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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 03-14-2013, 06:29 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 OSi 3.0 AT
2007-2010 X3 N52 Valve Cover Replacement DIY

1) Disconnect negative battery line (10 mm socket)


2) Remove Cabin air filter housing (four T30 bolts)


3) Disconnect the two positive wires on passenger side (19mm and 10mm socket)


4) Disconnect engine compartment brace (two 13mm on each side)


5) Remove vanity cover (8mm hex)


6) Disconnect wiring from pencil spark plug housing (hands)


7) Remove the two negative ground wires (8mm socket)


8) Remove connection to sensor in the front of VC and sensor on Valvetronic (hands and flat screwdriver)


9) Disconnect the two plugs and remove from plate. (flat screwdriver)


10) Disconnect two sensors


11) Unclip six posts on this piece and lift straight up. (flat screwdriver)


12) Lift up spark plug wiring and zip tie off to side (hands)


13) Disconnect breather tube (hands)


14) Remove pencil coils (hands + flat screwdriver)


15) Valtronic removal. First remove the T30 bolts, then remove the bottom torx, followed by the top two torx. Once untightened, it will spring out an inch or so. (T30, Torx?)


16) Remove the approximately 20 torx bolts, and three center 10mm bolts. Two of the three center bolts will be the negative ground wire posts. (Torx?, 10mm deep socket)


17) Remove the remaining spark plug heat shields in the VC. (hands)

18) Not required, but I changed my spark plugs at this point.


Reinstallation Notes
1) Clean valve cover (mine was fairly clean)
2) I applied sealant to the top and bottom of the gasket. It wasn't clear if this was required or not.
3) I didn't apply antiseize to the plugs.
4) Start with the passenger side VCG cover Torx screws and rear of the VC, then the three 10mm center mount screws followed lastly by the drivers side and front.
5) Don't insert the spark plug heat shields until after the VC is in place.

Mine restarted really rough. I reset the computer by:
1) Disconnecting both the battery cables in the rear cargo area
2) Zip tying the positive and negative battery cables together for ~20 minutes.
3) Reconnect battery cables
4) Turn ignition to position one, but don't start car for one minute
5) Leave off for two minutes
6) Start car
7) Success!
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2013, 06:45 PM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2007 BMW X3 3.0si [e83]
You did an excellent job detailing every step!! Maybe I'll just tackle this over the summer. I figure its also a good idea to change the spark plugs and the valvetronic actuator gasket. Get it all done in 1 shot. The actuator I believe is about $35 at the BMW dealer.

Last edited by cagui1223; 03-14-2013 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Grammatical error.
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2013, 07:03 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Added to the DIY sticky. Great work!
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  #4  
Old 03-15-2013, 08:39 AM
swapsafari swapsafari is offline
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If there would have been a best DIY award you would have won it by a margin!
You saved so many of us here who were asking about VCG on N52 from a long time. I am myself waiting from a year to tackle this. Have tried a few times but couldn't go past beyond removing coils.

How hard was removing all the 20 screws? When I look at them I feel the ones at the back may be a problem. Any precautions for not falling them down in the engine area?

Thanks again!

Last edited by swapsafari; 03-15-2013 at 08:42 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:12 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swapsafari View Post
How hard was removing all the 20 screws? When I look at them I feel the ones at the back may be a problem. Any precautions for not falling them down in the engine area?
It was time consuming, but not difficult with some drive extensions and a swivel joint. The way it is designed, at first I didn't think the bolts actually came fully out. There is a low risk of losing a bolt. I used a cordless screwdriver when I put them back in that sped up the process, but if you do use one make sure you don’t tighten too much and use a torque wrench to get the proper tightness -- it’s really low 7Nm.

I purchased a few extra valve cover bolts in case I did need to replace one or two, but they were not needed.

I forgot to add that I did replace the valvetronic gasket as well. It was ~30 dollars at the dealer.

