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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I replaced the CCV on my M54 3.0 last week. Once I got the old CCV out and opened for inspection (i.e. destroyed) I found that the valve itself was probably OK, although I can't be certain. My "for sure" problems were these.

First
The heavy power lead running from the alternator to the starter had worn a hole in the drain hose. In other words, a sizable vacuum leak through the CCV system. It appears that some work was done before I bought the car & this heavy cable was positioned so it rubbed on the hose just at the CCV connection where the abrasion wore a hole.

I was careful to route the alternator cable away from a rubbing point at the CCV connection during re-assembly. Even if the cable does flex and droop over time it will move to contact the drain hose in a location away from the joint where it won't have a hard rubbing point to abrade.

Second
The drain hose and drain in the dipstick guidetube were plugged solid. In my case, I was able to remove the drain hose from the dipstick guide tube while in place. I used a small screwdriver pushed into the slip joint & ran it all the way around the circumference to break adhesion, then pulled the hose up & off the guidetube. It was the only hose that didn't crumble when disturbed during CCV removal.
From my experience, it would have been possible to remove this drain hose and dipstick guide tube for cleaning &/or replacement without replacing the entire CCV system.

I had terrible idle quality, 10 lean & mis-fire codes & the CEL lit. Crankcase vacuum was 100 mbar vs the spec of 10 to 15. I also had a new intermittent burnt oil smell in the engine bay with a wisp of smoke off the rear bank exhaust manifold, but no obvious smoke out the tailpipe, which I found puzzling with high crankcase vacuum rather than pressure. I'm baffled by the high crankcase vacuum given the leak in the crankcase side of the CCV system although this vacuum leak does explain the idle quality, codes and CEL.

Anyway, idle is again so smooth that I have to check the tach, all the codes are gone & the burnt oil smell is no more.

Sorry for the lack of "in place" pictures. By the time I found these problems my hands were so grimmy with oil muck that I didn't dare pick up the camera.

Regards
RDL
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Every time RDL posts, I'm impressed with his knowledge.

I'll add this thread to the bestlinks so that others will see the nice photos and observations.

- CCV FAILS: crankcase ventilation valve diaphragm tears, freezes (1), &/or clogs (1), necessitating CCV replacement (M54,M54,M54, M54 observations) (M52,M52) (M52TU) (M62,M62) ('99 528i) ('98 528i); raising pressures, often causing the OFH oil filter housing to leak (1) (2) (3) (4); frequently blowing the VCG valve cover gasket (1); and sometimes the head gasket (1) (2); often causing vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3).
 

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very well writing, the pictures are a plus. i might have to take a look at mine after you posted this, thank you.
 

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The heavy power lead running from the alternator to the starter had worn a hole in the drain hose. ... The drain hose and drain in the dipstick guidetube were plugged solid.
I'm trying to put together a comprehensive discussion of the CCV (everything except a CCV R&R DIY, which already exists) over here:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

One of the tasks is to identify the 'proper name' of each of the components.

May I ask for a clarification in the quoted text above.

By "drain hose", do you mean the "vent hose"?
And, where is the "drain in the dipstick guide tube" in the drawing below?

 

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Just one more tip on CCV replacement. If you are going to replace the oring on the dipstick tube, use some oring lube (my favorite is Nylog A/C oring lube) on the oring prior to trying to insert the dipstick & oring assembly into the block. It will be nearly impossible to install without cutting the oring otherwise. If you don't feel a distinct detent while pushing down, the tube is not in position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm trying to put together a comprehensive discussion of the CCV (everything except a CCV R&R DIY, which already exists) over here:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

One of the tasks is to identify the 'proper name' of each of the components.

May I ask for a clarification in the quoted text above.

By "drain hose", do you mean the "vent hose"?
And, where is the "drain in the dipstick guide tube" in the drawing below?

When I mentioned "drain hose" I was refering to pt#4 in the diagram, the "vent hose."

By "drain in the dipstick guide tube" I meant the path indicated by the orange dotted arrow labelled "liquid oil" in the vicinity of the arrowhead.

BTW, my M54 does not have pt# 6 "vacuum hose" although RealOEM indicates it is supposed to be present.

Regards
RDL
 

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BTW, my M54 does not have pt# 6 "vacuum hose" although RealOEM indicates it is supposed to be present
Interesting.

I have a M54B25 which is what I listed in that realoem diagram (2002 525i).

However, like you, Fudman's M5430 also has the vacuum port capped:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Cute little trick to diagnose blocked CCV

All I know is that the M54 3.0 does not have this vacuum hose. I believe rdl's experience mirrors mine.
On the other hand, Aioros' 99 528i clearly has an orange-striped vacuum line as shown in these pictures in his CCV DIY:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator

So, I'm confused as to whether my M54B25 has the vacuum line (realoem is 'usually' right, but not infallible) and what is the purpose (and direction) of the vacuum for those E39s which 'do' have the vacuum line.

It would be helpful if I could identify the 'other end' of that vacuum line (since the CCV itself is basically buried from casual view).

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
... stuff deleted ...

It would be helpful if I could identify the 'other end' of that vacuum line (since the CCV itself is basically buried from casual view).

I like your understatement. I'll say the CCV is "buried from casual view." What a design - something Rube Goldberg could be proud of.

