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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-06-2013, 03:49 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Cams of a 174k mile ZHP......pics

So my valve cover has been leaking like a crazy man. I am loosing a qt of oil every 400 miles so it is bad. Anyways, I was going to wait but today was 63 and sunny so I decided to just tackle the job.

My local shop/salvage said they had heard of a lot of leaks with fairly new valve covers when not using the OEM part, since I always seem to have this problem, I got them to get me an OEM one.

Fit of the "OE" gasket was actually a little more snug and even than the other ones I have been using so that is hopefully a good thing. I am happy to report my cams still look pretty good for their age. Also, I did the job in record time. Started at 4pm, finished at 5:15pm working leisurely. I truly enjoy the easy DIYs that don't require jacks and crawling under the car!
Boy the coil pack redesign is so nice, no 10mm bolts, just pull up on the tab and they pop off. Only tools needed were a 10mm socket (deep and standard), an 8mm socket, and a t30 torx to remove the cabin filter housing. That is all.

Anyways, that is all. This weekend my car gets solid RTABS, new belts, new tensioner pulley, VANOS hard line and steering shaft guibo joint. I spent $3200 in maintenance last year, it is ALWAYS something on these cars.......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Last edited by smolck; 02-06-2013 at 03:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:13 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Amazing! You have almost none of the "Golden Hue" that is apparent in other cars all over the valve train.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2013, 04:38 PM
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Lookin` good, Mang !
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:15 PM
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Lookin` good, Mang !
Thanks gents. If it still leaks after this (2nd valve cover since I got it) I am going to seal it with a welder.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #5  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Thanks gents. If it still leaks after this (2nd valve cover since I got it) I am going to seal it with a welder.
Or go Jesse James on it....carve out a wooden buck, and hammer out a proper *sheet metal* valve cover for it....
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  #6  
Old 02-06-2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Or go Jesse James on it....carve out a wooden buck, and hammer out a proper *sheet metal* valve cover for it....
Yea, I don't have those skills. This car better behave now that it is almost paid off. I have been hankering for an M3.......
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #7  
Old 02-06-2013, 06:45 PM
cvx5832 cvx5832 is online now
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  #8  
Old 02-06-2013, 07:14 PM
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Very nice. I learned the hard way too that you should only use BMW original valve cover gaskets. I used a victor reinz and it leaked after less than 20k miles .

Looking nice and clean inside!
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2013, 09:57 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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You did well! My VR started leaking after 8000 miles.


I really lucked out on the clean head front. This after 97K miles and hardly even a bit of brown discoloration on the metal parts.


Did you remove the plastic cover over the intake cam?
Does anyone know why this cover is installed on the car?
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:51 AM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Looks like a properly maintained engine, well done. Keep motoring
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:17 AM
BMWTurboDzl BMWTurboDzl is offline
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Looks great. The ZHP was my best all around bimmer. What oil and were you following the CBS?

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  #12  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:36 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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Omnomnom... Your car always looks brand spankin' new.

I have motor mounts, RTABs (yeah... they're still in my trunk...), RSMs, and probably FSMs lined up to be done.
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:49 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
You did well! My VR started leaking after 8000 miles.
Is this a well known issue that I was somehow oblivious to? I had never heard it until the place I bought the VCG from mentioned I should try the "OE" gasket.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:53 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Is this a well known issue that I was somehow oblivious to? I had never heard it until the place I bought the VCG from mentioned I should try the "OE" gasket.
I can't remember... was it the VR VCG you installed on my car?
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  #15  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:09 AM
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JayKayo JayKayo is offline
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Losing*
Would be convenient to swap with Schrick cams....hehe
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  #16  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:13 AM
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av98 av98 is offline
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Keep an eye on your oil starvation during heavy loads Smolck. I see some light scoring on some of your cam lobes, unless those are just camera reflections.
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  #17  
Old 02-07-2013, 09:14 AM
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Losing*
Would be convenient to swap with Schrick cams....hehe
Not really needed as the ZHP cams are already upgraded for a mildly aggressive tune.
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  #18  
Old 02-07-2013, 12:08 PM
skwidrific skwidrific is offline
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Nice, man! I'm just super jelly that it only took you an hour and 15 minutes... IF i had the tools, and the place, that job would have taken me about 4 or 5 hours, I'm fairly certain.

I learned a LONG time ago that I shouldn't attempt any mechanical work without "adult supervision"...
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  #19  
Old 02-07-2013, 12:58 PM
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I shoulda took a pic last time I did my VCG. Mine are in amazing shape and are clean as hell. E46Mango from fanatics saw it and can verify that it was insanely clean and fresh looking with the mileage. Goes to show the oil I use from the dealership is good stuff.
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2013, 01:45 PM
TannerT TannerT is offline
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I was shocked how good mine where too! You do have me beat a little on mileage though.

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  #21  
Old 02-07-2013, 03:07 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by av98 View Post
Keep an eye on your oil starvation during heavy loads Smolck. I see some light scoring on some of your cam lobes, unless those are just camera reflections.
Yea, I think it was from the time I went on a long trip and the frigging car ran pretty low on oil form the leak. It does have some light scoring. Could have been from the PO too though, he let it get really low on oil a few times.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #22  
Old 02-07-2013, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Yea, I think it was from the time I went on a long trip and the frigging car ran pretty low on oil form the leak. It does have some light scoring. Could have been from the PO too though, he let it get really low on oil a few times.
You could always polish them with crocus cloth, but you have to be VERY careful not to let any of the polishing juice get into your engine. I used to do it all the time on my 390 until I could afford roller lifters Light polish is key. You can't get it all.
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  #23  
Old 02-07-2013, 05:09 PM
shadow 2 shadow 2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Yea, I think it was from the time I went on a long trip and the frigging car ran pretty low on oil form the leak. It does have some light scoring. Could have been from the PO too though, he let it get really low on oil a few times.
How low is really low?
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  #24  
Old 02-07-2013, 06:15 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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How low is really low?
2 qts maybe. Nothing I can do about it now. I am not up for polishing them. Car runs fine. If it blows up, it blows up.

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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #25  
Old 02-07-2013, 07:23 PM
shadow 2 shadow 2 is offline
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Engine looks great. Best mechanic for it too.
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