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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > NA Engine (non-turbo) / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications > Valvetronic Motor Seal Replacement



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      10-30-2013, 12:27 AM   #1
mapleridge
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Valvetronic Motor Seal Replacement

Hi All,

I went to the dealer for something unrelated and they said the valvetronic motor seal is leaking. I have a pool of oil in the crevaces of the valve cover by the injectors and it does look a bit soiled by the valvetronic motor. Dealer said the Valve cover has to be removed to get to that seal. Can anyone confirm? It looks as though it should be changeable by removing the motor.
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      10-30-2013, 03:32 AM   #2
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They aren't trying to pull a fast one on you if that's what you're asking. If you've got oil pooling up then its a sure sign that they need to replace the valve cover gasket and related seals. It's not a difficult job for the mechanically inclined (I work on F-16's so nothing with these cars really phases me anymore) but if you aren't a wrench turner or have some friends that know their way under the hood, leave it to the professionals.

Quick search on Google (Google Magic FTW) resulted in this:
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-18...4-30i30si.aspx

So you could DIY if you felt inclined to save some money.
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      10-30-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
Hi All,

I went to the dealer for something unrelated and they said the valvetronic motor seal is leaking. I have a pool of oil in the crevaces of the valve cover by the injectors and it does look a bit soiled by the valvetronic motor. Dealer said the Valve cover has to be removed to get to that seal. Can anyone confirm? It looks as though it should be changeable by removing the motor.
Check this out:
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      10-30-2013, 08:35 AM   #4
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And this:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...c+Valve+sensor

If this is the problem you are having yes, you do need to actually remove everything like the dealer said. Looks like a lot of work.
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      10-30-2013, 09:25 AM   #5
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Ignore the rest of the people in this thread, they obviously haven't done this job and don't know what they're talking about. The "crevices" the dealer is speaking of are above the valve cover gasket, it would be some trick if a leaky VCG was causing oil to pool there. valvetronic motor gasket would definitely do it. Eccentric shaft sensor is a different issue entirely; BUT be careful when you're doing this repair because if you remove the valvetronic motor incorrectly then you can damage the eccentric shaft sensor and you will have to pull off the valve cover.

It is true that if you are changing the valve cover gasket you will also need to change the valvetronic motor gasket, however the opposite is not true. The valvetronic motor gasket sits between the valve cover and the valvetronic motor; it can be accessed by popping the engine cover off, removing the screws holding the wiring harness in place, removing the screws that secure the valvetronic motor and then carefully unscrewing the valvetronic motor. There is no need to remove the valve cover. It's actually a very easy DIY job, I'll do some searching around today to see if I can find some pictures to help you. Feel free to PM me if you've got a questions.
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      10-30-2013, 04:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineSwift View Post
They aren't trying to pull a fast one on you if that's what you're asking. If you've got oil pooling up then its a sure sign that they need to replace the valve cover gasket and related seals. It's not a difficult job for the mechanically inclined (I work on F-16's so nothing with these cars really phases me anymore) but if you aren't a wrench turner or have some friends that know their way under the hood, leave it to the professionals.

Quick search on Google (Google Magic FTW) resulted in this:
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-18...4-30i30si.aspx


So you could DIY if you felt inclined to save some money.
Thanks. It is not the VCG as that was replaced when my lifter service was done. It looks to be clean around the gasket aside from what may have dripped down off the valve cover.

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Originally Posted by jeguth1s View Post
Check this out:
Thanks. I believe I have seen this before.

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Originally Posted by Volasko View Post
And this:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...c+Valve+sensor

If this is the problem you are having yes, you do need to actually remove everything like the dealer said. Looks like a lot of work.
I actually did ask them to check the sensor when it was in and they said the oil in it was coming from the top. i.e. the valve cover and that the sensor has not failed.

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Originally Posted by fravel View Post
Ignore the rest of the people in this thread, they obviously haven't done this job and don't know what they're talking about. The "crevices" the dealer is speaking of are above the valve cover gasket, it would be some trick if a leaky VCG was causing oil to pool there. valvetronic motor gasket would definitely do it. Eccentric shaft sensor is a different issue entirely; BUT be careful when you're doing this repair because if you remove the valvetronic motor incorrectly then you can damage the eccentric shaft sensor and you will have to pull off the valve cover.

