Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog Tech Info Tech Forums
 
Follow Pelican Parts on Facebook Follow Pelican Parts on Twitter Follow Pelican Parts on Instagram Follow Pelican Parts on YouTube Follow Pelican Parts on Pinterest Follow Pelican Parts on Tumblr
  Search our site:    
View Recent Cars  |   Cart  | Project List | Order Status | Help    
 >  >
BMW E39 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement
 
Bookmark and Share

Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Oil Pan Gasket Replacement

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

5 hours5 hrs

Tab:

$50

Talent:

*****

Tools:

10mm, 13mm, 16mm, T12 Torx socket w/ratchets and extensions

Applicable Models:

BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Lower oil pan gasket, Upper oil pan gasket, cleaning solution, silicone

Hot Tip:

You do not have to drop the sub-frame all the way to remove the oil pan

Performance Gain:

Repair leaking oil pan

Complementary Modification:

Change oil pump if desired.

Please note that this article does not apply to the V8 M5.

You know how much you drive your car. It is not unusual for our cars to have between 100,000 and 200,000 miles on them. Over time your gaskets can dry out and start to leak. A small "sweat" can be acceptable but a dripping leak will ruin your garage floor and if left unchecked reduce the life of your engine. BMW uses a two level oil pan for serviceability. If your lower oil pan leaks you are in luck. If the leak is from the upper oil pan you have a decent size job ahead of you. Not impossible, just involved. In this tech article we will instruct you on how to remove your lower and upper oil pan so you can replace the upper and lower oil pan gasket.

To gain access to your oil pan you will need to jack up your front end and remove the lower engine splash shield. See our tech article on jacking up/supporting your vehicle and removing the lower engine splash shield.

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-This photo illustrates underneath the oil pan.
Figure 1

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-This photo illustrates underneath the oil pan. Remove the 17mm plug near the center of the lower oil pan to drain your engine oil. The longer you can let it drain the less of a mess when you take off the lower and upper oil pans.

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-Unplug the oil level sending unit from the harness of the car, or you can remove the oil level sending unit from the lower oil pan which is what we have chosen to do here.
Figure 2

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-Unplug the oil level sending unit from the harness of the car, or you can remove the oil level sending unit from the lower oil pan which is what we have chosen to do here.

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-Looking up at the oil pan remove the twenty five 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold on the lower oil pan.
Figure 3

Engine Lower Oil Pan V8-Looking up at the oil pan remove the twenty five 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold on the lower oil pan. Here we have removed the pan to give you a betterPicture of the fasteners that need to be removed. You may still have a tight seal between the lower oil pan gasket and the upper oil pan. You can use a prying tool to lever off the lower pan from the upper pan but be careful not to bend the mating surface of the lower oil pan. Clean the gasket surface of excessive sealant on the lower oil pan. Then clean the gasket surface of excessive sealant on the upper oil pan mating surface to the lower oil pan. If you are only replacing the lower pan gasket then installation is the reverse of the removal procedure. Fit the lower oil pan gasket to the lower oil pan with a thin layer of sealant. Then install the lower oil pan to the upper oil pan. Tighten down all the fasteners evenly. Fill the engine with oil and start the engine. Check for leaks while the car is running.

Upper Oil Pan-To access and remove the upper oil pan you will need to support the engine and drop the sub-frame.
Figure 4

Upper Oil Pan-To access and remove the upper oil pan you will need to support the engine and drop the sub-frame. You can use an engine support beam across the top of the engine compartment. Being you are probably a do-it-yourselfer you can perform this job by supporting the bell-housing of the transmission to support the engine and lower the sub-frame for access to the oil pan. This is the procedure we will follow. Use a block of wood and a jack to support the transmission bell-housing. This will hold the engine in place.

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the two 16mm fasteners that hold the engine motor mount bracket to the motor mount.
Figure 5

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the two 16mm fasteners that hold the engine motor mount bracket to the motor mount. Here the left side isPictured but you will also have to remove the right side one as well.

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the left side of the oil pan underneath the engine compartment.
Figure 6

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the left side of the oil pan underneath the engine compartment. Remove the 10mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the transmission cooler lines to a bracket on the side of the oil pan. You do not have to remove this bracket because it will come loose when you removed the oil pan but it will get in your way when you try to pull the oil pan down.

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the right side of the oil pan underneath the engine.
Figure 7

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the right side of the oil pan underneath the engine. Remove the battery cable from the spring clip bracket. Here the starter is removed for photographic purposes. You do not have to remove the starter but it does make it easier to remove the oil pan. See our tech article on removing the starter.

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking at the sub-frame from the bottom of the car.
Figure 8

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking at the sub-frame from the bottom of the car. Remove the front two 18mm sub-frame mounting bolts (green arrows) loosen the two middle two 18mm sub-frame mounting bolts (yellow arrows) and loosen the rear two 18mm sub-frame mounting bolts (purple arrows).

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking up at the opening for the lower oil pan.
Figure 9

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking up at the opening for the lower oil pan. Remove the nine upper oil pan mounting fasteners (green arrow) from the inside of the lower oil pan opening.

