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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2019, 12:55 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Question mid VCG job

So..maybe should have waited to collect more parts instead of tackling this with just the VCG gasket set I bought from the local stealer, but judging from the increased oil usage, signs of oil creeping out of the VC, and the misfire code I got earlier this week when the weather got cold, I didnít want to keep pushing it since the E39 is my daily driver.

Iím out here disassembling and I notice oil around these washers. Washers also brittle and one is cracked.

Is it pointless to go further without new washer/seals on these studs? Or can I move forward and just pop new ones in later?




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  #2  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:01 PM
dubiez dubiez is offline
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If your half way through and need your car keep going and reuse the old ones. Do not overtighten them (from memory I think it's 8 Nm) and replace them with genuine ones later without lifting the valve cover off.


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  #3  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:07 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubiez View Post
If your half way through and need your car keep going and reuse the old ones. Do not overtighten them (from memory I think it's 8 Nm) and replace them with genuine ones later without lifting the valve cover off.


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Thatís the answer I was hoping for!

The nuts around the exterior (at least for the couple or three Iíve taken off so far) seem a slight bit more pliable than the four down the middle.

Stealer sold only the entire nut for nearly $10 each. Wasnít going to do the. I didnít have time to wait to order just the grommets. I have to go out of town next weekend so this weekend was only extended period of time I had to tackle it probably before sometime around thanksgiving. Last time I changed plugs about 18 months and 30k miles they were already oily as I suspected the VCG was leaky when I bought the car. Now with the misfire I finally had to jump in. Shame on me for letting it get this bad, but every morning this week Iíve been crossing my fingers with each start. Didnít think I could let it go another couple weeks.

Iíll finish this up and then get new grommets later as you suggested.


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  #4  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:23 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Anyone want to comment on the state of affairs here? Actually not as gunky as I was expecting but maybe I donít have a great point of reference!

Iím not doing VANOS right now. Limited funds and time. VCG job doesnít seem too bad so figured it wouldnít be end of the world if I have to go back in later.






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  #5  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:35 PM
dubiez dubiez is offline
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Looks ok to me, apart from the half torn gasket left on the front of the engine, it must have really been past its use by date.
Make sure to scrape off the old sealant on the half moon and put a dab of fresh rtv in same place and you'll be good to go.


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Old 11-03-2019, 01:56 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Yep, the gaskets around cyl 1 and 6 just stayed in place as did the front part around the VANOS. Whoever did this last didnít just dap the corners with RTV, they went all the way thru the half moons.

Parts guy at BMW was adamant they use NO RTV on VCGs. I figure Iíll go with the dab the corners method.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:07 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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Correct.
No rtv on the vcg, other than on those half-moons at the back of the engine.
Some folks put a dab of rtv on the corners to help seat the new vcg. Better to use oil based baby oil or Vaseline instead.
But do thoroughly scrape, clean and dry the mating surface. Do not scratch it though.
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Old 11-03-2019, 02:16 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chedley View Post
Correct.
No rtv on the vcg, other than on those half-moons at the back of the engine.
Some folks put a dab of rtv on the corners to help seat the new vcg. Better to use oil based baby oil or Vaseline instead.
But do thoroughly scrape, clean and dry the mating surface. Do not scratch it though.


By ďcornersĒ I mean I intend only for the ďcorners of the half moonsĒ like Pelicans DIY.

Are you saying you would do a bead of RTV all the way down and thru the half moons?

Thatís how a PO did it here but Iíve not seen any DIYs online suggest that.


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  #9  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:23 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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RTV only on the half-moons. Baby oil or Vaseline elsewhere, only if needed. Clean mating surface is most important.
And do NOT over-tighten the grommets and bolts. Better to under-tighten them. You can always retighten further later.
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Last edited by Chedley; 11-03-2019 at 02:30 PM.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:53 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Okay, so I put a small bead of ultra black all the way thru the half moons and half moons only. Just got done torqueing everything down. Donít know if I even have a torque wrench that goes that low (that or I canít find it). Snugged then down to the point where a stiff wrist flick isnít enough to move them. Tight but certainly not tight enough to squish the gasket too much and definitely not near enough torque to come close to any plastic crunching force.

I have new spark plus Iím going to put in as Iím sure mine are oil fouled even tho they have only 30k on them.

My question is..should I run my current ones for a bit just in case there is still some oil in the cylinders? Or should I just go ahead and put the new ones in now?

Also, how important is it that I donít start the car for a period of time?

Donít really want it to be tomorrow morning at 630am trying to gets kids to school to find out something ainít right.


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  #11  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:22 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Question mid VCG job

I went ahead and started it just to make sure nothing catastrophic was going to occur but I didnít let the engine get warm. Thinking Iíll leave it alone for now, drive it tomorrow, and change oil (coincidentally, it is due) and spark plugs tomorrow evening.

I should add that it seems I have a fair amount of vacuum (ďnegative pressureĒ) at the oil fill cap and dip stick tube. Not sure it is any more or less than it was before. I donít sense a change in idle when I open the cap or pull the dipstick like would happen when I first bought the car (and before I did CCV).

