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

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  #1  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:07 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Removing the valve cover

Hey, 2008 X3 3.0si, 52000mi. Is there some trick to removing the valve cover on the N52 engine? I've removed the 19 bolts on the perimeter, and the three bolts in the center. She's stuck fast and I don't want to break anything.

This is an effort to replace the eccentric shaft sensor, which is throwing codes.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:15 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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sticktion/DME box/fuel rail

ensure you run your fingers all around the rim of the bolt circle and triple quadruple check you have indeed got all the bolts out....especially at the end and those by the O2 sensors

sometimes some friendly persuasion is needed to break the sticktion tween profile gasketed surfaces.....be patient .....pry warily

also ....if you didn't pop off the fuel rail it may be stuck on that lip ?????
also .....did you pop the top off the DME box and lift the wire loom seals up out of it to give you room etc ??????
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:19 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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youtube ....N52 valve cover/eccentric sensor etc

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  #4  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:25 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Hey thanks Swamp. Yes, I removed the fuel rail and the wiring loom for the coil sticks, as well as a bunch of other stuff so she's pretty well open.

I also saw that video, but in this and in all the others I've seen they didn't need to pry. I didn't want to pry but I guess I will have to- I'm thinking a large flathead at the front corners at first.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:32 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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goop on gasket ??

if someone has lathered loads of goop on the previous profile gasket that will increase the sticktion exponentially

good thing is that once you break the seal hold it should come easily......plus ....remember these babies get baked and cooled thru thousands of cycles....the small oil dribbles that leak across the profile gasket can get turned into sticky tar/coke and its pot luck which ones stick the most

this need the patience of putting a wee one to sleep !
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  #6  
Old 02-09-2014, 02:53 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Ya, so far I'm pretty zen.

I've seen some of the diy's recommend removing the spark plug shields. Is this necessary?
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2014, 03:54 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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plug shields

it helps to remove the plug shields ....but they can be stuck like glue ....give it a shot but don't wreck anything.....it can be done without removing them but it's tighter
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2014, 03:55 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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In another recent thread someone was having the same problem with a 2006 - different in number of nuts/bolts and other details, but otherwise similar.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=743579

Unfortunately babo didn't come back to say what finally worked.

I can only deduce that very careful prying at the front edge with a big flat blade screwdriver is needed sometimes.
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2014, 04:13 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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don otto input on prying the valve cover

check this one out ....at ~ 14 mins and 20 secs Don Otto advice on prying

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  #10  
Old 02-09-2014, 04:22 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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I finally got it out. I did take out the the front four shields, which I think allowed it give way by me 1) slightly prying up on the front driver-side corner, and then 2) pulling up by hand in the front. I didn't find any additional bolts beyond the 19 on the perimeter and the 3 in the center.

Looking at the gaskets, and the amount of surface area, it makes sense why it took so much force. The gaskets were very hard, but beyond that everything looks clean.

Once I broke the valve cover gasket loose, getting the cover out of the engine compartment was a challenge. I had loosen the cabin air filter housing, pivot it up, and then I could lift the valve cover over the springs.

I am thinking to do the spark plugs while I have everything apart. Anything else I should do now?

Thanks.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2014, 04:29 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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plugs etc

plugs is an easy one to do now you are "IN" ....well done !
ensure you check around the annulus between the plug body and head wall for oil that's leak passed the gaskets.....soak any out with a rag so it doesn't drop in the cylinder when you remove the plugs

I would also pop out the vanos solenoids and clean/inspect them
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  #12  
Old 02-10-2014, 10:14 AM
DangermouseX3 DangermouseX3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vwvwvw View Post
Once I broke the valve cover gasket loose, getting the cover out of the engine compartment was a challenge. I had loosen the cabin air filter housing, pivot it up, and then I could lift the valve cover over the springs.
.
Did mine yesterday too. Surprisingly hard to get out. Needed a helper to hold the wiring looms and brace out of the way as mine was hitting the AC piping too.

Oil in three of my plug wells too. They were much easier to clean out after the VC was off.
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  #13  
Old 02-10-2014, 04:07 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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What's the recommendation for anti-sieze on the spark plug threads? Yes/no? (I plan on using OEM plugs.)
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2014, 11:30 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Well it's buttoned back up with the new sensor. But there are a couple problems- one is a fairly strong burning oil smell. I only ran it for about 10 minutes on the highway, so it's possible that some oil dripped on the exhaust while taking out the valve cover. It does not appear to be leaking now. Anyone else have this after removing the valve cover?