Thanks,
Mike
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2013, 12:44 PM
swapsafari swapsafari is offline
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Thanks for the specifics on the torque and bolts. I plan to tackle this tomorrow but don't have the camshaft adjuster gasket (valvetronic gasket) ready with me and don't have a BMW dealer in a drivable distance. Hopefully it won't be too bad to be replaced. How bad was yours?
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  #7  
Old 03-15-2013, 01:00 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Mine definitely needed replaced. I'd hold off until you get the part just in case you need it too.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:44 AM
dukedkt442 dukedkt442 is offline
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Excellent DIY! This one is bookmarked. Out of curiosity, how many miles were on yours?
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:59 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedkt442 View Post
Excellent DIY! This one is bookmarked. Out of curiosity, how many miles were on yours?
I was at approximately 78k miles when I did mine. Someone did it prior to me or the gasket was in excellent shape. I did mine for preventative maintenance, nothing was leaking from the valve cover. However, there were some drops of oil near the valvetronic gasket -- that one definitely needed replaced.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2013, 01:21 PM
lharvey16 lharvey16 is offline
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aluminum bolts

Did you replace any aluminum fasteners? If so do you have part numbers? at 102k miles getting ready to change VC gasket and Valvetronic gasket (small leak around valvetronic.)
Thanks,
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2013, 09:23 AM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lharvey16 View Post
Did you replace any aluminum fasteners? If so do you have part numbers? at 102k miles getting ready to change VC gasket and Valvetronic gasket (small leak around valvetronic.)
Thanks,
When I did mine, I only replaced the valve cover gasket and the valvetronic actuator gasket.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2013, 12:23 PM
mchova01 mchova01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lharvey16 View Post
Did you replace any aluminum fasteners? If so do you have part numbers? at 102k miles getting ready to change VC gasket and Valvetronic gasket (small leak around valvetronic.)
Thanks,
I purchased some in case I broke some in the process. It's not a bolt that needs replaced. I didn't have to replace any and now have a few extra.

I don't know part number, they were in stock at the dealer and not expensive.
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  #13  
Old 11-26-2013, 09:15 AM
thomafr1 thomafr1 is offline
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great! will tackle this ASAP and stop adding oil all the time
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2013, 08:12 PM
Itzallaboutg Itzallaboutg is offline
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Does the valvetronic have to be reset in any way after installation? New to the n52.. Thanks!
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  #15  
Old 12-21-2013, 04:54 AM
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cagui1223 cagui1223 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzallaboutg View Post
Does the valvetronic have to be reset in any way after installation? New to the n52.. Thanks!
Not that I'm aware of. When I changed my VCG I just turned the vehicle on and checked for leaks.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2014, 09:44 AM
AddictedToBoost AddictedToBoost is offline
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While this job is fresh in my head, here are my hindsight notes on performing this task…..

I just completed this glorious task along with replacing my oil filter housing gasket and heat exchanger gasket while on Christmas Vacation. The valve cover gasket on my '07 had hardened and practically glued itself and the valve cover to the head. Several attempts to remove along with a swear fest and I finally got it off.

#1: OFHG & heat exchanger gasket was no big deal, but I didn't remember any of the threads I found mentioning ordering new alternator/power steering reservoir bracket bolts. These four bolts are aluminum with blue dots on the top flagging them for replacement if they are removed. Reuse at your own risk since these are aluminum fasteners. Since I didn't have new ones on hand, I ended up tourqing mine slightly under factory specs. I have a new set ordered and will replace the originals as soon as they new ones come in.

#2: I ordered the gaskets mentioned in this thread for the valve cover gasket job, but one important gasket was not mentioned - Part #: 11127559699 (11-12-7-559-699) Eccentric Shaft Sensor Seal Plug. This is the small round gasket with the electrical plug on top front of the valve cover. Mine was definitely bad and leaking. I wasn't going to put everything back on until I had a new replacement for this gasket. Part #3 in the link below, $8 at my dealer …...
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...11&fg=15&hl=26

Funny thing is my Vavletronic gasket looked fine and was not leaking, but I obviously went ahead and replaced it anyway. All in all, not a horrible job but not my favorite either. While I was in there, I put new spark plugs in as well. Everything went back together much easier now that I had done it once and the X busted off into a nice smooth idle when I fired it up –oil tight. All is well in X3 land (for now).
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:35 AM
Itzallaboutg Itzallaboutg is offline
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Hey addicted... Do you have any special techniques when taking off the valve tronic so that it's at the same position when you put it back? Thank you
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2014, 11:26 AM
AddictedToBoost AddictedToBoost is offline
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I followed the writeup in this thread - removed and bolted the actuator back on, no special procedure - easy off and on. My X3 is running fine, just as it did before I changed out the gaskets. I think someone else mentioned that the actuator will self initialize every time you start the vehicle.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzallaboutg View Post
Hey addicted... Do you have any special techniques when taking off the valve tronic so that it's at the same position when you put it back? Thank you

