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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 07-09-2013, 08:35 AM
lamarselby lamarselby is offline
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Exclamation A small victory, but....

I am by no means mechanically inclined, but after watching a YouTube video on how to change spark plugs, I aced it by flying colors. I saved about 400.00!! But....while changing the plugs, I noticed oil inside the cylinders maybe explaining why my car is smoking at startup. If so, where is it coming from and is it a DIY?
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2013, 09:52 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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Was the oil in the cylinders or was it pooling around the whole where the plug goes. That indicates a valve cover leak.. not a tough job at all. just a little time consuming.
If its in the cylinders on the piston, i believe it could possibly be a stuck valve not closing all the way..how many miles are on the car? Yeah changing plugs can be very gratifying when you diy it.

I did my valve cover gaskets about a year ago. while i had the covers off, i had them cleaned and powder coated to ensure a tight seal. Was well worth the 50 dollars to have it done.
If it is your vc gaskets. there is write ups on how to do that as well.
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2013, 10:33 AM
lamarselby lamarselby is offline
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My car has over 157,000. And yes, it was pooling around the cylinders. The new plugs also took out some of the knocking. Is there a video on how to fix that?
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  #4  
Old 07-09-2013, 10:52 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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if it was pooling inside where the piston is. Then I believe, and im sure someone else may chime in, and this isnt the only cause. But the Valves could be stuck and not seating correctly..

As for the valve cover gasket here is a site you should get to know very well www.e38.org

here is one of the write ups on them

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

again, this is only one thing it could be and if the oil is pooling down in the spark plug whole.

When you say knocking.. I had that issue after doing some work. turned out i had to basically bleed out my system. It was pretty simple, but mine sound more like a ticking. The procedure was basically to rev engine around 2-2500 rpm for 30 seconds. and repeat until noise went away. i had read an article on it somewhere and cant remember where..
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Last edited by ou18; 07-09-2013 at 10:59 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2013, 11:51 PM
lamarselby lamarselby is offline
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thnx for the response. after viewing the pics and write up on changing the valve cover gaskets...it may be a little out of my league. lol..how about i pay you to help me change or fix the gaskets since you said you changed yours a year ago?
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:41 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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I would be more than willing if i didnt live in florida. thats kind of a long trip..

I know it looks like more than you can handle. thats understood. But it really isnt that big a job. I wouldnt say it if i didnt mean it. I followed that article i sent you picture by picture. and it is actually very easy.
All it is , is removing bolts. the biggest part is taking the manifold off, and that comes off with i think 10 bolts. going slow, taking your time and being careful is key. parts are actually very cheap for that repair as well. a shop will charge you probably 100+ an hour to do it and in the end, i would guess your looking at 700+ for the job... For me, my 740 isnt my daily driver, it was a project i bought to learn this kind of stuff. If its your daily driver, i can understand your hesitancy with attempting it. obviously you know your skill level and what your comfort level.

I would have never thought i would have the nerve to pull my engine out, but here i am getting ready to do it. Pretty much going to do a complete tear down and replace every gasket and seal i can find on this beast. And all because of the write ups people post on these kinds of sites, and their willingness to help and answer what may seem like a trivial question.

remember, the vc gaskets COULD be the problem depending on wear that oil is pooling.. It could be something else as well.

these cars are great cars and the more you learn about them , the more you can save yourself in the long run. and the sense of pride you have when the job is done, you turn the key and it fires right up.

Have confidence in yourself and when you get stuck, ask on the forum, always someone here to help.

Also, im no mechanic, i just research research, research before i attempt anything...preparation is key..

Good luck...
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  #7  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:57 AM
zachiepie zachiepie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ou18 View Post
I would be more than willing if i didnt live in florida. thats kind of a long trip..

I know it looks like more than you can handle. thats understood. But it really isnt that big a job. I wouldnt say it if i didnt mean it. I followed that article i sent you picture by picture. and it is actually very easy.
All it is , is removing bolts. the biggest part is taking the manifold off, and that comes off with i think 10 bolts. going slow, taking your time and being careful is key. parts are actually very cheap for that repair as well. a shop will charge you probably 100+ an hour to do it and in the end, i would guess your looking at 700+ for the job... For me, my 740 isnt my daily driver, it was a project i bought to learn this kind of stuff. If its your daily driver, i can understand your hesitancy with attempting it. obviously you know your skill level and what your comfort level.

I would have never thought i would have the nerve to pull my engine out, but here i am getting ready to do it. Pretty much going to do a complete tear down and replace every gasket and seal i can find on this beast. And all because of the write ups people post on these kinds of sites, and their willingness to help and answer what may seem like a trivial question.

remember, the vc gaskets COULD be the problem depending on wear that oil is pooling.. It could be something else as well.

these cars are great cars and the more you learn about them , the more you can save yourself in the long run. and the sense of pride you have when the job is done, you turn the key and it fires right up.