The other issue is at idle it is hunting a bit, and when I got off the highway it stalled. I did disconnect the battery during the repair. Does the ECU need to relearn its idle map? Or is there some coding that is needed for the new sensor (did not think there was). It seems like the idle behavior got better as I drove it.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2014, 05:15 AM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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idle issues and oil smell

well done !.....also .....it's always good to do the ~ 30 secs reset after disconnecting elec stuff etc
ignition in position 1 .....engine NOT running !..... press accelerator to floor all the way .....hold for at least 30 secs then release ....start vehicle

oil smell should ease off with a little time .....hard not to have some drips from the rear of cover onto exhaust and voila .....smoke signals /smell

if it doesn't go away look for the culprit at the rear.....use light and mirror maybe in tight bulkhead area

Last edited by swampX3; 02-17-2014 at 05:17 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-17-2014, 11:57 AM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Hey thanks Swamp. Definitely something wrong though- probably a vacuum leak. Idle is all messed up, but it runs ok with a little throttle. Doh!!
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  #17  
Old 02-17-2014, 12:55 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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codes ????

any codes thrown ????...yall know we live for codes here !
did you bust the CCV plastic pipe at rear of valve cover ???? or some other spot
if so.....tape it if poss to get you smoothed out
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  #18  
Old 02-17-2014, 02:07 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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P1415 from OBDII. I don't have a BMW-specific reader.

I did indeed break the CCV hose, and replaced it with a new one by removing the alternator to get to the other end. To remove the alternator, I had to remove the airbox. I understand that the ducting around the airbox can be pretty brittle, so I'll have a look back there tonight...anything else you can think of is much appreciated.
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  #19  
Old 02-17-2014, 02:22 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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I think the P1415 code with the N52 engine can be just a simple vacuum leak as opposed to the usual wording in that manufacturer-specific code.

Could even be the oil filler cap is not tightened fully, but anything connected with the air box removal and replacement is fair game.
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  #20  
Old 02-17-2014, 02:24 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Ooops, double post.

Last edited by Supercourse; 02-17-2014 at 02:26 PM.
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  #21  
Old 02-17-2014, 05:49 PM
DangermouseX3 DangermouseX3 is offline
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Fwiw, mine threw all sorts of codes when I first restarted.

I took the tip from the other thread and disconnected both leads from the battery and held them together for a couple of minutes and then reconnected.

Then I did the Position 1 thing mentioned above, and she started right up correctly.

I had taped up my broken CCV hose and she idles pretty smooth, though I have the SES on for "too lean conditions" but that was on beforehand anyway - also probably a vacuum leak, not made any better by the cracked hose. New hose and inlet gaskets on their way.


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  #22  
Old 02-17-2014, 06:45 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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you may need the super poboy smoke tester

try this to find your vac leaks !

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  #23  
Old 02-17-2014, 06:59 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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poboy dry ice fog maker/vac leaker finder

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  #24  
Old 02-17-2014, 07:01 PM
swampX3 swampX3 is offline
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El Classico cigar smoke tester

beyond poboy cigar smoke tester from Scotty

you can actually buy massive hand rolled cigars as big as cypress tree trunks in the French Quarter......they roll them while you watch !....they generate huge smoke !

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...61535280,d.aWc

Last edited by swampX3; 02-17-2014 at 07:05 PM.
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  #25  
Old 02-17-2014, 10:27 PM
vwvwvw vwvwvw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swampX3 View Post
beyond poboy cigar smoke tester from Scotty

you can actually buy massive hand rolled cigars as big as cypress tree trunks in the French Quarter......they roll them while you watch !....they generate huge smoke !
If I wasn't getting choked out by these oil fumes I'd make the trip out to New Orleans and grab some of that myself. As well as some of the other stuff there's to offer for the shallow male.

Anyway I did some sleuthing. I disconnected and plugged the crankcase vent hose and boom, she's idling buttery smooth. So the vacuum leak is somewhere in the valve cover or in the connection to the hose. The cover is also leaking from the passenger side rear, which explains all the stink.

I'd never make it as a mechanic. Tomorrow I'll try retorquing those bolts in the back and see if I can clean things up. Any thoughts on where the vacuum is going is much appreciated. Thanks everybody.

Last edited by vwvwvw; 02-17-2014 at 10:36 PM.
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