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BMW E39 Valve Cover Gasket Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 Valve Cover Gasket Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

****

Tools:

T30 Torx, 10mm, 19mm socket with ratchet

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan/Wagon (2001-03)
BMW 528i Sedan/Wagon (1997-00)
BMW 530i Sedan (2001-03)
BMW 540i Sedan/Wagon (1997-03)

Parts Required:

Positive jump post, valve cover, valve cover gasket

Hot Tip:

Work on a cold engine

Performance Gain:

Repair leaking valve cover gasket

Complementary Modification:

Change the spark plugs at the same time

In order for an engine to function, it needs engine oil to lubricate reciprocating parts. This means engine covers need to have seals to prevent engine oil from leaking out. One of the most common jobs to perform is the valve cover gasket replacement. BMW uses a rubber seal to form the valve cover gasket. This seal can shrink as a result of the heat cycles the engine generates as the car is used. This will allow engine oil that is thinner from engine heat to seep past the seal. In this tech article we will go over all the steps to replace the valve cover gasket.

In order to remove the valve cover gaskets you will need to remove the ignition coils. See our tech article on ignition coil removal. It will also help to remove the engine wiring housing. You can see how to remove these housings by reading the procedure on removing the intake manifold. In the photos you will notice the intake manifold has been removed. You do not have to remove the intake manifold. It was removed for photographic purposes.

6-Cylinder Engine - Working at center of the valve cover, remove 8mm nut and ground strap from valve cover fastener (green arrow).
Figure 1

6-Cylinder Engine - Working at center of the valve cover, remove 8mm nut and ground strap from valve cover fastener (green arrow).

6-Cylinder Engine - Unclip ignition coil wiring harness from valve cover by pulling up and remove from engine (green arrow).
Figure 2

6-Cylinder Engine - Unclip ignition coil wiring harness from valve cover by pulling up and remove from engine (green arrow). Once unclipped, lay on left side of engine out of your way.

6-Cylinder Engine - Next, pull oxygen sensor electrical connectors out of holder and lay aside (green arrows).
Figure 3

6-Cylinder Engine - Next, pull oxygen sensor electrical connectors out of holder and lay aside (green arrows). Then remove secondary air vacuum hose from holder and lay aside.

6-Cylinder Engine - Remove fifteen 10mm valve cover fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 4

6-Cylinder Engine - Remove fifteen 10mm valve cover fasteners (green arrows).

6-Cylinder Engine - Lift valve cover off cylinder head.
Figure 5

6-Cylinder Engine - Lift valve cover off cylinder head. It should not be stuck to cylinder head, if it is stuck, check that you didnÂÂ't miss a fastener.

6-Cylinder Engine - Once the valve cover has been removed, pull valve cover gasket out of valve cover.
Figure 6

6-Cylinder Engine - Once the valve cover has been removed, pull valve cover gasket out of valve cover. Then thoroughly clean valve cover sealing groove. Remove sealing grommets from valve cover fasteners and replace with new. Install new valve cover gasket into sealing groove in valve cover.

6-Cylinder Engine - Then apply a small amount of RTV to seams at VANOS actuator (green arrows) and cylinder head.
Figure 7

6-Cylinder Engine - Then apply a small amount of RTV to seams at VANOS actuator (green arrows) and cylinder head. Place valve cover on cylinder head and install all fasteners finger tight. Then tighten fasteners in a cross-cross pattern. Reinstall ignition coils and install and route wiring harness as previously installed. Start and idle engine, inspect valve cover and surrounding areas for oil leaks. Once complete, reinstall engine covers.

8-Cylinder Engine - This photo illustrates the front of the left side valve cover, on top remove the 19mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the positive jumper terminal to the valve cover.
Figure 8

8-Cylinder Engine - This photo illustrates the front of the left side valve cover, on top remove the 19mm fastener (green arrow) that holds the positive jumper terminal to the valve cover.

8-Cylinder Engine - Remove the two T30 Torx fasteners that hold the insulating bracket for the positive jumper terminal to the valve cover.
Figure 9

8-Cylinder Engine - Remove the two T30 Torx fasteners that hold the insulating bracket for the positive jumper terminal to the valve cover.

8-Cylinder Engine - Working at the left side valve cover remove the eleven 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the valve cover onto the engine.
Figure 10

8-Cylinder Engine - Working at the left side valve cover remove the eleven 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the valve cover onto the engine.

8-Cylinder Engine - Working at the right side valve cover remove the eleven 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the valve cover onto the engine.
Figure 11

8-Cylinder Engine - Working at the right side valve cover remove the eleven 10mm fasteners (green arrows) that hold the valve cover onto the engine.

8-Cylinder Engine - These fasteners have studs between the 10mm cap and the valve cover.
Figure 12

8-Cylinder Engine - These fasteners have studs between the 10mm cap and the valve cover. Sometimes the stud stays inside the cylinder head (green arrow) sometimes the stud will be removed with the 10mm cap (yellow arrow). Be mindful of this during installation.

8-Cylinder Engine - Lift the left side engine valve cover off of the cylinder head.
Figure 13

8-Cylinder Engine - Lift the left side engine valve cover off of the cylinder head.

8-Cylinder Engine - Lift the right side engine valve cover off of the cylinder head.
Figure 14

8-Cylinder Engine - Lift the right side engine valve cover off of the cylinder head.

8-Cylinder Engine - Clean the surfaces of the left side the valve cover gasket rests on (red arrow) of any contaminants.
Figure 15

8-Cylinder Engine - Clean the surfaces of the left side the valve cover gasket rests on (red arrow) of any contaminants. Someone has applied silicone to the valve cover gasket surface but this is not necessary with a new valve cover gasket

8-Cylinder Engine - Also clean the right side valve cover gasket surface (red arrow) on the cylinder head to prepare for installation.
Figure 16

8-Cylinder Engine - Also clean the right side valve cover gasket surface (red arrow) on the cylinder head to prepare for installation.

8-Cylinder Engine - Flip over the valve cover and remove the inner and outer valve cover gaskets.
Figure 17

8-Cylinder Engine - Flip over the valve cover and remove the inner and outer valve cover gaskets. Clean the valve cover gasket of any oil and prepare it for installation. Installation is the reverse the installation procedure. Fit the new gasket on both valve covers and place the valve covers on the cylinder heads. Tighten down the fasteners and verify the gasket is sitting properly on the cylinder head. Install the positive jump terminal to the left side valve cover and secure both the mounting bolts and positive terminal nut in place.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:06:36 AM