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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok then. This is for the left side cylinders 5-8 valve (a.k.a. cam, timing, rocker) cover. Removal for replacing gaskets to fix oil and vacuum leaks. This is a UK right-hand drive so there may be the odd difference such as dipstick location.

Notes:

Do not remove the rubber grommets until the cover is off the car! This is the most important bit of advice I can give. See below for pics. They become hard and brittle and crack dropping chunks of plastic into the engine. :thumbdwn:

There are a few guides already about but the I see it as the more info the better.

Not all the steps are completely necessary but I like to make as much room as possible to work with. If doing both covers, you may wish to consider removing the intake manifold. I found this much easier as you do not have to worry about pulling the injectors out- they stay in the manifold. You can also then replace the manifold gaskets and clean out any oil/crap. If going down this route you can tie the black engine wiring boxes to the bonnet or windscreen wipers to keep clear.

The cover for the right side cylinders 1-4 is very similar but you will need to move the a/c pipes from the bracket to create extra room. You may also need to move the dipstick (do not pull up and remove though!) but see how you get on first as it is a little fiddly. You will need to move (but again not remove) the coolant expansion tank and power steering reservoir. Right-hand drive cars also have the brake vacuum pipe that side. Remove from the vacuum pump for extra room.

You may want to replace the gaskets for the two upper timing case as to get to these you have to remove the valve covers! They are a common source of oil leaks.

This is all from memory, so apologies if I have missed something. Please let me know and I'll edit.

Removal:

1.

Disconnect battery (remove negative terminal).
Remove engine accoustic covers.

2.

001.JPG

So far nice and easy. Removed- pollen filter boxes/trays and strut bar (blue), air filter box and air intake with MAF sensor (yellow), crankcase vent pipes (red) and fuel tank ventilation valve and pipes (green).

3.

002.JPG

Disconnect the positive terminal to later move the wire out of the way.

4.

003 a.JPG 003 b.JPG

Remove the vvt (Valvetronic) motor. Mark the side that faces out. Four bolts that are quite easy to strip. You may want to replace with new ones. Gently unscrew the motor by hand. Recover o-ring and replace if leaking.

5.

004 b.JPG 004 a.JPG

Engine wiring loom. Note it is not necessary to remove the cover of the case. You may not need to remove all the plugs but I removed them all, tied them up and moved them out of the way to create as much room as possible. The hardest is probably the alternator regulator- move the power steering pipe (two 10mm bolts) and coolant pipe to reveal plug pictured above. Press catch and pull up. The vanos solenoids can be removed by pressing the metal catch and gently pressing down with a long screwdriver. I put a cable tie on the upper (intake camshaft) vanos solenoid wiring to distinguish the two as they both have the same plug.

Left side wiring cylinder 5-8

Alternator regulator
Vanos solenoid x 2 (note locations- cable tie one before removing)
Fuel tank vent valve
MAF sensor
Throttle body
Coolant temp sensor
Knock sensor connector
Injector connector
VVT motor
Intake and exhaust camshaft sensors
Eccentric shaft sensor
Manifold drive motor (rear of manifold)

Right side wiring cylinder 1-4

A/C compressor & oil pressure sensor
Vanos solenoid x 2 (note locations- cable tie one before removing)
Thermostat
Knock sensor connector
VVT motor
Injector connector
Intake and exhaust camshaft sensors
Eccentric shaft sensor
Manifold pressure differential sensor (rear of manifold)

6.

005 a.JPG 006.JPG 007.JPG

If only doing the left side cylinders 5-8 the next step is to remove the wiring loom from the ECU box. Looks a bit scary but very well laid out- small black connectors DME, chunky black connectors VVT ECU and green go the IVM. There is also a ground wire that goes to the right of the box that needs removing.

If doing both sides, you can tie both sides of the wiring loom to the bonnet/windscreen wipers to create the room without removing the ECU connectors.

7.

008 a.JPG 008 b.JPG 008 c.JPG 008 d.JPG

Next remove the ignition coils and move the wiring loom. Remove the holder brackets, flip the coil connector up and the wiring will pop off. Then pull the coil firmly upwards. Cylinders 4 and 8 can be a little tricky! Then with a long screwdriver prise the wiring box from the clips on the case.

8.

009 a.JPG 009 b.JPG 009 c.JPG 009 d.JPG
009 e.JPG

Next is the fuel rail connection. Release the pressure by opening the schrader valve, put a rag around it and press the valve. Be carfeul as it will be under high pressure. Next remove the grey quick-release clip on the fuel line. Press the quick-release catch in, pull pipes apart and catch fuel. Put a rubber bung in the hole as there will still be some fuel in the rail/injectors.