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates still looking in the opening for the lower oil pan.
Figure 10

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates still looking in the opening for the lower oil pan. Remove the three 10mm oil pump cover mounting fasteners (green arrows) from the opening in the upper oil pan.

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the 16mm oil pump chain gear fastener (green arrow) and the three 13mm mounting fasteners (yellow arrows).
Figure 11

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the 16mm oil pump chain gear fastener (green arrow) and the three 13mm mounting fasteners (yellow arrows). The third mounting screw is not pictured since it is on the back of the oil pump.

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the rear fastener (green arrow) from behind the oil pump and pull downward on the oil pump to separate it from the engine.
Figure 12

Upper Oil Pan-Remove the rear fastener (green arrow) from behind the oil pump and pull downward on the oil pump to separate it from the engine.

Upper Oil Pan-Start to remove the oil pan mounting fasteners (green arrow) in the lower oil pan opening and along the sides of the oil pan.
Figure 13

Upper Oil Pan-Start to remove the oil pan mounting fasteners (green arrow) in the lower oil pan opening and along the sides of the oil pan. Here only one fastener is pictured.

Upper Oil Pan-Here is aPicture of the oil pan removed from the engine.
Figure 14

Upper Oil Pan-Here is a picture of the oil pan removed from the engine. Locate all of the fasteners that you have not already removed (green arrows) along the sides of the oil pan. The four at the rear of the oil pan will be covered in the next picture.

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the car by the rear of the engine.
Figure 15

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates the car by the rear of the engine. Remove the four 10mm fasteners recessed in the transmission bell-housing (green arrows).

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking at the back of the transmission bell-housing.
Figure 16

Upper Oil Pan-This photo illustrates looking at the back of the transmission bell-housing. Remove the four T10 Torx fasteners (green arrows) that pass through the transmission bell-housing and mount the oil pan. One fastener is hidden by the transmission cooler lines (yellow arrow). Lever down on a corner of the oil pan to break the seal from the engine block if you need to and make sure you have all twenty eight fasteners removed before you do this. Clean the gasket surfaces on the oil pan itself before installing the new gasket.

Upper Oil Pan-Clean the gasket surface with a degreasing solvent to make sure there is no oil preventing a good seal of the upper oil pan gasket.
Figure 17

Upper Oil Pan-Clean the gasket surface with a degreasing solvent to make sure there is no oil preventing a good seal of the upper oil pan gasket. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the gasket to the upper oil pan and carefully position the upper oil pan into the block. Hold it on with a few fasteners on each end while you install the other fasteners. Do not tighten any off them until you have all of them threaded in, including the four recessed in the bell-housing, the nine inside the lower oil pan opening and the four T12 Torx sockets that come in sideways through the transmission bell-housing. Lower the engine onto the motor mounts and tighten the fasteners. Fit the transmission line bracket and the starter positive battery cable in its spring clip. Install the oil pump, drive gear and cover. Fit the lower oil pan gasket and oil pan fasteners. Fill the engine with oil and verify you do not have any leaks before starting the engine.

Bookmark and Share
Comments and Suggestions:
Rod Comments: I started the oil pan gasket project but looks like suspension parts are connected to the subframe. True?
December 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What vehicle are you working on? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Christian Comments: hello. when applying the sealant, is it applied on both sides of the gasket? and is it applied all the way around? I read somewhere, just in the corners. also, when tightening the bolts, what pattern do you use? front to back, or from middle working to outer ends. do you have torque settings for lower oil pan bolts on 1998 BMW 540i?
November 9, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The oil pan has a gasket, apply sealant only in areas of the timing cover seams or sharp points. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
danlau Comments: Hi, when replacing the oil pan gasket, it mention about applying a thin layer of sealant. What type/brand of sealant should I use.

Thanks,
Danlau
November 7, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The oil pan has a gasket, apply sealant only in areas of the timing cover seams or sharp points. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
danlau Comments: Hi, this is Daniel again. I don't seem to find the lower oil pan gasket in your catalog. Can you help please?
Thanks, Daniel
October 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Danlau Comments: Hi, I have a oil leak on my 2003 BMW 525i from below. Would you please tell me how to determine whether I should just change the lower pan gasket or both lower and upper.
Thanks, Daniel
October 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Clean the area of the leak, then run the engine monitoring the engine. Look for the area highest on the engine where the leak comes from. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ollie Comments: I tried to follow your instruction, but it is impossible to remove the upper oil pan without completly remove the subframe, only removing the front bolts and losen the middle and back bolts don´t give enough room for the upper oil pan to be slided out!
October 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This method worked for us. Try raising the engine a little with a hoist. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

  Search our site:    

View Cart & CheckOut | Project List | Order Status |  Help    

 

[Home] [Customer Service] [Shopping Cart] [Privacy Statement]
 [Contact Us] [About Us] [Shipping] [Map to our Location] [Careers]

Copyright © Pelican Parts Inc.

Page last updated: Fri 12/2/2016 02:04:41 AM