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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Powertrain and Drivetrain Discussions > N55 Turbo Engine Tuning and Exhaust Modifications - 335i Tuning > How concerning is this? Findings During Valve Cover Job



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      11-30-2020, 07:38 PM   #1
svagusta
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How concerning is this? Findings During Valve Cover Job

Owned my car about 1 year now but have barely driven or paid attention to it. Oil leak from valve cover gasket became ridiculous so finally got around to attempting this DIY and am trying to see what I can learn about the condition of my engine. Car is FBO with PS2 and meth kit and 90k on odo, and I expect has seen plenty of abuse in the past.

I'm certainly no expert under the hood so hoping you guys can help me learn.

What I found that's potentially concerning....
-[pic1] Not sure what this is called, but the metal shield above the exhaust camshaft has some cracks where you can see tiny pools of oil
---Possibly due to excessive heat? Something to be worried about?

-Cyls 3 & 4
--- [pic3] Buildup on Intake Camshaft: Not sure if this is a problem but havent noticed this on any other pictures of N55s

---Decent amount of gunk in the injector wells of cyl 3 & 4 - no liquid/oil though. The blocking plate is missing a bolt which seems like it could be a cause (not sealing out dirt from engine bay)
--- [pic4] some sort of weight installed on the valve cover between cyl 3 & 4
---Not sure what the purpose of this is, have not noticed this on anyone elses valve cover, but looks like valve cover is designed to accommodate one or two of these after cyl 3 or 4.

Also discovered someone had already attempted to replace the valve cover gasket and left me some problems...
-[pic2] Old Valve cover is missing plastic piece that is prone to breaking off. Positive I didnt do this when removing. Was able to get the cover off pretty easy. Checked all around the head just to make sure and I dont see it anywhere
-PCV Hose already had 4th/bottom clip broken
---Haven't noticed any issue, might replace at some point but seems to be ok with just 3 clips
-Also have a broken bolt to try to extract - the one closest to boost solenoid.

One bit of good news is the VANOS bolts that are prone to shearing look good, all appear to be fully seated still.
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      12-03-2020, 11:13 AM   #2
bbnks2
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pretty much all non-issues...

Gunk? change the oil every 2500 miles for 2-3 changes. that should clean the engine up a bit but at 100k+ miles there is going to be some build-up. I took a part a 60k engine that looked like it had never had an oil change... sludge everywhere.

The valve cover bolt you can pick out with a pick. should thread out very easily unless they cross threaded it. If that's the case, drill it out. Then tap to the next size up. Easy fix. You probably don't even need that bolt to keep the valve-cover sealed anyway. Just check for leaks after reinstalling.

Missing injector well bolt - nonissue. Go to the hardware store and match up to one of the other injector well bolts and replace it.

superficial cracking is actually just from the casting and is normal. You'll see it on the oil pan and exterior of the engine itself as well. This shit is moulded in sand.

Last edited by bbnks2; 12-03-2020 at 11:21 AM..
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      12-03-2020, 05:05 PM   #3
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Appreciate the reply! I'm pretty new to working on cars so it's good to get some reassurance.

Regarding broken bolt, I've seen a pick mentioned in several other threads as a possible solution but I'm not sure I understand what exactly I'm picking at on the bolt? Trying to pry the edges up? Or digging into it and trying to spin it counterclockwise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbnks2 View Post
pretty much all non-issues...

Gunk? change the oil every 2500 miles for 2-3 changes. that should clean the engine up a bit but at 100k+ miles there is going to be some build-up. I took a part a 60k engine that looked like it had never had an oil change... sludge everywhere.

The valve cover bolt you can pick out with a pick. should thread out very easily unless they cross threaded it. If that's the case, drill it out. Then tap to the next size up. Easy fix. You probably don't even need that bolt to keep the valve-cover sealed anyway. Just check for leaks after reinstalling.

Missing injector well bolt - nonissue. Go to the hardware store and match up to one of the other injector well bolts and replace it.

superficial cracking is actually just from the casting and is normal. You'll see it on the oil pan and exterior of the engine itself as well. This shit is moulded in sand.
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      12-03-2020, 05:17 PM   #4
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Dig in and try to turn counterclockwise.
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      12-04-2020, 04:02 PM   #5
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Is that a broken bolt in the first photo?
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      12-10-2020, 02:14 PM   #6
svagusta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
Is that a broken bolt in the first photo?
Yes, couldnt get that one out with a pick or screw extractor so had to drill it out. Other broken bolt came out fairly easy with an extractor.
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      12-19-2020, 04:58 PM   #7
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Got everything put back together and started her up but didn't get cyl 1 fuel line tight enough and had some gas spill out. Tightened it up and stopped the leak, wiped everything down and went for a quick spin around the block.

Didn't make it out of the alley before trouble hit. Apparently some gas found its way down into the spark plug wells of cyl 1 & 2 and popped the coils off the plugs. So the rubber coil boots are deformed and now I gotta buy new coils.

But there is still some gas down in the wells and I can't seem to get it. Anybody have a clever idea? Would pulling the spark plug and letting the fuel drop in be a bad idea?

Also when I was driving the car obviously cyl 1 & 2 were not firing once the coils broke but the transmission was going crazy too - the car kept violently shifting constantly between 1-2-3 even though I was maintaining speed of only like 10mph. I put it in M mode to try and force it to stay in gear, but the car still kept changing gears on its own.
I dont think I've ever heard of this before.
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      12-28-2020, 10:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svagusta View Post
Got everything put back together and started her up but didn't get cyl 1 fuel line tight enough and had some gas spill out. Tightened it up and stopped the leak, wiped everything down and went for a quick spin around the block.

Didn't make it out of the alley before trouble hit. Apparently some gas found its way down into the spark plug wells of cyl 1 & 2 and popped the coils off the plugs. So the rubber coil boots are deformed and now I gotta buy new coils.

But there is still some gas down in the wells and I can't seem to get it. Anybody have a clever idea? Would pulling the spark plug and letting the fuel drop in be a bad idea?

Also when I was driving the car obviously cyl 1 & 2 were not firing once the coils broke but the transmission was going crazy too - the car kept violently shifting constantly between 1-2-3 even though I was maintaining speed of only like 10mph. I put it in M mode to try and force it to stay in gear, but the car still kept changing gears on its own.
I dont think I've ever heard of this before.
Shop towel if youre concerned about the fuel being in the well (if you don't have access to shop / compressed air).

I would not personally let any amount of liquid into my cyl period. However, this probably wouldn't be any real issue.... depends on how much is there. Hydrolock is real and can sometimes simply result in "nothing" (showing itself in a slightly bent connecting rod) all the way up to a snapped rod and/or pissed off rotating assembly.

That said, my comments are based on absolutely no real information about how much fuel there actually is. Again, I'd just use shop towels to clean it up. Maybe rinse it after, then shop towel it again.


Also
Pic 1 - Top right is due to the cover being cast (non-issue). Lower shows snapped bolt. Fix the snapped bolt. When re-installing, I prefer using anti sneeze.
Pic 2 - Non issue, this is a drain.
Pic 3 - Non issue, this is a portion of a non-critical surface and is also below the drain in pic 2. You're just seeing wetter oil. Maybe use a better oil if you want an engine you could eat off of when disassembled. Also, not sure of what the hole is that you circled.
Pic 4 - Non issue, just clean the part off.

Last edited by anjuna; 12-28-2020 at 10:21 AM..
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