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      05-26-2014, 12:56 PM   #1
onthe3rdday
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DIY N52 Valve Cover Gasket replacement

Recently completed the Valve cover gasket and completed a DIY guide for work. Hope you guys who have leaking gaskets or broken valve cover bolts find it helpful.

N52 Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
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      06-01-2018, 07:37 AM   #2
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Followed both the FCPEuro and PelicanParts guides , and got stuck in a couple of spots, which could help out others.

Leaky VCG



Remove the Injector Wiring Harness before trying to remove the lower Valvetronic bolt, otherwise you don't have enough space for even the 1/4 ratchet bit.



You *must have* the 1/4" ETorx bit, a 3/8 will not work. I didn't have the right length extension, so used a U-Joint



For the bolt in the lower corner, I ended up unclipping the metal hose and using a long extension threaded behind it.



After removing all the bolts, I still couldn't figure out how people got the Valve Cover off, as the plastic wiper shield didn't give enough clearance.





Asetoy2nr has a great howto to loosen the wiper shield and get the extra space required: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=839337

The 15 mins it takes to loosen the wiper shield is well worth it to save your sanity. Once you've got the extra room, removing/replacing the Valve Cover becomes much easier.

I was impressed how clean the engine was, despite being at 150k kms





The old VCG was very hard and crusty.



Noticed the braided ground cable on the passenger side was broken. Apparently it isn't the ground cable, but an "Interference Suppression Band"

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      06-01-2018, 09:32 AM   #3
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Great tips, very helpful as I’m preparing to replace my valve cover.
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      06-05-2018, 06:57 AM   #4
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Wow, congrats! I really like DIY methods, but am too afraid to try them on mechanic part of my Hornet. I only tried some things with the look, but also nothing very invasive. Maybe I should be bolder.

Regards,
Mary
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      06-12-2018, 06:26 PM   #5
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Since this old thread has been revived already....

What are some other things one should consider when doing the Valve Cover Gasket, or even the Oil Filter Housing Gasket?

I've heard possibly the valvetronic motor gasket, and also the Eccentric Shaft Sensor (but that's quite a pricey part to replace if it isn't faulty... no?)

Others?
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      06-13-2018, 05:51 AM   #6
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I would strongly recommend doing the eccentric shaft sensor. Its an extremely common failure.
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      06-13-2018, 07:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanspeak View Post
I would strongly recommend doing the eccentric shaft sensor. Its an extremely common failure.
Common failure sure, but wouldn't I have symptoms if it failed? Not thrilled at dropping several hundred for a part that's still functional.
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      06-15-2018, 03:27 AM   #8
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I wouldn't bother replacing the sensor unless you find oil it.

I did replace all of the spark plugs (had ~150k kms), spark plug tubes and gaskets (Valvetronic, ESS, VCG), since they're cheap and seem to have a habit of going brittle.
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      06-15-2018, 06:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagaer View Post
I wouldn't bother replacing the sensor unless you find oil it.

I did replace all of the spark plugs (had ~150k kms), spark plug tubes and gaskets (Valvetronic, ESS, VCG), since they're cheap and seem to have a habit of going brittle.
Thx. I did plugs and coils last year, so for now my plan is:
VCG
OFHG
ESS Seal
Valvetronic Gasket

thank you!
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      06-15-2018, 06:51 PM   #10
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I so need to do this job like forever!!! I do have a couple of broken bolts too...
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      06-20-2018, 06:33 PM   #11
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Since folks are reading this thread...Is it possible to use a 2006 N52 metal valve cover on a 2007 N52?

I have a 2007 E91 which is on its 3rd valve cover and gasket. I'm curious if I can buy a valve cover from a local parts car, and use that and a new gasket on my 2007. Instead of the plastic $450 part, which may fail again, I'll spend $100 and be able to replace future gaskets easily. Thanks in advance!
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      06-21-2018, 11:29 AM   #12
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Follow-up question - for those of you with a 2007+ N52, do you think most people are replacing the gasket ($50) or the full cover ($450)? Thanks!
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      08-22-2018, 10:04 PM   #13
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I am going to attempt to revive this thread as I am planning on replacing the valve cover on my e82 n52 over the long labor day weekend. The 128i has 90k miles on her. She is has been a really good car.

The car seems to run just fine, I have had 0 indication the Eccentric shaft sensor is going bad. However, when I placed the plugs and coils in the beginning of the year, there was oil in spark plug #3 and #4. The VC is definitely leaking. I am not sure whether there is oil on the eccentric shaft sensor. I dont have the special tools for the valvetronic motor so I plan on studying the DIY on rotating the thing properly.

