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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #26  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:33 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsignor View Post
do not spray carb cleaner as a form of smoothing idle. Its meant for carburetors, not fuel injected cars.

I have mamij on my ignore list for a reason. I suggest you do the same.

Isaiah please put me on your ignore list. Its your car and your baby and yes, your problem now so you must be careful who you listen to. After all, monsignor is the one who explained the drivability disconnect test to you, gave you a method to identify a misfiring cylinder, and summed up all the problems, solutions and weird observations with your car from months ago (across 7 pages to boot) when it was with Bimmer hero.

Using carb cleaner to rapidly identify an intake vacuum leak has been done on the fest and in workshops around the world in FI cars for donkey years. There are many YouTube videos demonstrating this. Noone uses it as a method to smooth an idle ie like a fix of sorts. This is the first time I have even heard it being insinuated as such.
Monsignor has learnt to freely distort the comments of others. The torch has clearly been passed.

Last edited by Mamij; 09-03-2013 at 01:46 PM.
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  #27  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:35 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
Isaiah, if you haven't read Rick's no-start thread in detail. I'd suggest doing that. He chased a ton of dead ends to resolve what ended up being a simple flooding situation. He also did a lot of work you won't need (or want) to duplicate.

Remember that you're the only one on this forum who has his hands on the car. Everybody else here is just offering educated guesses.

This is a great learning opportunity. I suggest you get a copy of this book: http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-Fuel-Inj...rds=bosch+fuel. Read up, and you may be giving us advice before long.

As I recall, the problem was not flooding, but cylinder/ bore wash.

If it was flooding, spinning the engine for ten seconds with the throttle held wide open and the fuel pump relay out, to ventilate the chambers, would have been enough to restart the engine (relay reinstalled of course). Rick tried that early on without luck unfortunately...
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  #28  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:35 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Thanks for all the help and tips everyone. Yes, it is my car and yes I am the only one who has my hands on it but, you guys are a community and have far more knowledge than I do. Each suggestion/opinion/tip/advice is very much appreciated!!!! So, tomorrow I will be checking the sensors, it should prove to be interesting. I am hoping that all of these sensors are in the bently manual, I would assume they would be. Also I have tried clearing codes and unless I am trying to do it the wrong way, it does not work for me, they are still on there. Also, I would like to apologize, I did not mean to put Rick in a bad light. Rick did a TON of work on this car to get it where it is currently and I do appreciate his efforts. I have read the entire epic post by him as well.
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  #29  
Old 09-03-2013, 06:45 PM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N5673U View Post
Also I have tried clearing codes and unless I am trying to do it the wrong way, it does not work for me, they are still on there.
Mine cleared on their own, i guess when the issue cleared up, or through a set number of cycles of the key like some vehicles(usually 50).
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  #30  
Old 09-03-2013, 07:30 PM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N5673U View Post
.... Also I have tried clearing codes and unless I am trying to do it the wrong way, it does not work for me, they are still on there....
Clear the codes in one of 3 ways:

1. At the end of the stomp test procedure, hold the accelerator to the floor for 10 seconds.

2. Disconnect the DME for a few minutes.

3. Disconnect the battery for a few minutes.

If you still have a code, then you will need to address whatever the error code/s is/are for.
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Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #31  
Old 09-03-2013, 07:50 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Thanks BMR_LVR! I'll try that tomorrow and see what happens. I'm reading up right now on where the throttle position sensor is located, time to crack open the bently lol.
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  #32  
Old 09-04-2013, 07:32 AM
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Monsignor Monsignor is offline
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Originally Posted by 95-540sport View Post
Mine cleared on their own, i guess when the issue cleared up, or through a set number of cycles of the key like some vehicles(usually 50).
I believe they still remained stored somewhere like an archive or a 'black box.'

Unless i'm just confusing myself with my E90
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  #33  
Old 09-04-2013, 07:49 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Hey guys,

I wasn't able to go through all the sensors today I got a bit busy with other things that need taken care of at a last moments notice. Well, off to Paramedic school tomorrow, another full day of four hours of driving and eight hours of class lol! I'll see what I can do this weekend... I have a question though, where can I find the location of all of those sensors? I looked on realoem.com and unless I missed something, it didn't show any locations?

