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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > Eccentric Shaft Sensor Replacement



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Eccentric Shaft Sensor Replacement
Published by MrQuickR1
05-27-2012
Eccentric Shaft Sensor Replacement

2007 BMW 328i (N52)

Just changed out my eccentric cam sensor due to it leaking oil into the electrical section causing it to basically malfunction. No codes were thrown, just poor performance, serious hesitation causing the shift pattern to be abrupt and untimely in it's shift pattern, some white smoke at and after warmed up. Car was basically choking. The dealer couldn't find the issue but I found it through "dumb luck" when changing the coils and plugs, I popped off the connector to see what it was due to caked oil around the plug. I didn't know the part so I posted the pic on e90post and it was identified, leading me to research more on this sensor. The sensor was filled with oil, obviously, that isn't right.

I will show as best as I can with narration and pics, it is a pain in the ass but I already expected that and allotted the entire day to do it and take my time.
With the crazy weather lately here in NJ, I have no garage so I had to be creative with what I have.



Disconnect battery...I removed the negative. Leave the trunk unlatched for easy access to reattach later...

I won't go into detail how to remove the cabin filter and all the covers, if you don't know how to do that, I would suggest not doing this until you are positive you can do it.



You need to remove the support bar for clearance, (circled in red) there is a plastic screw in the center of the windshield wipers, 1/4 turn and it pops out. remove the bolt, on the strut tower, remove that bolt as well.
Circled in yellow is the sensor we need to replace..



Disconnect these wires, push metal clips in and pull out on the connectors..


Remove all the coil sticks and the wire loom for the coils, there are snaps in the plastic wire loom housing, simply unclip them, take your time and get them all, so we can move it aside as far as it lets you.

Next to the fuel injectors, we need to remove this plastic wire housing that plugs into the injectors. The clips took me a few minutes to figure out which way to move them to remove it, it's a little tight in there but it's doable. I used a needle nose, you can use a screw driver too... You need to push away each side of the clip and pull up easily on the housing. Do one at a time and pull up just enough to disconnect it, then continue til it's all out. Then take the whole wire loom and move it over as far as you can to the passenger side of the car.


Go to the back of the valve cover and remove the oil vapor hose. Little tricky on this connector but there are 2 tabs on each side, it needs to be squeezed to release, it doesn't happen so easily, you may need to assist it with a screw driver just to get it to the point and pull/ push apart.


Remove the valvetronic motor, 2 bolts on top and one on bottom as well as 2 holding the gasket. It will kind of spring out a little, then pull it straight out.


Remove the shields in the coil housing, I used a "C" clip tool, these didn't come out as easy as it looks, they were snug in there so I had to squeeze on the handle and wiggle up til it released


Remove the DME housing cover and pull out the rubber grommets/seals in order to move the wiring, this gives extra clearance when removing the cover.
Remove the coolant overflow hose. I released pressure by slightly turning the bleed screw, then lifted up on the wire clip, then pulled the hose off the nipple. Do this easily so you don't break anything.


The sensor with oil in it.... to disconnect, tiny screw driver on one side, separate very very slightly and pull very little just to keep the clip out of the notch, do the other side the same way, then wiggle/pull up nice and easy.
Remove the seal around the sensor, just pull it out, it's snug so just give it a good pull.



Begin loosening all the valve cover bolts, the few behind the cover against the firewall are tucked in pretty good, you will need a swivel head for you socket to give that extra flex back there, otherwise it will be very hard to get it out. Remove all bolts including the center 3 bolts. 10 mm bolt heads in the center.
I did not take pics of the cover being removed due to it being a pain in the ass and hands getting all oiled up.
Line up all the bolts removed, I like to line them up the way I take it out just so there is no mismatches later on re install.


This cover is plastic, it is a pain in the ass to get out. I can't explain really how it comes out, I had to pull up on the front, turn it and just when I thought I wouldn't get it out without breaking anything, it came out. So don't give up, take a break, try again but be patient.

Now, we are exposed....


We need to loosen 3 bolts from the sensor, there is a hole in the orange chain guide to access the bottom bolt. Loosen bolts almost all the way out, be careful if you do not to drop it down into the timing housing.
It's a little tight in there, what I did was back the bolts almost out, and screwed the bottom bolt back in about halfway, this lets you clear as you pull the sensor out. So we unbolt, pull sensor off of shaft, and rebolt halfway on bottom bolt.


Drop in new sensor with it's new bolts supplied on it, screw bottom bolt in halfway, put it in place, unscrew bottom bolt again, seat it on the shaft, then bolt it up evenly on the 10mm bolts. Nice 5 minute job that took about 3 hours to get to...