After hours of research I have a couple of last minute questions.

1. Should I replace the eccentric shaft sensor while I am in there even though there is no indication the sensor is failing?
2. Should I replace the spark plug tubes after I pull them out? I am planning on purchasing snap-ring pliers this week in order to remove the tubes.

Any advice will be much appreciated!

Thank you,
Raz
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      08-23-2018, 08:18 AM   #14
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1. The ECC isn't cheap, so I wouldn't replace it unless there is visible oil in the sensor itself.
2. The spark plug tubes are cheap (couple bucks each), and would replace them. I used snap ring pliers as well, but wasn't able to get #2 or 6 out without bending the tube. For the price, I'd have at least a couple of them on hand just in case.
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      08-23-2018, 02:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz108 View Post
I am going to attempt to revive this thread as I am planning on replacing the valve cover on my e82 n52 over the long labor day weekend. The 128i has 90k miles on her. She is has been a really good car.

The car seems to run just fine, I have had 0 indication the Eccentric shaft sensor is going bad. However, when I placed the plugs and coils in the beginning of the year, there was oil in spark plug #3 and #4. The VC is definitely leaking. I am not sure whether there is oil on the eccentric shaft sensor. I dont have the special tools for the valvetronic motor so I plan on studying the DIY on rotating the thing properly.

After hours of research I have a couple of last minute questions.

1. Should I replace the eccentric shaft sensor while I am in there even though there is no indication the sensor is failing?
2. Should I replace the spark plug tubes after I pull them out? I am planning on purchasing snap-ring pliers this week in order to remove the tubes.

Any advice will be much appreciated!

Thank you,
Raz
Just about to tackle this myself.
1) It's about $200 from BavAuto (FCU just went up to $299). So yes, not cheap...but...if you have high milage, just consider this: It's going to be about 4 hours to do this job (more if it's your first time); do you really want to go back in there? Valvetronic you might say the same thing, but at least that's outside the VC. I do love how the replacement VCs have all the new gaskets in place though.

2)The spark plug tubes are, as mentioned above, very cheap ~$3-4, so replace them. They are also single-use only per BMW, so it's one of those things that's worth buying based on the low cost. They also can be easily bent/deformed, so even in shipping, you may not get a perfect set.

Ultimately it's your time and nickel, but just some food for thought.
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      08-24-2018, 12:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater328 View Post
Just about to tackle this myself.
1) It's about $200 from BavAuto (FCU just went up to $299). So yes, not cheap...but...if you have high milage, just consider this: It's going to be about 4 hours to do this job (more if it's your first time); do you really want to go back in there? Valvetronic you might say the same thing, but at least that's outside the VC. I do love how the replacement VCs have all the new gaskets in place though.

2)The spark plug tubes are, as mentioned above, very cheap ~$3-4, so replace them. They are also single-use only per BMW, so it's one of those things that's worth buying based on the low cost. They also can be easily bent/deformed, so even in shipping, you may not get a perfect set.

Ultimately it's your time and nickel, but just some food for thought.
Thank you to everyone who responded. My brother has a shop in Colorado, I confirmed I can order parts and return if necessary. Hopefully this will keep my cost somewhat low. I am going to order to the eccentric shaft sensor and keep it on hand if I find there to be oil. Moreover, since I hardly know anything about it, is this sensor a common failure on these motors? A lot of the decision of replacing this sensor comes down to - while I am in there... mentality.

Secondly, in regards to removing the negative terminal on the battery. Once I re-connect it after the job is completed, would I need to flash the system?

I ask this because when I had my local shop replace the battery, they said they had to flash the system costing me another hour of extraordinary labor...

I am glad the valve cover comes in a kit with all the gaskets, bolts, and the valvetronic gasket. I am not too sure about the latter, I am ordering an additional one to have on hand and have the option to return if it comes in the kit.

I want this job to be as seamless as I can possibly make it. I want to avoid running around town in the middle of the job to NAPA hoping they have something available.

I still need to purchase a 30mm 1/4 torx socket, 4mm allen socket, snap ring pliers, and a deep socket 10mm and 12mm. That should be it.

Once again - Thank you for all the advice.

Raz
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      08-24-2018, 12:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raz108 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluewater328 View Post
Just about to tackle this myself.
1) It's about $200 from BavAuto (FCU just went up to $299). So yes, not cheap...but...if you have high milage, just consider this: It's going to be about 4 hours to do this job (more if it's your first time); do you really want to go back in there? Valvetronic you might say the same thing, but at least that's outside the VC. I do love how the replacement VCs have all the new gaskets in place though.

