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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #76  
Old 04-07-2013, 01:48 PM
societymike societymike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Lastly, if anyone in the NC area ever needs this done and wants to pay me to do it, just PM me!

(note, I will not do the repair without you replacing most of the same parts I replaced--it's not worth the PITA factor of worrying about breaking every little plastic piece as it comes apart)
It's great to hear you say that!!

I just moved to NC, and got an 08 550i. Is this seal problem also an issue on the newer 550? or was this one of the things BMW updated?
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  #77  
Old 04-07-2013, 02:03 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by societymike View Post
It's great to hear you say that!!

I just moved to NC, and got an 08 550i. Is this seal problem also an issue on the newer 550? or was this one of the things BMW updated?
This will be an issue on ALL N62 engines, which means all 545, 550, 645, 650, 745, 750. Some have thought it wouldn't happen the the 550's because unlike the 545 we have an oil cooler that connects in that spot, but I have a few friends with 750's that still had the problem. Just the price you pay for owning a V8 BMW. Other N62 issues are: Valve Cover gaskets, Upper Timing Cover gaskets, Alternator Bracket Gaskets.
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Last edited by pjinca; 04-07-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  #78  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:20 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by societymike View Post
It's great to hear you say that!!

I just moved to NC, and got an 08 550i. Is this seal problem also an issue on the newer 550? or was this one of the things BMW updated?
Just let me know if it does end up giving you trouble. I can do it in a parking lot apparently

I've heard differing opinions on the 550's though--all of the 5/6/7 45's and 50's use the same basic engine, so I would think it will be a problem on all of them. I wonder if the 550i's just don't have enough miles on them yet for it to be as common?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
This will be an issue on ALL N62 engines, which means all 545, 550, 645, 650, 745, 750. Some have thought it wouldn't happen the the 550's because unlike the 545 we have an oil cooler that connects in that spot, but I have a few friends with 750's that still had the problem. Just the price you pay for owning a V8 BMW. Other N62 issues are: Valve Cover gaskets, Upper Timing Cover gaskets, Alternator Bracket Gaskets.
How would the alternator seal / oil cooler affect the coolant transfer pipe?
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  #79  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:28 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
How would the alternator seal / oil cooler affect the coolant transfer pipe?
My bad, I was talking about the alternator bracket gasket.
I agree, however, that most 550's don't have enough miles yet to know if they will have the same coolant pipe/alternator bracket casket issue. My 550 has barely 22k miles, we will see over the next 80k miles (if I still own it at 100k). The oil cooler's biggest effect will rpobably be in avoiding the carbon build up common on the 545/745.
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  #80  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:29 PM
societymike societymike is offline
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Hmm, a buddy of mine who is a BMW tech says in 07, they did a lot of updates, especially cooling and oil seals, to the N62, and then changed the model name to the 550i

If I need it, i'll let you know schpenxel, but I have access to a do-it-yourself garage with all tools, lifts, etc, on Pope AFF (Ft Bragg), called the Auto Hobby Shop, a lot easier than a parking lot.
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  #81  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:33 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by societymike View Post
Hmm, a buddy of mine who is a BMW tech says in 07, they did a lot of updates, especially cooling and oil seals, to the N62, and then changed the model name to the 550i

If I need it, i'll let you know schpenxel, but I have access to a do-it-yourself garage with all tools, lifts, etc, on Pope AFF (Ft Bragg), called the Auto Hobby Shop, a lot easier than a parking lot.

They did do a lot of updates, but the same problems still exist. The reason they changed the name to the 550 is because they also increased the displacement, from 4.4L for the 545 to 4.8L for the 550 which added ~40HP. The other big change was the addition of the oil cooler.

