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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 03-10-2013, 05:11 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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How important is replacing the nut grommets when replacing the valve cover gasket?

I replaced the valve cover gasket today and didn't realize that I forgot to replace the 15 rubber nut grommets. I bought the parts, just forgot about it until the job was done.

I did inspect all the old ones when I took them off and they appeared to be in good shape unlike the old gasket which all hard and nonpliable.

What do you think? Is it worth the 1-2 hours to replace the grommets?
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2013, 06:50 PM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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If you have no leaks, forget about it. But realize you may not get the mileage out of the VCG Job you had intended.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2013, 06:56 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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e46 jail is waiting for you
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2013, 06:57 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCA323 View Post
I replaced the valve cover gasket today and didn't realize that I forgot to replace the 15 rubber nut grommets. I bought the parts, just forgot about it until the job was done.

I did inspect all the old ones when I took them off and they appeared to be in good shape unlike the old gasket which all hard and nonpliable.

What do you think? Is it worth the 1-2 hours to replace the grommets?
No, not worth the time. You'll be fine, I never replaced mine and I have replaced VCG twice, in 217K, on my 323.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2013, 08:23 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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ok, thanks. I got 165k out of the original VCG and the grommets looked to be in good shape. I think I'll leave them alone.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2013, 06:32 AM
rav31 rav31 is offline
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You'll be sorry. They have to be hard as a rock by now. Replace them, they're cheap....and soft.
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Last edited by rav31; 03-11-2013 at 06:33 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2013, 09:25 AM
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OfTheLost OfTheLost is online now
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If you do decide to replace them, it wont take as long to get the valve cover back off since youve already done it once. I had mine off 3 times tracking down a leak that turned out to be a cracked valve cover, my first attempt took 2 hrs, third attempt was about 40 minutes
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2013, 09:27 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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They cost what, $8? Bad idea to skip such an easy and cheap thing. It MAY not cause leaks, but if it did wouldn't you feel foolish?
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2013, 02:34 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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As I said, I bought the grommets but just forgot to install them. If I replace them, can I just do it one by one without taking them all out and then installing the new ones in a criss crosspattern? What I mean is, I didn't tighten each bolt one at a time but did each one a little at a time so the valve cover would seat properly. If I could bypass this the second time around it would be a lot faster.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:33 PM
helphos helphos is offline
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Danger, Will Robinson!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CCA323 View Post
As I said, I bought the grommets but just forgot to install them. If I replace them, can I just do it one by one without taking them all out and then installing the new ones in a criss crosspattern? What I mean is, I didn't tighten each bolt one at a time but did each one a little at a time so the valve cover would seat properly. If I could bypass this the second time around it would be a lot faster.
That sounds like a good strategy. I didnt replace mine, and it's been fine for the past 6 months. If I think about it I might pick some up at the dealer, just for fun, and do what you're planning to do. On the other hand, I have no leaks...and I have other projects.

Good Luck!
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:37 PM
540i6spd 540i6spd is offline
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Its better to change them but if you didnt nothing really to worry about just keep an eye here and there that there is a slight leak.
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2013, 03:34 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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Ok, so I replaced all 15 grommets this weekend. I replaced each one at a time rather than taking them all out and replacing them.

Today after a couple days of normal driving, I noticed a very small leak at one of the vanos dips where the rtv sealant was. I was afraid this might happen. It was about the size of a small droplet. I cleaned it up and drove a few miles to see if it would leak again. No signs of a leak.

What should I do? Keep an eye on it or is it eventually going to leak in the future? I torqued to about 7.5 to 8 ft lbs if that matters.

Last edited by CCA323; 03-19-2013 at 03:35 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2013, 05:35 AM
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ahull ahull is offline
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The sealant bond may have been disturbed. More importantly, did you torque down the cover in a criss-cross pattern after all grommet replacement? if not you're looking at warping/cracking the valve cover and leaking for sure. Since the gasket is still new, if you still have a leak after a while, you can always take it off, clean it and redo the sealant.

Was the gasket a victor reinz brand?
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2013, 02:29 PM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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I replaced each grommet one by one individually rather than taking each one out and starting over again. As each grommet was replaced I tightened it to final torque.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:26 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Was the gasket a victor reinz brand?
You didn't answer this question.
If you have a VR, you're doomed.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2013, 04:09 AM
CCA323 CCA323 is offline
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It was elring Klingon.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2013, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
You didn't answer this question.
If you have a VR, you're doomed.
He also replaced the grommets and retorqued the nuts one by one, vs. torquing all at the end in a criss-cross. He still may end up in e46 jail.
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