It is true that if you are changing the valve cover gasket you will also need to change the valvetronic motor gasket, however the opposite is not true. The valvetronic motor gasket sits between the valve cover and the valvetronic motor; it can be accessed by popping the engine cover off, removing the screws holding the wiring harness in place, removing the screws that secure the valvetronic motor and then carefully unscrewing the valvetronic motor. There is no need to remove the valve cover. It's actually a very easy DIY job, I'll do some searching around today to see if I can find some pictures to help you. Feel free to PM me if you've got a questions.
I believe you have the answer I was looking for and if it is true, they were trying to pull a fast one on me. They quoted me over $1000 to remove the Valve cover and change the seal. I could tackle it myself but I wasn't going to go through that as it seemed ridiculous that the seal would require that.

I have the bentley manual and I reviewed the process for taking the motor out. Turn clockwise until you feel tension from the shaft then turn counter clockwise and pull it out. It just doesn't say that the seal is accessible after that. I am guessing I should be able to see it there and be able to pull it out. Any further feedback about that would be appreciated.
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      10-30-2013, 05:08 PM   #7
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you can remove the valvetronic motor and change the gasket with the valve cover in place. this is a fact not my opinion.
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      10-30-2013, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
Thanks. It is not the VCG as that was replaced when my lifter service was done. It looks to be clean around the gasket aside from what may have dripped down off the valve cover.
Gotcha. Sounded like I was on the right track based on what you were describing. I'd have to dig a little to figure out whats really going on if the VCG isn't the issue but I'll bow out on this one since I apparently have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.

Good luck sir.
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      10-31-2013, 07:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge View Post
I have the bentley manual and I reviewed the process for taking the motor out. Turn clockwise until you feel tension from the shaft then turn counter clockwise and pull it out. It just doesn't say that the seal is accessible after that. I am guessing I should be able to see it there and be able to pull it out. Any further feedback about that would be appreciated.
That is correct. The gasket is sandwiched between the valvetronic motor and the valve cover, and should stick to the valve cover when you remove the motor. I used a plastic trim molding tool to then pry up the gasket from the valve cover. Wipe down the area to remove any oil residue, replace the gasket and remount the valvetronic motor, it's that simple.

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Gotcha. Sounded like I was on the right track based on what you were describing. I'd have to dig a little to figure out whats really going on if the VCG isn't the issue but I'll bow out on this one since I apparently have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.
I don't mean to offend, but based on your comments it's pretty clear that you don't. You were leading the OP to believe that the stealership isn't full of shit (when they most definitely are). I realize that you were just trying to help, but that doesn't make you any less wrong. I'm just trying to save the OP some money on a job that absolutely should not cost more than $30 in gaskets and maybe an hour of time.
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      10-31-2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
you can remove the valvetronic motor and change the gasket with the valve cover in place. this is a fact not my opinion.
Appreciate the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineSwift View Post
Gotcha. Sounded like I was on the right track based on what you were describing. I'd have to dig a little to figure out whats really going on if the VCG isn't the issue but I'll bow out on this one since I apparently have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.

Good luck sir.
Thanks for trying to help.

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Originally Posted by fravel View Post
That is correct. The gasket is sandwiched between the valvetronic motor and the valve cover, and should stick to the valve cover when you remove the motor. I used a plastic trim molding tool to then pry up the gasket from the valve cover. Wipe down the area to remove any oil residue, replace the gasket and remount the valvetronic motor, it's that simple.
Thanks for the details. I will go and grab one and give it a go. I have a bunch of little maintenance scheduled. Tranny flush, coolant flush, brake fluid flush and I'll change this seal too.
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      11-02-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike3000fl View Post
you can remove the valvetronic motor and change the gasket with the valve cover in place. this is a fact not my opinion.
+1

If you had to have the eccentric shaft sensor replaced due to failure or oil contamination then you would have to take the valve cover off and of course replace the valve cover gasket...
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      11-16-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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I changed out the valvetronic motor seal with the valve cover on as numerous people have stated. One issue I ran into is that the E8 head needed to take off the 3 bolts that hold the motor on was too big so I had to get a smaller one for a 1/4 drive and an adapter to fit my 3/8 drive.

