DIY E39 - Oil Filter Housing Gasket R&R ('02 525i - M54) - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 06-20-2014, 12:24 AM
BbradenMmillerW BbradenMmillerW is offline
Registered E39 User
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 123
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 525i - Black e39
DIY E39 - Oil Filter Housing Gasket R&R ('02 525i - M54)

Hello world, this is my first DIY that I've documented and posted. I always like a ton of pictures when I follow a DIY, so that's what I'm doing here - at least one photo per step. This is DIY number 20something on this BMW, in the 3 1/2 months of ownership. I've done all the typical stuff from VCG, All Filters, & Plugs/Boots, to more in depth jobs like CCV + Hoses and VANOS Besian Seals coming next. 98% of the work would have been wrong or impossible without Bimmerfest - you all are amazing. I'm purely a weekend mechanic, but I'm hooked on improving my BMW.*

IMPORTANT: This DIY guide is intended only as a documentation of my personal work. If used by any other person, this DIY should only be used as one of multiple references and followed at your own risk. I make no guarantees that this information is all-inclusive, and I assume no responsibility for any damage that may occur from the use of this guide.

Last thing I'll note is job-specific: my OFHG was leaking badly. I had oil caked on so many parts and I'm still cleaning. It looked like it was the oil pan dipstick O-ring area (I recently replaced the o-ring when doing CCV) but now that the OFHG is done, I'm pretty sure it was just leaking from OFH. Up to a quart a week at its worst! I pray it's just oil loss and not internal oil consumption. Alright enough talk, here we go...*

Pre-DIY: Complete Tools & Parts List

1/4" Ratchet (or 3/8" to 1/4" adapter)
3/8" Ratchet
1/2" Ratchet (or 3/8" to 1/2" adapter)
Various Ratchet Extensions to fit your preference
Socket Sizes Used: 6mm, 8mm, 10mm, 13mm, 16mm, 17mm, 19mm, T50 Torx
36mm Socket - for OFH Cap
Flat Head Screwdriver
Shop Jack & Jack Stands
Rope or Heavy String
Scraper Tool
Carb or Brake Cleaner
Wire Brushes or Pads (that won't cut into metal surface)
Shop rags or towels
If Removing Fan/Fan Clutch: 32mm Wrench or BMW Fan Clutch Tool + BMW Pulley Locking Tool
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Oil Filter Housing Gasket (11-42-1-719-855)
Main Drive/Serpentine Belt (11-36-1-748-745) (Long Belt) (Optional)
A/C Belt (11-38-1-437-450) (Short Belt) (Optional)
Banjo Hose Washer (32-41-1-093-596) (Optional)
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Begin - E39 w/ M54 Motor Oil Filter Housing Gasket R&R

1) Disconnect Battery. NOTE: You must disconnect the NEGATIVE cable first. Then, you may disconnect the positive if you choose. I typically leave it on. Using a ratchet w/ extension and 10mm socket, disconnect the negative battery terminal and cover w/ non-conductive material (tape):
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Tools for Step 1: 10mm Socket, 3/8" Ratchet, Extension

2) Remove Air Intake/Filter Box & MAF (I typically leave the MAF clipper on to the fliter box. If you're not experienced with maneuvering these pieces, you may find it easier to remove each piece separately. It's all about finding your own E39 groove (haha lame). Use a 10mm socket w/ desired ratchet + extension to remove the single long 10mm hex bolt:*
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Then use a 6mm socket (or a flathead screwdriver) to loosen the hose clamp on the intake air horn, which feeds into the fender well:
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After the airbox is free of both restraints (10mm bolt and Hose clamp), disconnect the MAF from the Upper Intake Boot. It too is held in by a hose clamp, which is loosed w/ a 6mm Socket:
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*Then, disconnect the MAF Electrical Harness by pressing down on the metal clip, and pulling the connector towards the driver's side wheel well:
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Carefully wiggle the intake/air filter box out of the two female air duct locations (move towards engine and then up). Here's the hole that's left after air box removal:
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Tools for Step 2: Desired ratchet & extension, 6mm socket, 10mm socket, Flathead Screwdriver

