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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY E90 N54 Valve Cover Gasket



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      11-01-2017, 10:33 AM   #309
najin23
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Originally Posted by ATLIEN View Post
My valve cover gasket is bad and leaking onto the exhaust to the point that I am concerned about a fire hazard. I've got about 95k miles on my car and have been working from home for the past 6 months so I have not really driven it much in that time and it seems like the smoking problem has gotten worse with it being idle so often.

I am planning on doing the DIY as the cheapest I can get the gasket replaced is $1k. Not terrible I assume but for a topside repair I think I can give it a go. I am going to go ahead and replace the entire valve cover because with my bad luck it's cracked or i'll end up breaking something. My question for those that have replaced the valve cover- did you find any improvements with the car when you replaced the valve cover? Better idling, smoother acceleration, etc? Lastly, can anyone recommend a decent torque wrench for the job. I've got a cheap one but for this job I am not taking any chances.
Are you sure your cover was leaking? I guess it depends on your drive style or that of previous owner, but at 95k, I don't think it would be that terrible to notice any leak. I may be wrong.
Long story short, it wouldn't improve anything except the seal. I did replace injectors/plugs/coils while I did my cover, and that helped with idle and misfire issues. With that said, I don't think cover itself will improve anything significant. Plus, removing injectors made the cover job much easier especially the rear side of the engine. Any torque wrench should be ok, make sure you reference the Bentley manual for the job, and getting a whole new cover will make the job much easier also.
I am not a mechanic but a small home DIYer. Do it at your own RISK! One major procedure can always open can of worms small or big on this high mileage engine. Just troubleshoot one at a time. If this is your daily ride, I would recommend getting some sort of a reliable ride if you have to go to work most of the week. Mine is at 150k now, and just did a turbo swap with bunch of intake upgrade. During the process, I had run into many small to moderate issues mostly with failing coolant hoses and seals that caused various leakages. Just replaced pump/thermostat and those hoses(u shape one, one from front engine block to thermostat(with aluminum adapter upgrade sold by ebay), upper radiator hose that goes to OFH because the plastic nipple snapped, upper vent hose from reservoir to the upper radiator hose) and seals.

It's just another internal combustion engine that needs multiple part replacements because no material can last lifetime with that much amount of heat in an already poorly designed cooling system per amount of heat it generates. If you are upgrading performance with turbos/chip tunes/etc, def think about upgrading oil coolers/some sort of a high performance coolant(mix)/bigger intercooler/etc. I can't think of anything else. Extra radiator like PPK from BMW would be nice, but I am not sure how to install on early N54 platforms and program it.
Good luck.

Last edited by najin23; 11-01-2017 at 10:46 AM.
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      11-01-2017, 02:49 PM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by najin23 View Post
Are you sure your cover was leaking? I guess it depends on your drive style or that of previous owner, but at 95k, I don't think it would be that terrible to notice any leak. I may be wrong.
Long story short, it wouldn't improve anything except the seal. I did replace injectors/plugs/coils while I did my cover, and that helped with idle and misfire issues. With that said, I don't think cover itself will improve anything significant. Plus, removing injectors made the cover job much easier especially the rear side of the engine. Any torque wrench should be ok, make sure you reference the Bentley manual for the job, and getting a whole new cover will make the job much easier also.
I am not a mechanic but a small home DIYer. Do it at your own RISK! One major procedure can always open can of worms small or big on this high mileage engine. Just troubleshoot one at a time. If this is your daily ride, I would recommend getting some sort of a reliable ride if you have to go to work most of the week. Mine is at 150k now, and just did a turbo swap with bunch of intake upgrade. During the process, I had run into many small to moderate issues mostly with failing coolant hoses and seals that caused various leakages. Just replaced pump/thermostat and those hoses(u shape one, one from front engine block to thermostat(with aluminum adapter upgrade sold by ebay), upper radiator hose that goes to OFH because the plastic nipple snapped, upper vent hose from reservoir to the upper radiator hose) and seals.

It's just another internal combustion engine that needs multiple part replacements because no material can last lifetime with that much amount of heat in an already poorly designed cooling system per amount of heat it generates. If you are upgrading performance with turbos/chip tunes/etc, def think about upgrading oil coolers/some sort of a high performance coolant(mix)/bigger intercooler/etc. I can't think of anything else. Extra radiator like PPK from BMW would be nice, but I am not sure how to install on early N54 platforms and program it.
Good luck.
Thanks for the information. I've got a back-up third car and work from home so I am in a good position to take my time and do the job right. I'm very tempted to simply get the gasket and give it a go but something tells me otherwise and just get the entire thing and have some semblance of knowing it's good for another 95k miles.