Fuel rail- Two bolts then pull whole rail/injectors upwards. The injectors can be quite stuck in there but take your time and pull evenly on the rail/injectors. You may want to replace the grey injector o-rings.

Intake manifold- five bolts and no need to remove the injectors. When pulling the intake manifold up watch out for the small coolant pipe that runs from each cylinder head below the throttle body.

9.

010 a.JPG 010 b.JPG 010 c.JPG 010 d.JPG
010 e.JPG 010 f.JPG

To create more room remove the firewall duct trim. Seven bolts and one trim clip including two for the coolant pipe brakcets. No need to remove the coolant pipe- just move it out the way. It's a bit tight, but pull forwards and then up and out.

10.

011.JPG 012.JPG

Remove the vvt motor spacer (four torx bolts then twist and pull upwards at the same time) and eccentric shaft sensor seal.

11.

013 a.JPG 013 b.JPG

Now you have clear access to your valve cover! Thirteen bolts in total.

12.

013 c.JPG 013 d.JPG

Do not remove the rubber grommets until the cover is off the car! I just want to stress this again. This is only on the top four and bottom four and removal is not necessary- only the metal bolts. Swap them when the cover if off the car.

13.

013 e.JPG 013 f.JPG

The bolt closest to the firewall is a bit hidden away. Loosen. Then lift with a magnet and get your fingers or needle pliers in there.

14.

14.JPG

With all thirteen bolts removed, you can lift up the valve cover. It will be stuck on so take your time. Tap very gently all the way round with a rubber mallet.

Be careful not to damage the eccentric shaft sensor.

There are four spark plug tubes per cylinder. They will come loose as you pull the cover up. You can get your arm in from the front to help loosen them if required. Watch the 'half-moons' at the back of the cover doesn't catch the sensor when lifting the cover off.

Now would be a good time to change your spark plugs if they are due! As noted above, also consider changing the upper timing case gaskets as these are common to leak oil. Cheap and very easy to do now. You will need to remove the vanos solenoids so replace the o-rings as well.

Installation:

Pretty much a reversal of above. Pop the spark plug tubes into the cylinder head first. If you found oil on the top of your spark plugs, renew the tubes. You may want to just change them anyway to save the labour if you find them leaking later. Put some silicon grease on the tops of the tubes to help with cover installation.

TIP- put some RTV sealant in various spots on the inside groove of the cover when putting the new gasket on. Let this sit for 15mins and this will help keep the gasket on when turning it the right way over to install.

015 a.JPG 015 b.JPG

To keep or not to keep- that is the question. I did not keep them! I found it really hard with new spark plug tubes to get the cover on properly with the inserts on.

Try a dry run! Before putting sealant on the face, try a dry run to see how to put the cover on. This will help you plan the best approach to avoid pipes and the eccentric shaft sensor.

16 a1.JPG 16 b.JPG

Thoroughly clean the sealing faces. Apply RTV sealant on the two timing case joints top and bottom and also the two half-moons.

013 a.JPG

The cover will be a bit tricky to get on properly over the spark plug tubes. A bit of silicon grease on the top of the tubes will help. Line up the case and gently apply even pressure / very lightly tap with a rubber mallet over the tubes. Make sure the case goes on evenly over the tube tops. If you have kept the red inserts, make sure they're seated properly. Once you can get some of the bolts to bite by hand this will help.

Hand tighten bolts first then tighten in order pictured.

Follow the RTV sealant instuctions for drying time etc.

When you have everything back together and are ready to fire up the engine- reconnect battery and turn the ignition on but do not start the engine. Leave the ignition on for a couple of minutes to allow the vvt motors to learn their stop positions. You should be able to hear them go wrrr wrrr click. Ignition off then on and start the engine. Check for leaks.

Good luck!
 

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Wow nice. Thanks for the pics, I'm sure they will help a lot of people. These will come in handy if I ever need to change the valve cover gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Wow nice. Thanks for the pics, I'm sure they will help a lot of people. These will come in handy if I ever need to change the valve cover gaskets.
Thanks! I hope they do help.

Fully updated now and open to pointers/suggestions.
 

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Doing this today. Is it completely necessary to disconnect battery? I did passenger side on American config without doing so with success.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi,

Sorry, hope this isn't too late. Well it's up to you really. Certainly I would disconnect battery if taking ECU connectors off. I would not if just disconnecting engine sensors (airflow sensor, knock sensors, cam sensors etc) - just ignition off.
 