Isaiah.
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  #34  
Old 09-20-2013, 03:52 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Hey guys,

I think I have found a solution to all of this, the smoke on start up, rough idle, the MAF not being able to be plugged in, losing extra oil etc.... I plan on buying a new oem PCV Valve, replacing intake valve gaskets, replacing the oil pan gasket as soon as I get the permatex scraped off of it (put on instead of a gasket by the former owner....). I even found a thread, this guy had the same problem idle wise as me. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...-smoking-issue

Isaiah.
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  #35  
Old 09-20-2013, 04:28 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N5673U View Post
Hey guys,

I think I have found a solution to all of this, the smoke on start up, rough idle, the MAF not being able to be plugged in, losing extra oil etc.... I plan on buying a new oem PCV Valve, replacing intake valve gaskets, replacing the oil pan gasket as soon as I get the permatex scraped off of it (put on instead of a gasket by the former owner....). I even found a thread, this guy had the same problem idle wise as me. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...-smoking-issue

Isaiah.
You'll want to install a new profile gasket with the PCV valve -- they can leak too.

I imagine he used the Permatex when he was picking the carbon out of the oil pump intake. As I recall he had to pull the pan repeatedly.
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  #36  
Old 09-20-2013, 05:45 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Yeah, I'm planning on buying this as well. http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E39-540...888/ES2677888/ Still, why permatex? Why not just reuse the gasket? It doesn't make any sense, you think it would take longer to apply the permatex than put in a new gasket?
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  #37  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:05 AM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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You can get just the profile gasket and buy some socket-head screws at the hardware store for less. You might save $5.

Also, I noticed that the gasket you referenced is for the M62, not the M60. They might be interchangeable but maybe not.

I use realOEM.com quite a bit to reference part numbers and then search by number on the sites of my favorite parts vendors. It eliminates guesswork about which part fits which car.

BTW, I stumbled across this thread on the function of the CCV and how a poorly installed valve cover gasket can make it look like it's malfunctioning. The poster seems like he knows what he's talking about -- he explains very clearly how the valve works. Good info. http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=536317
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  #38  
Old 09-21-2013, 11:05 AM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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oops, I didn't even notice that, thanks! I'm reading up on it right now.
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  #39  
Old 09-21-2013, 11:08 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N5673U View Post
Hey guys,

I think I have found a solution to all of this, the smoke on start up, rough idle, the MAF not being able to be plugged in, losing extra oil etc.... I plan on buying a new oem PCV Valve, replacing intake valve gaskets, replacing the oil pan gasket as soon as I get the permatex scraped off of it (put on instead of a gasket by the former owner....). I even found a thread, this guy had the same problem idle wise as me. http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...-smoking-issue

Isaiah.
Hi Isaiah,

Oh dear. You did not mention that you were getting smoke on startup. For a 540i, that's a classic busted pcv and you only move on to other things after the pcv plate area has cleared your inspection. It was mentioned several times in RV6rick's thread and thats when this became a generally known thing over here.

Its a long thread but I suggest that you read it slowly. Don't be impulsive and skim through. You have likely missed many useful elements. It would be a very good idea to take notes in an offline notebook, as Rick went through most things methodically, so his thread is a good crucible of empirical info. If not, you are going to reinvent the wheel on your car's maintenance and troubleshooting, not just now, but all the years down the line when you are holding onto it. And you will spend alot of time needlessly.

This was a similar mistake to what Rick made. He proceeded to take off the pcv and intake manifold, when his next step in the troubleshooting regime for his no-start situation was to try the cylinder reoiling procedure to rule out bore wash. It would have worked to start his car instantly (as it ultimately did) and he would have saved himself roughly 20 days of unnecessary additional effort thereafter, even taking the later bad IAT issue into account. Impulsive. Happens to all of us when we're dealing with something that is not our bread and butter.