BTW, so the unwary will not be misled, the picture has an error. The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS.

Regards
RDL
 

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I like your understatement. I'll say the CCV is "buried from casual view." What a design - something Rube Goldberg could be proud of.

BTW, so the unwary will not be misled, the picture has an error. The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS.

Regards
RDL
Here is a pic from Beisan. It shows where it attaches (the lower left hose in your pic)

 

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The hose on the lower left is routed to the valve cover, not the VANOS
Interestingly, that confused me because Aioros' routing points conflicted with cn90's information (valve cover) and that of realoem.

So, I went with the cn90 & realoem end points when I annotated the diagram and cn90's picture (which we both annotated) as shown below.

RDL: For those E39's that 'do' have the vacuum hose, can you hazard a guess as to WHAT it does and whether the direction of vacuum is IN or OUT?

Normally I'd 'assume' the direction of vacuum is OUT but there are two huge hoses within inches of that vacuum line which are connected directly to manifold vacuum (not to the VANOS) ... so that's why I ask if the vacuum is inward or outward in that small line.

 

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Here is a pic from Beisan. It shows where [the vent pipe] attaches
Thanks. The CCV is shrouded from view - out of sight - but never out of mind.

So it behooves us to understand it in as few canonical threads as possible.

Here's a Fudman view of that "vent pipe" (using the BMW term) from above:
- DIY: CCV Replacement on an M54

 

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What if anything inside the CCV itself fails? Does it simply get clogged up, and is not uncloggable with the usual solvents?

I looked at all the hoses leading out of mine and they seem fairly pliable and undamaged. Makes me wonder if they haven't already been replaced. But I'm going to check the dipstick tube next, hope I find no surprises.

BMW sells a replacement cold-weather package for the CCV + hose hardware, with insulation added. Wouldn't that be the better choice regardless of where you live?
 

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BMW sells a replacement cold-weather package for the CCV + hose hardware, with insulation added. Wouldn't that be the better choice regardless of where you live?
If you live in a hot climate, it's not necessary. BMW "upgraded" the CCV kit with the insulated one in an attempt to avoid condensation on the pipe walls, and the forming of mayo - the mayo can get hard and can freeze. This will destroy the CCV or can lead to catastrophic engine failure. It's some sort of bad engineering aknowledgement from BMW (and these are not many).
Also, the new dipstick guide has a new design, where the internal drip "tubes" of the oil are much bigger. These bigger internal drip tubes seem to be directly related with the price BMW sells the new and improved dipstick guide....:mad:
 

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What if anything inside the CCV itself fails?
Good question! I hope someone answers that with a good explanatory CCV autopsy!

the new dipstick guide has a new design, where the internal drip "tubes" of the oil are much bigger
Interesting.

Do we have a side-by-side picture of the 'old' and 'new' "dipstick guide tube" drain slots?

Here, for example, must be the old one from this DIY:
- DIY: change of the CCV / Pressure regulating valve / oil separator, 99 528i, by aioros

 

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Champaign777 posted on the "other" forum his CCV saga/replacement. At that time he mentioned that his BMW department friend told him that the new CCV cold climate retrofit is not complete without the new dipstick guide, which at that timewas around 200 bux!!! (see post)

The original dipstick guide (withe the 3 tiny holes) was p/n 11431433496
This is the pic of the new and improved dipstick guide (I use Champaign777 pjoto - I hope he does not mind). p/n was 11437565437 (photo below). The new design does not have the 3 holes, but I believe it has a big openeing where it mates with the larger lower guide.



The new dipstick guide is now listed at around 40 bux and has again a different p/n 11437531258
 

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What if anything inside the CCV itself fails? Does it simply get clogged up, and is not uncloggable with the usual solvents?
I believe there are two primary failure modes in the CCV:

1. The CCV and/or hoses get clogged with the condensate which prevents proper flow of crankcase vapors back into the intake and/or liquid oil back into the sump.

2. The diaphram within the CCV fails creating a vacuum leak. Oil vapors get sucked into the intake creating the black smoke. If liquid oil goes into the intake manifold, you can have a very big problem (hydrolock).
 

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Does the diaphragm material get damaged or does all the gunk inside merely prevent it from performing as designed? Is it a film or other flexible membrane, or a sprung valve controlled by crankcase pressure? Amenable to washing out with a solvent (say, gasoline)?

I just flipped through my Bentley manual and couldn't find anything about maintaining or replacing this thing.
 

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For the record, I added everything recent from Doru, Fudman, & Pleiades just now to the nascent CCV diagnostic (but not DIY) thread:
- How to test the BMW E39 pressure-controlled crankcase ventilation system (CCV)?

CCV system 'failure' modes, so far, now edited, at least anecdotally from the threads, appear to be:

Physical Failure Modes:

  • The CCV sticks in the open position (1) due to the diaphragm tearing (2)
  • The CCV hoses clog, causing pressure buildup, especially during cold weather & short trips (1)
  • The CCV hoses deteriorate, causing vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3)
  • Water freezes inside the CCV below -15°C cold starts causing misfires, hard starting, & blown valve cover gaskets (1)
Are there other failure modes (or more information about the listed failure modes)?
 
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