engine M52TU
Body type OTHER Catalog model USA Production date 1999 / 06
Transmission Automatic Steering Left Catalyzer YES

Production FROM : 1998/09/01 TO : 1999/08/31
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  #16  
Old 08-29-2015, 05:59 AM
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VA525FREAK VA525FREAK is offline
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ID:	527375what does this hose attach to?
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  #17  
Old 08-29-2015, 06:51 AM
Brandon002 Brandon002 is offline
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Originally Posted by VA525FREAK View Post
Attachment 527375what does this hose attach to?
It attaches to the Combi valve right below it. You can see the other and of the hose hanging an inch away.
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  #18  
Old 08-29-2015, 08:53 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Uhh,,I suggest that you also remove the cabin duct work on the driverside of the car and replace the rubber section of that hose that is back behind the intake manifold, along with the other two hoses that are back there, along with the two vacuum caps --I bet you have a few vac leaks to deal with.
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  #19  
Old 08-29-2015, 09:46 AM
Alika808 Alika808 is online now
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Originally Posted by VA525FREAK View Post
Attachment 527375what does this hose attach to?
Check here, the items #3 and #4.
http://bmwfans.info/parts-catalog/E3...acuum_control/
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