Last edited by pwgoo1; 11-03-2019 at 03:33 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:56 PM
Chedley Chedley is offline
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It is ok to start driving it right away. Anyway, it takes a few days - or a couple hundred miles- for the new vcg to seat.
So, I'd wait a couple days before installing the new grommets, changing the oil and new spark plugs. Make sure you clean and dry the wells of any oil , before installing the new plugs. And retighten the valve cover bolts.
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  #13  
Old 11-03-2019, 03:58 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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That works out then as Iím going to have to order grommets online. Will be a few days to receive. Iíll just drive it with the old plugs and do all that you listed once the grommets arrive later this week.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2019, 01:45 PM
sneal4600 sneal4600 is offline
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I bought this TW for the VCG job on my 540i: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Has not leaked in the past year or so since the job was completed. I did buy new rubber grommets/washers as the old ones were hard and brittle.
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2019, 06:59 PM
bigmphan bigmphan is offline
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Late to the party- you may need to replace that VCG sooner than you think. Those grommets really do need to go at the same time as the gasket. The grommets are what you are torquing against, and if they're brittle and crushed, you will be over tightening the new VCG. I've done a bunch of these over the years, and had to re-do a couple in 10,000 miles before I knew to replace the rubber grommets.
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  #16  
Old 11-17-2019, 07:20 PM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmphan View Post
Late to the party- you may need to replace that VCG sooner than you think. Those grommets really do need to go at the same time as the gasket. The grommets are what you are torquing against, and if they're brittle and crushed, you will be over tightening the new VCG. I've done a bunch of these over the years, and had to re-do a couple in 10,000 miles before I knew to replace the rubber grommets.
Makes sense. I considered this could be a school of thought on new vs re-use grommets.

I'm likely to redo this job within 10,000mi anyway for two reasons:

1) VANOS (not sure I'm having any real symptoms of bad VANOS seals, but at 185k miles and unknown whether it has been done previously..)
2) May have been too light on the RTV. I did a very small bead thru the half-moons, but some DIYs say you also need some at the seam of the "VANOS actuator" and the cylinder head. Whoever did the job prior did it that way (they were pretty aggressive with the RTV in general), but I neglected to do any more than just the half moons themselves. No leaks so far, but...

My VCG leak just seemed to be getting noticeably worse, and I think was cause of a cyl6 misfire fault (whether directly via oil pooling in the cylinder more aggressively due to cold weather/hard seals or due to accumulation effect of oil-fouling the plugs at only 30k miles).

Plus, I've had a small crack in the VC ever since I bought the car that I've been living with and/or patching up with superglue, of all things, just to get thru.

It just got to the point I needed to better the situation even if it wasn't perfection by installing the new VC and VCG before I started getting problems/faults regularly. Didn't have the time or funds to include VANOS this time around but figure if I'm still planning to keep this car for the long haul I'll revisit the entire situation in the spring to include a rebuilt VANOS...not sure I want to tackle doing the seals myself.

Honestly, the VCG job wasn't too bad, though mine was probably easier than most jobs because I had a "new" VCG ready to go that was already devoid of any old gasket material (shout out to Poolman, who gave it to me). I'm sure it would have added quite a bit of time and frustration to have to clean and reuse the VC.

Other than $90 or so to buy another set of OE profile gaskets and the Felpro grommets I got off Amazon, I'm not too tore up at the prospect of having to do it again around 10k.
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  #17  
Old 11-18-2019, 02:12 AM
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Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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you need to run some detergents... for a while...

your engine is dirty..

switch to a o-40 and run detergent for the full legnth of the life (*8,000 miles)

for at least 5 or six changes.. your engine is not suppose to be that color..

my take on that is that people wait to long for changes and use the wrong oil
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Old 11-18-2019, 04:06 AM
pwgoo1 pwgoo1 is offline
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Question mid VCG job

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
you need to run some detergents... for a while...

your engine is dirty..

switch to a o-40 and run detergent for the full legnth of the life (*8,000 miles)

for at least 5 or six changes.. your engine is not suppose to be that color..

my take on that is that people wait to long for changes and use the wrong oil


Would having run MMO, at times relatively aggressively, impact color?

Iíve heard tale of it having a coloring effect, though I tend to think that isnít what is going on here. From the time I purchased the car there was a reddish brown crud on the underside of the oil cap. Hence my comment that the top side of the engine ďdoesnít look as badĒ as I was worried it might. Also not sure if some of that is due to prior use of detergents since this is first time Iíve had the valve cover off.

My MMO use has been occasionally replacing one quart of my oil change fill with it. More often the use has been restricted to using as a top off oil. Looking thru my records, a quart of MMO has been put in my engine roughly every 5,000 miles and typically run about 1000-1500 miles prior to an oil change, where I then use 100% Pennzoil Euro L 5w-30.

The last four oil changes have also all been with a run of LM Proline flush.

What detergent would you suggest? And how aggressively should it be used (i.e. how many of the 7qt capacity should be detergent/additive)?

Even tho I just changed oil, I can somewhat easily add at any time having a Fumoto valve on the oil pan.

FWIW, Iíve been considering using Liquimoly ďTruck SeriesĒ Oil Treatment. Looks like it is designed to be used for the full OCI, though I canít quite determine if itís mostly detergent or mostly friction modifier. So much of LMís marketing on most of their products seem to tout friction modifying.

Last edited by pwgoo1; 11-18-2019 at 04:43 AM.
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