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Thanks for this. Can I ask - what are these spark plug tubes? Are they in any of the pictures? 4 per cylinder sounds weird. There's 4 valves per cylinder isn't there. Is it something to do with the valves rather than the spark plugs? Also are they the things that you said "to keep or not to keep?" about?

thanks!
Carl
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for this. Can I ask - what are these spark plug tubes? Are they in any of the pictures? 4 per cylinder sounds weird. There's 4 valves per cylinder isn't there. Is it something to do with the valves rather than the spark plugs? Also are they the things that you said "to keep or not to keep?" about?

thanks!
Carl
Wow, good spot! Sorry it should say 4 per cylinder head, so yes 1 per cylinder- 8 in total. You can just see them on pic step 14. Here removed-

image[1].jpg

They are the wall between the oil sloshing about the cylinder head and the spark plugs.

Are you working on a N62 V8 then?
 

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Wow, good spot! Sorry it should say 4 per cylinder head, so yes 1 per cylinder- 8 in total. You can just see them on pic step 14. Here removed-

View attachment 383559

They are the wall between the oil sloshing about the cylinder head and the spark plugs.

Are you working on a N62 V8 then?

Ah, that makes perfect sense now. Definitely want to keep those then!

Yeah I have bought an E60 545i with a water leak (coolant transfer pipe), and broken auto box. Might as well do the gaskets while I'm doing the coolant transfer pipe. There's oil over the front of the engine below the VCGs.

I just ordered the gasket sets earlier.

Thanks for the writeup! Removing the wiring harness has made access a lot easier, and also I did try to remove that firewall plastic yesterday when I was taking off the intake manifold, but I gave up. Anyway after your write-up I tried again and it's out now. Much more space! Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How much time should I budget for this job? I'm mechanically comfortable working around the engine.
If everything goes ok, I would budget a full morning and afternoon.

great write up! Any further instructions for the upper timing cover? It would be very helpful
Thanks! The upper timing covers are really easy. You'll need to remove the vacuum pump and vanos solenoids (replace all o-rings). Then, from memory, there are 8 bolts holding the covers on. Clean the cover surface. Replace the gaskets and I put some sealant at the corners as well just to be sure.
 

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If everything goes ok, I would budget a full morning and afternoon.



Thanks! The upper timing covers are really easy. You'll need to remove the vacuum pump and vanos solenoids (replace all o-rings). Then, from memory, there are 8 bolts holding the covers on. Clean the cover surface. Replace the gaskets and I put some sealant at the corners as well just to be sure.
My 645ci is a 2004 left hand drive I've got the left hand valve cover off and starting to look at the upper timing case. The I've seen two different TIS 11 14 080 one says after taking the cover off and the solenoids out simple remove the upper timing case. The other says "Release" the alternator looking at mine the later applies one bolt is behind the alternator and the I believe alos the alternator bracket. My question is am I looking at this right did anyone else have to remove the alternator bracket to get the left upper timing cover off?
 

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You do not have to remove the alternator bracket for the valve cover gaskets, or upper timing cover gaskets.
 

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Yup to do the left timing cover the alternator needs to atleast rotate out of the way I guess that's what they mean by release but you might as well remove it.


Any suggestions on which perematex product should I use? I will be doing the valve covers, timing covers, and the seal on the alternator bracket. Is this the right product to use ?
http://www.permatex.com/products/product-selector?view=productcategory&id=181
 

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So since the alternator had to be rotated / removed to due the upper timing cover on my 645 I decided to go ahead and remove the alternator bracket as well.

Now everything is off the I plan on taking off ( I think ) and I'm starting to re install. This is my first time working on engine gaskets so I have a simple question that's probably obvious to others about the timing cover ( And don't want to have to do it twice)...

Is it recommended to use any RTV on the timing cover gasket and if so where is it placed (location and side of gasket front/back). I don't see evidence of it on the original. And have I found anyone saying much of anything about the steps people used on the timing cover itself. It's a metal gasket which if I've read the TIS correct should be torqued to 10 Nm and with no mention of any sealant being applied I or a order for the torquing of the bolts I'm assuming just a star pattern.

Hoping for some guidance from someone who has done this before or had to do it twice so I can avoid tearing this all back apart again.
 

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Some sealant should be applied where the gasket meets the valve cover as the seam is a common leak. The timing cover gaskets are impregnated with sealant so they can be installed dry. The drivers side has an oil port that leaks under pressure.
These can be done without removing the valve covers! way more efficient than taking the covers off if they aren't leaking then don't touch them! They are quite a bit of work (8 hours) and the timing covers can be done in 2-3 for both sides if your good and have the proper tools.
Use PTFE Teflon lube on the spark plug tubes if you replace as they are hard to seat back on with new tubes.
 
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