I was briefly stationed at Pope when I was in the 21st STS , Most of my time was at Hurlburt though
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  #82  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:35 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Originally Posted by H F View Post
Great work Bro ! Nicely done ,, after installing the URO , do u think the All German or Bimmer pipe would be an easier install? Also did u use a specific bolt pattern to torque the manifold and the valley pan bolts ? Did u notice any difference after cleaning the injectors ? Like smoother idle , and acceleration?
I think the install would be just about the same, and not worth the price difference they charge. I would use the URO again. Putting the front seal in is the hardest part by far, and you have to do that no matter what kit you use. It may be easier to get the seal in if you pull the water pump, but I chose not to. The pressure that the german auto kit provides isn't really necessary. As long as it is sitting inside the seal correctly, it will seal. The URO kit also comes with a few shims to account for small manufacturing differences. I ended up using two of them to get it as tight as I could just to be sure it didn't go anywhere.

I've also heard a lot of debate about the "triple" seals between the two pipes--here's something I figured out: THEY ALMOST DON'T EVEN MATTER! The valley always has coolant in it anyways, so a small leak from the pipe to the "valley" isn't going to hurt anything. The leak is between the block and timing cover. Clearly BMW wants coolant to go through the pipe for a reason, but I don't think a small leak here would make any difference.

Actually I was just about to comment on how it runs. I'm not sure if it's from driving a POS rental car for two weeks or what, but it seems like it runs smoother and idles better than it ever has. I wish I could have cleaned all of the intake runners on the heads out, but I was too afraid of not being able to clean out all the crap as it fell down into the heads

On another note, I would be PISSED if I bought a brand new Impala LTZ and got that abomination that I drove for the last two weeks. I rented it with like 300 miles on it, aka brand new--you had to give it about 50% throttle for it to move in reverse, it would get stuck in 3rd gear sometimes when cold and creaked/squeaked and rattled me to death. Good job GM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonka858 View Post
Was a mechanic for the first part of my life, Always used the aviation sealer.Great stuff.
I ended up going without any sealant (per instructions), so we shall see. Honestly it took me so long to get that seal in correctly, that if I had used sealant it probably would have dried before I got it in right, lol

Last edited by schpenxel; 04-07-2013 at 03:40 PM.
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  #83  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:38 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
My bad, I was talking about the alternator bracket gasket.
I agree, however, that most 550's don't have enough miles yet to know if they will have the same coolant pipe/alternator bracket casket issue. My 550 has barely 22k miles, we will see over the next 80k miles (if I still own it at 100k). The oil cooler's biggest effect will rpobably be in avoiding the carbon build up common on the 545/745.
Just giving you a hard time, lol

Quote:
Originally Posted by societymike View Post
Hmm, a buddy of mine who is a BMW tech says in 07, they did a lot of updates, especially cooling and oil seals, to the N62, and then changed the model name to the 550i

If I need it, i'll let you know schpenxel, but I have access to a do-it-yourself garage with all tools, lifts, etc, on Pope AFF (Ft Bragg), called the Auto Hobby Shop, a lot easier than a parking lot.
Name was changed because of an engine displacement change (among other updates)

They very well may have changed the seal material or something like that, so that everyone who buys a BMW pipe from now on gets the better version (and perhaps they used a better version from then on, but I have no idea if that's true), however, the pipe is still there and is still the same part number across 545 and 550's as far as I know. I'll check later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
They did do a lot of updates, but the same problems still exist. The reason they changed the name to the 550 is because they also increased the displacement, from 4.4L for the 545 to 4.8L for the 550 which added ~40HP. The other big change was the addition of the oil cooler.
Indeed.
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  #84  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:47 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
Great work Bro ! Nicely done ,, after installing the URO , do u think the All German or Bimmer pipe would be an easier install? Also did u use a specific bolt pattern to torque the manifold and the valley pan bolts ? Did u notice any difference after cleaning the injectors ? Like smoother idle , and acceleration?
Missed your other question here

I just went in a circle to get them where valley pan was touching the block, then went back and forth (beginning at the front and ending at the back) in a "snug it up a little" and "I hope to God these bolts don't snap" levels (which still wasn't all that tight really, but they don't need to be). I also had to pull one bolt back out because I forgot to put in that small line that runs to the back of the water pump. It uses one of the valley pan bolts to hold it on.