3) Remove Upper Intake Boot & Resonator (Unplug "F" Connector from boot). Loosen the two hose clamps connecting the Upper and Lower Intake Boots. Both need to be loosened to separate the two boots. Also, pull the "F" Connector Piece out of the top of the Upper Intake Boot. Be careful - this piece is plastic and fragile, but it does take some muscle to pop it out:
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Upper Boot w Resonator Box underneath:Click image for larger version

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"F" Connector Vacuum Joint:
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Engine bay with Upper Intake Boot Removed:
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Tools for Step 3: Ratchet & extension, 6mm Socket or Flathead Screwdriver

4) Raise vehicle with lift jack, support w/ jack stands in front of vehicle or at all 4 "corners": Please, take your time and be sure the vehicle is stable and secure on the jack stands. I understand most that would be doing OFHG replacement are not total beginners, but just use caution. 30 minutes saved isn't worth a life:
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Tools for Step 4: Heavy Duty Jack, Two (or four) 3-Ton Jack Stands, Wheel Stops

5) Detatch Power Steering Resovior from Oil Filter Housing, then hang/secure.*Remove the two 13mm bolts attaching the PS Resovior to OFH:Click image for larger version

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Once detached, you have good access to clean the PS Resovior. Mine was filthy, so I got after it. I also cleaned & installed new clamps on the 2 hoses attached to it. When finished cleaning, hang the PS Rez with some string or rope. It needs to be supported w/ minimal pressure on its hoses when the OFH comes out:
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Tools for Step 5: Ratchet & extension, 13mm Socket, Rope or string

If removing Fan/Clutch, see steps here:*

6) Remove Drive Belt (Serpentine Belt) & Upper Radiator Hose.*My 2002 525i has Mechanical Tensioners. For the main drive belt, the tensioner requires a T50 Torx Socket and 3/8" Ratchet to be inserted in the front of the pulley and pressed downward with enough force to move the tensioner, which then loosens slack on the belt. When you have it depressed, take a 4mm Allen Key and slide it into the aligning holes on the tensioner (which align when tensioner is depressed) to hold the tension. This is especially necessary when doing the job by yourself. NOTE: The Allen Key at top of photo holding tensioner in place "depressed":
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You will also need to remove the Upper Radiator Hose to access the belt system. Be prepared to catch some coolant from this hose from both ends. Using a flathead screwdriver, slide the metal locking clip out and slide (requires some force) the hose off its male connection. I detach the radiator end first, then the Tstat end second:
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I replaced BOTH drive belts, so I had to take off the AC Belt (small) first as it is on the outside edge, and then the Main Drive Belt (large). I did NOT remove the Fan Clutch because I didn't have a 32mm wrench and didn't want to wait to order one. This is possible, just be careful maneuvering (and don't have huge crazy ogre hands). You'll also have to slide the main drive belt out by going over the fan itself (and back over with new belt), if you are replacing the belt. If not, you can let the belt hang on the pulleys. Small AC belt must be removed first and does not have to loop over fan - use same tensioner method as described above:
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Tools for Step 6: Ratchet, T50 Torx Socket, Small Allen Key to hold tensioner, Flathead Screwdriver, Cup to catch Coolant

7) Remove Alternator.*The alternator has an Idler Pulley that is bolted in with it, which is the top (and longer) bolt, and my alternator has a second bolt that connects it to the Power Steering Pump down below. It can be tricky. Unbolt both alternator bolts and connected Idler Pulley with 16mm Socket and Ratchet. Typically there is no need for an extension - especially with the fan left in place:
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Also disconnect the battery/power cable using a 17mm socket if the cover cap is screwed on too tight to hand screw, and the electrical connector from the back of the alternator. Disconnect the Alternator Air Cooling Duct. Cover battery cable w/ tape for precaution:
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After all items disconnected and alternator removed - that is the Oil Filter Housing w/ PS Pump still attached at the bottom:
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Tools for Step 7: Ratchet, 16mm Socket, 17mm Socket (maybe).