I've already done a lot of major repairs on this car such as the water pump and thermostat, upgraded inter cooler, coils, plugs, crank position sensor, power window regulator, brakes and rotors, brake fluid flush, battery, coolant return hose and transmission sport mode wiring fix. Whew, that's just what I did personally.

While it was under CPO it got VANOS, Coils, Mechtronics sleeve, o2 sensors, window washer bladder and water pump, oil filter housing gasket. I need to also have the oil pan gasket replaced because it's leaking too. I've never owned a more unreliable yet fun car in my life.
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      11-01-2017, 03:58 PM   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ATLIEN View Post
Thanks for the information. I've got a back-up third car and work from home so I am in a good position to take my time and do the job right. I'm very tempted to simply get the gasket and give it a go but something tells me otherwise and just get the entire thing and have some semblance of knowing it's good for another 95k miles.

I've already done a lot of major repairs on this car such as the water pump and thermostat, upgraded inter cooler, coils, plugs, crank position sensor, power window regulator, brakes and rotors, brake fluid flush, battery, coolant return hose and transmission sport mode wiring fix. Whew, that's just what I did personally.

While it was under CPO it got VANOS, Coils, Mechtronics sleeve, o2 sensors, window washer bladder and water pump, oil filter housing gasket. I need to also have the oil pan gasket replaced because it's leaking too. I've never owned a more unreliable yet fun car in my life.
Gotcha my friend. Just keep it up and enjoy the car.
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      11-01-2017, 11:08 PM   #312
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Gotcha my friend. Just keep it up and enjoy the car.
Thanks for the encouragement! Btw, my Indy was the one that advised me of the valve cover leak.
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      11-03-2017, 06:08 AM   #313
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Hey guys did this. Everything went well apart from stripping a ground bolt so im missing a ground and i think i may have gotten some dirt in an injector. Now car wont start and i get a P30BB error injector, power level 2.

Has anyone gotten this code before? Any ideas? Thanks.
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      11-06-2017, 12:49 AM   #314
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Hello my torque wrench only goes down to 10 ft lbs will that be too much or will it be fine
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      11-06-2017, 01:25 AM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVii199 View Post
Hello my torque wrench only goes down to 10 ft lbs will that be too much or will it be fine
I personally wouldn't risk it since the cover is plastic and the wrench is likely inaccurate at the end of the scale. Get an inch-lb torque wrench for like $20.
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      11-06-2017, 01:32 AM   #316
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I personally wouldn't risk it since the coer is plastic and the wrench is likely inaccurate at the end of the scale. Get an inch-lb torque wrench for like $20.
The lowest it goes is 120 in lbs. But I'll trade it for another one
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      11-06-2017, 08:05 PM   #317
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Okay so I was not able to find a single torque wrench that goes to 84 inlbs (7 ftlbs) but I did find one that goes to 80 inlbs will that be adequate? But if not what can I do?
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      11-06-2017, 08:32 PM   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVii199 View Post
Okay so I was not able to find a single torque wrench that goes to 84 inlbs (7 ftlbs) but I did find one that goes to 80 inlbs will that be adequate? But if not what can I do?
Your fine......i dont even use a torque wrench. No issues. Go to 80inlbs and then give it a hair more.
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      11-07-2017, 11:52 AM   #319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thatg View Post
Hey guys did this. Everything went well apart from stripping a ground bolt so im missing a ground and i think i may have gotten some dirt in an injector. Now car wont start and i get a P30BB error injector, power level 2.

Has anyone gotten this code before? Any ideas? Thanks.

It probably will give you trouble if that ground is not well grounded. I read that they are very fussy about that. I did not have the issue myself, so no first hand experience. But I tediously poured every bit of info I could find prior to mine. That one stuck in my memory banks.
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      11-07-2017, 11:59 AM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAVii199 View Post
The lowest it goes is 120 in lbs. But I'll trade it for another one
I bought the harbor freight torque wrench with the appropriate scale on it. It was utter garbage. I could not feel any click, so I did not end up using a torque wrench either.
I just really took my time torqueing. I went around the thing 3 times, and I visually inspected the o-ring gasket each time. If you go with a standard ratchet, use the 1/4 inch (small rachet), and just go a bit past easy tight. Visually inspect the entire mating surface for a consistent compression of that o ring. Better to be under tight and retorque. I left my engine plastics off for well over 1000 miles. In fact they are still off. but I inspected that o-ring gasket every couple hundred miles for leak's and inconsistent compression. I suspect consistent pressure is most important. For instance if 99% of your bolts are to spec and 1% of the 30 plus bolts are too high or too low, you will get a leak, because the plastic cover is not in plane with the cylinder head.
Disclosure, I am not a mechanic, so YMMV. But I did have a successful install the first time. Though I did pull off and replace 3 times, because I did not like the looks of one thing or another.
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