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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 06-04-2012, 03:40 PM
abrookey abrookey is offline
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valve cover gaskets

Ok, unless I missed something, I looked through wiki on what is involved changing valve cover gaskets on my 540 and didn't see anything. Intake gaskets, yes. Valve covers, no. Advice??
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:39 PM
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  #3  
Old 06-05-2012, 12:55 PM
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sainda210 sainda210 is offline
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you'll need the valve cover gaskets and little rubber gromets for the bolts and also a little sealants to place on the 'U" shaped cutouts in the rear and also on the corners.
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 01:03 PM
jrcastro jrcastro is offline
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Try these:

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/124059

http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/131...t-(with-pics!)

Getting ready to do this on my 99 540i. Let me know how it goes.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:55 PM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrcastro View Post
Try these:

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/124059

http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/131...t-(with-pics!)

Getting ready to do this on my 99 540i. Let me know how it goes.
Castro, I did mine over the winter. I highly recommend removing the fuel rail as it will make the job much easier. With the fuel rail off, you might as well do the intake gaskets. With the intake off , you may as well go ahead and do the valley pan job.

It's a vicious cycle.....
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2012, 02:43 PM
jrcastro jrcastro is offline
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Originally Posted by 540indiana View Post
Castro, I did mine over the winter. I highly recommend removing the fuel rail as it will make the job much easier. With the fuel rail off, you might as well do the intake gaskets. With the intake off , you may as well go ahead and do the valley pan job.

It's a vicious cycle.....
Damn! that does sound vicious make me not want to do it at all.
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  #7  
Old 06-07-2012, 03:24 PM
lucky540 lucky540 is offline
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just finished

I started my 540 project last month..worked a couple hours a day when possible as the 540 is third car..took my time and labled and took pics as i went along..started out as a simple gasket change behind the TB..Then ended up finding more and more leaks..I pulled out intake manifold and replaced all gaskets and rear CCV, replaced all vacum hoses from brake booster onward, valley pan, accumulater gaskets and two heater hoses coming off accumelater, water pipe o-rings, valve cover gaskets and grommets, both camshaft soleniod gaskets and new o-ring on sensor on lower rad hose....also got rims and valve covers powder coated ..It was not that bad of project, seemed like minimal tools were needed..Got hooked up on parts and powder coating..

total parts cost 338.79
powder coat rims and valve covers 130.00
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2012, 03:40 PM
RockChalk4Life RockChalk4Life is offline
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I did valley pan, intake,throttle body, rear intake gasket and new ccv, water mani gaskeys, water pipe orings, hoses valve cover gaskets,and all the grommets, camshaft position sensors, it was all pretty easy, might as well do what you can while youre in there, trust me youll wish you did if you didnt. Aside from a metric socket set and wrenches the only extra tools I got were a pic set, 3/8" torque wrench and rubber mallet to knock the valve covers loose.

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  #9  
Old 06-08-2012, 06:25 AM
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540indiana 540indiana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrcastro View Post
Damn! that does sound vicious make me not want to do it at all.
Castro, the term "vicious" may be a bit of overkill. It would just make sense to do all the work while you are there. I just have the valley pan, upper timing chain covers and vanos seals left to do.

Trust me , I wish I would have done everything when I did my VCGs.

Before I owned the 540, I was used to just doing general maintenance on my previous cars.

My first job on the 540 was the water pump and thermostat. I was scared to death to do the job . I just decided to "jump in with both feet" and do the job. 13 hours later ( Took that long as I was being very careful not to break anything) and fantastic support on this forum, I got the job done. The sense of satisfaction and accomplishment felt great. Not to mention all of the money I saved by not having the dealership or indy do the job.

At any giving point and time there is someone on here to provide assistance. If not , just search and you will find the solution.

Now stop and change your manpon.
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2012, 08:36 PM
MurrayP MurrayP is offline
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Valve Cover Gasket - the film

540Indiana I am surprised at how similar our experience has been. I bought my 98 540i last July and decided to dive in this Spring. Cooling a-z, valve cover gaskets (twice so far), plugs, CCV, etc.

Looking for a valve cover gasket DIY, I came accross this gem. Like I said, I have replaced and then had to reseal my VCG twice so far and now with this video I have a clear picture where I went wrong. I will now attempt this (thrice?)

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  #11  
Old 06-09-2012, 07:19 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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On a 540, one should seriously consider replacing the upper timing cover gaskets as well...another one of those "while you are in there" things...especially if they have not been change before, and/or if you see a bunch of oil and dirt on the front of your engine, and down below on the lower tray....that is where it is coming from.
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  #12  
Old 06-09-2012, 08:16 AM
avu3 avu3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
On a 540, one should seriously consider replacing the upper timing cover gaskets as well...another one of those "while you are in there" things...especially if they have not been change before, and/or if you see a bunch of oil and dirt on the front of your engine, and down below on the lower tray....that is where it is coming from.
Mine started leaking within weeks of me doing the valve covers. I strongly encourage this course of action.

S
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  #13  
Old 06-25-2012, 01:49 PM
abrookey abrookey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrcastro View Post
Try these:

http://www.bimmerboard.com/forums/posts/124059

http://forum.roadfly.com/threads/131...t-(with-pics!)

Getting ready to do this on my 99 540i. Let me know how it goes.
Well, patience is sure the word for this, especially on the passenger side. I have to use my car every day so I didn't have time to do the intake etc.. I am used to the older big block Mopars, 20 minutes a side. Not this thing, but the leak is gone. Like mine, most leaks seem to be around the inner gasket, filling up spark plug holes and such...
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:53 AM
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collardgreens collardgreens is offline
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I would definetly change intake/throttle body and ccv gaskets as well as the valve cover gaskets and upper timing/vanos solenoid gaskets.