8) Unhook connections to/from Oil Filter Housing.*There are three items to disconnect from the OFH. There are two electrical connectors w/ press-down metal clips, and then the Banjo Bolt/Hose that comes directly from the VANOS. For each of the electrical connectors, press down on the metal tabs and pull away from connection point. Mark each connector for proper reinstallation. Use a 19mm Socket and appropriate ratchet to unbolt the Banjo Bolt/Hose from the back of the OFH. Be prepared for some minor oil spillage. Also be sure to catch the Banjo's washer that will pop off w/ it. If you like, have a new washer on hand (32-41-1-093-596). This photo shows the single-prong electrical connector disconnected, and the Banjo Bolt/Hose not yet removed (both to the left). The third item is unrelated, but is the Vent Hose coming off the Valve Cover and connecting to the CCV:
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Tools for Step 8: Ratchet, 19mm Socket, Cup to catch oil (if you want).

9) Unbolt Power Steering Pump and Hang In-Place.*The Power Steering Pump is directly below where the Alternator sits, and it attached to the OFH by two 13mm bolts. Remove the two bolts, and allow the PS Pump to hang via rope or string:
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Tools for Step 9: Ratchet, 13mm Socket, Rope

10) Unbolt and Remove Oil Filter Housing - First remove OFH Cap w/ Oil Filter. Using 3/8" or 1/2" Ratchet and 36mm Socket (the big boy), unscrew the cap of the Oil Filter Housing and remove Cap w/ Oil Filter. Oil will spill - everywhere. It's wise to surround the area w/ rags or towels & let the filter drain before moving very far:
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Using a ratchet and 13mm socket, unbolt the six bolts holding the OFH to the Motor. Be careful to note & keep track of which bolts are which because ALL SIX BOLTS are DIFFERENT lengths! After removing bolts, slowly pull the OFH off the motor, towards the driver's side of the vehicle. (This got a little messy and I forgot to photograph my OFH detached, so I'm using a photo from Kskane. He has another great DIY for OFHG on TheFest) Photo Credit to kskane on
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And here is the hole where the OFH mates to the motor. This area needs to be thoroughly cleaned, and the mating surface in particular needs to be mint. Be sure not to allow any foreign objects or particles into the oil passages:
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Tools for Step 10: 1/2" Ratchet or 3/8" to 1/2" adapter, 36mm Socket, 13mm Socket, Area prep'd for OFH & oily mess.

11) Vigerously clean mating surfaces, insert new OFHG. I used shop rags, carb cleaner (sprayed on rag first, not directly on OFH), and some wire brushes & pads that would not cut into the metal mating surfaces. You want both mating surfaces 100% clean and no visual residue from previous gasket. When inserting new gasket, coat gasket w/ light dab of motor oil:
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Tools for Step 11: Scraper tool, Wire Brushes/Pads, Carb or Brake Cleaner, Shop Rags, New OFHG, Dab of Motor Oil (Mobil1 5w-30).

12) Reattched all components and tighten all bolts accordingly.*The order is in reverse of the installation process, but should look something like this:

-Install OFH & Connections (including Oil Filter + Cap)
-Bolt down Power Steering Pump
-Install Alternator & Connections (with Idler Pulley)
-Reconnect Power Steering Resovior to OFH via 2 bolts
-Install New or Reconnect Old Drive Belts (Do large belt first as it is on inside. Don't forget to pull Allen Key out of Tensioners to allow them to return to normal tension.)
-Install Upper Radiator Hose
-Lower vehicle off Jack & Jack Stands
-Install Upper Intake Boot & "F" Connector
-Install Intake/Air Box & MAF
-Fill Up Oil (if necessary)
-Fill Up Coolant, Bleed if necessary
-Reconnect Battery
-Be extremely proud of self

All put back together, except engine beauty covers. VANOS seals up next!
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IMPORTANT: Be sure to top off coolant and oil levels before driving. Ensure both levels are accurate (car on level ground) and bleed coolant system if necessary.*

Hope you enjoy, and hope this helps!

Thanks to kskane for one used photo, and thanks to all the Bimmerfest fam. There's nothing like us on the entire web.

BbradenMmillerW on TheFest

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app

2002 BMW 525i E39 w/ ZF Auto

"Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at begin to change." -Unknown

Last edited by BbradenMmillerW; 06-20-2014 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:46 AM
rbelton rbelton is offline
Location: CT
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 360
Mein Auto: E39
Great write up! I just completed this job as well, on the 3.0L M54. Here's a complete DIY video to supplement this visual write up:


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