Clean the mating surface for the valve cover and the 3 inside gasket surfaces around the coil holes.


Wipe dry/clean the grooved gasket area on the cover. and install the gaskets. press them in.


Install the valve cover, a slight pain but not as bad, just double check the gaskets to make sure they are still seated in their groove and didn't pop out of place.


Put in all your bolts and snug them. It calls for 9Nm on the torque. I did 9Nm plus another 1/4 turn. You do as you like but be sure to torque them to it's required torque specs.

Now, everything needs to get put back in place/connected and it's basically the reverse of removal, only difference is you don't have to unclip things, you just push them back in place.
Double check everything!!! Plugs are all connected and secured, hoses back on, etc..
Leave the covers off after everything is on, re connect the battery, turn power on and reset the clock, this gives a fault code so reset it. After you are sure everything is in place, start the car, it will sound funny, some hiccups but it's normal after major surgery. run it for a few minutes, look for leaking around everything. Shut the car off, if no leaks, put the covers back on and cabin filter.....
Close the hood and test drive


After extensive research, this sensor runs about $400-$435
I found it online through BMW of Bloomfield NJ on their parts catalog.
http://www.bmwofbloomfieldpartsonlin...?siteid=215185
It showed up for $310, I called and they said it's $435 but if I print out the online price, they will honor the online price, this was convenient for me not to wait for shipping.
I purchased the sensor, the seal that goes around the sensor, a valvetronic motor gasket, and the valve/cylinder head cover gasket. All for $398.
According to my researching, dealers quotes for this job were around the $2000 range.
The total time it took me was 6.5 hours, I saved a few bucks, learned the car through experience, know exactly what was done and took my time making sure it was done right. I like to measure twice and cut once so since I was not in a race or hurry to get done, it made it smoother this way knowing there was not need to rush through it to break any records.

I was not too detailed in this, most of this process takes simple common sense such as removing things and moving things out of the way. The cover itself was the worst of the job but still was not all that bad as some said it is.
If I have forgotten anything, I will edit it later. It's memorial weekend so I am kind of rushing through this post.
I hope it helps someone out there out in the future.

Another tip is....get everything you need before you start. I stopped at autozone and grabbed an inverted star bit kit. My valve cover bolts did not need to be replaced, the bolts that are painted blue, must be replaced. So if your bolts are blue, buy new ones, do not re use them.
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  #1  
By AlanAZ on 05-27-2012, 11:09 AM
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Nice write-up, thank you. And $1,600 labor for about 5 hrs work quoted by the dealer.. damn. Your engine's clean, how many miles on your car, and what's your oil change interval?

I'm wondering, on high mileage cars, if the valve cover is removed for other reasons, if it would be good P.M. to replace this sensor.
Last edited by AlanAZ; 05-27-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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  #2  
By mlifxs on 05-27-2012, 12:10 PM
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thanks mucho for this and sorry you had to go through it....but holy carp it's also a valve cover gasket DIY which many of us are in need of.

hope you car drives well now.
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  #3  
By MrQuickR1 on 05-27-2012, 01:39 PM
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Thanks, I suck at write ups, never was good at explaining things but I try.
This forum has helped me a lot already I wanted to donate back into it.
The car was bought used at 61k miles, it now has about 63k lol.
Bought it in January.
The car always ran funny, I even told the salesman about it but he said it will adapt to me....BS Obviously he knew nothing. This was one of the issues plus had the entire car re programmed. that helped but this sensor was my main culprit.
If anyone has similar symptoms and no faults show up and a dealer says it's normal or can't replicate what the complaint is, My advice is, it can't hurt to pop off the sensor connector and make sure it's dry in there.
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  #4  
By mlifxs on 05-27-2012, 02:23 PM
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did you replace the valvetronic gasket? sound like you bought one...just wondering if it's a "must replace" when removing the valvetronic motor?
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  #5  
By MrQuickR1 on 05-28-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlifxs View Post
did you replace the valvetronic gasket? sound like you bought one...just wondering if it's a "must replace" when removing the valvetronic motor?
Yes I did, since I didn't have to buy new bolts, I figured what the hell, do it right the first time. The parts guy even said they always replace the VT gasket when doing the VC gaskets. Cheap insurance for peace of mind.
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  #6  
By TwinT1addict on 05-30-2012, 01:50 PM
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Did you have to also change the plug that was soaked in oil. I was curious and unplugged mine and long behold it was full of oil. I'm going to attempt this DIY. Do you have all the part numbers needed to complete this. Thank you.
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  #7  
By MrQuickR1 on 05-30-2012, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWE90FANATIC View Post
Did you have to also change the plug that was soaked in oil. I was curious and unplugged mine and long behold it was full of oil. I'm going to attempt this DIY. Do you have all the part numbers needed to complete this. Thank you.
WOW! That really sucks!
The part numbers I list is for an 07 328i e90, not sure what yours is but you can double check to verify.

