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NG6 Engine Valve Cover Gasket Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

NG6 Engine Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i Sedan (2006-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i Sedan (2006-07)
BMW 530xi Sedan/Wagon (2006-07)

Parts Required:

Valve cover gasket, valve cover bolt set, eccentric shaft sensor gasket, Valvetronic motor gasket, RTV (silicone sealant)

Hot Tip:

Have plastic scraper on hand to clean old gasket material from cylinder head

Performance Gain:

Repair oil leaks

Complementary Modification:

Change engine oil and filter, change spark plugs

The BMW E60 6-cylinder engine cylinder head is covered with an aluminum or plastic cylinder head cover, also known as the valve cover. The ignition coils are bolted to the top surface of the valve cover and the spark plugs are installed in deep wells in the valve cover, one spark plug beneath each ignition coil. The electrical harness to the ignition coils is routed along the top of the valve cover as well.

The valve cover gasket is one of the most common places to have an oil leak on your BMW E60. If you have an oil leak down the exhaust side or front of your engine, start at the top and replace the valve cover gasket. When the valve cover gasket leaks, it can create quite a mess and seem much worse than it is. Engine oil can also leak into the spark plug hole in the cylinder head, contaminating the ignition coil. You will have to repair the oil leak and clean or replace the ignition coil. Inspect the valve cover once the gasket has been removed. They can crack from heat or impact. If you find cracks around the grommet sealing holes or at the front near the VANOS actuator, you will have to replace the valve cover.

On the naturally aspirated (non-turbocharged) N52 engine, the Valvetronic motor is bolted to the top of the valve cover. The Valvetronic motor gasket can also leak. This leak usually fills the center top of the valve cover with engine oil. The Valvetronic motor must be removed in order to remove the valve cover. Be prepared to replace the Valvetronic motor gasket when reassembling. Once the Valvetronic motor is reinstalled, it may be necessary to use a BMW scan tool to reset the Valvetronic limit stops. See our tech article on Valvetronic motor replacing.

On the turbocharged N54 engine, preformed metal fuel lines connecting the high-pressure fuel rail to the fuel injectors cross over the top of the valve cover. Work on a cool engine only. Be sure to wrap a shop towel around the fuel line junctions that you are loosening in order to release the fuel pressure without having it spray all over you and the engine. Work in a well-ventilated space and keep open flames and hot objects away from the engine compartment. After you reassemble the fuel lines and restart the engine, check the fuel lines junctions carefully for leaks.

If you have a BMW E60 with a metal valve cover, replace the valve cover fasteners each time you remove them.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

The vehicle in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours as models change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Remove the engine covers. See our tech article on engine cover removing.

Disconnect the negative battery cable. See our tech article on battery replacing notes.

Working at the left strut tower, remove the two Phillips head screws.
Figure 1

Working at the left strut tower, remove the two Phillips head screws. Then remove the plastic expanding anchor by pulling them straight up (green arrows). Unclip the plastic cover (yellow arrow) from the strut tower.

Remove the strut tower plastic cover from the vehicle.
Figure 2

Remove the strut tower plastic cover from the vehicle. Remove the right side plastic cover.

Working at the left strut tower, remove the T45 Torx fastener (red arrow).
Figure 3

Working at the left strut tower, remove the T45 Torx fastener (red arrow). Then move to the right strut tower and remove the same fastener.

Working at the center of the wiper cowl above the valve cover, remove the two T45 Torx fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 4

Working at the center of the wiper cowl above the valve cover, remove the two T45 Torx fasteners (red arrows).

Unclip the battery cable from the strut tower brace by opening the mount (red arrow).
Figure 5

Unclip the battery cable from the strut tower brace by opening the mount (red arrow). Then remove the strut tower brace from the vehicle.

Working at the back of the valve cover, squeeze the breather hose release tabs and pull them off the valve cover (green arrow).
Figure 6

Working at the back of the valve cover, squeeze the breather hose release tabs and pull them off the valve cover (green arrow).

