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Looks very much like the integrated CVV on the S54 (E46 M3 engine). I clean mine with brake cleaner whenever I have the valve cover off, never see any mayo, just a little bit of varnish buildup.

It's basically the same approach to eliminating the CCV as the catch can solutions. The separator is built into the valve cover so there is no need for an oil return. And the crankcase vent is connected directly to the intake manifold, so the lower oil consumption benefits of higher negative crankcase pressure are the same as with the catch can.

I don't like the OP's strategy of capping off one side of the intake manifold vacuum; that will result in uneven intake charge mixtures.

Benefit of the VC approach is that it's OEM-like, very clean and no parts fabrication or mounting issues. Benefit of the catch can is you are keeping all that gunk out of the engine, and it's quite a bit less expensive to do, especially if you have a 2002 or earlier model with the older style coils.

http://e46fanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1066308

Basically replacing the M54 valve cover with a M56 one... Anyone think this would work? I'm not familiar with the problems (if any) that the M56 has relating to CCV issues (losing oil, mayo build up, etc) and whether the integrated CCV system is serviceable or not.

Thoughts?
 

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So that others find this more easily in the future, I'll cross reference to the ccv delete threads...
- How the CCV system works (1) & how the -CCV +PCV mod works (1) & how the -CCV +PCV +CATCHCAN mod works (1)

EDIT: Pictures uploaded for posterity.
 

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Looks very much like the integrated CVV on the S54 (E46 M3 engine).

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You're wrong. It's the SULEV engine (M56 engine) which nobody wants really. Also, if doing some reading, apparently the integrated oil separator cannot be serviced, and the valve cover has to be replaced (there were SULEV cars sold in the NE US, and I extrapolate here because I read somewhere a long time ago about this issue, and I believe they had issues with the mayo clogging it. However Cali cars didn't had , maybe because they don't experience "winter").
 

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http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showpost.php?p=9145836&postcount=11

You're wrong. It's the SULEV engine (M56 engine) which nobody wants really. Also, if doing some reading, apparently the integrated oil separator cannot be serviced, and the valve cover has to be replaced (there were SULEV cars sold in the NE US, and I extrapolate here because I read somewhere a long time ago about this issue, and I believe they had issues with the mayo clogging it. However Cali cars didn't had , maybe because they don't experience "winter").
 

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From the "fanatics":

As my summer daily driver sat in the garage, I decided that it was time for a CCV replacement. Inspired by my other E46 (an M56 SULEV model), I decided to do this in an unconventional way; by replacing the plastic valve cover on the M54 with an aluminum one from an M56 engine, and retrofitting the dipstick tube from the M56 engine.

-The M56 valve cover has the CCV built in, as a serpentine chamber that can be opened and cleaned every time the valve cover gasket is changed.

-The M56 dipstick tube doesn't have a second channel to drain oil from the CCV back into the oil pan. It is otherwise the same.

-The valve cover gasket for the M56 is flat, metal-reinforced, and lays right onto the head, rather than being put onto the valve cover first.


Went on eBay and got all of these goodies for a total of $200.



e46 M3 engine cover (from Wikipedia). Visible difference:



Sorry for my ignorance. :)
 

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I see the pictures, but I don't know what point you are making.

Maybe you are pointing out that the crankcase ventilation appears to be in a different place (on the S54 it passes above the beauty cover, and on the M56 it's hidden beneath it)?

Either way they still work exactly the same.
 

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Ah, I see.

I'm not suggesting that we try to use the S54 valve cover as an alternative to the M56 valve cover on the M54 engine. That definitely won't work.

What I am saying that the integrated CVV on the S54 is the same basic design as the integrated separator on the M56 valve cover. I'm reporting that it works very well on the S54, which might be useful for the OP who was considering the M56 part.

FWIW, the separator is in fact maintainable in that you can run solvent through it when the VC is removed. I am sure if the engine was ignored enough to gunk up the entire valve train, the separator could clog, the valve cover gasket would blow out, and the only recourse would be to replace the VC. That would be a very poorly maintained car.

For clarity's sake, the S62 is the V8 engine on the E39 M5. Those valve covers obviously won't fit either.

What I want to say is: I am not sure if the alu valve cover is the SAME for both S62 & M56. As I said, I haven't cross-checked those p/n. If they are different, they might not fit (a M3 VC on a M56 - sulev edition).
 

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By the way, there is another interesting observation to be made about the M56 and those who have been concerned about the collateral impacts of the catch can approach - specifically about whether it is bad for the engine to experience the higher levels of negative crankcase pressure resulting from bypassing the CCV and connecting the crankcase vent to the intake.

The OEM configuration of the M56 has no mechanical crankcase pressure regulation, it's subjected directly to intake vacuum without even a PCV for regulation.