Now, I want your advice, the SA at the dealership said I needed to take off the valve cover and quoted me for the work to do that nearly $1000 or more. Should I have him send me that in writing and then tell him I did it without it or take that and send it to BMW Canada?
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      11-16-2013, 10:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mapleridge
I changed out the valvetronic motor seal with the valve cover on as numerous people have stated. One issue I ran into is that the E8 head needed to take off the 3 bolts that hold the motor on was too big so I had to get a smaller one for a 1/4 drive and an adapter to fit my 3/8 drive.

Now, I want your advice, the SA at the dealership said I needed to take off the valve cover and quoted me for the work to do that nearly $1000 or more. Should I have him send me that in writing and then tell him I did it without it or take that and send it to BMW Canada?
I'd probably just let it go and never go back to that dealership. I doubt BMW corporate would do much about a mis-diagnosis. Now you know not to trust that dealership, make note and find a new one.
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      11-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
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I'd probably just let it go and never go back to that dealership. I doubt BMW corporate would do much about a mis-diagnosis. Now you know not to trust that dealership, make note and find a new one.
youre probably right. Only thing is that it is literally 2 or 3 lights down from my work and so convenient. My CPO is ending in January. There is oil in the eccentric shaft sensor and I want to see if I can get it covered. Also, my lifters were changed about 1.5 years ago. Shouldn't the seal for the valvetronic have been covered under that?
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      11-18-2013, 08:33 AM   #15
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youre probably right. Only thing is that it is literally 2 or 3 lights down from my work and so convenient. My CPO is ending in January. There is oil in the eccentric shaft sensor and I want to see if I can get it covered. Also, my lifters were changed about 1.5 years ago. Shouldn't the seal for the valvetronic have been covered under that?
Was there always oil in the eccentric shaft sensor? If yes, then that's why you SA was telling you you need a valve cover gasket change.... cause you do. Changing that sensor requires the valve cover to come off.

EDIT: After I re-read the thread, it appears you had two separate problems going on. Either your SA did a very poor job of explaining it to you or you just misunderstood, regardless, separate symptoms equal separate problems.

If there was grime around the valvetronic motor/top of the engine then it was coming from the valvetronic motor gasket. If there is oil in the eccentric shaft sensor then it needs to be changed, which does require the valve cover to be removed. Doing the fix for the eccentric shaft sensor would actually involve changing both gaskets, but I still wouldn't pay $1k+ to have someone fix it. The valve cover gasket is around $60 and the aluminum screws (if required) are about $27/set, then you're just looking at an afternoon's worth of work with the right tools.

Last edited by fravel; 11-18-2013 at 05:49 PM.
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      11-20-2013, 12:09 AM   #16
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Was there always oil in the eccentric shaft sensor? If yes, then that's why you SA was telling you you need a valve cover gasket change.... cause you do. Changing that sensor requires the valve cover to come off.

EDIT: After I re-read the thread, it appears you had two separate problems going on. Either your SA did a very poor job of explaining it to you or you just misunderstood, regardless, separate symptoms equal separate problems.

If there was grime around the valvetronic motor/top of the engine then it was coming from the valvetronic motor gasket. If there is oil in the eccentric shaft sensor then it needs to be changed, which does require the valve cover to be removed. Doing the fix for the eccentric shaft sensor would actually involve changing both gaskets, but I still wouldn't pay $1k+ to have someone fix it. The valve cover gasket is around $60 and the aluminum screws (if required) are about $27/set, then you're just looking at an afternoon's worth of work with the right tools.

I think you are right. The SA looked new. I think the tech probably told him that the valve cover needs to be replaced to change the sensor and he misunderstood that to mean the valvetronic motor seal. I had asked him a few times because it didn't appear logical or even necessary just looking at it.

I will probably just follow up and let him know so he has an idea. THere is a minimal amount of oil in the sensor. I am confident I can change it out if need be but I rather not do it until necessary.
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