Open all six-ignition coil electrical connectors by rotating the connector (green arrow) up 90°.
Figure 7

Open all six-ignition coil electrical connectors by rotating the connector (green arrow) up 90°. Then remove the electrical connectors from the ignition coils. Remove the ignition coils from the cylinder head by pulling straight up. If the coil resists, twist when pulling it up to break it free from the spark plug. The ignition coil rubber boot can become stuck to the spark plug over time. Do this for all six-ignition coils.

Next, you will have to disconnect all six-ignition coil electrical connectors (green arrows).
Figure 8

Next, you will have to disconnect all six-ignition coil electrical connectors (green arrows).

Unlock the ignition coil electrical connector by pulling the tab up 90° (green arrow).
Figure 9

Unlock the ignition coil electrical connector by pulling the tab up 90° (green arrow).

Next, slide the electrical connector out of the ignition coil (green arrow).
Figure 10

Next, slide the electrical connector out of the ignition coil (green arrow). Then remove all of the ignition coils.

Remove the ignition coil from the cylinder head by pulling it straight up.
Figure 11

Remove the ignition coil from the cylinder head by pulling it straight up. If the coil resists, twist when pulling it up to break it free from the spark plug. The ignition coil rubber boot can become stuck to the spark plug over time. You can also use a flathead screwdriver to lever the coil up and out of the cylinder head. Be very careful using this method as the coil is made of plastic and easily damages.

Unplug the eccentric shaft sensor electrical connector by detaching the locking tabs with a small flathead screwdriver and pulling it up and out of the sensor.
Figure 12

Unplug the eccentric shaft sensor electrical connector by detaching the locking tabs with a small flathead screwdriver and pulling it up and out of the sensor.

Remove the two 8mm ignition wiring harness ground fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 13

Remove the two 8mm ignition wiring harness ground fasteners (green arrows).

Detach the ignition wiring harness from the valve cover by disconnecting the locking tabs (green arrows) and pulling up.
Figure 14

Detach the ignition wiring harness from the valve cover by disconnecting the locking tabs (green arrows) and pulling up. Lay the harness aside.

Next, remove all six-ignition coil insulators from the valve cover.
Figure 15

Next, remove all six-ignition coil insulators from the valve cover. This also provides more clearance when removing the valve cover. Using 90° snap ring pliers, compress the insulator and slide it up and out of the valve cover. Do this for all six-ignition coil insulators.

The fuel injector harness has to be removed next.
Figure 16

The fuel injector harness has to be removed next. The harness is one solid plastic connector with individual connectors for each fuel injector. There are wire clips that hold the harness onto each fuel injector. You can disconnect each wire clip. Then pull the harness up off the fuel injectors. I like to use an alternative method. Use a small pry bar and lever between the harness (green arrow) and cylinder head. When doing this, you have to use one swift action to disconnect the harness. Once the first two connectors unclip, the remaining clips can be disconnected by pulling up. Be careful when using this method, if you lever at an angle or force an injector to move, you may damage a fuel injector.

Lift the fuel injector wiring harness up and lay it aside.
Figure 17

Lift the fuel injector wiring harness up and lay it aside. Remove the Valvetronic motor. See our tech article on Valvetronic motor replacing.

Working at the center of the valve cover, remove the three 10mm mounting fasteners (green arrows).
Figure 18

Working at the center of the valve cover, remove the three 10mm mounting fasteners (green arrows).

Remove the nineteen E8 fasteners from the perimeter of the valve cover (green arrows).
Figure 19

Remove the nineteen E8 fasteners from the perimeter of the valve cover (green arrows). Note the location of each fastener. There are a few that have a special collar on them. You want to be sure these get reinstalled in the correct position. Check the valve cover fasteners with a magnet. If they are aluminum, discard. You will need new fasteners when installing the new valve cover and gasket.

Then lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head.
Figure 20

Then lift the valve cover up and off the cylinder head. Feed the valve cover out from under the wiring harness and remove it from the engine.

Once the valve cover is removed, check that the breather connection on the valve cover did not fall off.
Figure 21

Once the valve cover is removed, check that the breather connection on the valve cover did not fall off. It is quite common for this to happen. Look in the area indicated by the yellow arrow. The cap (green arrow) will stay on the cylinder head if it fell off.

If the breather connection on the valve cover did fall off, use crazy glue to reattach it to the valve cover (green arrow).
Figure 22

If the breather connection on the valve cover did fall off, use crazy glue to reattach it to the valve cover (green arrow).