Does anyone know if the M54 and the M56 have any differences at all in the bottom end? Head is the same. EDIT: pistons are different, probably because of the different fuel injection system. What about rings? If they are the same, then that would appear to be full validation that BMW engineers have assessed and approved unregulated negative pressure for long-term use in the M54/M56 engine.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=988442
 

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Before the catch can I made for my car, I hooked the intake vacuum directly into the valve cover and ran the car for about a month. The oil usage stopped , but I had another problem, I would get a code about every other day indicating that my engine was running too rich. That was with full vacuum levels into the crank case. No other problems were evident. I then hooked up an oil catch can and used a PVC valve from a Ford 6 cylinder circa 1968 model. That also introduced full vacuum into the crank case, but it was regulated vac because of the PVC valve and never had a code again after that. If you tried to take the oil cap off while the car was running, it was a tough thing to do,,but never had any oil leaks and this slowed the oil usage from 1qt every 1000 miles to 1 qt every 4000 and better. I ran that engine withou problems for about 150k miles , then burnt a valve and swaped in a newer engine. Be interesting to see what vac levels would be with that valve cover on my car,,but doubt that I could find one on ebay to try out
 

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It would be interesting to know what exactly is under the valve cover. There is a hidden oil separator - but does it regulate the pressure? I think yes, because on the top there is a round thing, just like on the N62 engine, that houses a regulating diaphragm I believe. And I think it's the same size as the N62 CCV valve the pic is below (courtesy of ECS Tuning) and below this pic is the alu VC and you can see in the top right corner where it's lodged (So Poolman, I can see that BMW is using pretty much the same amount of spring tension on those diaphragms, I am inclined to rig something up, more simple. The last pic is how the CCV looks AFTER the gases leave the VC of an N62 engine (X5). The VC has baffles:





This one of the CCV's (they are 2) on the N62 engine:

 

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To see the inside of that diaphragm is interesting, thank you. Regulation is simple since it only has one input mode (the crankcase pressure). Our temperamental CCV's regulate with two inputs (crankcase pressure and vacuum pressure).

I am using a PC1124DL and my trims are right where they should be. Just a little bit of pressure reduction seems to be the ticket.

It would be interesting to know what exactly is under the valve cover. There is a hidden oil separator - but does it regulate the pressure? I think yes, because on the top there is a round thing, just like on the N62 engine, that houses a regulating diaphragm I believe. And I think it's the same size as the N62 CCV valve the pic is below (courtesy of ECS Tuning) and below this pic is the alu VC and you can see in the top right corner where it's lodged (So Poolman, I can see that BMW is using pretty much the same amount of spring tension on those diaphragms, I am inclined to rig something up, more simple.
 

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Doru--I talked with an indy I have do work for me from thime to time. It was concerning the spring tension on these CCV systems. He told me that on new CCV valves he installed, he would open the CCV and take the spring out and then cut a rung out of it and then remold it to the original size and then put everything back together and install the new ccv. He had said that the CCV 's are now made i9n China and different countries and that he felt the springs were too strong for the systems to work correctly,,and that may be why I was now using oil , where the old one before had a weaker spring in it.
 

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my indy shop mechanic says doing this type of 'mod' aka CCV to PCV mod, will blow the engine since it cannot breathe, and will cause performance issues...

is this true? or is he trying to get me to pay him for a $400 job to replace my CCV.
 

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My oil catch can was on my last engine for over 150,000 miles ,,,using a PVC valve. That engine had 110,000 miles on it when I installed the catch can. The engine burnt a valve at 265,000 miles and instead of pulling the head and making the fix, I installed a newer engine. The PVC system hadn't anything to do with the burnt valve that caused that engine to go south. Car ran great and had good gas mileage ...didn't hurt a thing running it that way
 

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Does he explain what "breathing" means? The assumption is that he is concerned about the effects of additional negative crankcase pressure.

Increasing negative pressure has caused my oil consumption to decrease from 400 miles/qt to 2500 miles/qt. I've driven it about 5000 miles this way so far - nothing like Poolman or Smolck but definitely enough distance to uncover problems. The car has never thrown a code. Fuel trims are normal with the PCV1124DL.

And one of the outcomes of this thread is that BMW appears to have validated the crankcase pressure-only regulated breather and direct connection to the intake manifold configuration via the M56 valve cover/integrated separator. The M56 is otherwise pretty much the same engine as the M54.

That said, it's probably not in your mechanic's best interest to engineer alternative solutions to a street car and expose himself to potential liability and/or regulation violation. Plus he is unlikely to have done this modification before. Until someone produces a bolt-on kit that you can take to your mechanic, if you want to do this you will probably have to take it on yourself.
 
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