Have confidence in yourself and when you get stuck, ask on the forum, always someone here to help.

Also, im no mechanic, i just research research, research before i attempt anything...preparation is key..

Good luck...

Good motivation EVERYTHING on these cars is intimidating. I have to do plugs in my V12 and I'm already crapping ducks about it. Just take it slow, take a deep breath, and take a break when you start chucking wrenches down the street!
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:59 AM
lamarselby lamarselby is offline
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You've made my day friend. Thanks for those words of encouragement. Yes, this car is my daily drive car, so I am very hesitant...especially after a major mishap that resulted in me paying a shop almost 700.00 for a silly, but costly mistake I made doing a DIY. I will do more research as you suggested and will keep you posted.
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  #9  
Old 07-10-2013, 09:35 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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Anytime. like i said, do your research and read it over and over again, until you can pretty much do it without the tutorials...

good luck and now i know why your hesitant, 1 - daily driver , 2 - you've already learned a lesson the hard way...

good luck, keep us posted and ask questions. The only dumb question is the one that isnt asked.
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  #10  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:08 AM
jitsjaf2009 jitsjaf2009 is offline
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Is the smoke blue, black or white....and does it go away quickly??? White smoke is often from bad or "expired" oil separator element. There is a fairly simple procedure for changing the element for the oil separator. I believe there is a video on this site for that also. Bad element allows oil to enter the intake manifold and the combustion chambers. It is typically an accessional thing and if it hasn't been done on yours I am sure at 157,000 it should be. Blue smoke would be possibly rings, black could be carbon. Carbon means take it out on the open road and "blow it out".
Adding Seafoam or Marvel Mystery Oil as per the directions on the container. Either of these cleans up the fuel system, injectors and the upper cylinders...usually in one tank of gas. I prefer the MMO however many BMW enthusiast prefer Seafoam....its a matter of personal preference I think, but have been using MMO since my vehicles were all with carburetors. I also began using synthetic oil many years before it was really almost mandatory.
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2013, 10:38 AM
lamarselby lamarselby is offline
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it's a bluish white smoke with a slight bitter odor. I've used seafoAm in the past. Noticed about a 3% increase in performance. Thnx for the reply. I'll keep you guys posted on my progress.
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  #12  
Old 07-10-2013, 08:47 PM
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ebida3 ebida3 is offline
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BTW, the valve seating has nothing to do with this. The valve seals and/or guides are another story. If the oil drips past the seals it drips on the plug. At initial start up, (this is a start up equivalent to overnight or 8-10 hrs,) the plugs burn off the collected oil and the car smokes. If every time the car smokes regardless of the time the oil separator is suspect.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2013, 05:13 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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ahhh gotcha, misunderstood the thread i had read previously...
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  #14  
Old 07-14-2013, 05:15 PM
Podmore Podmore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ou18 View Post
if it was pooling inside where the piston is. Then I believe, and im sure someone else may chime in, and this isnt the only cause. But the Valves could be stuck and not seating correctly..

As for the valve cover gasket here is a site you should get to know very well www.e38.org

here is one of the write ups on them

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

again, this is only one thing it could be and if the oil is pooling down in the spark plug whole.

When you say knocking.. I had that issue after doing some work. turned out i had to basically bleed out my system. It was pretty simple, but mine sound more like a ticking. The procedure was basically to rev engine around 2-2500 rpm for 30 seconds. and repeat until noise went away. i had read an article on it somewhere and cant remember where..
"Oil pooling where the piston is" would mean inside the cylinder, which you are not going to see unless you have the head off. Sooty or oil-covered spark plug tips will indicate badly worn valve stem seals or broken oil control rings on the piston, and it would usually lead to a burst of bluish smoke at start-up.

Stuck valves have nothing to do with oil pooling around the spark plugs. A stuck valve will cause obvious misfiring / chugging and loss of power, and is a pretty rare occurrence on an OHC engine. A stuck valve may occur as a result of worn valve guides and valve stem seals, allowing oil to leak down along the valve stem, where it gets burnt and builds up a crust of carbon which eventually can prevent the valve from returning fully home and seating properly on the valve seat. Weak or broken valve springs may also lead to a struck valve.

The process of "bleeding out the system" that you describe is what we used to call an "Italian tune-up". Just rev the sh*t out of the engine until it either fixes it or kills it entirely. Sometimes a good rev might burn a bit of carbon build-up off the plugs, or clear a blocked carburettor jet, but this highly technical process will not really solve any mechanical problems. I suspect the ticking noise you were hearing was a noisy lifter which at low oil pressure was not properly contacting the cam; higher revs = higher oil pressure and a properly pressurised lifter, so no ticking. However if the lifter is leaking, no amount of revving is going to cure it.

Oil pooling around the plugs inside the rocker covers as a result of leaking rocker cover gaskets can lead to misfiring but will not cause smoking on start-up.
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