Same idea on the intake manifold bolts (although I lost two of those and had to go buy some from Home Depot)

Hmm, what else

Oh yeah, I pulled the cabin air filter plastic crap off about 4 times because I kept forgetting stuff--these things are finicky with the order you have to put them back together for sure.
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  #85  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:56 PM
H F H F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
Missed your other question here

I just went in a circle to get them where valley pan was touching the block, then went back and forth (beginning at the front and ending at the back) in a "snug it up a little" and "I hope to God these bolts don't snap" levels (which still wasn't all that tight really, but they don't need to be). I also had to pull one bolt back out because I forgot to put in that small line that runs to the back of the water pump. It uses one of the valley pan bolts to hold it on.

Same idea on the intake manifold bolts (although I lost two of those and had to go buy some from Home Depot)

Hmm, what else

Oh yeah, I pulled the cabin air filter plastic crap off about 4 times because I kept forgetting stuff--these things are finicky with the order you have to put them back together for sure.
What i meant by a specific bolt pattern,,,, for instance like when u torque down a set of heads, u tighten and torque the bolts in a certain sequence..like a cross pattern,,, so the manifold seats evenly when tightening,,,

Do u think cleaning the injectors would be a good maintenence move,,? for like rough idle ? and better throttle response ? I think it would be,,,
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  #86  
Old 04-08-2013, 05:09 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
What i meant by a specific bolt pattern,,,, for instance like when u torque down a set of heads, u tighten and torque the bolts in a certain sequence..like a cross pattern,,, so the manifold seats evenly when tightening,,,

Do u think cleaning the injectors would be a good maintenence move,,? for like rough idle ? and better throttle response ? I think it would be,,,
Sorry, I didn't explain it very well looking back

Yes, there was a pattern to it--I'm not sure it was the right one, but i did use one, lol

If you're standing over the engine and 12 o clock position is towards the rear of the car, 6 o clock is towards the front, 9 is passenger side, 3 is driver

I started at 9 and went clockwise around when I first snugged them down. Then I went back and forth/left to right for final tightening (9 to 3, 8 to 4, 10 to 2, 7 to 5 etc.)

I'm not sure to be honest. I swear my car is as smooth as it's ever been, but I'm not sure what caused it to be that way. I spent a lot of time cleaning the throttle body (which was nasty btw) and intake also
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  #87  
Old 04-08-2013, 12:35 PM
H F H F is offline
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Its good u tightened the manifold the way u did I think it does make a difference, and ur car probably does run smoother, ( not in ur head ) cause I know dirty injectors will effect idle and rpm smoothness ,,
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  #88  
Old 04-08-2013, 12:38 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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I got some high battery drain errors earlier today, gah. Battery is almost brand new. I think it's bull.

After sitting for two weeks it started right up (and had to turn over a bit longer than usual that first time to get fuel through the injectors) so I think the battery is fine. Just hope the alternator isn't on the way out
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  #89  
Old 04-08-2013, 07:36 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Watched the battery voltage today in INPA while starting it after work--it dropped in to low 11's (maybe high 10's, not 100% sure) when starter was engaged. Not sure if this is normal or not, but sure seems low to me. Battery is only a few months old and I've never had any trouble starting it.

Still started fine (didn't turn over slow or anything) and went right up to high 13's after getting going. Who knows

edit: I found a GM spec that calls for no less than 9.6 volts when starter is engaged, so sounds like I'm doing better than that at least

Last edited by schpenxel; 04-08-2013 at 07:39 PM. Reason: edit
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  #90  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:21 PM
Damon54 Damon54 is offline
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This thread is a great reference & though sorry it happened to you I really appreciate the pics, real world experience info & the fact that you included OEM part #'s.

You have now DIY tackled "the Big Two" in terms of high $ maintenance mishaps on our particular vehicles. Hats off Sir

Last edited by Damon54; 04-09-2013 at 08:25 PM.
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  #91  
Old 04-09-2013, 08:48 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damon54 View Post
This thread is a great reference & though sorry it happened to you I really appreciate the pics, real world experience info & the fact that you included OEM part #'s.

