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BMW E39 PCV System Removal
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E39 PCV System Removal

Kerry Jonsson

Time:

8 hours8 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

*****

Tools:

T27 Torx bit, pliers, pick, air compressor with blow tip

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:

Intake manifold, intake manifold gasket, driver side valve cover

Hot Tip:

On both six and eight cylinder engines remove the intake manifold.

Performance Gain:

Engine smoking due to clogged oil return passages.

Complementary Modification:

Replace intake gaskets and multiple O-Rings.

Every internal combustion engine produces "blow-by" as compression leaks past the piston's sealing rings. High mileage engine may produce more of these crankcase gases. These gases have harmful emissions and cannot be allowed to pass into the atmosphere. These gases are recirculated by being drawn into the intake of the engine through a PCV system. Crankcase gases are sent to an oil separator which allows liquid oil to drain back to the oil pan and allow only the crankcase gases to continue through the valve into the intake system.

When a six cylinder PCV valve goes bad it can generate a whistling noise under acceleration or deceleration. On the eight cylinder engines the PCV system is broken up into two parts. If you have blue smoke coming out of you tailpipe you may have a clogged oil separator valve. If you have a vacuum leak you may have a bad PCV valve. The oil separator valve is mounted in the timing cover on the driver side bank. It draws in crankcase gases and spins them around in a cyclone. The heavier oil sticks to the side of the separator and drains back to the oil pan through a tube. The crankcase gases are directed through a tube under the intake manifold to the back plate of the manifold. A valve in the back plate opens and closes allowing crankcase gasses in when manifold vacuum is high. You can replace the back plate and the gasket with the intake manifold still on the vehicle but we have removed it for photographic purposes.

In this tech article we will show you how to service these components on both the six and eight cylinder engines. In order to service these components you will need to remove the intake manifold on both six and eight cylinder engines and the lower oil pan only on the eight cylinder model. See our tech articles on removing these components before starting this procedure.

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-With the intake manifold removed from the engine turn it to face the crankcase breather valve.
Figure 1

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-With the intake manifold removed from the engine turn it to face the crankcase breather valve. Squeeze the locking tabs on the large hose that was connected to the valve cover and remove the hose from the crankcase breather valve.

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-On the outside of the manifold remove the three 10mm fasteners that hold the crankcase breather valve to the mounting bracket on the intake manifold.
Figure 2

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-On the outside of the manifold remove the three 10mm fasteners that hold the crankcase breather valve to the mounting bracket on the intake manifold. The two lower fasteners have already been removed in the picture.

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-Pull the crankcase breather valve out of the intake manifold by pulling it in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 3

Crankcase Breather Valve Six Cylinder Engine-Pull the crankcase breather valve out of the intake manifold by pulling it in the direction of the blue arrow. Installation is the reverse if he removal steps. Fit the crankcase breather valve into the intake manifold and make sure it is fully seated. Install and tighten the three fasteners that hold it on to the bracket. Fit the crankcase breather hose onto the bottom half of the crankcase breather valve. Install the intake manifold as outlined in its tech article.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-If your tail pipe is smoking a lot you can remove the clip and push the pipe (green arrow) and move it forward in the direction of the blue arrow.
Figure 4

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-If your tail pipe is smoking a lot you can remove the clip and push the pipe (green arrow) and move it forward in the direction of the blue arrow. Plug the hole on the PCV plate and start the engine. See if the blue smoke goes away after a while. If it does you have a clogged oil separator valve.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Starting at the back of the intake manifold remove the seven T27 Torx fasteners (green arrows) that hold the back plate onto the intake manifold.
Figure 5

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Starting at the back of the intake manifold remove the seven T27 Torx fasteners (green arrows) that hold the back plate onto the intake manifold. In our case someone has replace some of the mounting fasteners with 10mm fasteners (yellow arrows).

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Remove the plate from the back of the intake manifold.
Figure 6

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Remove the plate from the back of the intake manifold.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Use a pick to remove the PCV plate gasket from the groove in the intake manifold.
Figure 7

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Use a pick to remove the PCV plate gasket from the groove in the intake manifold.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-If you are only replacing the PCV plate gasket and not the PCV valve itself then use a pick to pry off the O-ring that the tube slips over and replace it.
Figure 8

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-If you are only replacing the PCV plate gasket and not the PCV valve itself then use a pick to pry off the O-ring that the tube slips over and replace it.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-This photo illustrates the driver side cylinder head under the intake manifold.
Figure 9

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-This photo illustrates the driver side cylinder head under the intake manifold. Remove the crankcase breather tube (green arrow) from under the intake manifold by moving it in the direction of the blue arrow.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Use a pick to remove the O-ring inside the front of the tube and replace it.
Figure 10

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Use a pick to remove the O-ring inside the front of the tube and replace it.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Here is the location of the oil separator valve (green arrow) behind the driver side engine timing cover.
Figure 11

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-Here is the location of the oil separator valve (green arrow) behind the driver side engine timing cover. To replace this part you need to remove the timing covers and timing chain guide. You do not have to remove the cover to perform this repair. We are just giving you component location. You can try to blow the oil separator valve clear by blowing compressed air up the drain tube. To access this drain tube you will need to remove the lower oil pan. See our tech article on removing the oil pan and follow the instructions to remove the lower oil pan.

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-This photo illustrates the car with the lower oil pan removed, locate the oil drain tube (green arrow).
Figure 12

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine-This photo illustrates the car with the lower oil pan removed, locate the oil drain tube (green arrow).

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine- If you have an air compressor use a blow tip to blow compressed air up the tube until air flows easier.
Figure 13

Crankcase Breather Valve 8-Cylinder Engine- If you have an air compressor use a blow tip to blow compressed air up the tube until air flows easier. This should dislodge the sludge blocking the oil separator. Installation is the reverse of the removal steps. Fit the oil pan and tighten the mounting bolts. Install the crankcase breather tube into the fitting on the driver side cylinder head. Install the PCV plate on the intake manifold and install the manifold on the engine. Reassemble the components you took off to get the intake manifold off. Start the engine and verify you do not have any vacuum or oil leaks.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Mandela Comments: Hi, my name is KAWELE LENGE MANDELA and I'm working for hunters fitments center where I'm doing BMW's engine special v8 and I need to learn more about BMW's engine
April 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You have come to the right place. Check out our article on BMWs here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/tech_main.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:06:18 AM