2)The spark plug tubes are, as mentioned above, very cheap ~$3-4, so replace them. They are also single-use only per BMW, so it's one of those things that's worth buying based on the low cost. They also can be easily bent/deformed, so even in shipping, you may not get a perfect set.

Ultimately it's your time and nickel, but just some food for thought.
Thank you to everyone who responded. My brother has a shop in Colorado, I confirmed I can order parts and return if necessary. Hopefully this will keep my cost somewhat low. I am going to order to the eccentric shaft sensor and keep it on hand if I find there to be oil. Moreover, since I hardly know anything about it, is this sensor a common failure on these motors? A lot of the decision of replacing this sensor comes down to - while I am in there... mentality.

Secondly, in regards to removing the negative terminal on the battery. Once I re-connect it after the job is completed, would I need to flash the system?

I ask this because when I had my local shop replace the battery, they said they had to flash the system costing me another hour of extraordinary labor...

I am glad the valve cover comes in a kit with all the gaskets, bolts, and the valvetronic gasket. I am not too sure about the latter, I am ordering an additional one to have on hand and have the option to return if it comes in the kit.

I want this job to be as seamless as I can possibly make it. I want to avoid running around town in the middle of the job to NAPA hoping they have something available.

I still need to purchase a 30mm 1/4 torx socket, 4mm allen socket, snap ring pliers, and a deep socket 10mm and 12mm. That should be it.

Once again - Thank you for all the advice.

Raz
Definitely in the kit...
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      08-24-2018, 09:03 AM   #18
Raz108
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Thanks! Any advice on disconnecting the battery? Never mind, I found the following thread to be quite helpful with disconnecting the negative terminal.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=536112

Last edited by Raz108; 08-24-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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      09-01-2018, 09:03 PM   #19
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Since I used this as my resource when doing this job, I want to post the following link as a cross post. I expressed my thoughts on the job because I saw the post when I was in the middle of the job and quite pissed.

https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show...1530577&page=2

The above post discusses certain parts of this job that are worth noting. Hopefully it's easy for the next person to find these posts.

Cheers.
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      09-04-2018, 03:10 PM   #20
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Thank you to all who contributed -- banged this out this weekend. I wouldn't say it's a totally straightforward affair, but it can be done. Just make sure to plug everything back in.

(MANY REITERATED) TIPS:
I replaced the ESS while I was in there, pretty easy. But for removal, and install, try screwing in the bottom bolt about halfway. Gives you more clearance to maneuver it into place/out of the slot. I now have a working, but used ESS as a backup or to sell -- but I didn't want to go back in there soon.

For the valvetronic motor, I turned to right before removal until I felt tension. Turned a little as I was backing out, but it popped out. Don't forget to leave the two screws to the VC slightly attached just before you release the bottom screw. Then hold, remove two VC screws and back out with the bit counterclockwise.

To reinstall, I just threaded clockwise until I felt some resistance and the action pulled the motor into place against the gasket. Screw the bolts in and you're done. Some have mentioned trying the angle the threads into place as they inserted the Vavetronic motor -- I didn't do this, but use your best judgement if it popped out. My understanding is most people are worried about it popping out and dropping rather than it popping out and being improperly set (or damaging something on the way out). That said, don't forget they key relearn. I had INPA but it wasn't necessary to go back in. No codes for me.

Use the windshield wiper cowl semi-removal technique and throw one of your old spark plug sleeves in the space to hold it up. I've seen someone suggest trimming a piece off the metal where the cowl rubber trim is normally located (since you won't see it when you replace the rubber trim). Up to you, but we're talking Subaru-level clearances to get that back corner off/on, so you may want to give yourself as much clearance as you can.

Also trimming that tab of the electrical wiring box as it could make a difference (and not affect any functionality).

I believe it's commonly mentioned now, but remove the black cable (with the red sleeve point) from it's grounding point on the passenger strut tower as this releases the cable space the most. Easy to put back, too.

Use the Permaseal on at least the back area of the VC gasket to keep the gasket in place while you're cursing and trying to get the VC over the lifters. It just might clip something...and reinserting by touch while you're holding the VC (or backing the VC back all the way to start over) is a PIA. You don't need a lot and some have suggested just a few key spot areas near the back and corners (think like TIG welding) -- don't forget to let it sit and dry.

Pics: Obviously the leak got into the spark plug area a little, bit thankfully no pooling of oil.
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