You have now DIY tackled "the Big Two" in terms of high $ maintenance mishaps on our particular vehicles. Hats off Sir
Thanks

For the record, parts ended up being $700'ish

Car rental for two weeks was $300

and I spent probably $50 on random tools I probably didn't need

So, for $1050 and a day or two of labor it can be done in a parking lot!
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  #92  
Old 04-10-2013, 05:12 AM
Dishoom Dishoom is offline
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I'm curious to know if anyone here has had the coolant leak or any of the oil leaks covered under extended warranty (either BMW or 3rd-party). I've got the BMW Extended Vehicle Protection "Gold" plan, which indicates coverage for various gaskets and parts of the cooling system, but of course no specific mention of the coolant pipe.
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  #93  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:20 AM
krosnovski krosnovski is offline
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Most impressive, especially the way you make it sound so simple. Man! Good to know that the problem happened at 190k though and not earlier.

Out of curiosity does anybody know if there is a difference in the waterpipe/seal design on the N62B48 on the 550i, i doubt it but was wondering if somebody knew for sure. Has anybody seen this issue on a 550i? Also, what is the typical cost of getting this done by an independent mechanic, ballpark?
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  #94  
Old 04-10-2013, 11:36 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Originally Posted by krosnovski View Post
Most impressive, especially the way you make it sound so simple. Man! Good to know that the problem happened at 190k though and not earlier.

Out of curiosity does anybody know if there is a difference in the waterpipe/seal design on the N62B48 on the 550i, i doubt it but was wondering if somebody knew for sure. Has anybody seen this issue on a 550i? Also, what is the typical cost of getting this done by an independent mechanic, ballpark?
They use the same part number for the coolant pipe.. so I would say the pipe at least is the same. I haven't checked the part numbers on the rest of the problem area. I have always wondered if they made an improvement to the pipe at some point around the early 550i's launch, and now any time any one buys a new pipe it's always the newer version. That would explain the lower quantity of failures for 550i's (or maybe they just aren't old enough, or are just as common as I just don't know about them, who knows)

I've heard some numbers but really not sure, somewhere in the $1750-2000 range I would think (using the aftermarket pipes). That's a total guess though.

Last edited by schpenxel; 04-10-2013 at 11:51 AM.
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  #95  
Old 04-11-2013, 10:36 AM
krosnovski krosnovski is offline
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Originally Posted by schpenxel View Post
They use the same part number for the coolant pipe.. so I would say the pipe at least is the same. I haven't checked the part numbers on the rest of the problem area. I have always wondered if they made an improvement to the pipe at some point around the early 550i's launch, and now any time any one buys a new pipe it's always the newer version. That would explain the lower quantity of failures for 550i's (or maybe they just aren't old enough, or are just as common as I just don't know about them, who knows)

I've heard some numbers but really not sure, somewhere in the $1750-2000 range I would think (using the aftermarket pipes). That's a total guess though.
Thanks for the input. BTW, did you do the valve guides on your car as well, either now or before? I have seen a fair number of people complain about premature valve guide wear related symptoms (white smoke while idling) on the 545i's at really low miles (70k-100k -ish) as well, so was curious if you saw anything related to that.
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  #96  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:49 AM
krosnovski krosnovski is offline
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Originally Posted by pjinca View Post
They did do a lot of updates, but the same problems still exist. The reason they changed the name to the 550 is because they also increased the displacement, from 4.4L for the 545 to 4.8L for the 550 which added ~40HP. The other big change was the addition of the oil cooler.

