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      01-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
AlanAZ
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Drives: E90 325i sport manual
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

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Nice job! Thank you, I'll be doing this in a month. The photos help a lot.

Just a couple of comments (updated):

The engine cover doesn't need to be unbolted -- just pull it straight up, it has fittings that push into rubber. To re-fit, align and push down. I spayed the rubber bushings with silicone so they go on and off easier.

Turkey baster is a good idea, or if you have a vacuum brake bleeder as I do, using new pvc hose from the hardware with it would work well. I drained about 1/2 gallon of coolant first, (I cut the top off a harder plastic (Arrowhead) clean 1 gal water container, and notched it so I could undo the drain plug with large flat-blade screwdriver),and put i back after (I had done a coolant change 15K mls ago.)

A plastic putty knife from the hardware (paint section) works well to scrape gasket material off (plastic doesn't scratch the aluminum) didn't work at all. I used metal polish, cleaning any residual with alcohol and then MAF cleaner.

If you're doing this as preventive maintenance, and can pick the when, best to do it right before an oil change. That way, any contamination of the oil, you're changing it out. I did an oil change a few days later, after I saw that the gasket change was good.

You might want to also protect your serpentine belt with a kitchen garage bag draped over it. Looks like you used aluminum foil on the alternator? Smart. Q-tips were helpful cleaning up the leaked oil from all the little nooks and crannies.

Try to break the troublesome rear bolt loose with a box-end wrench, positioned going forward and towards the head, then switch to under the intake runners. And if your box wrench is well used, clean it with alcohol. The shape of the E-Torx makes the box wrench ride up and off, and if your wrench is dirty with old grease and oil (as mine was), it will ride up even easier. I rounded my bolt head off, and had to move the intake manifold over to get the proper E-Torx socket in and the bolt out -- what a royal pain. And the Bentley was of little help, they described how to remove the manifold with the engine OUT OF THE CAR. Much of what they described, you couldn't see, much less get to with your hands.

When tightening the bolts, apply pressure to the gasket evenly, a bit of a turn on each, rotating around. I coated the both ends of the new gasket with oil when installing. And a drop of blue Loctite on each bolt.

I then primed the housing with oil where I removed it before, reinstalled the filter and cap.

Wear gloves, oil and coolant, and cleaners are toxic.

Last edited by AlanAZ; 11-18-2012 at 12:20 PM.