Eccentric shaft sensor 11-37-7-524-879
Eccentric shaft sensor gasket/seal 11-12-7-559-699
Valve/cylinder cover gasket 11-12-7-582-245
Valvetronic motor gasket 11-12-7-552-280

Shop around for the best prices, as I said previously, in the link provided at the bottom of the original post is where I found it cheapest.

As for the plug, no I did not change it out, it crossed my mind but I haven't found one in quick searches. I cleaned it the best I could with MAF sensor cleaner (all I had on hand) and blew it out a little with a can of compressed air. If I cannot find a new plug, I will be cleaning it out with electronics cleaner once again when I get back under the covers to do some other things.
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  #8  
By TwinT1addict on 05-30-2012, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQuickR1 View Post
WOW! That really sucks!
The part numbers I list is for an 07 328i e90, not sure what yours is but you can double check to verify.

Eccentric shaft sensor 11-37-7-524-879
Eccentric shaft sensor gasket/seal 11-12-7-559-699
Valve/cylinder cover gasket 11-12-7-582-245
Valvetronic motor gasket 11-12-7-552-280

Shop around for the best prices, as I said previously, in the link provided at the bottom of the original post is where I found it cheapest.

As for the plug, no I did not change it out, it crossed my mind but I haven't found one in quick searches. I cleaned it the best I could with MAF sensor cleaner (all I had on hand) and blew it out a little with a can of compressed air. If I cannot find a new plug, I will be cleaning it out with electronics cleaner once again when I get back under the covers to do some other things.
Thanks man well i just got in from checking things out with the sensor. I cleaned the connector with air and blew out the oil in the socket, cleaned it all nice and dry. I think when i had my cylinder head done some oil might have got in i will recheck in the upcoming weeks if it will get soaked again. Thanks man. Also good job on the diy kind of intimidating.
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  #9  
By Mwishlist on 05-30-2012, 07:42 PM
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That is an amazing write up. Agreed its also a way better write up on valve cover removal than any of the others I have seen.

Just a quick comment, aren't the valve cover bolts a one time use only part? Usually I see the valve cover gasket come with the new bolts. Lots of guys get leaks because the bolts break so I would be concerned with over torquing them. Just a question, I could be totally wrong on that. Otherwise a really awesome write up.
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  #10  
By TwinT1addict on 05-30-2012, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetaudio View Post
That is an amazing write up. Agreed its also a way better write up on valve cover removal than any of the others I have seen.