Please, read through that thread very carefully, and try to visualise everything that happened in your mind, like you're watching a movie. This is much easier for you as you have the car with you now. Rick was detailed and methodical in his posts. His thread is really the best thing you can fully digest and radiate out from, when it comes to your engine. Good luck.
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  #40  
Old 09-21-2013, 01:32 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamij View Post
Hi Isaiah,

Oh dear. You did not mention that you were getting smoke on startup. For a 540i, that's a classic busted pcv and you only move on to other things after the pcv plate area has cleared your inspection. It was mentioned several times in RV6rick's thread and thats when this became a generally known thing over here.

Its a long thread but I suggest that you read it slowly. Don't be impulsive and skim through. You have likely missed many useful elements. It would be a very good idea to take notes in an offline notebook, as Rick went through most things methodically, so his thread is a good crucible of empirical info. If not, you are going to reinvent the wheel on your car's maintenance and troubleshooting, not just now, but all the years down the line when you are holding onto it. And you will spend alot of time needlessly.

This was a similar mistake to what Rick made. He proceeded to take off the pcv and intake manifold, when his next step in the troubleshooting regime for his no-start situation was to try the cylinder reoiling procedure to rule out bore wash. It would have worked to start his car instantly (as it ultimately did) and he would have saved himself roughly 20 days of unnecessary additional effort thereafter, even taking the later bad IAT issue into account. Impulsive. Happens to all of us when we're dealing with something that is not our bread and butter.

Please, read through that thread very carefully, and try to visualise everything that happened in your mind, like you're watching a movie. This is much easier for you as you have the car with you now. Rick was detailed and methodical in his posts. His thread is really the best thing you can fully digest and radiate out from, when it comes to your engine. Good luck.
Thanks Mamji, you're right I should take some notes. I will go over it again. The bore wash that he had a problem with, is it possible for it to happen to me if the car were to sit for say a week?
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  #41  
Old 09-21-2013, 04:22 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Originally Posted by N5673U View Post
Thanks Mamji, you're right I should take some notes. I will go over it again. The bore wash that he had a problem with, is it possible for it to happen to me if the car were to sit for say a week?
Nope. Bore wash is not normal under any natural circumstances. Something or several things would have to be busted, probably in combination with mistakes eg using way too thin oil, for bore wash to happen.

Even Dr Bert's bore wash when the iat is unplugged, is quite abnormal. The car is not designed to pull stunts like this. Bore wash is a known phenomenon and BMW would have made damn sure that it is not possible even under moderately abnormal situations. That's one of the benefits of using a computer to run an engine.

******************



So far, we've noticed bore wash happening to E34 525s with busted ects (engine coolant temp sensor), especially in winter. This usually manifests as very hard starting or no start. The temp solution is to simply unplug the ects and ventilate the chambers by cranking with an open throttle, that fixes a hard start. For a no start, unplug ects, and if venting the chambers that doesn't work, no choice but to pull the plugs and reoil the chambers.

For the 540i and apparently some jaguars with nikasil engines, a cold start and quick shut off within 2 minutes, followed by another cold start, creates full blown bore wash. This turned out to be the sequence that preceded Rick's no start issue. I have tried this literally 20 times in succession on my engine, shutting down within 5 seconds each time, with no problems. So cars which experience this have something damaged on them. Simply avoiding this scenario is probably symptomatic cure.

[ Yes, some will say that nikasil chambers will have their bores eaten at the resting point of the piston rings, whereas others say nikasil coatings prevents the chamber from wearing away to begin with, so a high mileage engine has the nearly the same compression as when new. The truth is out there. ]

I am pretty sure that bmw did dozens of cold starts and made sure this problem was not there. So the real combination of damaged devices or engine problems, is still not precisely known at least in the forum universe. The best thing is to simply avoid it altogether, in the following ways, especially since most of these recommendations are things that are needed or prudent to be done anyway :


1. Use oil no lighter than 5w. 10w is ideal. High mileage E34s should be using 20w50 according to the handbook.

2. Make sure you have a new ects and iat. Its only $25 each oem and generally not too difficult or expensive to replace. They last 100k at least, and are mission critical sensors for precise engine management so I would change them anyway. Keep the old ones as useful spares.