Last edited by AddictedToBoost; 01-03-2014 at 11:28 AM.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2014, 12:07 PM
oraclesd oraclesd is online now
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Thank you so much for the great pictures and instructions, I'm planning to tackle this as well as change spark plugs, what spark plugs did you use/recommend? '08 X3
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2014, 08:44 PM
Itzallaboutg Itzallaboutg is offline
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Yes thank you all guys great right up. . Looks pretty straight forward. . I'm going to make a diy video once it gets warm. .
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  #21  
Old 01-06-2014, 07:05 AM
Foo Fighter Foo Fighter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itzallaboutg View Post
Hey addicted... Do you have any special techniques when taking off the valve tronic so that it's at the same position when you put it back? Thank you
I believe the motor finds 'home position' on its own since it is a servo motor, and has the eccentric shaft sensor as feedback on the position. No need to worry!

I did, however, use an allen key (supposed to be torx I think?) in the end of the valvetronic motor to rotate the shaft as you pull it out. This allows it to come out smoothly instead of bumping it past all the gear teeth (the valvetronic shaft is a worm gear that drives another gear in the crankcase).

- Rotate the shaft fully clockwise - don't use much force/overtighten
- Loosen all the valvetronic mounting bolts
- Rotate the shaft counter-clockwise as you pull it out.

Reverse direction of spin for install.
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  #22  
Old 02-10-2014, 10:04 AM
DangermouseX3 DangermouseX3 is offline
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Thanks mchova01 for the great how-to, with pictures.

I completed this, this weekend – VCG, Valvetronic gasket, VANOS solenoids cleaning, Oil Filter Housing Gasket & sparkplugs. Took me all day to complete including a couple of trips to Advance Autoparts to get the Torx sockets I didn’t have.

07 N52 engine with 82500 miles.

A few comments:

The three Torx bolts on the Valvetronic gasket (item 15) require an E8 socket

The nineteen or twenty Torx bolts on the VC (item 16) require an E10 socket (aside – why an E10 is the female version of an T50 is beyond me – why is it not called an E50. Sorry rant over). If you take the bolts out, note that most have round metal sleeves, except one that has an oval metal sleeve. I did not appreciate this until the cover was in place and I was trying to find which hole it went in. Spoiler alert – it is the one in the back left corner (as you are working on the engine). Not sure why it is different.

There was quite a bit of interference between the VC and some AC piping at the back left corner (passenger side), I ended up taking the engine compartment brace out all together to give myself a little more room.

When I took the pencil coils out, three of the spark plug wells had about ˝” of oil in them, which may have accounted for some of the cylinder misfiring I would occasionally have



And when I got the VC off, the reason was clear. In my case the 4 gaskets had all perished and were very brittle. No wonder they were leaking. The circular ones are the ones sealing the spark plug holes.







And be careful with the vent line at the back of the VC. Despite the instructions I still couldn’t get it off and in attempting to do so, I broke it, as it was very brittle.
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  #23  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:06 PM
Itzallaboutg Itzallaboutg is offline
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Thank you for the added info and pics. . Any more little helpful hints are appreciated.
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  #24  
Old 02-10-2014, 01:26 PM
Foo Fighter Foo Fighter is offline
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That's good info to add, DangerMouseX3.

Some of the bolts are slightly different lengths, and one had a different collar on it - not all the same.
I took a piece of cardboard and drew the rough shape of the gasket on it. Then as I took the bolts out I stabbed them through the cardboard so I had a record of where they came from.
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  #25  
Old 02-10-2014, 02:00 PM
DangermouseX3 DangermouseX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo Fighter View Post
Some of the bolts are slightly different lengths, and one had a different collar on it - not all the same.
I took a piece of cardboard and drew the rough shape of the gasket on it. Then as I took the bolts out I stabbed them through the cardboard so I had a record of where they came from.
I didn't notice that some were different lengths, possibly just the one with the odd collar. That's a good idea about cardboard.
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