Just a quick comment, aren't the valve cover bolts a one time use only part? Usually I see the valve cover gasket come with the new bolts. Lots of guys get leaks because the bolts break so I would be concerned with over torquing them. Just a question, I could be totally wrong on that. Otherwise a really awesome write up.
its a good measure to replace them for piece of mind. if the tops of the bolts are blue they need replacing per BMW recommendation. I would replace them regardless tho.
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  #11  
By MrQuickR1 on 05-31-2012, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWE90FANATIC View Post
its a good measure to replace them for piece of mind. if the tops of the bolts are blue they need replacing per BMW recommendation. I would replace them regardless tho.
For peace of mind, get new ones. the bolts on mine were not painted blue. The parts guy also said I don't need them. My bolts are steel bolts, not aluminum.
The bolts with blue on them are aluminum bolts, which once torqued to spec, are stretched. re using them will not be torqued to the accurate value, plus there can be a hairline crack/break in them that will eventually break off and leak.
Blue = replace (required)
No blue = replace for peace of mind/not a bad idea
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  #12  
By Mwishlist on 05-31-2012, 10:54 AM
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Great, thanks. I just wanted to clarify as I plan on keeping this car for a loooong time.
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  #13  
By TwinT1addict on 06-06-2012, 01:04 AM
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Hey one more question for you. I need to change the valvetronic motor gasket. Does this motor just come out and slide back in. Dont want to mess up the timing. I noticed oil in the wells next to the coils on the valve cover. Do I have to disconnect the battery to do this. Thanks
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  #14  
By MrQuickR1 on 06-07-2012, 04:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWE90FANATIC View Post
Hey one more question for you. I need to change the valvetronic motor gasket. Does this motor just come out and slide back in. Dont want to mess up the timing. I noticed oil in the wells next to the coils on the valve cover. Do I have to disconnect the battery to do this. Thanks
When I unbolted the valvetronic, I pulled it out and you can feel tension release like a spring. Re installing it I simply pushed it straight in and bolted it back in. No timing issues. Definitely disconnect the battery, you can't do any harm in doing that.
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  #15  
By TwinT1addict on 06-07-2012, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrQuickR1
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWE90FANATIC View Post
Hey one more question for you. I need to change the valvetronic motor gasket. Does this motor just come out and slide back in. Dont want to mess up the timing. I noticed oil in the wells next to the coils on the valve cover. Do I have to disconnect the battery to do this. Thanks
When I unbolted the valvetronic, I pulled it out and you can feel tension release like a spring. Re installing it I simply pushed it straight in and bolted it back in. No timing issues. Definitely disconnect the battery, you can't do any harm in doing that.
Thank you
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  #16  
By TwinT1addict on 06-08-2012, 05:09 PM
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Hey I did the valvetronic motor gasket today. Now I'm getting a noise from the valvetronic motor when I shut the car down it makes a tapping noise and stops. What could this be.
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  #17  
By MrQuickR1 on 06-09-2012, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWE90FANATIC View Post
Hey I did the valvetronic motor gasket today. Now I'm getting a noise from the valvetronic motor when I shut the car down it makes a tapping noise and stops. What could this be.
Not sure but the first thing I would do is double check your work, make sure it's seated right, plug is connected good going into it, etc..
Check too that the gasket went in the same way the old one came off. Not sure if it makes a difference if it didn't but just check that too. Maybe take a pic of it and post up so we can see something you may not have seen.
Could also be just ticking, finding itself back to it's normal position.
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  #18  
By luckydawg003 on 07-23-2012, 07:48 PM
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I'm working right now at replacing my Valve Cover Gasket and my Starter.

OP: How did you get the eccentric shaft sensor gasket off of the valve cover? I can see with the new one that it is threaded on there, but for the life of me cannot get it off and I don't want to keep pulling pieces of rubber off with my needle nose pliers for fear of damaging my valve cover. Any advice.
Thanks.
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  #19  
By MrQuickR1 on 07-24-2012, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydawg003 View Post
I'm working right now at replacing my Valve Cover Gasket and my Starter.

OP: How did you get the eccentric shaft sensor gasket off of the valve cover? I can see with the new one that it is threaded on there, but for the life of me cannot get it off and I don't want to keep pulling pieces of rubber off with my needle nose pliers for fear of damaging my valve cover. Any advice.
Thanks.
Sorry for the delayed response, It just pops out. It doesn't screw in.
On replacing it, you just snap it down into place
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  #20  
By luckydawg003 on 07-24-2012, 03:29 PM
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Thanks, I had to use a screwdriver to pop it out. Cleaning my valve cover now.

I did accidentally break a small plastic piece off the cover. Its like a plastic suction opening off the back part of the valve cover. Its the other end of where the oil vapor hose disconnects from.

Parts dept. at BMW didn't think it should matter. I think its like an overflow valve.
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  #21  
By luckydawg003 on 07-25-2012, 01:30 PM
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Well crap! I snapped off one of the valve cover bolts. It's snug in there, just broke the head clean off. Can I just leave it or do I need to remove the valve cover again and remove that one end of the bolt? Will it leak?

My stupid torque wrench from harbor freight sucks. I set it at about 7 torque ft. lbs. Since it doesn't have NM on the back it just says DA NM and the instructions for how to use it suck. I tightened the bolts but never heard a click for it to be at the right torque. So kept going and it snapped one of my bolt heads off.

I also super glued that plastic suction piece back on, but broke it off again when tightening the bolts back on. Guess I will leave it off until the very end then super glue it back on again.

So frustrated right now.

Got the valve cover all put back together, minus the broken bolt and the broken plastic valve like piece. Now for more fun for me, because I was also replacing my broken starter at the same time as this. When I put my intake manifold back on and tried to move the oil vapor hose that got caught under my intake manifold. Well pulled on it and it snapped in half. So now I get to drive all the way back to the dealer to buy the few broken parts that I need replaced now. No wonder BMW charges so much for this job. It is a total nightmare. I've been working on it for 3 days straight now and still not done.
Last edited by luckydawg003; 07-25-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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