3. Pull the fuel pressure regulator's vacuum hose and sniff it. If it smells of gas, replace the regulator. Its diaphragm has ruptured and fuel is leaking into the hose. Check this once a year. Does not fail regularly enough for me to recommend a replacement outright.

4. Pull every single plug when the engine has been allowed to sit overnight, *following* a good hard drive. Sniff each chamber. If you smell gas clearly (a very slight 'did i or did i not' is alright), your injector(s) are leaking. Get a new, good used or rebuilt (recommended) set in, or rebuild your existing injectors. You pretty much won't have to do this ever again. Change your fuel filter on time and run 1/2 gallon of diesel topped up with regular gas topped up to full in your fuel tank, once every 4-6 months. This works as an injector cleaner. Stay on top of the fuel filter change schedule. Repeat the sniff test once a year.

5. For the M60 engine, make sure that the damn pcv plate is in good shape. It causes more problems than it is worth - I strongly suspect something is being routinely done incorrectly in its purchase or installation. Check for black smoke on startup from time to time. As long as that is absent, the plate is fine. Still, use a laproscope or phone camera to take a good look around the plate. The other E34 engines are far easier to maintain.

6. Have a spare used dme in your car at all times that has been tested to function normally with your car. Its only $50-$70 and can be resold anytime for the same price.

7. Familiarise yourself with the stomp test, or purchase code reading software and cables (being sold for $50 for both on ebay) if the stomp test does not work on your car. Do the stomp test every now and then to stay on top of situations. I would do it once a month, since it seems so quick and painless. If the stomp test does not work, scan the car with your pc once every 3 months at least.


*******************

Doing the above will pretty much eliminate whichever combination of gremlins is responsible for hard starting and bore wash, and will keep it that way. This applies to all E34 engines.

*******************



Oh yes. Forgot the doktor bert's issues with his timing chain tensioner. I will leave it to the good doktor to advise if this could cause bore wash (it obviously did not in his recent issue, although it was great fortune that he found and fixed this unpalatable issue in the process of troubleshooting), and if so, if there are any simple preventive maintenance steps or at least regular checks that can be done to stay on top of this.

Bro, in your case, Rick changed the ects and the iat to new oem units. He also changed the pcv plate together with the gasket, or so we assumed. Looks like that wasn't the case.

My advice : do some research and figure out why people who install new pcv plates screw it up seem to require replacements so quickly (seems particularly common with the 540i). Not logical for a BMW engine element that has no moving parts. Maybe the bolts need to be torqued down, and done sequentially and that's not being done (shrug). I don't know but I very strongly suggest you figure out how this gets screwed up by reading and polling people before installing the new plate.

There is an outstanding 2 part video on installing the M60's ccv plate shot by a professional mechanic, if you need that. Please search on youtube.
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  #42  
Old 09-22-2013, 06:26 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Wow!!! Thanks for the incredible amount of information there! I have watched the video for the PCV Valve by Bavarian Auto and have it bookmarked. From what I have read on the PCV valve they usually last around 100k. I am using 10w-40 right now, just because the car runs through oil like crazy and it is cheap Penzoil high mileage. When I get the intake gasket seals changed and oil pan gasket seal changed and PCV Valve put in, I will be using Amsoil 20w-50 (25,000 mile oil). Question, about a week ago I noticed my temp gauge went from normal operating temp to below, this has NOT been a normal thing at all since I had the car. I am wondering either if the coolant sensor went bad (You wouldn't think) or maybe the thermostat is stuck open. It doesn't do it all the time though sometimes it get to normal operating temperature.

Thanks,

Isaiah.
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  #43  
Old 09-23-2013, 02:06 AM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Hi Isaiah,

Your temp gauge going below normal is likely a thermostat on its way out. It is less likely due to a busted coolant sensor for the dashboard. You can try cleaning the sensor and switch contacts and see if that helps. If the problem recurs after that, it is probably the thermostat. Or you can change the sensor. Its probably 20 years old. Its only $25 oem, and since this is not an important sensor (this is the temp sensor which informs the dash temp gauge NOT the one that inform the ecu), you can buy cheaper aftermarket stuff for like $10.

