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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 05-10-2015, 05:12 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
Valve Cover Gasket

When replacing my Vanos seals a few weeks back, along with the AC Delco Piston soak,(because of oil usage) to clean the contaminates from the pistons lands. I noticed that the valve cover gasket , that was put on the engine , before it was installed into the car last year,(newer engine swap, because of a bad valve in older one) was still very pliable. I could have really used the old gasket with out any trouble. The gasket was so pliable and rubbery , that when the last of the valve cover bolts were released, the valve cover almost popped of the head, except for the front and back, where a little extra sealant was used at the half moons.
These newer gaskets were made with a different material, so they wouldn't harden out and become brittle, but they may be to pliable. I started thinking, since I had replaced my Vanos seals, and the valve cover doesn't need to come off again because the newer gasket is made from a product that won't harden and fail,why not do this gasket a different way.
I used Permatex Ultra Gray Sealant , and made a thin skim of the product over the entire area that the valve cover would come into contact with on the head, all around the top of the head contact area. I installed the valve cover and then let the engine sit for the night.
Two weeks later, no oil leaks, have noticed that there seems to be extra vacuum in the intake manifold, I see that because it takes less brake pressure on the brake peddle to stop the car. I know that what I have done, will require more work to clean up , but I'm thinking, that I shouldn't have to remove the valve cover again for many years down the road, And this procedure is completly air tight. There will be purists, that may think this is a bad idea. But so far, I like it. Haven't seen any evidence in oil usage either, 1500 miles so far.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2015, 05:37 AM
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gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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Nice idea. And proof that time machines won't be invented before the gasket has to be changed again. Or, you or the future owner would be kicking your current butt for making everything so tough to remove - even thought there are many intervening years of tight and dry benefit. :-)
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:09 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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The reason for using the Ultra Grey,,it seals well,,and isn't hard to separate, or break apart as other sealants are. It does it's job , but can be tore down easily. The bad side, would be the clean up,,if ya ever needed to go back in. I always used a little of this stuff on the gaskets in the middle around the spark plug wells anyway. It wasn't that bad cleaning up,,but did take a little extra time.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:25 AM
JimLev JimLev is offline
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Last year when I did my timing chain guides I put all new gaskets on the engine.
This year when I did the vanos seals I reused the VC gaskets as they were still nice and soft.
I only used sealant (Hylomar) on the 1/2 moons and where the upper timing covers meet the lower timing cover and the heads.
No leaks.
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Old 05-10-2015, 06:51 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Yep, this won't be for everyone. I just looked at how pliable these new gaskets are and gave a thought up that they may let a little air in , between where the bolts anchor everything down. I'm not sure where the extra vacuum pressure has come from, but I'm glad it's there, as stated the brake peddle is easier in stopping the car. May have come from the way the gasket was installed, or come have been from the piston soaking. Wish I had measured the vacuum at idle with a gauge before doing the work so as to note the increase.
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2015, 12:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
I need to do mine.

I'm going to take the liberty of cross referencing to this thread so that others start where you guys left off:
- What VCG lubricants and sealants to use (1)

See also:
- How to replace the E39 V8 valve cover gasket (1) & how to replace the E39 I6 VCG (1) & which VCG brand to buy (1) & what VCG lubricants and sealants to use (1) & what can go wrong when replacing the VCG valve cover gasket which may cause subsequent plastic engine cover leaks (1)
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Please read the suggested threads, where the best 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; 05-10-2015 at 12:07 PM.
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  #7  
Old 05-10-2015, 06:34 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmak2012 View Post
Nice idea. And proof that time machines won't be invented before the gasket has to be changed again. Or, you or the future owner would be kicking your current butt for making everything so tough to remove - even thought there are many intervening years of tight and dry benefit. :-)

With almost 310,000 miles on this car,,and most of it rebuilt,,like front and rear suspension along with new engine and transmission,,doubt that there will ever be another owner.
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