I was briefly stationed at Pope when I was in the 21st STS , Most of my time was at Hurlburt though
Just to respond to "the same problems still persist" comment, the statistics don't agree with that at all. All the main issues with the N62B44 on the 545i, predominantly premature seal degradation, VCGs, UTCGs, alternator bracket gasket, valve guides etc. can primarily be attributed to higher operating temperatures within the engine. So the most significant difference on the N62B48 is the addition on the big oil cooler, and wider conducting channels within the engine to transfer the heat out more efficiently. I think this has contributed significantly to the longevity of the seals within the engine on the 550i. Seals leaking right after 50k on the 545i is really unacceptable, doesn't matter whether you fix the seals or not, heat related stress is simply not desirable. Puts more burden on the cooling system as well.
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  #97  
Old 04-12-2013, 06:55 AM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krosnovski View Post
Just to respond to "the same problems still persist" comment, the statistics don't agree with that at all. All the main issues with the N62B44 on the 545i, predominantly premature seal degradation, VCGs, UTCGs, alternator bracket gasket, valve guides etc. can primarily be attributed to higher operating temperatures within the engine. So the most significant difference on the N62B48 is the addition on the big oil cooler, and wider conducting channels within the engine to transfer the heat out more efficiently. I think this has contributed significantly to the longevity of the seals within the engine on the 550i. Seals leaking right after 50k on the 545i is really unacceptable, doesn't matter whether you fix the seals or not, heat related stress is simply not desirable. Puts more burden on the cooling system as well.
I agree. They use a lot of the same parts, but it seems the failures are much less on the 550i, I'm assuming due to the reason you listed

Last edited by schpenxel; 04-12-2013 at 06:56 AM.
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  #98  
Old 04-29-2013, 12:21 PM
atlast atlast is offline
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Great post. The prices are the lowest I can find as I did some shopping arround last night. On 154,000 and my coolant low came on. I refilled it and have driven arround after the rain cleared for two hours and cannot find a drop anywhere. I did notice water on the floor at one of my stops but I had the aircon on. I'll just have to try again. Open it up after it cools down. I am in the same boat- did the pipe above radiator and coolant expansion tank. I also had the emgine sealed. Everything including $1.29 seal behind alternator blacket. why is your engine head off in the first picture?
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  #99  
Old 04-29-2013, 01:12 PM
schpenxel schpenxel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlast View Post
Great post. The prices are the lowest I can find as I did some shopping arround last night. On 154,000 and my coolant low came on. I refilled it and have driven arround after the rain cleared for two hours and cannot find a drop anywhere. I did notice water on the floor at one of my stops but I had the aircon on. I'll just have to try again. Open it up after it cools down. I am in the same boat- did the pipe above radiator and coolant expansion tank. I also had the emgine sealed. Everything including $1.29 seal behind alternator blacket. why is your engine head off in the first picture?
That was just a random picture from the Internet. I didn't pull mine off
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  #100  
Old 04-29-2013, 02:17 PM
pjinca pjinca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krosnovski View Post
Just to respond to "the same problems still persist" comment, the statistics don't agree with that at all. All the main issues with the N62B44 on the 545i, predominantly premature seal degradation, VCGs, UTCGs, alternator bracket gasket, valve guides etc. can primarily be attributed to higher operating temperatures within the engine. So the most significant difference on the N62B48 is the addition on the big oil cooler, and wider conducting channels within the engine to transfer the heat out more efficiently. I think this has contributed significantly to the longevity of the seals within the engine on the 550i. Seals leaking right after 50k on the 545i is really unacceptable, doesn't matter whether you fix the seals or not, heat related stress is simply not desirable. Puts more burden on the cooling system as well.
That is true, to an extent, the addition of the oil cooler prolonged the life of the gaskets - it didn't prolong them indefinitely. I have helped several friends with 750's and 550's do the alternator bracket gasket. The issues persist, are they as frequent? No, but they will appear. At best, what the oil cooler hopefully eliminated is the carbon build up in the valves leading to the valve seals needing cleaning/attention/replacement. The other issues, while there, were not enough to deter me from buying a 50 anyway - but then, I have done all the work required more than a few times already.
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2006 Jeep SRT-8
2003 Infiniti G35 coupe

Last edited by pjinca; 04-29-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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