The car is running through oil quickly because of the busted ccv plate, not due to the brand of oil that you are using. The oil separator function of the ccv plate is likely impaired.

Mobil1 fully synthetic long life (15k miles) oil retails for under $30 at wal mart, for 5 litres. Its a spectacular deal, and has a stronger global reputation than Penzoil. Its 10w30 I believe. You are heading into winter so that might be better. But do try 20w and see if your engine feels better. I personally wouldn't trust 25k mile oil, unless its from and internationally reputed company like Shell, Liqui Moly, Castrol or Mobil1.

===================

Your engine in particular has a great amount of dirt internally. A very mild engine flush using the excess gasoline that entered the engine during the no-start check cause so much preexisting dirt to come out that it clogged the oil pickup screen in the oil pan and led to the low oil pressure light. The internals are damn dirty. The car had been fed a diet of dino oil all the while, if memory serves, but even that should not cause such a severe problem. This is the only car I heard of that had this issue on a well known and safe procedure, and the only thing about this car that caused me to hesitate.

Since you are going to change the oil pan's gasket, my strong suggestion to you would be to do a full diesel engine flush on your engine before this. Add 1-2 quarts of diesel to your existing oil in your engine, and run the engine at idle ALONE, for 20-30 minutes. This would take everything out. Even if you run into problems, you are going to be redoing the oil pan gasket so no issues. You can clean out the pickup screen easily. And if you suspect it will recur, well then just fit a mild plastic gauze strainer over the oil pickup tube, use hi temp clear silicone sealant instead of the oil pan gasket, wait 30 minutes then refit the oil pan, then keep running the engine until all the dirt clears out and no oil light appears, then remove the strainer and use the correct gasket thereafter. A new filter at that point is essential - you can actually just reuse the old oil filter after rinsing it off in water or diesel to remove particulates, just for the purpose of flushing out the engine.

=================

The po will NOT recommend this. He has scary pictures of what he found when he went through his issue, and you should check that out carefully (its in his master thread). Some people here are allergic to solvent engine flushes but that's their problem and choice. Liqui Moly and many other reputed companies sell solvent engine flushes and have done so for many years. Here's a liqui moly commercial :



I'm sure they've done actual research using equipment and costing money, and are not just enthusiasts ppontificating aloud just because they have a found a few people to agree with them. And I'm sure their legal department has given them an acceptable liability clearance as well. So the professionals (and globally reputed professionals at that) have spoken on solvent engine flushes, as long as it is added to the existing old oil in the engine that is about to be changed.

I use pump diesel instead because its 50x cheaper, has the same effect as these brand name products imo, and I can use 2 quarts instead of 250ml and its dirt cheap still. More solvent = more cleaning at one go. I have neither time nor money to waste.

No issues on seals. No new leaks. No issues on bearings. A prominent member on these forums is a professional mechanic who has done diesel flushes on his customer's engines for years with no issues to the engine, even after it was torn down and its bearings and other internals examined, 20 years and 60 full crankcase-diesel flushes later. I suggest you just ADD 2 quarts of pump diesel to your existing old oil, flush at idle for 30 minutes, and drain.

I've been doing this on 2 different engines with each oil change for years with no issues. Its a good way to keep your internals squeaky clean. However, regular oil changes and using quality synthetic oil avoids most of the sludge buildup to begin with - a discussion here proved that. Regardless, since your car has this known issue, I suggest you do this once, properly and thoroughly, to clean it out first. Then, stick to fully synthetic oil thereafter and change it at 10% below the stated interval on the oil bottle religiously.

===================

It was this engine dirt issue that made me nervous about buying this car for my road trip, until I figured out the likely problem. I believe the extra tougher dirt in this car would mainly accumulate under the valve cover. The stuff there needs to be scraped off with gauze. Isaiah, if you are up to it, and you have the right skills, it would be a good idea to change your valve cover gaskets. You'll have the opportunity to totally clean out the underside of each valve cover. Please take before and after pictures of that if you can. You would also be able to look at your valvetrain and cams, a very sweet sight indeed, and this will add to your joy in owning a 540i.