Thoroughly clean the valve cover.
Figure 23

Thoroughly clean the valve cover. Then install a new gasket into the gasket recess in the valve cover.

Gently lever the eccentric shaft sensor seal out of the valve cover using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow).
Figure 24

Gently lever the eccentric shaft sensor seal out of the valve cover using a flathead screwdriver (green arrow). Do not install the new seal yet. Leaving it out while installing the valve cover makes installation easier. Place the valve cover on the cylinder head and install all of the fasteners finger tight. Then tighten the fasteners in a cross-cross pattern.

With the valve cover installed, press the new eccentric shaft seal into the valve cover.
Figure 25

With the valve cover installed, press the new eccentric shaft seal into the valve cover. I like to use a socket to press the seal into the valve cover. A 30mm socket should work. Depending on the brand of socket, you may need something larger or smaller.

This photo shows the eccentric shaft seal installed properly (green arrow).
Figure 26

This photo shows the eccentric shaft seal installed properly (green arrow). Reinstall the ignition coils and install and route the wiring harness as previously installed.

Remove the two T30 Torx fasteners for the Valvetronic motor gasket (green arrows).
Figure 27

Remove the two T30 Torx fasteners for the Valvetronic motor gasket (green arrows).

Using a flathead screwdriver, gently lever the gasket out of the valve cover.
Figure 28

Using a flathead screwdriver, gently lever the gasket out of the valve cover. You will not need a lot of force to do this. The gasket will pop right out. Once the gasket is free from the valve cover, remove and discard it.

When installing a new gasket, be sure that the black stripe is facing up (green arrow).
Figure 29

When installing a new gasket, be sure that the black stripe is facing up (green arrow).

Then press it into the valve cover until it is fully seated.
Figure 30

Then press it into the valve cover until it is fully seated. Install the Valvetronic motor in the reverse order of removing. Use a 4mm Allen bit to rotate the motor clockwise while installing it into the cylinder head. Once flush with the cylinder head, install the fasteners and tighten. Remember, if you removed aluminum fasteners, replace them each time they are removed. Be sure that the wiring harness is routed as it was before and the engine covers are properly aligned. Turn the key to the ON position for 30 seconds, then OFF, then ON again for 30 seconds before starting the vehicle.

When repairs are performed on the Valvetronic assembly, the limit stops have to be relearned.
Figure 31

When repairs are performed on the Valvetronic assembly, the limit stops have to be relearned. You will need access to a BMW scan tool to do this procedure. The limit stops are the mechanical limit stop, end to end of rotation of the eccentric shaft. The DME (digital motor electronics) records these stops via the eccentric shaft sensor to determine mechanical adjustment limits of the eccentric shaft. With that said, when removing the motor to replace the gasket you are not changing the mechanical position of any Valvetrnoic assembly components, a relearn is not always needed. Now use this with caution and when in doubt, perform the relearn. Do your research and check with up to date repair information before beginning. Install the remaining items in the reverse order of removal. Be sure that all wiring harnesses are properly connected and routed as before. Start and idle the engine. Inspect the valve cover and surrounding areas for oil leaks. Once complete, reinstall the engine covers.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Tk Comments: Do I apply sealent directly to the valve cover all the way around and install the gasket onto the cover ,and do I put sealent onto the engine side as well .2006 bmw 525i gasket is metal with orange coating and does not have a slot to insert the gasket into the valve cover it just sits flat on the surface as well as the spark plug gaskets . Kinda confused can't find information that applies to my model .also what is the nm torque specs for plugs and valve cover bolts .
September 14, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You only need to apply RTV or sealant or sharp bends in the gasket or where two aluminum surfaces meet, for example a timing cover and cylinder head. Your engine should not need sealant.

I do not have the torque info. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tk Comments: Also what type of socket do I need for the valve cover bolts ?
September 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: E8 external Torx. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tk Comments: What type of RTV sealent should be used ?
September 13, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: One designed for high temp and engine oils. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
David Comments: I notice that figures 6 & 7 are reversed from their descriptions on this page.
July 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the catching that. We appreciate it. I will have the article updated.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 02:43:02 AM