...Just not all at once. You can do the upper timing and valve covers at the same time. The intake gaskets can be done with the valve covers installed another time.

It takes more time ordering parts and research than it does to do the job. If its your first time anyway.

If you do everything at the same time and have a problem then you have to troubleshoot a lot more work.

Not sure if this has been posted but here is a great DIY for intake manifold.


http://www.bmw-planet.com/lib/BMW%20...kets%20DIY.pdf
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  #15  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:20 AM
abrookey abrookey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collardgreens View Post
I would definetly change intake/throttle body and ccv gaskets as well as the valve cover gaskets and upper timing/vanos solenoid gaskets.

...Just not all at once. You can do the upper timing and valve covers at the same time. The intake gaskets can be done with the valve covers installed another time.

It takes more time ordering parts and research than it does to do the job. If its your first time anyway.

If you do everything at the same time and have a problem then you have to troubleshoot a lot more work.

Not sure if this has been posted but here is a great DIY for intake manifold.


http://www.bmw-planet.com/lib/BMW%20...kets%20DIY.pdf
Just looked over your attachment for the intake etc... Going to save this for the near future, all this enjoyment is coming soon. Thanks, looks like it could be a time saver
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  #16  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:47 AM
bigugly fab bigugly fab is offline
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If the valve covers come off, replace the timing case cover gaskets.....
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  #17  
Old 06-26-2012, 01:47 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Originally Posted by bigugly fab View Post
If the valve covers come off, replace the timing case cover gaskets.....
Yup, that is what post #11 and #12 said as well...
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  #18  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:08 PM
abrookey abrookey is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Yup, that is what post #11 and #12 said as well...
I agree, but as I said earlier, I use the car every day. Will need more time to do all that I want to do to it
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  #19  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:11 PM
bigugly fab bigugly fab is offline
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Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Yup, that is what post #11 and #12 said as well...
just trying to hammer home the message

Quote:
Originally Posted by abrookey View Post
I agree, but as I said earlier, I use the car every day. Will need more time to do all that I want to do to it

why do a job twice?
if you have the time to do it twice, you have the job to do it once RIGHT.
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  #20  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:51 PM
abrookey abrookey is offline
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Originally Posted by bigugly fab View Post
just trying to hammer home the message




why do a job twice?
if you have the time to do it twice, you have the job to do it once RIGHT.
Ok, had to pause for a moment, the "do a job twice - and right" really ******* me off. Let me repeat, I can not let the car set a whole day no matter what, it is a daily driver, I have no choice in the matter, no second car to use. As for doing things "right" I am an NHRA record holder with a big block HemiCuda, I know what I am doing, and how to do things right, but seriously my friend, it is a time thing. Patience is now my middle name, x wife got everything else
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  #21  
Old 06-26-2012, 06:15 PM
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Do it all at once, the valve cover gaskets, timing chain gaskets and CCV. Unless you want to go right back in there and do it again, and again.
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  #22  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:11 PM
bigugly fab bigugly fab is offline
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why would it make you mad? its truth brother. you WILL end up doing them again to do the timing case covers (which are a ROYAL pain to do without pulling the valve covers off fully), so why put the effort into the job, in the first place?

- if thats the case, go drop it off to have someone do it for you, and get a rental for the day.

I personally can do timing case covers and valve covers on an M62/M62tu in less than 3 hours..... but to each their own.
Its really the moons the back of the heads, the corners in the back, an the "T" joint where the timing case/head/valve cover come together is where the heavy leaks come from. the timing case gaskets get soooooo hard, you have to chip them out with a screwdriver, and they come out in 1/2" chunks sometimes.....
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  #23  
Old 08-13-2012, 04:00 PM
speedchase speedchase is offline
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Somewhat related to this topic. I changed the spark plugs on my 2001 540i and noticed oil (with varying levels) on 5 out of 8 spark plug holes. Not knowing the implications, I pulled out the old spark plugs without cleaning out the oil in those holes and let some oil in each of those flooded spark plug holes. The obvious thing happened when I started the car after all the spark plug replacements; white smoke for less than a minute but the car runs great now since the old plugs (Bosch) were really beaten out.

The question is - How bad have I messed up the engine by letting the engine oil burn in the cylinders and, also, have I messed up the plugs warranting a replacement (if not very soon).

Please advise and let me help sleep better without the anxiety of having done a miserable job replacing plugs. I am a newbie but every day learning new things about E39 maintenance. I am going the DIY route since in the past 3 years, I have spent close 3k for steering fluid pump replacement (including all the belts), axle replacement & CCV replacement (this is the one I got fleeced most for close to 1k by an Indy).
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Repairs so far - Steering fluid pump ($1k - Indy), CCV replacement ($1k hosed to another Indy) & Axle replacement ($850 to another indy).. 3 indys to date and now I am diving all in as a DIY'er

Last edited by speedchase; 08-13-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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  #24  
Old 08-13-2012, 06:03 PM
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collardgreens collardgreens is offline
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I could be wrong but I don't think a little oil will hurt.

But it's not doing any good either,
You will soon experience whatever ailments your old plugs had as the oil keeps leaking.

Your inner valve cover gasket is leaking letting oil seep into the plug wells.

You should clean before you remove your old plugs, a vacuum with a straw taped to it or something. You don't want any foreign material falling in those ports.
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  #25  
Old 08-13-2012, 08:05 PM
bigugly fab bigugly fab is offline
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i would not, unless you intend to replace the orings on the injectors.
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