If the permatex oil pan gasket is not causing any leaks, imo, you can leave that there. Oil pan gaskets almost never require changes, and your oil pan is already clean inside (this was done early this year). So invest the time and money on the valve cover gaskets. You'll need two, and grommets for the bolts, and some spare bolts in case any breaks, and a torque wrench, so its going to cost much more, and use the correct BMW approved vcg installation technique, and if you do not install it correctly you will create vacuum leaks, but if I were you this is what I would rather do, knowing the history of this car.

Or you can just do the full diesel flush and nothing further. It is certainly much cheaper and easier. It should take care of this problem largely, as well. Keep doing it with every oil change for the next 3 changes at least, if you want to avoid the valve cover gasket job. I was prepared to do this on my end on the spot if I had taken over the car.

=================

Why are you changing your intake manifold gaskets ? They cost $80 for a full set. The OP stated that the old gaskets were in great shape. The link you included above, only referred to the pcv plate. You don't need to do the intake gaskets to change the pcv plate.

Are you getting any vacuum leaks there? Use carb cleaner to check. Or try this method I encountered recently. Create vacuum using a home vacuum cleaner through the air boot leading to the throttle body, with the tailpipe taped off. Then listen with a mechanic's stethoscope ($10 shipped off ebay and DAMN sensitive). Or do it the other way by feeding compressed air in, and then listen. Found it in this outstanding thread :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...42#post5990442

Specifically, post no8 :

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...42&postcount=8

You probably have a portable vacuum cleaner that runs off the cigarette lighter socket. I'm positive that can be adapted for this purpose easily. Noises are very clear using the stethoscope, and its an indispensable device on a old car with old seals that you are maintaining yourself.

Last edited by Mamij; 09-23-2013 at 02:51 AM.
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  #44  
Old 09-24-2013, 05:59 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Mein Auto: 95' BMW 540i
Mamji,
Thanks for the very detailed post! I just got back in from going for a short drive around town with the windows down and when I was heading back I noticed the fan noise went up big time. Pulled into the driveway and increased put my foot on the gas with the hood open and woosh, woosh! The fan is on a 1:1 ratio rpm wise with the engine and the temp gauge is not even on normal operating temp. I then shut the car off and tried to move the fan and I could not, the clutch is not disengaged... Could it be that the fan is causing the low temps being on all the time like that but, odd things is I didn't hear it earlier...? Worse yet maybe both the thermostat and fan clutch? Also, I noticed when doing the fan test that my belts must be a bit loose, they slip all the time when the car shifts gears. How do I tighten those up? I will definitely be doing a diesel flush before the oil pan gasket replacement/oil change. Sorry about the confusion, I used incorrect terminology, I mean change out the valve cover gaskets. I thought they both were the same, wow was I ignorant.... Sorry about that. I have all the gaskets here but, do I really need those grommets and the torque wrench?

Thanks a TON!!!
Isaiah.
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  #45  
Old 09-24-2013, 09:36 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Mein Auto: '95 540i, '87 325ic
I wouldn't do a diesel flush. For one thing, it's a cure in search of a problem. All engines have some deposits and most run fine with them. Pursuit of every last speck out of the crankcase is an exercise in obsessive-compulsive behavior, IMO.

Plus, your car has issues in more immediate need of attention, starting with the PCV plate.

The fan clutch is ...hmm. They usually fail the other way, by losing their torque. I believe they can be noisier with the engine cold.

Does the serp belt look worn? The tensioners are set to maintain a specific um, tension. The belt may have stretched, or the idler bearings may be tired.

After you have the new plate installed, call your local Autozone or Advance Auto and ask about their loan-a-tool program. You want to borrow one of these: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...fier=2080_0_0_

You hook the gauge up to a vacuum port (you can use one of the capped ports on the PCV plate). It should read at least 17 at idle. Below that shows a vacuum leak. Spray carb cleaner or WD-40 around the suspect locations -- when the gauge rises, you've found a leak. You can borrow the proper tool for free and tackle the job like a pro. And when you've taken care of all the trouble spots, you KNOW the car is in spec because you're able to measure it. Does that make sense?

