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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N54 Turbo Engine / Drivetrain / Exhaust Modifications - 335i > N54 Valve Cover Removal, can not pull screws all the way out?



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      08-18-2019, 02:58 AM   #1
Fallenangel123
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N54 Valve Cover Removal, can not pull screws all the way out?

Hey guys,

I am currently in the process of changing out my valve cover as it is cracked. How ever reading the ECS guide it states to pull the screws out all the way with the washers. I have pulled out 12 / 28 so far.

The rest will not budge, they are in too tight spaces to properly grip and pull out. Do all these need to come out or am I okay to try and lift the valve cover?

They have all been loosened as much as they will go, I just don't want these popping out and flying all over the engine bay as I lift the valve cover up

Thanks
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      08-18-2019, 04:12 AM   #2
Koolsilver
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As long as they are loosened fully you don't need to take them out fully. They are usually held in pretty tight with the rubber bushing but just watch for any of them trying to fall out.
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      08-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #3
nissubaru
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I don't think you need to pull them all the way out, just enough that they don't accidentally thread back into the block. There are so many screws, it would help to have a second hand, although not necessary, just to make sure all the screws are pulled up as you're lifting the valve cover off. I remember I would have like 95% lifted up but one or two screws would somehow get caught.
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      08-18-2019, 10:36 AM   #4
Fallenangel123
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Thanks guys, I am having real trouble getting the Valve cover off. It is really stuck on.
I am worried about prying it off as I do not want to damage the mating surface.

What is the best way to get this off? I have tried a rubber mallet, but still getting no movement.
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      08-18-2019, 11:37 AM   #5
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If you have some screws that won't come all the way out, you can wrap a small amount of masking tape under the head of the screw to hold it up so that the threads don't drop down and engage the threads in the head while you are trying to pop the cover loose.

You can pry between the head and the valve cover as long as you keep your pry bar outside of the gasket sealing surface. You can see where the raised gasket stands proud of the valve cover which leaves ~2 mm gap between the head and plastic valve cover. As long as you don't mar the head where the gasket makes contact, you are ok.



In the image below, on the upper left corner of the photo, which is actually near the oil filter housing, you can see the gasket runs in that groove inside that upper corner screw. This is where you can get some leverage with a pry bar wedged between the valve cover and head.

Also, I count 31 screws holding the valve cover down, not 28.

A key point: DON'T FORGET TO REMOVE THE THREE (3) GROUND STUDS NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE VALVE COVER THAT SERVE AS THE GROUNDING POINT FOR THE FUEL INJECTORS. This is where you need an extra deep 10mm socket to reach over the top of the grounding stud. Even with a deep socket, you still may not be able to fully insert your 3/8" ratchet into the end of the socket and still engage the 10 mm hex nut down at the face of the cover. This is ok because not much torque is required to remove/install the grounding studs.


Last edited by arkie6; 08-18-2019 at 11:48 AM..
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      08-18-2019, 02:31 PM   #6
Fallenangel123
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Thank you, yes all 31 screws I should say are loose. I have tried again with out prying and have a little wiggle. I have ordered some plastic trim removal pieces, and hopefully these will help get it all the way out. Hopefully they fit in the gap as it is tight next to the oil filter housing unit.
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      08-18-2019, 02:38 PM   #7
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Also is it worth getting a new set of screws for the new valve cover? Given that the vehicle is almost 10 years old now?
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      08-18-2019, 03:16 PM   #8
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If you bought a new valve cover it should come with all of the screws and the gasket I thought
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      08-18-2019, 04:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallenangel123 View Post
Also is it worth getting a new set of screws for the new valve cover? Given that the vehicle is almost 10 years old now?
Not in my opinion if you are just replacing the gasket. These steel screws have very little stress applied. But if you are replacing the entire valve cover, I think it comes with new screws.
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      08-18-2019, 10:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallenangel123 View Post
Also is it worth getting a new set of screws for the new valve cover? Given that the vehicle is almost 10 years old now?
Yes. Get the kit with the screws, gasket, and cover included. The pcv ports in the old valve cover will be clogged with carbon, so you want to replace the entire cover any time you are doing this job, don't just replace the gasket. Also don't cheap out and buy an off brand vc, folks on here have had issues with a couple off-brand versions. Finally, replace the pcv hose and your pcv valve with an upgraded rb pcv. Also a great time to replace your vacuum lines that plug into your wastegates and any other lines in that vicinity.
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      08-19-2019, 10:13 AM   #11
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So I got this out with the help of a plastic trim removal tool. When removing the back portion of the valve cover as it came off I heard something fall of and clank on metal.

I counted the screws on the valve cover and they are all there. Does anyone have any idea what this could have been? I am always paranoid of stuff falling in the engine gah!

I have shined a torch around the area and can not see anything obvious!
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      08-19-2019, 11:23 AM   #12
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So it was one of the cable clips that sits on the side that fell down. It sounds like it hit the heatshield and then landed. Will have a poke around with a magnetic wand and see if I can pull it out. Thanks for the help everyone!
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      08-20-2019, 11:59 AM   #13
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How clean does the surface that the gasket goes on need to be? I have wiped off all loose oil with a lint free micro fibre cloth. But there are still marks / stains on the surface where the gasket was sat in some places. Is this okay or is there something I can use to clean this off?
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      08-20-2019, 01:10 PM   #14
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If you can feel it, I would remove it. Spray on gasket removers and plastic scrapers are available at auto parts stores to remove this baked on gasket material without damaging the metal sealing surface.
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      08-20-2019, 01:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arkie6 View Post
If you can feel it, I would remove it. Spray on gasket removers and plastic scrapers are available at auto parts stores to remove this baked on gasket material without damaging the metal sealing surface.
The gasket has come off, it is more like dried up oil / oil stains

I see some people using brake cleaner, and others rubbing alcohol

Are these safe to use on the engine mating surface?
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      08-20-2019, 03:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallenangel123 View Post
How clean does the surface that the gasket goes on need to be? I have wiped off all loose oil with a lint free micro fibre cloth. But there are still marks / stains on the surface where the gasket was sat in some places. Is this okay or is there something I can use to clean this off?
Some marks will remain, if it's not something you can pick at with your fingernail and rubbing it real good with a rag doesn't take it off I'd say you're good.
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      08-20-2019, 07:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nissubaru View Post
Some marks will remain, if it's not something you can pick at with your fingernail and rubbing it real good with a rag doesn't take it off I'd say you're good.
Thank you for the confirmation!
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      08-21-2019, 08:47 AM   #18
Fallenangel123
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So there is a little more residue I would like to get off, what do you guys recommend. Brake cleaner okay to use on the mating surface?
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      08-21-2019, 08:58 AM   #19
nissubaru
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallenangel123 View Post
So there is a little more residue I would like to get off, what do you guys recommend. Brake cleaner okay to use on the mating surface?
That's what I used.
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      08-21-2019, 03:17 PM   #20
Fallenangel123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nissubaru View Post
That's what I used.
Thanks for confirmation. I have used a touch of brake cleaner to get it as clean as I could. This is what it looks like now

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