I like Mamji's suggestion that you get a mechanic's stethoscope. You can check for things like bearing noise in the water pump. In fact, you can probably get one on loan from Autozone, too.

Last edited by Mr._Graybeard; 09-24-2013 at 09:55 PM.
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  #46  
Old 09-25-2013, 12:49 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Location: Pennsboro, WV
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 67
Mein Auto: 95' BMW 540i
Mr. Graybeard,

Maybe I could do the diesel flush but, with a smaller amount? Yes, the serpentine belt looks a bit worn, nothing like it could fail anytime soon though. I plan on replacing belts around the start of next year. I like the vacuum gauge idea, I'll look into that. I plan on doing the PCV Valve install before the oil change and valve gasket change. Thanks for all the info there, I really appreciate the help.

Isaiah.
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  #47  
Old 09-25-2013, 02:44 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Location: Denmark
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 592
Mein Auto: BMW 320i M52 1996
Hi Isaiah and Mr Graybeard,

Imo, as long as you :

a. Own an old car
b. that old car is a bmw
c. the car is not under any workshop/dealer warranty currently
d. you wish to avoid spending unnecessary money on workshops and have unexpected car downtime
e. and especially if this car is your daily driver,

...a certain amount of obsessive compulsiveness is definitely called for.

I am on my 3rd old bmw and with great respect I would say, ignore this advice at your own risk.

Isiah, the diesel flush x 2 litres only needs to be done once, since you just bought this car and we know its history. You should also do it once on any used car you have just bought anyway.

After that, as long as you stick to a diet of brand name fully synthetic oil and you change at 10-15% under the oil bottle's recommended interval, you can skip additional flushes. The engine will stay clean and as Graybeard says, it is impossible to avoid some dirt in the engine (just like it is impossible to avoid some rust in the cooling system).

I've been doing flushes for years so out of habit I do 1 litre of diesel at every oil change, even though I use fully synthetic oil, I stick to my intervals, and check my oil's condition through the dipstick once a month. This is purely out of habit. It is not required, but it doesn't compromise anything either.

Yes, you need a torque wrench to do your valve cover gaskets. This is imo a really ....silly question when it comes to valve cover gaskets. You absolutely must read up and mentally work through online DIYs on this. Improper technique on the vcg job will lead to premature gasket failure, which manifests as vacuum and oil leaks. There are several different important elements to this. I think pelican parts has a DIY, and surely youtube as well. {If you find a vcg video as outstanding as the 540i ccv video, please post it up here.}

Do not attempt this unless you know exactly what to do, when to do it, and why it needs to be done. That said, its a straightforward job in the scheme of things, so please don't be daunted.

I realise the grommets are not too cheap, but considering the ones on your car are nearly 20 years old, I would prefer if you spring for new ones. Get the cheapest as long as new, you don't need oem for these. And have 2 spare bolts of each type used on your valve cover standing by, in case any fails. There should be 2-3 types. They are cheap.

Doing the vcg gives you the opportunity to paint the valve cover. Powdercoating is neat but can spray (hi temp) is also not a bad idea. Consider that as well.

Your fan clutch should not stay locked up when hot. That's probably why your engine is running cool.

This might be a good time to consider going for an electric fan upgrade, or the fan delete mod entirely. Please note the fan delete mod has only been done and proven to last under all traffic and weather conditions on an M50 525 engine. Nobody else tried it.

Your work sequence should be

1. CCV plate
2. VCGs x 2 (clean, paint, replacement. Plugs don't need to be changed, merely cleaned if necessary.)
3. Fan clutch, after you have confirmed that it is busted.
3.1 This is also the time to change your belts and do your tensioners, if they need it. I'm not exactly sure how to test these, if you find great videos, please do post them up as well.

....wait ! Take a closer look at the fan clutch. Make sure it does not have any wires or anything holding it fast to the bearing. I have a vague recollection from way back...could be wrong.

4. Diesel flush x 2 quarts added to the old oil in the engine and idled over 30 minutes.
5. Fully synthetic oil and new filter.

Please remember to post before and after pictures of the underside of the valve covers. Should be interesting.

Mr Graybeard's vacuum pressure gauge recommendation is a good one. The gauge itself costs only $25 shipped off ebay and lasts perpetually. Its not a bad idea to get one since it will help you keep tabs on your engine all the way. The mech's stethoscope as well. Then be a little obsessive and check everything.
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  #48  
Old 09-26-2013, 08:39 AM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Mein Auto: '95 540i, '87 325ic
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamij View Post
...a certain amount of obsessive compulsiveness is definitely called for.
I disagree. An old car, especially an old luxury car, will break your wallet if you chase every malfunction. A stuck sunroof can stay stuck if it doesn't leak. If a piece of windshield trim flies off, oh well.

It's a lot easier to keep up if a car is well cared for, but early on in the RV6Rick thread I came to the conclusion that he had neglected if not abused this vehicle. Driving around with a disconnected MAF sensor for months at a time, for instance. And he said he was an airplane mechanic! Talk about the cobbler's children going barefoot.

Which comes to the crankcase flush. A dose of raw gas in the crankcase from the well-documented no-start condition dislodged so much debris, he couldn't go for more than a mile or two without losing oil pressure because the oil pump pickup screen became clogged. Do you think the screen picked up all that loose junk? I don't. I suspect that some of it migrated to galleys feeding the crank, connecting rod and camshaft bearings. Perhaps some of it was able to pass through the bearing gaps. Some of it likely remains trapped in the galleys, impeding oil flow to some degree.

With regular oil changes and good fortune, the detergents in the oil may eventually dissolve the stuff. But I'd be reluctant to introduce a product to the oil that loosens MORE deposits.

It'll be interesting to see what the valve train looks like. Isaiah, when you pull the valve covers, how about posting a photo or two?
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  #49  
Old 09-26-2013, 01:15 PM
Mamij Mamij is offline
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Location: Denmark
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 320i M52 1996
I fully agree that cosmetics and conveniences like that sunroof, paintwork are optional and up to the individual driver. But mechanicals viz engine, cooling system, transmission, suspension, brakes and tires, no start issues, and backup spare parts - you need to be obsessive if this is your daily driver and you don't want the car to run your life on its schedule.

Yes I agree that the po probably did not take good care of the car. That's the only reason that ? And some of it could indeed be stuck in places. Which is why I suggested way back then that he does a full 2 litre flush instead of just the tiny amount that was used to flush the engine inadvertently. The full monty would have properly dissolved everything, instead of merely loosening it up. 2 litres is alot of diesel.

Isaiah, do the full flush and post up pictures of the underside of the valve cover.

And don't worry. We will help you be intelligently and efficiently (in terms of time+money) obsessive about your car. You will spend more before you actually run into problems, but have an overall better life and time with it.

Oh, and btw, please take a quick check on the state of your transmission and rear diff fluid. Please google for the steps on how to do this. If you transmission fluid is dark brown it needs to be changed, if not your tranny will soon be dead.
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  #50  
Old 09-26-2013, 11:04 PM
N5673U N5673U is offline
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Location: Pennsboro, WV
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 67
Mein Auto: 95' BMW 540i
Indeed Gentlemen,
Rick had abused the Bimmer big time. I have found some many things that were half assed on this car it's not even funny. I have been fixing them one by one. I wasn't gong to say anything until someone else did about it so there it is. Apparently, earlier on the forums just opening my mouth a little bit about the state of disrepair the car was in earlier was enough to make someone call him up and tell him that I was bad mouthing him... Wow... Just as I had anticipated he basically sent me a screw you message and that was that lol. So, yes, this car was abused no doubt about it, there is the full truth no matter how much it may hurt spilling the beans on someone. Yes, he actually builds kit airplanes for a living and he is very good at it but, when it came to this car he didn't care at all. I mean this guy stood of the roof of the car to change out a light bulb in the garage door light..... Who the heck does that, he left dents in the roof?!?! Now, I plan on doing a flush still because I feel it does need it. I will be very careful in doing this. I will post a lot of pics for you guys on all of this. Thanks so much for caring about helping me, that's what I LOVE about this community!!!

Isaiah.
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